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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Holidays & Occasions

JULY 4TH RECIPE: Red, White & Blue Shortcake

This July 4th special from berry specialist Driscoll’s has a special taste twist: lime whipped cream.

You get to clebrate the summer bounty of berries with this oversized mixed berry shortcake, while parading its patriotic colors. The whipped cream is subtly flavored with lime zest for a bright complement to the sweet berries and tender cake. Small springs of mint make for a pretty and tasty garnish.

Prep time is 30 minutes, cook time is 35 minutes.

RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUEBERRY SHORTCAKE

Ingredients For 8 Servings

For The Cake

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •    

    red-white-blue-berry-shortcake-driscolls-230

    A beautiful berry shortcake with a flavor twist. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

    For The Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1-1/3 cups) blackberries
  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1-1/3 cups each) raspberries
  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1-1/4 cups) blueberries
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  •  

    mixed-berries-greengiantfresh.com-230

    Summer’s berry bounty. Photo courtesy
    Green Giant Fresh.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Lightly grease bottom and side of 8-inch round cake pan. Line bottoms of each pan with a round of parchment paper. Grease paper and dust each pan with flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.

    2. SIFT together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.

    3. BEAT butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, with mixer on low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in several additions, starting and ending with flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

    4. SPREAD batter into cake pans and bake 35 minutes or until golden and cake tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert to cool completely. Once cool, using a serrated knife, cut cake crosswise in half.

     
    5. MAKE the whipped cream: Combine heavy cream and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and lime zest while beating just until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

    6. COMBINE blackberries, blueberries and raspberries in a large bowl. Place bottom half of cake on serving plate or cake stand. Spread half whipped cream mixture over cake. Top with sprinkling of half mixed berries. Spread small amount of whipped cream on cut side of top half of cake and place atop berries pressing gently into place. Top cake with remaining whipped cream, mixed berries and small mint sprigs for garnish.
     
    Find more delicious recipes at Driscolls.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chocolate Pudding With Strawberry Rose

    chocolate-pudding-strawberry-rose-driscolls-230

    It’s really easy to make this beautiful rose
    garnish. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     

    Here’s another special chocolate pudding recipe for National Chocolate Pudding Day, June 26th.

    Created by Driscoll’s, growers of premium berries, the elegant strawberry roses are actually very easy to make. Keep this recipe on file for anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and other special occasions.

    There‘s no need to make instant pudding when it’s easy to make from-scratch chocolate pudding, which tastes so much better. All you gain from instant is pre-measured dry ingredients: the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa, salt, plus powdered vanilla instead of liquid vanilla extract.

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE PUDDING
    WITH A ROSE GARNISH

    Ingredients

    For The Pudding

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  
    For The Rose Garnish

  • 1 package fresh strawberries (16 ounces)
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pudding. Melt the chocolate. Whisk together 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch.

    2. BRING the remaining 1-1/2 cups milk, sugar, cocoa and salt just to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the cornstarch mixture, then add to the milk mixture in pan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook 1 minute.

    3. REMOVE from the heat and stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Spoon into glasses. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Chill.

    4. MAKE the roses. Hull 16 strawberries by removing the green calyx. Take 4 strawberries and cut the tops off. These strawberries will be used as the center for the roses. Slice the remaining strawberries into eighths. These sections will become the rose petals.

    5. ARRANGE the sliced strawberries around the pudding, making sure the ends of the slices are facing out and extend slightly beyond the rim of the glass. After the first circle of strawberries is placed, begin making a second circle of strawberries but position slightly more forward toward the center of the glass. Continue with a third layer. Once finished, add the cut strawberry to the center and garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Firecracker Macaroni & Cheese

    It’s not red, white and blue, but it has extra
    heat for a “firecracker” punch. Photo
    courtesy Dietz & Watson.

      Heat things up on July 4th with this special mac and cheese from Dietz & Watson, which used its peppadew and Cheddar with Jalapeño & Habañero products.

    RECIPE: FIRECRACKER MACARONI & CHEESE

    Ingredients For 4 to 6 Servings

  • 2 pounds 100% semolina ziti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper*
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 pound peppadew*, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound Cheddar with Jalapeño & Habañero, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Hungarian paprika, for garnish
  •  
    *You can subsitute pimiento (roasted red peppers) for the peppadew, but the latter is tangier. You can use black pepper instead of white pepper; the difference is that black flecks will show in the recipe. White pepper was created (by removing the spicy black skin of peppercorns) for aesthetic reasons, that are no longer so important in current times. Black pepper delivers more heat.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F, and butter a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish.

    2. BRING a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and toss in the ziti. Boil until just slightly firm (al dente), drain in a colander (do not rinse) and set aside momentarily.

    3. MELT the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, stir in the flour to form a smooth paste (roux), and cook for about 1 minute. Pour in the milk, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, season with salt and white pepper, and add the nutmeg and thyme. Stir in the cheeses a bit at a time until incorporated and smooth.

    4. ADD the ziti to the cheese sauce, stirring gently to coat, and pour into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the top evenly with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes.

    5. REMOVE the casserole from the oven and place under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown. Watch carefully to prevent the top from burning. Sprinkle with paprika, and serve hot.

