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Welcome to Sunday All Day Brunch. This is an open topic thread so help yourself to the goodies and sit a spell and let us know what is new with you. I love to cook and one thing I use a lot of is herbs and spices. When I was engaged back in the 70s my then fiancé gave my Mom a spice cabinet. Mom dutifully hung it on the wall and proceeded to ignore it. When I moved in to take care of her I emptied the 30-year-old spices out and relabeled and filled the jars with the spices I use.

I have two different spice cabinets and they are organized according to like spices or how I use them. All the peppers are together for example, all the “sweet” spices that I use in cookies, the leafy spices I use in casseroles etc. I have an overflow shelf for spices and keep the spices up to date.

I love experimenting with different spice combinations and I am always looking for new and different spices. One of my absolute favorite spices has to be fresh gingerroot. I use it in all of my Asian inspired recipes as well as my Ginger cookie. That recipe has three different types of ginger in it.

One of my favorite stews I make in a crockpot and the house smells so fantastic. I don’t use fresh herbs too much because I can’t keep Pixie out of anything live. I do try and get fresh basil though when the Roma tomatoes are at their peak season to make the salad with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella.

What spices do you like to use? Feel free to share recipes that use your favorite spices.

Spicy Beef Stew in a Crockpot
Serving Size: 8    

 Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------      ------------       --------------------------------
  2             pounds        beef stew meat, R-T-C -- cut in 1" pieces
  4             medium       potatoes -- cubed
  4             medium       carrots -- sliced
  1             medium       onion -- chopped
  2             cloves         garlic -- minced
  21½        ounces        low sodium tomato soup, canned
  2             cans            water -- soup cans
  1             cup               Burgundy
  2             tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  1             teaspoon      salt
  1             teaspoon      paprika
  ¼            teaspoon      pepper
  ½            teaspoon      dried oregano
  ½            teaspoon      dried basil
  ½            teaspoon      dried thyme
  ½            teaspoon      dried sage
  ½            teaspoon      dried marjoram
  1             tablespoon    low sodium Worcestershire sauce
  2                                   bay leaves

Coat stew meat with flour, salt, paprika and pepper.  Place in crockpot.

Place rest of the ingredients in the crockpot.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

Per Serving: 341 Calories; 10g Fat (27.5% calories from fat); 32g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 74mg Cholesterol; 350mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1½ Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; ½ Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

The Ultimate Ginger Cookie
Cookies: 60    

Amount     Measure          Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------        ------------         --------------------------------
¾               cup                  butter -- softened
½               cup                  sugar
½               cup                  dark brown sugar -- packed
¼               cup                  molasses
2½             cups                 all-purpose flour
1                whole               egg
1½             teaspoons        baking soda
2                teaspoons        ground ginger
1                teaspoon          ground cinnamon
½               teaspoon          ground cloves
½               teaspoon          ground nutmeg
½               teaspoon          ground allspice
1                tablespoon       ginger root -- finely minced
¼               teaspoon          salt
1½             ounces              crystallized ginger -- ground fine (I use a mini food processor)
4                tablespoons      sugar

Heat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Stir in the molasses and egg.

Add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, crystallized ginger, and ginger root.

Shape dough into walnut size balls and roll in sugar. Put on ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Cool on rack.

Per Cookie: 64 Calories; 2g Fat (34.2% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 10mg Cholesterol; 67mg Sodium.  Exchanges: ½ Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; ½ Fat; ½ Other Carbohydrates.

 photo LaundryRoomSpiceRack-1.jpg

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:00:13 AM PDT

  •  Round here,we use many herbs & spices. (6+ / 0-)

    The most recent addition is Green Za'atar. I bought it at a local middle eastern store. Yummy stuff,my understanding is it is a mix of various things and can differ, like garam masala does. I can detect the oregano, marjoram,thyme (a very lemon-y one), sesame seeds,and salt in it but there are a few flavors that I can't quite tell.
    ps-thanks for the ginger cookies recipe

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:24:53 AM PDT

  •  I love the scent (5+ / 0-)

    of fresh basil.

    "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."--Will Rogers

    by vgranucci on Sun May 12, 2013 at 08:18:45 AM PDT

  •  Heading home (5+ / 0-)

    Going back to Columbus today. Here is the newest post on my personal blog.

  •  I need a good ginger cookie/bread recipe, (5+ / 0-)

    preferably one that produces a dough stiff enough to use with springerle molds.

    I tried one that was from what I thought was a promising site, and wound up having to throw away a large batch of cookies that were simply dreadful, with an unbelievably overpowering molasses flavour.

    My other faves besides ginger are the generics - cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, mints, oregano... I have yet to really go deep into spices and herbs.

  •  I've been doing a lot of blends recently (6+ / 0-)

    A favorite is a Moroccan blend
    http://www.food.com/...

    I use it in Moroccan Tomato Chicken with Coucous
    http://www.food.com/...

    Another fun blend is for Shoarma, used with lemon juice and oil to marinate chicken or lamb.
    http://www.food.com/...

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun May 12, 2013 at 11:12:45 AM PDT

  •  I can't find a video of it... (7+ / 0-)

    but your diary has caused me to remember a Simpsons show where Marge goes to a garage sale or something of the sort, and finds a spice rack - and says "Six spices! There MUST be some duplicates!"

