My Favorite Homemade Dry Spice Mixes

autumnherah:

blah blah blah I was sad that so many store bought spice mixes featured gross things in them like ungodly amounts of processed sugars and unnecessary preservatives so I went out to find homemade spice mix recipes and these are now all staples in my diet. Why am I sharing them with you? No idea, but I am gonnnnnnna.

Buffalo Spice Mix

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ingredients 

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 4 ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 ¼ tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 tsp onion powder

directions

  1. combine all the spices in a mixing bowl and lightly whisk together.
  2. store in an airtight container like a mason jar

how to use

  • I generally mix a tablespoon or two per pound of meat (depending on how spicy you want this)
  • it also makes an AMAZING seasoning for homemade fries

Ranch Seasoning

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ingredients

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp parsley
  • 3 tsp dill weed
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 4 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 2 tsp black pepper

directions

  1. combine all the spices in a mixing bowl and lightly whisk together.
  2. store in an airtight container like a mason jar

how to use

  • about two tablespoons of this mixture = one packet of store bought ranch mix
  • add it to a mayonnaise of your choosing to make a DIY ranch dressing
  • I like to make air fryer hot wings with buffalo sauce and then toss the wings in this seasoning for a really lovely flavor
  • sprinkle it on everything, ranch tastes so good on everything, literally just add this to everything and make it ranch dressing flavored

Taco Seasoning

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spoiler alert – this is a copy cat Taco Bell taco seasoning mix

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • dash garlic powder

directions

  1. combine all the spices in a mixing bowl and lightly whisk together.
  2. store in an airtight container like a mason jar

how to use

  • add one tablespoon of spice mix for every one pound of taco meat you use. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the tablespoon of spice mix into the ground beef. Add the seasoned beef mixture and ½ cup of water in a skillet over medium heat. 
  • also very good on homemade french fries

Baharat Middle Eastern Blend

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ingredients

  • 2 tsp smoky paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp cloves

directions

  1. combine all the spices in a mixing bowl and lightly whisk together.
  2. store in an airtight container like a mason jar

how to use

  • that is a good question. I am very recently branching out my spice pallet and trying on some new things. So far I have used this as a dry rub for chicken which has been phenomenal.
  • one tablespoon per one pound of ground beef for grilled smoky, spicy burgers

Everything Bagel Seasoning

listen, not all of us live near Trader Joe’s

ingredients

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 3 tablespoons dried garlic flakes
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

directions

  1. combine all the spices in a mixing bowl and lightly whisk together.
  2. store in an airtight container like a mason jar

how to use

  • on top of homemade breads
  • added to breads with cream cheese
  • on top of your eggs
  • mixed into burgers
  • on top of avocado toast
  • basically anywhere you would normally use salt give that food an upgrade and use everything bagel mix instead

Let them eat…not this cake. It’s not finished yet

Today I spent literally all day baking cakes and fondant and icing and nonsense. I’ve been on my feet since about 8, in my kitchen. I’m not even finished yet. Why, you ask? Because it’s devilishly tricky to time everything out, and I had to eat often, and then there was the fact that both cakes have several tiers.

What I’m trying to say is that I am feeling very drained, but if I must bleed into something, I’m glad it was a cake.

If you’re wondering, two children’s birthday cakes. I’ll likely have them finished tomorrow. I have to assemble them which require dowels and platforms and all that rubbish. I was going to make sugar paste animals too, but the molds didn’t arrive, so the little dear is getting plastic figurines. At least then they can play with those while the adults inhale the cake.

I have to say I don’t care if I ever see buttercream again. Ever. Powdered sugar can sard off. For all eternity. I’ve been through five bags today. Five 2lb bags. Why? Because I make my own fondant and my own icing and they both take nothing but powdered sugar.

I don’t think I’ll even end up eating the cake I’ll be so annoyed with everything.

Fondant:

1 ½ bag of small marshmallows

2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted

Cris o vegetable shortening

Melt the marshmallows in the microwave in thirty second intervals. Fold in about ¾ of the sugar. When mostly a firm lump, turn out on the table and knees, working more sugar in as you go. Keep your hands clean by rubbing them in the shortening. The fondant should stretch about two inches before it breaks. Form into a ball, smear with cris o in a thin sheen, then wrap in plastic wrap for at least 8 hours in the fridge. To color, merely work the dye into the segment you’re using. I use gel based dye. Again, shortening for the hands, powdered sugar for the table.

