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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 TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

TIP OF THE DAY: Load Up On Pumpkin Foods

Butternut-Squash-Ravioli-pom-wonderful-230

Pumpkin ravioli. Photo courtesy Pom
Wonderful.

 

Some people don’t like pumpkin, so fall offers them no pumpkin joy. Others are so excited that a diet of pumpkin latte, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes is seasonal splendor.

It becomes a Bubba Gump menu of pumpkin: pumpkin bagels and cream cheese, pumpkin pancake mix and coffee creamer for breakfast; pumpkin spice yogurt or soup for lunch, pumpkin pasta or risotto for dinner; pumpkin spice cookies and loaf cakes for snacking; and of course, for dessert, pumpkin pie and pumpkin ice cream.

And that’s just what you can pick up in the store! We got a mailer from Trader Joe’s that was all pumpkin, all the time; so we headed over to load up on pumpkin products.

All of the following are available at Trader Joe’s (except asterisked items), and many are available at other retailers nationwide.

Breakfast

  • Pumpkin Croissants
  • Country Pumpkin Spice Granola
  • Joe’s Pumpkin O’s (Cheerios-type cereal with pumpkin and cinnamon)
  • Organic Pumpkin Toaster Pastries
  • Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal
  • Pumpkin Bagels and Pumpkin Cream Cheese (what a treat!)
  • Pumpkin Butter
  • Pumpkin Bread Muffin Mix
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Scone Mix
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
  • Pumpkin Greek Yogurt
  • Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix
  • Pumpkin Rolls with Pumpkin Spice Icing
  • Pumpkin Spice Coffee
  • This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar (cereal bars)
  •  
    Snacks

  • Pumpkin Brittle Chips
  • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels
  • Iced Pumpkin Scone Cookies
  • Pita Chips With Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps (crackers)
  • Pumpkin Joe Joes (sandwich cookies)
  • Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Mix
  •  

    Lunch & Dinner

  • Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli
  • Organic Canned Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Ale
  • Pumpkin Cornbread Mix
  • Pumpkin Croutons
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (to season sweet potatoes, squash,
    rice)
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Toasted Seed Pumpkin Oil (for grains, salads, vegetables)
  •  
    Dessert

  • Ginger Pumpkin Mini Mouthfuls (ice cream sandwiches)
  • Pumpkin Bar Baking Mix
  • Pumpkin Biscotti
  • Pumpkin Bread Pudding
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  •  

    Pumpkin-CreamCheese-traderjoes-230

    Pumpkin cream cheese is a seasonal favorite at THE NIBBLE. Photo courtesy Trader Joe’s.

  • Pumpkin Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Macarons
  • Pumpkin Pie Mochi Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Pie and Mini Pumpkin Pies
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  •  

    Plus…

  • Mini Decorative Pumpkins
  • Orange Pumpkins
  • Pumpkin Body Butter (skin care)
  •  
    Head for the store!

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: barkTHINS Chocolate Bark

    bark-thins-stacked-230

    barkTHINS: thin and rich. Photo courtesy
    Ripple Brands.

     

    There are several reasons to love barkTHINS:

  • The delicious varieties, crammed with inclusions* (see the list below).
  • The thin pieces that, unlike conventional bark, let you have half as much.
  • The Fair Trade certification (FairTradeUSA.org) that helps poor farmers.
  • The everyday affordability (yet it’s great for party favors and stocking stuffers.
  •  
    October is National Fair Trade Month, the perfect time to feature barkTHINS as a Top Pick Of The Week (here’s more about Fair Trade certification).

    The line debuted in 2012. Unlike traditional chocolate bark that is thick and hard to break, barkTHINS are thin slivers of chocolate that are easily snap-able—easier to eat, fewer calories in your chocolate fix, more flexibility as a dessert garnish (well, that probably wasn’t their intent but it’s a use we employ regularly, by crowning a scoop of ice cream or breaking into pieces for mix-ins).

     

    *The industry term for what many people call “mix-ins.”

