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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,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Breakfast

RECIPE: Easter Yogurt Parfait


A basic Easter parfait. Make yours more Easter-like with pastel-colored yogurt layers. Photo courtesy Yoplait.


Here’s an Easter weekend breakfast suggestion from Yoplait:

A yogurt parfait with Annie’s Honey Bunny Grahams.

Just layer yogurt with colorful fruit and top the parfait with the bunny-shaped graham cracker bites.


  • Use yogurt in pastel “Easter colors,” like blueberry, peach and strawberry flavors.
  • Use different layers/flavors/colors of yogurt.
  • You can use a touch of food color to turn any flavor into a pastel; for example, turning Yoplait Key Lime Pie yogurt pastel green.
  • Consider other “Easter” toppings: green-tinted coconut for “grass,” and a few miniature jelly beans. (Hey, it’s Easter!)

    1. PLACE shredded coconut in a plastic sandwich bag. Add a drop of green food color and shake. Add more food color as desired.

    2. SPREAD the coconut on a plate to dry.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Chocolate Bacon Bunnies

    What are you giving your favorite bacon lover for Easter? Oscar Mayer created these foodcraft projects: bacon-stuffed chocolate bunnies and an Easter basket filled with “bacon grass” and hard-boiled eggs—fun for breakfast on Easter Sunday.

    Go buy lots of bacon and get started!


    Ingredients Per Small Bunny

  • 1 hollow chocolate bunny
  • 2 strips bacon

  • Frying pan
  • Paper towels
  • Sharp knife

    1. COOK the bacon to desired crispness. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.

    2. REMOVE and discard any wrapper on the bunny. Heat a knife by running the blade under very hot water; then quickly dry the knife completely. Using the dry, warm knife…



    Hide bacon in a chocolate rabbit. Photo courtesy Oscar Mayer.


    3. GENTLY CUT the bottom off of the bunny; set it aside. Insert the bacon slices into the hollow bunny, breaking the bacon into smaller pieces as needed to completely fill the hollow cavity.

    4. REPLACE the bottom piece of chocolate on the base of the bunny. Heat the original knife or a smaller knife as in Step 2. Slowly run the flat side of the knife back and forth over the seam, melting the chocolate to reseal the bottom. Cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to five days.



    Bacon “grass” for an Easter basket. Photo courtesy Oscar Mayer.



    Depending on the size of the Easter basket, even a small basket can require a lot of bacon. We recommend having some Easter grass or shredded paper on hand to stuff the bottom of the basket, under the layer of bacon.


  • Thick cut bacon (8 to 12 slices)

  • Kitchen shears
  • Frying pan
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Easter basket and colored* hard-boiled eggs for serving
    *Here’s how to color Easter eggs.



    1. CUT each bacon strip lengthwise into three long and skinny strips, using kitchen shears. Cook them in a frying pan over medium heat. Use tongs to stir the bacon and fry them in squiggly shapes to the desired crispness.

    2. TRANSFER the cooked bacon strips to a paper towel-lined plate. Blot dry and let cool completely.

    3. FILL a small Easter basket with the fried bacon Easter grass and serve with hard-boiled, dyed Eater eggs nestled on top. If you’re not planning to eat your creation right away, cover it in plastic wrap and store in the fridge, for up to five days.



    RECIPE: Hungarian Rice Pudding


    Hungarian Rice Pudding. Photo and recipe courtesy Little Bucharest Bistro | Chicago.


    A bone-chilling day like today calls for extra helpings of comfort food. One of our favorites is rice pudding. We’ve made it every way, including conventional, with rum-soaked raisins, with dried cherries and cranberries replacing the raisins, and a Thai-inspired version with black rice and coconut milk.

    Today, it’s Hungarian rice pudding. This is the recipe made by the Hungarian grandmother of Branko Podrumedic, owner of Little Bucharest Bistro in Chicago. In Hungarian, the recipe is called budinca de orez.

    Rice pudding is usually served as a dessert, but Branko notes that it also makes a delicious breakfast. If you’d like an eggier pudding for breakfast, you can increase the eggs to four, and reduce the honey for a less dessert-like (sweet) dish.

    For a richer rice pudding, use half and half instead of regular milk. For a non-dairy version, use coconut milk.

    Whether for dessert or breakfast, you can serve it with fresh fruit or a spoonful jam (our own grandmother was partial to cherry preserves).

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup rice (uncooked)*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • Optional garnishes: chopped toasted nuts, toasted coconut, fresh fruit, preserves or fruit sauce (purée)

    *We prefer white basmati rice, which makes a creamy rice pudding but holds its texture.


