Meet Bloody Mary’s Spicy Cousin: Bloody Maria
The Classic Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary first graced our palates in the 1920s or ’30s, but its exact origin and namesake is a bit of a mystery. It’s no mystery, however, that the tomato juice and vodka-based breakfast beverage is the perfect hangover cure.
History on the Bloody Mary offers a few different perspectives on where the name originated. Is it named for the last victim of a crazed serial killer, Jack the Ripper? Or does it hail from the bloody reign of terror held by Queen Mary I, the first Queen to rule England? Alternatively, it could be named after a young waitress who worked at a Chicago Diner called “Buckets of Blood.”
However it came about, we’re sure glad it did. Nothing goes better with a Sunday brunch than tomato juice and liquor. Bonus points for crunchy, green garnishes!
If you enjoy a Bloody Mary, try a Bloody Maria!
Now, onto Maria. We all have our preferences, right? Our “drink of choice,” if you will. Well, the Bloody Maria uses tequila instead of vodka, so if that matches your style, you should take note.
Much like its birth story, the exact recipe for a Bloody Mary isn’t written in stone. Vodka and tomato are standard and add-ins such as hot sauce and seasonings vary by the bartender.
After swapping out vodka for tequila, you’ll need some other ingredients:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Lime Juice
- Salt & Pepper
- Celery Salt
Garnishing, the final touch on a beverage, is crucial when it comes to Bloody drinks. For a Bloody Mary or Maria, the more the Mary-er. Some things to include on the rim of your glass:
- celery stalks
- pickle spears
- fried foods
- pickled peppers
After that Bloody Maria quenches your thirst, consider what spice station spices might kick your recipe up a notch. This is a fun drink to experiment with if you enjoy cooking with spices because the possibilities are limitless. History on the Bloody Mary consists of essentially nothing but experimenting with different ingredients to make the perfect spicy brunch beverage!
So Many Different Types of Salt out there, What Kind Should I Use?
Even though salt is regarded as being one of the most simple cooking ingredients, in all actuality there’s much more to it, than you may know. For starters, there are different kinds of salt and they each have their own characteristics that make them slightly different, so what kind should you use? While some are highly concentrated, other types of salt dissolve easier than others. In fact, if you aren’t aware of the differences between different types of salt, you could end up over or under-salting your food. Let’s take a look at different kinds of salt and when to use them.
1) Sea Salt
Chances are that, if you’ve heard about different kinds of salt before, you’ve heard about sea salt. Sea salt us less concentrated and finer than the traditional salt that we use. Sea salt is a popular choice amongst seafood restaurants, because its fine crystal makes it the best type of salt to use on delicate foods like shellfish and fish. Additionally, because it disperses evenly, sea salt is great for baking as well.
2) Iodized Salt
Iodized salt, commonly referred to as table salt, consists of anti clumping agents, which contribute to its distinctive metallic taste. Because of the fact that it’s highly processed, it has a weaker flavor and salinity than traditional salt. Meaning, you would have to add a greater amount of iodized salt, to get the same level of saltiness that you would get from using regular salt. Iodized salt is ideal for people who have to watch their sodium intake.
3) Coarse Salt
Coarse salt, also come from the sea. However, unlike sea salt, it’s more concentrated and doesn’t dissolve as easily. Most chefs proclaim that coarse salt should be used as a topping at the end, as opposed to using it as an ingredient in the cooking process.
4) Flaky Salt
Most people enjoy flaky salt more so for its texture than its taste. It has a distinctive crispy texture, which makes it great for adding a finish touch to a dish which has already been prepared. Based on the fact that it’s more expensive than other kinds of salt, most people who love it tend to avoid using it for general cooking purposes, and save it for special occasions.
5) Pink Himalayan Salt
Pink Himalayan salt, as its name suggests is pink in color as a result of its potassium, calcium and magnesium content. These extra chemicals which are not found in other types of salt, gives it a distinctive flavor. Most chefs proclaim that it’s ideal for finishing a dish.
6) Kosher Salt
Despite its name, kosher salt, isn’t exactly kosher. But, it’s called that due to the fact that the best use for it is to kosher meat, which is a process by which blood gets removed from the meat. Many chefs use kosher salt, because it has a low salinity which means that it’s quite difficult to over salt foods that you use it on.
