Glasses rimmed with Specialty Salts, Sugars and Spices from The Spice & Tea Exchange® transform home-made margaritas & daiquiris into gourmet cocktails! Re-read our blog post “How to Rim a Beverage Glass” and then explore the ‘rim-abilities’ – just in time for Cinco de Mayo! (Looking for a great gift? Our ‘Drink Rimmers Sampler‘ puts variety at the fingertips!)
•TSTE™ Lime Frost Sea Salt* – perfect for your classic margarita! A pleasant hint of lime adds flavor while crunchy coarse salt adds texture and smooths tequila’s bite.
• TSTE™ Jalapeno Salt – same idea as the classic, only with a hint of jalapeno heat. Chef Donna recommends this when nachos, tacos, or quesadillas are being served. The jalapeno in the salt matches the jalapenos in the food for a perfect pairing!
• TSTE™ Ghost Pepper Sea Salt and TSTE™ Chili Lime Salt – are the perfect rim for those who want to spice things up! Hot and spicy, these two salts are not for the faint of heart and should be mixed with others before serving! Mix or grind another sea salt (like TSTE™ Brazilian Atlantic Sea Salt for ‘Ghost Pepper,’ or TSTE™ Lime Frost Sea Salt* for ‘Chili Lime.’) with these HOT salts at a 3-1 ratio. (That is, 3 parts regular TSTE™ Brazilian Atlantic Sea Salt ground into 1 part TSTE™ Ghost Pepper Sea Salt.)
• TSTE™ Florida Sunshine – Unexpected but awesome! The orange, lime, and lemon zests in the blend (not to mention the ginger and rose petals) are all perfect pairs for the rich flavors of agave, tequila’s primary ingredient. While the grinder bottle will make your salt a bit too fine for a rim shot, pulsing a few times in a food processor will achieve the desired ‘coarse’ effect.
• TSTE™ Smoked Chipotle Salt – this is the perfect rimmer for those who love the smokiness that comes with all those great Mexican chili-infused dishes. Perfect if Ancho, Chipotles, Poblanos, or any other smoky (or smoked) chili pepper is on your menu. Not to mention, the smoky-aromatic hint in the salt will turn that tart tequila concoction into a mellow, fruitier experience. If you’re using top shelf tequila, this is the rim for you!
• TSTE™ Murray River Sea Salt – Classic twist, pink sparkle! This classic finishing salt is a fun twist for anyone who’s feeling ‘in the pink’ on Cinco de Mayo. Big, delicate, flaky, crystals look like pale pink diamonds rimming a glass. Not to mention the mild, clean flavor from the salt lets the flavors of the tequila and margarita mix shine through. Suggest as a ‘girly’ Mother’s Day gift!!
• TSTE™ Coconut Sugar* with TSTE™ Chardonnay Oak Smoked Sea Salt – 2 parts sweet to 1 part (or even a little less) salt gives you a sweet tropical hit of coconut with the gentle note of smoke and salt. Perfect for any tropical fruit flavored margarita, like peach or mango.
• TSTE™ Ginger Sugar, TSTE™ Green Chili Sugar or TSTE™ Habanero Sugar with any of the salts listed above are great matches. Ginger Sugar lends a mild floral spiciness to your salt which is great if you’re blending in fruity liquor, like Grand Marnier, with your tequila. Green Chili Sugar is your ‘go to’ food-loving combo with its vegetal hit-of-heat that disappears almost instantly on the palate. Habanero Sugar is the hot-sweet choice for the fire lover at your fiesta!
*Our Drink Rimmers Sampler contains Lime Frost Sea Salt, Raspberry Sugar, Coconut Sugar & Blueberry Sugar. Order yours and put variety at your fingertips!
Prepare for a Royal Wedding Anniversary Feast!
Here are the spices, teas and recipes you’ll need to celebrate like Kate and William with The Spice & Tea Exchange®! (We don’t actually know what they’re snacking on for their anniversary, but with access to elegant flavors from TSTE™, this is what we’d have!)
