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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 Entertaining

TIP OF THE DAY: Appetizer Bites & Picks

Our friends at, the consumer site of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, spend their creative time developing delicious new ideas for cheese. We had a lot of fun with these picks and bites, which we served last night as an alternative to a cheese plate.

Picks are finger foods served on cocktail picks or toothpicks that holds the ingredients together. Bites are self-containing and require no pick. Both are easy to create and make a big impression.

Arrange a plate of contrasting colors, flavors and styles to serve with holiday cocktails. Or, serve them alongside soups or salads—for example, a shot of tomato soup with a Greek Salad Bite.

While they are delicious as is, you can enhance them with a variety of mustards and sauces. While we’ve provided a long list for your perusal, you can see them all online and download a recipe brochure.
Peruse the 44 options below and pick five or so for your hors d’oeuvre plate. And check out the dessert picks for a sweet finish.



Many hors d’oeuvre can be served on a pick. Photo courtesy


  • Antipasto Pick: Artichoke, Caper Berry, Salami Chunk, Red Pepper, Parsley Garnish, Sharp Provolone Cheese, Olive Oil
  • Antipasto Bite: Canned Artichoke Cup, Cubed Sharp Provolone Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, Diced Salami, Capers, Olive Oil, Parsley Leaf
  • Asiago Egg Bite: Hard Cooked Egg White Cup, Egg Yolk, Red Pepper, Parsley, Green Onion, Asiago Cheese, Mayonnaise
  • Baby Pick: Baby Swiss Cheese Cube, Ham Chunk, Green Grape, Topped with a Pretzel Knot
  • BBLT Pick: Crustless White Bread, Brick Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayonnaise
  • Beef Roll Bite: Horseradish Cold Pack Cheese, Roast Tenderloin or Skirt Steak, Arugula Leaves, Red Bell Pepper Strips
  • Belgian Bite: Belgian Endive, Ricotta Cheese, Olive Tapenade, Parsley Garnish
  • Brie-O-Politan Pick: Bias-Sliced Cucumber, Bias-Sliced Roma Tomato, Bias-Sliced Brie Cheese Log, Arugula, Pitted Niçoise Olive
  • Caesar Bite: Small Romaine Lettuce Leaf, Thinly Sliced Romaine Lettuce, Caesar Salad Dressing, Cherry Tomato Wedge, Crouton, Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Anchovy Filet, Mini Lemon Wedge
  • Caprese Pick: Grape Tomato, Basil Leaf, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Ciligene
  • Club Sandpick: Sandwich Bread Slice, Monterey Jack Cheese Slice, Cucumber Slices, Ham Slice, Tomato Slices, Wisconsin Monterey Jack Slice, Leaf Lettuce
  • Cobb Pick: Bread Slice, Blue Cheese, Bacon, Cherry Tomato, Hard Cooked Egg Wedge
  • Cordon Blue Pick: Ham Slice, Cream Cheese, Red Pepper, Gruyère Cheese Cube, Mini Dill Pickle
  • Del Mar Pick: Fontina Cheese, Flat Leaf Parsley Leaf, Smoked Oyster, Pimento-Stuffed Olive
  • Dutch Pick: Medjool Date, Edam Cheese Chunk, Ham Slice
  • Gorgonzola Bacon Bite: Cooked Baby Red Potato Cup, Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, Bacon Bits, Sliced Green Onion, Mayonnaise
  • Gorgonzola Date Bite: Seeded Medjool Date, Gorgonzola Cheese Wedge, Prosciutto Slice Strip
  • Greek Salad Pick: Cucumber Chunk, Grape Tomato, Feta Cheese Cube, Pitted Kalamata, Olive Oil Drizzle, Oregano Garnish
  • Grinder Pick: Pepperoncini, Hard Salami Slice, String Cheese, Pimento Stuffed Olive
  • Ham & Cheese Pick: Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, Arugula Leaves, Sliced Ham
  • Half-Shell Bite: Oyster on the Half-Shell, Pico De Gallo, Crumbled Cotija Cheese, Cilantro Leaf


