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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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Happy Halloween from VSpicery!

Hello everybody! Halloween is just around the corner and you know what that means – Fall Flavors are headed your way.

VSpicery just blended our special Pumpkin Pie Spice this week, and it is nice and fresh to make your pies the best. But wait! Use some in oatmeal, make a pumpkin spice latte, add some to roasted butternut squash, or mix into butter to top sweet potatoes.

We also have our seasonal Turkey Brines ready for pickup. We have two brine flavors, a savory traditional brine, and a delicious herbal brine, both complete with directions on the package. If you haven’t tried brining your Thanksgiving turkey yet, you’re missing out! These brines will make your turkey juicy, with a full, deep flavor.

MARKET SEASON is upon us. October 1st marked the start of the Saturday Morning Market (St. Petersburg 1st Street and 1st Avenue from 9am – 2pm). This market runs every Saturday through May. VSpicery loves this market, it is so much fun!

You can also find us at the Shops at Wiregrass on the 1st Saturday of November, December and January. February this market will go to twice a month, so mark your calendars for the 1st and 3rd Saturdays starting in February. Wiregrass’ Farmers’ Market is open from 10am – 3pm.

What’s Interesting:

We mentioned oatmeal earlier, but we have something very special coming in next week… Last year we ran across a company out of Minnesota that mills a variety of organic flours and oats. What a find! We have tried their oats finding that they are a truly a cut above. These oats make the very best and silkiest oatmeal you have ever spooned into your mouth. Also makes awesome oatmeal cookies. You use it just like that stuff in the big round canister. It is definitely worth a try, so spoil yourself a bit, you deserve it!

Some of you have discovered Skillet Bacon Jam and how this simple little condiment adds tremendous flavor to everyday dishes, from simple sandwiches and vegetables to fabulous pasta, chicken, seafood, and steaks. Skillet Bacon Jam allows your culinary brain to travel to all sorts of delightful places.

We now have Sweet Potato Butter from Low Country Produce on our shelves, which is an interesting addition to any kitchen. It can be spread on toast or biscuits, used as a topping for your favorite waffle or make a Sweet Potato Bourbon Cheesecake for your next holiday dessert – oh yeah! Customer feedback – use as a sauce over pasta!

During the summer our recipe developers worked on perfecting two new SALT FREE blends, and we are quite happy with the results. VSpicery would like to introduce you to our new Citron Pepper Blend and our Salt Free Beef Blend. The Citron Pepper Blend is full of flavor, and is fantastic on poultry, fish and seafood, and veggies. Our best comment from our tasters had to do with their disbelief that beef could taste so good without salt.

Shop News

At the request of many of our customers, VSpicery has finally added Gift Cards for your holiday gifting needs. We hear from many of our customers that most of their giftees have everything they could ever need. With our array of flavors and products, you can finally find a gift that will WOW your family and friends, ideal for enhancing the usual menu at home, perfect for novices or gourmets cooks.

Because we will be working both St. Pete’s Saturday Morning Market and Wiregrass, we are changing the Saturday hours at the shop as we adjust to this working schedule. Therefore, the 1st Saturday of the month the shop will be closed.

Have you joined our Facebook page? If not, please be sure you do. We like to share, and will be posting more recipe ideas, pictures, and updates as we progress through the holiday season.

Click this link to go directly to our Facebook page: VSpicery on Facebook

Thank you to the folks that allowed us to cater their summer gatherings. We know that they had fun and so did VSpicery!

We Like To Share

White Truffle Mayonnaise

This is wonderful to serve with cold or grilled asparagusMakes 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

3 egg yolks
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup light olive oil
½ cup sunflower oil
¼ cup White Truffle Oil
2 tbs lemon juice

Method

Place the egg yolks, mustard and some salt and pepper in a blender and whiz to combine. Mix the oils in a jug, then, with the motor running, slowly pour oil through the feed tube of the blender, until you have a thick emulsion. Mix in the lemon juice and a little warm water to loosen. Keep chilled for up to 2 days, stirring in freshly shaved truffle when ready to serve, if desired.

Bon Appetit!

– Val