Not Your Everyday Cookie.

Do you enjoy a tasty treat while enjoying your morning coffee or afternoon tea? Do you want a different cookie that is not like the rest? Look no further because Ambrosiana cookies are coming your way in this very post! These cookies are all the way from Italy and are GMO free! Ambrosiana also has a variety of holiday selections, perfect for your party planning! Check out the different varieties available for your holiday party below!

These cookies sure are beautiful in presentation, but how do they taste? Keep reading as we’ve got several different reviews! One from a local salon and one from yours truly and my handy cookie helper!

We thought we would ask local Rosie Bella Hair Salon to switch out their regular cookies for some of Ambrosiana’s to see which cookies they liked better. We heard that immediately upon replacing the original cookies, the Amborsiana cookies were an instant hit! Delivered to the salon were Ambrosiana’s Ferri Di Cavallo Shortbread with Dark Chocolate and Fior Di Neve Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Shortbread. When pressed for a favorite, we were told, “We really can’t choose… but if our hair depended on it, we’d say the shortbread Cavallo for dipping into coffee, and the hazelnut filled Fior di Neve for… 24/7.” Thank you Rosie Bella Hair Salon for letting us share our cookies with your customers!

I decided to pick up three different boxes of Ambrosiana cookies at Kingma’s Market in Ada. As always, I had my little handy taste testing helper along with me as I dove into the set of cookies. The three different kind of cookies that were tasted: Ferri Di Cavallo Shortbread with Dark Chocolate, Pralinati Hazelnut Cream Shortbread and Fior Di Neve Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Shortbread.

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If you are looking for a cute little cookie to dip in coffee or tea, I suggest the Ambrosiana Ferri Di Cavallo Shortbread with Dark Chocolate. These cute little horseshoe-shaped cookies are the perfect bite size for a hot morning or afternoon beverage. Just enough chocolate to pair with the shortbread makes this cookie a tasty treat.

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If you are a fan of nuts, chocolate, hazelnut and shortbread, then the Ambrosiana Pralinati Hazelnut Cream Shortbread is for you. I think this was by far my favorite cookie of the three. I really like the creamy hazelnut center, plus having the chocolate covered shortbread with nuts gives it a nice little crunch!

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I think my youngest offspring had said that his favorite was the Ambrosiana Fior Di Neve Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Shortbread cookie. While I do have to admit the box shows more powdered sugar on the top of the cookie than what actually came from the box, it works well with young children! My youngest loved this cookie and kept asking for more! This cute shortbread cookie has hazelnut cream filling inside and then is coated by powdered sugar to top off a sweet little zing.

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So what are you waiting for? Go get yourself several boxes of these cookies, brew some coffee or steep some tea and get munching on these delicious treats! It’s time for YOU to get out there and NIBBLE on these cookies!

We’ve Got Ourselves In a Pickle!

DSC_0001In case you were not aware, it’s National Pickle Appreciation Day! There are a vast variety of pickle facts we’d love to share with you! While our favorite brand at Gourmet International is Hengstenberg, you can see the many different brands of pickles, their origin and company all at the Pickle Packers International website, cutely named: ilovepickles.org.

We are sharing the following facts from that website and what better why to start by talking about the origin of “in a pickle” as stated in our title post today! Shakespeare first introduced that phrase in The Tempest. In the play the quote is read, “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle!”

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Consumption: How many Americans consume pickles within one year? Well, that answer is 2.5 billion pounds which is 20 billion pickles!  Even more random fact from the site: If you want to reach the moon, it would take 4 billion pickles. Do the math and the amount of pickles consumed in one year could get us to the moon and back more than 2 times! How crazy is that?

World War II Ties: During the days of the war, the United States Government tagged 40% of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.

Is it a fruit or a vegetable? The United States Government technically classifies pickles as a “fruit” of the vine – much like a tomato, but most people categorize pickles as a vegetable.

