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Archive for November, 2014

GIFT: Sushumna Chocolate

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The chocolate is made in individually-
wrapped tiles. Photo courtesy Sushumna.

 

For the person who meditates or does yoga, consider a gift of Sushumna chocolate. This line of “chakra-choc” includes seven flavors that correlate to the seven major energy points (chakras) in the body developed.

Hindus refer to the chakras as the intersections of energy lines. One of them, sushumna, leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to self-realization.

Will these flavored chocolates lead you there? No promises are made, but at 30 calories per tile, anyone can enjoy a tile or two daily to find out.

 
What is the Chakra-Chocolate correlation?

According to the owners, on the chakra Ladder, these energy points are represented by color, emotive and physical attributes. They found natural correlations to these attributes among various nuts, spices, herbs and essences that they then married to chocolate.

 

The creators describe their chakra-based chocolates:

 

  • Compassionate: Sweet dried cherries provide a burst of dark, luscious fruit flavor to complement the 70% dark chocolate. An explosion of flavor reminds you to keep your heart open.
  • Connected: Transform that “fire in your belly” into positive action with this sumptuous vanilla bean and white chocolate infusion. The universal aroma and flavor of pure vanilla blended with white chocolate strengthens and soothes this fiery, action-oriented power chakra.
  • Expressive: Vibrant, refreshing peppermint and 70% dark chocolate vivify this chakra and strengthen your innate ability to know and speak your truth.
  • Grounded: The warm, earthy flavors of sweet potato pie are blended with the familiar crunch of crisped rice, and swathed in luscious, smooth milk chocolate. This medley was created to help focus and realign your connection with the earth and all that’s primal through the “root chakra.”
  • Insightful: This blend of port-soaked currants with 70% dark chocolate captures the mystery and wonder of intuition. Help strengthen and balance your “third eye” chakra for a new perspective and way of seeing the world.
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    The tiles in a gift canister. Photo courtesy Sushmna.

  • Sensual: Cardamom, nutmeg and a whisper of cinnamon are blended into chai chocolate. Spices, a touch of heat and milk chocolate stimulate your second chakra—the energetic portal of the senses, and the source of creativity.
  • Transcendant: A savory blend of hemp oil, exotic mushroom extract, rich raw cashews, and silky milk chocolate which help you connect to your crown chakra: the connection to the cosmos and spirit.
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    There are gift sets from $15 to $50.

  • Individually wrapped squares are $1.00; the Tea Boxed Set of 21 tiles is $28.00.
  • The Media Boxed Set, a reusable gift box with each of the 7 flavors, is $15.
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    Get yours at SushumnaChocolat.com.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Christmas Cocktail Garnishes

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    Deck the drink with a holiday garnish. Photo
    courtesy Davio’s | Manhattan.

     

    While you’re pouring good cheer for the holidays, how about a special seasonal garnish?

    From Davio’s Manhattan, a terrific steakhouse (across from Grand Central Station at Lexington Avenue and 45th Street), this holiday garnish couldn’t be easier.

    Simply wash and dry rosemary sprigs and affix two raspberries or one strawberry at the end. Fresh sprigs of rosemary look like miniature evergreen branches.

    Other garnish ideas (match the flavors of the garnish to the flavors of the cocktail):

  • Crushed candy cane rim (dip the rim in water and then into a plate of crushed candy canes).
  • Mint sprig and raspberry (take a look).
  • Pomegranate arils (check them out on this Pom-tini).
  • Red currants (they look like holly berries), white currants or Champagne grapes (which are actually Zante currants).
  • Berries: sweet gooseberries (which are red, not orange), lingonberries or dried red mulberries (the fresh ones are in season in the summer).
  • Green and/or red sanding sugar for a sweet rim (you can mix the colors together).
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    Cranberries are bright and seasonal but are too bitter to eat. Holly berries should never be used because they are poisonous.

     

    RECIPE: ROSEMARY RASPBERRY MARTINI

    Pack the best of the holidays in a martini with muddled fresh rosemary, raspberries and cranberry juice. Berry vodka gives this cocktail an added burst of flavor. Slice a fresh raspberry on a sprig of rosemary for a festive garnish and toast to the season.

    Prep time is five minutes.

    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 6-10 fresh rosemary needles
  • 6 fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons (3/4 ounce) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cranberry juice
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) berry-flavored vodka
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: rosemary sprig and optional lemon peel curl
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    A cocktail with lots of holiday spirit. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the garnish: Remove the needles from the bottom two-thirds of of a rosemary sprig. Save the needles for muddling. Spear 2 raspberries on sprig and set aside.

    2. MUDDLE the rosemary leaves and 4 raspberries in a cocktail shaker. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, cranberry juice and raspberry vodka (available from Absolut, Skyy, Smirnoff and others—or make your own two days in advance). Top with ice and shake vigorously.

    3. STRAIN into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

      

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    RECIPE: Game Day BBQ Deviled Eggs

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    A hearty approach to deviled eggs: Top them with barbecue! Photo courtesy Byron’s BBQ.