    :)

    I cook a lot of Indian food, and I have the relevant spices - generally not ground if possible because they keep a lot longer.  One that I've been looking for without success for some time is "mango ginger" - Niloufer Ichiporia King's My Bombay Kitchen has a recipe for turmeric and ginger pickles that calls for that and I would love to try it...

  •  Favorites are fresh cilantro and fresh rosemary (4+ / 0-)

    Love cilantro in salads, stir fry and Mexican dishes. Rosemary is for roasts.

  •  Thyme, how I love it (4+ / 0-)

    We are growing 3 pots of thyme, 2 of rosemary, basil, three heirloom tomatoes, and ghost peppers, which I won't eat.

    I think we have about 40 jars of herbs and spices, including some blends. I don't like blends, preferring to play around with seasonings on my own, but Mr. susans, Otoelbc, likes to try them. I keep them in alphabetical order for ease of location.

    •  I'm also growing thyme, rosemary, chives, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      michelewln, susans, tardis10

      and basil. I planted the basil far too early and very few of the seeds germinated so I will be sowing some more after these few plants get established. The other three are going strong.

      I particularly like using the fresh thyme and rosemary on roast chicken with a little lemon.

      The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

      by Mr Robert on Sun May 12, 2013 at 02:28:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly, I'm allergic to a lot of spices, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, michelewln, tardis10

    including cloves and coriander.

    I did get mustard back recently, though.

    We love tarragon, savory, smoked salt, ground ginger, and most of the "Italian" spices, as well as mixes like Herbes de Provence.

    Here's a recent recipe. Our glaze was especially good, and used unusual spices.


    Crispy Sweet Beltaine Roast Duck by *Windthin on deviantART

    Preheat oven 375 F.

    Peel and dice one golden alaufo mango. Place in food processor with 4 spoonfuls (using common tea spoon) each of apricot preserves, strawberry jam, and whole berry cranberry sauce. Add 1 tbsp kosher salt, 1 tbsp lavender flowers, 1 tbsp Turkish-fine Sumatran espresso coffee, 1 tsp orange peel, 1/4 tsp mint, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbsp strawberry wine. Blend well on high, then pour into bowl. Mix in 2 tbsp coconut flour to produce a nice paste.

    Lightly brush middle area of a large roasting pan with handles and rack with olive oil. Take 4 medium carrots, wash, remove ends, and halve lengthwise 2/3 to 3/4 of the way on the thick end. Place in center, lengthwise, staggered. Take 7-8 medium to medium-small red potatoes, wash, and cut deep but not through with two slices each way to create a tic-tac-toe pattern. Spread slightly and place in two lines on each side of carrots along length of pan. Take two medium-large red onions, peel, halve along the longitude, and score deeply in a fan pattern. Place at either end of carrots. Make certain rack will fit over vegetables.

    Take 5.41 lb duck and wash under cool water. Stab deep all over on both sides with paring knife top and bottom with quick, sharp thrusts. Run under hot water both sides for several minutes to help loosen fat, then under cool water again. Place on rack breast side up. Spread paste onto duck, remembering to get wings and legs. Try to spread down onto sides as much as possible. Place remaining paste inside cavity (about 1/2 to 1/3) and seal up using a wooden skewer through the skin flaps, breaking off the ends. Take a handful of fresh parsley, wash, chop, and sprinkle liberally over duck; don't worry if some gets down below among the veggies.

    Place in oven and roast for 2 hours. Bring heat to 425 and cook for 30 minutes longer. The veggies turned out delightfully roasted and crisp in places, the duck is remarkably sweet, and the paste that stuffed it turned into an amazing gravy that goes wonderfully over all. The depth of the cuts with the paring knife really seemed to let the fat drain while allowing the glaze in to make this SO very sweet.

  •  This is a great topic. :D (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, michelewln

    First-tier basic spices: black pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, cinnamon.  Second-tier: cumin, ginger, nutmeg, mustard, cayenne.  Seldom used: clove, chili powder, turmeric.

    First-tier basic herbs: basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary.  Second-tier: dill, mint, bay leaves, za'atar.  Seldom used: oregano, marjoram, tarragon.

    My favorite chicken marinade consists of chopped garlic, ground black pepper, chopped fresh rosemary, and olive oil.  Ridiculously simple, and so very flavorful.

    A salad I'm fond of, first discovered while hunting for authentic medieval recipes: Sallet of Herbs
    For the dressing, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, dry mustard, onion powder, minced garlic, and black pepper, and a dried sprig of rosemary; mix well and let sit for a while (ideally overnight).  Remove the rosemary and the largest pieces of garlic before pouring over the salad.
    For the salad itself:
    * baby spinach leaves, and/or your favorite lettuce
    * fresh parsley
    * fresh basil
    * fresh mint
    * shredded carrots
    * sliced cucumbers
    * sliced fresh mushrooms
    * chopped walnuts and/or toasted pine nuts
    * halved lemon slices, peeled
    * halved orange slices, peeled (for dramatic visual effect, use blood orange)
    Toss together with the dressing in a large salad bowl.  Serve as fresh as possible, though it will still be pretty good the next day if kept refrigerated.

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