With all these types of salt, we hope we answered your question of “what kind should I use?” At our Spice station online store, we also have an abundance of salt blends, including chile lime salt, and garlic pepper salt.
For something even more interesting and fun, check out our Hiwa Kai Black Lava Salt!
Try to add some Heat to your Recipes
If you are bored of your day to day eating routine, it just might be time to spice things up a little bit in the kitchen, both figuratively and literally. Different types of hot spices, spicy blends, hot sauces, and fresh peppers can all contribute different flavor profiles and heat levels to foods and individual dishes. Vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower are all delicious when roasted with hot spices. Proteins like chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and salmon are also all delicious when prepared with spicy sauces and seasonings.
Try Different Types of Hot Spices
Black pepper is not the only spice out there that will add some flavor to your food. In fact, black pepper is likely one of the most mild spices on your spice rack. Smoked hot paprika, chili powder, crushed red pepper, and cayenne pepper are all popular choices for hot spices. Powdered and dried hot spices are perfect to keep in the pantry because they last for a very long time. This will allow you to spice up foods without having fresh ingredients on hand.
Try Spicy Blends from Different Brands or Make Your Own
Many different cultures and different brands produce their own spice blends. These blends can contain different herbs and spices, depending on the recipe. Spice blends can also easily be made at home by using a recipe or experimenting with random ingredients. Spice rub blends are delicious when used on smoked or grilled meats like brisket and ribs. When shopping for spice blends, make sure you find one that does not contain too much salt. Salt can always be added at home and the best spice blends focus on maximizing flavor and heat. Paying attention to heat level descriptions on product labels is important when shopping for hot spice blends. When making your own at home, it is sometimes easier to control the heat level. You can also tweak pre-made spice blends by adding your own addition salt, herbs, or spices.
Use Fresh Peppers to Spice Up Foods
If you have fresh peppers on hand, they are a great way to add heat to different culinary dishes. It is important to do your research and make sure that you know the heat level of the type of pepper that you are using. For example, when handling extremely spicy peppers like ghost peppers you will want to use great caution. Peppers that have extremely high spice levels should be cut carefully while wearing gloves to prevent heat transference. Other popular fresh peppers used to spice up dishes include jalapeno peppers, shishito peppers, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, green bell peppers, chili peppers.
You can always take a look at our spice blends here.
What Spices to Use to Up Your Grilling Game
Becoming a Grill Master
Grilling is a useful skill that helps you to enjoy delicious meals, to keep the house cool inside during summer months, and to become the life of every party and entertaining situation. A good grill master knows how to flavor meats and vegetables with all of the right spices, sauces, and marinades. Keeping your pantry stocked with spice station spices is one key to grilling success.
Garlic powder is one of the healthier spices for grilling. It can be used for making marinades and can also be used in homemade spices blends. Garlic powder compliments all sorts of meats and vegetables that are delicious on the grill. This assortment includes steak, chicken, pork, mushrooms, asparagus, potatoes, and onions.
Real chopped onions are best used for marinades. When it comes to spice rubs for grilling, onion powder is a far better option. Even the finest chopped fresh or dehydrated onion will have a hard time sticking to meats that are about to go on the grill. Dry onion powder mixes well with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and other spices.
This is another one of the healthier spices for grilling. Paprika does not contain any sodium, so it can be used to give heavy flavor when avoiding or limiting salt intake. Paprika can give a delicious smoky, sweet, or spicy flavor. This depends on the type of paprika that is purchased. It is delicious on red meats like beef, venison, and lamb.
This is an important ingredient for smoky rubs and dry barbecue blends. Chili powders come in a range of varieties. Depending on personal preference and recipe needs, you can find chili powders of all heat and spice levels.
Iodized salt, sea salt, kosher salt, rock salt, and pink himalayan salt are just a few of the many salt options available for grilling. The right amount of salt is key for unlocking flavor and tenderness in grilled meats. Applying too much salt can give a bitter and overwhelming flavor. It also poses multiple health risks so we suggest keeping it to a minimum.
Freshly cracked black pepper and finely ground white pepper are two great options for grilling. Freshly cracked black pepper is a good complement to grilled vegetables like onions and asparagus and to grilled seafood like fish or shrimp. White pepper mixes nicely into a variety of spice rubs.
