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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 Thanksgiving

TIP OF THE DAY: Pumpkin Spiced Almonds

The roasted almonds are sweetened with sugar, brown sugar and honey, and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and pumpkin powder (dried, ground pumpkin—look for it at natural food stores or online). The 19.75-ounce can

    It’s easy to make spiced nuts—almonds, pecans, walnuts or other favorite—to enjoy:

  • With cocktails
  • As snacks
  • As garnish for cakes, cupcakes, puddings, ice cream and other treats
  • In green salads with goat cheese or blue cheese
  • As sides with coffee, tea and hot chocolate
  • As gifts, in a small tin, plastic container or cellophane bag tied with ribbon

 
RECIPE: PUMPKIN SPICED NUTS

We adapted this recipe from one by Spice Islands. The nuts can be made up to three days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you’re making a lot, it’s best to make them in small batches to ensure that the nuts are thoroughly coated.

   

pumpkin-spice-almonds-can-planters-230

Limited Edition Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds. Nuts are better-for-you for snacking; these Planters nuts have 5 grams of protein in every serving.

 

planters-pumpkin-spice-nuts-kaminsky-230

Seasonal snacking: Planter’s Pumpkin Spiced
Almonds. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE
NIBBLE.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely-ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove or nutmeg
  • 2 cups almonds

 
Varying The Spices

Instead of a pepper-allspice blend, you can use cayenne and other favorites. There is no right or wrong combination: just what you like. For an herbal edge, we often add rosemary or sage. Consider adding:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

    2. COMBINE corn syrup, sugar, salt, black pepper, allspice and white pepper in a bowl. Add pecans; stir gently to coat. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.

    3. BAKE almonds for 5 minutes; stir. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes more, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer pecans to a sheet of wax paper. Separate nuts with a fork. Cool.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Pumpkin Cider

    pumpkin-cider-hkaminsky-230

    Pumpkin cider, with or without rum. Photo ©
    Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     

    People speak of comfort foods; this is a comfort drink. Thick, flavorful, fragrant pumpkin cider made with pumpkin purée is a seasonal treat that can be served to kids or turned into a cocktail with spiced rum.

    RECIPE: SPICED PUMPKIN CIDER

    Ingredients For 2 Drinks

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix, which is seasoned)
  • 2-1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup spiced rum (or substitute more apple cider)
  • Garnish: whipped cream, fresh-ground nutmeg
  •  

    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the pumpkin, cider, spice and cinnamon stick in a medium-large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil; then simmer for 20 minutes. If you’d prefer a thinner drink, add more cider to achieve desired consistency.

    2. REMOVE the cinnamon stick; strain the mixture to remove any clumps. Add the rum stir. Garnish with optional whipped cream or nutmeg. Serve warm.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pumpkin Burger

    Pumpkin is the not-so-secret ingredient in these veggie burgers, which have real nutritional heft thanks to the addition of chickpeas and pumpkin seed protein powder.

    Whether you’re determined to keep the spirit of summer alive or looking to transition into more autumnal foods, these pumpkin burgers span both worlds. You can make a double batch: The finished patties freeze beautifully.

    The recipe was developed by Hannah Kaminsky.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN PROTEIN BURGERS

    Ingredients For 6-8 Burgers

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 14-ounce can (1-3/4 cups cooked) chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seed protein powder
  • Salt and pepper
  •    

    pumpkin-burger-kaminsky-230

    Make your veggie burger a pumpkin burger. Recipe and photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

  • Optional condiment: pumpkin hummus (mix pumpkin purée into plain hummus)
  •  

    organic-pumpkin-puree-can-farmersmarket-230

    We like this organic pumpkin purée. Photo
    courtesy Farmer’s Market Foods.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease and set aside.

    2. HEAT the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When it is shimmering, add the garlic and onions, sautéing until aromatic and lightly golden brown. This should take no more than 6 to 8 minutes; be careful not to overdo it or you could burn the garlic.

