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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 Breakfast

FATHER’S DAY RECIPE: Potato Chip & Beer Pancakes

“Mancakes” are made with beer and potato
chips. Photo courtesy SurLaTable.com.

 

This Father’s Day, treat Dad to a breakfast featuring some not-so-traditional pancakes, made with BBQ potato chips and beer.

Created by Chef David Burke (one of our favorite creative culinary artists) for Samuel Adams Boston Lager, these easy-to-make “mancakes” may become an annual tradition in your family.

RECIPE:

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces crushed BBQ potato chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup of Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • 2 eggs
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX flour, baking soda, Boston Lager and eggs in a large mixing bowl

    2. HEAT a skillet on medium and pour batter into large circles. Let bubble.

    3. SPRINKLE potato chips on top of pancakes and flip. Cook until lightly browned

    5. SERVE with bacon or sausage and maple syrup.

     

    WE’VE TESTED HUNDREDS OF PANCAKE MIXES. HERE ARE OUR
    FAVORITE MULTIGRAIN & WHOLE GRAIN PANCAKE MIXES.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Breakfast Salad

    If you haven’t been getting your recommended portions of fruits and vegetables*, how about starting your day with a breakfast salad? You can have one of these fruit-based salads with your regular breakfast foods—cereal, eggs, a bagel—or with a side of cottage cheese, ricotta and/or yogurt.

    This recipe comes from Lynn’s Paradise Café, Louisville, Kentucky and was sent to us by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

    It makes 8 portions. Divide in half for 4 portions.

    BREAKFAST SALAD RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mixed, torn salad greens
  • 2 cups granola
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 cups fresh orange sections
  • Blueberry vinaigrette (recipe below)
  •  

    Breakfast salad. Photo courtesy BlueberryCouncil.org.

     

    *It used to be “five a day,” but now the government bases the portions on calorie needs for your age, gender and activity level. Calculate your portions with this Fruit and Vegetable Calculator from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

     

    Blueberries growing on the bush. Photo
    courtesy BlueberryCouncil.org.

     

    Preparation

    1. TOSS salad greens with 1½ cups of blueberry vinaigrette (recipe below).

    2. DIVIDE the dressed greens among eight large plates. Arrange ½ cup orange sections and ½ cup blueberries on top of each salad

    3. SPRINKLE each salad with ¼ cup granola. Drizzle remaining dressing on top. Serve immediately.

     

    BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE ingredients in a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth.

    2. CHILL at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Yield: 2 cups.
     
    FIND MORE BLUEBERRY RECIPES AT BLUEBERRYCOUNCIL.ORG.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cheese Grits

    Hot and hearty cheese grits. Photo courtesy
    Tillamook.com.

     

    It’s so cold in the Northeast today, we’re warming up with a bowl of steaming cheese grits.

    If you’re not from the South, you might not totally “get” grits, a thick, creamy porridge. They can be bland in their traditional recipe, with salt and a pat of butter on top. (You can use sweet toppings instead: sugar, honey, maple syrup, jam, etc.)

    We like our grits in the classic savory preparation, seasoned with salt and pepper and garnished butter and/or cream for added texture and flavor (when we’re not on a cholesterol guilt trip).

    Cheese is a magical enhancer to grits; and Cheddar, Jack or Parmesan is an even yummier replacement for the butter and cream. This recipe is courtesy of Tillamook, one of the country’s best Cheddar producers. You can go heavier or lighter on the cheese, as you prefer.

    CHEESE GRITS RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 4 cups (32 ounces) whole milk
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) water
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) grits (stone ground with lots of husk—the best are Anson Mills organic heritage grits)
  • ¾-1 cup (3-4 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3-4 slices (3-4 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese, broken into chunks
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • Chives to garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE milk and water in a large pan and bring liquid to a boil. Whisk in grits, making sure that they don’t clump.

