Spices and the Holiday Season
Intriguing Spices and the Pleasures of the Holiday Season
The holiday season can be pretty tough. It can be difficult at times to anticipate what the people in your life want the most. One thing is pretty clear, though. So many people the world over are crazy about cooking and about food preparation in general. That’s why it can be hard to go wrong with gifts that involve food or the culinary arts overall. If you’re keen on the gift of cooking, then you should look into delectable spice choices that may be out there. COVID has us indoors, which is why more people are taking day-to-day meal preparation seriously. That’s why more people are looking to the universe of amazing and memorable spices to liven up their meals.
Getting People to Cook More With Fresh Spices
Why can spices make such fine gifts for the holiday season and beyond? If you give someone an amazing spice set for the holidays, this gift of cooking can be inimitable. People aren’t joking when they say that food is love. People care more about wellness than ever, and spices help boost flavor as well as other health benefits. Everyone wants their immune systems to be able to safeguard them from all kinds of hazardous illnesses. If you give a person you care about a present that includes spices, you may be promoting optimal health. It can help to look into particularly beneficial spices that are staples in cuisine. Turmeric is one such example. This spice is associated with all kinds of undeniable wellness perks. It at the same time is associated with delectable flavoring. If you’re keen on spicy and hot South Asian dishes that involve curry, then you cannot go wrong with turmeric.
Spices make great gifts for yet another big reason. There are so many mouthwatering varieties out there. It doesn’t matter if you love dessert spices that are milder, or if you like particularly piquant ones, either. People never have to settle for spices that just do not appeal to them. Give the gift of spices this year.
See our popular gift sets here.
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.
The Right Time to Chow Down on Tasty Soup
It can be tough to cope with the weather getting colder in the autumn and winter seasons. There are some things, however, that can truly make up for outdoor temperatures that are the polar opposite of warm and inviting. Food can in many cases do the trick. If you’re a fan of filling up on warm and cozy foods, then soup may be right up your alley. What makes the fall and the winter so terrific? People cannot resist having the chance to chow down on soup that’s simultaneously warm, nutritious, and filling to the max. It’s soup season!
Fantastic Choices in Healthy Soups at Your Disposal
There are so many things that make feasting on soup such a fantastic idea for so many. Feasting on soup can help you pack in the vegetables. If you want to get your hands on all kinds of beneficial nutrients during the winter and fall seasons, then you should test out the joys of chowing down on vegetable soup. If you consume this kind of soup, then you may be able to try out advantageous ingredients like carrots, cabbage, green beans, onions, and peas. Carrots, first of all, can give you lots of beta carotene. Peas can give you sufficient fiber that can do your digestive system a huge favor.
Do you want to spice up your soup approach?
If you do, then there are just as many wondrous options waiting right here eagerly for you. You can enjoy something a bit more exotic thanks to miso soup. This soup has been a staple in Asian restaurants in the United States for many decades at this point. Other soups that are brimming with flavor are both black bean soup and minestrone. If you want to revel in a soup that has Iberian Peninsula flair, then you should check out gazpacho. It’s served chilled.
There are so many ways to relish the joys of healthy soups during soup season. There are so many vegetables that can give your soup vitality. There are so many incredible seasonings that can do the same. Have fun making your own.
Our fresh spices will help give your soup that flavor that you crave.
Different ways to use pumpkin pie spice
It’s that time a year again. We all know that Autumn is better known as the Pumpkin Spice season. But with pumpkin spice everywhere and in everything, you might get tired of having it the same way every time. Or you may love pumpkin spice and want to try it in different dishes. Because pumpkin spice is a blend of spices, it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes and drinks. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg all make up pumpkin pie spice.
Pumpkin spice and coffee go hand in hand. If you like your coffee without all the extra foam and work. You can sprinkle some pumpkin spice in with your coffee grounds. Or you could make a pumpkin spice latte.