     
      

    Comments

    JULY 4th FOOD: Terra Chips Stripes & Blues

    Yes, there’s a perfect potato chip for July 4th Weekend: Terra Chips Stripes & Blues.

    These delectable chips are a blend of striped beets (chiogga beets), sweet potatoes (with some beet juice concentrate for color) and blue potatoes, which create the patriotic red, white and blue mix. They’re seasoned with a pinch of sea salt.

    If you can’t find them locally, you can buy them online. A carton of 12 bags will go quickly, we promise.

    The line is certified kosher by KOF-K.

    And given the choice between a bottle of wine and a few bags of Terra’s Stripes & Blues, we’re guessing that a majority of people will go for the chips.

    JULY 4TH BEER FOR THE CHIPS

    Next task: Find an artisan beer to match. Here are some ideas for starters:

  • Brew Free or Die IPA, 21st Amendment Brewing
  • Enjoy by 07.04.14, Stone Brewing Company
  • Liberty Ale, Anchor Brewing
  • Revolution XPA, Eagle Rock Brewery
  • Union Jack, Firestone Walker Brewing Company
  •  

    Read the full article.

     

    terra-stripes-and-blues-chips-terraFB-230

    The most patriotic potato chips. Photo courtesy Terra Chips.

     

      

    Comments

    JULY 4th: Bacon Flag Pizza

    Blogger Bev Cooks of Kansas City designed this celebratory snack for Independence Day. It’s so nifty, there’s temptation to find more occasions to eat this flag!

    RECIPE: BACON FLAG PIZZA

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup jarred Alfredo sauce (or make your own with this recipe)
  • 1 tube (11 ounces) Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 4 small purple potatoes, sliced thinly with a mandoline
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 slices bacon
  •    

    You’re a grand old pizza! Photo courtesy BevCooks.com.

     

     

    Purple potatoes

    Also use purple potatoes in a red, white and blue potato salad. Photo courtesy BevCooks.com.

     

    Prepration

    1. ARRANGE the raw bacon slices on a cooling rack. Place the rack on a rimmed baking sheet and then into a cold oven.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Set the timer for 20 minutes. When the timer rings, remove the bacon from the oven. Leave the oven on. In the meantime…

    3. HEAT the oil in a medium skillet. Add the sliced potatoes and sauté until they brown and become slightly crispy, about 7 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.

    4. DRAIN the bacon fat from the baking sheet and flip it over. Lightly grease the underside. Roll the dough onto the sheet. Prebake for 6 minutes.

    5. SPOON the Alfredo sauce over the crust. Arrange the potatoes in the upper left hand corner of the pizza. You can overlap them or lay them side by side. Arrange the bacon to the right and under the potatoes, creating stripes.

    6. SPRINKLE the cheese between the bacon stripes. If you want, you can create little cheese stars on the potatoes. Bake pizza an additional 6 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, browned and bubbly.
     
    MORE

    Check out this crudités American flag.

     

    See the step-by step photos on Tablespoon.com.

    Check out more of Bev’s wonderful recipes at BevCooks.com.

      

    Comments

    JULY 4TH: Red, White & Blue Tartlets

    red-white-blue-tartlet-shukran.deliverys-chandon-230

    Sophisticated dessert bites for Independence
    Day. Photo courtesy Shukran Deliver | FB.

     

    It’s easy to make tartlets (individual portions) or mini tarts (bite size) for dessert. The minis are a festive idea to cap an evening of July 4th celebrating.

    You can make preparation even easier by purchasing the shells (we use these from Clearbook Farms) and jars of lemon curd or raspberry curd. Otherwise, make the pastry cream recipe below.

    You can make this recipe with only blueberries and raspberries, or use blackberries and strawberries as well.

    RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUE TARTLETS OR MINI TARTS

    Ingredients

  • Tartlet or mini-tart shells
  • Red and blue berries: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
  • Custard, lemon curd or pastry cream
  • Optional garnish: confectioner’s sugar
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CLEAN berries and pat dry. If using blackberries or strawberries, cut them into pieces that will fit onto the small mini tart surface.

    2. FILL shells with pastry cream or other filling. Top with berries and optional confectioner’s sugar.
     
    RECIPE: PASTRY CREAM (CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE)

    Pastry cream can be made ahead and refrigerated, wrapped well with plastic wrap on surface, up to three days. Extra cream can be used as a topping for fruit or other desserts.

    Ingredients For 3 Cups

  • 2-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK together 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.

    2. ADD the remaining 1-3/4 cups milk to a medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from vanilla bean; then add the pod. Sprinkle in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over. Place the pan over moderate heat and bring to a simmer without stirring. When the mixture boils…

    3. WHISK it and remove from heat as you gradually whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Return the pan to moderate heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream simmers and thickens, about 1 minute.

    4. REMOVE from the heat, discard the vanilla pod and whisk the cream until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Chill until cold, about 4 hours.

     
      

    Comments

    JULY 4th Recipe: Red, White & Blueberry Muffins

    You don’t have to wait until July 4th to start the day with these tasty red, white and blue muffins. You can also serve them à la mode with frozen yogurt, for dessert and snacks.

