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Pumpkin Pizza Recipe With Bacon, Apples & Sage

[1] A special fall pizza with pumpkin purée, apples, bacon and sage (photos #1, #3 and #4 © Good Eggs).

[2] Cut and precook raw bacon. Fifteen minutes on the pizza isn’t enough to cook raw bacon (photo © Jami Lynn Gardner | CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 License).

Canned Pumpkin
[3] Pumpkin purée is not sweetened. That’s pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to buy purée (photo © Jessica Gavin Photography).

[4] The sweet-tart Granny Smith is a perfect “pizza apple.”

[5] Fresh sage has a heavenly aroma and flavor.

[6] Butternut squash pizza, a white pizza variation with roasted butternut squash cubes, from pizza champion Theo Kalogaceros, (photo © Theo Kalogaceros).


How about a special pizza for fall? This recipe, from Good Eggs, substitutes pumpkin purée for the tomato sauce and tops the pie with bacon, apples and fresh sage. The bright flavors create a special pizza experience for the harvest season.

Be sure to purchase pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling. The latter is sweetened and spiced.

See uses for the leftover pumpkin purée and leftover sage, below.

This recipe is for a 12-inch pizza. For a larger pie, increase the ingredients accordingly.

Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 15 minutes.


  • Pizza dough
  • 1-2 Granny Smith apples, based on size of pizza
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloives
  • Fresh sage, to faste
  • Bacon, chopped and cooked
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For pan: all-purpose flour

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 475°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil. Set the pizza dough on the counter and let it come to room temperature.

    2. CORE and slice the apple. Toss the apple slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

    3. CHOP 2 to 3 garlic cloves. Pick some of the sage leaves, toss the stems, and tear the leaves. Roughly chop any larger pieces of bacon, as necessary.

    4. STIR together in a bowl ½ cup pumpkin purée with 1 tablespoon olive oil (for a 12″ pizza; double for a large pizza). Save any remaining purée for another use. Add the garlic and a pinch of grated nutmeg, and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

    5. SHAPE the dough into a round n a lightly floured work surface. Use your hands or a rolling pin to gently stretch and flatten the dough into a 12-inch disc, about ¼ inch thick.

    6. TRANSFER the dough to the sheet pan. Spread with the pumpkin purée and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Scatter the apple slices over the top. Shower the bacon over the pie, along with half of the torn sage. (Use a light hand and leave some space between toppings, so you don’t weigh down the dough.)

    7. SET the pan in the oven and bake until the crust is lightly golden around the edges and the cheese is bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes.

    8. TRANSFER the pizza to a cutting board and cut it into wedges. Sprinkle with the remaining torn sage and serve warm.

    You can keep leftover pumpkin purée in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.

    If you can’t use it within that time, you can freeze it for up to a year. Seal the purée in a zip-top freezer bag and label it. and toss it into the freezer. If you want to pre-portion the purée, freeze it in an ice cube tray or a muffin tin. Once frozen, remove the cubes or pucks and store them in a freezer bag.

    Thanks to Taste Of Home for the tips!

    You can add pumpkin purée to cookies and bars, cheesecake, muffins and quickbreads. But these uses don’t require you to go out of your way:
    For Breakfast

  • Oatmeal: Stir pumpkin purée into oatmeal with a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
  • Pancakes: Add pumpkin to your favorite pancake recipe, with a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Don’t forget the maple syrup!
  • Spread: Blend with cream cheese to top a bagel or toast.
  • Yogurt Parfait: Layer up yogurt, crunchy granola and your leftover pumpkin purée for a simple breakfast.
    For Beverages

  • Cocoa: Mix a dollop of pumpkin and a dash of pumpkin pie spice into a cup of hot cocoa.
  • Milkshake: Blend vanilla ice cream, milk, pumpkin and your favorite spices for a fall milkshake.
  • PSL: Add the purée to a mug of espresso or dark roast coffee, along with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and sweetener.
  • Smoothie: Add a few tablespoons to your next smoothie. Pumpkin is a great source of vitamins A and C, plus these health benefits.