    An example of a bite: No toothpick required. Photo courtesy

  • Monk Pick: Pretzel Roll Slice, Wholegrain Mustard, Gruyere, Les Frères or Muenster Cheese Slice, Mini Dill Pickle, Cocktail Onion
  • Monroe Bite: Pumpernickel Cocktail Bread, Limburger Cheese, Red Onion, Green Onion, Whole Grain Mustard
  • Muenster Beef Pick: Muenster Cheese, Sliced Roast Beef, Green Onion
  • Mushroom Pick: Pickled Mushroom, Ricotta Salata Cheese, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Parsley Garnish, Olive Oil Drizzle
  • Napoli Pick: Fresh Mozzarella Roll, Mascarpone, Pesto, Sliced Prosciutto, Roasted Red Pepper, Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Norwegian Pick: Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Cream Cheese, Lox/Cured Salmon, Baby Dill Garnish
  • Oscar Pick: Ham Slice, Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread, Crabmeat, Blanched Asparagus Spear
  • Parmesan Potato Bite: Cooked Baby Red Potato Cup, Shredded Parmesan Cheese, Bacon Bits, Diced Hard-Boiled Egg, Chives, Mayonnaise, Prepared Mustard
  • Peppadew Bite: Peppadew, Garden Vegetable Cheese Spread, Parsley Garnish
  • Potato Salad Bite: Red Potato Slice, Hard Cooked Egg Slice, Mascarpone Cheese, Dijon Mustard, Sweet Pickle Wedge

  • Pesto Pick: Pesto Gouda or Gouda Cheese, Basil Leaf, Grape Tomato, Chicken Breast
  • Roman Bite: Bread Coin, Oil Cured Tomato, Oregano, Romano Cheese Chunk, Cracked Black Pepper, Olive Oil Drizzle
  • Reuben Pick: Corned Beef Slice, Swiss Cheese Slice, Mixture of 1,000 Island Salad Dressing and Sauerkraut, Mini Dill Pickle
  • Rustica Pick: Mild Provolone Cheese, Salami, Pepperoni, Basil, Roasted Red Pepper, Pitted Kalamata Garnish
  • Smorg-More Pick: Caper Berry, Dill Havarti Cheese, Lox/Cured Salmon, Baby Dill, Lemon Wedge Garnish
  • Shrimp Bite: Bias-Cut Seedless Cucumber Slice, Mayonnaise Ketchup Mixture, Cooked Tail-On Peeled and Deveined Shrimp, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Pearl, Lemon Peel
  • Shell Pick: Fontina Cheese, Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Peppers, Pepperoncini, Capers, Basil Leaf Garnish
  • Shooter Bite: Shot Glass, Pico De Gallo, Fresh Shucked Oyster, Crumbled Cotija Cheese, Cilantro Leaf, Lemon Peel Strip
  • Shrimp Pick: Thick Cucumber Slice, Cooked Shrimp, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Pearl, Lemon Rind
  • Tapas Pick: Quince Paste, Queso Blanco Cheese, Serrano Ham, Green Grape
  • TexMex Bite: Corn Chip Cup, Salsa Jack Cheese Cube, Black Bean Salsa, Cilantro Garnish
  • Torte Pick: Camembert Cheese, Gorgonzola Cheese, Walnut, Red Grape
  • Waldorf Lettuce Bite: Small Bibb or Butter Lettuce Leaf, Gouda Cheese, Diced Celery, Diced Apple, Raisins, Chopped Walnuts, Mayonnaise, Lemon Juice, Parsley Leaf
  • Watermelon Pick: Watermelon Cube, Fresh Mint Leaf, Feta Cube, Watermelon Half-Ball
  • Wisconsin Pick: Sausage, Pepper Jack Cheese, Sweet Pickle, Cheddar Cheese Curd or Cube

    These special party picks will make your hors d’oeuvre even tastier:

  • Holiday party picks, silver and gold picks with a star on top
  • Christmas party picks: assorted red, green and white with Christmas trees on top.
  • Foil party picks: fun metallic fringe in blue, green, purple and silver for New Year’s Eve.
  • Conventional frilled party picks, with cellophane frills in bright colors for Thanksgiving.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Pairing Chocolate Bars & Wine

    If your idea of grown-up Halloween does not include costume parties, how about a chocolate and wine tasting?