    2. TURN HEAT DOWN to a simmer and stir constantly with a whisk. Continue to stirring with frequently and cook for approximately 45 minutes, until a porridge-like consistency is achieved.

    3. ADD shredded cheese to the grits when they are still a semi-liquid like consistency—they should still be creamy, but acting like they want to grab the ladle. When they stick to the ladle they are fully cooked.

    4. ADD the butter, salt, and pepper right after the cheese. Adjust accordingly with more milk if needed.

    5. POUR grits into oven-safe serving bowls. Add a few piece of sliced cheese chunks (or more if you’d like) to the top of each bowl and put under the broiler for about 30 seconds or until cheese is melty. Having the cheese in chunks assists with uniformity and melting the cheese in the grits.

    6. GARNISH with chives and serve immediately.

    TOO MUCH COOKING FOR YOU?

    Make instant grits in the microwave and add 1 table of grated Parmesan cheese per serving.

    MORE ABOUT GRITS…

    …and another cheese grits recipe.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Crunchy Pancakes & Waffles

    Bunnery Natural Foods began some four decades ago, in a log cabin near Yellowstone National Park.

    Now in expanded quarters in Jackson, Wyoming, the company continues to focus on foods that provide both strength and satisfaction to the area’s bikers, hikers, fly fishers, mountain climbers, skiers and white water rafters.

    The company’s pancake and waffle mixes are well worth a look for their crunchy surprises and added nutrition. Called O.S.M., the mixes include wheat flour, oats (“O”), cracked wheat, sunflower seeds (“S”), millet (“M”) and bran. The line includes:

  • O.S.M. Pancake & Waffle Mix, the original flavor
  • Coconut-Vanilla Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • Wild Blueberry Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • Double Chocolate Pancake & Waffle Mix
  •  

    Two healthier pancake choices from Bunnery Natural Foods. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

    We enjoyed all four varieties, but decided to add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and some mini chocolate chips when we made the second batch of chocolate pancakes. As is, they have slight cocoa flavor.

    Original O.S.M. is $5.95 for an 18-ounce package; the flavors are $6.95. They make delicious party favors, house gifts, teacher gifts and stocking stuffers.

    Buy them online at BunneryNaturalFoods.com.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Potato Hash For Breakfast Or Brunch

    Hash is a mixture of foods cut into small pieces. Corned beef hash is perhaps the best known recipe, typically made from cubed or shredded corned beef mixed with chopped onions and diced potatoes. If the potatoes are shredded or riced and pan-fried potatoes, they are often called hash browns.

    In less affluent households, when there was no money for corned beef, potato hash would suffice. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious.

    Here’s a vegetarian potato hash recipe with an optional strip of bacon for those who love their breakfast meat. Yield 4 servings, prep time 10 minutes, ready time 35 minutes, cook time 25 minutes.

    POTATO HASH WITH BACON & POACHED EGGS

    Ingredients

  • 4 medium eggs, poached
  • 4 slices lean bacon
  • 2/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 7/8 cup packed baby spinach
  • 2/3 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, diced
  • 3 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  •  

    Potato hash for breakfast or brunch. Photo courtesy PotatoGoodness.com.

     

    Preparation

    1, BOIL the potatoes for 15-20 minutes in salted water until tender; drain and cool slightly. Meanwhile…

    2. HEAT 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for another 3 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook for a further 1 minute.

    3. COOK the bacon under a preheated grill for 4-5 minutes.

    3. ROUGHLY MASH the potato and mix into the onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the potato hash into 4 rounds.

    4. HEAT the remaining oil in a large frying pan and fry the hash rounds for 2 minutes on each side. Top with bacon and a poached egg; serve immediately

    VARIATION: If you don’t like mushrooms, tomatos or spinach, substitute diced bell peppers.

     
    WANT CORNED BEEF HASH?

