Archive for the ‘Experiments’ Category

The Almond Breeze Blew In Just When I Was Craving Hot Chocolate.

November 28th, 2010 No comments

Nibbles of Tidbits is asked to try a lot of products — Some immediately interest us and others we’re not so sure about.  Since we can’t, nor want to try ’em all, we choose to try food products we’re curious about, that are unique, that we think we’ll like, or because it’s offered/provided at the right time.  If we report about a product, it’s guaranteed to be honest, good or bad, rain or shine, although good, shiny days are preferred. 😉

In this instance, I wasn’t quite sure about trying Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze, a Non-Dairy Beverage made from real Almonds — I’m a hard core Milk drinker and the thought of Almond Breeze as a drink scared me.  I thought it would taste too sweet, but it’s not.

This product arrived timely in that I’d been wanting homemade Hot Chocolate and Almond Breeze came with an Almond Hot Chocolate recipe.  The stars aligned.  In addition, I love nuts (all kinds) and have purchased many Blue Diamond products over the years.  Their quality has been consistent.

I prepared the Almond Hot Chocolate by pouring hot (microwaved) Almond Breeze over Milk Chocolate Chips and powdered Cocoa (approx. 2 cups Almond Breeze, 6oz. Chocolate and 1 tsp. Cocoa) — Their official recipe is linked here.

Pour the hot Almond Breeze (or Milk) over the Chocolate Chips and Cocoa.

Prepare in individual cups with desired amount of Chocolate or in bulk to fill many cups.

Stir until Chocolate Chips are melted and Cocoa is blended.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Almond Hot Chocolate in a cup from my Great Grandma Moore.

The combination of ingredients makes a rich, luxurious Hot Chocolate and the hint of Almond puts it over the top — It adds a nice, toasted flavor.  Cheers to all my loving Grandmas!

Almond Breeze makes an excellent Hot Chocolate.  The taste of it alone was surprisingly good, as it’s not sweet — I actually liked it.

It’s noted that Almond Breeze can be substituted, cup for cup in many recipes, which sounds exciting, but it appears it’s not true when it comes to the basic Minute Tapioca recipe.  Its preparation with Almond Breeze didn’t work, as it never firmed up properly and remained too runny.  The Almond garnish sank — Bummer!  It tasted good warm and perhaps cold it could be served as a boba drink, not.

Overall, we’re nutty about this product discovery.

Have You Had Your Grapple Of The Day (Or Ever)? It’s A Different Way.

November 22nd, 2010 4 comments

Have you heard of, seen or tried a Grapple yet?  I first saw them on Unwrapped.  They’re Washington Extra Fancy Gala or Fuji Apples that are infused with a concentrated Grape flavor.  It’s said that Grapples look like an Apple, but taste like a Grape, and is described to have the sweet distinctive flavor of a Concord Grape with the crispness of a fresh Apple.  Chef Lexi (below) from Kids in the Kitchen gives ’em a try.

And the verdict is in… Lexi and the tastin’ gang behind the camera (5 of us) were unanimous — The Apples were indeed fresh and tasted like Grape, but the Grape flavor unexpectedly tasted artificial.  Its scent and taste was reminiscent of purple, Grape flavored Candy or Soda, not that of a true Concord Grape, as we were hoping.

Since we’re always interested in different things, we had to try a Grapple.  They’re definitely of premium quality, but we didn’t fall in love with their flavor.  Regardless, we appreciate trying unique foods — It’s a fun time.

Cookin’ Around An Open Fire And Dog Walking With Cheese Puffs.

November 14th, 2010 No comments

Been camping in South Carlsbad, but will soon post our final wrap up of the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival and back log of reports that’s ensued.  It’s all good.

Cooking Hot Dogs over the camp fire while the sun sets over South Carlsbad.


Running through the Seagulls hoping for a few things not to happen.

Creative dog walking with a Cheese Puff and fishing pole — No hook. 🙂

Inspiring a lazy dog to walk.

It worked, but not for very long.

Wake up Maggie got it.

Painted rocks in South Carlsbad.  Nibbles of Tidbits left a special message on a rock — Find it and describe and we’ll send you a prize.  Good luck!

Another sunset on a mini vacation.

Taco Dawg Critics Dinner 2010: The OC’s Original Mobile Food Restaurant.