What are the more popular varieties of pickles? Dill is considered the most favored variety of cucumber pickle. Other variations and varieties include Sour/Half Sour and Sweet. Let’s explore these varieties a moment…

  • Dill. Herb dill or dill oil is added to impart a distinctive and refreshing flavor. The different types of dill pickles include:
    • Genuine Dill. These pickles are made by the slow “processed” method. Dill weed is added into the tanks during the last stage of fermentation or to the jar after fermentation. These pickles usually have a higher lactic acid flavor than other varieties.
    • Kosher Dill. True “Kosher” pickles are those that have been manufactured and certified in accordance with Jewish dietary laws, and made with dill and garlic added to the brine. The flavor is very popular, more robust than regular dill pickles, so much so, that the name has stuck and kosher dills are the ultimate accompaniment to an overstuffed deli sandwich.
    • Overnight Dill. Cukes are places fresh into brine (which may include a slight amount of vinegar) for a very short time — one to two days. The entire process takes place under refrigeration, and they stay refrigerated when stored and shipped. They bright green pickles taste like fresh cucumbers accented with dill flavor. They are the kind of pickle you usually find at a deli.
    • Other Dills: Include Polish and German Style.
  • Sour/Half Sour. Fresh cucumbers are first placed into a seasoned brine which doesn’t include vinegar. The containers are then refrigerated, and remain refrigerated when stored and shipped. The longer the cucumbers remain in the brine, the more sour they become. Half-sour pickles are extra crispy and keep their fresh cucumber color.
  • Sweet. Sweet pickles are packed in a sweet mixture of vinegar, sugar and spices. The variations include:
    • Bread & Butter. Sweet, thinly sliced pickles made from cucumbers, onions and chopped green or red peppers. They have a distinct, slightly tangy taste. Available in smooth or waffle cut chips or chunks.
    • Candied. These pickles are packed in an extra-heavily sweetened liquid.
    • No-Salt Sweet. These are a relatively new variety of sweet pickle to which no salt has been added. Usually available as chips.
    • Sweet/Hot. The are a “hot” new kind of pickle. They’re made by adding hot spices and seasonings to pickles for a delightful spark of piquant flavor.

Source: ilovepickles.org

You’re probably learning more about the pickle today than you thought you would! And did you know that pickles are identified as on the favorite vegetables of teens per a consumer study that was conducted for the pickle industry.

 

Now how about you? What’s your favorite type of pickle now that you’ve read through all the varieties? I have to say mine would have to be bread & butter. Nothing like the crunch of a nice crisp, bread & butter pickle! Nibble, nibble!

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Springing Forward, But Falling Backward.

Has today’s title confused you? I truly don’t want to get you in a panic, but I am going to have to discuss some upcoming holidays for next year! I am talking about Valentine’s Day and Easter! I know, I know! We *just* made it through Halloween! Thanksgiving is not far away, heck it’s not even Christmas yet, although Christmas music is already blaring on a local radio station as of yesterday! The next major event happening around here would be Daylight Savings for those of us who observe it, which means we will have to fall back one hour this weekend.

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Springing forward with holiday items, yet falling back an hour on the clocks!

Now that we have that out of the way… let me show you these spring products! Belfine is the maker of Fine Belgian Chocolate and they have these super cute chocolate pops and they all have super cute names! And while I am at it, I want to let any of our retailers know that the spring deadline is approaching! You know how to get a hold of us if you need any assistance with your order! You’ll find Belfine chocolate in the spring line up!

Let me first introduce you to Love Bear Arno, who is the perfect chocolate companion for your Valentine’s occasion! Per Belfine, “Each lollipop is individually wrapped in a transparent bag with clip and presented in a beautiful Belfine display.” Belfine’s chocolate figurines and lollipops are all hand crafted and it is really neat how they come to life.

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This is the process for the chocolate characters:

  1. Start with a sketch
  2. Add some color
  3. Play with clay
  4. Prepare the mold
  5. Personalize the prototype
  6. Welcome to the family!
  7. Name and release

When the figurine is created, it is actually named and then copyrighted before venturing out into the world. How awesome is that?

Next up we have Jenny Duck and Lamb Betty for Easter. These Easter designs are sure to please everyone, young and old!

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What makes Belfine so unique and special?