    For years, THE NIBBLE has been updating its highly-regarded wine and chocolate pairing chart. You can use it to prepare a memorable Halloween tasting.

    While our chart is quite extensive, your tasting can be as simple as four or five chocolate bars. John Scharffenberger, who got his start as a wine maker, shares his own favorites to pair with Scharffen Berger dark and milk chocolate bars:

  • Scharffen Berger 72% Signature Dark Chocolate. John Scharffenberger notes that darker chocolates pair beautifully with dry, rich, full-bodied red wines. He likes an Italian Amarone, a Spanish Rioja or French Bordeaux.
  • Scharffen Berger 72% Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt. While you can use the same wines when pistachios are included, lighter nuts like pistachio can be served with Mas Amiel, a dessert wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France; Sauternes, a dessert wine from the Bordeaux region, or Cabernet Sauvignon, which can bring out nutty accents.
  • Scharffen Berger 33% Smooth Milk Chocolate. Lighter-flavored chocolates pair best with light-bodied wines. John Scharffenberger advises that buttery caramel overtones make this chocolate a perfect complement to a Sauvignon Blanc. Also try it with Armagnac, a single-distilled French brandy.


    For holiday gift giving, tie some fine chocolate bars with a ribbon and bestow them with or without matching wines. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

    THE NIBBLE particularly likes these wines with milk chocolate: Hungarian Tokaji (pronounced TOE-coy); Muscat, a white dessert wine from France with peach and apricot flavors’ and Tawny Port, a fortified wine from Portugal. In fact, Tawny Port is our favorite match with milk chocolate. Its nutty nuances highlight milk chocolate’s nutty and caramel notes and enhance the overall chocolate flavor.

  • Scharffen Berger 33% Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut and Macadamia Nuts. For this delicious bar, THE NIBBLE recommends Brachetto d’Acqui, a light, ruby-colored sparkling dessert wine from Piedmont, with typical aromas of fruit and roses. It’s a great match with both nuts and coconut. A Sauternes from Bordeaux (Lafaurie-Peyraguey or similar style) or a Late Harvest Semillon from Australia are also good complements.
    The educational fun of a tasting is to be able to compare and contrast different wines with different chocolates, and decide what you like best. That’s more important, after all, than any expert opinion.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Make It A Trio

    Once upon a time there was a magical restaurant in Wheeling, Illinois, Le Français, the creation of chef-owner Jean Banchet. There, among other glories, we were first introduced to the “trio” approach he brought from his classic French training:

    Whatever protein you hungered for—beef, duck, seafood, veal—would be served in three different preparations on one plate. For example, the lobster trio might include truffled lobster, Lobster Thermidor and lobster sausage.

    By varying cuts, preparations and sauces, Banchet created a symphony of flavors and visual appeal. It became our favorite way of eating.

    The trio approach never took great hold in the U.S. In New York City, we find them mostly in seafood preparations:

  • The trio of fish tacos at Haru Japanese restaurants.
  • A trio of mussels, variously prepared as a seasonal special from Anita Lo of Annisa (see photo).
  • Wild salmon sushi with three different garnishes (fresh ginger and scallion, concasse of tomato and a lemon and vodka marinade topped with lemon zest) at Sushi Seki.


    Photo courtesy Annisa Restaurant | NYC.

    Following our enlightenment from Banchet way back in the 1980s, we took to making trios at home for dinner parties. You don’t need a large kitchen staff to turn out three completely different preparations. Here are some tricks:

  • Include a sausage as one of the trio. It requires only a quick grilling and an interesting flavored mustard, chutney or other condiment.
  • Consider poaching one of the other two, and grilling, pan frying or roasting the other two. Poultry, filet of beef and seafood are delicious when poached, and the texture is very tender.
  • Use a marinade. A very well-seasoned marinade (lots of herbs, spices, balsamic, etc.) on one of two remaining proteins will differentiate the flavor.
  • Use a dairy based sauce (butter, cheese or cream) and a non-creamy one. The choices are vast: caper, horseradish, mushroom, olive, tomato and wine reduction aren’t even the tip of the iceberg. Browse the sauces section in your cookbooks and check out the mother sauces of France.
  • Think garnishes. The options are endless, but go for good color contrasts.
    Today’s homework: Start to sketch out some trios: protein, preparation, sauce, garnish. Keep on the refrigerator door and update it as inspiration strikes.
    *Jean Banchet, a French chef, founded Le Français in 1973, and soon earned a rare five-star distinction from Mobil. In 1980, it was named the best restaurant in America by Bon Appetit magazine. Banchet retired from Le Français in 2001 and passed away last year.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Crescent Dogs On A Stick


    Crescent Rolls + Hot Dogs + Crescent Dogs. Photo and recipe courtesy Pillsbury.


