Blog | Nibbles By Nic
How to: Make Fantastic Holiday Bark
Add a little here, touch up a little there
One of my favorite reasons to “cook” instead of “bake” is because nothing has to be precise. You can add a little here, touch up a little there. Take a little taste as you go along without worrying about getting sick from a raw egg poking around. If your recipe needs another dash of salt, just sprinkle it right in there. That is why most (if not all of my desserts) are as least complicated as possible and this Holiday Bark is right up there. Only five-ingredients, minimal steps and tons of fun to make. Plus the more unique each piece breaks up, the better!
1-8-oz bag of milk chocolate chips
10 crushed OREO’S of your choice
Sprinkles of your choice in a fun assortment of colors.
vegetable oil (optional to melt chocolate)
1 cup mini marshmallows
Line a 9x 12 baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. (I like to cut it out to form fit the base of the pan; If you don’t have this size baking sheet then use a baking pan lined with tin foil.)
Pour chips into a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 2 minutes; stirring after 1 minute until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. (Add in oil the chocolate is clumpy.)
Add in marshmallows & OREO’s and stir until fully coated.
Spoon chocolate onto the pan creating a thin even layer. (A spatula is helpful tool in getting a nice uniform spread.)
While chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with sprinkles and press down extremely gently.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes OR until nice and firm.
Remove from pan and break into irregular pieces. Store in an air-tight container.
Recipe: Seared Brussels Sprouts
This seasonal recipe is simply prepared but erupts with flavor and taste
Thanksgiving is ALL about the sides…no news flash here to anyone. By the way, please don’t think I am suggesting for you to spend hours upon hours slaving away in the kitchen..how fair is that? It’s your holiday too. On that note, this brings me to my latest dish, “Seared Brussels Sprouts with Purple Grapes.” While this seasonal recipe is so simply prepared, it actually erupts with flavor and taste. Bonus…it’s budget friendly which will ensure a true Happy Thanksgiving To You!
10 oz. brussels sprouts halved and trimmed
3 garlic cloves grated or minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
20 portabella mushrooms halved
1/2 cup purple grapes (smaller ones are better for this dish; if you have large ones, cut them in half.)
2 thyme sprigs with leaves removed
Heat a large skillet with olive oil for Brussels sprouts.
Once sizzling hot, position Brussel sprouts face side down on the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes.
When they appear charred, mix in mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper & thyme leaves and stir around until all is tender.
Add in grapes and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the grapes appear glossy.
Remove from pan and serve.
Recipe: Crispy Chicken Drumsticks
A week-night dinner that meets all the criteria
Simple….check! Budget-friendly…..check! Super tasty…..check! Welcome to a week-night dinner that will meet all your criteria and the best part is NOBODY will be arguing over that last drumstick. After all they are the star of the show!
• 3 tablespoon Olive Oil, good quality
• 8 drumsticks
• 1 teaspoon adobe seasoning
• ground pepper
• 2 shallots sliced into wedges
• 8 whole garlic cloves
1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the bottom of a large foil-lined baking pan with one 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
2.) Arrange the chicken on pan and drizzle the top of the chicken with another tablespoon of olive oil massaging it in until thoroughly coated. In a small bowl, coat garlic and shallot wedges with remaining olive oil.
3.) Sprinkle generously with Adobe Seasoning & Ground Pepper.
4.) Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes.
5.) Switch pan over to top rack add in shallots and whole garlic cloves around chicken. Bake for another 20-30 minutes until skin looks golden and crisp with juices running clear. (Save juices in pan.)
6.) Drizzle the chicken juices from pan over chicken and veggies before serving.
Recipe: Halloween Mix
The perfect nibble to whip out for some company
I have to tell you that I am a sucker for a festive party mix and Halloween is just the time to do it! I made my first one about a year ago and I can already predict it will be a tradition in my house. The kids obviously LOVE it and this nosh is the perfect nibble to whip out for some company. Just know my friends, that it is VERY ADDICTING! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
2/3 cup sunflower butter
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
9 cups Chex Rice Cereal
1 cup powdered sugar
1 /2 cup M&M’s (only yellow, brown and orange colors)
1 cup packaged white chocolate pretzels crushed
1/2 cup candy corns
1 cup yellow candy melting pieces
1.) Pour cereal into a large mixing bowl.
2.) In another microwave-safe bowl melt sunflower butter, butter and white chocolate chips for 2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds to prevent burning.
3.) Add vanilla and mix with cereal until thoroughly coated.
4.) Place all into a large re-sealable bag coat with the powdered sugar. Lay all on a large cookie sheet covered with sprayed waxed or parchment paper.
5.) In a separate bowl melt yellow candy pieces until smooth: same as directions in step 2. (If needed use a teaspoon of vegetable oil)
6.) Sprinkle M&M’s, candy corns and pretzels into mix and drizzle the yellow candy on top. Transfer sheet to refrigerator or freezer to let set.
7.) Break apart as needed and evenly distribute into Halloween treat bags and ENJOY!
Recipe: Tomato Vodka Sauce Fussili with Broccoli
A higher in fiber and lower in fat version of Pasta alla Vodka
Back in the early stages of our relationship, my husband, without fail would always order the “Pasta alla Vodka” whenever we did Italian food on our dates. Cute it was, but it started to get a little boring. I used to corner him and try to convert him into some other rustic Italian fare. However, he wasn’t budgeting; not even more a second on this meal. Many years later…we are talking a good 13 or so, crazily enough, I’m not sure that he has picked up a fork to this dish at all. Could he have forgotten about it OR maybe his healthier side kicked in a bit. However, not tonight ☺ I am going to surprise him with this higher in fiber and lower in fat version. I also had to include some chopped up broccoli; a wives duty!
• 8 ozs whole grain fussili (I tend to find a brand with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving to boost up the fiber content!)
• 1/4 cup light cream (I have tried the fat free version, but the low fat has much more body and there is not a severe caloric difference)
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes
• 2 garlic cloves sliced thinly
• 1 small onion chopped
• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 head slightly steamed broccoli chopped into medium sized pieces (or 3 cups frozen broccoli cuts thawed and cooked according to directions)
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
• 1/4 cup of vodka (Please don’t whip out your Grey Goose, the alcohol reduces down when heated, so unlike cooking with wine, the quality is not so important.)
• Pinch of red pepper flakes
1.) Boil water (Don’t forget to salt it once it’s bubbling as it adds flavor to the pasta) Cook pasta according to directions and put aside.
2.) Heat oil in a large sauté pan and add butter over medium heat and add onion. Cook for 6-8 minutes until tender.
3.) Increase heat and add the light cream, garlic, red pepper flakes and vodka. Cook until it reduces.
4.) Add in tomatoes and cook for a minute or two more until tomatoes get slightly wilted.
5.) Remove sauce and let cool slightly. Blend in blender or vitamix until smooth.
6.) Toss with cooked pasta and broccoli until thoroughly coated.
7.) Sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!!
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