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Labor Day Sale

The calendar tells us that summer is coming to an end, and fall is about to begin. Labor Day is just around the corner and while it is better than last year, Delta has caused renewed concerns. Don’t let it get you down. Stay spicy, and keep on cooking. We have been working on some bold new flavors for you, and will include a sample with any order of 3 or more rubs. Try something new this week from VSpicery during our Labor Day Sale.

All VSpicery Rubs and Blends are 20% off Thursday (9/2) through Labor Day.
Buy 3 and get a sample of our newest blends.

 

The Toasty Onion
The Toasty Onion has a distinct caramelized onion sweetness and savory flavor to make your tongue tingle. This seasoning finishes with a really delicious crust that turns golden brown as you sauté in butter or bake in the oven. We enjoyed a few rounds of chicken while developing the blend, and still not sure if we like it oven baked or pan fried better. The Toasty Onion is also really nice on pork chops, mushrooms, burgers, and steak.

 

Burger Bar Blend
This is a mouthwatering blend worthy of a great burger. It is amazing on a great pub style burger on a pretzel bun and a little beer cheese sauce. Burger Bar works really well on roasted pork, nice on grilled steaks, and lamb chops. Try it on sautéed mushrooms and onions, or sprinkle a touch on a ham sandwich for a twist. Think Worcestershire, toasted onions, and craveable seasonings, and you have Burger Bar Blend.

 

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Summer Grilling Giveaway!

As the weather warms up, we start looking for ways to cool down. Especially here in Florida, that means beach trips and pool parties. That also means we’re grilling more. Who wants to stay inside when all the fun is going on outside? Your summer grilling plans are covered with our original recipe rubs and spice blends. We hand blend all of our rub blends, curries and seasoned salts in-house every week. You can be sure that you are getting the freshest seasonings available. Whether you are baking, roasting or grilling, VSpicery spices make your food noticeably better, and you can taste the difference in every bite.

We want to help you start your summer grilling right, so we’re throwing you a freebie. Buy 3 VSpicery blends, and we will include a FREE bag of our Citrus Salt Blend. Our Summer Grilling Giveaway starts Monday (5/24) ending Sunday (5/30).

VSpicery’s Citrus Salt Blend is great to use as a base for many recipes, but complex and flavorful enough to use on it’s own. We start with a nice blend of lemon and orange zest, then add some herbs and salt. Our customers can’t get enough of this bright and flavorful salt blend. It is wonderful for seasoning vegetables, chicken, fish, seafood and pork. Try tossing chicken wings in some olive oil and Citrus Salt, and grill or smoke them for a tasty treat. Our Citrus Salt is equally delicious on fish or seafood. We love to season our fresh catch, from fishing in the afternoon, with Citrus Salt and tossing it on the grill with some veggies for dinner. Add Citrus Salt to butter or oil and baste grilled shrimp or scallops while grilling.

We love grilling all sorts of veggies and fruit. If you haven’t tried it yet, be sure to grill some lemons this season for a real flavor experience. Then squeeze the grilled lemons over seafood, fish, veggies or chicken. The slight smokiness really enhances the bright lemon flavor. Green onions and asparagus are another favorite for grilling. In addition to the usual grilled veggies like onions, peppers, zucchini and summer squash, we like to add things like eggplant, pineapple, peaches and even romaine (for grilled Caesar salads) to the mix to change things up a little as the grilling season continues.

However, grilled mushrooms are still at the top of our list, and pretty much any fresh mushroom will work, except enoki mushrooms. Our go to mushrooms are baby bellas and portabellas because they are firm and stand up to the grill really well. Big portabella mushrooms are fantastic as a grilled meat alternative for burgers. The pictured mushroom skewers were seasoned with a marinade of low sodium soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, VSpicery’s minced roasted garlic and Special Peppercorn Blend. They never last long enough to pack up for leftovers.

We will give you a quick rundown of our best blends for the usual suspects that we all love to grill. If you have any questions, we are always available on Facebook or call us at the shop – 813.870.1133 – and we will be happy to help you.

Best blends for grilled Chicken

Ale & Herbs
Experience flavor from the pint to the plate. This delightful blend of beer and herbs works nicely on chicken and pork either grilled or baked. Add to water for steaming brats. Mix into batter for fried fish.
Barista BBQ Blend
Fantastic on chicken, pork and steak, this blend loves the grill! The barista part comes with the espresso powder in the blend, and the other spices are similar to how they season grilled meats in the Barbacoa style of cooking.
Greek Seasoning
Designed from original Greek recipes, this blend is a combination of Greek oregano, garlic, lemon, marjoram, salt & other spices provides the oomph to your chicken, lamb, potato or pork dishes.
Tasty Tango
Tasty Tango LOVES the grill and smoker, and makes delicious grilled chicken, smoked wings, and grilled salmon. This spice blend has a subtle orange flavor, and nice spicy notes without heat, it is full bodied with a satisfying flavor. Wonderful on fish, pork or chicken, especially when grilled.

Best blends for grilled Beef

Java Jo Steak Seasoning
This delicious steak seasoning blend combines paprika, garlic, coffee, and other spices that really sinks into your steak to perk up the flavor.  Equally delicious mixed into ground beef for burgers. The coffee in Java Jo comes through more in the aroma than the flavor, and the coffee acts as a natural tenderizer to the beef, allowing the flavor to come alive.
Moo Char Gusto
Treat meat with some char before it hits the grill with Moo Char Gusto. This is more than just a savory smoky treat with a hint of sweet. Activated charcoal gives color, and enhances the grilled flavor. Wonderful on beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. Flavors caramelize and intensify when grilled, making your tongue tingle with delight.
Savory Steak Seasoning
Savory Steak Seasoning uses peppercorns, Garlic, Ginger, Mustard, Salt and other spices. The results are a combination that enhances the flavor of the beef without masking its taste. This has more of a traditional taste profile for steak, and is great in burgers. Savory Steak also makes a fabulous seasoning for onion and mushroom sauté.
Soulful Seasons
This blend is a combination of Salt, Garlic, Pepper, Paprika, Coriander with a touch of Caraway and other spicy delights. Great for steak, pork and roasted vegetables. This seasoning blend is wonderful on grilled fish as well.

Best blends for grilled Pork

15th & 5th Rib Rub
This dry Memphis style rib rub contains salt, paprika, garlic, oregano, mustard, chili powders & other spices all blended for a mouth-watering appeal.
Especia Roja
This versatile blend of paprika, chili powder, mustard, salt, cumin and other spices livens up eggs, potatoes, chicken, fish, and more. Especia Roja also makes a wonderful pulled pork, and can be cooked on the grill, smoker, in a crock pot or in the oven. Just lightly oil pork, season with the blend, and cook. Barbecue sauce is optional.
Marinate That Pork
Add the taste of Spain to your pork with the flavors of thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic & other seasonings, a cup of your favorite white wine and a bit of olive oil.  Marinate That Pork is a dry rub version of the popular mojo flavor, and is also delicious on chicken.
Shallots N Pepper
This blend of shallots, salt, tarragon, black pepper and other spices is fantastic on poultry, fish, salads, and vegetables. We also love using it on pork, adding a little fresh garlic makes this blend extra tasty for a pork roast or chops.

Best blends for grilled Fish & Seafood

Blackening Seasoning
A delicious, spicy blend of salt, paprika, cayenne, onion, and peppers, that will liven up your taste buds. Great for grilled fish, beef or chicken.
Dillious
Makes a delightful flavor for fish or chicken, mix with mayo for a seasoned sandwich spread.  Try DILLious mixed in your chicken salad.  Play around with this DILLious salt free blend.
Fin & Feather Schmaker
Not only did we have lots of fun naming this blend, but the flavor combination is really delicious on fish, chicken, roasted potatoes, and veggies. After much thought, we christened it Fin & Feather Schmacker. Once you give it a try, you will be schmacking your lips from all that flavor! This blend is a delightful mixture of sea salt, herbs, garlic, smoky paprika, and other delicious spices.
Lemony Pepper
Kinda like the lemon pepper you are use to using, but a whole lot better! Lemony Pepper Seasoning is a nice compliment to fish and chicken. Also works well to kick up the flavor of steamed veggies.

We hope you have a wonderful summer, and keep grilling!

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Spring Update and Bake Sale

Tis the new season – SPRING! We are in for lovely weather in Florida as we head towards Easter. Of course, with Spring comes our lovely blooms and oak pollen is everywhere, achooo! We crave cooler meals as the weather warms, and we have plenty of great ideas for you to try.

Honey can help you with more than just sweetening.
If you suffer from allergies, using honey can help alleviate allergy symptoms. As little as a teaspoon per day can make a big difference. VSpicery carries Eden’s Nectar seasonal honey, which is harvested in Florida. Honey can be used in lot of ways, for sweetening tea, oatmeal, or cereals, drizzle on salmon and ribs, use in salad dressings or just take some by spoon.

We really enjoy fish and seafood, and have a few quick and easy ideas for you to incorporate into your cooking repertoire.
We try to have some sustainable fish or seafood at least once a week. There are tons of light meals to make using fish that are perfect for warmer weather. Here are some suggestions:

  • VSpicery’s Tasty Tango on salmon with our French Inspired Rice and steamed green beans make a delightful mid-week dinner
  • For a spicy dish, skewer some shrimp and season with VSpicery’s Blackening Spice. Or, use VSpicery’s Creole Seasoning to make a Creole-style butter to baste the skewered shrimp as you grill.
  • Any white fish is divine with VSpicery’s Shallots N’ Pepper seasoning. Grilled/roasted veggies love it too. VSpicery’s Especia Roja also works really well with mild white fish dishes.
  • Swordfish kabobs seasoned with Greek Seasoning is fantastic. Fresh asparagus is delicious with our Greek seasoning too.

VSpicery is running a 20% off Spring Sale on baking spices.

If baking is your gift, we are here to help you make your holiday a tasty affair. Save 20% off these items from March 20th to April 3rd. Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon Peel, Orange Peel, Maple Flakes, Dutch Processed Cocoa, & Cloves.

 

Baking a ham for Easter dinner this Spring? Be sure to use fresh cloves to dot the top. If you don’t want to go through the process of clove studs, rub the ham with VSpicery’s Sweet Singing Season. The complex aromatic flavors of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, and turbinado sugar in this seasoning work brilliantly with ham. In addition, Sweet Singing Seasoning is really good on salmon, chicken and sweet potatoes. Add some to chicken salad, yum. Here is a delicious Sweet Singing Chicken Salad recipe for you to try.

