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Tuesday Tidbit: Penzey's Spices

Posted May 12 2009 5:53pm
If you’re anything like me (God help you) you probably never got really involved in using spices in your cooking. Oh, sure, you probably have all the essentials, such as garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, several varieties of Mrs. Dash and five old cans of sage ( yes, five – I have an irrational fear of being without it for Thanksgiving).

Enter Penzey’s Spices. There are so many things I love about this store, I don’t know where to begin – so maybe I should begin with their free catalog. You can order this fantastic catalog on their website and you will receive an updated version, full of mostly healthy recipes, every three months.

The catalog was a godsend for someone like me who knew pretty much zilch about spices. Each spice is listed alphabetically and comes complete with a description of how to best use it – usually with more than one suggestion. The spices come in small plastic containers or the economical refill bag.

They have all of the regular spices as well as a large number of spice blends – my usual choice because I don’t have to try to figure out what spices go together – including Chicago Steak Seasoning, Northwoods Seasoning, Chicken and Fish Jerk, and my favorite for vegetables and topping the fat-free sour cream on my baked potatoes, Fox Point Seasoning.

Using different spices has improved the flavor of my baked, broiled, and grilled diet in a way that was simple to do. And I love simple. When your foods are enhanced with the right spices, you don’t even miss the old breaded and fried junk you used to love. Well, not too much anyway.

If you are lucky enough to have a Penzey’s store nearby, go check it out. If you don’t, you can order from their website with confidence. They have fantastic customer service and quick shipping.

Although it’s probably best to make a list first. Your credit card will thank you.
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