Spicin' it Up!

I have three herb/spice mixes that I use regularly. I was recently asked for the recipe of one, so I thought I would share them with the whole wide web too.

Based on my recent experience, I believe it pays to buy dried, organic herbs in bulk. The "health food store" where I purchase them seems to refill their containers often so the products are always fresh. They seem to be more aromatic and flavorful than their counterparts in bulk at the "not health food store." Either way you go, buying in bulk means you can fill up your spice jars with an amount that you will use before it begins to loose its flavor. I can't afford to do my grocery shopping at a health food store, but I think it's worth it to spend a few more pennies on the herbs to make the "regular" food taste extra good. And you never know, you might be getting some extra protein too.

This recipe I found when I was looking for a substitute for "one envelope of taco seasoning." I haven't looked in a while, but I think I remember that there is MSG in taco seasoning envelopes and that is one thing I try to avoid feeding my family. This recipe makes the equivalent of one envelope of taco seasoning. You may want to increase the chili powder and/or crushed red pepper flakes if you want any heat. We have some that haven't developed a liking for anything close to 'pie-cee. The original recipe included onion powder. I usually add an onion. I've been known to measure out twice the amounts, then save one "envelope" for next time.

Almosta Farm's Taco Seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon oregano
a few crushed red pepper flakes

This next one makes a great steak fabulous! I've broiled steaks and pork chops with this rub. My husband, Hansome, has used it on grilled steaks. I even sprinkled it over a roast and veggies in a crockpot. That meal I didn't get to eat, but I heard it was well received. Please let me know if you discover another use for it. I'd love to try your ideas too. I exchanged garlic powder and celery seed for the garlic salt and celery salt called for by the recipe I modified. It's just one more way I make sure I'm feeding my family food instead of fillers and anti-caking agents.

Almosta Farm's Meat Massage
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder (or more!)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed, whirled in coffee grinder or w/mortar and pestle
1/4 teaspoon of each of the following:
     fresh ground black pepper
     rosemary (whirled in coffee grinder or w/mortar and pestle)

My Mother sent me this last one. I'm not sure where she found it. I love it because I can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe since the spices make you think you're eating something sweet. Our family has been known to eat it on oatmeal, apple slices, plain yogurt(we were dipping apple slices into it--I'm not that anti-sugar), ABJs (almond butter & jellys), etc. I like to add it to pancake batter, banana bread, Finnish pancake, pumpkin pie, muffins, topping for fruit cobbler, etc. Yes, pretty much anything sweet I'm baking. This makes about a half cup.

Almosta Farm's "Everything Should Taste Like Dessert" Spice
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground mace

I would love to hear about your successes(and failures) with these blends. One question: If you saw them in a store pre-mixed, would you buy them? One of my day-dreams is mixing small batches to sell by word of mouth, or maybe in one or two local stores, or maybe from this blog. :-)


  1. Great information. I have made my own taco seasoning before; I don't see any reason to buy it when the spices work best, without all the fillers. I have never seen the one for sweetening so look forward to trying that one. As far as buying them pre-mixed in a store; since you have provided the recipes I would do my own. However, I think people would buy them, after all, they buy the taco seasonings! Don't give up on your day-dreams, cuz you never know when something is going to 'click'..

  2. Fantastic! Thank you so much, Becky. We really enjoyed your roast so much - so flavorful!

  3. Where I work we sell dry dip mixes called Market to Market. The company was started locally and has been sold and gone national. They are VERY popular. The packets sell for $3.99 each. To most of them you add sour cream and mayo for a traditional dip, but some use cream cheese and/or jam, even peanut butter for the Thai dip. I have used them on roasts, in salad dressings, on fish. . .
    So, I think they would sell if you market and package them right and offer a good variety.
    Also, if you ended up at a trade show or craft bazzar, DEMO them!!! If they are good and people taste them THEY WILL BUY THEM!
    Go for it!


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