spices are like purses...

>> Tuesday, August 4, 2009

....i can never have too many.

i recently visited target and felt my heart skip a beat. literally. it was love. often during my lunch hour, i aimlessly walk through different aisles of target but my recent trip was different than all the others. i came across this heavenly sight.

it got me thinking - i can't wait until my kitchen pantry looks like this one day. spices make a meal and i can't live without them. i love just about any kind (well, except curry).

so a gift from me to you - a compilation of my favorite flavor accents that should bless even the meekest of spice racks - both fresh and dried.

fresh herbs
1. basil - this sweet treat is an essential in italian cooking. i love making fresh pesto with it. i also recommend sprinkling it over hot pasta with cheese and butter.

2. dill - THE main ingredient in ranch. ranch = the must-have condiment in my life. if you got the dill, you can whip up homemade ranch dressing - toss it with pasta, chicken, and spinach.

3. chives - i am a big fan of the onion flavor. but i don't necessarily like the texture of your typical onion. chives are a great substitute and can really kick up the flavor in just about anything. check out ina's chive risotto cakes - feel free to make a batch and share with me.

4. parsley - this seemingly average herb gets a bad rap. i remember growing up as a kid and wondering, "what is this leaf doing on my plate?" parsley really can wake up regularly dull flavors. i suggest mixing in a load of parsley to blend of couscous, chick peas, tomatoes evoo, s&p, and feta cheese. easy, summer salad for you.

5. cilantro - many people don't like cilantro because they think it tastes like soap. fear not. i adore this herb and my mexican meals are not complete without it. check out this dish where my friend, cilantro, truly makes your summer corn on the cob.

dried herbs
1. garlic powder - it's no secret. i often have garlic breath because i love it so much. if i dont have a clove on hand, i always throw in some of the dried stuff. roast potatoes with s&p and LOTS of garlic powder. yummy for your tummy.

2. crazy salt (preferably jane's krazy mixed up seasoning) - when my dad was first learning to cook, my aunt told him all he needed was a little crazy salt. to this day, it is still his go-to seasoning. his specialties - perogies and grilled fish - all seasoned with some evoo and jane's.

3. chili powder - perfect amount of heat when i'm feeling a little spicy. it will kick up your soups, stoups, and stews.

4. blackened seasoning - my favorite brand is chef paul prudhommes. i sprinkle it on when grilling fish, chicken & vegetables. another suggestion - shower some foccacia bread with cheese & blackened seasoning. toast it up then eat up.

a girl can dream...

(photo credit - hgtv.com)


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