October 28th, 2010 No comments

Taco Dawg will be serving up new menu items starting this Halloween in celebration of their one-year anniversary.  Taco Dawg is a gourmet food truck (a popular food option these days) that puts a spin on two classics — Tacos and Hot Dogs, hence the name.  We recently tried a few at Taco Dawg’s Critics Dinner 2010.  Thank you Taco Dawg!  We were happily impressed with the new and featured menu items.

All may try the pictured items for the first time on October 31st, somewhere in Irvine by day, then at the Spooktacular in Orange that evening.  Note: Since it is a truck, it’s best to follow Taco Dawg on Twitter to obtain their exact location.  To learn the names of the Tasting Menu items soon to debut, hover over each photo.  Starting from the top is the Taco Papa and above is The Samurai, my favorite — We all loved its Miso Caramelized Glaze.

Above is The Hipster, Taco Dawg’s first Vegetarian Taco, made with Portobello Mushrooms, Chipotle Sauce, Grilled Onions, Jack Cheese and Romaine Lettuce.

We appreciated the Beer and Wine and met cool new friends, including Taco Dawg.

OMGosh, we ate so much at this Critics Dinner.  It was on to the Hot Dogs, then back to the Tacos.  We tried The Reuben Dawg (above) and The Dirty Dawg  (below) that’s piled with Homemade Chili, Nacho Cheese, Crumbled Potato Chips and Onions — Both are made with an all Beef Hot Dog.

Continuing on, we tried The Big City Dawg (below).

And The Cuban (below), thought to possibly be the best item of the night, at least at our table — It’s a Taco variation of a Cuban Sandwich that includes a combination of Ham, Pickles, Swiss Cheese and traditional flavors.  The Cuban is the featured item of the month.  Each month, Taco Dawg will feature a special item that’s not on the menu.

It all ended with a miniature version of their Apple Taco — It was good, but thank God it was small, since we already ate so much.  Barely had enough room.

To learn more about Taco Dawg and the pictured Tacos and Dawgs, visit and here — Their site will be relaunched next month, so check back for that.  Follow Taco Dawg on Twitter to learn their exact whereabouts.

The Easiest Belgian Waffles In The World (Or) Luxurious French Toast?

October 3rd, 2010 1 comment

Hurry, hurry, step right up to see the ‘Easiest Belgian Waffles in the World’ (or wannabes).  The pictured Lemon Luxury Waffles were created for another contest, blah, blah, blah — I’m now up against the last hour deadline, thus there’s no time to explain.  See an earlier entry here for more information.  All week I’d been working on recipe creations using Nature’s Pride 100% Whole Wheat Bread and this was a favorite!

They’re named Lemon Luxury Waffles because it’s a luxury that they’re so easy to make and they taste luxurious with Lemon Zest throughout the recipe.  The above is a mixture of 1 Egg, 1 tsp. of Vanilla and Sugar (each) and 1/4 tsp. of Lemon Zest.  It makes 2 – 3 Waffles using Nature’s Pride Bread (cut into the largest circles possible) and a Belgian Waffle Maker

The warm Waffles are topped with fresh Whipped Cream (1 Cup) that’s beat with Powdered Sugar (2 -3 tbsp.) and 1/8 tsp. of Lemon Zest (or just a pinch).

If you don’t have a Belgian Waffle Maker, any will do.

Luxury Lemon Waffles are made similar to French Toast, without turning.  Cut the Bread into the largest rounds possible, then dip each into the above mixture before placing rounds on the Waffle Maker.  Cook until done throughout and golden brown.  Plate and top with the Lemon Zest Cream.  Garnish with a slice of Lemon Rind, Mint Leaf, or pretty Lemon Candy of some sort — I didn’t have the time or resources to jazz this one up, thus opted for available Lemon Rind.

I wasn’t sure if this recipe would work, but it did and beautifully — And the Lemon Zest makes it extra special tasting, kinda like old fashioned homemade Ice Cream.  These Lemon Luxury Waffles were terrific.  I hope I covered it all.  If any questions, just ask.

Moroccan La La Land: Kefta With Eggs And Tomato For Brunch.

September 26th, 2010 12 comments

The challenge continues in Morocco, where I’ve mentally traveled the past few days.  As a lucky contender still kicking my way through Project Food Blog, I’m now asked to “tackle a classic dish from another culture” that’s “outside [my] comfort zone” — I can’t wait!  I’m excited to advance to Challenge #2.  Thank you judges, voters, God, family and friends.

