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Summer Eats and Mother’s Day Sale

It’s Florida and while it’s only May, the heat is on. This time of year VSpicery folks start thinking about how not to cook. The challenge is how to make the simplest meals taste oh so good with very little effort. And with Mother’s day just around the corner, VSpicery can help liven up Mom’s kitchen or make your meals easy and delicious. The secret involves VSpicery’s culinary blends. By combining our delicious blends with various simple ingredients, a meal with multiple complementary flavors can be achieved.

Here’s an example of a simple meal. Take 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we like thighs better but either option works well). Next, season both sides with VSpicery’s Harmony Chicken seasoning, place in a ziplock bag, add 3 tbsp. olive oil and 3 tbsp water. Remove as much air as possible when sealing, roll chicken around in bag to mix up well, place in refrigerator until ready to cook. Cut 3 Yukon gold potatoes into chunks, boil until folk tender, drain and let dry a bit. Then, transfer to bowl, coat with olive oil, season with VSpicery’s Greek Seasoning, and spread out on one half of a baking sheet. Place chicken on the other half. Take 1 package of frozen broccoli, spread out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with VSpicery’s Sunny Soiree. Place both baking sheets in an oven preheated to 375 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Dinner is done in about an hour. Simple, healthy, and delicious!

Need other suggestions? Come to the shop and we can make tons! Our customers frequently grab a pad of paper and a pen to make notes. We have been told that we need to put together a cookbook, and we are seriously thinking about doing one this summer.

It’s only early May, and we know that it will just get hotter from here. VSpicery has a carefully selected variety of vinegars to dress your salads. Our latest delight is a combination of Champagne Pear, part Meyers Lemon Oil, part good Olive Oil, salt, pepper, and VSpicery’s Salad Seasonings that make a lovely light salad dressing.

Praise Your Mom Sale from May 7th – May 10th
Buy 3 culinary blends for $18.00. Get ready for easy and delicious summer meals by getting some of our flavorful spice blends that make cooking a breeze.

Celebrate again with 20% off our popular Belindora vinegars! Get Apple Balsamic, Champagne Pear, Fig Balsamic or Pomegranate Balsamic. These vinegars make wonderful salad dressings for leafy greens or fruit salads.

While we’re talking Summer foods, how about a recipe for Chicken Salad. Yes, we know, kind of over it, but you really need to try this one. It is different from any other we have tried, and it is our favorite way to make it.
1 – Roasted Chicken, shredded
1 medium Red Onion, diced
¼ cup Smoked Almonds (ground down to almost dust)
2 stalks Celery, diced
Mayo (enough to evenly coat – start with ¾ cup)
VSpicery’s Sweet Singing Seasoning (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes then enjoy.

Memorial Day
Whether you’re planning good times on the beach or a backyard BBQ, there is lots of goodness to be enjoyed via VSpicery’s culinary blends. Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard is a real treat, and amazing on just about any burger, brat, hotdog or sandwich you can image. It also makes a scrumptious substitute for dijon in vinaigrette recipes.

Deviled Eggs are great to bring to potlucks and picnics, and we have a few variations that will get your taste buds tingling.
– 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.

Come on in and see us to get your goodness on!

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Make My School Lunch Better

With the start of the school year, I remembered that my daughter’s school prepared lunches are, to say the very least, an unidentifiable mess, which she has refused to eat since grade school. This, of course, means that I have to put on my thinking cap.

Through the years her lunches have reached great heights and some lows, but she comments that she only has friends because of what she takes (and shares) at lunch. She has even had friends yell across a cafeteria asking if it was her Mom’s food in her thermos. I think she exaggerates, but it makes me feel good. I am, therefore, posting these suggestions and recipes to hopefully help any moms that have kids like mine.

Special Equipment:

  1. A good lunch box capable of holding a thermos.
  2.  A good thermos, I don’t usually recommend items, but we use a small Thermos we found at The Big Box store in the sporting goods section. It lasted beyond the school year and holds a good amount of food.
  3. Reusable utensils.
  4. Re-freezable cold packs.
  5. Sandwich size plastic container; try to get one that has some depth and a small (salad dressing size) plastic container.

Suggestion – when using a thermos, pre-heat it with very hot tap water. It helps keep the food hot until it is eaten.

Day 1 is usually an important day.

Kids getting back together or starting some place new need a cool lunch. I normally make sure that the night before involves baked chicken, using VSpicery’s Harmony Chicken. By having chicken leftovers handy this can make a multitude of lunch options, such as:

Chicken Pita

Take a pita loaf (halved), and stuff it with chicken, some thin apple slices, couple of drops of a good balsamic vinegar, fresh spinach and brie cheese.

Chicken Salad

This chicken salad can either be put on a bed of lettuce or bread for a sandwich. Use a plastic container and a cold pack.

For a more traditional flavor: Put enough chopped chicken in a bowl for the salad or sandwich, diced onion, diced celery, mayo and a tsp or 2 of VSpicery’s Salad Seasoning (to taste).

We came up with an amazing alternative to the traditional chicken salad, and this is usually the way we like it: Chop enough chicken for the salad or sandwich, diced red onion, ground smoked almonds, mayo, and a healthy sprinkling of VSpicery’s Sweet Signing Seasoning (to taste).

Chicken Wrap

Take a flour or corn tortilla and add some thinly sliced chicken, sliced avocado (don’t forget lemon wash), and chopped lettuce to make a wrap.

Make this the night before: Mix 2 tbsp. black beans (can is fine, drained well), stir in 1 tbsp. sweet corn, a bit of diced onion, 1 tsp. cilantro, 1/4 tsp. Jalapeno powder, and fresh lime juice. Put this in a small plastic container so it can be added to the wrap or eaten like a side salsa.

Be sure to have some fresh spinach leaves so that you can make:

Spinach Salad

Add a chopped egg, some cheese and a few nuts (either walnuts or pecans do nicely) to a bed of fresh spinach. Use the small container to whip up some dressing. Vinaigrette are easy to make and using different flavored vinegars and oils can completely change the flavor, and compliment different ingredients.

Spinach wraps with bacon (or chicken) and a bit of cheese are always nice. Make sure to use your cold pack when sending tasty spinach treats, it will keep the leaves fresh and crisp. Our daughter also likes snack lunches. We will pack hummus, fruit, carrots, pita and such. Don’t forget how well brie works with fruits.

Yes, you are probably thinking that these suggestions are nothing special, but they are reminders to use a little creativity with your leftovers, and your child will have a lunch that is not only nutritious, but makes for a great ice breaker at the lunch table. **Warning: You may have kids from school regularly inviting themselves over for dinner. So, tell them to bring their parents, and make it a party! 🙂

I always make a bit extra during the evening meals to make sure I have a nice inventory to choose from when making lunches the next day. For example, when I have leftover rice, I will add some shredded chicken, and that makes a great hot lunch in the thermos. As fall comes around, don’t forget to send hot yummy soups in the thermos for lunch too!

– Val