It may seem strange, but pumpkin spice can be used in many savory dishes, like pasta. Many pasta dishes could be made better by adding or using pumpkin. You can make pumpkin ravioli or sprinkle a little pumpkin spice over pasta with brown butter or pasta with butternut squash and sage.
3. Roasted Vegetables
Certain roasted vegetables go great with pumpkin pie spice. Butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. Sprinkle the seasoning on with the rest of the seasoning and then roast. The spice will bring out the sweetness in the vegetables.
4. Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin pancakes are the perfect Sunday morning breakfast and incredibly simple to make. Just take some pumpkin spice into your batter. If you want some extra pumpkin flavor, you can make a pumpkin maple sauce. To make the sauce, you take pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and unsalted butter and combine in a saucepan. Bring it to a low simmer and let the sauce thicken. Take it off the heat and serve.
5. Butternut Squash Soup
This soup is a staple for the autumn. Roasted butternut squash is pureed with cream, roasted carrots, onions, butter, and spices. The spices include pumpkin spice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Butternut Squash goes hand in hand with pumpkin. So, whenever you think about making butternut squash, think of pumpkin spice.
If you love pumpkin spice like we do, you can order some from us here.
Secrets behind Thai Green Curry
Thai green curry is a popular Thai dish. Its popularity may be due to both its fresh green look and its sweet vs spicy sour taste. Its aroma and slightly spicy taste also make it an appealing oriental culinary delight.
But what is the secret behind its appeal that makes this Thai curry a delight to the palate? The secrets are in the ingredients and the cooking. It is a delicate process of combining and balancing opposite flavors like sweet vs spicy.
Three steps to a good Thai green curry.
First, get the thick curry paste.
You can make this paste or buy it ready-made from an oriental shop. Making your curry paste might not be the best approach. The many ingredients might be hard to get and expensive. Prep time and getting the right consistency and taste might be difficult.
Buying a jar of ready-made paste is the better option. It has all the ingredients in the right proportions and consistency.
Next, get the cooking ingredients for the curry.
- packet of kaffir
- lime leaves.
- lemongrass shoots,
- jar of tamarind paste,
- palm or white sugar,
- green chilies,
- coconut milk,
- desiccated coconut
- Thai fish sauce,
- basil leaves,
- diced chicken breast or vegetables.
With ingredients at hand use the thick ready-made paste to make the perfect sauce. It is important to focus on balancing the sweet vs spicy ingredients you add.
Third, make your curry:
1. In a wok, start by frying these ingredients together: onion, garlic, chopped lemongrass shoots, galangal, lime leaves, green chilies, and basil leaves. Fry for three minutes.
2. Add two tablespoons of curry paste, fish sauce, and tamarind paste. Fry for three to four minutes.
3. Add diced chicken breast or vegetables and stir for two minutes.
4. Add coconut milk and water if too thick, then stir until it begins to boil then leave to simmer.
5. Blend coriander leaves and desiccated coconut into a paste.
6. Add sugar and lime juice, basil leaves. Stir and add coriander paste and stir. After 30 seconds the curry will turn green.
You have unlocked the Thai green curry secret. Turn off flame and serve with rice.
To make this easier, just use our Thai Green Curry spice
For more ideas using our fresh spices, check out our blog.
Salmon, It’s What’s For Dinner.
Sensitive white fish can prove to be difficult to prepare. Cook it the wrong way and it will break apart before you get to make your meal. Fortunately, salmon doesn’t fall into the category of “hard-to-cook” fish and is one of the best tasting kinds of fish you can buy. While it may not be as difficult to cook as tilapia, it does require good technique in order for it to be cooked thoroughly.
At the end of the day, if your only experience with salmon has been over-poached crap that’s served in an all-you-can-eat buffet, it’s time you learn some different ways of preparing this fish.
