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Cool Weather, Hot Plates

It’s that time of the year when the weather starts cooling down, and kitchens start heating up with soups, stews and all kinds of delicious takes on chili. We’re also just ahead of Holiday baking. Here are a few tips from our kitchen to help you welcome in the season.

Chili can be complicated or quick and easy. Our Cha Cha Chili blend makes a pot of delightful chili in about an hour or less. VSpicery believes that when cooking with tomatoes, keeping it at a simmer a little longer always makes a big difference.

Suggestion: Cha Cha can also be used to make a delicious tasting dinner using simple ingredients. Make a pot of yellow rice, then season chicken tenders with Cha Cha Chili blend. Sauté chicken in olive oil until cooked through, serve over yellow rice with a bit of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. A side salad works nicely to round out dinner.

If you want to make a different type of chili, we recommend using ground turkey, black beans, a can of tomatoes and our Cocoa Loco Taco Mix. It not only makes great tacos, but this chili is deliciously different.

Now if you want to make an all day pot of chili, we have a large variety of chili powders, from mild to wild. We simply love the combination of Ancho, Pasilla and Chipotle chili powders to season the pot, and Mexican Oregano is a must. This oregano makes a huge difference when seeking that special background flavor. Most “oregano” in the grocery stores is sweet oregano. Mexican oregano is earthly with hints of citrus and licorice (in a good way), and has a spicier flavor. VSpicery also has super fresh cumin, which makes your dishes even more delicious.

 

We love making a nice pot of stew to warm us up on cool nights! Our blend, Herbal Crust Seasoning, was originally developed for venison, this blend has taken us on all sorts of culinary journeys. We use it to season flour to dredge the beef and add a bit to the vegetables for beef stew. The end result is one of our favorite fall flavors. VSpicery also uses Herbal Crust Seasoning in turkey burgers, eggplant burgers, on our Thanksgiving turkey, and in a vegetable stew. We have discovered that our Thanksgiving Day gravy is ridiculously delicious just from using the pan drippings after baking a turkey with Herbal Crust Seasoning.

Baking season is just around the corner and VSpicery has all your fresh baking spices – whether you are looking for Korintje cinnamon, whole vanilla beans, Grains of Paradise, cardamom … we help your kitchen creativity soar!

For the Holiday season, VSpicery freshly blends brines, mulling spices, poultry seasoning, pumpkin spice, and apple pie spice. We want you to have the freshest possible flavors for your eating pleasures.

One last thing, we were astounded at the price in the grocery stores for cloves. VSpicery has fresh cloves priced just like all our other spices – only $4.00, and far fresher than you will find anywhere else in the bay area.

Remember, good ingredients equal great results.

 

 

MARKET UPDATE:
On a sad note, VSpicery has decided to sit out the market season this year so we will not be at the Saturday Morning Market, this was a decision made due to changes in our personal lives. We will miss the market and hope you all attend and enjoy.

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Super Bowl Party Food

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner, and if you are hosting a Super Bowl LI party, you know that the food is one of the most important aspects of the day. We have a few traditional recipes and a few unique spins on old favorites that will keep your guests happy no matter what team is winning.

Game Day
Sunday, February 5, 6:30 PM on FOX

NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons 

 

Pita Chips

 

Here is something a little different for your Superbowl party that you can make in place of potato chips. These pita chips are also great with hummus, dips or on their own.

Ingredients
2 pita breads (get the thicker, Greek style)
2 tbs. water
3 tbs. olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tbs. VSpicery’s Za’atar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice pita into bite-size squares and place them in a small salad bowl. Drizzle with water and olive oil; season with salt and Za’atar. Toss gently to mix and coat. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. (serves 4 – 6)

 

Crab Dip with Bacon

This delicious dip is great with the pita chips or regular crackers. Either way, your guests will gobble it up and may ask for more after the dip bowl is empty.

 

Ingredients
6 oz crab meat
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Fines, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Bay Seasoning
Crumbled bacon
Crackers for serving

Directions
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Shred the crab and stir in all remaining ingredients except for the bacon. Cover and chill for two hours. Sprinkle with bacon pieces and additional chives right before serving. Serve with pita chips or crackers.

 

Cha Cha Chili

Our award-winning Cha Cha Chili seasoning includes 5 different varieties of chili peppers along with cumin, paprika and a number of other ingredients. This blend has a pleasant, mild-to-medium heat and is big on flavor.

Ingredients 
16 oz can tomatoes, chopped
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 lb ground beef
2-3 tbls Cha Cha Chili
16 oz can beans (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbls olive oil
salt
pepper
garlic powder

Directions
Season ground beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then brown meat over medium heat. Remove from pan when cooked through and drain fat.

Heat oil in large pot and saute onions and peppers until soft, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add browned ground beef to the pot, then add tomatoes and chicken stock and stir until well combined.

Bring chili back to a low boil over medium to medium high heat and add Cha Cha to taste. Add beans (if using) and let simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.

Taste before serving and adjust spices to your liking. If you want to bump up the heat level, use our Habanero or Ghost Pepper Salt in place of regular salt. Taste as you go to make sure it’s not too hot for everyone. Serve with chips, cheese and sour cream, if desired.

 

Smoked Wings

Tasty Tango and Ale & Herbs are two very different blends that love the grill, and it do amazing things to grilled or smoked chicken.

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 either 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!