During international cookbook immersion, a spark ignited for Kefta with Eggs and Tomato.  I had sought to find a dish we really wanted to eat, one that had unique ingredients, yet not a ridiculous amount, and one that didn’t take too long to make, and it had to be colorful — I initially thought about Rogan Josh, but it didn’t pass the color test.  Another time for that.  Selecting an “ethnic classic” I wasn’t familiar with led me on a journey, as the prompt likely intended.  Before understanding my chosen dish, I thought I’d be dining in the Middle East, then came to realize that I’d actually be in North Africa, most specifically Morocco having the pictured Kefta with Eggs and Tomato for supper with Moroccan friends.  It’s also a classic brunch dish and it’s served as a snack at bus and train stations in between both destinations.

Kefta with Eggs and Tomato (with Ras El Hanout) is pin-pointedly Moroccan and satisfies all self-imposed and set standards of this challenge.  What’s Ras El Hanout?  Last week I had no clue and I’m still not sure how to pronounce it, but now know what it is.  After calling all over town to purchase it off the shelf, I learned one jar was available 40 miles away.  At that moment I realized that it wasn’t necessary to drive there, since [it] is a somewhat subjective spice — Meaning Ras El Hanout is not one spice.  It’s sold in countless spice variations. 

In Arabic, Ras El Hanout means “top of the shop” and refers to the best spices a seller has to offer.  It usually contains no less than a dozen spices and sometimes up to a hundred.  It’s also believed to be an aphrodisiac.  Does it mean that each Ras El Hanout combination magically morphs into an aphrodisiac?  I’m not sure about that, but it’s fun to wonder about.  Since I had all ingredients on hand, I made my own Ras El Hanout to find out.  I found several recipes on the web and chose one that sounded best to me.  I halved the recipe and added two ingredients that were common in similar recipes.  Nibbles of Tidbits’ Ras El Hanout Recipe is posted here:

1 Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Ginger
1 Teaspoon of Turmeric
1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon of Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon of Red Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Saffron Threads
1/2 Teaspoon of Cardamom
1/4 Teaspoon of Cloves
1/8 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon

Toast and grind spices if whole, then combine all and keep in an airtight container.  I reused a saved spice jar and slapped a new label over it. 

Kefta is basically ground meat, most commonly Lamb and/or Beef that’s mixed with a variety of herbs and spices — It’s then formed into balls, sticks or loaves, and grilled, fried or baked, etc.  The recipe made here is based on one from The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook (pg. 103).  I stayed true to authenticity, yet made it a little tastier by caramelizing the Onions before adding them to the Meatball mixture, and easier by baking them instead of frying ’em.  In addition, I added Garlic, as seen in many Moroccan Kefta recipes, and I used fresh Tomatoes instead of canned.  Nibbles of Tidbits’ Kefta with Eggs and Tomato Recipe is posted here:

1 lb. of Ground Lamb
1 small chopped Sweet Onion
1 Cup of Bread Crumbs
4 – 5 Eggs
1 large minced Garlic Clove
6 large fresh chopped Tomatoes
2 + 1 Teaspoon(s) of Ras El Hanout
1/4 Cup of chopped fresh Cilantro
1/2 Cup of Water* (1/4 + 1/4)
Flat Leaf Parsley (chopped), a little for Sauce and garnish
Salt and freshly ground Pepper
Olive Oil for baking sheet and Onion sauté

Sauté Onion until caramelized.  Add Garlic, cook two minutes longer and set aside.  Combine the Lamb, Bread Crumbs, 1 Egg, Ras El Hanout (2 tsps.), Onions and Garlic, Cilantro and S & P.  Mix together well, then add Water, 1/4 cup at a time until incorporated.  Form into medium sized Meatballs and bake in a preheated 400° oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  

* Adding Water or Milk to a Meatball recipe lightens them up, whereas they cut like butta.  There’s no reason for a Meatball to be tough, unless you’re a biker named One Tough Meatball.

To make the Sauce, combine the Tomatoes, Sugar, reserved Ras El Hanout (1 tsp.) and a handful of Flat Leaf Parsley.  Simmer until reduced, then add the baked Meatballs to the Sauce.  Form 3 – 4 wells for the Eggs.  Crack ’em directly into the skillet, cover and cook until Eggs are set.  Serve straight from the skillet with Crusty Bread.

