Friday, January 31, 2014

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Harissa Vinaigrette

This time of year is brutally cold here in upstate New York. Combined with what seems like never-ending darkness, its easy to fall into a rut of all comfort food all the time. I’m always looking for healthy recipe ideas that I can still get excited about in this weather.

This carrot salad is a definite winner. Even though the salad itself is cold, the harissa vinaigrette is spicy enough that it’ll warm you right up. Plus, after so much holiday excess, eating a big ole plate of carrots just feels good!

Pistachio and Cardamom Cookies

Cardamom is one of my favorite spices. It’s “warm” like cinnamon or nutmeg, but it has a milder flavor that’s very aromatic and slightly floral. It’s great in savory recipes (like this Moroccan Spiced Carrot Hummus, but I especially love using it in sweets. Cardamom also pairs beautifully with apples and pears and I love how it adds a slightly savory, spicy note to baked goods.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kabocha Squash Puree with Seared Sea Scallops

Kabocha Squash Puree with Seared Sea Scallops
by Jenny

8 sea scallops
2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil - divided
1/2 cup white onion - rough chop
2 celery stalks - rough chop
2 Tablespoons garlic - rough chop
1 Tablespoon ginger - rough chop
1/3 cup green apple - peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon The Spice House Fleur de Sel de Noirmoutier Malandel French Sea Salt
2 cups kabocha squash - peeled, seeded and cubed
1/2 - 3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup of sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 - 3 Tablespoons The Spice House Spicy Sesame Seasoning
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookies
by Jenny

adapted from this recipe from Jacques Torres

8 1/2 ounces sweet sorghum flour
8 1/2 ounces super fine brown rice flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoons gluten-free baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons gluten-free natural vanilla extract
1 12-ounce package of bittersweet chocolate chips, disks, chunks,
The Spice House Fleur de Sel de Noirmoutier Malandel French Sea Salt

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

BBQ Brisket

BBQ Brisket
by Rebbekkah

4-5 pound brisket, with fat
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 jar The Spice House Brisket of Love BBQ Seasoning Rub
Favorite barbecue sauce

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Drizzle

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Drizzle
by Rebbekkah

2 sticks butter, room temperature (if you use salted butter, omit the teaspoon of salt)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons of The Spice House Lemon Extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon of lemon zest
Lemon Drizzle (recipe below)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo
by Carlos

3 Tablespoons Achiote Oil (recipe below)
4 - 6 chicken thighs with skin intact
1 Tablespoon The Spice House Adobo Seasoning, Regular
1/4 cup Sofrito (recipe below)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup sliced Spanish olives
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 The Spice House Turkish Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon sea salt
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups heated chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas

Kale and Corn Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Kale and Corn Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
by Carlos

1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 large bunch of kale, finely chopped
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1/4 cup The Spice House Freeze Dried Super Sweet Corn
Honey Mustard Dressing to taste (recipe below)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Singapore Noodle Fusion

I think I could eat Singapore Noodles everyday. I love the mingling flavors of curry, garlic and ginger, with the lightly crunchiness of so many colorful vegetables and the combination of shrimp, chicken and ham. This is one of my favorites for a family dinner because all you need is a wok. Yep that's it, just one wok, which makes for easy clean up!

Matcha Green Tea Gelato with Rose Flower Chocolate

I've heard so many great reviews about the high quality and freshness of The Spice House products, that I jumped at the chance to do this challenge. I am now a forever Spice House customer!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spice House Venison Rice and Gravy

Down here in Louisiana, just about everyone hunts something. I am a very avid sportsman and love to eat what I harvest. With this challenge I thought that a good Cajun style venison meal with these great seasonings would be a blast. I was not wrong on my assumption, the Bouquet Garni and Milwaukee Iron Seasoning with the venison steaks were amazing. Try it out, you cannot go wrong!