    You don’t need a grill to cook memorable Labor Day fare. Make that classic fun food, Crescent Dog on a Stick, in your oven.

    A hot dog wrapped in a cheese and a Pillsbury Crescent roll, the stick is actually optional (as is the cheese). You can layer other flavor bursts inside the crescent, such as pickle relish or chopped jalapeños.

    The recipe is easy and the experience will be remembered happily for a long time. Prep time is 10 minutes, total time is 25 minutes.


    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 8 hot dogs
  • 4 slices (3/4 oz each) American, Swiss or other cheese slice, each cut into 6 strips
  • 1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 8 wooden corn dog sticks
  • Condiments of choice

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Slit hot dogs to within 1/2 inch of ends; insert 3 strips of cheese into each slit.

    2. SEPARATE the dough into triangles. Wrap a dough triangle around each hot dog. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up.

    3. BAKE at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Insert 1 stick in each crescent dog and serve.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Party With Veggie Sandwiches


    Pile grilled veggies onto a sandwich. Photo
    courtesy Philadelphia Cream Cheese.


    Why wait for Meatless Mondays to have a great veggie sandwich? Every healthcare professional advises eating less animal protein and more vegetables and grains. And of course, eating less meat is far better for the environment.

    So start by switching some of your sandwich intake to delicious vegetarian sandwiches. It’s painless!

    While we love a sliced avocado and tomato sandwich using local summer tomatoes, we think that grilled vegetables make the best vegetarian sandwiches. While it’s still prime grilling season, develop some signature veggie sandwich recipes. You can even turn the concept into a veggie sandwich party—a build-your-own sandwich buffet.

    Creative flavor layering is at the heart of a great veggie sandwich. Peruse the following groups for inspiration, and offer something from each group.


  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Broccolini
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Onions
  • Poblano Chiles
  • Portabella mushrooms
  • Romaine
  • Summer squash: yellow squash and zucchini
  • Tofu (not a vegetable, but an excellent vegetarian addition to this list)

  • Avocado, sliced or diced
  • Cabbage, shredded
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Cherry tomatoes in vinaigrette
  • Cucumber
  • Leafy greens: arugula, spinach, watercress
  • Mustard greens/mizuna/tatsoi
  • Sprouts


  • Bean dip
  • Greek yogurt or labneh, plain or seasoned
  • Guacamole
  • Hummus
  • Soft, spreadable cheeses
  • Tapenade
  • Tzatziki

  • Barbecue sauce
  • Chutney
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise/flavored mayonnaise
  • Mustard(s)
  • Pesto
  • Relish
  • Salsa/Chimichurri
  • Sauces: horseradish, yogurt-dill
  • Vinaigrette & other salad dressings

  • Chopped herbs
  • Dried fruit: cherries, cranberries, raisins
  • Kimchi
  • Pickled beets, cucumbers, onions or peppers
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sliced olives and/or chiles
  • Toasted seeds


    Grilled raddicho, endive and romaine are delicious, on a sandwich or as a side. Photo courtesy


    Of course, the remaining ingredient to make veggie sandwiches is bread. We won’t add more long lists here, just two bullets:

  • Bread and rolls: Three or more different styles for a party. If you’re grilling, grilled bread is delicious.
  • Sides: The usual suspects, including chips, cole slaw, potato salad, even green salad.
    Party on, veggie-style!



    TIP OF THE DAY: Drink Covers For Bug-Free Drinks

    We love this simple trick from gourmet caterer Pinch Food Design:

    To keep pesky bugs out of your drink at poolside or other outdoor leisure, poke a hole in a cupcake liner with a straw.