When it comes to cooking up a feast for a fun food holiday like Cinco de Mayo, having a handful of seasonings, spices, blends, salts and sugars from The Spice & Tea Exchange can be a lifesaver. Cooking up cultural cuisines – especially the foods from Mexico and central America – typically means we need to restock and rethink our pantries. We will be posting a series of our “must have” list and our “how to” guide for Cinco de mayo, not to mention just about any warm weather cooking event! In it you’ll find seasonings and salts, peppers and blends, sugars, and even a few teas that can help you save your dish, transform flavor, and open a whole new world of taste experiences.
Today, we would like to start you thinking about TSTE spices that can make all the difference in your salsa(s).
Fruit salsas – no matter where you live, it’s probably too early to get super sweet, ripe fruits for your salsas. No worries. Use TSTE™ infused sugars to add the sweetness you’re looking for. Plus, the sugar will help soften up the tough flesh of the fruit.
Have you met Vik’s?
The wonderful, all-purpose Vik’s Garlic Fix is one of my standard go-to TSTE blends, no matter the time of day or what’s on the menu. Garlic is the star, but plays well with the other herbs & spices in this well rounded mix. Vik’s is a friend to those who haven’t the time to pull every spice from the cabinet, but still want a flavorful meal on the table in minutes. Ready? Here are 6 + 6 quick and easy ways to use Vik’s Garlic Fix every day:
1. Soften cream cheese, mix in a spoonful of Vik’s, and spread on bagels. Good-bye morning breath!
2. Whisk a tablespoon of Vik’s into your next batch of scrambled eggs for breakfast-with-a-bang.
3. Potatoes tonight? Sprinkle Vik’s on baked, mix it into mashed, or oven-roast chunked potatoes with Vik’s and TSTE Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
4. Vik’s will make a simple can of tomato soup complex with flavors. Stir it in!
5. Saute some veggies (like cauliflower, red peppers, broccoli, and zucchini), add olive oil and Vik’s, toss with pasta.
6. Make hamburgers zesty by mixing Vik’s into the patties
as you form them, or just shake it on top of burgers before you grill or pan fry.
7. Perk up homemade, delivery or (gasp!) frozen pizza with a dose of Vik’s. Use it liberally.
8. Marinate chicken with fresh lemon or lime juice, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a couple of tablespoons of Vik’s.
9. Hang Vik’s in a sachet on your front door to keep those pesky vampires at bay.
10. Vik’s makes the quickest shrimp scampi ever! Just saute shrimp in butter & oil, add Vik’s, serve over angel hair pasta for an almost instant meal.
11. Enhance any dip or spread with a little Vik’s. Try it in hummus or simply mix some with sour cream for a speedy chip dip.
12. Add Vik’s to your next pot of pasta sauce, open your kitchen windows, and watch your neighbors line up with plates of spaghetti.
I’m certain I’ll be needing a few drinks this weekend. First, a calming cup of tea as I pour through forms and files. But once I’m done, I know I’ll be ready to celebrate, and there’s nothing better than taking that already-brewed cup of tea and transforming it into a pleasing cocktail.
While I’m finishing up my taxes a calming cup of green tea, like The Spice & Tea Exchange Mountain Jasmine or Mystic Dragon will hit the spot. But once those taxes are filed, you can be confident I’ll be taking the tea and using it to flavor my post-filing cocktail! Any green, rooibos or herbal tea can work here. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
When one of our guests received a grinder bottle of Parfume de Sel for her birthday, and was uncertain how to use it, she inquired, through the Ask Chef Donna portal: “I just love the smell and taste of it. What pairing suggestions do you have?” I was happy for the question, since I too was once uncertain about how to use such a richly perfumed salt!
I always have an abundance of food on Easter. It’s the only day of the year I know I can’t find a market open, and most convenience stores don’t carry the missing odd ingredients that I’m likely to need at the last minute. So I stock up and count on my freezer to neatly hold my leftovers until I’m ready to transform them into another meal. And though April is a pretty quiet month around here, May is bustling with activity – a lot of gatherings that include food. So, my Easter ham gets all packaged up and in a few weeks it will begin to reappear. I make a Ham-stuffed Bread, which is perfect at cocktails, brunch or along-side a hearty dinner salad. Seasoned with TSTE™ Tomato Tarragon Blend, the bread is fragrant, delicious, and better still? It’s easy.