These are just a few spice station spices that can up your grilling game, check out our bbq rub spice set!
Spice up your Smoothie!
Thanks to the pandemic, if such an event deserves praise at all, many people have been eating at home a lot more frequently than before. This had led them to re-examine their typical dietary habits and created an enhanced interest in eating healthier. Here are some delicious ways to spice up your smoothie. After all, 12 months of Doritos and cheese dip for dinner is quite enough!
Deprived of their morning beverage stop on the way into work, great numbers of shut-ins are now busily learning how to produce their own libations. What they frequently discover is that they can make their own for a mere fraction of what they were being charged and can then tweak it to perfectly suit their own personal tastes.
When To Say When
With a luscious fruit smoothie becoming the quick and easy breakfast of choice, knowing how to spice up your smoothie is turning into something of a new art. Even if you really love a particular spice, it is not always a universal remedy. Some fruit combinations can really pop with the right spices while others can be turned into glop by adding the wrong spice or overdoing it. Always start small when adding spices and then work your way up. Adding is easy. Subtracting is all but impossible unless you want to make a double serving.
The Old Standby
One of the favorite ways to spice up your smoothie is to touch it up with a little vanilla. Vanilla goes with pretty much everything fruity so it is a nice basic choice when starting down the road of experimentation.
Not just for Taco Recipes
The tiniest hint of cayenne can rev up the sweetness of many fruits such as strawberries and mangoes. Yes, it sounds unlikely, but give it a test on just a spoonful or two of your regular smoothie. You may have just discovered a smoothie secret weapon that nobody else around you knows about.
The Beast From The East
Ginger is an addition to many tropical fruit-based smoothies. It is a strong spice, particularly when freshly prepared, so be careful. Some people love ginger. Some like it. Some can’t stand the slightest whiff of it, so ask first before treating your friends.
Stick It To You Smoothie
Cinnamon offers another nice contrast to your underlying flavor of smoothie. Somewhat like cayenne, you want just a touch, not a handful, in your morning pick-me-up.
Spice up your Smoothie
Regardless of what spice you may prefer, you can always mix and match as well. If you have the ingredients in your spice rack, give them a try. Keep in mind that all of this eating healthier experimentation can get scrambled up if you stumble across a particularly luscious combination on an otherwise busy day. Once you hit upon a mixture that you particularly like, be sure and jot down the ingredients while they are still fresh in your mind. You will thank yourself the next time you want to sample that particular delight.
Tired of regular drinks? Try infusing your alcohol!
Try this new way of improving your drink
Have you ever wanted to spice up your adult beverage without taking away from the taste and quality of what you have spent your hard-earned money on? Try infusing your alcohol. It’s not nearly as hard as it may seem. Everyone has a different requirement and taste expectation when it comes to what they want to drink to be able to relax and unwind.
How-to infuse your alcohol
I know what I will be doing the next time that I want to try a drink that is new and inviting, I suggest you all try these different ideas as well. Here’s a step by step list on how to create the absolute perfect adult beverage no matter what your taste and budget may be.
- Choose your alcohol (vodka, rum, etc)
- Choose your container (we like mason jars)
- Choose your spices or herbs (whole spices, not ground)
Make sure you match the amount of time you want the infusion to sit versus the taste that you are after. Some can take 24 hours (think of adding a Carolina reaper pepper to vodka, the longer it sits the hotter it will be), whereas if you were to add say cinnamon sticks to rum you may want it to sit longer in the glass mason jar to get that absolutely perfect taste. Taste it every 12-24 hours as you would hate to have to start over because your drink became too bitter or too hot for you to drink.
How to repeat the process perfectly
How many of you have tried to repeat a recipe from memory because you just forgot to write it down and it never turns out exactly right? I know I have so many times. I’ve tried to make my Grandmothers from scratch biscuits by memory and they absolutely never turned out right because she never kept her recipe written down. It’s the same with infused alcohol. If you find a taste that you are in love with, make sure you write it down…to the microgram of what you have used. If you used half a stick of cinnamon make sure you put it down correctly. If you have used 2 tablespoons of mint, make sure you have written that down as well. You would hate to find the perfect flavor and never be able to replicate it again. Making infused alcohol is a strange combination of trial and error and good note-taking.