    If you want to create a perfect opening, get out the three-hole-punch.

    These multicolored cupcake liners from Wilton are well priced and ready to party.

    They’re available in different colors and designs, including polka dots, damask/zebra and a very festive color wheel.

    Don’t need a straw? Consider reusable plastic drink covers.

    These plastic drink covers, shaped like flowers. They have a tight, spill-proof seal, and thus have no opening for a straw.

    More subtle designs include these lily pads.



    Keep the bugs away with cupcake liners. Photo courtesy Pinch Food Design.




    FOOD FUN: A New Kind Of Fruit Cake

    Here’s a new take on fruit cake: a “layer cake” that’s made 100% from fresh fruit!

    It’s the creation of Jessica from Pen N’ Paperflowers Studio & Design.

    She made it as a birthday cake for a gluten-free friend. But we think it’s a dazzler for any occasion.

    Want to make one of your own?

    Here’s how Jessica made the “cake,” with step-by-step photos.



    Photo courtesy Pen N’ Paperflowers Studio & Design.




    FATHER’S DAY: Pairing Food With Single Malt Scotch

    Ready for an evening of fine food and Scotch? On Thursday, May 29, Empire Steak House in New York City will show why single-malt Scotch pairs well with every course. A five-course classic steakhouse menu will be paired with leading single-malt Scotches, in a tasting led by Master of Whisky* Spike McClure; $150 includes five courses, five single malt scotches and a hand-rolled cigar.

    You may not be able to attend the event, but you can create something similar at home. How about for Father’s Day? Empire Steak has shared their menu and Scotch pairings with us. We’ve included pairing notes notes from Spike McClure, plus tasting notes on the single malts courtesy of Master Of

    Each region of Scotland produces different flavors, and each distillery within a reason likewise. As with any wine varietal, different bottlings have flavors that pair better with particular foods. McClure’s top five favorite pairings for steakhouse cuisine and single malts:

  • Talisker 10: with fresh clams, fresh oysters, chorizo sausage, barbecue
  • Oban 14: with white fish, chicken, Swiss cheese
  • Cragganmore 12: with duck, mushroom risotto, Gouda cheese
  • Glenkinchie 12: with Parmesan cheese, asparagus, bitter greens, chicken
  • Dalwhinnie 15: with chocolate, cake, pudding, ice cream

    From the first course to the last, the right single malt replaces wine at dinner Photo courtesy

    *Master of Whisky is not an official industry certification, but a term given to global brand ambassadors by Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits. More information.

    Course 1: Raw Seafood Bar

  • Little Neck clams and fresh oysters on the half shell
  • Scotch Pairing: Talisker Storm (Region: Isle of Skye)
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose shows initial brine and banana. The palate is thick and mouth-coating with wood smoke, brine, some tin and chilli heat too. Red chile peppers appear in the finish, along with oak dryness and a hint of embers. The smoky, “maritime” character pairs well with seafood.

    Course 2: Fish & Seafood

  • Grilled Chilean sea bass with pan seared scallops, with steamed spinach
  • Scotch Pairing: Oban 14 (Region: West Highland)
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose is rich and smoky. Medicinal notes are quite evident along with seaweed and other notes of the sea that pair with fish and seafood. The palate is robust, with notes of cut hay and wood smoke, along with citrus and a smooth sweetness. The finish is long, with notes of fruit and oak.



    Serve Scotch instead of wine with a cheese
    course. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk
    Marketing Board.


    Course 3: Poultry

  • Grilled chicken with linguine and white clam sauce, with sautéed asparagus
  • Scotch Pairing: Cragganmore 12 (Region: Speyside)
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose is aromatic, redolent of florals (heather), fruit salad, smoked almonds and stemmy hay. The palate is rich with notes of honey, stone fruits, berries, chestnuts, walnuts and almonds. The finish is ofgood length and smoky, with a delicate peppery spice.

    Course 4: Beef

  • USDA Prime dry aged New York sirloin steak, with German potatoes
  • Scotch Pairing: Lagavulin 16 (Region: Islay)
    Scotch Tasting Notes

    This sought-after single malt has the massive peat-smoke that’s typical of southern Islay; it stands up well to red meat.