    3. DEGLAZE the pan with the balsamic vinegar, turn off the heat and let the mix cool for 10 minutes.

    4. ROUGHLY MASH the chickpeas in a separate bowl, with a fork or potato masher. Keep the texture fairly coarse so that the burger maintains a satisfying bite. Add in the pumpkin purée, mustard, spices and herbs, mixing well to incorporate. When cool enough to handle…

    5. ADD the sautéed vegetables and pumpkin seed protein powder; stir to combine. Mix thoroughly, making sure that there are no pockets of dry ingredients. The mixture should be soft but manageable—something you can fairly easily mold into patties that will hold their shape. Season with salt and pepper to taste. With slightly moistened hands…

     
    6. MEASURE between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of the burger mixture for each patty, and form into round, flat pucks. Space them out evenly on the sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake 10 more minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the sheet.

    7. SERVE while still hot, or cool completely before freezing and storing (for up to 6 months).

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Gouda Cheese With Spicy Pumpkin Seed Brittle

    Who but the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (EatWisconsinCheese.com) would come up with this innovative pairing: Gouda cheese with pumpkin seed brittle! Serve it as dessert during “pumpkin season.”

    The result, while seemingly simple, is a complex dessert that is creamy, crunchy, spicy and sweet. (If you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the pepper.)

    RECIPE: SPICY PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) hulled spicy roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and/or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Gouda or other favorite cheese
  •  

    A seasonal “cheese course.” Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

     

    Preparation

    1. STIR together the baking soda and melted butter; set aside. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside a second sheet the same size. Butter the parchment on one side.

    2. COMBINE the sugar, water and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; wash down any sugar crystals on sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Simmer the syrup 10 to 12 minutes until it reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. With a wooden spoon, add the pumpkin seeds and pepper.

    3. RETURN the pan to medium-low heat while stirring; melt again until mixture turns amber brown and reaches 290°F (if the syrup becomes granular during cooking, continue to cook until it remelts). Remove from heat; stir in butter-baking soda mixture with wooden spoon.

    4. POUR the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet; cover with the second parchment sheet. Press the mixture with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thick. Remove the top layer of parchment; cool completely; crack brittle.

    5. STORE the brittle between layers of parchment in a sealed container for up to two weeks. Plate with a wedge of Gouda cheese, or serve alongside a platter of assorted cheeses.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Load Up On Pumpkin Foods

    Butternut-Squash-Ravioli-pom-wonderful-230

    Pumpkin ravioli. Photo courtesy Pom
    Wonderful.

     

    Some people don’t like pumpkin, so fall offers them no pumpkin joy. Others are so excited that a diet of pumpkin latte, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes is seasonal splendor.

    It becomes a Bubba Gump menu of pumpkin: pumpkin bagels and cream cheese, pumpkin pancake mix and coffee creamer for breakfast; pumpkin spice yogurt or soup for lunch, pumpkin pasta or risotto for dinner; pumpkin spice cookies and loaf cakes for snacking; and of course, for dessert, pumpkin pie and pumpkin ice cream.

    And that’s just what you can pick up in the store! We got a mailer from Trader Joe’s that was all pumpkin, all the time; so we headed over to load up on pumpkin products.

    All of the following are available at Trader Joe’s (except asterisked items), and many are available at other retailers nationwide.

    Breakfast

  • Pumpkin Croissants
  • Country Pumpkin Spice Granola
  • Joe’s Pumpkin O’s (Cheerios-type cereal with pumpkin and cinnamon)
  • Organic Pumpkin Toaster Pastries
  • Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal
  • Pumpkin Bagels and Pumpkin Cream Cheese (what a treat!)
  • Pumpkin Butter
  • Pumpkin Bread Muffin Mix
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Scone Mix
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
  • Pumpkin Greek Yogurt
  • Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix
  • Pumpkin Rolls with Pumpkin Spice Icing
  • Pumpkin Spice Coffee
  • This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar (cereal bars)
  •  
    Snacks

  • Pumpkin Brittle Chips
  • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels
  • Iced Pumpkin Scone Cookies
  • Pita Chips With Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps (crackers)
  • Pumpkin Joe Joes (sandwich cookies)
  • Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Mix
  •  

    Lunch & Dinner

  • Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli
  • Organic Canned Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Ale
  • Pumpkin Cornbread Mix
  • Pumpkin Croutons
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (to season sweet potatoes, squash,
    rice)
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Toasted Seed Pumpkin Oil (for grains, salads, vegetables)
  •  
    Dessert

  • Ginger Pumpkin Mini Mouthfuls (ice cream sandwiches)
  • Pumpkin Bar Baking Mix
  • Pumpkin Biscotti
  • Pumpkin Bread Pudding
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  •  

    Pumpkin-CreamCheese-traderjoes-230

    Pumpkin cream cheese is a seasonal favorite at THE NIBBLE. Photo courtesy Trader Joe’s.

