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Archive for Tip Of The Day

FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Peppermint Patties

Chocolate Peppermint Patties
These are from the Wisconsin Cheeseman, but your own homemade peppermint patties will be a much bigger hit.
  If you love peppermint patties, making them at home is easy. Combine 1 pound confectioner’s sugar, 3 tablespoons softened butter, 3 teaspoons peppermint extract and 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract. Mix in 1/4 cup evaporated milk. Roll into 1-inch balls, place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet and chill for 20 minutes. Next, flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass to 1/4″ thick, so they look like peppermint patties. Now prepare the chocolate coating in a double boiler: 12 ounces of good-quality semisweet chocolate (you can use chocolate morsels, but the key is to get the best-tasting chocolate you can find, like Guittard or Valrhona) with 2 tablespoons shortening (not butter, or it won’t cling to the center). Dip the patties and place them back onto the waxed paper to harden.
If you want to go all-out, you can decorate the tops of the patties with candied mint leaves: Dip tiny leaves or cut pieces of leaf and crystallize in sugar syrup. The recipe makes about 5 dozen peppermint patties. Be sure to make extra for friends and family—these are so good, you’ll want to eat the whole batch. If you want to let others make the candy, take a look at the Candy Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Exotic Fruit Of The Month “Club”

Dragon Fruit
Dragonfruit from Melissas.com.
  Dragonfruit, Korean pears, pomegranates and cinnamon persimmons are just four fruits in season now that most people have never tried. Others, like cherimoya, jackfruit and coquitos, are available year-round. You can give these fruits as gifts (at Melissas.com). But give them to your own household, too. Pick a specific day of the month—the first Monday, the third Sunday, e.g.—to be Exotic Fruit Day in your home. Have your featured fruit for dessert or at brunch, experience different tastes and build your knowledge base. If there’s no market in your town that specializes in exotic produce, Melissas.com is happy to oblige.
If you want to send an “exotic” basket of cut fruit, check out Edible Arrangements. See more of our favorite fruits in the Fruits & Nuts section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Gifts Of Everyday Yummies

Rick’s Picks
Rick’s Picks: Great pickles and pickled vegetables. Read our review.
  While many people search high and low for one Very Special Gift, there’s often nothing better to give food-lovers than the most delicious versions of everyday products they really enjoy. The best gourmet peanut butters, jams, chocolate bars, maple syrups, teas or mustards, e.g., are treats that recipients can appreciate every day of the year—and they’ll think of you with every delicious bite or sip. Put together a selection of the best in a gift box. In addition to the foods, your gift will be the joy of discovery. Check out the Main Nibbles section for our favorite everyday foods (peanut butter, salsa, etc.) and see the Gift Finder section of THE NIBBLE online magazine for more product recommendations in every category.
 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Crushed Peppermint Magic

Crush a package of red spiral peppermints with a rolling pin between waxed paper. Keep them in an airtight jar. Then, use them to apply a touch of holiday flavor to ice cream, the rims of hot chocolate mugs, cupcake icing, other desserts, vanilla yogurt…whatever strikes your fancy (use a pinch to garnish to any dessert plate). It’s as if the Good Peppermint Fairy touched her wand to make things a bit more special. Peppermint bark is crushed peppermint added to chocolate bars. Read about our favorite peppermint bark from Enstrom’s—peppermint plus semisweet and white chocolate and chocolate cookies!   Peppermint Candy
Crush me! Use me!
 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Christmas Salad

Christmas Salad
Make your Christmas salad decidedly red and green.
  Make a beautiful red-and-green Christmas salad by adding “red” greens to your “green” greens. If you can’t find the more exotic red lettuces (red leaf lettuce, red oak lettuce, red romaine, red mustard greens), most stores carry radicchio, the naturally red-veined chard and baby kale. For more color, add very thin rings of red and green bell peppers and slice crunchy, white water chestnuts into thin disks as “tree ornaments.” Use an elegant vinaigrette: fine olive oil with a sherry or Champagne vinegar in a 3 tablespoons:2 tablespoons proportion. Add a pinch of dry mustard, plus salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste. Click here for a red-and-green salad recipe with an Asian twist, seaweed, cherry tomatoes and sesame (shown in the photo at left). Visit the table of contents of the December issue of THE NIBBLE online magazine for more holiday recipes.
 

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