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Archive for October 22, 2014

HALLOWEEN: Cheese & Pretzel Broomsticks

Who needs candy when there’s a clever Halloween snack like this? It was created by Angie Ramirez of LittleInspiration.com, who shares yummy food, easy DIY crafts, adventures of motherhood and everything in between on her blog.

This healthy Halloween snacks works for kids as well as for adults, with cocktails. The witch’s broomsticks are easy to make and look great on a party platter.

RECIPE: CHEESE & PRETZEL BROOMSTICKS

Ingredients

  • Pretzel sticks (ideally whole grain)
  • Block of hard cheese to shred
  • Baker’s twine or strips of dry corn husks
  •  

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    Halloween fun, no sugar needed! Photo courtesy Little Inspiration | NatureBox.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. SHRED cheese the length of the block. (Pre-shredded cheeses are too short to make the broomsticks.)

    2. LAY down a piece of baker’s twine. Add a few shredded cheese pieces and a pretzel stick (see how it’s done here). Add a few more shredded cheese strips to cover the pretzel stick.

    3. KNOT the two ends of the twine.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Genmaicha Tea

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    Genmaicha, green tea mixed with toasted
    rice. Photo courtesy Wikimedia.

     

    Genmaicha, pronounced gen-my-cha with a hard “g,” is one of our favorite green teas.

    The flavor of the sencha green tea base is secondary to the nutty, toasty flavor of kernels of toasted and popped brown rice that scattered among the tea leaves.

    The name translates as “brown rice tea”; it is also called roasted rice tea and popcorn tea, because a few grains of the rice invariably pop during the roasting process and resemble popcorn. To further confuse matters, different American tea packagers bestow names of their own. At Mighty Leaf it’s Kyoto rice tea; at Numi it’s toasted rice tea.

    The good news is that this tea, which for a long time was only available loose, can now be found in tea bags. And people who want to drink green tea for its health benefits, but don’t like the grassy and vegetal flavors, can try it and possibly really enjoy the nutty flavor (from the roasted rice).

    As a stocking stuffer or small gift, you can buy a box for as little as $5.49, on Amazon.com.

     

    ABOUT GENMAICHA TEA

    Genmaicha was originally drunk by poor Japanese. The rice was used as a filler and reduced the price of the tea; which is why it is also known as the “people’s tea.” Today it is enjoyed by everyone.

    Genmaicha is also sold with matcha (powdered green tea) added to it, called matcha-iri genmaicha (literally, “genmaicha with added powdered tea”). The flavor is often stronger and the color more green than pale yellow green of regular genmaicha. Rishi sells an organic version.

    DISCOVER THE MANY TYPES OF TEA IN OUR TASTY TEA GLOSSARY.

     

    numi-toasted-rice-aka-genmaicha-230

    Thinking ahead to stocking stuffers? How about a box of genmaicha tea? The organic Numi line is certified kosher by Natural Food Certifiers. Photo courtesy Numi Tea.

     

      

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    RECIPE: Trick Or Treat Scotch Sour

    trick-or-treat-scotch-sour-laphroaig-230

    A treat for the candy-hander-outers. Photo
    courtesy Laphroaig.

     

    If you need something spirited to get through an evening of handing out candy, how about a special Scotch Sour? This recipe, from Laphroaig (our personal favorite Scotch—we love that peat!)

    “Sour” refers to lemon juice, which is added to the whisky with sugar to create the drink.

    RECIPE: LAPHROAIG TRICK OR TREAT COCKTAIL

    Ingredients Per Drink

    • Ice cubes
    • 1-1/2 parts Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, or other Scotch of choice
    • 3 parts apple cider (hard or non-alcoholic—see below)
    • 1 part fresh lemon sour (see below)
    • Garnish: lemon wedge
     

    Preparation

    1. BUILD the drink over ice in a collins glass, in order of the list above. Stir.

    2. GARNISH with a lemon wedge and enjoy.

     

    WHAT IS LEMON SOUR?

    Also called bar mix or sweet and sour mix, lemon sour is lemon-infused simple syrup. Instead of buying a commercial mix made with lemon juice concentrate, you can make it from scratch with fresh lemon juice; it keeps in the fridge for two weeks.

    Recipe: Lemon Sour Mix

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (or half lemon, half lime juice)
    • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon zest

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the water, sugar and zest in a saucepan; heat on low, stirring gently until the sugar has dissolved.

     

    sweet-and-sour-bar-mix-sheknows-230

    Homemade sour mix. Photo courtesy SheKnows.com.

     
    2. REMOVE from the heat and add the fresh lemon/lime juice. Strain the mixture into a 32-ounce bottle (a clean wine bottle, 750 ml [25 ounces], will do).

    3. CHILL for at least an hour before using.
     
    APPLE CIDER VERSUS APPLE JUICE: THE DIFFERENCE

    Since Prohibition, which began in the U.S. in 1920, “cider” has referred to the unfermented, unpasteurized apple juice, with “hard cider” used to indicate the alcoholic beverage. In the U.K. it is the opposite, with “cider” indicating the alcoholic drink for which special cider apples are used.

    • Hard cider is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from the unfiltered juice of apples. The alcohol content varies from a low 1.2% ABV* to 8.5% or higher—some imported ciders can be up to 12% ABV, an average level for table wines.
    • Fresh apple cider is raw apple juice, typically unfiltered. Thus, it is cloudy from the remnants of apple pulp. It is also typically more flavorful than apple juice—although of course, the particular blend of apples used in either has a big impact on the taste.
    • Apple juice has been filtered to remove pulp solids, then pasteurized for longer shelf life.

     

    WHISKEY VS. WHISKY

    The use of the e, or not, is an Irish vs. Scots spelling choice. Some scholars claim that the Irish were the true innovators of whiskey and that they introduced it to the Scots; others claim the reverse.

    Scholars can’t determine why the “e” was dropped by the Scots. One theory is that the Irish made whiskey first and pronounced it with a broad “e.” When the Scots began to make it, they dropped the “e” to differentiate their product.

    In Ireland and the U.S., the word whiskey is spelled with an “e,” while the British, Scots and Canadians usually opt to drop it.

    At THE NIBBLE, we prefer adding the “e” for visual elegance. Here’s more on the history of whiskey.

     
    *ABV is alcohol by volume. It is doubled to get the proof. For example, a 40% ABV spirit is 80 proof.

      

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