     

    barkTHINS FLAVORS

    Each variety is as delicious as the next, depending on your flavor preferences. We were personally thrilled with Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel, a limited edition for holiday season. The packages have a shelf life of 12 months, so if you can’t live without it, you can stock up until the new batches arrive for the next holiday season).

    Feast upon:

    • Dark Chocolate Almond With Sea Salt
    • Dark Chocolate Blueberry & Quinoa (sweetened with agave)
    • Dark Chocolate Mint
    • Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel (Limited Edition)
    • Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed
    • Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut With Almonds
    • Milk Chocolate Peanut
     

    bark-thins-pkgs-230

    A great party favor, stocking stuffer, teacher gift, etc. Photo courtesy Ripple Foods.

     
    The bags stand upright for presentation as party favors. You can stick a place card on the front; you can tie a ribbon through the shelf-hanger opening at the top for added festiveness or to hang on the tree.
     
    Check the store locator for a retailer near you (including Costco, H-E-B, King’s, Stop & Shop, Wegmans, Whole Foods Market and numerous others), or head to Amazon.com.
     
    WHAT IS FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE?

    A Fair Trade certification guarantees consumers that the farmers who grow the product are getting paid a fair price. In many areas of the world, middlemen buy up crops at a price that often is the same or less than what it cost the farmer to grow it, resulting in a cycle of poverty. Under Fair trade, farmers can increase their incomes and gain afford education and healthcare for their families.

    When you make a conscious decision to seek out Fair Trade products, you are helping hard-working people raise their standard of living. You can feel good about every bite and every sip (look for Fair Trade coffee, tea and hot chocolate, too).

    Fair Trade certification also means that the farmers are following good agricultural practices and are investing in their farms and communities. To learn more, visit FairTradeUSA.org.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pumpkin Seed Brittle

    pumpkin-brittle-zulka-230ps

    Surprise friends and family with some
    pumpkin brittle, garnished with a drizzle of
    chocolate. Photo courtesy Zulka.

     

    Here’s aother delicious recipe from our friends at Zulka sugar: pumpkin brittle. Enjoy it by itself, with a cup of tea or a pumpkin spice latte. Make a batch to celebrate Halloween, or to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

    You can customize the recipe by adding other seeds—nutritious chia, flax, hemp, nigella or sesame, for example. We actually prefer the deeper flavor complexity of a pumpkin-sesame seed mix. Just keep the total of all seeds to two cups.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE WITH
    CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  •  

    Preparation

    1. SET out a cookie sheet and top with a silicon baking mat or wax paper. Lightly oil the mat or wax paper.

    2. COMBINE the sugars, butter, salt and water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat; stir. Once the butter is completely melted, stir again and clip on a candy thermometer and heat to 300°F.

    3. REMOVE from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir well. Quickly spread over the mat or wax paper and spread to the edges with a lightly oiled silicon spatula. Let cool 30 minutes. Gently break into pieces.

    4. POUR the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until the chocolate chips are fully melted, stirring as they get more melted until smooth. Spoon the melted chocolate into a baggie or disposable pastry bag and snip a very small piece off one corner. Drizzle over the brittle pieces. Chill the brittle to set the chocolate. Store in an airtight container.
     
    Find more delicious recipes at Zulka.com.

     
      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Marich Sugar Free Candy

    What’s Halloween like for people who can’t have sugar?

    While there’s no sugar-free candy corn (because candy corn is essentially sugar, corn syrup, color and flavoring), there are other sugar-free treats, from Gummies, hard candies including Cinnamon Buttons, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Jolly Ranchers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and much more (for a great selection head to BlairCandy.com).

    Or, you could go gourmet at Marich.

    Marich Confectionery makes a lot of the all-American candies sold in bulk in better candy stories: bridge mix; caramels and toffees; chocolate-covered coffee beans, fruits and nuts; Holland mints, licorice; and our favorite malted milk balls.

    Some of the most popular items are available in sugar-free versions: Sugar Free Chocolate Bridge Mix, Sugar Free Chocolate Espresso Beans, Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Almonds and No Sugar Added Chocolate Cherries (the cherries themselves have natural sugar).