    1. COOK the rice. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    2. BEAT the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat very well with a whisk or electric beaters, ensuring that no honey remains at the bottom of the bowl. Add the rice and raisins to the liquid mixture. Stir until combined.

    3. GREASE a baking dish, and gently pour in the rice mixture.

    4. SPRINKLE nuts on top and dust top with cinnamon.

    5. PLACE the baking dish in a pan of warm water and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Serve hot or cold with cream, fresh berries, fruit sauce and/or toasted coconut garnish.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Goat Cheese For Breakfast

    It’s the second day of the Year Of The Goat, and we’re focusing on goat cheese for breakfast.

    We love goat cheese so much, that a log or tomme of fresh goat cheese with toasted baguette (and fresh tomato and basil in the summer) is our kind of meal.

    But you can incorporate goat cheese into conventional breakfast recipes, as this tip attests.

    At the simplest, there are goat cheese crostini with jam or preserves. If you want to bake, there are goat cheese and mushroom tarts. You can make a breakfast sandwich, or your favorite egg dish.


    This recipe is from Smucker’s, which uses its Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest Northwest Triple Berry Preserves. You can use your favorite berry preserves or jam.

  • Here’s the difference between jam and preserves.
  • Here’s the difference between crostini and bruschetta.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 6 minutes.

    Ingredients For 12 Slices

  • 1/4 cup berry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme*, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 baguette (8 ounces), sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • Optional: fresh thyme leaves for garnish
    *You can substitute fresh basil, marjoram, oregano or savory for the thyme.



    Crunchy, sweet and savory: These crostini are an alternative to toast with spreads. Photo courtesy Smucker’s.



    1. COMBINE the preserves, shallots, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl.

    2. SLICE the baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Brush both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Grill baguette slices, four at a time, 2 to 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Place on serving platter.

    3. SPREAD about 2 teaspoons of goat cheese over each baguette slice. Top each slice with 1 teaspoon of the preserves mixture. Garnish with additional fresh thyme. Serve immediately.

    TIP: The preserves-vinegar-thyme spread can be prepared up to two days ahead and refrigerated, covered.



    These Crustless Breakfast Tarts with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese are elegant enough for a special occasion. Photo courtesy Kalyn’s Kitchen.


    Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen was inspired by a new tart pan to make breakfast tarts, combining cream, eggs, goat cheese, green onions, mozzarella, mushrooms and Parmesan. You can also use a muffin pan or individual gratin dishes.

    There’s no pastry, so you can save the carbs for your toast or muffin.

    The tarts will keep in the fridge for at least a week and can be reheated in a microwave or hot toaster oven. It only takes a about 70 seconds in the microwave; don’t microwave too long or the eggs will get rubbery.


    Ingredients For 6 Breakfast Tarts

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (e.g. from a log), crumbled and softened
  • 1/4 cup milk, half and half, or cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 12 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive oil (depending on your pan)
  • 1 teaspoon Spike Seasoning (see below, or use any all-purpose seasoning blend that’s good with eggs)
  • Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, crated

    1. REMOVE the goat cheese from the fridge, cut off 4 ounces, crumble and place in a bowl to start to soften. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Spray the tart pan (or other cookware) with olive oil or nonstick spray.

    2. USE a fork to mix the milk/cream into the softened goat cheese; then mix in the Parmesan. Beat the eggs in a different bowl and mix 1/3 at a time into the goat cheese mixture, stirring each time you add more egg. (The mixture doesn’t need to be completely smooth.)

    3. WASH and pat dry the mushrooms and slice about 3/8 inch thick. Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan to avoid crowding the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat until all the released liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Divide the mushrooms between the wells in the tart pan.

    4. POUR the custard mixture over the mushrooms and gently stir to distribute the mushrooms evenly. Sprinkle a generous pinch of green onions on top of each tart, followed by one tablespoon of grated mozzarella.

    5. BAKE for 25-27 minutes (or slightly longer if you don’t have this tart pan and your tarts are a little thicker). Cook just until the tarts are starting to barely brown on the top; the custard mixture should be soft. Serve hot.

    Spike Seasoning was created by more than 50 years ago and still has a huge fan base; it gets a five-star review on Amazon. You can buy it online or at retailers nationwide. There’s also a salt-free, gluten-free version.

    Original Spike Seasoning a blend of 39 ingredients: Salt and sea salt, de-fatted nutri-soy granules, granular toasted onion, nutritional yeast, granular garlic, celery root granules, ground dill, horseradish granules, mustard powder, lemon peel, orange powder, parsley flakes, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, white pepper, rose hips powder, summer savory, mushroom powder, safflower, parsley powder, white onion powder, spinach powder, tomato powder, sweet Hungarian paprika, ground celery seed, cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground ginger, ground coriander, ground fenugreek, ground cloves, cinnamon powder, oregano, tarragon, sweet basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme.

