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TIP OF THE DAY: Irish Cream Icing

White Chocolate Cake
Make a white chocolate frosting with Irish cream liqueur. Photo courtesy of Equinox Maple Flakes.
 

Celebrate the 17th with Irish Cream Icing. You can bake or buy brownies or a loaf cake and add this tasty homemade topping. Take 1/3 cup Irish cream liqueur (such as Bailey’s) and 8 ounces of top-quality white chocolate. Buy a good chocolate bar instead of baking chips, which can be vegetable oil instead of real chocolate. You can buy Green & Black’s, one of our favorites (it’s organic, too), readily available at Whole Foods Markets and elsewhere. In a small pan, bring the liqueur to a slow boil; then remove from the heat and whisk in the chopped white chocolate until it’s completely melted and the icing is smooth. Refrigerate until it becomes thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally. Spread the icing over the brownies or cake. Keep refrigerated until 30 minutes before serving.

– Make Irish Coffee to go with your dessert.
– Find more cake recipes in the Gourmet Cakes Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

 

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day

Who thought up this food holiday, you might ask? Why not Blackberry Waffles Day, or Milk Chocolate Chip Waffles Day?

We’re guessing that Oatmeal-Nut Waffles Day is the work of nutritionists at the Whole Grain Council or some other group supporting oats—and they’re not wrong.

We need three portions of whole grains daily, and oatmeal waffles are a good start. As for the nuts, while they are high in calories and fat, they contain protein plus the good, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3s), which have all been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. (Your body needs two tablespoons of good fats daily.)

  • Waffles are a great way to limit portions of nuts (unlike, say, eating an entire bowl of mixed nuts).
  • Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts are approved by the FDA, since they contain less than 4g of saturated fats per 50g.
  • Walnuts are your best bet—they are more heart-healthy than olive oil and have bone-healthy alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid). But if you must have pecan waffles, we understand.
  •  
    Here’s a recipe to celebrate the day:

     

    Whole-Grain-Waffles-turvs.net-230-ps-sq

    Oatmeal or other whole grain waffles are better than white flour waffles. Nuts add protein. Photo courtesy Turvs.net.

     
    RECIPE: OATMEAL-NUT WAFFLES

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-chopped nuts
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Optional garnishes: butter, fresh fruit, syrup, yogurt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT a lightly greased waffle iron.

    2. COMBINE the flour, oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

    3. MIX the eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar in small mixing bowl. Add this to the flour mixture, stirring until blended.

    4. POUR the batter onto the preheated waffle iron. The waffle iron needs to be hot enough to make a cold drop of water “dance.” When it’s hot enough, add the batter. Close the lid quickly, and do not open during baking.

    TIP: Cooking time varies by waffle iron, setting chosen, if the iron surface is coated (e.g. with Teflon), how much moisture is in the waffle batter, etc. You will need to experiment with your waffle iron. Look for steam escaping from the sides. When the steam stops, the waffles should be finished.

    5. REMOVE the finished waffles with a fork. Top with syrup or fresh fruit and/or yogurt.
     
    HOW MANY TYPES OF WAFFLES HAVE YOU HAD?

    Check them all out in our Pancake & Waffle Glossary, along with the history of waffles.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: St. Patrick’s Day Eggs

    You don’t have to hunt for green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Start your day with a nutritious green breakfast by adding pesto sauce to the eggs beaten for scrambled eggs, omelets, a frittata or quiche. Mix in one teaspoon per egg. Decorate the plate with fresh basil or spinach leaves, and you’ll start the day in a holiday mood. You’d think pesto would be a pretty simple proposition: basil (or other green, like spinach or arugula), oil (usually olive, sometimes walnut or other oil), Parmesan and nuts (usually pine, nuts, but walnut pestos and other recipes are pretty fine). Yet, we tasted more than 100 pesto sauces from around the world and found only six brands to recommend to you, two of which were from recent Top Pick Of The Week sauce maker, Sauces ‘n Love. Read about our favorite pestos, the history of pesto and a recipe for making great pesto at home. When you realize how easy it is, you’ll become a pesto-making maverick.   Pesto
    Use pesto sauce to make green eggs on St. Patrick’s Day. Ham is optional with your green eggs, but you can enter our Gourmet Giveaway to win a great one this week. Photo by Val Lyashov | SXC.
    Read about more of our favorite sauces in the Pasta & Sauces Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Jazzy Vinaigrette

    Raspberry Vinegar
    Add a splash of raspberry flavor to your vinaigrette.
      Looking to add a little pizazz to your everyday salad dressing? Try a raspberry vinaigrette—two parts raspberry vinegar, three parts olive oil. The sweet raspberry fruit shines through, as does its ruby color. While raspberry vinegars are available for as little as $3.50 a bottle—they can be made less expensively with raspberry flavoring—we splurge on the opulent French vinegar of J. Leblanc, made from the juice of fresh raspberries blended into white wine vinegar, then aged in oak barrels. It also makes a splendid addition to fish sauces, marinades and luncheon salads—especially with sliced duck or chicken. It adds magic when you substitute it for cider vinegar, for example, in cole slaw, potato salad and gazpacho. It can be drizzled on fruit, cheese, bread, ice cream, cheesecake…in fact, you can mix a spoonful into apple juice, iced tea, lemonade and other beverages. It also makes a great gift for your favorite cook or foodie. If you can’t find the brand locally, it is sold on Amazon. Find more of our favorite vinegars in the Oiis & Vinegars Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
     

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    TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Crabmeat Day

    Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
    The whitest, biggest chunks of crab—known as Jumbo Lump crabmeat—are also the priciest.
      How can you celebrate National Crabmeat Day and still have change to spare? Here’s the secret: Those pretty puffs of lump white crabmeat on the buffet are up to three times the price of the darker body crabmeat. But the darker meat is actually tastier. If you’re mixing the crab into a salad for sandwiches (think crab rolls, like lobster rolls, or serve it on brioche, as a crabmeat BLT) or to stuff eggs or omelet, save money—and enjoy crab more often—by using dark crabmeat.

    Also celebrate National Crabmeat Day by:
    – Learning about the different types of crab and crabmeat, and what you should look for when you purchase canned crab.
    – Read our review of Miller’s Select, our favorite brand of crabmeat (it’s shelf-stable too, no refrigeration required).
    – Make one of these crabmeat recipes.
    – Buy this nifty little crab cookbook: Crab: Buying, Cooking, Cracking, by Andrea Froncillo and Jennifer Jeffrey.
     

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