For continued authenticity, we served the Kefta with Sweet Mint Green Tea, Orange Juice and Olives, popular beverages and a snack in Morocco.  I properly mixed the Tea too.

Kefta with Eggs and Tomato turned out to be a flavorful, hearty and beautiful dish.  For this challenge, I read 15 – 20 recipes to create an adaptation that kept the dish authentic, yet made it easier to prepare and better to eat.  I can’t help it — It’s all I know. 🙂

Could this post be worthy of (1) of your (200) votes?  I hope so!  I’m exhausted, yet still wanting to line up standby guests for the Discovery Dinner Party, in the event there’s reason to celebrate.  My brain is on the last flight back from Morocco.

You may VOTE FOR ME here.

Why Do I Want To Try This?

September 9th, 2010 No comments

I’m pondering why I want to try this?  It looks kinda cool.  No disrespect to Eggs or Chickens or God, although what’s worse than eating ’em?  I do that.  Hhhhmmm, too deep right now and a downer topic for a food blog — Instead, check out more unique, interesting and funny food photos and videos at My Food Looks Funny.  They’ve collected some good stuff.

Art For A Fruit Platter Or Breakfast: A Dolphin Banana.

September 4th, 2010 No comments

I recently saw a Dolphin Banana on a party fruit platter and was compelled to make the same out of this morning’s Banana and a Spinach Leaf.  It’s not bad for a first attempt, but I think its nose is a (little) too short — Either way it made for an entertaining breakfast.  Try it.

Eating Tips And Zegerid, Another OTC Option That Seems To Work Well.

July 7th, 2010 No comments

A Food Blogger who suffers from occasional heartburn is not a good thing.  Well, it happens and over the past (10) years or so I’ve tried many over the counter medicines to help remedy the situation.  It’s why I agreed to try Zegerid OTC, one of the newer related medications to the market.  I also found their offered tips (below) to be helpful and thus wanted to share them with you here.  Dr. Michael Rahmin, a Gastroenterologist at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey recommends the following TIPS for a healthier, happier BBQ season:

· Don’t Overdo It.  Smaller, more frequent meals help optimize the digestive process.  Eating big portions can put more pressure on your stomach and lead to heartburn.  Remember that the next BBQ is probably around the corner so be reasonable about portion sizes.

· Watch Out for Triggers.  If you are prone to heartburn, be cautious when considering certain foods that are known to cause problems, including caffeinated drinks, alcohol, chocolate and spicy, fatty foods.  Barbecue alternatives to consider include lower-fat dogs instead of traditional beef hot dogs, or make your burgers withlean ground turkey.  With the right condiments it’s hard to tell the difference.  Since all stomachs are not created equal, also be aware of your own personal triggers and try to cut back or at least avoid them late in the evening.

· Let Gravity Help.  Although that hammock may be calling your name, keep away after a big meal.  To help your food digest properly, stay in an upright position rather than lying down after you eat.  The natural force of gravity helps with the digestive process.

· Keep your Medicine Cabinet Stocked.  If you are a frequent heartburn sufferer, try an over-the-counter (OTC) medication like Zegerid OTCTM, an OTC proton pump inhibitor (PPI).  PPIs work by deactivating acid-producing pumps in the stomach, offering 24-hour relief of frequent heartburn with one dose per day.  For more information and tips to avoid heartburn, visit

Review NOTE:  I tried this product for a month.  It appears to work well, but I’m unable to say if it’s better than all the other OTC heartburn medications out there.  We certainly appreciate the opportunity to try it and will be adding it to our repertoire of digestive remedies.  Although I only suffer from occasional heartburn, Zegerid OTC is indicated for frequent heartburn sufferers with issues 2 or more times a week.

Ever Consider Making Your Own Pop-Tarts?

June 23rd, 2010 No comments

I never considered making my own Pop-Tarts until contacted with the idea, then thought it’d be fun to give it a try.  The pictured Pop-Tart was indeed good, but questionably worth the work.  With respect to Pop-Tarts, I’d rather grab one out of the box and put it in the toaster oven.  This one tasted like dessert — A scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream would’ve been right on with it.

