Posts Tagged ‘spices


3 bean chili with smoked chicken

It started out as a quick search on the Instant Pot app for chili, Have plenty of dried beans in stock, a quick pressure cooker meal means I didn’t have a long soaking and boiling process ahead for a meal within an hour. I found a recipe for a 3 bean chili jar recipe. Remember when the jar recipes were all the rage for gifts ! Still easy to do for your own meal kits.

Pinto, white and black beans, like maybe a 1/4 cup each ,a can of chopped tomatoes, some tomato paste and a bit over leftover condensed tomato soup. The spice list was long, cumin seeds, coriander, dried hot peppers just to name a few. Chopped onions and garlic, celery and carrot to round out the flavor and a toss of frozen corn . Saute as usual add all else. Top off with veggie stock. Seal, set and be back later.


about 50 minutes later


start the plate with a layer of smoked chicken thighs 


add the 3 bean chili…


top with shredded cheese and chips,


a glass of dark home brew, next time a real light or a lime hard seltzer would be better fro contrast, or possibly a fruit shandy . The chili and the smoked chicken was fantastic. 


Egg and sausage

A food processor makes a quick task of making sausage meat, a bit of pork diced to facilitate chopping then add spices of what you like. I added some bacon for the fat content and other  spices and herbs. Stored in a plastic bag refrigerated at least overnight gives me fresh sausage meat to use in recipes or alone as a patty.


broiled sausage pattie,served on a large peice of toast with some green lettuce,egg and a cup of Mexican (origin) coffee.


Vietnamese lemongrass chicken

Here is another kit meal , you add chicken (or other type of meat), vegetables and serve over rice.

$2.50 USD


Placed the chicken in a plastic bag to distribute the paste.

Fresh peppers were not available so frozen peppers were used.

After flash frying the spices add the chicken, sear and add the veggies stir for about 5 minutes.

add the lemongrass sauce, cover and simmer

Ready to serve…

Lemony flavor with layers of spice and some heat.


BiangBiang noodles with beef and green onion

Here is a another meal kit, this one from the Chinese market.

A spicy hot soup with noodles, I added some shaved beef and green onion.

Prepared only half of the package.

The sauces are packaged separetly so it’s possible to make half portion of the contents.

Ingredient contents and cooking instruction.

I have some beef chuck available, slightly frozen, sliced to very thin strips, enough for a bowl of soup.

The sliced beef.

Add the contents of the packages to a bowl.

Add the beef and green onions…. Ginger for good luck.!

As per instructions, add the boiling water.

As the soup steeps, prepare the noodles, very wide for  an oriental soup.

With a slotted spoon, or strainer , add the noodles to the soup bowl.

Very rich soup, not super hot but plenty of spice and depth of flavour. There is a taste similar to a concentrated tomato flavour , but no tomato in the ingredients. The sauce packets could be re-purposed to a marinade for a bbq!.

A very rich enjoyable soup.


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.


spiced raisin crunch cookies

from Poppy’s Patisserie /Bunny Kitchen

This  original recipe from the United Kingdom  is by metric  weight so using a conversion app, converted to ounce weight measurements. Or if an app or calculator is not available ,then by longhand. That is 1 gram = 0.035274 ounces.

Using a scale instead of traditional volume measuring cup, the ingredients were weighed. It was a not a large batch of cookies. One 1/2 sheet pan is large enough.

The method of making these cookies is different as the butter sugar and honey is melted together.

So here’s how I assembled the cookies.

110 grams, 3.88 ounces (rounded to 4 oz.) 1stick, margarine (butter).
75 grams sugar, 2.64 ounces, by weight
(used white, cane sugar vs. demerra)
placed both in a glass measuring cup and microwaved till melted , then stirred together.
Added about a tablespoon or so honey. Mixed in.

In a separate bowl mix together
110 grams, 3.8 ounces by weight flour, all purpose.
add pinch of salt .
as for the spices, I used some spices from a chai tea mix, ground in a mortar and pestle. cardamon pod, cloves, ginger etc.
mix (or sift ) together.
add 110 grams, 3.8 oz. by weight Quaker type oats.
Add 50 grams, 1.75 ounces by weight

Mix together so the raisins are distributed in the dry mix and then add the melted butter/syrup  mixture.
Mix by spoon and then by hand, my mix came out very moist. IMG_3938

On a parchment paper  lined cookie sheet press flat a  ball of the cookie dough to about 2 to 3 inches diameter.

I added small size chocolate chips, sprinkling them and pressing them into the surface of the cookies.IMG_3939IMG_3940 IMG_3941

Bake at 325 Fahrenheit  for about 10 minutes. The cookies will be soft till fully cooled and they really didn’t brown on the tops.

These are easy to mix and make. Plus there is the learning experience of using a scale for measuring ingredients by weight, versus a measuring cup by volume.



Tuesday November 27th.
There are countless recipes for paella, generally when I make this I have rice with sufficient vegetables and leftovers. Some times I anticipate a fried rice recipe, but this is similar, instead of the stir frying for fried rice the rice gets cooked with the additional ingredients .

Make a fair amount, usually about 2 cups of rice and about 4 cups of liquid, stock or broth is a must for flavor, good for leftovers and for lunch box.

Saute in olive oil, white onions, shallots, garlic, diced , along with diced carrot and your favorite fresh ground spice blend with additional curry blend.