I would suggest you try it out this weekend and you will be pleasantly surprised!
Good luck and happy drinking!
Healthy and Tasty Ginger
Ginger is a tasty spice and it is known to provide an abundance of health benefits to those who consume it. It is actually a natural and flowering plant and has been used as a form of medicine (folk). The actual plant had originated in Asia. It is known as one of the most healthiest spices in the world. Ginger is delicious and healthy all rolled into one spice. Ginger has a large variety of uses:
- syrups (simmered)
- much more
You will discover, there is much more to ginger than meets the eye because the health benefits are going to amaze you.
Ginger: The Enhanced Health Benefits
Ginger fights nausea and it is known to be anti-viral in the sense that it is highly effective for fighting off many viruses. It is viewed as one of the healthiest spices around. Ginger will enhance health because it has many antioxidants in it which provides many health benefits:
* anti-inflammatory; it can offer anti-viral benefits, antibacterial, and various healthy properties. This is according to some research that has been conducted
* relieves morning sickness; it fights nausea and is safe for relieving morning sickness when pregnant. It is useful to those who are receiving treatment for cancer because it is common to have nausea with various treatments
* relief from flu and cold symptoms; ginger is often used to help people to recover from flu and cold symptoms. Fresh ginger is known to offer protection for the respiratory system. Ginger is used by many to ease some common health ailments
* relieves some aches and pains; some research has shown that daily doses of ginger can relieve muscle pains which may be the result of exercise. It is even known to reduce painful menstrual cramps
* supports heart health; ginger may be beneficial to help lower cardiovascular disease as it supports the health of the heart. Some researchers hold the belief that more studies may prove that ginger may be a safe treatment for treating heart conditions
* reducing cancer risks; ginger is a very good source of antioxidants and it may be useful in reducing the risk of getting cancer
* it tends to stimulate the circulation; it is even known to provide some warmth in terms of the effects
* prevention for ulcers; many people use ginger in place of taking ibuprofen or aspirin. Ginger is viewed as a natural option
These are only a sample of the many benefits which are associated with ginger.
Ginger: A Variety of Forms
Ginger comes in several different forms. It is a tasty powdered spice that enhances many food items. It can be used fresh and dried, candied, crystalized, pickled, and preserved. Ground ginger is the most popular because many use it in their cooking. There are over 100 different ginger plants. Ginger has many varieties and is part of the Globba family. Many people choose to take ginger supplements to enhance their own health while others simply love to use it to add flavor to their food.
Try our ginger root pieces here.
Trying to eat better? Top spices for veggies.
We have all been stuck in our homes for too long, some have taken the opportunity to veg out, and some have been dabbling in eating better and cooking more. Either way you have gone, this article is sure to get you salivating, here are the top spices for veggies.
Rosemary: Strong and delicious
One of the best spices to use is Rosemary, which has been a staple classic with a strong piney flavor that will elevate bland tasting raw vegetables. It will change your perspective on eating veggies more regularly by adding a savory and sweet addition to your meals. They can be cooked with the vegetables in dried or raw form and each yields a different flavor.
Thyme: A classic taste
Thyme has the ability to add a savory quality to any vegetable with a remarkable flavor profile that has been used in cooking since ancient times. It has a slight mint profile but it doesn’t overpower. You can cook it with the vegetables in the same way as rosemary and can choose between raw or dry ingredients. This particular spice has every pleasant aromatic profile that sends your tastebuds on a journey. They are an excellent spice for vegetables.
Mint, coriander, and parsley
These herbs can be utilized on their own or are commonly combined into an herb medley that will accomplish a complex and delicious flavor profile. There are definitely ways to experiment with combining herbs to spice up your veggies, and sometimes it takes experimentation to accomplished the desired results. These are some of the best spices to use in combination for an incredible taste. It will be so good that you’ll forget you’re eating veggies. Finely chop these herbs and add some olive oil or butter to the mix while cooking with a delicious vegetable selection.
Italian mixed herbs
This is an example of a mixture of herbs that are combined to create a specific effect. In this case, the result will be a zingy Italian blend of oregano, basil, and thyme for an interesting and invigorating flavor. There are also some other herbs available in different blends that make it so powerful with one simple shake into your cooking apparatus. They are great for Italian meals that feature a vegetable side dish to make them compliment any dish with a mouth-watering aroma.
