Posts Tagged ‘allspice


Apple Squares

A pie that turned into a bunch of squares. I was going to go for a pie but decided to spread the whole thing on to a sheet pan. I followed the dough recipe from the Cuisinart food processor by mixing the dough as directed and before it actually comes together, placing it plastic bags and squeezing it to a disk , then refrigerate for an hour. Butter was the fat utilized.

The apples were then prepped with fresh grated cinnamon, all spice,and nutmeg with both shaved solid brown sugar and granulated brown sugar. (and a touch of grated ginger root). To provide some structure bread crumbs were added also.

The dough rolled out very easy both top and bottom.


The squares ready to go, with a small one on the side.

Trimming into squares


Well, I went this far, so I added sugar and chocolate icing.




cooking with coconut milk (chicken)


One of the ingredients I’ve been slowly  incorporating into recipes is coconut milk. From Thai grilled shrimp to this,  it uses some similar elements for a different take on chicken. As the story goes there are probably more ways to cook chicken than anything else.

First step, thawing out and thin slicing some boneless chicken breast, many in the freezer at this time.

Next using Thai spice paste, rub the chicken and stack the fillets, let stand for about an hour, I find that this is a quick acting spice paste so a meal can be prepared with a shorter lead time than an overnight marinate.


ground hot pepper, allspice,cloves, cassia bark star anise,celery seed, fenugreek, ginger and turmeric in center.

Free hand a spice pallet, here cinnamon, fenugreek, allspice, peppercorns, ground hot smoked pepper, whole peppercorns and the like. One of my attempts at assembling a combination. Researching some recipes revels that the ingredients are often dictated by what was locally grown and available at the time even depending on the weather and harvest conditions and may be influenced by religion. I opened the spice closet.IMG_5837


toasting or sputtering the whole spices

Heat a small amount of oil and flash or sputter the spices quickly, add the sliced onions ,sliced lemongrass and a bit of water to prevent burning.


quickly add the slice onion and lemongrass.

Cook the onion and spice mixture several minutes , add water along the way if necessary till translucent. remove to a plate.


pan fry quickly the chicken breast till just done

Yes the breast are huge!  This was slicing from only one piece.  When all are browned, return to the pan.


Add the coconut milk, grated turmeric and ginger and several tomatoes along with the previously cooked onions and lemon grass.

Mix slightly, cover and simmer till heated through. Taste and adjust spices. I was surprised ! The coconut milk evened out all the spices, taste was more than I expected even a bit of heat with the sweetness of the coconut milk.


plated it up with rice and cool cucumbers.

The chicken was fork tender, not overcooked. A pleasant alternative to conventional chicken gravy,  a lighter sweeter taste.



Fruit Crisp

Photos to be added later….

A recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen (2001/2015), Apple Crisp .

I call it the crust less crumb top apple pie. Any other suitable fruit can be used.

In addition, cardamom , allspice and cloves (ground) was added (to taste) to the topping ingredients.

Also  the quantity of ingredients of the topping, ( less the butter) is doubled and 1/2 reserved for later use.

1 and 1\ 2 cup all purpose flour

6 oz pecans, chopped fine

1 and 1/2 cups oats

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Ground all spice to taste

Ground cloves to taste

1 teaspoon salt you may lessen if using salted butter.

Divide and Reserve 1/2 of the above for later use, it is easy to store in a baggie or mason jar  and will quicken future recipes.

Cut in to the remaining 1/2 , 1 stick butter ( unsalted )

The filling : I’m using a combo of 4131 Fuji and 4130 Cripps Pink, about 3 of each variety

Less the apple cider, (none available) the apples were cooked partly in a skillet with butter, there was plenty of juice released from the apples.

Sprinkle the partially cooked apples  with the topping,  if the butter wasn’t cut in, just cut the stick of butter in small pieces and dot the surface of the topping.

This is done in the same pan, naturally.

A hot oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit,  will crisp up the topping and finish cooking the apples.

Remove and cool  after about 45 minute total cooking time.

Scoop portions of the fruit crisp to plate, serve plain or garnish with ice cream, drizzled chocolate etc.


Spicy meatballs with noodles

From 12/13/14….

In a recipe like this the measurements are not exact but…..

to ground meat, add about 1/8 teaspoon of:
Ground cloves
Ground allspice
Ground cinnamon
Dried ginger
Red pepper flakes
Minced yellow onion
Ground cumin
Granulated garlic
Bread crumbs
Ground spent grain
One egg

form into meatballs, fry, broil, bake whatever.


Into the drippings, add onion….  IMG_6718




shredded carrot….





add broth etc,  __________,____________,_________IMG_6721


reduce , stir , thicken……..IMG_6722

make noodles…..