Grilling salmon is tricky, to say the least because it is not as sturdy as red meat. Ideally, when it comes to grilling this fish, you should leave the skin on if you want a nice thin crisp around it. Additionally, you should use our Fraser River Salmon Rub and marinate it for a few hours. Leave some of the marinade to mix with olive oil and coat the fish while it’s on the grill. For a more smoky flavor, consider using a charcoal grill for this way of preparing the fish.
Pan searing is regarded as being an effortless way to cook fish. It’s also the easiest way for the salmon to get overcooked. Therefore, ensure that you pay attention to the process and only keep it on each side for a couple of minutes.
Curing salmon isn’t as difficult as it sounds. This technique consists of mixing brown sugar, kosher salt, and pepper together to create a homemade marinade. You then let the salmon sit for 5 days so that it soaks up all the ingredients. After this, you should rinse the salmon and proceed to eat it directly on toast or bagels.
When it comes to some different ways of preparing salmon for dinner, braised is an unsung hero in the culinary fish world. You will be amazed at how simple, yet rewarding this technique is, as it requires very little work and produces great flavors. In order for you to braise salmon, you simply have to cook it in a flavorful liquid with ingredients that you choose in an oven. The end result is a tender fish that has been infused with robust flavor.
As always, salmon is a delicious protein you should learn how to make, and adding our spices will always make your meals exquisite.
Ideas to Help Make your Salads More Interesting
Are you trying to take control of your health? Maybe lose weight? Most likely, a nutritionist has recommended a change in diet. This means that you should incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet, which is easily done with a salad. Preparing the same salad can be monotonous, some salads can have a bland taste which may demotivate you. Here are some tips to spice up your salads and make it more tasty and nutritious.
1.Add Fruits to your salad.
Fruits contain the natural sweet or sour flavor, depending on your preference. The beauty of most salad is the taste. Adding naturally sweet fruits like pears, grapes, pineapples, or blueberries will do some magic to your salad for individuals with a sweet tooth, not to include antioxidant benefits as well.
For those with a preferential sour taste, add citric fruits like lime, oranges, or pomelo to your salad. The citrus fruits are an impeccable source of vitamin C that boosts your immunity and eliminate toxic oxidants.
2. Spice Up Your Salads Using Nuts For That Crunchy Taste.
Nuts are a great source of vitamins and minerals, as well as protein. The use of roasted nuts as toppings to your salad not only modifies your salad’s texture but also makes it tasty by adding a smoky flavor.
3. Incorporate a different Salad Dressing.
Warming the salad dressings can transform the taste of a bland salad to a tasty and savory salad. The beauty of salad dressing is that you can tweak the ingredients to their preference. You can use vinegar, olive oil, coconut milk, spices, or a basic vinaigrette. Two of the most recommended salad dressings are the Thai peanut dressing and a cumin garlic marinade. Or add our Med-Eastern Salad blend to incorporate a little bit of a kick to your salad! You won’t be disappointed.
4. Add color.
Research indicates that an individual’s appetite increases when the plate is filled with bright colors. To break the monotony in your salad, add some colorful fruits and vegetables like beetroot and strawberries. We like to call these rainbow salads, they are fun to eat and beautiful to look at. Try mixing up your base of the salads as well, purple cabbage, spinach, and butterleaf lettuce.
5. Embrace Different Recipes For Your Salads.
Changing the ingredients in your salad is an incredible way to experiment and discover what works for you. Additionally, it breaks the monotony that develops with regularly using one recipe.
You can adjust the type of veggies that you use. Romaine lettuce adds a bit of crispy texture to your salad while bibb lettuce has a bit of soft and buttery taste. Or forget the lettuce altogether and go for a cucumber, tomato, and feta salad with some lemon juice and olive oil.
The secret to finding what salad works for you is through experimenting. Happy eating!
For more spices to add to your salads, come shop on our website.
Some history on a well-loved Mexican dish, Fajitas.
