The Spice & Tea Exchange Blogs, Recipes, News and Information

Herbal Education- Tarragon

April 24

If you grow fresh tarragon in your garden you are in for quite a surprise. The flavor, taste – the powerful (and sweet) minty heat with a peppery bite that lingers – is quite different from the dried version. Harvested from your garden, it is best used sparingly to add a citrusy, minty aromatic to sauces (think butter braises and mayonnaise/aioli-type blends), seafood and beef.

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Herbal Education- Lavender

April 23

To know lavender is to love lavender. It’s fragrance unmistakable: intensely perfumed, it invigorates and relaxes at the same time.

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Herbal Education- Chives

April 22

Distinct and onion-like, chives are mild with less of a bite than onions or garlic. This makes them a great option where you’d like a hint of onion flavor but not the raw stinging bite of the real deal.

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Herbal Education- Basil

April 21
Who doesn’t love the vibrant scent of sweet basil?  It’s hard to imagine summer without it.  Warm and spicy with hints of clove, citrus and even cinnamon layered over a minty-camphor-like aroma.

This leafy herb is known for its sweet smell and flavor. Frequently used in Mediterranean cooking, this herb comes in several varieties, including sweet basil (common use), Thai basil, opal basil (purple hue), lemon basil, cinnamon basil, clove basil, anise basil, and many others. Varieties of basil are dependent on the region they are grown in.

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Marbled Tea Eggs

April 16

Gear up for Easter Sunday with this brilliant Marbled Tea Eggs recipe! Give your Easter eggs a savory flavor while decorating them at the same time. We’ll show you how…

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April 2014 Calendar of Events

April 1

What is going on in your area?! Follow your store here and on Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »

Signature Chicken Flatbread

March 28

Flatbreads are perfect for relaxed weekend meals! Get the kids together for a fun activity and top your flatbread with your favorite toppings! Today, we’ve chosen to make our own Signature Chicken Flatbread. Savor the warmth and heat of TSTE® Signature Spice Blend on moist chicken, atop fresh garden veggies and a cheesy-baked pizza crust. It’s all delicious, and all from The Spice & Tea Exchange®.

Try a Tuscan flatbread with TSTE® Tuscany Spice Blend, or a spicy chicken flatbread with TSTE® Crazy Chicken Seasoning. For an herbal twist, give it a try with TSTE® California Blend or our famous TSTE® Herbal Garden Grinder Blend.



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Buffalo Cauliflower “How-To” from Chef Donna’s Kitchen

March 25

Taken from Fox43: Chef Donna’s Snacks for March Madness

Read more:

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Snacks for March Madness!

With March Madness in full swing this is a great little snack to make while you watch all those games.  Buffalo Cauliflower is everything you love about hot wings and all that deliciousness and toothsome bite of veggies.  If you have a deep fryer, this the time to get it out and put it to use.  If not, I’ve got an easy oven-bake method for you to follow, instead.  For your Perfect Pairing try The Vineyard at Hershey Dry Riesling.  The tart Riesling grape goes toe to toe with the sauce, without compromising the beer-batter and overall “wing” taste! Read the rest of this entry »

Cucumber Bites

March 21

These light Cucumber Bites are the perfect appetizer for a spring party! Get together a few simple ingredients for a light and flavorful treat.


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St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

March 14

Chef Donna has prepared the ultimate Irish dinner for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration! This step-by-step meal recipe, starts with an amazing Genmaicha Tea Soup, then segues into a delicious Tea Poached Halibut prepared with TSTE® Genmaicha Tea. The meal is completed by a wonderful Baby & Winter Greens Salad with Dressing. If you are ready to see just how much flavor The Spice & Tea Exchange® can deliver in just one meal, then these recipes are for you.

The Menu:
Genmaicha Tea Soup, Crisped Genmaicha Tea Halibut (or chicken), and Baby & Winter Greens Salad w/ Dressing

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This green-tea-and-toasted-rice (Genmaicha Tea) base broth is the perfect platform for sweet roots, earthy vegetables, mushrooms and the bright warm spice of ginger.  *Note:  When you add miso to hot liquids the miso solids will separate and settle out.  If you’re serving your soup right away, no worries.  However, if you’re making it ahead, it’s worth the added step to strain these solids out.  You’ll sacrifice the vegetables, but we think it worth it to get their delicious flavor into the stock.  You can add another round of vegetables to the soup when your reheat your now clear broth. 


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Braised Pork Chops with Cabbage & Apples

March 13

Here’s yet another great recipe to kick off the celebration of St. Patty’s Day. Try our Braised Pork Chops with Cabbage & Apples recipe for a real taste of Irish cuisine.

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Potato Bacon Quiche

March 12

Potatoes, bacon, eggs, and TSTE® Coastal Blend set this quiche apart from the rest. Start the day right with this hearty, delicious dish. 

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From TSTE®

1/8 tsp chopped fresh TSTE® Thyme
2 tsp TSTE® Coastal Blend


From the Grocer

1 – 9” frozen pie crust
4 slices naturally smoked bacon
1 small onion, chopped
3 Yukon gold potatoes (or 1 russet), peeled and diced
1 cup half and half
3 eggs
½ cup Swiss or Gruyere cheese



PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

THAW the frozen pie crust for 15 mins. Then pre-bake it for 15 mins. Remove from oven.