  • Premium Belgian Chocolate made in Belgium
  • Unique & cute chocolate figurines
  • Creativity & innovation
  • Long term partnerships
  • Highest quality standards
  • Dedicated customer focus
  • Worldwide presence
  • Family owned business
  • The perfect packaging
  • Flexible production capacity

Belfine is definitely “kid approved” – as you have seen the smile on my youngest’s face as he’s chomping on poor Love Bear Arno! I even I heard, “Mom, this chocolate is so yummy!” from that little 4-year-old munchkin!

And as a mom, I can appreciate that there aren’t any ingredients in these chocolates that I don’t approve of! Belfine’s products are free from any artificial flavors, colors and fats. The chocolate also is free of preservatives, vegetables fats and GMO-free. As for the coloring in any of the chocolates, European standards require that only E-approved colors are used.

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Belfine Belgian Chocolate Lollipops. Get yourself some! And as I wrap up this post, I’ll bring Mr. Ginger out to remind us of the Christmas season that is approaching. On that final note, don’t forget to fall back one hour this weekend for those of us observing Daylight Savings Time! (And submit your orders in for the spring deadline for our retailers!)

Too Much Treating? We Have a Solution!

Did you do too much treating and not enough tricking on Halloween? Is your tummy not feeling so hot from all the snacks, treats and candies you’ve been nibbling on since yesterday? A little treat from The Ginger People just may help you out! Try Gin Gins! These little zings of ginger power come in a hard and chewy form. They also come in a variety of different flavors. All of their products are made with real ginger.

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Why would ginger candies be good for you?

For thousands of years, ginger has been used to…

  • Relieve countless illnesses
  • Restore vital energy
  • Ease nausea, headaches & arthritis
  • Stimulate circulation

– From The Ginger People website

The chewy candies are interesting! They get really ooey gooey, and try to just let them melt and meld into your mouth. Some of the different flavors include Spicy Apple, Super Strength Ginger, Peanut, Hot Coffee and Ginger Spice just to name a few. The hard candy may be a better choice for folks who have braces or other issues teeth issues, as the chewy candies really work their way around the teeth!

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The Ginger People make sure that all of their products are premium, sustainable, contain no artificial of GM ingredients, organic, and all natural. Take a peek below to see what the candies actually look like.

 

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So when you are in need of something to help soothe what ails you, try going for Gin Gins ginger candy made by The Ginger People! Ginger, ginger!

Dreamy Chocolate Cone Treats from Italy.

Looking for a tasty chocolate treat wrapped up in the cutest cone package? Look no further because we have it here for you! I was recently introduced to these delicious little cones not long ago and I have fallen in love with them! Messori, from Italy, makes these chocolate creations. They have many different innovative chocolate treats and today it’s the Messori Cono Snack that we are sharing with you!

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What is this Cono Snack and what’s inside it? The Cono Snacks come in three flavors: Hazelnut, Caramel Milk and Choco Parties. Today we have the hazelnut Cono Snack for you to check out. This cone is ALL chocolate, perfect for any chocolate lover!

Once unwrapped, you’ll find a puffed rice on top.

 

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Take your first bite and you’re chewing on some fine Italian hazelnut cream.

 

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Under that hazelnut creamy chocolate you will find some premium dark chocolate.

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Cross section of the Messori Hazelnut Cono Snack.

And how does the cone taste? So crunchy and perfect! It’s the perfect Belgian wafer cone to go along with this mix of hazelnut cream and dark chocolate! YUM! There is chocolate literally ALL THE WAY THROUGH the whole entire cone – with the very bottom of the cone being filled with chocolate as well!

The hazelnut cream is very smooth the puffed rice is a great compliment to that flavor. The Belgian cone is perfectly made and has the perfect crunch. Don’t believe me? Go try one for yourself! You will love this chocolate party in a cone! These are great for parties and holiday celebrations! The Messori Cono Snacks are on my list of treats that I approve for my family as it is GMO free, has no artificial coloring or dyes, free of artificial sweeteners and preservatives and more. Check out Messori’s quality information for more about their quality standards.

 

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If you find yourself snacking on this treat, please do let us know what you think! I, for one, can vouch that these are super dreamy! Nibble, nibble!