    Whether for Halloween gifts or for the holidays, in eight-ounce, ribbon-tied bags ($10.50, $11 for the cherries), we love these for gifting.

       

    caramels-cherries-SF-230

    Sugar-free treats Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    bags-230s

    Easy sugar-free gifting. Photo by Elvira Kalviste |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    LOOKING FOR SOME SUGAR?

    From the regular line, two items great for stocking stuffers or party favors are two-ounce boxes of:

    • Christmas Holland Mints (red, white and green, $2.50)
    • Cinnamon Spice Apple Caramels ($3.00)
    • Pumpkin Spice Caramels ($3.00)

    The line is certified kosher by by KOF-K.

    Dig in at Marich.com.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Veggies More Flavorful

    Vegetable lovers tend to love their veggies cooked in any way: grilled roasted, steamed, stir-fried, however. Others need more convincing to eat their minimum three servings of veggies a day. (Serving recommendations vary by age group. Here’s the latest government Food Pyramid.)

    One way to get people to eat more vegetables is to combine them with popular flavors. That doesn’t mean fried zucchini and ketchup, however. Here are several better-for-you ways to amp up the flavors and make veggies sexy. They come from Flavor & The Menu, a magazine that delivers ideas and trends to professional chefs.

    FOR GREEN SALADS & SLAWS

    Here are four ideas to that add appeal to your salads:

  • Garnish or toss a green salad with shredded cheese or toasted nuts/seeds and fresh or dried berries. If you don’t have time to make a salad from scratch, buy a ready to eat salad or slaw mix.
  • Caramelize your lettuce. Grill romaine hearts as a base for your salad. You can lightly grill other salad ingredients (bell peppers, tomatoes) or simply add croutons, shredded cheese or any other ingredients. Here’s a recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad.
  •    

    masala-cauliflower-paperchef-230

    Yummy caramelized cauliflower. Photo courtesy PaperChef.com.

  • Serve crudités as a first course—baby carrots, broccoli and cauliflower florets, snow peas and other favorites—with hummus, a simple aïoli (garlic mayonnaise—here’s the recipe) or balsamic vinaigrette dip*.
  • Make wilted salads: Add a warm dressing to spinach, kale or a baby braising greens mix. It will slightly wilt the greens. Here’s a recipe hot bacon vinaigrette that you can use with lettuce, kale or other greens.
  •  

    *Easy balsamic vinaigrette recipe: Blend together 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 3/4 cup olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper (or to taste). Optional: Add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and/or fresh parsley or other herb.

     

    pancetta-hazelnut-green-beans-goboldwithbutter-230

    Some bits of bacon and sautéed onions add
    great flavor to green beans. Photo courtesy
    Go Bold With Butter.

     

    FOR COOKED VEGGIES

  • Add umami elements to roasted, steamed or sautéed vegetables: bacon, Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, sautéed onions or soy sauce (flavor it with minced ginger, garlic and chives/green onions). Fish-friendly families should try chopped anchovies, anchovy paste or Asian fish sauce*.
  • Caramelize your veggies. Caramelization is what happens when the natural sugar in a food break down under heat and forms new compounds. The food turns brown and becomes caramel—a broad term that extends to more than just candy and sauce. Roasting, grilling and pan-searing add flavorful caramelization and soften the bite of vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. You can even cramelize a slaw mix. Here’s how to caramelize.
  • Please the spice-lovers with Asian flavors like sweet chile sauce, Sriracha and kimchi. Use chili and Sriracha sauces in your recipes or as condiments. Mix kimchi—Korean pickled vegetables—with grains, potatoes and vegetable medleys.
  • Stir-fry sturdy greens (those which have tough ribs and leaves, such as bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, cabbage, collards, kale, mustard greens, spinach) to create an easy side dish or a bed for proteins.
  • Create a colorful warm “salad” using on-trend healthy vegetables such as sliced or diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash, beets and kale.
  • Pan-sear sliced mushrooms with shallots, then add cream and cheese for an elegant à la carte addition to steaks and chops.
  •  
    Read more about food, glorious food at GetFlavor.com.