Spice House Cajun Hen and Sausage Sauce Piquant

When I received word about this Spice House challenge I was thrilled! I knew I wanted to cook a hen and sausage sauce piquant after looking at some of their Cajun recipes and I thought this would be perfect! If you use this recipe, it goes well when cooking outside near a fire with good friends and a pretty lady. Ha, ha! Check it out!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Herbed Tomato and Olive Loaf

My friends at 37 Cooks are at it again, this time sending me a selection of herbs and spices to play with, thanks to The Spice House.

Lemon Screwdriver

Why is a cocktail with orange juice and vodka called a screwdriver? I have no clue.

But that doesn't mean I can't riff on it.

This time around, I wanted to use an ingredient called "Fizzy" that I received from The Spice House through my friends at 37 Cooks. Fizzy is an interesting product. It looks like little bits of Styrofoam. Or maybe miniature albino Cheetos.

But it tastes a little lemony. And it fizzes. Bet you couldn't guess that.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Smoked Salmon Dip

Smoked Salmon Dip
by Tracy

makes about 2 cups

8 ounces Mascarpone
1/4 Cup sour cream
Juice of half of a lemon
2 teaspoons The Spice House Dill Weed
1 teaspoon The Spice House Tarragon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon The Spice House Meyer Lemon Peel Zest, soaked in 1 teaspoon of water for 10 minutes
8 ounces Alaskan style smoked salmon, flaked

Mix together all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Serve with crackers or toast points. Leftovers would be nice on bagels too.

Black Sesame Fried Oysters with Red Pepper Dipping Sauce and Seaweed Salad

This recipe is prepared in opposite order of its name, because you want the oysters to be hot when served. The remaining two components can be made ahead and set aside until the oysters are ready.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Zaalouk al Qarnabit Cauliflower Dip

In Moroccan cooking, a Zaalouk is a roughly mashed dip, usually scooped up with pita bread. Here it’s made with qarnabit, or cauliflower. It’s really pretty simple, and consists of mashing cooked cauliflower and sautéing it with tomatoes, olive oil, and spices. It makes a nice accompaniment or change to the traditional hummus in an appetizer spread. But it’s also chunky enough to serve as a vegetable course. The spicing is pretty free form as is the heat, depending on how much pepper you add, so use your imagination. All in all, it’s a very forgiving dish. The preserved lemon adds a tart, salty kick.

Hummus with Preserved Lemons and Ras el Hanout

Isn’t hummus great? So easy to make, so fast, and everyone loves it. But do you ever get tired of the same old type of hummus? A lot of people don’t realize it, but the basic recipe for hummus (tahini and chickpeas), is just the jumping-off point into a world of different combinations! Different beans (black, kidney, pea, lentil, etc.) and different spices mean you never have to make the same hummus twice!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Spicy Chicken Fried Rice for Two

Spicy Chicken Fried Rice for Two
by Lesia

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups rice, cooked
2 teaspoons The Spice House Japanese Seven Spice, Shichimi Togarashi
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons butter
5-ounce can chicken breast, drained

In medium skilled, heat olive oil and cook onion until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add rice, Japanese Seven Spice, salt, soy sauce, and butter. Cook on medium-high heat until well-blended. Stir in chicken and let cook 3 minutes.

Family Favorite Homemade Chili

I can't think of any other dish that screams “Football Season!” as loudly as a good pot of chili can. My family loves both, but homemade chili is a MUST with us! Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against canned chili. I just prefer the yummy goodness and richness of homemade, not to mention it makes the house smell so darn good. I came up with this recipe through trial and error and I have to say, as good as I thought it was with other chili mixes, The Spice House Chili Powder really gave this recipe some extra added flavor that had my family wowing while gobbling it up bowl by scrumptious bowl full!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tandoori Chicken

I love Indian food and I REALLY love tandoori chicken. But, not having a 900-degree tandoor oven presented a problem. Or so I thought. Fortunately, The Spice House has this amazing tandoori seasoning that makes it SO easy to make tandoori chicken at home! Moist, tasty, and low-calorie, tandoori chicken is now a new staple in my cooking repertoire.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken With Preserved Lemons & Olives