I followed the Pop-Tart recipe forwarded to me and used the best Raspberry Preserves I could find.  It’s suggested that one simply use their favorite Pie Crust recipe along with the best, thick Preserves to create the ultimate Pop-Tart.  The recipe used to make the pictured Pop-Tart was thought to be a little too buttery for breakfast, but yummy for a desserty-ish treat.

Overall, it’s fun to make homemade Pop-Tarts once.  It’s decided that we’d prefer to make a Pie rather than multiple Pop-Tarts.  It’s less work and nicely cooked packaged Pop-Tarts are good enough.

Chef Kristine Subido’s Breakfast/Nourish Menu at Wave inspired our attempt at making the pictured homemade Pop-Tart.  We’d love to travel to Chicago sometime to have the real goods.  They say believe in breakfast again — We try.

* Our apologies for the quality of the pre-baked Pop-Tart photo directly above.

Banana Split Three Layer Cake Challenge.

May 12th, 2010 No comments

Our Banana Split Cake started out as a fun idea, but unfortunately it didn’t quite cross the finish line.  Good thing we’re testing out recipes before entering ’em into the 2010 Orange County Fair Culinary Arts Competition — This one certainly wouldn’t win a ribbon.  The concept is entertaining and it tasted really good, but one can’t submit a Cake looking like this. 🙂

With ripening Bananas and Strawberries on hand and the recent receipt of Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts Cookbook, we created a Banana Split Cake.  We started with a prepared White Cake Mix evenly divided into 3 round baking pans — Then mashed a Banana, pureed a few Strawberries and got out the Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup.  As shown below, we added each respectively to the divided mix. 

We baked the Cakes, then set them aside to cool completely — We did get that part right, although it may not look that way.  We made an amazing Cream Cheese Frosting from the Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts Cookbook.  It’s called Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting (p. 37).  Before adding the Pecans that are called for in the recipe, we reserved and divided a portion of the Frosting to mix pureed Strawberry into one and Chocolate Syrup into the other, and then added Pecans to the remainder and chilled all in the fridge.

To build our Banana Split Cake, start with Chocolate Cake on the bottom, then add a layer of Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, followed by Banana Cake, Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting, and ending with Strawberry Cake on top.  We then smothered the assembled Cake with Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting.  It held together at first, but then you see what happened.  We ultimately separated the layers and frosted each separately with the Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting.  Office co-workers usually don’t care what it looks like.

Next time we’ll add less Strawberry puree and Chocolate Syrup to the Frosting and less Frosting in between the layers.  We might also want to chill the Frosting a little longer or make more Cake, so the layers aren’t as thin.  Perhaps we’ll add sliced Strawberries and/or Bananas in between the layers to avoid sliding Cakes.  Again, it tasted pretty good, therefore it’s worth another try.

Note: So far we like what we see in Classic Southern Desserts Cookbook by Southern Living and look forward to making the recipes we’ve tabbed in it.

Hey, I’m Frying Over Here. It’s With A Waring Pro Cool Touch Deep Fryer.

January 12th, 2010 1 comment

Fryer 011

For Christmas I received the Waring Pro Cool Touch Deep Fryer.  I didn’t really need one, as it means I’ll be eating more fried food, but what the heck — It’ll be fun to have when I need it.  Since counter space is rationed in an apartment, it will have to be stored away.  And before putting it out of sight, which usually turns into out of mind, I fried up a storm.

Fryer 001Fryer 002Fryer

My first frying experience started with the use of (3) different Oils — I purchased a large bottle of Canola Oil thinking it would be enough to fill the fryer to the maximum level, but it didn’t even make it to the minimum level.  I then added what was left of another Canola Oil bottle, and then what was left of some Peanut Oil and still didn’t have enough Oil to get frying.  Yikes, all I had left was Olive Oil.  I had to add it, since I didn’t want to run to the store and had already prepared a Donut Batter, as Donuts were at the top of the frying list.  I was afraid the Olive Oil would adversely flavor the Donuts, but am happy to report that the ratio used wasn’t noticeable at all.  Whew!

Fryer 2 002

I made an Easy Donut Hole Recipe that I found online.  I highly recommend the recipe for its flavor, but the consistency of my batter was such that I couldn’t form the Donuts into holes, nor anything else for that matter.  It was too runny to make Donut Holes and too thick for Funnel Cake.  Although the final product didn’t resemble either, it tasted great — Just like a Churro or Funnel Cake.  But for the life of me, I wasn’t able to make a Donut that didn’t look like an alien or internal or sexual organ, as pictured. 🙂 Fortunately the Powdered Sugar slightly masked the crazy shapes.

