Tag Archives: herbs

Spice Mix or Not: Italian

Italian Spice Mix,  or not

Grow your own basil so it is fresh for Italian recipes.

Grow your own basil so it is fresh for Italian recipes.

Long ago I was told “Italians take pride in their food, wine and opera. Bad tenors and boring  sauces get the loudest whistles (boos) yet they’ll still drink the wine.” Fresh herbs and spices are the rule around the northern Mediterranean seaboard mostly because many herbs grow naturally in the area. Since Italian cuisine relies upon simplicity, the use of mixes and garlic is frowned upon.  Actually more than frowned upon; there is an anti-garlic revolt going on now in Italy. Garlic and potent mixes could overpower the flavor and hide a chef’s shortcomings. Continue reading

Basic recipes: Pt.3 Spicy Soups

Asian hot and sour soup uses peppers and vinegar to liven up a pork base.

Asian hot and sour soup uses peppers and vinegar to liven up a pork base.

Mention the word “soup” and everyone pictures a different one in their mind. Try it in a group sometime and you’ll be amazed.  After all, “soup” is just a liquid food with three basic ingredients: broth (stock), solid adornments, and spices.  There are thousands of variations and that is what makes soup-making so much fun. Each time soup is made, it seems different.  Read more about spices for soup and which goes with which base. Continue reading

Top 25 Spices and Herbs

 

picture of thyme

Thyme, a herb with a unique flavor, can be grown in pot on your porch.

Our Top 25 Herbs and Spices for Recipes.

Taken from our soon-to-be-published book      “$10 Meals for a Family of Six.”

Herbs are the fleshy part of the plant while spices usually come from the seeds, root, stem or bark. But do we really care? We just want to add flavor to our creations.

This list was put together by examining recipes from classic chefs, herb and spice books, plus internet searches. These are the ones most often mentioned. Of course I have included many of my favorites. Don R Continue reading