Saturday, August 17, 2013

Taco Seasoning Recipe

After posting my pumpkin pie spice recipe, it occurred to me that I should probably post my taco seasoning recipe, as well.
It is as good as (better, actually) than store-bought, and -- like the pumpkin spice blend -- utilizes spices you probably already have on hand.

My version is adjusted and tweaked from different recipes, but is largely based on (surprise!) Alton Brown's.

Taco Seasoning

2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp cornstarch (you can omit this, but the sauce may be a little thin/watery)
 1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp Kosher salt (or 1-2 tsp table salt)
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne (omit if you prefer it with little to no heat)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp onion powder

Mix together all ingredients and store in airtight container.

Use 2-3 Tbsp per pound of meat/tofu/veg/whatever.
Add 1/4 cup of water while cooking, and let simmer for a few minutes until reduced/thickened.

And there you go - no more trips to the store for taco seasoning packets!

Added bonus: YOU control the amount of sodium content. Many of the store-bought packages are LOADED with sodium (some as high as 800+ mg!).

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

Summer is coming to an end, and fall is nearly upon us already, and for me that means gearing up for my favorite time of year for scents. Damp fallen leaves, simmering stews, the dark, brooding amber/patchouli/spicy perfumes I don't dare wear in the heat... and of course, now that it's beginning to cool off in the Pacific Northwest, I can finally start baking again.

One of my favorite ingredients to bake with is pumpkin, but every year I find myself running to the grocery store to pick up the pumpkin spice blend I ran out of the year prior.  This year, I decided to make my own (I already make my own taco seasoning and garam masala), and am SO glad I did. It's super-easy, inexpensive, versatile, and if you have the most basic baking spices on hand, you can make this yourself.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cardamom (if you don't have this on hand, it'll be just fine without. I just personally love any excuse to use cardamom)

Mix together all ingredients and store in airtight container.

...And that's IT.

Added bonus - adding this blend to your baked goods (banana bread, muffins, pancakes, apple pie, and of course pumpkin pie) will make your home smell SUPER-scrumptious and autumn-y. :)

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Crêpes