Friday, July 2, 2010

First, Spices!

Why use spices? well, nobody likes eating cardboard. If you like food that tastes like nothing then I urge you to ignore the spices and herbs required in my recipes! However, if you like foods rich in flavor then invest in purchasing these basic spices. I love working with different spices, mixing them together and getting new flavors each time! To me it's like a science experiment, only you get to enjoy eating the result. :)

I decided to create a list of all the spices I will be using in my recipes so you can go get them all at once instead of running back and forth to bulk barn every time you want to make something new. Actually, that wouldn't be so bad if you need the exercise...but I find it extremely frustrating when I am about to try a new recipe and I've got ALL of the ingredients required except for a 1/4 teaspoon of sage... like COME ON!!!

A little bit about spices; It is always best to have fresh spices whether it's from your own garden, someone else's garden, or from the grocery store. Unfortunately it is not always possible. Especially if your neighbors keep attack dogs in their garden. Sneaking in for some fresh parsley becomes rather tiresome with the growling and biting and so on. Also, in the winter it is harder to get fresh spices so it's OK to use the dry version. But in the summer if you go to your local market or a grocery store you will most definitely find some spices fresh, maybe even still growing in a pot with soil! I get excited just thinking about that.... :)

It can get quite expensive getting your spices fresh. Also, if you don't use the fresh spice in a timely manner it will wither or rot before you get to it. VERY SAD.
So, solution: Get SOME spices fresh, some dry and some are now available fresh from a tube! Gourmet Garden is the name of the company that makes these herbs and spices into mush and sells them in a tube. Because these tubes contain fresh herbs you don't need very much of them compare to using the dry version. So if you like using a particular spice often get it in the Gourmet Garden tube, you can store it in the fridge and your food will taste amazing as a result of using the fresh herbs.

Here is my list of BASIC herbs and spices. I will always get some spices in dry form because I don't use them very much.

- Basil (preferably fresh)
- Oregano (Preferably fresh)
- Cinnamon Sticks (dry)
- Turmeric (dry)
- Cumin (dry)
- Ginger (fresh)
- Garlic (always fresh!!!)
- Paprika (dry)
- Rosemary (preferably fresh)
- Sage (dry)
- Italian mix seasoning (dry)
- Cilantro (always fresh)
- Parsley (always fresh)
- Tarragon (dry or fresh)

I will update this list every once in a while if I can think of any more herbs and spices, but if you have these then we are talking!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yumzers...what's that?!

Yumzers is my blog about cooking delicious food with ingredients that most of us have in our homes! I am always on the look out for good recipes but I find that most of them are either too complicated (they require some ingredients I can't even pronounce) or they are too simple and lack flavor...
I try to create my own recipes; whether it's my own version of a lasagna, pasta salad, or an old favorite dish my mom used to make.
Whenever I want to make something new I read 20 or 30 different recipes that give me some information about where to start and from there I choose which steps I will follow and what I would do differently. This usually works pretty well. My husband bugs me (with a full mouth) about how I should start my own blog and post some of my recipes - so here I am! If you would like to be notified whenever I post a new recipe you can click on "follow". Enjoy all the Yumzers!!!

Alla :)