This is not a dish to hold back on seasonings, at least for me.

Salt and pepper to taste. Cubed raw chicken breast, or any other raw meat that requires full cooking, can be added at this point.

Add 2 cups short grain brown rice (this is what I have in the pantry at this time) with sufficient heat, that is flame, and stir the mixture with additional oil till lightly browned. Having the raw rice slightly toasted contributes to the flavor of the dish.

Heat stock to almost boiling ,about 4 cups. With the rice mixture at high heat , add the hot broth slowly about 2-3 cups. Bring to a boil if not already and wait till a good amount of the stock is absorbed. Slowly add the rest of the stock covering the rice , boil for several minutes and then turn flame to simmer and cover for about 15 minutes.

Have on the ready any other leftover cooked meat etc, lamb diced from the bone of the leftover rack of lamb from Thanksgiving.
Also some thawed frozen fish pieces that requires little cooking time. Mushrooms also and sliced green onions make a good addition.

After the 15 minute cooking time, uncover and check the firmness of the rice. Different types of rice will require more or less time and additional water. Add the lamb, mushrooms, onions,fish.

Cover and continue cooking till rice reaches desired doneness.

Plate (or bowl) it up, traditional served by bringing the pan to the table.
Yum !



Chicken with herb roasted tomatoes

Chicken with herb roasted tomatoes and pan drippings from
With a side of creamed corn with Garam Masala butter.


This was a good recipe, I had most of the ingredients. Definitely a meal to make again !


shopping : Monterey bay spice company

When your favorite chef or recipe calls for a special herb or spice are yours fresh??? How time flys !, The recommended rule of thumb is to keep a years supply of herbs and ground spices and a 2 years supply of whole spices on the shelve, though those guidelines may vary according to the cook! When it comes time to clean out and inventory your herbs and spices, it’s convenient to order all the needed items from one source other than the high-priced small bottles of herbs and spices at the supermarket.

While Penzeys is probably the most well know spice supplier online (or at their brick and mortar store) The Monterey Bay Spice Company (also known as is an alternative. They are less expensive than Penzeys . Most of the spices and herbs minimum amount is 4 oz which in cases of some of the herbs is a large amount. Monterey Bay Spice Company’s website allows you to enter items numbers directly to the search function from their paper catalog. The information on each herb and spice is extensive and geared more toward an herbalist, outlining suggested applications, a background and description for each herb or spice and there is some information given on culinary use. Monterey Bay Spice Company also offers teas, essential and fragrance oils and herbal supplies. Most of the herbs and spices are available both in regular and organic.

The online order was place on November 01 , 2010 with an emailed receipt. Monterey Bay Spice Company has multiple shipping methods if you need your order like tomorrow ! An email shipping confirmation was received November 3 with a USPS (United States Postal Service)shipping tracer. The USPS shipping tracker is not as extensive as an UPS (United Parcel Service) tracer as it just indicates it package has been sent and not updated till delivered. The UPS tracker on packages notes every time the parcel is scanned on route. The USPS has an option to email updates as necessary. Being the less expensive shipping method $14..33 USD, the package arrived November 17th 2010. The items are packaged in sealed cleared plastic (no zip locks) and labeled largely . If you have a friend or relative that cooks and will enjoy fresh herbs and spices the large packages can be shared among others. If you order basic whole spices and seeds you can grind them to order and mix your own blends, that is for poultry, beef , fish, BBQ , Cajun, Indian etc. instead of purchasing them pre- blended.

Caraway seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.52
Peppercorn mix (4 pepper), whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $3.00
Cilantro (domestic), c/s-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $5.60
Paprika (Hungary) powder-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $2.80
Dill weed (domestic), c/s-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $4.80
Celery seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.16
Mustard seed, yellow whole Organic-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.80
Coriander seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.08
Marjoram, c/s-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.40
Sea salt-Per Pound 1 $1.50
Mulling spices-Per 1/4 pound 1 $2.10
Ginger root, c/s-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $2.20
Fennel seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.08
Sesame seed, natural Organic-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.40
Dill seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.00
Poppy seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $2.00
Cumin seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.60
Spearmint leaf (domestic), c/s-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $1.32
Fenugreek seed, whole-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $0.84
Sassafras root bark, c/s-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $6.00
Savory, c/s-Per 1/4 Pound 1 $2.60

Chili Bean Morroco Style Beef Stew

Chili Bean Morroco Style Beef Stew
cooked on a grill with a charcoal starter

It was hot and humid tonight so…..
place a grate over a charcoal starter with white-hot coals
and flame brown seasoned rubbed beef cubes, cut big enough so they
won’t fall through a grill grate, about 2 minutes. do in batches if necessary.
place in a pan with olive oil, butter, sliced garlic, sliced onions.
and seasoning to taste, cumin, ground cloves, allspice etc.
return pan over the charcoal starter and saute the contents.
depending how you can set up your charcoal starter
in your BBQ grille do so carefully, the pan will be balanced on top
of the charcoal starter, acting like a burner, with a grate between the pan
and the top of the charcoal starter. Add your choice of tomatoes, with liquid
(1 can stewed tomatoes).heat through, add some kidney beans and heat through
10 or 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste (added more) and hot sauce.
heat through about 10 minutes more and taste to check seasonings.


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