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THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS: Cupcakes & Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Beer

You haven’t gotten your Valentine anything yet? Avoid the mobs at the chocolate stores and head for the nearest bakery. If you’d planned ahead, places like Magnolia Bakery in New York City would have already delivered cupcakes to your loved one(s), but it’s too late for that now. See if you can call ahead and have the wrapped box waiting at the pick-up counter. Barring that, hire an unemployed pal to do the standing for you, so he or she can earn some bucks to buy Valentine cupcakes, too.

Then, track down some Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock (a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week). This beer, made with Scharffen Berger chocolate nibs goes great with cupcakes. We bought ours at a Whole Foods Market. A 750ml bottle is about $20.00, but much more memorable than Champagne. If you want Champagne to go with the cupcakes, be sure it’s a sec or demi-sec, a sweeter-vinified Champagne. Dry Champagnes are not meant to go beyond the main course, except perhaps with a nice triple-crème cheese course.

Read our review of Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

KegWorks.com (Dot Com Holdings of Buffalo, Inc)

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NEWS: O.J. Has Bigger Carbon Footprint Than Water

According to the U.K.’s Carbon Trust consultancy, Tropicana has revealed that the carbon footprint of a liter of its Pure Premium orange juice—including packaging, distribution and orange growing and squeezing—emits 0.9kg of carbon dioxide. Thirty five percent of the emissions come from the fertilizer used to grow the oranges; the fertilizer alone is responsible for more CO2 emissions than the bottled water. Recent calculations put the carbon emissions of a liter bottle of Fiji Water, produced in Fiji and shipped to the United States, at 0.25kg. In addition, about seven times the amount of water inside the bottle is wasted in production and transport.

That’s food for thought for those of us who have cut back on bottled water to help save the planet. If each food product we buy had greenhouse gas labeling in addition to nutrition labeling, we’d probably be shocked more often than not…and make other choices, just as we have thanks to nutrition labeling.

Carbon Trust was set up by the British government in 2001 as an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by working with organizations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.

Read more about bottled water in our Bottled Water Section.

Shop FIJI Water Today!

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VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS: VDay Minus 1 ~ Coeur A La Crème

Couldn’t find a heart-shaped cheese? Then run to the nearest specialty housewares store (including Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma) for a heart-shaped mold with drainage holes, and make your Valentine the classic French cheese dessert, coeur a la crème. It’s made with only the most delicious ingredients: mascarpone, heavy cream and a touch of Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur). Add some raspberry purée and some fresh raspberries for décor, and it’s guaranteed to inspire feelings of love—hopefully for you.

– Get the recipe for coeur a la crème.

Shop igourmet.com

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RECIPES: Oscar Party Cocktails

Need some special recipes to make your Oscars party more memorable? 10 Cane Rum has come to the rescue, with these contenders for your vote. 10 Cane is a light rum with enough complexity to be sipped straight, like a fine spirit. So those at your party who don’t like mixed drinks can enjoy it straight up, or on the rocks as they watch the Academy Awards.

Slumdog Millionaire Mojito

– 1-1/2 ounces rum
– 1/2 ounce simple syrup
– 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
– 8 to 10 mint leaves
– Splash of Champagne or other sparkling wine
– Garnish with mint sprig

10 Cane Rum
Directions: Place simple syrup and mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass. Press gently with a muddler. Fill with cracked ice. Add rum and lime juice. Stir gently and top off with Champagne. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Revolutionary Road Rum

– 1 ounce rum
– 3/4 ounce blood orange puree
– 1/2 ounce citrus-infused simple syrup
– Garnish with lime-mint foam, or sprig of mint and lime wheel

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with lime-mint foam. Created by Anna Kimball, Rum Socialite, Chicago .

Benjamin Button’s Age Reverser

– 2 ounces rum
– 1 ounce pomegranate juice (see our favorite pomegranate juices)
– 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
– Dash simple syrup
– Garnish with pomegranate seeds or lemon peel twist

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, combine. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds or lemon twist.

Harvey’s Rum & Milk

– 1-1/4 ounces rum
– 2 ounces pineapple juice
– 1 ounce coconut milk
– 1/2 ounce orange juice
– 1/2 ounce dark rum

Directions: Combine rum, pineapple juice, coconut milk and orange juice into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour all contents into a highball glass. Top with a float of dark rum.

Best Cocktail in a Supporting Role

– 2 ounces rum
– 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
– 2 tablespoons honey

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir until honey has dissolved completely. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice.

50% Off Sugar Free Single-Serving Packets- 16 per Box for $3.50

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VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS: VDay Minus 2 ~ Heart-Shaped Cheeses

Ash-covered goat cheese from Coeur Du Berry.

Give cheese lovers a gift of heart-shaped cheese. They’re not just charming—they taste great!

Or make the classic French cheese dessert, coeur a la crème. It’s made in a heart-shaped mold from mascarpone, heavy cream and a touch of Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur). It inspires feelings of love.

Shop igourmet.com

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