  • Pumpkin Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Macarons
  • Pumpkin Pie Mochi Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Pie and Mini Pumpkin Pies
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  •  

    Plus…

  • Mini Decorative Pumpkins
  • Orange Pumpkins
  • Pumpkin Body Butter (skin care)
  •  
    Head for the store!

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pumpkin Seed Brittle

    pumpkin-brittle-zulka-230ps

    Surprise friends and family with some
    pumpkin brittle, garnished with a drizzle of
    chocolate. Photo courtesy Zulka.

     

    Here’s aother delicious recipe from our friends at Zulka sugar: pumpkin brittle. Enjoy it by itself, with a cup of tea or a pumpkin spice latte. Make a batch to celebrate Halloween, or to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

    You can customize the recipe by adding other seeds—nutritious chia, flax, hemp, nigella or sesame, for example. We actually prefer the deeper flavor complexity of a pumpkin-sesame seed mix. Just keep the total of all seeds to two cups.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE WITH
    CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  •  

    Preparation

    1. SET out a cookie sheet and top with a silicon baking mat or wax paper. Lightly oil the mat or wax paper.

    2. COMBINE the sugars, butter, salt and water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat; stir. Once the butter is completely melted, stir again and clip on a candy thermometer and heat to 300°F.

    3. REMOVE from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir well. Quickly spread over the mat or wax paper and spread to the edges with a lightly oiled silicon spatula. Let cool 30 minutes. Gently break into pieces.

    4. POUR the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until the chocolate chips are fully melted, stirring as they get more melted until smooth. Spoon the melted chocolate into a baggie or disposable pastry bag and snip a very small piece off one corner. Drizzle over the brittle pieces. Chill the brittle to set the chocolate. Store in an airtight container.
     
    Find more delicious recipes at Zulka.com.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Seasonal Breakfast Bread

    pepperidge-farm-pumpkin-spice-swirl-230

    Swirl into holiday season with these delicious
    breads. Photo courtesy Pepperidge Farm.

     

    We just finished our last slices of Pepperidge Farm Blueberry Swirl Bread, a limited edition hoarded from the height of the summer in our freezer.

    Now, we’re moving on to two fall flavors: Caramel Apple Swirl Bread and Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread, both available for a short time this fall.

    They make delicious toast and French toast. As toast, they combine the crunch of toasted bread with the sweetness of a breakfast pastry.

    Check the store locator to see where you can find them.

    And if you can’t find the seasonal specialties, content yourself with the year-round swirls: Cinnamon Swirl, Raisin Cinnamon Swirl, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl and 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl With Raisins.

    Our goal is to keep an eye out for other seasonal swirl breads, a fun new way to “eat seasonally.”

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fall Mocktail

    Two days we presented an extensive drink menu for a Halloween cocktail party. But what do you serve the non-drinkers and the kids?

    Fall mocktails, of course. You can find many of them online.

    For starters, here’s a recipe full of fall flavor: apple, cinnamon and ginger, courtesy of Reed’s Ginger Brew, which has a portfolio of ginger beers from plain, in different strengths, to cherry and raspberry.

    RECIPE: APPLE GINGER MOCKTAIL

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • Reed’s Spiced Apple Ginger Brew or other ginger beer
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Optional: splash of grenadine for color
  • Ice cubes
  • Cocktail option: 2 ounces apple schnapps (liqueur), applejack or Calvados (apple brandy)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a tumbler with ice. Pour in Spiced Apple Ginger Brew and optional alcohol.

    2. STIR with a cinnamon stick and serve.

       

    cider-mocktail-reedsgingerbrew-230

    Looking delicious: a fall mocktail of ginger beer with apple and cinnamon notes. Photo courtesy Reed’s Ginger Brew.

     

     

    reeds-spiced-apple-4-pack-230

    Reed’s seasonal six-pack. Photo courtesy
    Reed’s Ginger Brew.

     

    WHAT IS GINGER BEER

    Ginger ale is carbonated water simply fllavored with sugar and ginger flavoring. Ginger beer, on the other hand, is brewed for deeper and more complex flavors and a sizzling ginger “burn.”