I love Middle-Eastern-inspired dishes, and Moroccan Chicken is a favorite! Traditionally made in a tagine, this recipe is adapted for the slow cooker, with much the same results. The combination of spicy, sweet, and pungent is delightful on the taste buds!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Spiced Doughboys

If you ever come to Rhode Island, you have to have a doughboy. On Sunday afternoons, my mom would venture into the kitchen and pull out a bag of pizza dough and fry up a plate of sugary, doughy goodness.

Maple Cider Pork Belly

Maple Cider Pork Belly
by Christine

2 pounds pork belly, trimmed of skin if desired
4 cups apple cider
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 Tablespoons kosher salt

Place pork, cider, garlic and salt in a large Ziploc and refrigerate overnight.

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chocolate Maple Sugar Cookies

I received a maple leaf cookie cutter along with a recipe over 10 years ago as a gift when I moved to the United States the first time. I have adapted the recipe slightly to use the wonderful Cocoa Powder and Maple Sugar from The Spice House.

Chocolate Maple Sugar Cookies
by Nancy
adapted from a recipe on the tag attached to my maple leaf cookie cutter from Gourmet du Village

2/3 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons The Spice House Dutched Processed Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons The Spice House Maple Sugar

A German Feast

I was inspired to make a warm comfort meal, using the wonderful spices from The Spice House. As a reflection of my German heritage, I wanted to showcase some of the delicious foods my mom made, as well as some new ones. Enjoy.

California Chicken Roast
recipe adapted from The Butchery meat shop, Kanata, ON

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 small pork tenderloin
4 pieces of kitchen string
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons The Spice House Bavarian Seasoning, ground
2 Tablespoons The Spice House Maple Sugar
1 Tablespoon coarse kosher salt

Heat oven to 350°F.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fizzy Champagne Truffles

The Spice House's Fizzy delivers a subtle tingling sensation on the tongue when consumed, which makes it perfect for mixing into a classic Champagne truffle.

Fizzy Champagne Truffles
by Sarah K

6 ounces milk or dark chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons champagne
1 Tablespoon cognac
3 Tablespoons chopped The Spice House Fizzy
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a bain-marie (bowl over pot of boiling water), melt the chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cream, then champagne and cognac.

Venison Chops with Urfa Biber Blackberry Coulis

The Urfa Biber Chile is a delicate chile; fruity and smoky with a surprisingly mild heat. It pairs wonderfully with tart berries, and the pear in this recipe adds body, sweetness and depth to the sauce.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chiffonade’s Afterburner Cranberry Jam

Chile-heads will love this! All others, approach with caution. Try it out on a cracker with some cream cheese or goat cheese first so you can plan your next move.

Chiffonade’s Afterburner Cranberry Jam
by Chiffonade

Yield: Approximately 40 ounces of jam

2 pounds fresh cranberries
4 cups sugar
1 very small (approximately 1/2-inch) The Spice House Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper*

*Wear gloves when handling scorpion pepper.

Chiffonade’s Chai Pound Cake

The aroma, flavor and texture of this pound cake make it “company worthy” especially if you gild the lily with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, whipped cream or a few fresh berries. There is no additional vanilla or any other flavor added to this cake, the full flavor load is carried by the fragrant Chai powder.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Belgian Waffle with Orange Water Cream

Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself in planning a dish. This is what happened to me when I learned that The Spice House was our next sponsor. I was intent on making a waffle dish using the Maple Sugar, but I wanted it to be something that stood out. My idea was to make it like a cannoli. I could not shake the idea. Luckily for me, I have a friend that has a waffle maker (thank you Brooke A!), which she so graciously loaned me. Then I started looking at recipes. I learned a lot about Belgian waffles. The authentic ones are made with yeast, so that is what we are going to do. I am not going to take you through the cooking stage because I do not know what kind of a maker you have. Just use this recipe to get some amazing waffles with intense flavor thanks to the Maple Sugar and Orange Flower Water from The Spice House!