    Try this corned beef hash recipe from Delmonico’s in New York City

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Last Minute Valentine Treats

    There’s still time to make something special for Valentine’s Day, even if you’re a non-cook. Here are two sure-to-please ideas.

    Start with breakfast: Make strawberry or raspberry cream cheese for the morning toast’s or bagels. You can also use it for tea sandwiches.

    STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup berries, hulled; or substitute 2 tablespoons
    strawberry or raspberry preserves and
    omit the confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Optional:1 tablespoon orange zest
  •  

    Make pink cream cheese for Valentine’s Day. Photo courtesy Einstein Bros.

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and well blended.

    2. REFRIGERATE until needed. Ideally make the day before to let flavors blend.

     

    Serve a mini-beer tasting with rose petals to
    a beer-loving Valentine. Photo courtesy
    CraftBeer.com.

     

    CRAFT BEER

    Some people would trade all the chocolate in the world for a good beer.

    It you know such a person, take a look at the style of beer in the fridge—Belgian ale, IPA, lager, pilsner, etc. (here are the different types of beer).

    Then, head to the market with the largest supply of craft beer and pick up four different brands in the same style.

    If you want to make it a beer-and-cheese pairing, here are the cheeses that go with beer.

    Toast to a happy Valentine’s Day.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Waffle Pancakes Griddle

    Fusion food of a different sort: waffle
    pancakes. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     

    Pancakes or waffles: Can’t decide? This innovative griddle from Nordic Ware makes it simple to prepare delectable waffled pancakes—pancakes textured like waffles—in a jiffy.

    The innovative cast-aluminum nonstick griddle produces seven 3″ diameter, crispy golden cakes with deep pockets for syrup or toppings. We also used them to make dessert pancakes, topped with a scoop of ice cream, sliced bananas and chocolate sauce (fun and delicious).

    The riveted cast stainless steel handle stays cool; the nonstick finish ensures easy release and quick cleanup.

    Made in USA, the pan is currently a Williams-Sonoma exclusive, at retail stores or online.

    It’s yours for $39.95.

     

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PANCAKES & WAFFLES

    Pancakes are generally soft and spongy, while waffles are crispy. Historically, waffle batter has more fat than pancake batter; the extra fat contributes to the crisping.

    Most mixes we see today state that they can be used for pancakes or waffles. If waffles made from such mixes don’t turn out crispy enough for you, try a waffles-only batter, or make it from scratch.

    Check out our review of the best pancake mixes.

    Check out our Pancake & Waffle Glossary for all the different types of pancakes and waffles.

      

    Comments

    VALENTINE’S DAY: Heart Shaped Pancakes

    We [heart] heart-shaped eggs and pancakes. Photo courtesy Norpro.

     

    Yesterday we recommended some heart-shaped molds for hard-cooked eggs.

    But if you prefer your eggs fried or poached—or would rather have pancakes—try these Norpro Nonstick Heart Pancake & Egg Rings.

    Each ring holds 1/4 cup batter or 1 raw egg. A set of 2 rings is $5.61.

    Beyond Valentine’s Day, you’ll use them for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, brunches and perhaps a monthly “I [Heart] You” breakfast.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pairing Coffee And Cheese

    Swiss Cheese and Coffee

    Pair a medium-strength cheese with a
    medium-roast coffee. Photo © Natalia
    Lisovskaya | Dreamstime.

     

    Often there is more than one food holiday on a particular day. Rarely do we see a trio of food holidays; and January 20th is the only day we know of with four food holidays: National Buttercrunch Day, National Cheese Lover’s Day, National Granola Bar Day and National Coffee Break Day.

    In theory, you could celebrate them all at once: A bagel and cream cheese with the morning coffee break and a granola bar and some buttercrunch at the afternoon coffee break.

    But we’ve decided to focus today’s tip on something more enlightening: pairing coffee and cheese.

