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California Milk Advisory Board Celebrates Small Bites Trend With Brochure Spotlighting Nibbles, Starters & Small Plates Featuring California Dairy

From mini desserts to single bite appetizers, small plates are hotter than ever—and 2013 food trends reveal that these petite plates are here to stay with a continued evolution of smaller portions being featured at white tablecloth and quick serve restaurants. But this bite-sized trend isn’t just for dining out as more consumers are experimenting with their own small plates at home. The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) is offering a free consumer brochure with tips and recipes for tapping into this trend for holiday celebrations or every day meals.

“Whether it’s a love for Spanish-style tapas or an interest in eating smaller portions without giving up on taste, we’ve seen a lot of focus around creating mini bites at home on Pinterest and in food and lifestyle magazines. California dairy – everything from cheese to yogurt to ice cream and butter – is the perfect ingredient for making small plates bursting with big flavor,” said Jennifer Giambroni, Director of Communications for the CMAB. “Our Nibbles, Starters & Small Plates brochure gives consumers a handful of ideas they can enjoy any time of the year.”

From savory to sweet, each recipe in the brochure features smaller sized portions packed with California dairy, including:

 Chilled Avocado Soup Shooters, made with California yogurt and buttermilk, cucumber, avocado and little jalapeno for heat, are perfect for any time of year. Luscious crabmeat tops each shot off for a beautiful presentation.

Pigs in a Buttermilk Blanket with Maple Drizzle offer a twist on the kid’s classic. The salty-sweet combination of sausage and maple syrup makes it a great nibble for brunches and weekend get-togethers.

Bite-Sized Spiced Apple Bread Puddings (recipe below) are a sweet way to end any meal. In this recipe, tart apples and creamy California crème fraîche pair beautifully with buttery bread pudding in each little bite as a meal-ender or part of a dessert bar. Taster’s tip:  a melon-ball sized scoop of California vanilla ice cream is the perfect partner with each pudding.   

 Nibbles, Starters & Small Plates can be downloaded at RealCaliforniaMilk.com by clicking here or consumers can send their name and mailing address to request a hard copy brochure at CMAB, Small Plates Brochure, 400 Oyster Point Blvd, Suite 211, South San Francisco, CA 94080 or by email to cmab@ketchum.com.

California is the nation’s leading milk producer and also produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese, which is available nationally under the Real California Cheese seal. Ninety-nine percent of California dairy farms are family owned and that means consumers are supporting dairy families when they look for the milk and cheese seals when they shop.

Bite-Sized Spiced Apple Bread Puddings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons Real California butter, plus more for muffin tins

3 tart-sweet apples (for example, McIntosh or Fuji), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/3 cup granulated sugar

12 whole star anise

3/4 cup Real California milk

2 large eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces (5 to 6 slices) buttermilk bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/2 cup Real California sour cream or crème fraîche

Preparation

In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples, sugar, and star anise and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 3 minutes. Increase to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and salt. Stir in bread and set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 24-cup mini muffin tin.

Remove star anise from apple mixture (save for garnish). Stir apple mixture into bread mixture. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Bake until lightly browned and set, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve puddings warm, topped with sour cream or crème fraîche and garnished with star anise.