Pumpkin Pie Spice

Cook’s Notes: Several web sites have this same recipe. I keep it on hand year-round, and the spice blend is terrific in smoothies, pumpkin pie, and more. It’s also good in Rice Krispie marshmallow treats.

Update: Small batch version with pepper. This terrific blend is from Dessert for Two:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Mix the following spices together in a small bowl: Makes 4 oz.

3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1.5 teaspoons ground allspice and 1.5 teaspoons ground cloves.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature.


Ground Turkey Sausage

IMG_0748Cook’s notes: I found a wonderful recipe online for a spice blend to use in homemade turkey sausage. I omitted the brown sugar but left in the red pepper flakes.

On its own, the turkey sausage had a bite, but we used it in several dishes and found it delicious: scrambled eggs with cheese, on top of pizza with red and yellow bell peppers, and on spiralized zucchini with red sauce and mushrooms.

In a small bowl, combine all spices and set aside:

  • 1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or equal parts dried basil, oregano, and thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or whole fennel seeds

When you’re ready to use it, brown 1 lb. (16 oz.) ground turkey in a large pan on stovetop. Add 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar and stir.  Add spice mix and stir to combine.

Adapted from newleafwellness.

Review: South Your Mouth Chicken Tenders

This recipe for naked chicken tenders was just what I needed. Mandy includes a spice blend recipe she calls “Chicken Scratch”: this is a nice seasoning blend, which I adapted slightly (ingredients below). We used her instructions to make a batch of chicken tenders for dinner with roasted broccoli.

Southwest Chicken Scratch: Combine ingredients and store in an airtight jar.

1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon roasted garlic granules
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Source: Adapted from the South Your Mouth blog

Best recipe: Vertical Roasted Chicken with Rosemary Rub (Bundt Pan Chicken)

Bundt pan chicken

Bundt pan chicken

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Cook’s notes: I wanted to make the whole chicken in a crockpot, but had run out of time for that day. We don’t own a roasting pan, so I went looking for alternative ways to roast a chicken. This recipe, which is adapted from Iowa Girl Eats, is a winner. You could also add chunks of yellow onion to the potatoes. The chicken has a delicious flavor, and this recipe is easy enough for weeknight cooking.

About 2 lbs. sweet potato, chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 organic whole carrots, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 whole chicken (about 3.5 to 4 lbs.)
1 lemon, cut in half
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon Rosemary Rub (recipe below)

Rosemary Rub
4 teaspoons dried rosemary powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 425F degrees. Move the oven rack to the lowest position. Lightly coat a Bundt pan with non-stick spray and place it on a baking sheet.

Combine potato pieces, carrots, and 6 garlic cloves in a large bowl. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat them lightly, toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer vegetables to prepared Bundt pan.

Remove any giblets or plastic from the chicken, and pat it dry with a paper towel. Insert the lemon halves into the cavity. Invert chicken over the center post of the Bundt pan. Stir the Rosemary Rub into the melted butter; brush the outsides of the chicken with the butter mixture. Gently pull the legs forward so the chicken is in a tripod position on the bed of vegetables.

Place Bundt pan on the baking sheet inside. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160F degrees. Remove the chicken from the Bundt pan, and set it aside on a cutting board. Remove the lemon halves from inside the chicken.

Turn oven up to 450F degrees.  Return the Bundt pan to the oven and continue roasting vegetables for 10 minutes while the chicken rests. Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes.

Chai Spice Mix

Cook’s notes: I adore this spice blend and have made it several times. It’s different from a lot of cinnamon blends. The cardamom is an interesting flavor.

The original author of this recipe says, “Use this spice mix in hot cocoa, chocolate cake, muffins, banana bread, or granola. Substitute it for the spices in pumpkin or apple pie. Or use it in chocolate bark” (link). It would also be delicious on spiced pecans.

2 Tablespoons cinnamon powder
2 Tablespoons ground cardamom
2 Tablespoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons allspice powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all spices together in a small bowl. Store at room temperature in a sealed container.

Apple Pie Spice

A heavenly blend

A heavenly blend

Cook’s notes: Adapted from the blog My Baking Addiction, who has packaged it in cute little jars for gift-giving. I share the author’s enthusiasm for Penzeys brand spices, especially their cinnamon.

Mix the following ingredients thoroughly. Store in an air-tight container.

2 Tablespoons cinnamon powder
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Dry Rub for Chicken

Cook’s notes: Adapted from the book Cheater BBQ. This is my favorite spice mix for chicken. It is especially good on the slow cooker whole chicken.

Mix the following ingredients thoroughly. Use 6 tsp of rub mix for each whole chicken:

1/4 cup paprika (1 oz bag)
2 Tablespoons salt (coarse cooking salt)
2 Tablespoons black pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon cumin powder

Makes at least half cup of spice mix, enough for at least three chickens.

Cinnamon Sugar

Cook’s notes: Today’s recipe is super simple: blend 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 Tablespoons cinnamon powder.

I woke up craving cinnamon toast, and this recipe on Chow had the right proportions. I use Penzeys Cinnamon, a blend of 4 types of cinnamon, because I like a strong cinnamon flavor. I’ve already used the cinnamon sugar mixture on toast and sprinkled over cottage cheese with dried cherries. It would also be good on applesauce, rice pudding, or cappuccino.

Turkey Taco Rice

Cook’s notes: I first saw Taco Rice posted as part of a lovely story about Japan and knew I had to make this easy Mexican-style dish immediately. Food.com has a recipe for a mild version of the taco seasoning mix; I’ll try that next time.

3 cups cooked rice
16 to 20 oz (1 to 1.25 lb package) ground turkey
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix (see below)
1 cup water
Toppings: chopped lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, and diced tomato

Prepare rice (you can use a pouch of frozen pre-made rice that microwaves in 3 minutes).

Lightly coat a skillet with cooking spray and brown ground turkey. Add taco seasoning mix and water; simmer over low heat until liquid is gone

Make a mound of rice on a plate and top with ground turkey. Layer on toppings. You might also like sour cream and guacamole as toppings.

Taco seasoning:
1 tablespoon chili powder (make sure that salt is not listed as one of the first three ingredients)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together all the spices. Store in an airtight container.

Italian Dressing and Herb Mix

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (may need additional 1 oz vinegar)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp Italian Herb Mix (see below)

Whirl ingredients in blender.

Italian Herb Mix (makes about 1/2 cup):
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme