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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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Cool Eats for Hot Summer Days

I am August, hear me roar.

It is said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. In Florida, August comes in like a lion wearing sunscreen and rain boots, and leaves like the exact same lion, except well stocked with hurricane and school supplies.

Speaking of supplies, if you are headed out to a beach condo or up to a mountain cabin, ask yourself this: when was the last time the spices in the kitchen were replaced? Can you name the president at the time? Our VSpicery flavor packs will bring the flavors at your favorite getaway up to date. Visiting with friends or family? Our flavor packs are a wonderful way of introducing them to the VSpicery experience.

It’s too darn hot!

It might be too hot to cook, but you still have to eat. Grilled seafood will make the cooking quick and easy. For grilled shrimp, we suggest one of our bodacious blends: Shallots N’ Pepper, Barista’s BBQ, Greek Seasoning, or Sriracha Sizzle. Simply skewer the shrimp, drizzle on a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning, and allow to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes in the refrigerator or cooler. Then pair with your favorite grilling veggies and fire it up. Not a shellfish eater? The same sublime simplicity applies to your favorite fresh fish filet. And when it comes to fish, be sure to check out our newest blend, Fin & Feather Schmacker.

Salad Days – Our Upcoming Event

So you think you know salads? Sign up for our next event and let us expand your herbivore horizons. On Saturday, August 18th at 3pm, we will be hosting a class on all things salad – everything from exploring various types of leafy greens, vinegars and oils to our favorite pasta and potato creations. And of course, we will dress for the occasion – learn how to ditch the store bought dressings and create your own. Class is limited to 12. $25 per person includes tastings. Reservations are a must – call 813-870-1133 to reserve your seat by August 14th.

Early Event Announcement

On September 8th we will be hosting a knife sharpening event with our guy Mark. We will also be doing something in the kitchen and will let you know in the next newsletter. So, get your blades ready and mark your calendars.

Sale in the Wind – Balsamic Vinegars and Extra Virgin Olive Oils

In celebration of salads, we are offering $2.00 off our Bellindora Balsamics – we have a pomegranate, a fig and an apple. If you would like all three, an additional discount applies. Also, be sure to take advantage of 10% off our extra virgin olive oils while supplies last. In store only special, sale runs from Aug. 18th – Aug. 24th.

Side Dish Success

VSpicery loves sharing recipes. We find that the side dish below is a perfect combination when you use VSpicery’s Greek Seasoning on grilled chicken. It’s a brilliant combination of flavors that will leave you with a satisfied palate and happy tummy.

Couscous, Asparagus, Cucumber, & Olive Salad

Serves 8

1 clove Garlic
3 tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
½ cup EVO
1 tsp. Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard
2 ½ cups low salt Chicken Broth
2 cups toasted Israeli Couscous (about 6 oz)
2 cups ½-inch pieces thin Asparagus spears, blanch for minutes
2 large green onions chopped
2 cups ½ -inch hot house cucumber
½ cup pitted Kalamata Olives, halved
¼ cup fresh mint leaves + sprigs to garnish (optional)
1 ½ cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese

Press garlic clove into small bowl. Add lemon juice and mustard; whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt & pepper. Bring broth to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Mix in couscous. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until couscous is tender and all broth is absorbed (about 10 minutes).

Transfer to large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally (about 45 minutes). Mix asparagus, cucumber, olives, green onions and ¼ cup mint leaves into couscous. Add dressing, toss. Gently mix in cheese. Can be made two hours ahead, let stand at room temperature.

Hope to see you at our next events on August 18th to learn all about salads. Until then have a creative time with your food.

Food Should Be Delicious!