IMG_6723 IMG_6724

finish sauce……cream, sour cream, milk , yogurt etc.


boil noodles…..



Plate ……IMG_6727

Add sauce,( I suppose you could add the meatballs to the sauce in the pan and heat through…….)

IMG_6728Yep, a bit of a change up from the traditional tomato based sauce.  Do you have a tolerance for spicy foods ?


Labor Day weekend spiced muffins

Ok!, It’s Labor Day Weekend so if you consider cooking and baking a labor, read no further…. Happy Labor Day !

Baking and Cooking can be considered relaxation  for me , not all the time, but when the kitchen is clear even in hot and humid weather and I peruse recipes, something good can be cobbled together from different recipes.

I found several different version of a muffin recipe and since I like a varying degree of spices, I though I’d give this a shot.

But the buzzword is donut muffin, why, I don’t know.

Spiced muffins is the name because , well really , I would ‘t be caught calling them Chai spice muffins because men don’t usually drink Chai tea (let alone, eat quiche !) ,and probably the man on the street doesn’t know what Chai is anyways.

One other tidbit I found is that always check different versions and origins of the recipe. Ingredients and amounts can vary and errors can be included even though others claim to have made the recipe.


425 Fahrenheit oven , yield was about 16 muffins

This is what I ended up with for my recipe:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar


2 eggs


Chai spice (actually I mortar and pestled some chai tea spice mix  that contained the said ingredients).

1 tsp cinninmon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cardamon

reserve some of the spices for topping


1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2  cups or more white flour

1/3 cup more or less ground spent grain

you can wing the amounts of flour till you get muffin batter consistency when mixing.


1 cup milk


cream the oil and butter with the sugars

whisk the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture

alternate in the milk and the dry ingredients

mix till just blended.


bake at 425 fro 10-13 minutes, test with a cake tester.

cool, melt some butter, and dip the tops in melted butter and then in the reserved spice mix.


In pictures :

IMG_6035 IMG_6036 IMG_6037 IMG_6038 IMG_6039 IMG_6040 IMG_6041 IMG_6042 IMG_6043 IMG_6044 IMG_6047 IMG_6048





Serves on white rice, prepare now.

Actually, the ingredients for  the  curry and the blend of Indian spices varies widely, this is what I used. (had available)

Curry Seasonings:
In a Mortar and pestle add,
1 teaspoon curry power
Dash ground ginger
Dash of cumin seeds
That’s it from the spice cabinet,but some chai tea mix gave me a couple of other items for flavor.

Cardamon pod
Allspice pod
1 clove, dried
Grind and mash the above , add other spices to preference.20130907-200053.jpg
The recipe calls for sour cream, substituted the following.
1/2 can evaporated milk, about 6 fluid ounces.
Whisked the milk with lemon juice and vinegar, let stand in the fridge to sour and thicken.
Didn’t really measure the amount of juice and vinegar, it should thicken up a bit.20130907-200108.jpg

Soak, if frozen , shrimp in a bowl covered with water, this is made for a single serving so the count depends on how big the shrimps are and your appetite.20130907-200120.jpg

Peel and clean the shrimp when thawed, leave the tails on. You can reserve the water to add to the sauce if necessary.

Chop onion and sauté in olive oil / and or butter.20130907-200149.jpg

Add the shrimp and cook no more than several minutes till pink and opaque. Remove from the pan and set aside. (You could probably cook the shrimp in the sauce by leaving them in the pan, but I choose to set them aside at this point.)20130907-200207.jpg

Add the sour cream sauce to the pan, with the onions


and add the mix of spices from the mortar.


Cook till bubbly and fragrant.


Plate a bed of rice,with the  shrimp.


…….and sauce.


add a dab of hot sauce if you like it spicy, or add hot pepper flakes to the spice mix.



Spiced up Carrot Cake

Guess the spices, oh , maybe you read the tags , fresh ground except for the ginger.!






May be because of the time of the season, the smell of apples , cinnamon and other spaces like allspice, cloves etc. seem to dominate in recipes of cakes cookies and muffins. An abundance of carrots made this recipe possible. No, skip the frosting, cut into squares and enjoy. Good for lunchbox and a way to get more carrots into your diet. This recipe makes a very moist cake, one that won’t dry out too soon.
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon of each of the following
Baking soda
Baking powder
Ground cinnamon, add your own fresh ground spices here as noted above
Blend together to above dry ingredients.
3 cups shredded carrots
4 eggs
1 cup oil ( possibly less)
Mix to a batter and pan into a 13×9 pan,
Go at 325 degrees 50 to 60 minutes.
Test as usual with tooth pick etc.
Let cool.
From Better Homes and Garden Step by Step Cookbook.


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