Green & Black’s organic chocolate welcomes a new member to the family: Toffee, a bouncing 34% milk chocolate bar with crunchy pieces of (of course, organic) toffee. It’s a devilishly good combination, and we have yielded to temptation. But there’s even better news:
G & B has recently introduced special bags featuring 23 individually wrapped bite-size pieces of delicious organic chocolate. The bags are available in the solid Milk or Dark 70% discs at retailers such as CVS, Target and Rite Aid across the country. Nine discs equate to 1.4 ounces of chocolate (220 calories), but you can have half as many (or just one or two) and be satisfied. They’re perfect for that tiny indulgence, and much better to accompany that cup of coffee or tea than a Danish or muffin (much as we love those, too). For more information, visit GreenandBlacks.com.
Move over, Butterball, there’s a new hotline in town. For the third year, The Crisco Pie Hotline is helping bakers in “knead” of a little pie baking advice. Last year’s most commonly asked questions were:
-“How do I prevent the bottom of my pumpkin pie crust from becoming soggy?” -“How long can I freeze my unbaked fruit pie?” -“Can you give me step-by-step instructions for making a pie crust?”
With help from the Crisco Pie Pros, even a beginner can bake a pie with confidence. Just call 1-877-FOR PIE TIPS (toll free), to speak with a live expert about your particular pie challenge, or to ask general questions, including the latest baking and storage tips and time-saving hints—including recorded winning tips from the 2008 APC Crisco National Pie Championship’s amateur champions.
Perfect pies are a call or a click away.
Pie lovers can also visit Pie Centralat www.crisco.com to find useful videos with troubleshooting tips, step-by-step visual instructions to create delicious pie crusts and simple, yet tasty recipes using seasonal ingredients.
And speaking of Pie Lovers…if you’re not a current fan of Pushing Daisies, an ABC comedy about our favorite pie maker, Wednesdays at 8 p.m., please give it a try. This delightful show about love, supernatural gifts, pies and a weekly murder mystery, is in danger of being canceled! Learn more at Pushing-Daisies.com and abc.go.com/primetime/pushingdaisies.
Debrito’s, a NIBBLE Top Pick, makes
gourmet candy apples with top notch
ingredients. Read the review.
Our farmer’s markets are brimming with tempting apple varieties, and we’re enjoying more than one apple a day. Beyond a snack fruit, it’s easy to work apples into daily meals. Here are a baker’s dozen of ideas.
1. Lightly saute apple wedges and serve them with eggs, pancakes, oatmeal and other breakfast foods. Toss in some nuts, raisins and other dried fruits, too. You can serve this dish as a side with dinner as well. 2. Bake apples into muffins and breads. 3. Try a Waldorf salad, the classic apple salad, and go light on the mayo. 4. Make chicken salad with large chunks of chicken and apples. Add walnuts, pecans or almonds. 5. Add thin slices to a ham, chicken or turkey sandwich.
6. Applesauce is a great side with poultry or pork, and homemade applesauce is infinitely superior to the commercial product. We use McIntosh apples (Braeburns or Fujis work, too) and cook them with skins on, which gives the applesauce a beautiful, rosy color. Use a food mill to puree and remove the skins after cooking. Homemade applesauce is also a delectable dessert, with a small stream of heavy cream. 7. Stuff a pork roast with apples. 8. Serve apples with cheese, as a dessert course. Cheddar, Stilton and Roquefort are some of our favorite pairings. For the kids, make Cheddar and apple skewers. 9. Make apple sorbet. 10. Dip fresh apple slices in warm caramel sauce. It’s an adult riff on a caramel apple. 11. There’s nothing better than a warm, homemade apple pie or crumble. Our mother’s is the best (unless your mother’s is). She prefers tart apples like Winesaps, when she can find them, or else Granny Smiths. We prefer streusel to crust, so love to make crumbles. 12. Baked apples are terrific, whether warm from the oven or cold from the fridge. Try them with fresh goat cheese or goat’s milk yogurt, for dessert or for breakfast. 13. Serve an apple dessert course of four or six different varieties of apple. Give everyone slices of each (an apple slicer is helpful here). Discuss the different flavor profiles.
Enjoy apples while they’re freshly-harvested. While apples are available throughout the winter, you’re buying fruit that’s been put in cold storage. It loses its flavor and texture every day it’s off the tree.
Look for serving pieces that double as objets d’art. Bowls, pitchers and trays fall into this category: You can showcase them all year as room decor, then put them to use as needed during formal dinners. If you like to collect and have more items than room to display them, rotate pieces on a schedule so family and visitors will enjoy different pieces of your collection. If you want to read more, check out our article, “Fun With Tabletop.”
These blown glass pitchers from Orbitz
will make any table setting look
beautiful. Read The Nibble’s review
Readers of THE NIBBLE know of our devotion to the plain, 0% fat FAGE Total Greek Yogurt. We eat it daily, sometimes with sweetener, sometimes plain, sometimes with cereal, sometimes with fruit or farmer cheese. (We prefer farmer cheese to cottage cheese—it’s a dry curd product like pot cheese, made in a loaf and sold in 8-ounce slices, or in specialty stores cut to order from the loaf. We like the Friendship brand, with salt.) We enjoy different yogurt brands throughout the day—usually fruit-flavored ones as dessert. But one deserves a special shoutout: Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, made by Stonyfield. It tastes very much like a light-flavored sour cream, with all the body and thickness of sour cream. And the 0% fat Oikos is only 130 calories for an entire cup (8 calories/tablespoon), compared to 480 calories/cup (30 calories/tablespoon) for sour cream. The entire line is 0% fat, and includes Blueberry, Honey and Vanilla flavors, plus Plain, in 5.3-ounce cups. We haven’t gotten to the fruit flavors yet.
Oikos isn’t cheap (our local store charges $5.99 for 16 ounces, compared to $4.69 for 16 ounces of FAGE Total), but you can get a $1.00 coupon on the OikosOrganic.com website for the 16-ounce and 5.3-ounce sizes. And what’s money when you could lavish an entire cup of “sour cream” on your baked potato, chili or salmon caviar (if you wanted to be so extravagant) for just 130 fat-free calories? We tested Oikos next to Cabot Fat Free Sour Cream, which is the best fat-free sour cream we know of (10 calories/tablespoon, $2.69 per 16 ounces at our store, also OU(D) certified kosher). We prefer Oikos for the “sour cream effect.” For the record, FAGE Total 0% Fat, which has a sweeter profile than Oikos, is 120 calories/cup, 7.5 calories/tablespoon.
Oikos is USDA-certified organic as well as OU(D) kosher-certified.