New Mexico Green Chili Sour Cream Enchiladas

I am so incredibly into sour cream enchiladas that I could scream! If they are made right, that is. Making these right means no canned soup in any way shape or form. And using any type of fresh seasoning is a plus--enter The Spice House New Mexican Green Chile Powder. I have combined a few recipes to come up with this one and it was definitely made complete with my new and wonderful Spice House addition. This is a simple recipe and it is a total keeper for a great Mexican dinner. I don't do sides with this very often because I use a fantastic flour tortilla that is not cooked per se. I use Guerrero brand Ready to Cook Flour Tortillas. If you can get them, I strongly recommend adding them into a staple of your cooking. Not to mention New Mexican Green Chile Powder. I did use a small can of chopped green chiles because it isn't Hatch Chile time right now. But with the addition of the Green Chile Powder, you may not need to. It just depends on your spicy level.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sweet BBQ Sauce

I have a special spicy BBQ sauce recipe that I make all the time. My guys love it, but for the longest time my husband has been asking me to come up with a sweet sauce. When our Spice House challenge came up and I was searching through all of their spice choices (so many to choose from!) I came across their Maple Sugar. I thought it would be perfect in a sweet BBQ sauce, so at my hubby's request I came up with this Sweet BBQ Sauce. The addition of the Smoked Hot Spanish Paprika and the European Style Black and White Peppercorn Blend give this sweet sauce a nice little zing.

Apple Cake with Vanilla Bean Sugar Whipped Cream

I love apples. I love them by themselves, in pie, chopped up in some yummy warm oatmeal, slices dipped in caramel, and I love them when they're made into things like apple butter, apple jelly and apple sauce. I've had this super delicious apple cake recipe for years and I immediately knew it would be perfect for our Spice House challenge. It makes a nice dessert if you serve it with a big dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, or it can be a yummy breakfast all by itself. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Paprika Chicken with Lavender-Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Paprika Chicken with Lavender-Pumpkin Cream Sauce
by Debbie

1 teaspoon The Spice House Sel Marin de Guerande French Grey Sea Salt
1 tablespoon The Spice House Lavender Flower Buds
4 medium size chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Pinch of salt
Black pepper
2 Tablespoons The Spice House Spanish Smoked Hot Paprika
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin pureé
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a spice grinder, add the French Grey Sea Salt and Lavender Flower Buds. Grind until both are a fine powder. Set aside.

Lavender/Almond Flour Paleo Pancakes

Lavender/Almond Flour Paleo Pancakes
by Debbie
adapted from this recipe by Paleo Plan

6 little pancakes (3 per serving)

1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon almond flour
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon The Spice House Lavender Flower Buds
2 eggs
coconut oil
fresh berries and pure maple syrup for serving

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love hot soup on a cold January day. This soup comes together quickly and is easily reheated. I like my food on the spicy side, but you can downscale the heat if you prefer. And, weird or not, I prefer my soup in a large mug instead of a soup bowl, but to each his own, right? Mark is not a big soup lover, especially if beef isn't involved, but he ate two bowls of this! Everyone can customize their own bowl – avocado, cheese, sour cream, green onions and tortilla strips.

Espresso Brownies

Who doesn't love brownies? No one! Mark loves brownies, with pecans of course, so he thought this was a great challenge. These came together quickly, no mixer required, which I liked. As soon, as I ate one, ok, two, I knew I should have made a double batch. Next time.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Stove Top Beans with Chorizo and Bacon

I wanted to try The Spice House's Chorizo Mexican Sausage Seasoning Blend because I thought that it would be a great addition to my three-bean baked bean recipe. When I received the seasoning blend, however, I decided to make a batch of chorizo first so that I could see what it was meant to taste like on its own. It turned out to be such an easy process, and the flavor was fantastic! So...I decided to use the chorizo in my bean dish rather than the bacon that I usually include (okay, I did add a little bacon, but not that much!) Which led me to make a few other changes. Which led to a completely new dish that my family loved!