Buttercream:

Two sticks of butter (1 cup)

5 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar

A few TBSP milk

Vanilla extract (or some other)

Dye (if you like)

Allow the butter to come to room temp and soften, dump into standing mixer and cream it for five minutes. Add the powdered sugar in one cup at a time, incorporating the sugar at low speed, then putting up to highest speed for two minutes between each cup. Add a bit of milk and the extract as you go, using the milk to turn it creamy every time it begins to clump up too much. Add dye or leave white. This will pipe, or go beneath fondant nicely.

A cheap but delicious thing I have found

And you will laugh at me for it. But I should let it be known that this was made for me by a child and I thought it would be torture, but it turned out to be incredible.

  • 1 box kraft macaroni
  • 2 mini Babybell cheese wheels
  • ¼ c. grated four cheese blend
  • 1 can tuna
  • ¼ c. milk
  • ½ stick butter

I know. I know!

  1. Make the macaroni noodles. Drain and return immediately to pot.
  2. Dump the butter in to melt right away. 
  3. Pinch the cheeses into little flat bits and incorporate. 
  4. Sprinkle the grated cheese in and incorporate. 
  5. Add the milk after the cheese is completely melted. 
  6. Add the powder
  7. ‘Once all is mixed, add the tuna.

Eat hot.

I hate canned tuna. You know this. But something about the four elements combined is strangely delicious. The cheese blend was a Mexican cheese blend from Kraft. It doesn’t taste like Velveeta at all. It is incredibly rich, and honestly…

I ate all of it.

Happy Day of the Risen Dead!

I give you…

The zombie egg! A tentative recipe

This take on a deviled egg consists of a Thousand Year Egg, or Century Egg:


Remove the yolks and add Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise, miso paste, lemongrass, minced Thai chilis, fish sauce, herbs, smoked paprika and whatever else you like to the tune of bitter, herbal notes.

Then spoon the modified yolk back into the white, and serve in half a plastic Easter egg. The relatives to whom you serve this delightful zombie egg will either never return…or will demonstrate their quality.

If they can eat it, keep them around. They’re worth the trouble.

By the way, it is delicious. Very complicated taste. Freshly shelled, they smell strongly of ammonia, but you can soak or cook them to remove this. I found it dissipated very quickly. The finished product is very spicy, slightly bitter, creamy, a trifle sour, and has the scent of a brand new cheap shoe. Lovely!

Simon’s Hot Toddy, a recipe

This is a medicinal drink. You can have it just as a cocktail, but since so many of my readers are ill, I thought it might be nice to publish the recipe I use, so that I can refer them to it. This is a hot, alcoholic beverage. It has Vitamin C, antioxidents, natural expectorants, antiseptics, anti-allergens, relaxants, and so is good for cough, sore throats, and help with sleeping. It is an excellent alternative to NyQuil.

Tools:

  • Pot
  • Tea pot
  • Microplane or cheese grater with a fine mesh

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 shots of Whiskey or Brandy
  • 1 lemon
  • Rooibos Tea (You can purchase bagged tea, but personally I purchase the highest quality I can, as it tends to be stronger
  • Honey (Preferably locally sourced, as it will be made with pollens from your area. This helps your immune system cultivate a resistance to local allergens.)

Instructions:

  1. Brew a pot of Rooibos tea, triply strong. Pour this into the saucepan and reduce. And brew a second pot at regular strength.
  2. When half the liquid has evaporated out of the saucepan, thicken with honey into a syrup and heat through.
  3. Zest and juice the lemon
  4. Take out your teacup. Put in your shot or two of alcohol. Add as much lemon as you can take. Sweeten with as much syrup as you can handle, Top up with fresh tea. Put the zest atop the cup. Inhale as much of the steam as you can while drinking.

And, if you (are sassy) wish to stave off a secondary infection, pop a clove of raw garlic into your mouth and swallow whole (DO NOT CHEW – This means you, Molly Anne). I also recommend pairing this with zinc. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and zinc binds to the receptor sites of the virus and effectively prevents it from attaching to the cells. In essence, it cannot reproduce.

Stay well, my gentle readers. And while I realize it is a bit odd, for a people eating monster to give advice about health…well, it’s not really so odd, is it?

The BAD RECIPE Contest, And Their Prize

Several days ago, I became very bored. This is not surprising, as you might imagine, gentle reader. Social media has presented me with many things to occupy me in these moments, and it all came down to a conversation about horrifying recipes. You know them. I am certain that all of you have your own story about the casserole your aunt brings to the Thanksgiving feast with the tuna in it, or the fruitcake made with skittles. Perhaps your father is simply inexcusably bereft of culinary skill. Ramen is usually involved. Tinned tomatoes. You take my meaning.