    The nose is reminiscent of Lapsang Souchong tea, with notes of iodine, sweet spices, mature sherry and creamy vanilla. The palate is very thick and rich: malt, sherry and fruity sweetness with powerful peat and oak. There’s a long, spicy finish with figs, dates, peat smoke and vanilla.
    Course 5: Dessert

  • Chocolate ice cream with wafers (substitute dessert: cheese plate)
  • Scotch Pairing: Dalwhinnie 15 (Region: Highlands)
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose is aromatic with toffee, fruit salad, nectarine and custard; along with floral notes of apple blossom and honeysuckle and a touch of smoke. A semblance of manuka honey and vanilla encourage pairing with dessert. The palate is malty with gentle smoke and a touch of spice. The finish is long and malty, with flavors of almond and walnut.

    In Ireland and the United States, the word whiskey is spelled with an “e,” while the British, Scots and Canadians opt to drop the “e.”

    Scholars can’t determine why the “e” was dropped in Scotland. One theory is that the Irish made whiskey first and pronounced it with a broad “e.” When the Scots began to make it, they dropped the “e” to differentiate their product.


    FOOD FUN: Watermelon On A Stick ~ And Many, Many Other Foods

    Many people believe that everything tastes better on a stick. That’s why we consistently come across foods that have no need to be on a stick, served on a stick. County fairs and urban street fairs are full of them.

    We’re not talking about skewers, which make grilling and serving easier; or ice pops, candy apples or cotton candy, which require a stick to be held and eaten.

    No, many foods that were once served with a fork or a toothpick, with or without a dipping sauce, are now placed atop wooden ice-pop sticks. Consider chicken nuggets, fried ravioli, meatballs, mini franks, rumaki, bacon-wrapped baby potatoes and Caprese stacks. You can find them all on sticks.

    Why? It’s fun. (We hate to think, cynically, that the movement was started by manufacturers of the ice pop sticks.)

    We particularly liked the fun of watermelon slices on sticks: an idea for your upcoming Memorial Day festivities.

    The idea is from South Fork And Spoon, a Bridgehampton, New York-based caterer and “food concierge” that has a website full of tempting fare for lucky Hamptonians.



    Watermelon on a stick: more elegant than hands-only, more fun than a fork. Photo courtesy South Fork And Spoon.


    Intrigued by watermelon-on-a-stick, we delved into the food-on-a-stick category.

    The Iowa State Fair touts “60 foods on a stick,” from hard-boiled eggs to deep-fried brownies. The blog features 100 foods on a stick.

    Here’s a selection from both, which includes everything from junk food to elegant fare. Visit the sites directly to see the photos.

  • Breakfast Sausage
  • Doughnut Holes
  • French Toast Squares
  • Griddle Stick (turkey sausage wrapped in a pancake)

  • Assorted Fruit & Cheese
  • Carmellows
  • Chocolate-Covered Tiramisu
  • Chocolate-Covered Turtle Mousse Bar
  • Deep-Fried Cupcake
  • Deep Fried Fresh Pineapple
  • Deep-Fried Milky Way & Snickers Bars
  • Fruit (with yogurt dipping sauce)
  • Monkey Tail (chocolate-covered banana)
  • Rock Candy
  • Salted Chocolate Dipped Almond Pretzel
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly


    Sandwich on a stick. Photo courtesy



  • Cake Pops
  • Cheesecake & Chocolate-Covered Deep Fried Cheesecake
  • Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Chip Cannoli
  • Chocolate-Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop
  • Chocolate-Covered Frozen S’mores
  • Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Dream Bar
  • Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Bar
  • Coconut Mountain (coconut ball dipped in fresh chocolate)
  • Deep-Fried Brownie
  • Deep-Fried Ho-Ho, Twinkie & Twinkie Log (frozen Twinkie dipped in white chocolate and rolled in cashews)
  • Ice Cream Wonder Bar
  • Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Mini Pie Pops
  • Smoothie On-a-stick (frozen strawberry smoothie)
  • Strawberry Shortcake Pops (shortcake pieces, strawberries, whipped cream)


