Spicing up Mealtime

by Laura on May 12, 2010

in Food

This week when a package arrived, the kids immediately announced, “Grandma sent a package. Open it NOW!” By the time I made it to the front door, they had already dragged the box in wondered just what grandma could have sent.

Turns out it wasn’t from Grandma, but a collection of McCormick spices that I had won in a drawing from a recent trade show I attended. Now, I love Mom’s care packages, but this ‘care package’ got my heart beating a bit faster.

I was now the beneficiary of a new collection of dried spices and spice blends. It is well needed, because I know that there are spices in my cupboard that I purchased while living in Miami (I know because the labels are in Spanish). Being that I left Miami 10 years ago, they are well past their prime. Actually I’m kind of embarrassed to say I even have them in my cupboard. I know that this new collection would give me the impetus (and the strength) to finally get rid of all those old, old, old spices.

As I perused the offerings from the Gourmet Spice line, including the Rubbed Dalmatian Sage and the new Roasted Saigon Cinnamon, I started running through my mind’s recipe box, searching for a recipe I could try these spices in. I then got dreaming of the pasta salad I could make with the Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme spice blend.

But, what has truly caught my attention was the McCormick Recipe Inspirations. This handy little packaging consists of six, pre-measured, spices and herbs along with a perforated, plastic-coated recipe card on the back. I have to admit, that I rarely go for the ‘ready-made’ options, so I probably wouldn’t have tried the Recipe Inspirations if I hadn’t received them in this package. Now that I have them on hand, I can say that they can be a blessing especially when I’m in a pinch, or when I lack inspiration.

And if I ever find myself wandering around the grocery store looking for a bit of dinner inspiration, I will keep these in mind because not only do you get the pre-measured spices, but the package gives you a checklist as to what you need to make the meal.

That evening, I decided to give them a try. Shrimp was on the menu, so I ditched my usual stand-by butter and herb sauce preparation and tried the Shrimp & Pasta Primavera, which includes Dill Weed, Minced Garlic, Minced Onions, Coarse Ground Black Pepper and Thyme Leaves. Since I don’t use dill weed frequently (and don’t have any in my pantry), the prepackaged spices allowed me to make something I might not otherwise try – quickly and easily. Next week, we’ve Roasted Chicken on our menu, and I’ll be using the Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes Recipe Inspirations.

Needless to say, the results were successful. My new Family Favorite, Recipe Inspirations, can be found in the spice aisle of the supermarket. Other varieties include Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Quesadilla Casserole, Apple & Sage Pork Chops, or Shrimp & Past Primavera, Spanish Chicken Skillet, garlic Lime Chicken Fajita.

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