Batter 003Fryer 2 012Fryer 2 007

I then went on to make French Fries, Croutons, Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and Onion Rings.  All turned out well, except for the French Fries.  I used the wrong type of Potato, a Long White, whereas I should have used a Russet.  Another mistake was that the Potato was chilled, since I’d pulled it out of the fridge.  Not good — The nicely cut French Fries had so much potential, but didn’t crisp up. 🙁

Fryer 009CroutonsBlue Corn Tortilla Chips

The Onion Rings tasted great, but were a bit greasy, as you can see in the photo (below).  The batter was a simple combination of Flour, Beer and Salt, which I’d use again.

Onion Rings

Overall, the addition of Olive Oil to the mix didn’t negatively impact the flavor of the sweet nor savory fried items, but to be on the safe side, I’d recommend that you be sure to have (2) large bottles of the same Oil on-hand before getting started.  It takes a lot of Oil to fry.  And once you’ve poured it all into the fryer, you might as well get use out of it.  That’s what I’m doing until I’m all fried out and ready to store it away.  And I’m now ready for that, since my apartment currently smells like a fast food joint, an unfavorable side effect.  It’s time to clean things up, light a few aroma candles, open the windows, turn on the fans and have a Salad.

Note:  I’m happy with the quality of this product.  The Waring Pro Cool Touch Deep Fryer (WPF100B Series) appears to work well and many of its parts are dishwasher safe.

Cucumber Salad Dressing Prepared From A Leftover Vegetable Platter.

December 10th, 2009 No comments

Picture 004An abundance of sliced Cucumbers leftover from a Vegetable Platter inspired the preparation of homemade Cucumber Dressing.  After searching for a recipe, I used a combination of most ingredients noted in the CD Kitchen recipes.  The pictured Cucumber Dressing includes Mayonnaise, Lemon Juice, Milk, Cucumbers, Dill, Green Onions, Garlic, Salt and Pepper.  All was pureed together in a mini food processor.  The flavor turned out good, but not as great as the Cucumber Dressing offered at Katella Deli, the taste I was shooting for.  They serve the best I’ve currently tasted.  We’ll post an exact recipe, once we fine tune it.  Until then, this was an easy and fine start.  We didn’t have Sour Cream nor Buttermilk on-hand, thus those ingredients may make a better Cucumber Dressing next time.  We’ll experiment and report back later.

Chocolate Cake (With A Scoop Of Mayo) And Orange Glaze.

November 27th, 2009 No comments

Cake 002

My sister recently reported that she had the best Chocolate Cake in her life.  She obtained the surprising recipe and it’s what I made here.  It’s a Devil’s Food Cake Mix prepared with the addition of Mayonnaise (approximately a tablespoon).  It may sound scary to some, but it’s basically just more egg and oil if you think about it.  The Cake my sister ate was made with a canned Chocolate Frosting, but I made a Glaze of Powdered Sugar, Orange Zest and Orange Juice.  I haven’t tried it yet — We’re taking it luxury camping over the weekend and will report our results here soon.

Update (11/29/09):  The Cake was good, but certainly not the best ever.  It was a little overcooked too.  We’ll try another variation some time.

Pomegranate Drink Taste Test Comparison Party.

November 3rd, 2009 1 comment

Pom 009

We were going to run this report on for National Liqueur Month (October), but didn’t have the necessary “Liqueur” to qualify for that category.  And since it’s now National Pomegranate Month (November) and I received POM Wonderful’s New Pomegranate Nectarine and Pomegranate Kiwi the very same day we planned this drink comparison, we substituted it in place of the Liqueur.

Pom 034

We set out to make 6 different Pomegranate Drinks and rate them.  The numbered rating cards are from one of my favorite boardgames, iMAgiNiff.  They come in handy for taste test comparison parties like this.  We got all our recipes from the PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur site, but used POM Wonderful’s Juice in place of the Liqueur.  We’ll post about the PAMA Liqueur later this month.  Overall, we found the recipes very adaptable and most tasted fantastic.