Something to Nibble On.

It’s been an adventure so far, hasn’t it? Over the past month we’ve been to Germany and back, taste tested new products and tried out new recipes while sharing and tweaking old ones. We’ve had an employee chili cookoff and made some local community connections. And we’ve made some friends along the way! We have some fellow bloggers following us along, as well as, friends who have stumbled upon us from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Instagram (click on any of those and you’ll find us on those social networking channels!)! And we also hope that our very own retailers are following us, too! Which brings up a good reminder for our retailers, the spring pre-order deadline is fast approaching! The deadline for spring pre-orders is November 10! Don’t forget! Get those spring pre-orders in!

So with all that, we also want to say THANK YOU for being here and THANK YOU for taking the time to enjoy Gourmet Nibbles! We are only just getting started here and we will continue to bring you news, updates, tidbits and what-nots from our world to yours!

 

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So what do we have planned up our sleeve? We will be doing some more of what we’ve already been doing and hope to add a few little twists and surprises along the way! We love to have fun and we love to share what we do and we love to share our passion of gourmet food, beverages and sweets with you! Sometimes we may be a little “squirrelly” but don’t let that stop you from visiting us here or at our other social media channels!

We’d also love to hear from you! Please feel free to drop us some comments, thoughts, suggestions, questions… we’d love to interact with our friends! Just for fun, I thought today I’d share a photo that I had taken for an earlier post about Wicklein. This was one of the photos I didn’t use, but I thought it was cute… and it also gets us all slowly gearing towards the holiday season – October is quickly coming to a close! So stay close, don’t go too far away because we are going to continue to bring you something to nibble on in the months, days and weeks ahead! So bring along your coffee mugs, tea cups, pilsner glasses, plates, forks, knives and maybe some napkins to catch some of the crumbs, we are gearing up on more gourmet adventures ahead!

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Side Dish Delish!

Do you find yourself trying to find something to add to your main dish – it doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner? Well, today we’ve got just the perfect side dish delish that you need to add with your next meal! Why not try adding Kartoffelland Fried Potatoes with Onion to your next meal? It is SO easy to prepare – just fry them up in a pan and heat them to your desire and BOOM! You’ve got yourself one of the easiest side dishes to go with your main course.

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Think about it… you could add this with your morning eggs and toast. A nice different twist to your regular hash browns. Or… maybe you have some left over ham or other meat that you need to cook up and eat – whip these potatoes up with the meat and you’ve got yourself a lunch meal! Let’s not forget about dinner – why not cook up some bratwurst, sauerkraut and Kartoffelland potatoes?! TA DA! Meal is done! So simple and easy to make!

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If these fried potatoes are not your thing, what about dumplings? Kartoffelland also has German Potato Dumplings that have easy prep: mix with water, form dumplings and boil! Speaking of these dumplings, I have had these before. They are a great side dish to any meal as well, perhaps our next go ’round with Kartoffelland, we’ll whip up some of the dumplings for us to share and view with you!

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I prepared the Kartoffelland Fried Potatoes with Onion for brunch yesterday. It was such a hectic morning – I was up early to get out and about with errands to run after making sure the oldest got on the bus. By the time I got home from hockey manager duties and dropping off a birthday snack to school, it was time to put some food in the tummy. I still had English muffins and I thought potatoes and eggs sound good, so why not? So I opened up a package of Kartoffelland potatoes and added them to the frying pan! I really didn’t add much more besides a little pad of butter to the frying pan. The potatoes are already in vegetable oil from the packaging, so I just decided a little bit of butter would be sufficient and let them fry up in the pan for about 15-20 minutes over a medium/low heat. After the potatoes were fried up, I had my toaster work on my English muffins and then I got a pan ready to make some scrambled eggs. I will admit, while getting the pan ready for the scrambled eggs, I let my butter get a little too hot as I was putting some of that Maintal Rosehip Fruit Spread on my English muffins. I took a little too long spreading the fruit and probably had a little too much butter in the pan for the eggs. The eggs didn’t look that pretty, so I spared you all from their odd appearance (but they tasted just fine). These potatoes are a great side dish for any meal!