    †Fish sauce was the favorite condiment of the ancient Romans (read all about it). Today, it remains a favorite condiment in Asia, with each country varying the recipe: Vietnamese nuoc nam, Thai nam pla and Cambodian tuk trey, Burma’s ngan-pya-yem, Korea’s jeotgal, Laos’s nam pa and The Philippines’ patis and bagoong. Related products include the Malaysian shrimp paste belachan and a similar product in Myanmar called nga-pi.

      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Trick Or Treat With Pumpkin Brownies

    It will be a ghoulishly delightful change this Halloween when you serve Fairytale Brownies’ new Halloween brownies in Pumpkin Spice, with a Halloween label that features jack-o-lanterns and bats.

    Perfect for party favors, the individually wrapped, 3” x 3” dark chocolate brownies are also sold in bulk by the dozen, if you want to present them on a dessert tray or plate them individually (perhaps as the base of a brownie sundae, with pumpkin ice cream?).

    Treat your friends, treat your co-workers, and let these delicious brownies melt in your mouth. Like all Fairytale Brownies, they are made with Callebaut Belgian chocolate, alfarm fresh eggs, pure creamery butter and dark brown sugar. Then, sweet pumpkin purée is blended with cream cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger, and swirled into the brownie batter.

    And although religious Jews don’t celebrate Halloween, the Fairytale line is certified kosher (dairy) by the Greater Phoenix Vaad Hakashruth.

       

    trick-or-treat-brownies-fairytale-230

    Trick or treat! These Pumpkin Spice Brownies are definitely a treat. Photo courtesy Fairytale Brownies.

     

     

    pumpkin-spice-brownies-fairytale-230

    Pumpkin Spice Brownies in a gift box have a
    plain cellophane wrap. Photo courtesy
    Fairytale Brownies.

     

    HOLIDAY GIFTS: THANKSGIVING & CHRISTMAS

    For Thanksgiving treats, hostess gifts and holiday gift giving, the Pumpkin Spice Brownies are available in a plain cellophane wrap, in a gift box. You can choose all Pumpkin Spice Brownies, or a combination box with Chocolate Chip Brownies.

    The Pumpkin Spice Brownies are limited edition, available only through December 31, 2014. But if you can’t live without them, they do freeze beautifully.

    Get yours at Brownies.com.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Stone Crab

    Our friends at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City remind us that stone crab is now in season. Florida stone crabs are legal for harvest from October 15th through May 15th. Frozen stone crab is available year-round, but the true palate pleaser is the fresh crab.

    The stone crab (Menippe mercenaria), also known as the Florida stone crab, lives in the western North Atlantic, from Connecticut down to Belize; and the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico.

    The stone crab is a cousin of the Maryland blue crab (Callinectes sapidus, also known as the blue crab, Atlantic blue crab or Chesapeake blue crab) and the Gulf stone crab (Menippe adina), a closely related species. It tastes like a cross between the blue crab and the Maine lobster—less definitive than lobster but more so than crab.

    The body is relatively small without much meat; the part that is eaten is the big, meaty claw, which is very distinctive in appearance with black tips. When harvesting, one or both claws are removed on the boat and the live crab is returning to the ocean, where it will regenerate its claws.

    Sustainability-oriented fishermen remove only one claw, so the crab can protect itself while the other regenerates. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch has given the Florida stone crab industry its highest rating of “Best Choice,” for maintaining high fishing standards and working hard to keep the stone crab population viable.

    The claws are strong enough to break an oyster’s shell—like us, stone crabs love to eat oysters. Claws are sold by size, generally in four sizes: medium, large, jumbo, and colossal.

       

    Florida-Stone-Crab-claw-frugeseafood-230r

    A stone crab claw. Photo courtesy Fruge Seafood.