    If you don’t see it in the spice section, look near the health foods.

  • Breakfast tarts with mushrooms and goat cheese (recipe)
  • Goat cheese scrambled eggs (recipe)
  • Goat cheese and fresh herb omelet (recipe)
  • Goat cheese and prosciutto strata (recipe)
  • Grilled goat cheese sandwich with honey and figs (recipe)
  • Poached eggs on toasted baguette with goat cheese (recipe)


    RECIPE: Red Velvet Pancakes


    Red velvet pancakes: use seasonal garnish
    for July 4th, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or
    Mother’s Day. Photo courtesy Taste Of


    For a special Valentine’s Day breakfast, brunch or lunch, Taste Of Home magazine suggests these red velvet pancakes.

    Red food works for July 4th and Christmas, of course. Just vary the garnish:

  • Christmas: mint leaf or sliced kiwi (or make green whipped cream!)
  • Valentine’s Day: red berries
  • July 4th: whipped cream, crème fraîche or mascarpone; plus blueberries
    Note that the recipe below is for a party-size batch of pancakes—five batches of 16 pancakes per batch.

    However, the mixed dry ingredients can be divided into five batches, which can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. You can use the recipe as a guide to make smaller amounts.

    Or, make the five-batch lot, and give the four extra batches as Valentine gifts—tied with a red ribbon.


    Prep time is: 30 minutes, cooking time is 15 minutes per batch.

    Ingredients For 5 Batches (10 Cups Mix Total)

  • 10 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 6 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 teaspoons salt
    Additional Ingredients (For Each Batch)

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • Butter and maple syrup

    1. COMBINE the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Place 2 cups in each of five resealable plastic bags or containers.

    2. PREPARE pancakes: Pour the mix into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs and food coloring. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

    3. POUR the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown.

    4. SERVE with butter and syrup.



    PRODUCT: Raisin Bran With Cranberries


    New: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran with Cranberries. Photo courtesy Kellogg’s.


    We commit to eating a whole grain breakfast every day, trying to build up to our our Daily Value of 48 grams of whole grain (here’s why). We tend to alternate among Cheerios, Shredded Wheat and oatmeal.

    We don’t buy Raisin Bran often enough. But Raisin Bran is also a whole grain cereal, with 23g of whole grain per serving—more than Cheerios’ 20g per serving. (Oatmeal [not instant] has 32g, Shredded Wheat has 16g.)

    So when we were offered a sample of new Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Raisin Bran Cereal with Cranberries, we accepted and polished off the box in two days, enjoying it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

    Given the antioxidant craze, we’re surprised it took this long. It’s a more sophisticated flavor update to the long-popular classic Raisin bran, and the cranberries and raisins plump up nicely in the milk.

    The latest member of the Raisin Bran Family—Original, Crunch and Omega 3 From Flaxseed—is Cranberry.

    Of course, you can add your own cranberries to regular Raisin Bran or any breakfast cereal. The milk adds 8 grams of protein and 15% daily value of calcium.

    Discover more at



    FOOD FUN: Turkey Bacon Pancakes


    The longest pancakes ever. Photo courtesy Jennie-O.


    Ladle pancake batter over strips of bacon, and long, fun pancakes result. This recipe from Jennie-O uses the company’s turkey bacon, but you can use any bacon you wish.

    Jennie-O uses better-for-you whole wheat flour in this recipe, but you can substitute refined white flour.



  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 12 bacon slices, cooked according to package directions
  • Maple syrup
  • Optional garnish: berries or other fresh fruit


    1. HEAT the griddle pan to medium-high. In medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

    2. WHISK together the buttermilk, egg and butter in small bowl. Add to the flour mixture. Stir until combined, do not over stir.

    3. PLACE two strips of bacon together every 4 inches apart on greased griddle. Ladle ¼ to ? cup of the pancake mixture over the bacon to form long pancakes. Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear over surface of pancakes. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until golden brown.

    4. SERVE with maple syrup and optional fruit.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Microwave Scrambled Eggs


    Yes you can…make scrambled eggs in the microwave. Photo courtesy American Egg Board.


    Don’t like to scrub pans? Make scrambled eggs in a mug in the microwave. Here’s how from the American Egg Board:

    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish or mix-in: fresh herbs or shredded cheese

    1. BEAT the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in microwave-safe bowl or 12-ounce coffee mug, until blended. Add cheese or herbs as desired.

    2. MICROWAVE on HIGH for 45 seconds, then stop and stir. Continue to microwave until the eggs are almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer. Serve immediately.


  • Microwave ovens vary in strength. Cook time may need to be adjusted.
  • Even if the eggs look like they can use a few more seconds, don’t overcook. Scrambled eggs will continue to cook and firm up after removed from microwave.

    Variations For Any Scrambled Eggs Recipe

  • For rich creamy scrambled eggs, you can use cream instead of milk, or add small cubes of cream cheese or a dollop of cottage cheese before cooking. Chef Wylie Dufresne adds cream cheese to his scrambled eggs recipe.
  • For added flavor, stir a bit of creamy salad dressing, pesto or salsa into the egg mixture.

    Always add milk (ideally whole milk) or cream to scrambled eggs. The fat in the milk/cream slows down the cooking process, and the additional water (milk is approximately 87% water) adds to the tenderness.

    On the other hand, don’t add milk to omelets. They have a more compact structure; adding milk can make them harder.



    PRODUCT: belVita Breakfast Bites


    Belvita Breakfast Bites: crunchy nuggets that are good for you. Photo courtesy Mondelez Global.


    In 2013 year, belVita Breakfast Biscuits were a favorite at THE NIBBLE.

    What makes something a favorite? We not only love it at first bite, but we continue to buy it and enjoy it on a regular basis.

    belVita has expanded the concept with a new grab-and-go option, belVita Breakfast Bites. The nutritious, pre-portioned packages are portable and poppable. They’re available in two flavors, Chocolate and Mixed Berry. Each 50g package contains 230 calories, 20g of whole grain and 4g fiber.

    Pair belVita Breakfast Bites with a yogurt or piece of fruit for a more complete breakfast. Or at the very least, try it instead of the not-so-good-for-you breakfast pastry, donut, bagel, etc.

    Personally, we’ll stick with the larger belVita biscuits, a.k.a. cookies. But if you like to nibble, try belVita Breakfast Bites.


    belVita Breakfast Bites are baked with high quality, wholesome and were developed to provide four 4 hours of nutritious steady energy when eaten as part of a complete breakfast. Each 50g serving (one pouch) includes:

  • 4g of fiber*
  • 20g of whole grain
    The line is certified kosher by OU. Discover more at

    *Contains 7-8g fat per serving, depending on flavor.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Baked Oatmeal With Blueberries & Almonds

    Last year we published a recipe for baked oatmeal with strawberries. It was a big hit.

    Here’s a baked oatmeal dish with a different flavor profile: blueberry and almond, courtesy of the London-based blog, Pip & Little Blue. You’ll find many other delicious recipes on the website.

    “Pip” created this recipe to be heart-healthy, child-friendly and easy to make. “It has to be both one of the yummiest and healthiest breakfasts in my repertoire,” she says. “It may feel like you’re indulging and eating cake for breakfast, but this is jam-packed full of blueberries, oats, soy milk and almonds, all proven to be good for your heart and low in fat to boot. Way way better than [plain] porridge [see note below].

    You can reheat slices in the microwave at home or at work, for a nutritious breakfast every day in 30 seconds.


    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1/2 cup butter (plus extra for greasing)*
  • 2/3 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 cups cow’s milk or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats†
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder**
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds


    It may look like cake, but it’s baked oatmeal for breakfast! You can use an oblong pan, but doesn’t the oatmeal look prettier in a round one? Photo © Pip & Little Blue.

    *Substitute margarine for a heart-healthy version, or dairy-free spread for a dairy-free version. (Many margarines have small amounts of dairy- or milk-derived ingredients in them.)

    †For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free certified oats and gluten-free baking powder.



    Fresh blueberries are not in season until summer. Instead of pricey imports, consider buying frozen blueberries. If they’re not sweet enough for you, toss them in your sweetener of choice before adding them to the recipe.



    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F/190°C and grease a deep 9-inch baking pan or deep dish.

    2. CREAM together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, ground almonds, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until all the ingredients are incorporated.

    3. ARRANGE 1 cup of blueberries on the bottom of your baking dish. Spoon the oatmeal mixture on top, even the surface out and scatter the flaked almonds and remaining blueberries on top.

    4. BAKE for 40-45 minutes, or until the oatmeal is springy and golden on top. Serve warm , with extra fruit or a splash of milk.

    Porridge is a dish made by boiling ground, crushed, or chopped cereal grains in water or milk. Optional flavorings can be added, from spices to fruits or cheese.

    Porridge is usually served hot for breakfast, in a bowl or dish. It may be sweetened with sugar or served as a savory dish (cheese grits is an example).


    Any cereal grain can be turned into porridge. Buckwheat, oats, wheat (Cream of Wheat, Wheatena) and rice (Cream of Rice) are most popular in the U.S. Worldwide, barley, fonio, maize, millet, rice, rye, sorghum, triticale and quinoa are also made into porridge.


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