Monday, July 7, 2014

 Homemade Spice Mixes


 Summer time is a season where I feel my cooking muscles get weak. It's so easy to just grill up some meat and veggies that I don't really cook anything spectacular or special. To get some inspiration, I took a look at the spice isle hoping to find something new. 

There are so many different spice mixes out there! Spicy, sweet, salty, and so many other types to add some flare to your food. After noticing the variety my eyes took in the hefty price tag for each one of the "special blends." The ingredients usually list the same things: salt, pepper and garlic. This got me to thinking about making my own spice mixes. I have played around with them a bit and they have become a new staple here in Gingerlocks' Kitchen. These mixes add so much flavor to everyday dishes with things you already have in your kitchen. Not to mention all these benefits without the cost of the premixed seasonings at the store.

All Purpose Seasoning 

1 part salt
1 part pepper
1 part garlic powder

This is a great seasoning to put on anything savory you cook. Sometimes I under estimate the power of pepper and don't add nearly as much of it as I should. I love to use this seasoning mix on grilled meats and veggies, it really adds tons of flavor. 

To make your spice mix we first need to measure out whatever container you are going to use. This can be something like a small bowl, baby food jar or even an old spice container. Regardless of what you use make sure it is squeaky clean. This way you will just have the spice flavor you are adding and not what was previously in the container. I used these awesome magnetic spice containers that stay on a utensil holder on the stove.

Fill up the container with rice. You can use oats or another small grain, too. Then measure how much rice you have. Mine came out to be about 1/2 cup total. We need to divide this by three equal parts for the salt, pepper and garlic powder. There are 8 tablespoons in each half cup, so I needed to add about 2 and half tablespoons of each part.

This was a bit exact of me, but you can certainly eyeball it. I ran out of the all purpose seasoning mix the other day and added this with a quick estimate and it was just as good.

This seasoning mix adds so much flavor to everyday things, especially on the grill. These steaks were so tasty. Just add a liberal sprinkle of the seasoning mix and throw it on the grill, it will be fabulous!


Cinnamon Sugar 



scant 1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine these well in a clean and very dry container. If there is any moister in the container, the sugar will crystallize and clump up. 

While I was in the spice isle this was one of the mixes that had the most surprising price tag. A small container or cinnamon sugar was over $3. Obviously this is not a rocket science type of mix, but it is really handy to have ready to go for cereal, oatmeal, toast or anything else you want to add a little sugar and spice to. 

One of my favorite ways to use cinnamon sugar is to make cinnamon sugar pancakes. The top is super flavorful with a sweet crunch. First, start with my super fluffy pancake recipe, just omit the bacon (unless you like everything in your pancakes).

As you pour the batter into a well greased pan, sprinkle over a pretty thick layer of the cinnamon sugar while the pancake cooks on its first side. Remember to grease your pan really well as there will be some sugary casualties that fall off. When there are bubbles around the edges of the pancake, flip it over carefully. Cook this only a few minutes keeping a close eye on the cinnamon sugar coating to ensure it doesn't burn.

These are soo yummy! The top is sticky and crunchy with a fluffy pancake underneath it. Heaven with a maple syrup topping.

Check back on Thursday for a spicy taco seasoning!

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