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


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TIP OF THE DAY: “Diet” Oscars

It’s too easy to pile on the calories over a long evening of watching the Oscars. So eschew the nachos and feature some healthy snacks. For a “diet” menu, start with crudités and a nonfat yogurt and spinach dip (mix thawed, drained frozen spinach with dry vegetable or onion soup for seasoning). Move to chicken skewers with lots of mushrooms, peppers and onions. For dessert, get a jumbo fruit basket from Edible Arrangements: it’s great taste and glamour, all-in-one. Read our review of Edible Arrangements, and find other gourmet diet products in the Diet Nibbles section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Fruit Basket - Edible ArrangementsAn Edible Arrangements fruit basket.
 

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ENTERTAINING: Academy Award Nominee Cookies

Academy Award CookiesWho wouldn’t want to take a bite out of Johnny Depp?   Invite the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees to your Oscar party—at least, in cookie effigy. Every year, we spring for these cookies from Eleni’s, a New York City bakery that specializes in hand-decorated cookies in every conceivable design. They outdo themselves with their Academy Award cookies, creating a set of Best Actor and Best Actress cookies with great likenesses of the performers. The only downside: 16 of these cookies are about $60, plus shipping. But, sometimes fun doesn’t come cheap. Read our review of Eleni’s Cookies, and find our other favorite cookies and brownies in THE NIBBLE online magazine.
 

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Banana Bread Day

To celebrate National Banana Bread Day, we offer you two recipes:- Peanut Butter Banana Bread from our friends at P.B. Loco
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from acclaimed pastry chef Pichet Ong, formerly of the Jean Georges Vongerichten empire and now proprietor of P*ONG in New York CityThe one tip we can give when making banana bread is: use very ripe bananas. If your bananas are overripe, don’t thrown them out—make banana bread (or banana daiquiris). And if you’re making the chocolate chip recipe, buy the best-quality chocolate chips you can find.
  Chocolate Chip Banana BreadUse top-quality chocolate chips and very ripe bananas, and bake up a loaf of heaven.
 

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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Raising The [Chocolate] Bar

Chocolove Cherry Almond Chocolate BarChocolate, cherries, nuts.   Yesterday may have been George Washington’s actual birthday, but why not extend the celebration one more day and treat yourself to Chocolove’s Cherries and Almonds bar? It’s 55% cacao Belgian chocolate—a semisweet chocolate not far over the borderline between milk and dark, so milk chocolate lovers can enjoy it too. It’s available at many fine retailers; or you can buy them online. Get enough to share—you’ll be very popular. Read our review of Chocolove. The Orange Peel, Raspberry and Crystallized Ginger chocolate bars also rock.
 

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NEW PRODUCT: Aerosol Pancake “Batter Blaster”

When we first saw Batter Blaster, we reacted viscerally: We don’t like things in aerosol cans. And the thought of pancake batter spraying out of one evoked images of aerosol cheese. But, don’t judge a product by its cover: This pancake mix is USDA-certified organic, which means that everything in that can is better than all natural. The main ingredients are filtered water, organic wheat flour, organic cane sugar, organic whole egg solids, organic soybean powder and sea salt. The environmentally-conscious will be pleased to know that Batter Blaster is powered by the more ozone layer-friendly carbon dioxide, not the nitrous oxide propellant that can be found in most aerosol canisters. You can point the nozzle to create any shape pancake you wish: your initials, flowers, squiggles.

  Batter Blaster Aerosol Pancake BatterPancakes shoot from the nozzle of Batter Blaster.
Beyond breakfast, you can make mini pancake canapés with goat cheese, smoked salmon and fresh dill, or crème fraîche and caviar. An 18-ounce can, good for about 28 four-inch pancakes, retails for $4.99 to $5.99 (one poster to the website claims 12 pancakes). Thirty-two ounces of powdered pancake mix is less than half that. But Batter Blaster is no muss, no fuss and lots of fun. Because it is a refrigerated product, there are currently no mail orders, and it is only available on the West Coast and in Meijer Stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. The company anticipates national distribution by July 2008, so get your nozzle finger ready. In the interim, read about our favorite pancakes and waffles in THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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