Creamy Baharat Vegetable Soup

Around my house, we love "spice" but we aren't always really adventurous with our spice choices. We know what we like and we use our favorites often. When I was given the opportunity to try a few new spices, courtesy of the generous folks over at The Spice House, I decided to really stretch my boundaries and go for a couple of completely unknown (to me) spice blends. I must say that everything I received from The Spice House was fantastic, and this spicy, creamy soup was so easy to put together. There is no meat involved, and you could even use a can of soup as your base if you want or need a quick meal! It is a little on the spicy side, but if you serve it with a dollop of yogurt (as suggested), the heat is nicely tamed and mellowed. We really enjoyed it...hope you do as well!

*For the vegetable soup just I used some that I had in the freezer. It contained chicken broth, tomato puree, carrots, celery, corn, peas, green beans, and potatoes. It was lightly seasoned and very basic. You can use whatever you have or prefer, as long as it's not already too seasoned. You can even use canned, or minestrone, as the pasta will add a bit of thickness once it is pureed. Just be sure not to have too much salt in the soup beforehand.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Maple Bars & Beer

We didn't plan to serve maple bars with beer.

Friends came over to watch three college football games, eat Willie’s fajitas and drink a beer or two. But when our friend Mike brought his daughter along, 10-year old Jessie, I knew within minutes of meeting her it was a game changer. 

Jessie likes to be in the kitchen and when I mentioned I was considering making maple bars she lit up. I loved her immediately.
Me: Oh, do you like maple bars?
Jessie: No, I've never had them!
Me: But you think we should make them?
Jessie: Yes, I do!
Me: Listen, if we don't have anything you like to eat, you and I will go to the store and get something else ok?
Jessie: Oh, I like everything. Oh, you have Diet Coke? I LOVE Diet Coke!
Then she proceeded to weigh everything on the kitchen scale that she could find, chatted Willie up about her favorite restaurant, which serves certified Neapolitan pizza, and explained to him the horrors found in hot dogs. Did I mention she's 10?

Cabbage Soup

We're the kind of family that takes the top off the pepper shaker and takes a giant pinch to throw in a dish. Or we skip all that take-off-the-top business and just shake (carefully now) from the open shaker into the food. We LOVE pepper! When we eat French fries, we pour some ketchup on the plate or in a ramekin and we shake a lot of pepper into the ketchup rather than over the fries because we just don't want to miss any of that good pepper.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Spicy Tofu with Beef and Szechuan Peppercorns

Magic beans. I think that's what I thought of Szechuan (also spelled Sichuan) peppercorns. They were mythical spices from faraway lands that only food magazines and fancy food bloggers somehow managed to acquire. I pictured having to secret some of them through customs. Which of course, first requires a trip to China, which I have been lucky enough to visit, but am still paying my bank account back a year and a half later. So yes, magic beans, something in my fantasies but out of my depth.

Green-Chile Bacon Burger

Usually a green-chile burger relies on external ingredients to impart the chile flavor. It's smothered in green-chile sauce or features strips of the roasted chiles as a topping. These are both tasty options. However, I think the best burgers are those in which the patty itself is the wow factor.

Introduction to The Spice House Challenge

This challenge started when one of our members was talking to one of the staff at The Spice House. Why was Diana talking to Paige that day? Because Diana is a regular customer of The Spice House. So she said, "hey Paige, y'all should totally do a challenge with 37 Cooks." That's actually my version...Diana would never say y'all and totally! Nevertheless, the conversation progressed and when Diana talked to Gary and me about it, and she went on and on about how much she loved The Spice House. Gary was thrilled. I was happy, but since I didn't realize how much I would come to love The Spice House, at that point I wasn't doing cartwheels yet.