Showing posts with label spices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spices. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

10 Spices That Are So Easy to Grow & Great in Recipes

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, there are so many spices that are so easy to grow!  Let's review some of these spices and maybe they might help trigger some creative cooking too!

spices, easy to grow, spice bible, tasty cooking, review, flavor bible

Gardening is about enjoying what you and the earth can produce.  Nothing tastes as good as fresh from the garden.  That's why many people decide to go out to the country on the weekends to stock up on fresh from the farm goodness.

Having a spice garden is relatively easy and when it really starts to grow, it can become bountiful.  What a tasty treat for all your home cooked meals.  Let's get on to the list of easy to grow and great to enjoy spices that are just a few steps away from the kitchen.


10 of the Most Used and useful spices:


1.  Parsley:  either curly or flat leafed.  Wonderful for dressing up salads, potatoes, stews, and more.

2.  Chives:  Great with stuffed baked potatoes, salads, soups and more.

3.  Peppers:  These can be hot (hotter than Hades) or sweet as in bell peppers.  Some can be used for a meal as a vegetable and others for spicing things up.  Be careful, some of the peppers that are being grown today are so hot, you need to handle them with rubber gloves.

4.  Basil:  There are several varieties of Basil, from large Green Leafed Basil, to Purple Basil and even small leafed basil.  One thing is certain, tomatoes with fresh basil is a little bit of heaven right here on earth.

5.  Dill:  Great for making home made pickles, but also added to salads it adds just a little bit of a different taste sensation.

6:  Cilantro:  This is one spice that you either love or dislike(dare I say "hate").  It depends totally on your own taste buds.  Some people when eating anything with cilantro will taste a "soapy" flavor.  They are sure not to like this spice.  But others find cilantro to be refreshing with a crisp clear taste!  Great in salads and stews, soups and even sandwiches.

7:  Mint:  There are all kinds of mints available and all of them are really easy to grow.  Some might even be considered invasive.  Mints can be used in cooking as well as making teas (hot or cold) to enjoy on a hot summer's day.

8:  Sage:  Pretty in green or purple sage has a very strong flavor that will pack a punch of flavor in your cooking.

9:  Oregano:  Easy to grow and will often overwinter.  A great spice for all Italian dishes from spaghettis to pizza.  Added to soups and stews it adds a lot of flavor with a tangy zesty taste.

10: Rosemary:  this spice is easy to grow and can be used not only for cooking but as a decorative plant.  It prunes really easy and can be used as small topiaries.  This spice is great for lamb and grilled or roasted vegetables.  Taken indoors for the winter months, it will continue to grow without any problems.

This is my list of 10 favorites, but there are so many more and each one will add a dimension to your cooking that you may not have realized yet.  Below you will find a "cookbook" to help you make the most of the spices you grow yourself and the ones that you need to purchase because they just need a climate that we don't have.  Either way, home grown spices will definitely make you think twice about the way you cook and the way you enjoy your meals with your family.


Guide to Using Spices


If you are looking for help in pairing spices to make your recipes pop and sizzle, then I would highly recommend this Cookbook!  I use the term "Cookbook" with a certain amount of caution, it is not so much a "cookbook" as a real guide to using spices in combinations that will make your food preparation and your family's taste buds sing.


With a rating of 4.5 stars from Amazon, and over 1,000 verified purchases (mine included), I know that you will enjoy this addition to your cookbook collection!  As with many books today, there is a "Kindle" edition.  Alas, the Kindle version does not get very good ratings at all. (This decline in ratings I'm sure dropped this from a 5 star to 4.5 star rating) With the Kindle book, there is not the same ability to skip to other pages easily and quickly.   Some books just need to be in a paper version!

This truly is a REFERENCE BOOK  that every kitchen should have.  You will use it more often than you ever thought possible.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Reviewing McCormick Smokehouse Maple

Smokehouse Maple by McCormick
McCormick's Smokehouse Maple has become one of my favorite spices. Living in the Baltimore area, I take it for granted that everyone is familiar with McCormick spices. Realizing that not everyone may be aware of this sweet, smokey blend I thought I should stop keeping this little secret to myself. 


Smokehouse Maple by McCormick


Smokehouse maple is an excellent spice that is recommended for pork and chicken. Some people use it on fish and I regularly use it on burgers. Just a small amount of this seasoning (dry rub) goes a long way in adding a sweet, smokey flavor to your meal.

Ingredients list: 
salt, cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses (refinery syrup, cane molasses, caramel color), garlic, onion, spices (including paprika, chili pepper), orange peel, red bell pepper, maple syrup & natural flavor (including smoke)

If you are looking for recipes, McCormick provides a selection of recipes and meal ideas that use Smokehouse Maple specifically. I hadn't thought of using it on grilled corn on the cob! What a great idea.


 Why I prefer the Smokehouse Maple


When I am camping at The Shack, all of my hot meals are prepared on the grill, in the smoker, or in hobo packs in the wood stove. My land is on what had previously been an apple orchard. So my wood stove and my smoker are fueled with apple wood from my yard and hard wood from my woods. 

I prefer grilled foods and smoked foods. That smoked flavor is my preference. When I return to the apartment, I do not have an access to a grill and am not able to smoke my foods.

I typically fry or bake a pork chop with a light sprinkle of this seasoning. Or I add a bit to my burgers. McCormick's Smokehouse Maple takes care of my grill cravings when I am unable to grill. 







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.