THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for June, 2014

TIP OF THE DAY: Cookie Cutter Gift

If you need a special house gift for a summer host, consider baking cookies in special shapes. Or, bring the cookie cutters as gifts, along with pre-measured ingredients, as an activity gift.

Most people who bake have cookie cutter circles, flowers and hearts, and perhaps some holiday shapes. But with more than 15,000 listings on Amazon.com, you can find something personal for your friends and family.

For Families With Children

  • Dinosaurs
  • Farm animals
  •  
    For People With Beach Houses

  • Beachware
  • Marine life
  •  
    For Sports Enthusiasts

  • Golf clubs
  • Horses
  •  

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    Cookies on sticks, cookies in cakes. Photo courtesy Wilton.

     

    Just decide on your hosts’ recreational interests, and find a cookie cutter to match it.

      

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    JULY 4th: American Flag Cake

    A tasty flag! Photo courtesy SecretLifeOfAChefsWife.com.

     

    What a great dessert surprise for July 4th!

    This flag cake originated on 17andBak­ing.com, and was reposted on SecretLifeOfAChefsWife.com.

    Elissa, who posted the recipe at age 17 (she’s now 21), said at the time:

    “While I wish I could claim credit for it, the idea of a flag cake was completely my father’s. It was all a bit of an experiment and when I finally cut the cake open, revealing the familiar red white and blue, I was so surprised to see that it worked.”

    You can use any recipe for a three layer white cake. Elissa deliberately made the cake completely white on the outside, with a cream cheese frosting flavored with lime zest. Cutting into a plain cake makes the flag motif an even bigger surprise.

    Are you dying to make it? Here’s the recipe.

     

     
      

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    FOOD FUN: Stars & Stripes Jell-O Shots

    Perfect for a July 4th celebration: red, white and blue Jell-O shots.

    All you need is a mini star silicon mold, like this one from Wilton. You can probably pick one up locally, where July 4th-themed housewares or are sold (or a good baking supplies department).

    Then, just follow this recipe on GoodCocktails.com.

    And plan ahead for red, green and white Jello-O shots for Christmas, using lime Jell-O instead of Berry Blue.

    Jell-O shots are made by substituting approximately one third to one half of the second cup of liquid added to Jell-O powder (the first cup is the boiling water that dissolves the gelatin.

    Vodka or rum are popular (flavored vodkas add another flavor dimension), but the shots can be made with any alcohol. Note that the alcohol blended into the Jell-O is absorbed much more slowly than in a cocktail, resulting in abject drunkenness on the part of those who underestimate how much alcohol they have consumed.

     

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    Mix up some fireworks with these patriotic Jell-O shots. Photo courtesy GoodCocktail.com.

     

    WHO INVENTED THE JELL-O SHOT?

    No, the Jell-O shot was not invented by American singer-songwriter Tom Lehrer in the 1950s. He is well known for writing about it, making the recipe as a subterfuge to consume alcohol on the alcohol-restricted Army base where he was stationed.

    Jell-O shots seem like a modern concept, but Jell-O itself (flavored, sweetened gelatin) was invented in 1897. Beginning in the 1400s, gelatin (protein produced from collagen extracted from boiled animal bones and connective tissues) had been used to make desserts.

    In 1862, the first modern cocktail recipe book was published in the U.S.: Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide. You can still buy it (reprinted) on Amazon.com.

    Thanks to some pretty crafty sleuthing on the part of JelloShotRecipe.Blogspot.com, you can see a photocopy of the first known recipe for a molded gelatin-alcohol combination.

    Jerry Thomas advises: “The strength of the punch is so artfully concealed by its admixture with the gelatine, that many persons, particularly of the softer sex, have been tempted to partake so plentifully of it as to render them somewhat unfit for waltzing or quadrilling after supper.”

    That sounds so much more charming than “abject drunkenness.”

      

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    RECIPE: Blue Cheese BLT Sandwich

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    Add blue cheese for a tangy twist to the BLT.
    Photo courtesy Castello.

     

    We’ve had chicken salad BLTs and turkey BLTs, but were only recently inspired by Castello USA to make this blue cheese BLT.

    It’s a lovely a new take on a BLT:

  • Blue Castello (or other rich, creamy blue cheese)
  • Sliced heirloom tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Bacon
  • Mayonnaise
  • On a toasted baguette
  •  
    You can make it vegetarian by substituting Baconnaise [a NIBBLE favorite] or Nasoya’s Nayonaise and optional vegan bacon, such as Smart Bacon from Lightlife.

    Enjoy it open face or not, with a cold beer.

     

    It may be the perfect sandwich to enjoy over July 4th holiday: It’s red (tomato), white (bread and blue cheese) and blue (blue cheese again).

    You can apply the same principle to the red, white and blue burger in the photo below, adding a slice of red onion.

     

    Other “patriotic” ways to serve blue cheese and tomatoes (you can subtsitute peppadews or red bell pepper):

  • Bagel with blue cheese/cream cheese spread (mix half and half), tomato and red onion
  • Blue cheese nachos (with red salsa)
  • Breakfast omelet or scrambled eggs (use halved cherry or grape/pear tomatoes—and add red onion)
  • Blue cheese-stuffed peppadews
  • Fruit and cheese plate, with red apples and grapes
  • Green salad with red onion, tomato and blue cheese garnish
  • Grilled cheese and red apple panini
  • Plain Greek yogurt with red onion, tomato and blue cheese toppings
  • Stuffed radicchio or red endive leaves (mash blue cheese with a bit of mayo or yogurt)
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    Red, white and blue burger. Photo courtesy Castello.

     
    MORE RECIPES FROM CASTELLO

    Castello has a long heritage of making creatively crafted cheese in Denmark. Each type of cheese is made at a single dairy, which specializes in the production of that particular cheese.

    There are many more more delicious recipes with all of Castello’s cheeses at CastelloCheese.com.

    We especially earmarked:

  • Baked Apples With Blue Cheese (Recipe)
  • Blue Cheese-Pineapple Souffle (Recipe)
  • Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Sandwich (Recipe)
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Red, White & Blue Soft Drinks & Cocktails

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    Drink red, white and blue for July 4th. Photo
    courtesy Herradura Tequila.

     

    You can turn any clear drink into a July 4th cocktail or mocktail, as Herradura Tequila has done with its “Red, White & Blueberries” Cocktail.

    Just start with a clear spirit or mixer, layer on other flavors (clear liqueurs, coconut water, etc.)

  • Club Soda
  • Mineral Water
  • Seven-Up/Lemon Lime Soda
  • Tonic Water
  • Gin, Tequila or Vodka
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    RECIPE: TEQUILA RED, WHITE & BLUE

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1½ ounces silver/blanco tequila
  • 2½ ounces coconut water
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Optional: crushed ice
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    For Garnish

  • Blueberries and raspberries
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    Preparation

    1. PLACE berries and crushed ice in the glass.

    2. COMBINE drink ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into the glass.
     

    Find more cocktail recipes at Herradura.com.
     
      

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