Cajun Spice seasoning to add a flare
Spice up your veggies by seeking a seasoning that steps outside the box and adds some heat to the mix. It doesn’t overwhelm but adds the perfect amount of spice for a fantastic finish. It can help to bring out the natural flavors of vegetables and is also a common spice blend used in cooking. The cajun spice seasoning features classics such as paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and a few more that make this an incredibly versatile option. It will definitely be a noticeable flare that will have you craving veggies again to remain healthy. Spices are a great way to make healthy vegetables taste great and trigger future cravings.
Should you Brine your Turkey?
The season for turkeys is just around the corner. While many people have their favorite way of cooking their bird, one thing that can’t be disputed is making sure it is properly brined. Brine a Turkey for added flavor!
Why take this extra step? Well, the answers are quite simple. For starters, turkey is not a naturally flavorful bird on its own. Brining helps bring flavorful seasoning into this meat or any meat for that matter. Also, let’s face it, nobody wants a dry and flavorless turkey. There is no joy in that.
Here are 3 tips for making sure that your turkey is properly brined for your big day.
1. The Fresher, The Better
The best thing to make sure your turkey soaks up as much brine as possible is to make sure you buy a fresh one. This is because frozen turkeys are usually injected with a sodium solution to make the meat stay fresher longer.
If you aren’t able to get a fresh one, don’t freak out. Brining a frozen one is better than not doing it at all. Just try to make sure the turkey is thawed properly.
2. What Type Of Brine for my Turkey?
Now that you have the perfect bird, the next thing to figure out is what is the best brine for you.
There are a multitude of premade brines in the store already made for your convenience. While nothing is wrong with these, making your own is the best way to go.
The brine that we suggest is our Turkey Brine. It contains sea salt, black pepper, rosemary, brown sugar, and brown mustard to help give you the flavor and aromatics you need for a turkey. Although it may not seem like much, this 4oz pack is enough for a 20-30 pound turkey.
No matter if you do or don’t use our Spice Station blend, just make sure it contains salt and use water or stock to give it enough liquid.
3. Overnight, Please
So how should you brine your turkey? The best way is to use an extra-large ziplock bag to put both the items in. It is also suggested to put this bag in a pan.
For maximum flavor, leave the turkey in the brine overnight after boiling the brine. Then take it out of the solution, rinse, and cook for at least 2 ½ hours. If you need your turkey sooner, just make sure you let the brine cool with 10 cups of ice before putting it on the turkey.
We hope this has answered why to brine a turkey. Happy eating!
Time to unwind with some Tea
After a stressful day, a calming tea can really help you unwind. Enjoying chamomile tea, or other calming tea after dinner can help you fall asleep quickly. Several factors can lead to a lack of sleep. Stress, among other issues in your life, can make it hard to fall asleep. It is possible to regain good sleep even after suffering from insomnia if you can invest in a cup of tea towards the evening. Caffeine can lead to a lack of sleep, but chamomile tea does not contain caffeine so you dont have to worry about any caffeine jitters. Chamomile will ease the effects of insomnia and help you relax so that you can enjoy a peaceful sleep.
Why drink chamomile Tea?
Our chamomile tea can help you relax after a stressful day. It has apigenin that contributes to sleep. The flavonoid compound has been linked to good sleep. If you have a hard time falling asleep, you can increase your herbal tea intake, and it will contribute towards helping you fall asleep. Green tea is rich in theanine, which is an effective element in promoting good sleep. Always ensure you drink decaffeinated green tea to enjoy the calming effects.
Tea Drinking Tips
Try to drink chamomile tea throughout the day to enjoy the benefits of good sleep. Caffeine can remain active in the body for up to 10 hours. Some find it hard when they drink caffeinated tea even in the early afternoon to fall asleep, so they turn to chamomile tea. Switch to decaffeinated green tea and chamomile tea completely, and it will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Developing a habit of drinking chamomile tea before you go to bed will make you enjoy a sound sleep. People usually need to relax their minds before they can fall asleep. Those who develop the habit of drinking decaffeinated tea each time they go to bed are at a high chance of enjoying a good night’s sleep.
Try our blends of Tea to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.