  • Bacon Wrapped Pork Riblet
  • Cajun Chicken
  • Corndog & Cornbrat
  • Chicken Drumsticks & Thighs
  • German Sausage
  • Hard-Boiled Egg
  • Hot Bologna
  • Hot Lips (breaded chicken breast smothered with hot sauce, served with blue cheese dressing)
  • Octodog (hotdog in the shape of an octopus)
  • Pork Chop
  • Tandoori Tofu
  • Teriyaki Beef
  • Sesame Chicken

  • Cheese Stacks or Fried Cheese Skewers
  • Deep-Fried Pickle
  • Grilled Cheese, Tomato & Basil
  • Corn On the Cob
  • Grilled Pumpkin & Other Squash
  • Salad
  • Zucchini Lollipops (fried zucchini)

    There’s no reason not to collect, wash and reuse wood Popsicle sticks—or Wooden Treat Sticks or craft sticks, as they are more properly known (Popsicle is a trademarked name, not a generic term). Why throw things into the landfill when they can enjoy a second (or tenth) life?



    TIP OF THE DAY: Dim Sum At Home

    We live in a city with a large Chinatown—lots of places to enjoy dim sum. But even if you’re many miles from the nearest restaurant, you can make delicious dim sum at home.

    Not frozen dim sum but your own homemade treats, but ones made with your own flour, ground meat, seafood and veggies. It may look complex, but most dishes are quite simple to make. Just check out this easy dim sum cookbook.

    There are also many recipes and videos online.

    Many Americans think of dim sum, a Cantonese tradition, as weekend brunch. But it can be enjoyed every day, for every meal.

    There are tempting options for every palate, from vegetarian and vegan to meat and seafood. Some of our favorites:



    More, please! Photo courtesy

  • Bean curd dishes
  • Bread-based dishes like steamed barbecue pork buns
  • Dumplings of every allure—boiled, pan-fried, steamed and potstickers
  • Meat and fish dishes
  • Rice dishes
  • Sautéed vegetables
  • Scallion pancakes
  • Desserts, like almond pudding, mango pudding and egg custard tarts
    If you’re a fan of Cream of Wheat or Cream Of Rice porridges, make the savory Chinese version, congee (with a soft “g”).
    All dishes can be made ahead and many can be frozen.



    A true pleasure: your own homemade
    shumai (pork dumplings, pronounced
    shoo-MY). Photo courtesy Ramar Foods.



    Dim sum can be served for brunch/lunch and as cocktail party fare.

    If the idea of preparing dim sum is intimidating, plan a co-op party with friends who like to cook. Everyone can make one or two dishes.

  • You can do it “cookie swap style,” choosing to dine together or bring the food home to your family.
  • You can also have a “prep party,” rolling and dicing with friends.
    What to drink with dim sum? Tea, of course!

    A dim sum party is an opportunity to sample a few different teas as well. Take a look at chrysanthemum, dragon well, jasmine, gunpowder, keemum, lychee, oolong, pu-erh—brewed from whole leaf tea, of course! (Check out the different types of tea.)


    Dim sum derives from an older tea house tradition, yum cha (tea tasting), in the Canton province southern China. Travelers would take refreshment at roadside teahouses; locals would stop by to relax after a day of tilling the fields or other labor.

    At some point teahouse owners began to add snacks: hence the development of dim sum. The translation of dim sum, “touches the heart,” shows that it was originally not a main meal but a snack.

    Over the centuries, dim sum evolved from an afternoon respite to a major meal, from breakfast through mid-afternoon. Some modern restaurants extend dim sum to dinner time; it is now a staple of Cantonese dining culture and served all over China.

    For a dim sum holiday head to Hong Kong, the dim sum capital of the world. If you’re in a major U.S. city, head to its Chinatown.

    In New York City, our favorite is Jing Fong, a huge restaurant with the largest selection we’ve ever seen. The food is wheeled around on carts by servers; you point to what you want. Food is priced by the dish, but you can gorge yourself for not much more than $15-$20 a person.

    To end the confusion of what’s what, you can get this dim sum pocket guide, in paperback or Kindle editions.

    Sihk faahn (that’s eat, the equivalent of bon appétit, in Cantonese)!



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