    The coffee-cheese pairing is more common than it might seem. The Swiss, Scandinavians and other Europeans enjoy cheese with their morning coffee. Americans regularly breakfast on coffee plus cream cheese on the aforementioned bagels, cheese omelets, cheese danish, grilled cheese sandwiches and Egg McMuffins (grilled cheese, ham and a fried egg on a toasted English muffin).

    But let’s take a look at deliberate coffee and cheese pairings.

     

    PAIRING CHEESE WITH COFFEE

    As with wine and beer pairings, mild cheeses should typically be paired with a mild roast coffee, medium-strength cheeses with a medium roast and strong cheeses with a strong roast.

  • Try mild creamy cheeses like young chévre, mozzarella di bufala, piave, port salut and ricotta with mild coffee (Cinnamon or New England roast, for example). A mild cheese like Brie should be eaten with a mild coffee; but if the Brie has aged and is mushroomy and a bit ammoniated, then a medium roast pairs better. See the different types of coffee roasts.
  • Medium-strength cheeses like Cheddar, some blues and Swiss cheeses (Appenzeller and Emmentaler, for example) pair with a medium roast (American, Breakfast or City roast, for example).
  • Aged cheeses and washed-rind cheeses that are strong in flavor, such as Epoisses, Munster, Pont l’Eveque, Roquefort, Stilton and Taleggio, require dark roast (espresso, French and Italian, for example).
  • But with espresso, go back to mild, milky cheeses. It may seem a paradox, but light, lemony goat cheese and ricotta are delicious with espresso—whether for your coffee break or for dessert. Drizzle them with a bit of honey or maple syrup, and enjoy with biscotti instead of bread.
  •  

    COFFEE AND “CARAMEL” CHEESES

    Some cheeses beg to be paired with coffee. Two that are known for caramel notes:

  • Aged Gouda. While a mild young Gouda cheese pairs well with light and medium roasts, aged develops sweet, caramelized flavors that demand a dark roast—French, Italian or espresso.
  • Gjetost (YAY-toast), from Norway, is a caramelized cheese made from the whey of goat cheese; the name is Norwegian for goat cheese. The whey is slowly cooked down until the natural milk sugars caramelize and the color turns light brown. It looks and tastes like a caramel or fudge. While it’s most often served as a dessert cheese or dessert fondue, it i a delicious sweet for a coffee break. Look for it at a cheese specialty store or online.
  •  

    Barely Buzzed, one of our favorite cheeses, is a Cheddar rubbed with ground Turkish coffee. It’s equally delicious with coffee or beer. Photo courtesy Beehive Cheese..

     

    COFFEE-RUBBED CHEESE

    How about a cheese made with coffee? Utah-based Beehive Cheese Company coats some of their artisan Cheddar cheese in roasted Turkish coffee and lavender buds: an inspired combination that creates an edible rind and adds nutty flavor to the mild Cheddar. We like this unique cheese so much, it was a Top Pick Of The Week. Read our review of Barely Buzzed.
     
    As with anything, your own palate and desire to experiment will lead to favorite pairings. Let us know what you come up with.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Make Perfect Pancakes & Ghost Pancakes For Halloween

    Make the pancake, use a ghost cookie cutter. If
    you have several cookie cutters, you can use
    them as pancake molds. Boo-ya! Photo
    courtesy KodiakCakes.com.

     

    Here are ten tips for making a flawless flapjack from Joel Clark, owner of Kodiak Cakes. Kodiak Cakes was one of the better-rated products in our review of 99 whole grain pancake and waffle mixes (here’s the review and the entire article).

    If your pancakes don’t come out the way they like, pick up some tips from Joel, below.

    What’s the difference between a pancake and a flapjack?

    While there are many different types of pancakes, from thin crepes to aebleskivers, Danish pancakes in a ball-like shape, more like a muffin than our round, flat pancakes (see our Pancake & Waffle Glossary).