In any event, it got me to thinking, that some of these appalling crimes really do deserve recognition for sheer audacity alone, and so, I began a friendly contest on Tumblr. In the future, I will perhaps hold more of these, and this trial run will provide the framework, but for now, I can tell you that there were many revolting entries. The winning dish?

Grandma’s “You are so ungrateful” lasagna:

@youcantseebutimmakingaface – “Lasagna noodles, cans of tomato paste, 5 lbs Italian sausage, 3 pork chops, ground beef with no fat content, FUCKING. RAISINS, 1 pinch each salt and pepper… flavorless white cheese…Burn ground beef into kitty litter like granules, inexplicably mix with raisins…Make sauce…Boil sausage, pork chops, tomato paste, and salt and pepper until flavorless and slightly burnt. Layer noodles, cheese, meat/raisin hell, using approximately a shot glass of sauce…Bake until burnt. Use…to make a firepit or decorative patio”

I found this recipe utterly irredeemable, and so of course, it must be redeemed. This, however, involved some heated debate, and resulted in a secondary competition between myself and Chef, who staunchly opposed my notions of turning the dish from an entree to a dessert.

And so, as promised, I give you my recipe, and in a secondary post, his. Make them for yourself and be the judge. Which has won? No one at this end could truly decide.


Vietnamese-inspired Cheese Course, a recipe (Or raisin lasagna done with pinache, if you prefer)

Tools:

  • Small casserole dish, about 4” square
  • Sieve
  • Food Processor
  • several pots
  • skillet

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground pork (Make certain to get an even balance of fat)
  • 1 package ricotta cheese
  • 1 package of soft goat cheese
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 small package of mascarpone cheese
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1/2 c. currants
  • 3 sugar dates (pitted)
  • 1 package of small cherry tomatoes (Please perform the “sniff test” and choose one with the best tomato sweetness)
  • port wine
  • balsamic vinegar
  • several large lasagna noodles (Mine were hand made, but you may purchase dried pasta, as we are going to fry them anyway)
  • olive oil
  • brown sugar
  • mint (for garnish)
  • sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to about 350
  2. Boil your tiny tomatoes, until their skins begin to split, then blanch with cold water, and gently shrug them out of their red coats.
  3. Place in a food processor with raisins, dates, currants, about 1 cup of port, several tablespoons of balsamic. Pulse until nicely blended. Pour back into the pot and boil
  4. You must achieve a thick, tangy, but sweet flavor profile, and so please add or diminish as you like. Once your sauce has cooked off all the alcohol, and is about the texture of tomato paste, run it through the sieve, by pressing it through with a spoon.
  5. Return to the put and continue to add wine, vinegar, or whatever you would like. When you believe it has achieved the proper taste, you should set about 1/3 of it aside, and then continue to reduce the other 2/3, stirring constantly, until you have created a dark syrup. Set this aside
  6. Start your noodles boiling.
  7. Brown your pork, very lightly seasoning with salt. Set aside.
  8. Once the noodles are finished, drain. Sprinkle them liberally with brown sugar. Add some oil to the pork fat in the skillet and fry the noodles lightly, until they begin to brown a little, or fold up at the edges. Lay these aside to cool.
  9. Throw your meat and the thinner sauce into the food processor, and turn into a paste
  10. Mix about 1/2 the ricotta with 1/2 the goat cheese. (You would ideally wish to have a somewhat gamey flavor.) Whisk the egg and then beat into this mixture.
  11. It is time to assemble your “lasagna”. Carefully oil the inside of the dish. put a spoonful of your stronger sauce at the bottom and work this around into a thin layer. Line the bottom with one of your fried noodles. Spread a generous layer of your goat cheese mixture until the noodle is covered. do the same with the meat mixture, and another spoonful of your stronger reduction. Repeat as many times as fills your dish or uses up your ingredients, making sure to finish with noodles.
  12. Cover in foil and bake for as long as it takes the thing to boil for about ten minutes (We are merely cooking the egg, so do not overcook your dessert simply for a little raw egg. It is a cheesecake, not a brick.) Let us say 45 minutes?
  13. Allow to cool, and then upend on a plate. It should pop free, but if not, run a knife around the sides.
  14. Cover with the sliced almonds, pipe fresh mascarpone on top as you would whipped cream, and drizzle with your stronger reduction.

Garnish with hefty amounts of mint. Serve in small cubes, and ideally, pair it with a tawny port. I do believe you will no be disappointed.