When I'm in a dreaming and scheming mood, I often think about traveling to the Eurasian country of Georgia. This fascination with Georgia started with two of the region's spice blends: khmeli suneli, which we've spotlighted before, and Svanuri marili, a spicy, garlicky, and deeply aromatic seasoning salt.
Garam masala is a classic spice mix in Indian cooking, but this mix of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and other spices also includes the warm and cozy flavors we usually associate with the holidays. This year I've pushed aside my bottle of pumpkin pie spice and am experimenting with the comforting but slightly more exotic taste of garam masala.
From garam masala to za'atar, we thought we knew all there was to know about spice blends ... until we stepped into Seattle's World Spice Merchants and discovered khmeli suneli, which is quickly becoming a favorite ingredient in our spice cupboard.
Being from Kansas City, there's been one thing that's been instilled in me early. Dry Rub. We put it on anything that is bound for heat and sometimes more than that just for fun. It's more than salt and pepper and can take a plain cut of meat from meh to mouthwatering. It's easy to make and makes all the difference to your meat!
This is one of my absolutely favorite things to give away at the holiday time. It makes a great gift, especially if given with a hand-thrown mug and one of those long, involved novels that are best read in January. (Armchair optional.) It's also great to keep a few batches on hand as hostess or last-minute gifts.
No matter where I am or what time of year it is, one whiff of poultry seasoning instantly transports me to Thanksgiving morning with my mom and Grandma. This herb-based blend is a classic this time of year, but you don't have to limit its use to Thanksgiving, or to poultry.
Read on for a basic recipe, some good store-bought brands, and ways to use it.
Chinese five-spice powder is a spice mixture commonly used to season savory meats and vegetables in Asian cooking. It magically captures all five flavors of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty in one tiny jar. That's cool. What's even cooler is what chefs, bakers, and bloggers have been doing with it in desserts these days.
Oh, chili powder, how we love you. We use it for traditional Latin American dishes like enchiladas and tacos, of course. But a spoonful also adds a south-of-the-border kick to grilled meat, a pot of beans, and lots more. Here's a basic recipe for homemade chili powder. Do you make your own, and if so, how does this recipe compare?
We've eaten a lot of cinnamon toast over the years and made more batches of gingersnaps than is probably healthy. We don't like to brag, but we consider ourselves to be something of cinnamon-sugar aficionados. When it comes to the perfect ratio of cinnamon to sugar, we think we've nailed it.