    In North America, pancakes contain not just flour and water but a raising agent such as baking powder; plus eggs and and milk to create a thick batter. These flat but thick pancakes are also called flapjacks, griddlecakes and hotcakes

    HOW TO MAKE PERFECT PANCAKES

    Pancakes need to be made with the right ingredients and cooked the right way. We actually prefer whole grain pancake flour, which has more substance, more nutrition, more flavor and better texture than refined flour pancakes.

     

    Given the best ingredients, here are 10 tips that will help to make you a fabulous flapjack flipper.

    Tip 1: Don’t batter the batter. Batter should only be mixed enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Then stop mixing, even if you still have lumps. This is because flour contains gluten, a gluey protein that activates when it gets wet. If over-mixed, it becomes tough and rubbery. Don’t worry about the lumps. They’ll disappear when cooked.

    Tip 2: Lay it on thick—or thin. Thinner batter gives the pancake a lighter texture, while thicker batter makes it more dense and heavy.

    Tip 3: Add some fun to it. While not a requirement, stir-ins are a fun addition. Consider bananas, berries, chocolate chips, cinnamon and vanilla . On the savoy side, try crumbled bacon or diced sausage.

     

    Tip 4: Be patient. Let the griddle heat up for about five minutes. If the pan is too cool, your pancakes be tough from cooking too long. If the pan’s too hot, you’ll end up with doughy centers. When the pan is hot enough, few drops of water should dance around the griddle; 375°F is usually about right.

    Tip 5: Measure, don’t guess. To make consistently shaped flapjacks, use a 1/3 or 1/4 cup measuring cup of batter.

    Tip 6: Butter isn’t better. Make a small puddle of vegetable oil on the griddle and pour the batter directly into the middle of the puddle. The oil will surround the edges and make them crispy and tasty. Butter can burn on the pan and cause bitter specs of burnt butter to adhere to the pancake. Cooking spray is fine if you’re trying to keep it lean, but it doesn’t add flavor or make the edges crispy.

    Tip 7: Don’t double flip. Flipping the pancake more than once creates a dry pancake. Flipping the pancake at the right time will help you avoid this temptation. Pancakes are ready to turn when the top is full of air holes and the sides start looking a bit dry. Peaking underneath a lifted edge will help you determine the proper flipping-time: Look for a nice golden brown color.

     

    Follow these steps and you’ll have a perfect stack. Photo courtesy KodiakCakes.com.

     

    Tip 8: Don’t flatten the flapjack. A big misconception is that smashing the flapjack will help it cook faster or eliminate the possibility of a doughy center. Don’t believe it! This is the cardinal sin of the art of flapjack flipping and must be avoided! The hot air inside the flapjack helps it cook better. Pressing down on the pancake merely pushes the air out of it and undoes all of the work you did to create a perfectly light and fluffy pancake.

    Tip 9: Keep it hot. Who wants a cold flapjack? If you are cooking for a large group and can’t serve them hot off the griddle, the best way to keep pancakes warm is to place them, single-layered, on a cookie sheet in a warm oven. Do not stack them or cover them or they’ll become soggy.

    Tip 10: Don’t short the stack. This means to never skimp on the toppings: real butter, warmed pure maple syrup, fresh berries, apple sauce, peanut butter, bananas or all of the above.

    Now, you’re ready to flip a stack of super flapjacks. Say that fast three times!

    HOW TO MAKE GHOST PANCAKES

    1. Place pancake batter in a large plastic food storage bag. Seal the bag, push all of the batter to one end and cut the tip off of the plastic food storage bag.

    2. Into a hot pan or skillet, fill cookie cutters with pancake mix. After the tops bubble, pull off the cookie cutters and flip the pancake.

    3. Alternatively, you can make round or square pancakes, then use the cookie cutter to cut the shapes. This creates a lot of scraps, but the scraps are delicious with maple syrup; serve them for dessert with ice cream and syrup.
     
    Find more of our favorite pancakes and other breakfast foods.

      

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