FRY bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat for 5-7 mins or until crisp. Remove. Pat dry with paper towels and chop when cool.

ADD onion, potatoes, and TSTE® Thyme into the frying pan and cook until tender; about 10 mins.

WHISK half and half, eggs, and TSTE® Coastal Blend together.

SPRINKLE cheese, bacon, and onion mix on top of the pre-baked pie crust. Pour eggs mixture over top. Wrap foil around the edge of your quiche crust to prevent it from burning.

TURN the oven up to 450°F and bake the quiche for 35 – 40 mins.


Yield: 8 servings
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 40 mins

*If you prefer a slightly more browned crust, take the quiche out 5 mins early. Remove the foil and brush the edges with 1 TBS of melted butter. Return to the oven for the remainder of the baking period.


-The Spice & Tea Exchange

Peppermint Patty Bars

March 11

These Peppermint Patty Bars are a perfect, sweet bite to serve at your next Spring celebration. Simply whip, spread, freeze and serve!

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From TSTE®

½ cup TSTE® Natural Cocoa Powder
2 tsp TSTE® Madagascar Pure Vanilla
1 TBS TSTE® Peppermint Patty Sugar 

From the Grocer

1 ¼ cup (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
3 ¼ cups powdered sugar, divided
¼ cup egg substitute (pasteurized egg)
¼ cup crème de menthe liqueur
1 TBS vegetable shortening
1 ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips



MELT ½ cup (1 stick) of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, whisk in TSTE® Natural Cocoa Powder. Remove from heat. Add TSTE® Madagascar Pure Vanilla, graham crackers, ¼ cup powdered sugar, and egg substitute. Stir.

COAT a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and press the graham cracker mix into the bottom. Refrigerate.

IN the meantime, melt another stick of butter. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and crème de menthe liqueur together. Continue beating and slowly add the remaining powdered sugar. Spread the mixture over the graham cracker later with a spatula and return bars to the fridge. Chill for an hour.

MELT remaining butter (½ stick), shortening, and chocolate chips. Lightly spread over the crème de menthe layer. Work fast as the chocolate will harden quickly. Sprinkle with TSTE® Peppermint Patty Sugar.

RETURN to fridge for at least an hour. Cut into small squares before serving.

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Yield: 24 small bars    
Total Time:
3 hrs
Prep: 30 mins     
Cook: 10 mins

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-The Spice & Tea Exchange



The Spice & Tea Exchange® Brings Exciting New Flavors to Sulphur, OK

March 10

March 10, 2014

Melinda Phelps, Paula Stewart, and staff of The Spice & Tea Exchange® of Sulphur

Melinda Phelps, Paula Stewart, and staff of The Spice & Tea Exchange® of Sulphur












The Spice & Tea Exchange® Brings Exciting New Flavors
to Sulphur, OK

Sulphur, OK – March 10, 2014 – Come In and Smell the Spices® this spring at The Spice & Tea Exchange® of Sulpur, OK. The Spice & Tea Exchange® offers food lovers, professional chefs, and tea enthusiasts a shopping experience filled with unique ingredients and culinary delights. Now open at the Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa in Sulphur, OK.

The Spice & Tea Exchange® offers an abundance of products to choose from, with more than 120 fresh spices, over 70 hand-mixed seasoning blends, 12 naturally-flavored sugars, 24 salts from around the world, and more than 30 exotic teas. The store also offers recipes, gift boxes and accessories to complement the spice and tea selections.

After discovering The Spice & Tea Exchange® on a trip to Texas, good friends Melinda Phelps and Paula Stewart finally found the passion they were looking for in owning their own franchise business. The Spice & Tea Exchange® retail locations are known for their educational atmosphere and knowledgeable staff. Guests are encouraged to smell the spices, watch Spice Masters create handmade blends, and let their curiosity guide them through rustic shelves filled with apothecary-style jars.

Phelps and Stewart are excited to bring this new experience to the Sulphur community, and delighted to be in the position of “owning a store with products that [they] absolutely believe in.” Their new location in the shopping plaza at the Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa is the perfect place for visitors and Sulphur residents to find quality products and exclusive gourmet gifts. “[It] is a wonderful and new experience every time you visit,” stated Phelps.

The Spice & Tea Exchange® of Sulphur opened its’ doors last weekend on Friday, March 7, 2014. A Grand Opening event is being planned for the near future. The store will be open Monday – Friday, 10a.m. – 7p.m., Saturdays, 10a.m. – 5p.m. and Sundays noon – 4p.m. For more information visit them on the web at

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PRESS: Libby Breivogel, Corporate Marketing Coordinator
(727) 422-0309 or

STORE: Melinda Phelps & Paula Stewart, Proprietors
(580) 622-3770 or


Green Tea Cheesecake Bites

March 7

These green tea cheesecake bites are simple and delicious. Add some zen to your day with the calm, smooth, creamy flavors of TSTE® Madagascar Pure Vanilla and TSTE® Sweet Matcha contained in these lavish green cheesecakes. 

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