Jan 7, 2006

Spice it up!

In my kitchen spices are not just an necessity, they are more of an obsession. I stock the basics of course, but I can never resist a new and exotic sounding spice blend. Some of my recent additions are Sate Seasoning and Florida Seasoned Pepper (all from Penzey's). Although it is fun to buy all these goodies, it can get quite costly. So, in an effort to spice things up, I have taken to mixing some of my own blends.

One of the first homemade mixes I ever learned to make is not really a spice mix, but a soup base. I was using a lot of cream of chicken type soups to make casseroles at the time and those little tiny cans can get quite costly. Making a sort of "white sauce" can often duplicate a cream soup, but they can sometimes be time consuming. A mix was just what I needed to help out on those nights when time was an issue.

Cream of Anything Soup

4 c. dry milk
1 1/2 c. corn starch
1/2 c. chicken bullion powder
4 tsp dried minced onion
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. basil
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pepper

Mix all together and store in an airtight container. To use the mix add 1/3 c. mix to 1 c. cold water. Whisk and heat in a saucepan whisking until thickened. You can customize this soup mix with cooked chopped broccoli or asparagus, small shrimp, diced cooked potatos, chopped celery, chopped mushrooms, minced cooked chicken, etc.

I have more mix and seasoning recipes listed under Mixes, Seasonings, Sauces and Condiments. It's a coincidence that as I was preparing this post I stumbled upon a post about spices at Always In The Kitchen. Dawna has a great sounding recipe for Garam Masala, take a look! She has a beautiful spice rack as well. I really need to get one of those... (adding spice rack to mental note of things to buy for the kitchen).


Heather said...

I just recently found your site and wanted to leave you a comment. I love reading your good ideas.

Michele said...

Thanks for your nice compliment Heather and thanks for visiting! Please stop by often!