THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods


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PRODUCT: Last-Minute Gifts At Williams-Sonoma

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Hot chocolate in regular or mint—go for the mint.

Dashing through the snow (and we have plenty of it in the Northeast right now), we raced into Williams-Sonoma for some last-minute holiday gifts. There are plenty of good things to eat there. We had been to the store a week earlier, and had the opportunity to nibble on chocolatier Michael Recchiuti’s Champagne truffles (Recchiuti is a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week), some delicious Five Apple Cider with mulling spices and this lovely Mint Hot Chocolate, made from flakes of Guittard chocolate, one of the world’s finest (and noteworthy for making a chocolaty yet not-very-sweet beverage). You can see the difference between cocoa and hot chocolate in the photo. Hot chocolate is made from shaved chocolate bars, cocoa from ground cocoa powder. Guess which is richer! (Note that “rich” does not mean sweet and cloying.)
There are also cupcake mixes from Beverly Hills’ famous Sprinkles cupcake bakery—much more immediately gratifying than waiting in line at Sprinkles, even if you live in L.A. The Red Velvet is one of the best red velvet cake recipes we’ve had (it includes a frosting recipe that is equally delicious). Then, it was back out into the snow. Of course, we purchased an extra package of everything as our own treat for braving the elements on behalf of making the holidays happier (and tastier) for family and friends.

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CONTEST: The 2009 Avocado Video Bowl

If you have time on your hands over the holidays, you might want to pit your skills against other avocado lovers and create a short video that demonstrates your favorite way to enjoy the luscious green fruit (yes, avocados are a stone fruit—they grow on a tree, like peaches, plums and nectarines). You can create a half-time show, demonstrate your recipe, sing an avocado song or do “Romeo and Juliette” as avocados. The deadline to enter is January 8—so you can enjoy a lot of guacamole between now and then (and many other recipes that use avocado at AvocadoFiesta.com). If you have no creative talents, you can JUDGE and potentially win a cash prize. avocado-bowl1

Will your avocado video score a touchdown…and $5,000?

– The grand prize winner takes home $5,000.
– Four finalists win $1,000.
– All eligible entrants get a contest tee shirt.
– The VOTERS who vote for the winners are entered in a daily random drawing for $100. It’s about time the voters are eligible for something!

For more information and to enter, visit AvocadoFiesta.com.

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CONTEST: Win A Kitchen Makeover (Deadline December 31)

Pillsbury It may be a bleak holiday season with a lot of space in the stocking and under the tree, but if thoughts of a kitchen makeover would warm your hearth, you have until December 31, 2008 to enter the Pillsbury Make America Sweeter contest. Pillsbury invites you to share how you can make things a little sweeter with Pillsbury cake, brownies, quickbread, frostings or flours. You don’t have to submit a recipe—just share a story of 100 words or less and a photo or video that illustrates your story. The winner will receive a $5,000 kitchen makeover; runners-up will receive products from KitchenAid and Pillsbury. Perhaps best of all, a $5,000 donation will be made to Feeding America, to help feed Americans whose lives are truly bleak.

Submit your entry online at pillsburybaking.com/campaign.

Find brownie, cake cookie and pie recipes on TheNibble.com.

Dig into our Cake Glossary.

Take our Brownie Trivia Quiz.

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RECIPES: Chocolate Christmas Cakes

Wondering what to serve your guests for dessert on Christmas? Here, we have two holiday-themed cake recipes sure to impress. You can serve one on Christmas Eve and one Christmas Day.

The Black Forest Cake is a chocolate layer cake, with added layers of whipped cream and Kirsch-soaked morello cherries. The cake is then decorated with more whipped cream, morello or maraschino cherries, and chocolate curls or shavings. The cake layers are also soaked in a Kirsch syrup (although brandy or rum can be used). The spirits can also be omitted to make the cake more family-friendly.

The Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Cake is sure to make ‘em smile when you bring it out. Each slice of this fun cake looks like Rudolph. In fact, don’t be surprised if everyone breaks into a chorus of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Black Forest Cake Recipe
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Cake Recipe


Even Scrooge would start to sing “Rudolph
The Red-Nosed Reindeer” when served a
piece of this chocolate cake.

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FREEBIE: Morton’s The Steakhouse Cheeseburgers

If you’re doing holiday shopping this weekend in the vicinity of a Morton’s steakhouse—there are 80 worldwide—take a break from 5 to 6 p.m. for a complimentary mini-cheeseburger at the bar. You’ll be celebrating the 30th birthday of Morton’s The Steakhouse.

It’s the burger that started Morton’s. Co-founders Klaus Fritsch and Arnie Morton first worked together at the Playboy Club in Chicago. Klaus made his signature hamburger and sent it out for Arnie to taste. Morton proclaimed it the best hamburger he’d ever eaten. From that day, they started the business partnership that has become Morton’s The Steakhouse.

Check out THE NIBBLE’s burger tips.
Take our burger trivia quiz.
Not a beef person? Here’s a delicious chicken burger recipe.

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