     

    RECIPE: STONE CRAB CLAWS

    The easiest way to serve stone crab claws is to boil them, and serve them hot or chilled with melted butter or other sauce (the two most popular are mustard sauce and remoulade sauce).

    What looks like a very impressive dish couldn’t be easier to make. The difficult part comes when the diners have to extract the meat from the shell—you may have heard of the “Maryland crab bash,” where diners get a bib and a hammer. Or, you can remove the shells yourself, prior to serving (instructions are below).

    Note that there is a hard center membrane inside the meat, so take care if biting into what looks like a large lump of meat. It’s better to pull the meat off with a fork.

     

    stone-crab-claws-cracked-uberstonecrabs-230

    Ready to dip and eat. Photo courtesy
    UberStoneCrabs.com.

     

    Ingredients

  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds stone crab claws per person
  • 1/4 stick butter per person
  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Optional garnish: dill or parsley
  •  
    Serve With

  • Cole slaw
  • Mixed green salad
  • Mixed vegetables: Brussels sprouts, carrots, other favorites
  • Garlic bread
  •  
    Optional Dips

  • Compound butter: chipotle, olive, red pepper, shallot herb, etc. (recipes)
  • Mustard sauce (recipe)
  • Remoulade sauce (recipe)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BRING a pot of 12 cups of water, plus a teaspoon of salt, to a rapid boil; remove from the heat. When the water stops bubbling, place the crab claws in the water for about five minutes. Do not submerge the claws into the rapidly boiling water, as they can toughen.

    2. DRAIN the crab claws into a colander (warning: the claws and water will be very hot) and rinse under cold water to make them easier to handle.

    3. PREPARE the dip. The easiest is to combining 4 tablespoons of butter with minced garlic and salt or other seasoning of choice (for example, Old Bay Seasoning). Microwave butter mixture until melted, about 90 seconds (time will vary by microwave).

    4. SERVE with melted butter and wedges of lemon.
     
    How To Crack The Crab Claws

    1. PLACE the claw on a cutting board or other hard surface. Then, place a plastic bag over the claw to prevent the juices from splattering.

    2. USE a mallet or hammer (cleaned, of course!) and lightly crack the claw in the first and second knuckles; then crack slightly harder in the center of the claw.

    3. PEEL the shell from the claw and then separate the two knuckles from the main pincher. Serve with sauce and citrus wedges.

    NOTE: Crack only as many as claws as you plan to eat at one meal. Once cracked, the claw meat will not hold up well for a long period of time.

     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CRAB: A CRAB MEAT GLOSSARY

      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Cinnamon Vodka Punch

    cinnamon-punch-belvedere-230sq

    Cinnamon evokes fall and Halloween. Photo
    courtesy Belvedere Vodka.

     

    If you’re looking to fill the punch bowl on Halloween, here’s a recipe from Belvedere Vodka. You can make the cinnamon simple syrup in advance.

    RECIPE: CINNAMON VODKA PUNCH

    Ingredients

  • 7 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces cinnamon simple syrup
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 5.5 ounces pink grapefruit juice
  • 16 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ounces lemon juice
  • Garnish: slices of orange (ideally, blood orange) and
    pink grapefruit
  • Ice cubes or block of ice*
  •  
    *The larger the pieces of ice, the slower they will melt and dilute the punch. Instead of ice cubes, you can freeze a block of ice in a small cake pan or other container. We use a star-shaped gelatin mold.
     

    Preparation

    1. ADD punch ingredients except garnishes to a punch bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. ADD ice and garnishes when ready to serve.
     
    RECIPE: CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP

    Ingredients

  • 16 ounces water
  • 16 ounces white sugar
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SIMMER the ingredients for approximately 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve and funnel into a glass bottle.

    2. REFRIGERATE until ready to use.

     
      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Jackson Pollack Style & Other Chocolate Candy Apples

    You can make candy apples the traditional way or you can cook to the tune of a different drummer. In this recipe, adapted from Cooking Light, melted chocolate is dripped on the apple in a Jackson Pollack approach.