Pom 048

For this taste test, we made a Margarita and unblended Daiquiri, respectively posted above, and Pomegranate Juice with Club Soda, a Blushing Lady, a Pomegranate Juice Lemon Drop and a Martini, respectively shown below.  POM’s Juice substituted well for all — We particularly favored the Pomegranate Nectarine Juice, which is refreshing and flavorful on its own.

Pom 015Pom 006Pom 032Pom 021

And since Pomegranate Juice is so good for you, we felt we received a healthier buzz, if you will. 🙂

Pom 027

We garnished the drinks with a variation of Lemon wedges and twists, Lime slices and Pomegranate Seeds (fabulously in season), then determined our favorites.  Our number one cards were awarded to the Margarita and Martini— Both tasted as if they were prepared by a professional mixologist and thus made us very happy.

Pom 038Pom 043Pom 055Pom 046

We found the Pomegranate Juice and Club Soda a refreshing combination for any day, since it was the only drink without alcohol.  We’d probably pass on the Blushing Lady next time, but give the Pomegranate Lemon Drop an honorable mention.  Overall, we think PAMA’s recipes are good and look forward to trying their Liqueur.  And we always appreciate having POM Wonderful’s Juice — It’s the best 100% Pomegranate Juice.

Nibbles of Tidbits is Cookin’ Up a New Theme.

October 10th, 2009 1 comment

Camping Carlsbad 005

Nibbles of Tidbits will be getting a new look this Saturday & Sunday — It’ll still be simple, yet updated.  Any transitional formatting issues are in the process of being corrected.  Thus if you see weirdness (overlaps, covered text, or other), it’s just temporary growing pains.  We’re excited about the future and plan to do a lot more cooking, dining and reporting here. 

Rename 007

Although these photos don’t represent the theme of this post, they were thought to be nice to look at while testing out our final theme selections.  Both were taken while camping in Carlsbad — We experienced the gorgeous sunset while basting skewered Shrimp with Lime, Soy Sauce and melted Butter on our portable grill.  Ciao.

What To Do With White Currants? I Don’t Know.

August 27th, 2009 No comments

I bought these fresh White Currants for less than a dollar at Grower’s Direct.  The price was good, like most of the produce there, and I’d never tried them before.  You’ll find great prices on fruit and vegetables at Grower’s Direct, if you can put up with the narrow aisles, people traffic and (sometimes) parking issues.  I went there for the makings of a Vegetable Platter and tacked on these White Currants for a try.


I quickly learned that White Currants aren’t too edible alone — They’re tart and have a lot of crunchy seeds inside.  So much for simply enjoying a new tasty Berry, HA.  I was hoping to eat ’em like a Blueberry, Raspberry, etc.  The next thought was to make something out of them.  What?  The obvious was Jam/Jelly, which I don’t use.  And I couldn’t see them enhancing the flavor of anything that’s quick and simple to make.

Since I didn’t want to waste all of them, I tossed some in a small batch of Rice Pudding, which isn’t as simple as it sounds.  I had the prepared (leftover) Rice, but it’s necessary to pick off both ends of the White Currants before adding to a recipe.  And by the time you pick off the bottom fur-ish part, you’re left with mostly seeds and skin, HA.  It’s real worth it, not. 

Overall, they weren’t bad in the Rice Pudding, nor good either.  I learned a lot, yet still don’t know the best thing to do with White Currants.  That’s okay, because it’s always fun to try new things — Some are fabulous finds and others just an educational story.  Next.

An Uncased & Butterflied Sausage Sandwich.

May 21st, 2009 1 comment


It’s easy to uncase and butterfly a Sausage Link, and convenient that it becomes the perfect shape for a Sandwich Roll.  Just cut the Sausage Link in (almost) half, peel off and discard its outer casing, then butterfly the meat.  It fries up well in a pan and could be a winner with tasty Sausage and a few more frills.


I like this Sandwich preparation idea, but will try it next time with a flavorful Italian Sausage, Marinara Sauce and Provolone Cheese.  The pictured Sandwich was bore-ring.  The Sausage was tasteless, which doesn’t work for anything, especially a Sandwich that just has it on it.

Related Links:

Potato Chip Baked Chicken Strips, 3 Flavors.