  • Side Dish. Heat the purée and garnish with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and a pat of butter.
  • Pudding. Mix in a sweetener (consider maple syrup instead of sugar) and pumpkin pie spice. Heat and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

  • Chop and add it to grains, omelets, pasta sauce, salads.
  • Cover it in olive oil, refrigerate and use for sautes.
  • Freeze it in oil for future use.
  • Garnish soups.
  • Infuse honey, oil or vinegar.
  • Use as a plate garnish.
  • Make compound butter to use for other sauces and spreads.
  • Make sage pesto.
  • Mix into stuffing.



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    The History Of Dessert For National Dessert Day

    [1] Simple but elegant: a layered pound cake with whipped cream and berries. Here’s the recipe (photo © The Baker Chick)

    [2] Do you prefer a fancy tart or a simple piece of apple pie? Here’s the recipe (photo © The Lemon Apron).

    [3] Gelato was invented in the 16th century; but it was so labor-intensive that only those with servants would have it. Here’s the history of ice cream (photo © Häagen Dazs).

    [4] While savory mousse dishes appeared in France in the 16th century, sweet mousse recipes date to the second half of the 19th century (here’s the history of mousse). Chocolate pudding (and other cornstarch- and arrowroot-thickened puddings) appeared in the 19th century. Here’s the history (photo © Morton’s The Steakhouse).

    [5] Baked custards, date to the Middle Ages, were thickened with eggs (photo © Xie Biyun | Fotolia).

    [6] All-American apple pie with a lattice crust (photo © King Arthur Flour).

    [7] Gingerbread first appeared in 15th-century Germany. The spices were so costly that gingerbread was a special holiday confection. Here’s the recipe and the history of gingerbread (photo © McCormick).

    [8] Savory cheesecakes were made as far back as ancient Greece. But the creation of modern, sweet, cream cheese-based cheesecake began in 1872, when cream cheese was invented by accident in New York. Here’s the history of cheesecake (photo by Elvira Kalviste | © THE NIBBLE).


    October 14th is National Dessert Day. Dessert can be a naturally sweet food like fruit, or a prepared confection: cakes, cookies, custards, fruit salads, gelatins, ice creams, pastries, pies, puddings, sweet soups, tarts and more. Sometimes a sweet wine or liqueur is served; sometimes the dessert consists only of the glass of wine or liqueur. If you define dessert as a sweet course at the end of the meal, then dessert is a relatively recent concept, dating to the 17th century.

    There were fruits, but the truly sweet food started with honey, which was gathered by prehistoric man to please his sweet tooth.

    But sweet foods, from honey to dates to other fruits, were a long way from becoming “dessert.”

    Dried fruit and honey were probably the first sweeteners used in most of the world.

    Way back in ancient India and Mesopotamia, sweet foods—often dried fruits and nuts rolled in honey—were so valued that they were left at altars to the gods [source].

    The Persians loved their sweets. Herodotus (484 to 425 B.C.E.), the Greek historian who wrote extensively on the Persian Empire, noted that the main Persian meal was simple, but the Persians would eat many sweet foods afterward [source].

    The oldest written reference to honey dates back to Egypt in 5500 B.C.E., and references to honey abound in antiquity.

    But honeybees are far older than man’s historical record—written, painted or otherwise. Honeybees originated in Southeast Asia some 40 million years ago. Apis mellifera, known as the Western honeybee, probably originated in Tropical Africa and spread from there, north to Europe and east to Asia.

    So Africans, Middle Easterners and Europeans had their honey until sugarcane arrived. The spread of sugarcane around the world was essential to the development of dessert.

    Sugarcane was originally domesticated around 8000 B.C.E. in New Guinea, an island in the eastern Malay Archipelago, north of Australia.

    Originally, people chewed on the raw sugar cane stalks to enjoy the sweetness of the juice inside.

    From New Guinea, knowledge about sugarcane slowly spread east across Southeast Asia until it reached what is now India, where the first organized production of sugar began [source].

    Refined sugar appears around 500 B.C.E., when residents of India began to make sugar syrup from the cane juice.

    They heated, then cooled it to form crystals that were easier to store and transport than the cane juice. These crystals were called khanda, which is the source of the word candy.

    Sugar and sugarcane were traded, making sugar available to Macedonia by 300 B.C.E. and to China by 600 C.E.

    In the 6th century B.C.E., the Persians invaded India and marveled at the “reed which gives honey without the need for bees” [source].

    In the reign of Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.E., sugarcane reached the Middle East, where it became a crop.

    Sugar was little known and rare in Europe until the twelfth century or later, when the Crusades and then colonization spread its use.

    Europeans began to manufacture sugar in the Middle Ages, and as sugar became more affordable, more sweet desserts became available.

    In the Middle Ages in England, France, Italy, and other countries in Europe, dessert as a sweet course following a savory meal still didn’t exist.

    Medieval Europeans sweetened their food with honey up to the eleventh or twelfth century. When sugar arrived in 12th century Europe, it was so costly that only the wealthy could indulge, and usually on special occasions like banquets.

    There was still no tradition of a dessert to conclude a meal, either in Europe or other parts of the world [source].

    Yes, sweets were around: candied nuts and fruits, and other candies and confections.

    But even among the elaborate meals of the wealthy where there was plenty of sugar, there was little order to the incorporation of sugar in the procession of a meal—with an emphasis on order.

    At the banquet table, sweet cakes, pastries, custards, jellies, candied nuts, fruits and flowers, and other sweets were interspersed with the courses of meats, seafood and vegetables.

    These sweets served as palate cleansers between courses, and were believed to be effective digestive aids and fending off “dispelling wind,” as noted by one particularly eloquent 17th-century Frenchman [source].

    Perhaps most disturbing to modern palates, sugar was used as a seasoning for savory dishes!

    Sprinkling sugar on a stew or a cooked bird, or presenting a course of eel in marzipan or in sweet custard, were ways to flaunt one’s wealth.

    Sugar may not have been the tastiest garnish for savory foods, but it looked and tasted “rich,” if not particularly delicious.

    Like all trends, it wouldn’t last forever, but sugar in sweet dishes—cakes, custards, pies, puddings, etc.—remained a status symbol.

    And talk about status: The creation of large sugar sculptures to grace a feast was first created for a ball in honor of Henri III of France at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, in 1574.

    That’s a fortune in pricey sugar. (We’re guessing that after the banquets, it was recycled back into the kitchen.)

    We had to wait another century for the concept of dessert as a course began to emerge. Until then, let’s take a look at:

    From the late 15th century, shortly after Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America in the 15th century, sugarcane plantations were developed in the West Indies and then in South America, particularly in Brazil.

    Sugar became the top colonial commodity, planted and harvested by enslaved Africans. This sugar harvest supplied Europe.

    In 1757, beet sugar was discovered by Andreas Sigismund Marggraf of Berlin, who was a pioneer of analytical chemistry.

    But it was not turned into a financially viable crop.

    In the early 19th century, England enacted a blockade on sugar from the West Indies, following England’s abolishment of slavery.

    Napoleon ordered sugar beet to be grown on French soil. In 1811, the first economically viable sugar beet processing plant was built in France.

    European-grown beet sugar became affordable and widely consumed by the late 19th century [source].

    Now, back to dessert.

    According to Saveur, dessert as a distinct course may owe its birth to the salons that began in the late Renaissance, where people of culture and means would gather to drink tea and chat.

    Their chefs took the opportunity to prepare single-portion sweets to accompany the tea. Thus, èclairs, petit-fours and tartlets became popular—and an avenue to eat indulgent cakes and pastries outside of throwing a party.

    At the same time, a developing trend toward dinner service away from “service à la française,” French-style service, which involved setting a variety of dishes on the table at the same time, toward “service à la russe,” Russian-style service, which presents a meal in courses.

    Service à la russe often culminated in a final dessert dish of a small pastry with a cup of tea or coffee.

    The word “dessert” derives from the French word desservir, meaning “to clear the table.” The term first appears in the 16th century.

    It referred to a course that was served after the table had been cleared of other dishes.

    In France, this might have been a sweet course; but it should be noted that instead of a sweet ending to a daily meal, the French often ended their meal with a cheese course, with sweetness perhaps from fresh or dried fruits. Sweet baked desserts were often reserved for Sunday meals and special occasions.

    The first known use of the term “dessert” in English was in 1600. It appeared in a health education manual entitled “Naturall and artificial directions for health deriued from the best philosophers, as well moderne, as auncient” By William Vaughan, Master of Artes, and student in the ciuill law. Natural and Artificial Directions for Health, by William Vaughan.

    You can read parts of it here.

    Happy National Dessert Day!



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    Pickled Grapes Recipe & Uses–You’ll Love Them!

    [1] It’s easy to whip up a quart of pickled grapes for yourself or as a food gift (photo and recipe © Gelson’s Markets).

    [2] Green salad with pickled grapes. Here’s the recipe (photo © Taste | Australia).

    [3] Pickled grapes garnish a pork chop. Here’s the recipe (photo © Richard Hartog | Los Angeles Times).

    [4] Farro salad with pickled grapes, roasted radishes and green beans. Here’s the recipe (photo © Colavita).

    [5] Red grapes make a brighter ingredient, but you can pickle all three colors (photo © Good Eggs).


    There are so many juicy grapes in the stores now. In addition to table grapes—in case you’re not familiar with the term, it means, simply, fresh grapes served at the table for eating—how about some pickled grapes?

    Pickled fruits and vegetables (way beyond cucumbers) are a delicious way to add attractive garnishes to just about any dish.

    If you haven’t pickled anything at home, here’s the easy recipe to pickle your favorite fruits and vegetables.

    Your pickles will be ready in just an hour, although the longer they sit in their brine, the more flavors they develop.

    In the recipe below, all that’s required is a quick whisk-and-heat of the pickling liquid, then pour the liquids over the grapes in a quart jar.

    After an overnight stay in the fridge, the spicy pickled grapes are ready to:

  • Grace a cheese board.
  • Spice up a salad.
  • Add anise-y depth to a roasted chicken’s pan sauce.
  • Placed atop a protein (photo #3).
  • Mixed into a green salad (photo #2) or grain salad (photo #4).
  • As a plate garnish.
  • As a garnish on a pick.
  • Mix them into plain Greek yogurt as a sauce or for eating from the container.
    Pickled fruits and vegetables also shine as craft cocktail garnishes.

    If you usually choose a pickled onion or olive for your Martini, try pickled grapes.

    Although any grapes can be pickled, red grapes add the most color to your dish.

    Or, if it works for your purpose, pickle a selection of black, green and red grapes.

    Ideally, use seedless grapes.

    The grapes’ natural sweetness is complemented by a well-curated herb and spice mix that includes bay leaf, coriander, fennel, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and red pepper flakes.

  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound seedless red grapes, rinsed and drained
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ⅛ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1-quart canning jar or other large glass jar

    1. COMBINE in a medium saucepan the vinegars, sugar, salt, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking until the sugar and salt dissolve. Set aside to cool completely.

    2. COMBINE the remainder of the ingredients in a clean, 1-quart canning jar. Pour the cooled pickling liquid over the grapes and tightly seal the lid.

    3. REFRIGERATE for at least 8 hours, or overnight, to pickle. The pickles will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks.


  • Asian Chicken Salad
  • Frosted Grape Garnish
  • Frozen Black Grape Margarita
  • Grilled Grapes With Burrata
  • Grape Granita
  • Grape Polenta Olive Oil Cake
  • Grape Salsa
  • Heavenly Hash
  • How To Freeze Grapes For A Healthful Sweet Snack
  • Make Grape Ice Cubes For Drinks
  • Savory Cooking With Grapes
  • Tomato & Mozzarella Skewers With Grapes & Olives
  • 12 Delicious Ways To Use Grapes
  • White Gazpacho With Almonds & Grapes
  • Whole Grilled Fish With Minted Grape Relish


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    Honey Stinger Waffles: A Delicious High Energy Snack

    Honey Stinger waffle snacks were developed for athletes who need “the right fuel to meet every challenge.” We wouldn’t think that our couch-potato self would need a sports nutrition product, but Honey Stinger has become a “regular” in our life: in the morning with coffee, as an afternoon snack, and even with an ice cream dessert.

    The waffles are sweetened with organic honey, and also organic brown rice syrup and organic sugar (see more ingredients in the footnotes below).