    Green Granny Smiths go well with the sweet white and bittersweet chocolates and provide a better backdrop for the squiggles than darker red apples, but use any apple you like.

    By drizzling the chocolate instead of enrobing the entire apple in a red sugar or caramel coating, these are “candy apples light.”

    You can add colors by tinting the white chocolate orange, and add more layers of tinted color—red and yellow, for example. Just load up on the white chocolate.

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE-DRIZZLED CANDY APPLES

    Ingredients For 6 Candy Apples

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2-1/2 ounces premium white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Wooden sticks (from the craft store or online—or use forks!
  •    

    jackson-pollock-candied-apples-randymayor-cookinglight-230sq

    Drip the chocolate, Jackson Pollack style. Photo © Randy Mayor | Cooking Light.

     

    Preparation

    1. WASH and dry the apples; remove stems. Insert a wooden stick into the stem end of each apple.

    2. PLACE the bittersweet chocolate in a glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Working with 1 apple at a time, hold the apple over a bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle the apple with about 2 teaspoons bittersweet chocolate. Place the apple, stick side up, on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Repeat the procedure with the remaining apples.

    3. PLACE the white chocolate in a glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 15 seconds until smooth. Working with 1 apple at a time, hold the apple over a bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle the apple with about 1-1/2 teaspoons white chocolate. Place the apple, stick side up, on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Repeat procedure with remaining apples.

    4. CHILL the apples until ready to serve.

     

    AY1005HW015

    More ways to decorate apples with chocolate.
    Photo courtesy MyRecipes.com.

     

    MORE CANDY APPLE RECIPES

  • Traditional Candy Apple Recipe
  • Sugar-Free Candy Apple Recipe
  •  
    CANDY APPLES HISTORY

    The practice of coating fruit in sugar syrup dates back to ancient times. In addition to tasting good, honey and sugar were used as preserving agents to keep fruit from rotting.

    According to FoodTimeline.org, food historians generally agree that caramel apples (toffee apples) probably date to the late 19th century. Both toffee and caramel can be traced to the early decades of the 18th century. Inexpensive toffee and caramels became available by the end of the 19th century. Culinary evidence confirms soft, chewy caramel coatings from that time.

     

    Red cinnamon-accented candy apples came later. And, while long associated with Halloween, they were originally Christmas fare, not a Halloween confection.

    According to articles in the Newark Evening News in 1948 and 1964, the red candy apple was invented in 1908 by William W. Kolb, a local confectioner.

    Experimenting with red cinnamon candies for Christmas, he dipped apples into the mixture and the modern candy apple was born. The tasty treat was soon being sold at the Jersey Shore, the circus and then in candy shops nationwide.

      

    Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Spooky Pasta Recipes

    Add some food fun to your Halloween with these two pasta recipes from Certified Angus Beef.

    RECIPE: SPOOKETTI & MEATBALLS

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar pimento-stuffed olives
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 6 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
  •  

    ghoulish-pasta-certifiedangusbeef-230

    Spooketti and meatballs. Photo courtesy Certified Angus Beef.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. COMBINE the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, ketchup, herbs and spices; shape into 1-1/2-inch balls, making 12 total. Insert 1 olive into each meatball to look like an eye.

    3. PLACE the meatballs in a pan and roast approximately 25 minutes until thoroughly cooked and no pink remains (160°F internal temperature).

    4. HEAT the sauce and ladle over pasta. Serve 2 meatballs per plate.

     

    graveyard-bake-certifiedangusbeef-230

    Eat the graveyard! Photo courtesy Certified
    Angus Beef.

     

    Graveyard Bake

  • 1 pound round chuck
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound fusilli pasta, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 6 oval crackers (like Keebler Town House), optional
  •  

    Preparation

    1. BROWN ground chuck in large fry pan. Drain liquid from beef.

    2. ADD tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic salt and cayenne pepper; simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the cooked pasta.

    3. POUR into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Top with potato chips and cheese and broil for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and chips are golden brown.

    4. GARNISH with green onions and crackers (the tombstones).

      

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