The Bean is Back! VSpicery has Vanilla again, hooray! Both Vanilla extract and Vanilla Beans are now available.

Brighten up your salads with simple ingredients. Something as simple as changing the vinegar and olive oil you use can make a big difference. Try combining Champagne Pear Vinegar with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, or Apple Balsamic with Orange Olive Oil. Just a bit of VSpicery’s Salad Seasons and a touch of salt & fresh ground pepper can make a huge difference for any salad.

In addition, spices can also help color Easter eggs. Turmeric – yellow, Paprika – orange, Lavender – blue/purple, Annatto – red, Cinnamon – tan, and Sumac – grayish. 1 cup per boiling water with 1 tbsp. white vinegar per color and 2 tbsp. spice. The longer the eggs sit in mixture, the richer the color.

 

A New Shopping Option for Our Local Customers
If you are a local customer, we are pleased to announce that we are on Uber Grocery. You can now enjoy the convenience of having your VSpicery goodies delivered directly to your home or office.

Knife Sharpening Services Available
If you need to have your knives sharpened before the next big holiday, VSpicery has Mark, a professional sharpener, available. You can drop off your knives or garden tools and we will make sure Mark gets them all sharpened up. He will drop them back off to the shop and you can pick them up. A sharp knife makes a big difference.

There’s a lot to explore in our Little Shop of Flavor. Remember, we are always here to help. We hope everyone stays safe and has a wonderful Spring season. Thank you, as always, for your business!

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VSpicery’s 18th Anniversary and Super Bowl LV Sale!

VSpicery is celebrating our 18th anniversary!

We really appreciate all of you for your support throughout this past year. It has been challenging in many ways for all of us. We are thrilled to celebrate another year of business, and can’t wait to announce some delicious new products coming to our shelves this year. For 18 years, we have provided our customers with great spices, seasoning blends, and other delightful flavors to incorporate in everyday cooking. We started our business at a farmers’ market back in 2001 and after two years decided to take our business to the next step, opening our brick and mortar location. Our doors opened in January 2003, and we have been at the same location ever since, right next to Alessi Bakery. Lots of great stories have been created and shared here over the years. We have had celebrity chefs, local chefs, professional football players, restaurateurs, gourmet cooks, and most importantly, our folks who just love to cook. The difference our spices and seasonings make is clear from the first bite, and we have strived to maintain the same high quality in everything we do since day one. We look forward to many more years of supplying the very best in seasonings for your kitchen.

To celebrate our anniversary and our Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing at home in Super Bowl LV, we are offering 20% off all VSpicery spice blends and Dip blends from January 31st – February 6th.

Super Bowl LV Game Day
Sunday, February 7, 6:30 PM on CBS
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Super Bowl Sunday is next Sunday, and food is one of the most important aspects of the day. If you plan on cooking a few dishes for Super Bowl LV, we have a few traditional recipes and unique spins on old favorites that will keep everyone happy no matter what team is winning.

Deviled Eggs are always a crowd favorite, and we have a few variations that will get your taste buds tingling. The deviled eggs pictured are Loaded Deviled Eggs with V’s Garlic Salt, a little Smoked Paprika, mayo, cheddar cheese and bacon pieces mixed into the egg yolks, then topped with a small piece of bacon and slivers of green onion. Here are a few other ideas for deliciously flavored deviled eggs that will be the hit of the meal.
– Curried deviled eggs with our Madras Curry and a little smoked salt.
– Dilly Devils with our Dillious blend.
– Truffled Deviled eggs with our Black Truffle Salt and Fines herbal blend.
– Smokey Deviled Eggs with Smoked Paprika (or Smoked Hot Paprika for a little kick) and smoked salt.
– Guacamole Deviled eggs by adding avocado, Cocoa Loco Taco seasoning and a little smoked salt.

Smoked Wings Our favorite VSpicery blend to use for chicken wings is Red Hot Sting. As the name of this rub implies, it is hot and fiery, and makes great 4 alarm wings without being overpoweringly hot. We lightly coat wings with olive oil, then toss with Red Hot Sting, and store in the fridge until we are ready to grill or smoke the wings. If you prefer to toss chicken wings in sauce, lightly coat wings with olive oil and season with salt and pepper then cook as desired. To make the sauce, melt butter, along with your favorite hot sauce in a pan, add Red Hot Sting to taste, then toss wings in sauce, and serve.

Tasty Tango and Ale & Herbs are two very different blends that love the grill, and it do amazing things to grilled or smoked chicken. Ale & Herbs is one of our new favorite blends. This complex spice profile has beer, herbs, with lots of flavor and a nice savory kick. Perfect for the grill, and it loves being smoked too. Grilled chicken with Ale & Herbs is fantastic, and we can’t get enough! If you love chicken wings, and find yourself in a “flavor rut”, Ale & Herbs is the answer to your breakthrough, and will have you back on the King of Wings leaderboard in one meal. Put wings, or chicken breasts into a bowl or ziplock bag, add enough olive oil and seasoning to evenly coat the chicken. Marinate from 1 hour to overnight, and grill or smoke until done. Anytime we smoke chicken wings for a party with any of these delicious blends, they never last more than an hour after they come off the grill. Become an instant gourmet with a simple and delicious way to get big flavor in your wings with our seasoning blends!

