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


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TIP OF THE DAY: Gadget Gifts

If you have a favorite kitchen gadget, give it as a gift. It may seem small, but if it does a big job, the recipient will be grateful to have it (our friends were thrilled to get those inexpensive garlic-peeler tubes). To make it a more important gift, package it with the food it’s meant to help—e.g., the garlic peeler with imported French garlic or a silicone barbecue brush with gourmet barbecue sauce. Click here to see some of our favorite gadgets…and some of our favorite barbecue sauces…in THE NIBBLE online magazine. For more gift ideas, see our Gift-Finder section. By the way, the Blender Bottle, shown in the photo at the right, has proven to be a godsend in making scrambled eggs, pancakes, diet shakes from powdered packages and anything else that needs to be fluffed or dissolved. It’s the best $8.99 we’ve ever spent!   Blender BottleWe couldn’t live without our Blender Bottle. Read the review.
 

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REVIEW: School House Kitchen Condiments

School House Kitchen Condiments
The yummiest mustard we’ve had all year.
  Of the thousands of products we have reviewed, perhaps this is the first sold by a not-for-profit organization that was established specifically for the purpose of generating money for education. Hence the name, School House Kitchen. Fortunately, this school house had a good “cooking program,” because the vinaigrette, chutney and mustard are excellent. If you like bottled vinaigrettes, Balsamic Vinaigrette Basico is a sweet, rich dressing with peppery undertones that is perfect over mixed greens or vegetables or as a marinade. Bardshar Chutney sits in an interesting space between sweet and savory chutneys, and as such is versatile to accompany just about anything. It has dark, sophisticated flavors as well as a perky fruitiness. Sweet Smooth Hot Mustard (shown at left) has a touch of sugar and an original creaminess from the unique addition of butter.
Your sandwiches will love you, as will anything else this mustard touches (you can eat it from the jar, it’s so good). The ladies at School House Kitchen teach a good lesson: Create products that make the grade. Read the full review in THE NIBBLE online magainze.

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REVIEW: Chukar Cherries Gourmet Brownie Mix & Pie Filling

Chukar knows cherries. The company specializes in cherry products. We’ve previously reviewed their lovely preserves, toppings and barbecue sauces and scrumptious dried cherries. How would they do with baking mixes? Much better than other mixes we’ve tried! If you want to whip up a batch of Black Forest Brownies (chocolate chips and dried cherries) that taste homemade, just add butter and eggs. If you’re set on making a cherry pie, cobbler or tart, this is the cherry filling to use (you’ll never be able to look at a can of that supermarket pie filling again). We also used the cobbler filling in crepes, omelets, with a pork roast and to top ice cream. The products are all natural and certified kosher. Read the full review in THE NIBBLE online magazine. And learn more about the charming cherry in our Cherry Facts article, which includes a Cherry Tiramisu recipe that would taste even better with Chukar Cherries cobbler filling.   Cherry Pie

Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy boy? In a cinch, with scrumptious Cherry Cobbler Filling from Chukar Cherries.
 

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TIP OF THE DAY

Cocoa RimmerThe same rimmers used for chocolate martinis can be used for cocoa.   December 12th is National Cocoa Day. Take your presentation to the next level with cocoa rimmers, which add an extra touch of flavor and a festive look to the cup. There are rimmers just for cocoa, but cocktail rimmers for chocolate martinis, espresso martinis, peppermintinis and orange blossoms are essentially the same product. Or, make your own rimmers by grinding peppermint, chocolate or coffee hard candies to a fine gravel. You can mix the flavors or keep them separate. Then, just moisten the rim of the cup or mug with water (use a wet paper towel to get an even application), dip it on a plate of rimmer powder to coat, add the cocoa and serve. Yes, you certainly can top it with whipped cream and sprinkles! See more nifty cocoa ideas, guaranteed to make yours the go-to house for cocoa. Also, read the difference between cocoa and hot chocolate.

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REVIEW: BevWizard Wine Smoother

How many times have you opened a bottle of wine to find it tough, tannic, yielding no fruit? Maybe you drank it anyway, maybe you set it aside and opened another bottle, hoping for a better experience. BevWizard is hoping to give you a better experience the first time around. It’s a $28 gadget that claims to soften red and white wines and make them fruitier. If your wine is too hard, too tannic, too acidic, just snap the pouring spout onto the bottle, pour the wine through it, and it will be altered into a better state by the magnets inside, so say the manufacturers. In some cases, we found that it works. In our tests, it softened and brought out the fruit in reds that were 6 years or under. In the case of Barolo, it softened the tannins but we didn’t like the result. If you like gadgets and experimenting, you may want a BevWizard of your own. Read the results of our tests in the full review, in the Wine Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   BevWizard

In some cases, the BevWizard pouring spout can help snatch victory from the glass of defeat.
 

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