Denny Mikes – Add a Little Flair to your Weeknight Dinners

March 19, 2009 - Written by Diana

 March 18, 2009 008 I’ve been working a little late, which means getting home a little late.  Unlike Jeff at The Pathetic Suburban Men’s Grill Club (of which I’m sure I’ll never get an invitation to), we have not had the first Match Drop.  Our Grill is in need of serious replacement so all of our cooking is inside.  Unfortunately, working late, means fast cooked food at home and sometimes it’s not as flavorful as I’d like. I wasn’t in the mood to cook and was not too inspired until I remembered the rubs.   I made burgers using my grill pan and added some COWBELL HELL to them, plus I sprinkled some MAGIC PIXIE DUST on top of the fries.  I even slathered some Carolina Style sauce on my burger, for an extra nice ‘cue flavor.   That helped me out a lot.  The burgers were delicious and the fries had a little more taste.  My husband who declared he ate and wasn’t eating, ate a burger and fries and also declared them to be delicious.  My son, he didn’t say much, just shoveled it in (like I said, dinner was late).  Thank goodness for Denny Mike’s rubs another boring dinner averted. DennyMike's Pixie Dust Fries

Spice Depot Gift Suggestions for Foodies

December 24, 2008 - Written by Diana

Spice Depot has a slide show on their website with suggestions for presents for your foodie friends.  You can find most of these items at your grocery store.  I thought these were good suggestions.  I like the Spice Depot Grinders they’re better than the store brand.  I bought a store brand the other day of the Garlic Pepper and was disappointed, it had salt and some other things in it unlike the Spice Depot Grinder.  Be sure to read your labels to make sure you are getting what you want. If you talk to my husband and kids, you would find that I like gifts that I can use, so these gift suggestions would be great for me. 

Ferraro’s advice this holiday season is to “Customize your spice grinder purchases and pair them with creative and inexpensive add-ons to suit each recipient – maybe pair our Spicy Sea Salt with a DVD and small package of microwave popcorn for the babysitter, or tuck our Salad Seasoning, cotton garden gloves and a packet of lettuce seeds into a tiny terra-cotta pot.  What gardener wouldn’t love that? Singles love a trio of Salad Seasoning, JoJo Potato and Spicy Sea Salt – and for less than $10 for the set of three, you’ll be much-loved and happy.”

“My potato-crazy friends can’t wait for their plain brown paper bag filled with nugget potatoes and topped with a bottle of  JoJo Potato Seasoning.  They know it’s coming but still they laugh like crazy and deliver a smile worth hundred-fold the cost of the gift.   It’s not the cost that counts with gift giving, it’s the thought we put into it.  Building spicy little bundles to suit individual personalities is fun, inexpensive and very thoughtful.”  And, with the economic situation looking somewhat less than festive for so many this holiday season, creativity is at a premium.

Spice Depot sent their stylist out shopping, with limited cash and a long gift list.  She made just one trip to the mall and came back with dozens of fabulous DIY gift ideas under $10, plus a few under $20.  To view the complete slide show visit Spice Depot Videos & Podcasts and click on the DIY channel.

DIY Gift Ideas Under $10

(links to high-res images and details)

JoJo To Go #1 – in a series of five DIY gift ideas for Potato Lovers 

JoJo To Go #2 JoJo To Go #3 JoJo To Go #4 JoJo To Go #5

Visit Where to Buy to find the nearest listing retailer.  Try all 12 grinder blends:

Salad Seasoning Garlic Pepper Seafood Seasoning

Hot & Spicy Spicy Chicken Smokey Rib

BBQ Burger New York Steak Spicy Sea Salt

JoJo Potato Coarse Sea Salt Black Peppercorns

Turkey Brine

November 15, 2008 - Written by Diana

Spice Hunters Turkey BrineI think the method of Thanksgiving cooking that is growing the most in popularity is turkey brining.  I tried it out on a chicken, and the chicken turned out moist and tender. It has a little bit of a salty taste but not overly so. If you are on a salt free diet, I wouldn’t recommend it, but otherwise, it’s a delicious great tasting way to prep a turkey.  

The Turkey Brine I used was Spice Hunter Turkey Brine.  It contains: Sea salt, brown sugar, dried cranberries, dried apple, garlic, orange peel, juniper berries, Malabar black peppercorns, thyme, rosemary and sage.  I wondered if you would be able to taste any of the other flavors in your turkey(chicken) and we could.  I didn’t use any other seasonings when I roasted it because I wanted to see what the brine would do to the bird.  So without any other seasonings when I roasted it, the chicken was flavorful.  I got little bites of flavor here and there that were a delicious addition to the chicken. 

Brining the Turkey.


What I’m Digging: Penzey’s Spices

April 21, 2008 - Written by Buff

Oh my goodness.  The.best.spices.evah!  My good friend, Kate, recommended Penzey’s to me a few years ago and I have sung their praises ever since. I’ve shopped on line with them for the longest time and recently I had the opportunity to visit one of their stores.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I had to buy one of each.

My suggestion would be to buy a bottle of each spice, then when you need to refill, buy in a bag.  The bottles are really nice and sturdy.

My highest recommendations are for the following spices:

Special Blends:

Try these spices.  Trust me on this, you will not be disappointed.

What I am Digging: Old Bay Seasoning

April 15, 2008 - Written by Buff


If you’ve been to Maryland, you will know this spice.  You may not know it by name, but it is the spice of choice if you’ve had Maryland Steamed Crabs, Maryland Crab Soup and Crab Cakes.  All other seafood seasonings pale in comparison.   I really dig this spicy mix a lot. 

I use it in my tuna macaroni salad to give it extra zip.   Add about a tablespoon to a pound of pasta. 

I use it on French Fries – And I am not talking about typical fast food type of French Fries – I’m talking about the big thick fries that you make at home.  Before sprinkling Old Bay on them, I add a dash of malt vinegar.

I use it on Sweet Potato Fries and breakfast potatoes.

I use it on chicken wings.  In place of Buffalo wing sauce, I make a mixture of butter and Old Bay and enjoy my home town treat a little differently.

Pork Loins

March 22, 2008 - Written by Buff


I guess I could combine this recipe with two what I’m digging…because I sure do dig my Big Green Egg and I sure dig the alligator juniper wood smokiness. I’ll just post this recipe and in another blog entry will fawn all over post more information about my BGE and the alligator juniper. I like making pork loins on the BGE because they come out so moist and tender and smokey.

The Rub
6 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons hershey’s cocoa
2 tablespoons chipotle
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder


What I’m Digging…Cholula Seasoning

March 22, 2008 - Written by Buff

Cholula Original Seasoning

Oh my goodness …  if you know me then you know how much I love my spicy food.  I am digging on the Cholula Original Seasoning because it’s hot sauce in a powdered format.  If you like your hot sauce, then this is for you.

According to the web site, http://cholula.com/,  it’s big on flavor and not on salt!

Premium coarse ground ingredients lets you see, taste and smell the generous bits of signature spices without the overwhelming saltiness or heat found in other seasonings.

Captures the Flavorful Fire of Cholula Hot Sauce with an exclusive blend of coarse ground peppers, garlic, onion and spices. It’s a wonderful flavor enhancement to steak, burgers, chicken, seafood, pizza, french fries, eggs and omelets. As an ingredient it gives soups, sauces and marinades a zesty delicious flavor distinction.

And it sure is all that. I made breakfast this morning and used it liberally in my scrambled eggs.  It was dee-lish.