Focaccia Bread is really easy to make, and we have a great recipe for you to try. Avoid pizza delivery delays on the big game day and top your homemade Focaccia dough with your favorite toppings like a pizza or slice into thick chunks and make an olive oil dip with one of VSpicery Dip Blends. We have lots of suggestions for your focaccia experimentation, along with the Focaccia recipe on our recipe page.

Ammoyo is an Italian blend with basil and oregano, and a slight kick from crushed red peppers. Grecian is a lovely Mediterranean inspired dip blend with a bright rosemary flavor that is balanced well with garlic and other herbs. That’s Garlic is a seriously delicious garlicky blend that works great as a bread seasoning or olive oil dip blend. Tomato Basil dip blend combines a sun-dried tomato taste with a little zing that is highlighted with nice basil flavor. Whether you add a dip blend to the focaccia dough or not, you can make a delicious infused olive oil with any of these blends for dipping. We suggest adding the dip blend of choice to a high quality Olive Oil, like Seraphino, and dip a piece of bread from this focaccia recipe or use with your favorite bread.

Order your favorite VSpicery flavors online! If you are in the Tampa Bay area and prefer to stop by, call us with you curbside pickup order anytime from 10a – 4p Tuesday – Friday, 10a – 2p Saturday – 813-870-1133.

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Flavors of Fall

Greetings from VSpicery! It has been a year like no other, and we plan to end it by packing the next couple of months full of flavor with delicious meals. We hope you are looking forward to a special holiday season, even though it might be from a distance. As you make your holiday cooking plans, be sure to include seasonings from VSpicery to make your meals sparkle.

We have the freshest and finest in lovely fall flavors – nutmeg (ground and whole), four types of cinnamon, ginger (ground and crystalized), cloves (ground and whole), allspice (ground and whole), and much more. We have blended the first round of this season’s pumpkin pie and apple pie spices, and can’t wait to share them with you. The shop smells wonderful at this time of year!

Our other holiday selections include

Pumpkin Pie Spice
This blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom is the perfect mix for pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice lattes. Add some Pumpkin Pie Spice and maple flakes to oatmeal for a delicious breakfast. We also like to use it along with a little honey for sweetness to make spiced butter for baked sweet potatoes, pumpkin muffins, cinnamon raisin bread, dinner rolls, roasted butternut squash, or spiced cornbread. The 1 oz quantity in the jar is a nice size to get you through all your holiday baking, lattes, and more.

Apple Pie Spice
Our blend is made of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom. It makes the most delicious apple pie or apple pie spiced coffee cake you have ever tasted! Add it to poached, baked or sauteed apples. Take fall themed cocktails to the next level with a bit of Apple Pie Spice on the rim, try it with Caramel Apple Martinis or Spiced Apple Margaritas. The 1 oz quantity in the jar is a nice size to get you through all your holiday baking and happy hours.

Poultry Seasoning
Our freshly blended Poultry Seasoning is a wonderful mix of Sage, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Pepper, Lemon, Dill and Coriander. It works really well with chicken, turkey, and stuffing mixes. Add a pinch to chicken soup, meatloaf, cornbread or chicken pot pies. Our 1 oz. quantity in the jar is a perfect amount to get you through the holiday season and flavor your roasted poultry dishes.

Traditional or Herbal Turkey Brines
Brining a holiday bird is a great way to get a juicy turkey with a full, deep flavor every time. If you struggle with a “too dry” turkey, try brining it this year. Our Traditional Turkey Brine is a blend of salt, turbinado sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice and juniper. Our Herbal Turkey Brine is nice blend of Salt, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Savory, Pepper and Fennel. Make sure you plan ahead, since you will need to brine your turkey for a minimum of 10-12 hours. Full directions are provided on the back of the brine packaging.

Maple Flakes
Maple Flakes are exactly what they sound like, dehydrated Maple Syrup. We had a lot of fun finding new ways to use these tasty bits of goodness. We even used them in a salad dressing for one of our Fall Cooking Classes, click here is the salad recipe. Maple Flakes are the perfect pairing to many fall dishes, and simply divine on baked sweet potatoes and winter squash. They really amp up the maple flavor in anything they are added to, including salad dressings, salmon, pancake batter, smoothies. Rev up the maple flavor in a bowl of oatmeal by adding them before cooking. You can also try using them to rim a glass for an Old Fashioned, or Fall inspired Appletini.

Herbal Crust Seasoning
Herbal Crust is our go-to for roast turkey, and makes the best gravy from the tasty pan drippings. It also add a balanced zesty flavor to beef roasts, chicken and venison. Cumin, coriander, fennel, salt, garlic and pepper make for a fine and unique dining experience. Herbal Crust Seasoning makes a really fantastic turkey, and if you like making gravy along with it, you will thoroughly enjoy the gravy this blend makes. You may forget the turkey, and want to just drink the gravy! Check out Val’s Thanksgiving Story for more details and a finger licking gravy story.

Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard
This fabulously flavored mustard is one of our all-time favorites. It has a nice tangy balance from the champagne that compliments the savory roasted garlic infusion and strong mustard flavor. It works great for sandwiches, vinaigrettes, marinades, or use as a basting/grilling sauce. Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard is perfect for ham or turkey sandwiches as you use up your holiday leftovers.

Sweet Singing Season
We would cook this just to get the aroma circulating around the house! Great on sautéed chicken breast, baked ham, sauteed bananas, baked salmon, and wonderful in chicken salad. Yes, you heard right, chicken salad and we have a simple recipe for you to try! Sweet Singing is a blend of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, turbinado sugar, and salt that make this seasoning a delightful change of pace. Our recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Wedges using Sweet Singing is one you should try.

And don’t forget the hostess and holiday gifts this season! We offer holiday spice and rub bundles as well as our beautiful, customized gift baskets. Call us for a quote for any special requests and custom gifts. We are also adding some new holiday packages that will be available next week.

Thanks so much for being a loyal VSpicery customer, and if you are new here, Welcome! A reminder, we are still offering curbside only service at our shop for the safety of all but we are more than happy to consult over the phone for any flavor needs and recipe ideas. We look forward to having you back in our shop as soon as it is safe to do so.

Stay well and cook deliciously!

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Summer Salads

Well, we’ve made it to August, congratulations! It has been a rather unique year so far for everyone and we hope that all is as well as it can be for you and yours.

Here in Florida, the heat has been steady and unrelenting but hey, it’s summer in Florida. Cooking sometimes takes a back burner at this time of year as we seek to do as little as possible in the kitchen. Cool dinners are on the menu for many folks.

Thinking along these lines, VSpicery is having a sale on our Bellindora vinegars from Tuesday, August 4th through the 15th. Get 20% off of these lovely vinegars to enliven your salad offerings. Also, we are giving you our four favorite salad and salad dressing recipes. If you choose, any of these recipes can easily accommodate the addition of seafood or chicken. Ingredient amounts for the salads are subject to the size of the salad you are preparing. Click on any or all of the salads below to view the recipes.

Jicama Salad
Italian Inspired Salad
Green Apple and Cheddar Salad
Beet and Arugula Salad

Rub-a-Dub

If it’s too hot or rainy to grill outside, then bring the flavor of the grill indoors. You can get super tasty ribs from your oven using our 15th & 5th Rib Rub. Go low and slow. Pork chops on the menu? Then you gotta use Soulful Seasons. Twenty minutes in a 425 oven and you are a hero. An iron skillet, a good cut of steak and our Moo Char Gusto will give you a true grilled flavor.

For bodacious burgers we have several wonderful options, but have you tried our Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard? There are condiments and then, there are condiments … This one is a condiment the you won’t want to miss. It is so tasty that you may just want to eat it with a spoon, and have a sandwich on the side.

Are you an avocado lover? Have you tried our Meyer Lemon Oil and Alderwood Smoked Salt on chunked up avocado? If not, you’re missing major deliciousness.

We have so many options to keep your kitchen producing fabulous meals and we haven’t even started talking about all those individual spices that we lovingly carry that are used to create our excellent blends.

We notice so many of you are cooking up a storm these days and from what we are seeing it looks amazing! Please share your photos with us. By tagging us and mentioning one of our blends in your post, you will receive 20% off that item if you repurchase by September 1st. We are super excited to check out your culinary creativity!

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Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry is a nutritious, easy and incredibly delicious dish to make any time. For this recipe we used our North African curry blend, Ras El Hanout, although most curry blends can be used as a substitute. Ras El Hanout is a wonderfully warm blend of over a dozen spices like cardamom, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and cumin, that are nicely balanced with sweet notes from cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices.

Ras El Hanout means “top shelf”, the literal translation is “head of shop”, and according to Moroccan spice dealers it was originally created out of all the best spices in their shop. It has been reported that some versions had up to 50 spices in the mix. VSpicery’s Ras El Hanout has quite a few spices, but we found a way to create this beautiful curry flavor and keep the spice count well under 50.

We added curry several times throughout this recipe, adding in small amounts until it smelled just right so there is no exact measurement. If you have a chance to try this recipe, let us know in the comments below.

Ras El Hanout Veggie Curry

Vegetable Curry Recipe
1 small butternut squash, diced
1 sweet potato, diced

Combined with olive oil salt and pepper. Roast diced veggies at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

1/2 large red onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2-3 cups chopped kale

Saute onion and pepper together with a bit of salt until tender. Season with Ras El Hanout curry.
Add tomatoes, and cook until tender, adding a bit more Ras El Hanout curry.
Add kale, and cook until tender, adding a bit more Ras El Hanout curry.
Stir in the roasted butternut squash and sweet potato, and cook until kale begins to wilt.

Add:
1 can coconut cream and more curry
1 container of Greek yogurt

Stir well and gently to combine, and add more curry if desired. Serve over rice. 

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. It is quickly becoming a staple dish in our homes. If you would like to see more curry recipes, or ideas for using more vegetables in your meals, put a comment below, and we will post those recipes. Happy cooking!

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October, October, October!

October is finally here. Cooler weather, heartier meals, warm drinks and a little trick or treating are some things we look forward to this time of year.

Our big announcement is that VSpicery will be returning to the Saturday Morning Farmers’ Market in downtown St. Petersburg. Our original start date was October 19th, but tropical storm Nestor decided otherwise. We’ll update you as to when our start date is rescheduled. It will be soon! We are really looking forward to reconnecting with our customers in St Pete, and meeting a bunch of new customers.

VSpicery will be taking only our culinary blends to the market, but any of our other lovely products can be ordered and picked up at our market booth.

October Recipes Ideas

For Fall tailgating occasions and in anticipation of Holiday entertaining, we have been playing around with meatball recipes and have a few for you to try.

Meatballs Italiano
1 lb Ground beef
1-2 tbs VSpicery’s Ammoyo seasoning
¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup bread crumbs*
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ingredients, form into 1” diameter balls, place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until done. Serve with a simple tomato dipping sauce

Savory Thai Meatballs
1 lb Ground Beef
1-2 tbs VSpicery’s Java Jo Steak Seasoning
¼ cup bread crumbs*
1 tsp Fish Sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ingredients, form into 1” diameter balls, place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until done.

Thai sweet chili dipping sauce
1 cup plus 2 tbs. water, divided
2 tbs cornstarch
3 medium cloves garlic minced
2 tbs Crushed Red pepper
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Seed Oil

Whisk together 2 tbs of water and cornstarch, set aside. In a medium sauce pan combine remaining ingredients and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes. Stir cornstarch mixture to re-combine and whisk into simmering sauce. Cool until thickened, remove from heat and let cook. Serve with or pour over meatballs.

Americano Meatballs

1 lb Ground Turkey
1-2 tbs VSpicery’s Herbal Crust Seasoning
¼ cup bread crumbs*
1 tbs Mayo
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ingredients, form into 1” diameter balls, place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until done.

*For a GF version, add ¼ cup cooked Quinoa instead of bread crumbs.

New product alert!

Moo Char Gusto – Treat meat with some char before it hits the grill. This is more than just a savory smoky treat with a hint of sweet. Activated charcoal gives color, and helps detoxify your system. Wonderful on beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. Flavors caramelize and intensify when grilled, making your tongue tingle with delight.

We’ll leave you with one last creative and delicious dinner idea.

Asian Marinated Flank Steak
1 lb lean beef steak
2 tbs VSpicery’s Asian Xiang Liao
1 tbs Tamari
1 tsp sliced fresh Ginger

The day or morning before you want to serve this dish, drizzle olive oil over beef, rub both sides equally with Xiang Liao and place in a casserole dish. Add Tamari and ginger turning to coat both sides. Let marinate.

Before serving, simply remove from marinade and pan sear in cast iron skillet. Slice thin and serve with veggies or rice.

That’s our short and simple update. Let us know if you try any of these recipes, we would love to hear your feedback. Also, please leave a review on our site for any products that stand out for you. Until next time, we wish you happy cooking and flavorful meals.

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Let’s Talk Veggies

Vegetables play a huge part of our diet, whether you use them as side dishes with your proteins, as a whole meal or as the main component of your diet. These days, more and more folks are changing to a vegetarian lifestyle, in its many forms. We have many ways to help you keep these veggies interesting, elevating even the most boring vegetables to rockstars on your plate.

Roasted Cauliflower with Sunny Soiree Seasoning.

One of our newer rubs, Sunny Soiree, is absolutely fantastic on roasted vegetables. Especially broccoli and cauliflower. Herbal and citrus notes combine with a slight tarragon flavor that perfectly complements vegetables. One of our favorite ways to use Sunny Soiree is on roasted cauliflower. It is super quick, easy and delicious. Lightly steam cauliflower until fork tender, then place cauliflower on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle some Sunny Soiree and toss until evenly coated. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on the lined baking sheet and generously sprinkle grated parmesan or romano cheese. Bake at 350°F until cheese is golden brown.


Eggplant Burger
This is a quick delicious meal to make any night of the week.

INGREDIENTS
1 Large Eggplant, cut in 1/2″ rounds
1 egg, with tsp water
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 Tbs Herbal Crust (blended with breadcrumbs)

DIRECTIONS
Cut eggplant into 1/2″ rounds. Dip eggplant into egg wash, then into breadcrumbs and drizzle olive oil over the eggplant rounds. Line rounds on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 mins at 350°F, until golden brown and fork tender. Serve with pita bread and top with cheese and any condiments you like.


Roasted Broccoli with VSpicery’s Citrus Seasoned Salt.

Roasted Broccoli
This dish is truly irresistible, and so easy to make!

INGREDIENTS
1 pound broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 ½ bunches of broccoli)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
VSpicery’s Citrus Salt
Pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet for easy clean-up. On the prepared baking sheet, toss broccoli with the oil until all of the florets are lightly coated. Arrange them in one even layer across the pan, then sprinkle with Citrus salt and pepper.

Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway, or until the florets are turning deeply golden on the edges. Season to taste with additional Citrus salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve warm.

If you like broccoli as much as we do, here are a few ways to change the flavor a little to keep it interesting for your taste buds. Prepare broccoli as instructed above. After the broccoli is done roasting add any of these options just before serving. Finish with a light drizzle of thick balsamic vinegar (like our Aged Balsamic Vinegar), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (for extra lemony pop, add lemon zest too). Grated Parmesan is also a delicious way to finish the dish. A light sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes or Marash pepper flakes will give just the right amount of heat.


Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Sweet Singing Seasoning.

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges
Roasted to perfection, these Baked Sweet Potato Wedges are a delicious snack, appetizer, or meal. They are super easy to make!

INGREDIENTS
5-6 small or 2-3 large sweet potatoes
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt, or more if desired
1 Tbs VSpicery’s Sweet Singing Seasoning

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or grease baking sheet lightly with oil.

Wash and pat the sweet potatoes dry. Remove any spots or blemishes. Cut potatoes lengthwise into quarters, and cut into 1 inch thick wedges. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with oil and give a good toss. Arrange potatoes in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and Sweet Singing Seasoning. Place baking sheet on the middle oven rack, and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice.

Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes and serve. If you would like a dipping sauce, Garlic Aioli (vegan recipe below) or a Sriracha Cream Sauce are both really tasty with these wedges!

For more caramelization, once sweet potatoes are done, place under the broiler for a few minutes. Just be sure to watch them so they don’t burn. Store leftovers, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Garlic Aioli (Vegan)
This creamy, garlicky aioli is great as a dip for fresh or roasted vegetables, or use as a spread for burgers and sandwiches. It is gluten-free, vegan, super easy and quick, and has no oil.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS
Place cashews, water, garlic, dijon, and juice of lemon in a blender and blend until creamy, about 45 seconds. Taste for flavor, adding a little more of any desired ingredients. Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Spicy Shark Wing Sauce.

Buffalo Cauliflower
Our new line of Spicy Shark hot sauces includes a vegan wing sauce that is dairy free, gluten-free, and really good! Here’s a delicious way to enjoy the flavor with a fraction of the calories of regular chicken wings.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
oil spray or oil
1/4 cup flour, or almond meal
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp milk of choice
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional for crunchier texture)
1/2 cup Spicy Shark Wing Sauce
1 to 4 tsp oil

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking dish with parchment. Spray florets with oil spray or toss with a little oil. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with the flour and garlic powder until evenly coated. Then add milk of choice and then the breadcrumbs (if using) to the cauliflower, and toss to coat. Arrange in one layer in the baking pan. Bake on the center rack 25 minutes.

Combine the oil with Spicy Shark Wing Sauce (the added fat helps the sauce adhere to the cauliflower). Toss cauliflower in sauce, then bake another 15 minutes. For added crunch and color, broil for up to 5 minutes. Be sure to watch while broiling to make sure it does not burn. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing, if desired, and serve.


Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers
Between homemade, restaurant, and store-bought, these are the best black bean burgers we’ve ever had. Our taste testers agree that this is the tastiest version they have tried too. The trick is to partially dry out the black beans so the burgers do not taste mushy. Grill or bake the black bean burgers and enjoy on a bun, plain, or on a salad. They’re big, thick, and hearty and even meat eaters LOVE these.


INGREDIENTS
1 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper (1/2 of a pepper)
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1/2 of a small onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1/2 Tablespoon)
1 Tbs Sriracha (optional)
1 1/2 Tbs VSpicery’s Ra Ra Rio
1/2 cup panko
1 large egg
Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out. Meanwhile, sauté olive oil, chopped pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Gently blot some of the moisture out. Place in a large bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Stir or pulse everything together, then add the black beans. Mash with a fork or pulse the mixture, leaving some larger chunks of beans.

Form into patties– about 1/3 cup of mixture in each. Saute patties in 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil until heated thoroughly and slightly browned.

Bake: Place patties on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes on each side, 20 minutes total.

Grill: Place patties on greased aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. Heat temperature is personal preference as all grills differ. Generally, black bean burgers should grill on medium-high heat about 350°F-400°F. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Make ahead tip: Cooked or uncooked black bean burgers freeze wonderfully! Stack between parchment paper in a freezer container or zipped-top bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat to your liking or, if uncooked, cook according to instructions. If desired, you can skip thawing and reheat/cook from frozen for an extra couple minutes. To make a Vegan version of this recipe, just replace the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.


Red Lentils

Berbere is an Ethiopian curry blend that is full of flavor with a bit of a heat kick. Authentic Berbere can be hard to find, but we have it in stock and hand mix this curry blend at the shop every few weeks.

Ethiopian Lentil Stew (Misir wot)
This richly spiced Ethiopian lentil stew recipe, known locally as misir wot, is packed with flavour from berbere and niter kibbeh. Niter kibbeh is a type of spiced butter found in Ethiopian cuisine. This is a really delicious and simple midweek meal for spice lovers.

NITER KIBBEH (SPICED BUTTER) INGREDIENTS
8 oz of unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 knob of ginger, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

MISSIR WOT (Lentil Stew) INGREDIENTS
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp of tomato purée
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp of Berbere
8 oz of red lentils
16 oz of vegetable stock

DIRECTIONS
Begin by making the niter kibbeh. Place the butter in a saucepan along with the rest of the ingredients and simmer over a very low heat for about 20 minutes. The butter solids should be starting to caramelize into a brown butter but be careful not to cook too long, or it will burn. Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or coffee filter and strain the butter into a bowl.

To make the stew, add 4 tbsp of the niter kibbeh to a medium pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat until softened. Add the berbere and tomato purée and cook out for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook down for 8 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down a little. Keep stirring to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the pan. Rinse the lentils, then add them to the stew along with the vegetable stock. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve the misir wot with extra niter kibbeh drizzled over the top and enjoy!


We could go for days about delicious veggies dishes, but we will save the rest for future blog posts. We hope that these recipes get your taste buds tingling with some ways you can make any vegetable taste incredible, especially when you use fresh seasonings like ours. Keep your food exciting and irresistible with VSpicery Flavor Shop.

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We’re Bringing the Heat with Lots of Flavor!

VSpicery recently partnered with a fantastic hot sauce company out of New England, called The Spicy Shark, and we have some exciting new products to share with you! But first, we want to tell you a little about this company, and why, after 16 years of being a hot sauce free zone, we decided to add hot sauce to our shelves.

If you have been a customer of VSpicery for a while, you know that we love to find interesting and delicious new products every 6 to 12 months. We have had many hot sauce companies approach us, begging to have their products on our shelves. Every time, we share the samples with our taste testers to see if the products have what it takes, but honestly, none of them hit the mark. In case you haven’t noticed, hot sauce is EVERYWHERE! You can even find some varieties of bottled hot sauce in convenience stores. For us to stock any product, it has to be an incredible stand out product from a company that maintains the same level of quality that we maintain at the shop. That means no preservatives or additives, high quality ingredients, and big flavor. Many hot sauce companies focus so much on trying to attain new levels of flames on the tongue, that they miss out on providing full flavors that can actually be used on food to make it taste better, not just hot af. The market is so saturated with mediocre hot sauces that we really wanted to find products that stand out from the crowd. We finally found what we’ve been looking for, and we think you are going to love them just as much as we do.

The Spicy Shark founder, Gabe and his Baby Shark (Dino).

Here’s a little background on The Spicy Shark, their mission, why we love this little company and the folks who own it. After growing up working in the restaurant business, and then 17 years in the beer industry, Founder Shark Gabe was ready for a change. He figured if he could take his two biggest passions, spicy food and sharks, and turn that into a career, it would be a pretty fun life. With some family recipes, and help from his family and friends, he took the summer of 2018 to put together the blueprints for The Spicy Shark. The feeding frenzy began in February 2019!

Their mission is simple: To make the best tasting and unique spicy products using the best ingredients, to help preserve and improve the lives of our oceans’ sharks, and to have a lot of fun along the way.

The Spicy Shark uses fresh peppers, veggies and fruits to create their amazing flavors, and you can taste each ingredient in every bite. We started with a selection of products that we really loved, all with a nice heat level and lots of flavor. Here’s the list:

Hot Honey
The Spicy Shark Original Hot Honey is a special blend of 100% pure USA Clover, Alfalfa, and Goldenrod Grade A Honey. We steep the honey with a touch of Cinnamon and infuse it with Habanero to add some heat to the sweet. Delicious with biscuits, pancakes, waffles, warm desserts, pizza, ribs, fried chicken, scallops, cheese, marinades, and hot beverages. Medium Heat Level. Gluten-Free.

Hot Maple Syrup
The finest Grade A Dark Pure Maple Syrup available in the USA creates the base for this tasty syrup. This rich, flavorful syrup is then infused with ginger, and heat from the Habanero Pepper. This unique blend of Sweet & Heat can be used on a wide range of food and drink. Works well as a glaze, in sauces, and BBQ sauce. Use on meat, fish, poultry, desserts, pancakes or waffles, ice cream, coffee drinks, and cocktails. Medium Heat Level. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Nurse Shark Jalapeno Hot Sauce
Nurse Sharks are mellow by nature, but large in size, and unlike most other sharks, smooth to the touch. Like the Nurse Shark, this green Jalapeno sauce has a mellow smooth heat, but huge flavor. Undertones of tomatillo, apple, and melon balance the heat from the Jalapeno and Poblano pepper for an approachable, but unforgettable taste. Delicious with tacos, nachos, eggs, chicken and sandwiches. Warm Heat Level. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Wing Sauce
The Spicy Shark Original Wing Sauce is our Dairy Free twist on a traditional wing sauce. Sweet Red Peppers meet Spicy Cayenne Peppers, with a smooth vinegar and garlic bite. Use on chicken wings and veggies. Spicy Shark Wing Sauce makes a really great buffalo cauliflower dish, as well. Medium Heat Level. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Smoked Maple Sriracha Sauce
The Spicy Shark Smoked Maple Sriracha is our twist on a traditional Sriracha. We balance smoked vegetables with garlic, fermented hot peppers, and a touch of maple syrup. This sauce is one of our favorites and is delicious on anything that you want to add a little heat and a whole lot of flavor. Mild Heat Level. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Thresher Shark Chipotle Hot Sauce
The Thresher Shark is known for its long unique tail that it hunts with. This complex smokey sauce with notes of coffee and chocolate packs a thresher whip of chipotle smoke and heat. Delicious with fish, poultry, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, add to salsa, grilled shrimp, nachos, and eggs. Warm Heat Level. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Check them out, and let us know what you think by adding your review to the product’s page on this site. We are having a lot of fun finding different dishes to use these sauces on, and can’t get enough of them.