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Archive for Tip Of The Day

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: Zippier Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes

    Today is a holiday you can really sink your teeth into: Grilled Cheese Day! In fact, April is also Grilled Cheese Month—a much tastier concept than Taxes Are Due Month. Grilled cheese sandwiches are one of our favorite comfort foods—for lunch, light supper or snacks (you can cut them in quarters for casual hors d’oeuvres, too). Ask at your cheese counter for a tastier alternatives to American cheese, and test to find your favorites. We love smoked mozzarella and Jarlsberg, a Swiss-type cheese from Norway; and we find that making our sandwiches in a panini press in the best method. Otherwise, a frying pan will do just fine. Assemble the sandwiches and butter the outsides with softened butter. Fry: When the bottom slices are golden brown (2 to 3 minutes), flip them over, press down with a spatula and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. We like tomatoes on our sandwiches: We first sprinkle them with oregano or marinate them briefly in a vinaigrette for added flavor.   Grilled Cheese SandwichTuscan-style grilled cheese combines Fontina, mozzarella and grilled vegetables.
    But don’t stop there. We have a dozen gourmet grilled cheese recipes for you, along with tips on making the perfect grilled cheese sandwiches. Read the full article and pick your favorite recipes. We’ve been making two a day for lunch at THE NIBBLE offices, and the voting is intense. (HINT: If you love blue cheese, the two blue cheese recipes are a slam dunk…except for the sweet mascarpone and dulce de leche recipe. Testing and voting is HARD WORK!) Get the gang together and make all 12, for one heck of a grilled cheese-a-thon. When you’re done, you can fnd more sandwich recipes in the Bread Products section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Water Glass Garnishes

    Take a tip from stylish restaurants and add slices of lemon, lime or cucumber (or a plump strawberry) to the rim of water glasses.

    After you’ve cut the slices, make an additional cut from the center to the edge, and use that notch to affix the fruit to the rim.
    Guests can remove and float the pieces in their water for added flavor.

    If you keep a water pitcher at the table, citrus or cucumber slices and strawberries provide flavor and look elegant inside, too.

    Read about more glamorous garnishes for every food on your table in THE NIBBLE online magazine.

     

    Lemon Rosemary Water

    Cocktail? No! It’s a healthy, calorie-free glass of water, dressed up with glamorous garnishes (photo Kelly Cline | IST).

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pesto Trick

    There’s nothing better than a fresh basil plant on the windowsill, that you can snip whenever you’d like some fresh herb garnish. However, if a green thumb isn’t one of your talents, keep a jar of versatile pesto sauce in the cabinet for plate accents. Drizzle a bit across the plate, or use a medicine dropper to apply “polka dots” around the perimeter of the plate. You can also use it, of course, with pasta, hors d’oeuvres and as a bread spread. If you don’t use the entire jar, keep it fresh by pouring a layer of olive oil on top of the pesto and capping it tightly. The opened jar will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Pour off the olive oil before using the pesto, and use it to make a delicious salad dressing. Read all about pesto, reviews of some of our favorite pestos and our homemade pesto recipe. Find more of our favorite pasta sauces in the Pasta Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Pesto
    Make an instant hors d’oeuvre from pesto, a bocconcini (small mozzarella ball, and some roasted red pepper.
     

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Re-Think Your Salt

    Alaea Hawaiian Sea SaltAlaea red lava salts from Hawaii are colored and flavored by clay in the local water. Photo courtesy of Saltworks.us.   Bid adieu to one of America’s food icons, the Morton Salt Girl, whose iodized salt is too salty. Instead, accent your food with the far more vivid flavors of sea salts. There are dozens, each with its own flavor and beauty. Some of our favorites are grey Celtic salt, coral-hued Hawaiian sea salt, beige and ochre smoked sea salts and Himalayan pink salt. These are general categories: Each type of salt can be found under different brand names. Sea salts are not as refined (processed) as table salts, so contain nutritious traces of calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc (that also add to the color). They have bright, pure, clean flavor and the flavor subtleties from the minerals. The grains are generally too large for salt shakers, so take pinches from salt dishes, like great-grandma did. It makes it all the more a gourmet experience, and you’ll notice flavors in your food you never have before. You’ll have a great time perusing our glossary of artisan salts in the Salts & Seasonings Section on THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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