    In an ideal world, you’d make your favorite muffin batter and add fresh blueberries and raspberries. But using a muffin mix, prep time is just 15 minutes, with another 30 minutes to bake, cool and glaze the muffins.

    RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

    Ingredients For 12 Muffins

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange or vanilla extract
  •    

    Patriotic muffins in red, white and blue. Photo courtesy Betty Crocker.

  • Optional: 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts (we like pecans)
  •  

    betty-crocker-blueberry-muffin-mix-230

    Save time with a mix. Photo courtesy Betty Crocker.

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 425°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or grease bottoms (only) of muffin cups if not using liners.

    2. DRAIN blueberries from the muffin mix; rinse and set aside. In medium bowl, stir muffin mix, milk, oil, eggs and cherries/cranberries just until blended. Gently stir in blueberries.

    3. DIVIDE batter among muffin cups; each should be about three-fourths full.

    4. BAKE 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool 3 to 4 minutes; remove from pan. Stir together powdered sugar, milk and orange extract until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over muffins.

     

      

    Comments

    JULY 4th: Spicy Hot Lemonade Recipe

    red-hot-lemonade-fresno-melissas-230

    Jalapeño lemonade becomes red, white and
    blue with the addition of some blueberries.
    Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    It’s easy to make a special July 4th drink. Just “heat up” a pitcher of cold lemonade with bright red jalapeño slices. Toss in a few blueberries and you’ve got a red, white and blue theme.

    For less heat, remove the seeds and the white connective tissue.

    Don’t want any heat? Replace the jalapeño with bright red cherries.

    Start with a can of frozen lemonade, or make your own with fresh lemons (there’s a link to the recipe below).

  • For a different type of heat, substitute slices of fresh ginger for the jalapeño.
  • For a zero-calorie drink, use non-caloric sweetener.
  • For a low-glycemic drink, use agave nectar instead of sugar.
  • A shot of vodka or gin turns lemonade into a splendid cocktail.
  • You can also use this recipe to make fresh limeade, orangeade or grapefruitade.
  • After July 4th, varying the garnishes makes the recipe “new” each time.
  •  
    MORE LEMONADE IDEAS

    Try this homemade lemonade recipe. It’s so much better than store-bought.

    Or, take advantage of peach season to make this yummy peach lemonade recipe.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Crudité Flag, A July 4th Snack

    We launch this year’s series of red, white and blue July 4th foods with a crudité flag.

  • The red and white flag stripes are cauliflower florets, red cherry tomatoes and red bell pepper strips. (Remove the stems from the tomatoes—the green color doesn’t belong on the flag.)
  • The blue field with white stars is represented by blue tortilla chips.
  • The white stars are represented by the dip, served on the side.
  •  
    The flag was made by Heluva Good, which served the flag with its own sour cream-based dips.

    But we think a blue cheese dip does the best job of Here’s a recipe.

     

    crudite-flag-heluvagood-230

    Old Glory as chips and dip. Photo courtesy HeluvaGood.com.

     

    Variations: You can use other “white” vegetables, including jicama or peeled cucumber and/or summer squash.
     
    MORE

    Check out this bacon pizza American flag.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Blueberry Cake Or Red, White & Blue Cake

    blueberry-layer-cake-fanny-ohsweetsday-colorfulharvestFB-230

    To create a July 4th cake, add a rectangle of
    raspberries to the upper left corner of the
    cake. Photo courtesy OhSweetDay.com.

     

    We discovered this recipe, Lemon Blueberry and White Chocolate Cream Cake, on the Colorful Harvest website. It was contributed by Fanny at OhSweetDay.com.

    Turn it into a July 4th cake by adding raspberries or strawberries to the filling layers, top, or both.

    RECIPE: JULY 4th CAKE, A.K.A. LEMON BLUEBERRY & WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CAKE

    Ingredients For One 8-Inch 4 Layer Cake Or
    Two Loaf Cakes)

    For The Lemon Cake

  • 1-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  •  

    For The Blueberry Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  •  
    Plus

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups grated white chocolate
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8″ x 8″ square cake pans.

    2. SIFT together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk sour cream, lemon zest, juice and vanilla.

    3. BEAT butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended.

    4. REDUCE the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the sour cream mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining sour cream mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.

    5. DIVIDE batter evenly among prepared cake pans. Transfer pans to oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely.

     

    mixed-berries-greengiantfresh.com-230

    Fresh summer berries. Photo courtesy GreenGiantFresh.com.

     

    6. PREPARE blueberry sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool completely.

    7. BEAT heavy cream with powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Place into the fridge to chill.

    8. ASSEMBLE: Slice cakes into half horizontally, so you have 4 layers of cake. Then cut vertically to have 8 layers of rectangular cakes, if you want to make two cakes. Place one cake layer on the serving late and spread with blueberry sauce. Gently spread the whipped cream on top, and scatter with blueberries. Top with another cake layer and repeat the same process until you place the 4th cake layer.

    9. FROST the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Press white chocolate around the sides of cake and place blueberries on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

      

    Comments

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