     

    This tasty, fun recipe was developed by Byron’s BBQ for the November 29th Egg Bowl. The result: Ole Miss triumphed over Mississippi State, and some people enjoyed barbecue-topped deviled eggs.

    Whether you’re at the stadium or on the couch, the recipe works for any game day: BBQ-Topped Deviled Eggs.

    Byron’s BBQ is frozen after cooking, to lock in freshness without the need for extra preservatives. The pork shoulder is hickory-smoked for hours, then hand-pulled off the bone and sauced. To prepare it, simply thaw and heat in an oven, on a grill or in a slow cooker.

    You can find Byron’s BBQ at Sam’s Club locations nationwide for less than $15 per 4 pound tray. It’s a great deal for large family gatherings or parties.

    You use less than a pound to make the deviled eggs, so there’s plenty of barbecue left for pulled pork pizza, tacos, tostadas, salads, sandwiches, scrambles, sliders, quesadillas and wraps. When you only have a bit left, use it to fill baked potatoes.

     

    RECIPE: BARBECUE-TOPPED DEVILED EGGS

    Ingredients For 24 Halves

  • 12 ounces fully-cooked pork barbecue, thawed
  • 12 eggs, hard-boiled, cooled and peeled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish: 6 chives, chopped
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    Preparation

    1. HEAT the roast according to package directions and keep warm.

    2. CUT the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and transfer all the yolks into a small mixing bowl. Set the egg whites aside.

    3. ADD the mayonnaise and mustard to the egg yolks and mash with a fork until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon some egg yolk mixture into each egg white. Top each with barbecue and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.

     
    ABOUT BYRON’S BBQ

    Byron’s has been making authentic American barbecue since 1957, when Byron Charleton started selling the homemade BBQ recipe that made him famous in his hometown for years.

     

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    Delicious barbecue pork is well priced at Sam’s Club. Photo courtesy Byron’s BBQ.

     
    The barbecue is still made the same way on the same plot of land in Gallatin, Tennessee where Byron set up his first smokehouse. The pit master slowly smokes quality meat over an open-pit hardwood fire and slathers on a signature spicy-sweet sauce. The quick freeze technique enables the company to avoid any added chemical preservatives.

    Learn more at ByronsBBQ.com.
     
    BARBECUE, BARBEQUE OR BBQ?

    Readers often ask us about the correct spelling: Is it barbecue, barbeque bar-b-que or BBQ? The answer is that barbecue and barbeque are alternative spellings, and BBQ is the abbreviation. We chose to use “barbecue” instead of “barbeque” in THE NIBBLE because more of the professional barbecue groups use that spelling.

    The word “barbecue” comes from the Haitian Arawakan word “barbakoa,” meaning “framework of sticks.” It refers to a raised wooden structure used to either sleep on or cure meat.

      

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    PRODUCT: Maille Dijon Mustard With Balsamic Vinegar Of Modena

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    Two favorite flavors together: Dijon mustard
    and balsamic vinegar. Photo by Hannah
    Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Often, the nicest gift you can bring to a party or dinner hosted by a foodie is something knew he or she probably hasn’t tried.

    We nominate Maille’s new Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Together, the two classic flavors create a flavorful yet mellow blend that’s not quite as sharp as classic Dijon mustard. At 10 calories per teaspoon, it’s low in calories and high on flavor.

    We love basic Dijon mustard, but it’s that much special—similar to Edmond Fallot Gingerbread Mustard we wrote about recently.

    As you might imagine, there are countless ways you can use fine mustard to enhance almost anything on your plate.

    The product, which is a medium brown color as opposed to conventional yellow Dijon, just arrived in the U.S. Until recently, it has only been available at Maille’s European boutiques in Dijon, Paris and London.

    Get yours online at MyBrands.com for $9.89 per jar (7.9 oz/225g).

     

    SERVING SUGGESTIONS

  • As a condiment and with cheeses, cold cuts, pâtes, roasted meats and vegetables.
  • As a sandwich spread.
  • In vinaigrettes and dips.
  • In glazes and marinades.
  • In a sauce: Use it with wine to deglaze meat near the end of cooking to create a mouthwatering sauce. Here’s how.
  • As a seasoning in turkey stuffing, chicken and pork dishes, macaroni, potato salad (tuna, chicken, egg, etc.).
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    You can find lots of recipes on Maille.us. Although we haven’t tried it, there’s a recipe for carrot cake that uses Dijon mustard!

     

    RECIPE: BALSAMIC MUSTARD & CRANBERRY SAUCE

    Combine the sweetness of balsamic with the balance of mustard in this new twist on homemade cranberry sauce. The cranberry sauce can be made up to five days in advance.

    Ingredients

  • 2 bags (8 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Maille Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
  • 1/2 cup water
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    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat to a simmer.

    2. REDUCE the heat to low and stir occasionally until the cranberries have broken down and the mixture is thick and sauce-like, about 20-25 minutes.

    3. REMOVE from the heat and cool completely before serving.

     

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    Cranberry sauce with balsamic Dijon mustard. Photo courtesy Maille.