    The basic recipe combines ginger, sugar, water, lemon or lime juice (for an acidic pH balance) and the ginger beer plant, a fungus that contains specific yeast and bacteria that aid fermentation. Other live cultures can be substituted, including brewers’ or bakers’ yeast, lactic acid bacteria, kefir grains or tibicos, another culture of bacteria and yeasts.

    Brewers can add citrus zest, cayenne pepper and other hot spices, and blend-ins from nettle or dandelion beers.

    After a few days of fermentation, you’ve got ginger beer, effervescent with natural carbon dioxide (as in the fermentation of beer).

    Ginger beer originated in England, where it can be made with an alcohol content of up to 11%, or with no alcohol at all. In the U.S., it is typically found as an alcohol-free soft drink.

     

      

    Comments

    JULY 4TH RECIPE: Oreo Cookie Balls

    oreo-cookie-balls-230

    July 4th Oreo Cookie Balls. Photo courtesy
    Kraft.

     

    This no-bake recipe for Oreo Cookie Balls is fun to bring to a July 4th event. It’s easy enough so that you can delgate it to younger members of the household, who may just discover a love of making their own desserts.

    Just by changing the garnish, it can be customized for Chanukah, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. There are also links below to recipes that add specific touches for different special occasions.

    RECIPE: OREO COOKIE BALLS

    Recipe For 48 Pieces

  • 1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 36 OREO cookies, finely crushed
  • 3 packages (4 ounces each) white chocolate, broken into pieces, melted
  • 1 tablespoon red, white and blue multi-colored sprinkles (or other colors to match the season or occasion
  • Preparation

    1. MIX cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.

    2. SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip in melted chocolate (see dipping tip below); place on waxed paper-covered rimmed baking sheet. Top with sprinkles.

    3. REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.

     

    How to Easily Dip Cookie Balls

    To easily coat cookie balls with the melted chocolate, add the balls, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate.

  • Use 2 forks to roll the balls in chocolate until evenly coated.
  • Remove the balls with forks, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl.
  • Place the balls on a prepared baking sheet; let stand until chocolate coating is firm.
  • Store extras in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
  •  

    oreos-melting-snowmen-kraft-230

    Melting Snowmen Oreo Cookie Balls. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Kraft.

     
    MORE OREO COOKIE BALLS RECIPES

  • For Anytime: Oreo Raspberry Cookie Balls and Triple Double Oreo Tartufo
  • For Chocolaholics: all chocolate Oreo Cookie Balls
  • For Christmas: Peppermint Oreo Cookie Balls
  • For Glamour: paint with edible gold dust and top with a chocolate-covered coffee bean
  • For Halloween: tint the white chocolate coating orange, paint the jack o’lantern face with melted chocolate or gels and use bits of pretzel thins for the stems
  • For St. Patrick’s Day: Oreo Mint Cookie Balls
  • For Valentine’s Day: Oreo Cherry Cookie Balls
  • For Winter: Melting Snowmen Oreo Cookie Balls
  •   

    Comments

    VALENTINE COCKTAILS: Strawberry Margarita & Vodka Shooter

    Margaritas are America’s favorite cocktail. Tailor them for Valentine’s Day with a homemade Frozen Strawberry Margarita.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MARGARITA

    Ingredients For 4 Drinks

  • 6 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 8 ounces frozen sliced strawberries in syrup
  • 4 ounces frozen limeade concentrate
  • Ice cubes
  • Coarse salt for rim
  • Garnish: 4 fresh strawberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a blender with ice and crush. Pour in the tequila and triple sec. Add the strawberries and limeade.

    2. BLEND for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour and serve.

     

    strawberry-margarita-haru-230

    Who needs Champagne? Photo courtesy Haru Restaurant | NYC.

     
    Want something smaller? Here’s a recipe from Polar Seltzer.

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY SHOOTERS

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 oz Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka or vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 2-3 strawberries, chopped
  • Strawberry flavored seltzer
  • 1-2 whole strawberries
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: whipped cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the chopped strawberries and vodka in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and maraschino liqueur and shake.

    2. STRAIN into a glass, filling half way and then add additional strawberries. Top with Polar Seltzer and whipped cream.

      

    Comments

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