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COCKTAIL RECIPES: “Green” Cocktails For Earth Day

360 Vodka
Think green, and celebrate Earth Day with two cocktail recipes from 360 Vodka.
  Celebrate Earth Day, April 22nd, by drinking tap water. Refill a bottle and carry it around with you. And especially purchase a Better Drinking Water Filter Bottle—a biodegradable corn resin bottle with a built-in filter top that is good for purifying 90 bottles of tap water.

Now you’ve earned a cocktail, so celebrate with 360 Vodka, a “green” company that produces its vodka to be as earth-friendly as possible, in both manufacture and distribution. The company has created two special Earth Day cocktails, Greentini and Planetary Punch. Enjoy the recipes and learn more about the vodka.

Find more cocktail recipes in the Cocktails & Mixers Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Flavored Cream Cheese

If you don’t have time to make scallion
cream cheese, do the next best thing: Snip
chives into a small dish so that guests can
sprinkle them on top of the cream cheese. It takes two minutes to wash and snip the
chives.

 

When we serve flavored cream cheeses at brunch, the scallion cream cheese is the first to disappear. But commercial brands are gummy and specialty store fresh-made is pricey.

Here’s our trick:

  • Buy plain cream cheese, preferably organic.
  • Using electric beaters on slow, blend 8 ounces of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of sour cream (you can add more for a more fluid spread).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of chopped scallions, or more to taste. That’s it!
  •  
    We also love olive cream cheese:

  • Purée roasted peppers and, instead of the sour cream, blend 2 tablespoons or more of purée to taste.
  • Add chopped green olives stuffed with pimento.
  •  
    Strawberries, bananas, guava, papaya, mango and pineapple (canned) are great blend-ins for sweet spreads.

    Find more of our favorite dips and spreads in the Salsas, Dips & Spreads Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

     

      

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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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