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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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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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Fall is in Season

Well here in Florida it’s more of a wish than a fact. Floridians hope for a cool down with highs in the low 80s or high 70s, and that’s pretty much how fall goes here. Even the illusion of fall makes us want those flavors! The lower temperatures and declining downpours make us more apt to fire up our grills in the evenings.

New Delicious Additions

Summer is a creative time for us, and we have been working hard on new spice blends that turned out to be pretty amazing.

Our first creation from the summer is Fin & Feather Schmacker. Not only did we have lots of fun naming this blend, but the flavor combination is delicious on fish, chicken, roasted potatoes, and veggies. About every couple of weeks, my taste buds light up wanting this spice blend, and a round of tasty chicken wings are just the thing to soothe my craving. Try this blend on your next roasted chicken or turkey for a different spin on your common roast. We love Fin & Feather Schmacker on mild white fish as well.

Our next creation is called Sunny Soiree. This is a delightful combination of herbs, shallots, with a hint of sea salt. Originally blended with vegetables in mind, but we are happy to say that this combination works really well on many dishes. We have a super easy and tasty recipe below with this new blend on cauliflower, and it is a definite gotta have, gotta try! Sunny Soiree is incredible on fish, seafood, chicken and turkey, or mix in with pasta or rice dishes.

Maple Flakes are also new to our shop. This is exactly what it sounds like, dehydrated Maple Syrup. What can you do with this? Well … salad dressings, salmon, pancake batter, smoothies, rim a glass for an Old Fashioned, and on and on. We have had a lot of fun finding new way to use maple flakes, and it is the perfect pairing to many fall dishes.

Anyone for Squash?

Fall is a great time to enjoy squash, whether butternut, acorn, or spaghetti, they are delicious and flexible. We also highly recommend a squash called delicata. Delicata is delicious just roasted with salt and pepper, but our house blended curries such as Berbere, Ras El Hanout or Garam Masala would also be an outstanding addition. For those who don’t like curry, our Sweet Singing Seasons would work very nicely as a substitute.

For the Locals

Tune up for the holidays and join us on November 4th from 12 – 3 pm when our professional knife sharpener, Mark, will set up to get your knives sharpened up for the cooking season. There is nothing worse than a dull knife in the kitchen. Mark will be happy to quote the cost to sharpen all your knives while you wait or VSpicery will hold them for pick up at your convenience.

While Mark is busy with your knives, VSpicery will be working in the kitchen. We will have a cooking demonstration of holiday flavors, traditional and some original tastes. Class starts at 1:00 and is $25.00 per person with a tasting included.

To reserve your spot for sharpening or our cooking class please call 813-870-1133 by October 26th or register and pay online. Seating for the cooking class is limited.

Because We Like To Share

Roasted Cauliflower
This is a wonderful side dish that is perfect for fish, chicken, turkey or beef. The bright herbal notes of our Sunny Soiree are brilliantly balanced by the crunchy savory bites of Pecorino Romano cheese. This combo makes it difficult to stop eating because it’s so dang delicious!

1 head of cauliflower, stems removed
3 tbs. Olive Oil or more
Pecorino Romano cheese
Sunny Soiree

Place cauliflower in a microwave proof bowl with ¼ cup of water, cover and microwave for 7 minutes. Remove from microwave, drain, cool and dry.

Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with non-stick spray, and place cauliflower on baking sheet drizzle well with olive oil. Season nicely with Sunny Soiree, top with Pecorino Romano.

Roast in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, check after 20 minutes.

Well that’s all for now. Remember, if you would like to attend our event on November 4th, please go ahead and register. Until then have a creative time with your food.

Food Should Be Delicious!