More Copycat Recipes

Since the last post of copycat recipes was so well received,here are four more you might like – Emeril’s Essence 2. Everything Bagel Spice 3. Poultry seasoning and 4. Stuffing Mix.

None of the above can normally be found where we live and in desperation I searched Pinterest for more copycats. Not only do I save money on imported originals, but I can also make smaller amounts, I can make fresh amounts as needed.

Emeril’s Essence

  • 2 -1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

    Everything Bagel Spice (mix with cream cheese)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed or whole (optional, but recommended)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container. You can store the mix on the counter or in a cabinet for a while; I keep it in my refrigerator, to ensure the seeds stay fresher longer (the fats in seeds make them more susceptible to turning rancid).

Copycat Poultry Seasoning

  • 2 tsp. sage
  • 1 ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp. Marjoram
  • ¾ tsp. rosemary
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Mix well. Rub Homemade Poultry Seasoning on the outside of the chicken before roasting. This homemade seasoning can also be used in stuffing and in soups.

Copycat Stuffing Mix

  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried celery flakes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread 8 to 10 minutes, cool. Dump all ingredients in a large bowl (that has a cover!) shake well to blend.

2. To Use: Combine 2 cups stuffing mix, 1/2 cup boiling water, 2 tablespoons melted butter in a saucepan.

Copycat Spice Mix Recipes

Depending on which country you live in, some of those crucial ingredients you need for a recipe can be difficult to find. Spice mixes are one of the most challenging if you are used to walking into your US or Canadian grocery store and always finding the mix you want in the spice section. Such is NOT the case in Mexico! This is where PINTEREST is so helpful! Below are four of the MOST common ones I never find here in Yucatan. Each is actually cheaper than buying the brand name!!

  1. Cajun Spice 2. Dry Ranch Seasoning 3. Onion Soup Mix 4. Taco Seasoning

Cajun Spice Mix

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons celery salt
  • 4 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

1. Measure out all of your dry spices and seasonings.

2. Stir until well combined.

3. Transfer to a pint-sized mason jar and store with your spices.

Dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tbsp dry Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Dill
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion flakes or dry minced onion
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Onion Soup Mix

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dehydrated minced onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons instant beef bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Combine the onion flakes, beef bouillon granules, and onion powder until blended. Store in an airtight container.

This makes the equivalent of 1 package soup mix. Use anywhere that onion soup mix is called for (recipes, mix with sour cream for a dip, etc).

Taco Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

1. Measure all of the ingredients into a lidded jar.

2. Shake until all ingredients are combined.

Notes

This recipe makes about one cup of seasoning.

Before each use, give it a good shake. Makes 3 tbsp. seasoning = 1 packet

For one pound of meat, use 3 tbsp. of seasoning plus about 2/3 cup of water.

Kitchen Tips

Sorry,no recipe this week, but in their place I came across some useful charts with info about cutting recipe equivalents in half, what sauces to serve with what pastas and  converting cooking times with your slow cooker recipes from high to low. Hope you will find this useful as the holidays approach! Its amazing what you can find on Pinterest sites…

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Measurements Simplified

First of all I want to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

2015-12-31 14.39.02and secondly I want to thank you all for following along on this blog.

Fearing you may still be in a New Years Eve fog, I am keeping this simple. Most of us get confused by changing measurement standards depending on the country of origin of a recipe. I discovered this quick reference image on my Facebook page today. Hope this simplifies things for all you cooks!

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Spice Up Your Life in 2015

Now if that isn’t misleading, I do not know what is…LOL. With this being the year end, after we put away the holiday stuff it is back to cleaning up the house and getting rid of stuff we no longer need or use.

One of the things we often overlook are our herbs and spices! I have been places where the spices seemed to be quite old (the bottles were the same as in my mothers kitchen) or placed conveniently close to the stove or beside the dishwasher or oven. Yes they might be convenient, but moisture and heat are the enemy of spices and herbs.

What follows is some good information about caring for these very important enhancements to our cooking.

What is the Shelf Life of Spices and Herbs?

Dried herbs and spices add a lot of flavor to our dishes and they are easily available and convenient to use. When we blend a combination of spices and herbs we end up with a whole variety of wonderful and unusual tastes. Preserving the quality, freshness and flavor of your seasonings will give you great tasting dishes and really will spice up your palette.

Spices do not spoil but they do lose their strength. Stored in airtight containers in cool dry places, spices retain their potency longer than you might have been led to believe. Whole peppercorns, nutmegs and cinnamon sticks tend to hold on to their flavor for a long time. And potent whole spices, such as cloves, cumin, and cardamom will also last for a long time.

Proper Storage
The greatest importance in getting the best taste and value out of your herbs and spices is to store them well. Store them in tightly sealed containers in a cool dark place. Keeping containers tightly closed will protect them from moisture and oxidation, and they retain more of their essential oil content when stored in glass jars or metal tins. Keeping them away from direct light will keep color from fading.

Never store them above your stove or near other heat sources as heat will degrade the quality. Also keep them away from the heat of the stove and the humidity of the dishwasher. If you have ever heard it is good to freeze spices and herbs forget it! Condensation will be a problem each time the bottle comes out of the freezer and is likely to introduce moisture to the spices. And don’t shake herbs or spices out of the bottle directly into something you’re cooking as that will introduce moisture to your spices.

Red spices like chili powder, cayenne pepper and paprika can be refrigerated to prevent loss of color and flavor. Spices such as turmeric, curry powders, ground cloves and paprika should be stored in glass or metal containers as their flavors will lessen if left in original packaging. The best temperature for herbs and spices is below 70º F.

Whole spices keep the longest because they have not been cracked or ground which would expose their flavors to air. Ground spices have a shorter shelf life. To determine whether or not ground spices are still viable gently shake the container with the cap on. Remove the cap after a moment and smell the container to see if the rich smell of the spice is still present.

So Many Different Recommendations – Which is Correct?
The government recommendations for freshness dating is four years for whole spices and two years for ground and you may hear people say that spices should be replaced every six months. But most spices are only harvested once a year, so it certainly doesn’t make sense to replace these every six months.

If spices and herbs are kept as we have discussed the shelf life will be as follows:

• Whole spices and herbs leaves and flowers will keep 1 – 2 years.
• Seeds will keep 2 – 3 years and roots will keep 3 years.
• Ground spices and herb leaves keep 1 year.
• Ground roots will keep for 2 years.

A good practice to follow is to purchase high quality dried herbs and spices in small quantities so that you can easily use them up in reasonable period of time.