Welcome to April and National Soft Pretzel Month, The Day of the Mushroom, and the Royal Anniversary of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge! (William & Kate to the rest of us…)
Feast like Kate and William with The Spice & Tea Exchange®!
Start the day like Royalty with the TSTE™ Earl Grey or unique and smooth TSTE™ Earl Grey Crème! Then finish it with a regal English ‘Crown’ Roast of Lamb seasoned with TSTE™ English Roast Rub, decadent Black Truffle Mashed Potatoes and a dessert of Crème de Lemon Tea Cakes! A feast fit for a king! (or Duke and Duchess…)
Celebrate The Day of the Mushroom, April 16th, with Mushroom Paradise Marsala!
Ever ‘miss’ the mushroom in Chicken Marsala? TSTE™ Mushroom Paradise Blend and TSTE™ Black Truffle Salt showcase the rich, earthy, mushroom flavor of this elegant dish. Served over nutty TSTE™ Pecan Style Rice seasoned with TSTE™ Black Truffle Salt, it’s ‘paradise’ for the mushroom lover!
Celebrate World Health Day and Earth Day with veggie rich Earth Burgers! Succulent and savory, these colorful patties re-define veggie burgers! Zesty fresh ground nutmeg and TSTE™ Sweet Onion Sugar from TSTE™ Earthly Delight Grinder Blend complement the nutty sweetness of beet and sweet potato. TSTE™ Pine Nuts and salt-free TSTE™ California Blend both add tasty texture. TSTE™ Horseradish Powder gives a last ‘earthy’
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This popular drink is made ‘at home easy’ by naturally creamy TSTE™ Earl Grey Crème and TSTE™ Vanilla Sugar*!
STEEP 1 tablespoon TSTE™ Earl Grey Crème in 1 cup (8 oz) boiled water for 5 minutes. This will make it nice and strong, which is necessary to carry the flavor through all the milk. STRAIN. Read the rest of this entry »
…that is the question. The inimitable flavor that makes Earl Grey tea Earl Grey tea is bergamot, an essential oil from the bergamot orange. Before we talk about how much is the right touch, let’s learn a little more about this aromatic ingredient.
Citrus bergamia, the Bergamot orange, is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow color similar to a lemon. It is not grown for its juice, but for the oils of its rind, which is the defining ingredient in Earl Grey tea. The juice of the bergamot orange is reported to be less sour than a lemon but more bitter than a grapefruit. The essential oil derived from its rind is both fruity and incredibly aromatic. Citrus bergamot is Read the rest of this entry »
In this month’s Tea Talker we’re giving a nod to the folks ‘across the pond’ and their royal tradition of tea. Tea was actually introduced to England by royalty. Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, introduced the ritual of drinking teas to the English Royal Court. The habit was soon adopted by the aristocracy, then the ‘common man.’ Today, UK citizens consume an average of 4lbs of tea per person per year! Tea Parties and all, the tea-thirsty ‘Brits’ are responsible for introducing tea to the American Colonies, where it is now a staple drink. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not often someone can convincingly say making bread at home is easy! Especially when you’re talking about a hearty and somewhat rustic French bread, known as a boule. Rich in whole wheat, nut meal and flax seed, this yeast bread is easily made and, I’d even go as far to say foolproof! The boule can be made ahead of the Easter holiday and kept in a cool spot or even frozen. Or, for that warm just-from-the-oven treat, start the bread
in the morning and by the time you’re sitting down for dinner, your bread will be cool enough to slice.
Whether you choose lamb or ham for Easter supper, you’re going to dedicate some serious oven-time to your meal if you’re the one doing the cooking. Still, there’s no reason you need to spend a lot of time on the meal, especially if it’s a leg of lamb that’s the centerpiece of your meal. The Spice & Tea Exchange® Lamb Seasoning is the way to start. Or finish. (For ideas on how to perfect your ham, check out our previous blogpost here. )