Currently, the Fajita meal is prevalent in all Mexican or Tex-Mexican restaurants. The meat can vary from steak to chicken or seafood. Also, some places have vegetable Fajitas. Notably, when the dish first came into existence, it was considered as an unwanted part of a cow, which is the skirt steak. The word Fajita has a Spanish origin from “Faja,” which refers to girdle, hence the word Fajita means a “little strap.”
How did Fajitas get its Start?
Fajitas were initially created at the end of the 1930s and beginning of the 1940s by Mexican ranch workers that were located in Texas. There were instances where the workers were paid with meat, which consisted of the least wanted parts like the head, entrails together with skirt steak. The workers taught themselves how to turn these undesirable parts of meat into a meal that can be consumed by serving the grilled marinated meat on tortillas.
Since then, the dish has frequently been served as a backyard and campfire dish. It was passed down from one generation to another but had no intention of making it a significant meal in restaurants.
At the end of the 1960s, Sonny Falcon worked at Guajardo’s Cash Grocery as a meat market manager and started trying out some experiments with the meat. In a festival in 1969, he set up a Fajita stand and sold them to the crowd.
Around the same time, other restaurants placed Fajitas on their Menu. After a short period, Ninfa Rodriguez established her restaurant and served traditional dishes such as Fajitas.
The 1970s became an excellent year for the Fajitas since they were sold in many restaurants, and it gained a lot of customers. Chefs started cooking Fajitas but changed the recipe a little bit and opted to use the soft sirloin section as an alternative to the initial skirt steak.
The dish has advanced and incorporated other meats such as shrimp or chicken, together with vegetables. It is commonly served in most restaurants together with toasty tortillas and also a mountain of sides. It is also commonly known to be served on a sizzling hot plate, to keep everything warm.
You are probably wondering where you can get some tasty Fajitas after reading about them. Almost any Mexican restaurant has them on the menu, but why not make them at home? With our Fajita blend, you will not be disappointed! Season any type of meat or vegetables with it, even beans as well!
What is Piri Piri?
Piri Piri is associated with hot peppers, notably African Bird’s Eye chilies. Having roots in both Africa and Portugal, for centuries Piri Piri has been a part of both of their cuisine. Read on for our take of piri piri chicken.
How hot is this chili?
Known in Swahili as pepper-pepper, the spice that is so hot it had to be named twice. Most Portuguese cuisines do not like it as hot so it is rated as 50,000 to up to 175,000 Scoville units. In general, it depends on where you go to how spicy the piri piri will be. It is generally more flavorful than spicy and has notes of citrus in it.
So in answer to the question What is Piri Piri, Its basically a delightfully hot, flavorful dish.
While puri puri is very popular at British Restaurants such as Nando’s, there are few restaurants that serve it. So if you crave Piri Piri, or have never tried it but want to, the best way is to grill it at home by purchasing our Piri Piri blend for home use.
Our piri piri blend can be used as either a dry or wet rub, and if you have children who like it a little milder, mix it up with some ketchup.
The Piri Piri Chicken Recipe
This recipe was designed to imitate Nando’s classic barbecue recipe at home.
For the marinade, mix together lemon juice and garlic, salt to taste. Coat the chicken evenly on the outside, as well as under the skin where possible. Let sit in the marinade for 30 minutes on the counter.
For the Piri piri sauce, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons of our piri piri blend, salt, and pepper to taste.
Place your marinated chicken in a preheated oven at 400 degrees and then cook for 30-35 minutes. Turn the chicken halfway and baste with its juices.
Heat a griddle on medium heat. Remove chicken from oven, brush with piri piri sauce and brown on griddle 2 minutes on both sides. Serve with baked corn or quinoa or rice, also drizzled with piri piri sauce.
It does take a bit of work to prepare the sauce properly, but once you’ve tried Piri Piri Chicken, you’ll rarely be content to eat just ordinary chicken again.
Piri piri chicken is absolutely delicious and be prepared to get plenty of requests for more.