    They’re energy waffles! And “waffle” refers to the pattern on the cookie (see the photos), chosen because of the honey ingredient. Honey Stingers are actually a flat, filled cookie.

    The waffles are made in conventional varieties that are wheat-based*, as well as gluten-free† varieties.

    The ingredients are based on research in endurance athletes that has proved that a mixture of carbohydrates prevents fatigue and enhances performance, more than a single carbohydrate form.

    The line is certified USDA Organic and certified kosher by KOF-K. Each waffle is individually wrapped for grab-and-go.
    Conventional Varieties

  • Chocolate Waffle
  • Cookies & Cream Waffle
  • Honey Waffle
  • Short Stack Waffle
  • Vanilla Waffle
    Gluten-Free Varieties

  • Cinnamon Gluten Free Waffle
  • Cookies & Cream Waffle Gluten Free Waffle
  • Salted Caramel Gluten Free Waffle
    We’ve had most of the flavors, and enjoyed all we’ve tried.

    The gluten-free varieties are just as tasty as the conventional varieties.

    Head to and take your pick.

    Honey Stinger waffles are also a nice gift for any friend who’s an athlete or otherwise can use a boost of energy (like us!).

    *Conventional variety ingredients: organic wheat flour, organic palm fruit oil, organic brown rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic honey, organic eggs, organic soy flour, sea salt, soy lecithin, organic rice extract, baking soda.

    †Gluten-free variety ingredients: gluten-free flour blend (organic rice flour, organic potato starch, organic tapioca flour), organic palm fruit oil, organic brown rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic eggs, organic soy flour, organic honey, sea salt, natural flavor, xanthan gum, baking soda, soy lecithin.


    [1] We start our day with coffee and an energy-loaded Honey Stinger waffle (all photos © Honey Stinger).

    [2] There are eight varieties of Honey Stinger waffles, including three gluten-free varieties.

    [3] Our current favorite flavor: Cookies & Cream.



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    Dulce de Leche Recipes For World Dulce de Leche Day

    [1] Homemade dulce de leche has only one ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. Here’s the recipe (photo © Karolina Kolodziejczak | Unsplash).

    [2] Dulce de leche is used as a spread and topping, as well as an ingredient in desserts (photo © Bruna Branco | Unsplash).

    White Chocolate Caramel Sauce
    [3] An easy way to serve dulce de leche: on ice cream (photo © Valrhona).


    October 11th is World Dulce de Leche Day, celebrating the caramel spread and sauce made by boiling heavy cream or milk with sugar, or sweetened condensed milk, sometimes with a dash of cinnamon. Cajeta is the Mexican word for dulce de leche that’s made with goat’s milk.

    Start with these two background articles:

  • Dulce de Leche vs. Caramel: The Difference
  • The History Of Dulce De Leche
    Then, take a gander* at these recipes:

  • Bananas Foster Crêpe Cake With Salted Dulce De Leche
  • Brioche French Toast With Dulce De Leche
  • Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
  • Dulce de Leche Crepe Cake
  • Dulce de Leche Rice Pudding
  • Homemade Dulce De Leche
  • Mascarpone Grilled Cheese With Dulce De Leche
  • Noche Bueno Dulce De Leche Cookies
  • Triple Caramel Popcorn Fudge With Dulce De Leche
  • Tres Leches Cake
    If you make ice cream, mix dulce de leche into chocolate, coffee or vanilla flavors.

    You don’t need to bake or cook to enjoy dulce de leche.

  • Use it as an ice cream topping or a parfait layer.
  • Use it as a spread on cookies or toast. Or s’mores!
  • Drizzle it over pancakes and waffles.
  • It’s an easy dessert sauce for angel food cake and pound cake.
  • It’s a dipping sauce for fruit.
  • Fill cream puff or tartlet shells.
  • Serve it as a condiment with aged cheeses.
  • Spread it on baked brie.
  • Add a dab to apple pie, plain or à la mode.
    When you need a sweet treat, grab a spoon and open a jar of dulce de leche!

    *Not exactly a Latin American term related to dulce de leche, but “take a gander” means to look at. It’s a slangy idiom dating from the early 1900s. It derives from the verb gander, which means “stretch one’s neck to see,” presumably alluding to the long neck of the male goose, or gander.



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