     

    FOOD TRIVIA

    The Romans were probably the first to experiment with the preparation of mustard as a condiment. They mixed unfermented grape juice, known as must, with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis) to make burning must, mustum ardens in Latin. Hence, the name must ard.

     
    ABOUT MAILLE

    Founded in 1747 by Antoine Maille in Dijon, France, La Maison Maille stepped into history when the refined recipes first caught the attention of King Louis XV of France, becoming his official supplier of vinegar and mustard. Soon other European Royal Courts, including those of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Hungary, followed suit and granted Maille this significant honor.

    Maille is the leading producer of premium mustard, vinegar and cornichons in France and the number one brand of imported mustard in the U.S. Maille Honey Balsamic joins the brand’s U.S. imports, which include Dijon Originale, Old-Style (À La Ancienne), Honey Dijon, Horseradish and Rich Country mustards, plus Dijonnaise and Cornichons.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fig Jam, Fig Chutney & More Figgy Condiments

    Figs are hot and dry weather fruit—famously enjoyed for millennia in the Middle East, where it’s hot year-round.

    In the U.S., figs grow in zones 8-10 (most of our figs are grown in California. They have two seasons: a shorter season in early summer and a second, main crop that starts in late summer and runs through fall.

    Fig trees cannot withstand temperatures much below 20°F, and so are not grown in most of the Midwest and in the Northeast.

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    Dalmatia Fig Spread. Photo courtesy
    TheKitchn.com. Here’s their review.

     

    So depending on your residence, you won’t find fresh figs; but you can console yourself with a jar of fig jam or chutney.

    Beyond spreading it on toast, here’s what you can do with it, courtesy of FrenchFarm.com,

  • Use it as a glaze for meats, especially duck and pork.
  • Mix it in with pan juices to make a sauce.
  • Add it to a red wine vinaigrette to make a spectacular salad dressing.
  • Pair it with cheese—our favorites being blue cheese , goat cheese, bleu or camembert on crostini.
  • Use it as the center of humbprint cookies.
  • Spoon it over cheesecake.
  • Add it to cheese and charcuterie plates.
  • Garnish a flatbread pizza made with prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese and arugula.
  • Use it as a topping for ice cream.
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    You can find Dalmatia Fig Spread (photo above)at many supermarkets, and other fig jams and chutneys at most specialty stores. But The French Farm has the biggest selection of fig condiments we’ve seen, any of which would make a lovely small gift or stocking stuffer for a foodie. The choices include:

     

  • Black Fig Jam (from L’Epicurien), to spread on toast, pastries, waffles, or to enjoy with cheese.
  • Confit of Figs & Black Olives (L’Epicurien), a spread of sweet white figs and savory black olives that can dress up just about anything. Pair with cheese or use as a sandwich spread.
  • Fig & Balsamic Vinegar Confit (L’Epicurien), delicious on a sandwich or on a cracker with goat cheese, or as a condiment with foie gras.
  • Fig & Grape Jam (from L’Epicurien), a delightful balance of juicy grape and earthy fig, spread some on toast or breakfast pastries.
  • Fig & Walnut Confit (from L’Epicurien) is perfect with goat cheese or on a slice of toasted baguette.
  • White Fig Jam (from L’Epicurien), more delicate than the black fig jam, is delicious on top of a slice of toasted baguette, with a slice of Cheddar on a crostini, or on a breakfast pastry.
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    But fig condiments don’t stop at jam. Check out the other options:

     

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    Mustard with fig. Photo courtesy The French Farm.

     

  • Fig Mustard (from L’Epicurien), can be paired with cured meats, ham, roasted or smoked turkey, cheddar cheese, roast pork or a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Grape Must Vinegar with Fig (from Il Boschetto) is freshly pressed grape juice that contains the skins, seeds and stems. The mixture is simmered with the addition of vinegar made from Tuscan red wine, into a rich balsamic-like syrup that is stunning over fish, fresh salads, and desserts.
  • Red Wine Vinegar With Fig (from Edmond Fallot), great for salad dressing, marinades, or sauces. Try it on a goat cheese-stuffed chicken breast with braised greens.
  • Spiced Fig Chutney (from L’Epicurien), both sweet and savory and perfect for a cheese board, charcuterie plate or a chicken or turkey sandwich.
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    A BRIEF HISTORY OF FIGS

    The edible fig was one of the first plants to be cultivated by humans. Fossils dating to about 9400–9200 B.C.E. in the Jordan Valley predate the domestication of barley, legumes, rye and wheat, and may thus be the first known instance of agriculture. Some botany historians propose that the figs may have been cultivated one thousand years before the next crops (wheat and rye) were domesticated.

    Much later in time, figs were a common food source for the Romans. Cato the Elder, in his De Agri Cultura, lists several strains of figs: the Mariscan, African, Herculanean, Saguntine and the black Tellanian. In addition to human consumption, figs were used, among other things, to fatten geese for the production of a precursor of foie gras.

    In ancient times, figs were cultivated from Afghanistan to Portugal to India. From the 15th century onwards, they spread to Europe and later, to the New World. [Source]

      

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