Monday, May 30, 2016

Penzeys Spices ~ I Adore Them...

I love food that taste great.  Indeed all food should taste great.   There are many options out there for seasoning our foods and making our foods taste great.   And on the other hand there are a lot of options that leave our food tasting bland and flavorless.  

One of my personal missions in this life is to help people understand the importance of creating foods that taste great.  eI have learned a lot over the past years and one of them is that most of us use spices that are old and outdated.  Simple put they are flavorless.  

I have questioned many over the years about how old the spices they have in their kitchens are.  It has been very interesting to hear back from them.   Most everyone one I speak with confess that the spices they use to flavor their foods are old.  Not just a year old, but on many occasions many many years old.  Some have even confessed that they are using the same spices they purchased when they first got married and I am not kidding when I say for many it has been ten years and over, even some up to twenty or more years.  It is true,  we are a frugal people and hate to throw things away.

Here is how it goes.  We get these new recipes or we decide to cook with grains or healthy ingredients and our families don't like it.  I have found the real reason is not that they don't want healthy, they just want food that taste great.  If the first bite is WOW in the mouth, the battle is over.  If the first bite is BAD, the battle is just beginning.   They really don't care as long as it taste great. 

When I am out teaching the first thing I recommend is to clean out the spice cupboard and start over with fresh clean natural high quality seasonings.  I am sorry, but the ones found in the dollar store are there for a reason.  Usually when you buy quality it does cost more, but it last longer and saves you more money in the long run.  

A am guilty,  I had cafes and  hoarded my spices.  They were large containers and I was not going to throw them away.  I bought them and was not going to waste my money.   I have to confess some were over ten years old.  But still I persisted in using them.  

I happened to find Penzeys Spices from a recommendation from a friend.  I have to say it changed my life.  I came home tried them.  WOW,  I was totally converted to fresh new spices.   It really changed the game at my house.   I actually emptied out my entire cupboard, filling a dumpster, for real, with all my large old containers of herbs and spices.  I have never regretted doing that.  Penzeys Spices are amazing.  Packed with flavor and goodness.  Nothing artificial or chemical, no msg, just pure clean herbs and spices that make the taste buds dance with delight.  

I really should be on the payroll for them, but believe it or not they have never paid me anything to promote their products.  I just absolutely love them.  Yes there are other good companies out there and if you are using one of them be happy,  but if your not and your spices are old, maybe it's time you took an look at Penzeys Spices.  I have not found one thing there that I don't love.  

I often get asked what are my favorites so I took some pictures and hope you enjoy my personal favorites.  But truth be told, you will find ones you love.  Don't be afraid to try them.  The things I did when I started was to order the tiny bottles just to check it out.  I never do that anymore because I know I will use what ever I buy.  Many of them I purchase in a large bag because I use so much. 

What ever you do, you will love them.  Make sure you sign up for the catalog,  it's full of recipes and often coupons for something free.  Intact when they launch a new one usually they let you try it for free.  I love them and I know you will too.  

I have my personal favorites and although they do give you guidelines, be creative.  I always try new ones out in the same recipes for a variety of flavors and experiences.   Enjoy your culinary spice adventure.  And clean out your cupboard,  honestly it's the smarted move you will ever make in your kitchen.  You family will thank you when their mouths are tingling with new wonderful taste sensations.   Happy Spicing,  Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy

Tuscan Sunset
 I have to say that Tuscan Sunset is number one on my list.  From pizza seasoning to just sautéing vegetables I love the fresh Italian flavor that comes from this blend.    It is so fresh tasting and smelling.  I buy this one in bulk because I use it so much.  I even bottle my tomatoes with it and even if I choose to use bottled sauce,  I add this to freshen it up.   It is a personal favorite and everyone that smells  it is instantly converted.

Sunny Paris, so fresh, I love it in eggs and anything light and fresh. 

If your a frozen pizza person this does spice it up.  I use it on my fresh baked pizza's.  It does amazing things.  Also great for garlic bread.

Northwoods,  wow,   its great in all things.  I love it for burgers.  It's great in meatloaf and meatballs.  I love it for bbq and ribs.  They have a Northwoods Fire that I love.  It has a little more spice, but I love it.

I love making my own sausage.  This one is perfect.  Just what we think a sausage should taste like.

This is my favorite egg seasoning.  It's great for sauteing vegetables and just putting on potatoes.  When you smell it your imagination comes to life.  Really,  it inspires you to new levels.  

This is the taste of Arizona.  I love it.  For great Mexican food, from rice to taco seasoning, you will adore this flavor.  

There is a big difference in Cocoa.  A few years ago I did a cooking class for children.  They got it.  We made chocolate cake with two chocolates,  They all voted with passion that Penzeys was the best.  They could not believe the flavor difference 

For sure you should know by now that all cinnamon is not created equal.  In fact most cinnamon is flavorless and devoid of passion.  Cinnamon should be full bodies and bright and full of flavor.  One of my complaints about cinnamon rolls is the lack of cinnamon flavor.  Why go to all that work and use a cheap cinnamon that does nothing for the roll.  Penzeys has many Cinnamon's but I really love their cinnamon that is a blend of a few.  

 Baking Spice is a must have in the kitchen.  From pancakes to muffins it's great.  I love the warmth of the flavor,  it reminds me of grandma's baking.  Full of flavor and warmth.
Chile will never be the same again.  They have a few different ones.  Chili 3000 is so flavorful and  inviting.  I love it and everyone that uses it loves it.

I love Paprika.  Smoked ones I have tried in the past and wondered what was so special about smoked.  And then I tried this one.  Wow,  it has the most dreamy smoked flavor and aroma.  It's outstanding.  I use it in sauces, soups, dinner rolls, and yes it's great on deviled eggs.  Takes them to a entire new level.  

Sweet ginger bits is a new product for them.  I love them.  I use them in cookies and muffins.  Perfect size and perfect taste. 

 I cannot say enough good about this product.  The absolute best flavor ever.  Peppery and sweet shallot all in one jar.  It is honestly the freshest most amazing flavor ever.  

I keep my pepper box full of this pepper blend.  Pepper corns with cardamon.  Wow, it's amazing.  Fresh and wonderful.

I hate bottled ranch dressing mix.  Filled with chemical and garbage, they taste like toxic waste.    But my family thinks they have to have buttermilk dressing.  I love this one.  So full of flavor.  I also love the Creamy Peppercorn dressing.  You will never used the bottled stuff again.

This is just a few of my favorites,  I would have to list everyone of them from the store.  I have a cupboard full of jars and I frequent Penzeys often to try new ones.  I have never been disappointed.
There are stores in most large cities, but they also have a great online store.    Have fun and discover just how great your food can taste.


  1. Do you use Chili 3000 in place of chili powder? Is that what it is?

  2. Sister Helen Spencer Schlie here....2 stanza " BREAD " Poem to share....." Earth brown furrows..warmed by the sun..Lie waiting..Waiting..Womb for the seed.'Nurtured in darkness.Sensing need to reach for Light..For Life...With strength to thrust aside the clod..And force the root thru' matted roots of sod...Then green....It's vibrant green..Caressed by wind and rain..To reach fulfilment in the harvest.of the grain " 2nd Stanza. " BE GENTLE WHEN YOU TOUCH BREADi" " Be gentle when you touch bread..There is so much of love in bread...So much of Sun and soil..So much of patient toil..So much of love in hands that knead and form the loaves...To fill the air with warmth of baking..This fragrance...Old as history of Man..This Fragrance..Known to Diety Familiar with it's touch..It's taste..Christ often blessed it..Be gentle when you touch bread ".....HSS