Spice up your Condiments
Condiments are a great way to add some additional flavor and texture to all of your favorite food items and meals. In fact, condiments are so important in most cultures that specific foods cannot even be thought of without also thinking of their condiment counterparts. For example, what are tacos without spicy red salsa or salsa verde? Who can imagine eating a hot dog without any ketchup, mustard, or relish? These foods are intrinsically connected with their condiment counterparts and it is almost impossible to imagine eating them without those.
How to Spice Up Your Condiments
When shopping for condiments in the grocery store and using condiments in your kitchen, it is important to remember more than just the basics. Barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, ketchup, mayo, and mustard are not the only ways to sauce your food. By paying attention to the following tips you can up your condiment game and add more flavor to all of your favorite food items.
Make Your Own Condiments
Making your own condiments in the kitchen at home can be easier than you might think. By combining some pantry staples with some spice station spices, you are often able to make delicious condiments like barbecue sauce at home. When making your own condiments, it is important to use a good recipe. Once you have the basic recipe down, you can make it your own by changing heat levels and adding spices.
Try Adding Spices to Your Condiments
Creatively changing the flavor of your pre-made condiments is an easy way to add unique flavor to your food. For example, you can try adding a little bit of smoked paprika to your ketchup to give it a unique flavor. You can also add garlic, herbs, and spices to mayo to create your own aioli spread at home.
Try Foreign Condiments
If you are bored of your standard condiment options at home, try some international options. Asian condiments can add umami flavor, saltiness, and spice to foods. South American and Central American countries are known for their hot sauces and herb based blends. These will help you to diversify your palette and switch up your standard go-to recipes.
Add Heat to Your Condiments
Upping the heat levels of your condiments is a great way to take them from “blah” to “wow.” Adding hot sauce, crushed red pepper, or cayenne pepper to ketchup, mustard, or barbecue sauce can really impact the flavor profile. When adding some heat to your condiments, add just a little bit at a time to make sure that your new creation is not too spicy to handle.
For fresh spices sent right to your door, check out our website.
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!
Creative Uses for Cocoa
The word cocoa immediately conjures images of steaming mugs of sweet, creamy hot chocolate on a cold winter evening. While cocoa is a popular pantry staple, few realize that it has many uses, and not just for hot chocolate! Loaded with antioxidants and boasting other health benefits, cocoa is a great way to add a bit of decadence to your everyday. Here are some creative ways to use cocoa.
Chocolate for Breakfast? Yes, Please!
Cocoa is a great addition to otherwise plain breakfast options. Mornings are hard enough, treat yourself!
- Oatmeal: Simply add a spoonful (or two, who’s counting) to your breakfast to jazz up your mornings. Honey or banana helps to reduce the bitter taste.
- Yogurt: Cocoa powder and fruit turn this morning staple into a chocolatey delight.
- Cereal: Sprinkle cocoa over top of your usual dry cereal for a rich treat.
Not Just for Hot Chocolate
Cocoa powder is a fantastic way to liven up any beverage. Cocoa can liven up your favorite smoothie, or even your morning cup o’ joe.
- Smoothies: A couple of tablespoons added to most recipes will elevate your smoothie game to the next level.
- Coffee: Add one tablespoon to your cup, and sweeten as usual. You’re welcome.
Cocoa has uses beyond the kitchen, as well! The rich brown powder not only tastes great, but can make you look great, too.
- Dry shampoo for dark hair: Mix equal parts cornstarch and cocoa, and put into a salt shaker to dispense. Sprinkle the mixture at your roots, rub in, and give the powder 10-15 minutes to absorb excess oils. Brush through your hair, and enjoy another day from your blowout, free of white residue!
- Facial scrub: Mix equal parts coconut oil, honey, and sugar. Add a tablespoon of cocoa and mix until a paste forms. Spread over clean, dry skin and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Massage gently as you rinse your skin, and say hello to your new glow!
Get Your Cake Fix
Cocoa powder is also the main ingredient in this 5-minute chocolate mug cake.
Make Ordinary Baked Goods Extraordinary
Most baked goods can be transformed into chocolate delights with minimal fuss. Try adding cocoa to your zucchini bread, banana bread, or even Sunday morning pancake recipes!
Mixing in a tablespoon of cocoa with peanut butter (or any nut butter) makes for a delectable sandwich spread that satisfies even the most ardent of chocoholics. This heavenly combination makes a great dip for apples, too!
Our Organic Dark Cocoa can be purchased here.
Sichimi Togarashi, Can’t Get Enough Of It
What is Sichimi Togarashi, and why people who use it can never get enough of it?
Sichimi Togarashi is a savory and spicy Japanese chili blend. It can be both dried and fresh. People use this spice to sprinkle on rice, noodles, vegetables, green salads, and eggs. Sichimi Togarashi can be placed on chicken, steak, and salmon for anyone who likes to grill.
Sichimi Togarashi is part of an established spice mix made of orange zest, seaweed, sesame seeds, chile powder, and ginger.
How Do You Use Sichimi Togarashi As A Flavor?
What is Sichimi Togarashi? It is an excellent spice for extra flavoring on your foods. The good thing about this spice is that it is not an acidid element, so you will never feel sick to your stomach when using it. Sichimi Togarashi is not overly spicy, but the important thing about it is that it will add an extra pop of flavor that anyone would love to enjoy.
What Does it Taste Like?
Sichimi Togarashi tastes like a variety of flavored seeds like peppers and sesame and pumpkin seeds. When these ingredients are combined, the peppers and the seeds create the flavorful taste of Sichimi Togarashi.
That is why when everything is mixed, the spice is delicious to put on some of your favorite foods like meats, fish, and even vegetables, adding a flavor that you and others will enjoy. It is also ideal to use on your noodles and soup dishes, even ontop of rice.
Health Benefits of this spice
Depending on the blend, Sichimi Togarashi has health benefits because of the mixture of seeds used to make the spice flavorful. Not only is it full of fiber, but it also has Vitamins D, A, and E. The seeds used are sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and sometimes more.
This spice has antioxidants due to having hemp seeds because they are full of omega-3 fatty acids. It aids in cutting back to reduce heart disease and inflammation.
Sichimi Togarashi is suitable for your digestive system. Since ginger is part of this spice, it helps to fight bloating and digestive problems like gas and bowel movements.
Try our Sichimi Togarashi blend Today!! It is excellent to use for Asian Cuisine dishes and has great health benefits.
Be sure to store yours in a dry but cool place.
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!
How can I use Green Cardamom?
Cardamom, pronounced kaar-duh-muhm is an ancient spice with a vast variety of benefits and uses that is sure to transform a casual home cook into a world-renowned chef at a dinner party. But what exactly is Cardamom and why are people so fascinated with not only its great taste but its very unique and aromatic smell?
Green Cardamom is a small, triangular-shaped seed with a light green texture (there are black and even white cardamom as-well). It’s used to add flavor and aroma to savory and spicy foods of all types. Cardamom grew into the spice it is today and found its way into many kitchens after centuries of ancient practices. The Greeks used it to add flavor to their sauces and vegetables while some Middle Eastern countries used it in various desserts and teas. Among its many uses in dishes of all sorts, it also has health benefits that can help to fight bad breath and has antioxidants that may help to lower blood pressure.
But in the context of culinary arts, cardamom is a game-changer, and a sure champion to start a conversation at the dinner table. But when you first look at cardamom, you might not know exactly what to do with them. You might think of just throwing a bunch in your dish, or blending them, or chopping them up. It all depends on what you’re cooking and the type of taste and texture you’re going for.
So if you’re cooking meats, most chefs usually crush the desired amount with a spoon or the bottom of a small pot. Doing so will allow the flavor to be kept and to cook just right.
If you’re looking to add seasoning to vegetables, you can add the cardamom in a grinder and sprinkle to the taste. This method allows other spices to perfectly mix in as you toss and turn the vegetables, giving it a light taste. You can also use crushed green cardamom in baked goods like layered spice cakes.
Roasting cardamom is another alternative. Doing so could be done by taking the seeds from the pods and putting them in a dry skillet for a few minutes. This method is most favored by chefs who want to try recipes like roasted chicken or roasted rice. This allows a crisp texture along with the signature cardamom aroma.
Cardamoms great health benefits, great taste and smell will give off a subtle feeling of a cleansing and calming atmosphere, fit for any kitchen. So if you ever run out of ginger or cinnamon, cardamom will be sure to add an amazing taste, texture, and aroma to your favorite dishes.
How will you use it?
Come see how you can get fresh Green Cardamom delivered to your doorstep.