May 20th, 2009 2 comments


Have you tried Potato Chip Baked Chicken?  I’ve been wanting to make it for a long time now — So I reviewed a few recipes and finally made these Potato Chip Baked Chicken Strips.  The process couldn’t be easier.  I just dipped Chicken Strips in melted Butter, rolled all in crushed Potato Chips until well coated, then baked the strips in the oven at 350° for about 40 minutes.  The baking time will depend on the size of YOUR Chicken pieces.


Overall, I thought they were good, but not great as expected.  As shown in the above photos, I experimented using 3 different flavors of Potato Chips, Sour Cream & Onion, Classic and Barbecued — We liked the Chicken Strips with the flavored Potato Chips the best.

Official RECIPES and related TIPS:,1839,152162-251202,00.html

Fine Tuning A Scone Recipe For The OC Fair.

May 6th, 2009 No comments



Nibbles of Tidbits will be entering a few items in the Culinary Arts Competition this year at the Orange County Fair — It’s July 10th – August 9th.  We’ll be submitting a Pie, a Bundt Cake, Gourmet Nut Clusters and a Scone.  Until then, we’re working on the best Scone to enter.  Once decided, we’ll post  the recipe here.  The Scones above include variations of Lemon Zest & Juice, Orange Zest & Juice, Dried Montmorency Cherries, Pomegranate Juice, Cream and Powdered Sugar.

Related Links:

Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake In The World.

April 30th, 2009 4 comments


A friend sent me this 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe via e-mail.  It’s touted as “The Most Dangerous Cake Recipe in the World” because it’s only 5 Minutes away and the ingredients are usually on hand — I guess one shouldn’t eat too many of these.  With that typed, here’s the Dangerous RECIPE:

1 Mug

4 Tablespoons Flour

4 Tablespoons Sugar

2 Tablespoons Cocoa

1 Egg

3 Tablespoons Milk

3 Tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

Combine the Flour, Sugar and Cocoa in a Mug – Add the Egg and mix thoroughly.  Pour in the Milk, Oil and Vanilla and mix well.  Place Mug in the Microwave and cook on maximum power (1000 watts) for 3 Minutes. Let Cake cool for a few minutes, then eat straight out of the Mug or empty onto a plate or into a bowl with Ice Cream.


The Cake will rise over the top of the Mug while cooking, but don’t be alarmed — It’ll be OK and it looks kinda funny.  The Cake is a little dense and dry and tastes best with Ice Cream, Powdered Sugar, Whipped Cream and/or a big glass of MILK.  Overall, it’s a fun, fast and warm Dessert that fills the air of Chocolate Cake within minutes.

FUN Related Links:

United Way Of King County Hunger Challenge.

April 14th, 2009 2 comments

Could you eat on $7 a Day for a Week?  That’s Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, and there’s no accepting free food, no eating what you already have, and the meals should be somewhat healthy.  Many will be doing that April 20-24, 2009 during the United Way’s Hunger Action Week. 

What an interesting challenge — I would probably learn a lot.  If I didn’t already have longstanding lunch and dinner plans next week, I’d do it too.  It appears $7 is the maximum food stamp benefit for an individual.  I’ll make myself take the challenge another week or the economy may force it upon me.  Until then, I’ll be following the food blog reports, especially the posts by Savory Sweet Life.  

United Way Hunger Challenge:

Getting Started with a Grocery Diary:

Why Not Make A Homemade Slider Smorgasbord?

April 6th, 2009 2 comments


Instead of just one Burger, why not make homemade Sliders for fun and variety — Pictured (L-R) we made a Blue Cheese Burger with Tomatoes, Lettuce and Pickles, a Bacon Cheddar Burger, and a Jalapeno Jack Burger with Tomatoes and Arugula.


We added a little Worcestershire Sauce, Salt and freshly ground Pepper to the small Burger Patties, buttered and toasted the mini Buns/Rolls and laid out all the fixins. 


We fried these Burgers in a pan (after we brought home the Bacon) and topped with Cheese after turning — Then transferred all to Buns with their corresponding counterparts. 


“Shelly’s Sliders” turned out pretty good.  It was fun eating a variety of Burgers and deciphering what tastes best.  We’ve got some great ideas for our next Slider Smorgasbord and would have made them here, but didn’t have Chipotles, Pineapples, or Chili on hand.


If local and don’t feel like making your own Sliders, check out the restaurants and photos linked below.

3-Thirty-3 Sliders:

Charlie Palmer’s Sliders:

More INFO: