Thursday, July 8, 2010

Penzys Spices

Let me introduce you to my new best friend:

Last month, my husband graduated from law school. Three long years of law school. My dear friend, Tricia, was thoughtful enough to send ME a graduation present! And what was this fantastically thoughtful gift? . . . an introduction to a new way of life in the kitchen: a box of four Penzys spice blends. If it's not already obvious to you from this blog, I am drawn to recipes that involve making my own spice blends and flavors using several ingredients. My taste in recipes probably won't change much in that regard, but you can be sure that at least once a week for the rest of summer I will be ditching the cookbooks and using my new Penzys spice blends to whip up an easy, flavorful, nutritious, not-much-clean-up, quick meal for my family. Here are my first two experiments . . .

Shrimp and Pasta Salad using the Garden Salad Seasoning
While the pasta was cooking, I sauted a zucchini using a little olive oil and then added the seasoning. Set that aside and used the same pan to cook the thawed shrimp for a few minutes in some olive oil with more of the seasoning. After the pasta was done cooking, I drained the water out, added the zucchini and shrimp to the pot (and why not some more seasoning?!) and then dumped it onto a bed of spinach leaves, which wilted a bit from the heat of the other stuff. Voila! It was summery delicious.

Broiled Salmon over Quinoa using Sunny Spain Seasoning
Sunny Spain is Tricia's favorite, so I was most excited to try it out. While the quinoa was cooking per package directions, I doused the salmon fillets in the Sunny Spain and a few shakes of crushed red pepper and put it in the oven at 400 for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, the brussel sprouts were trimmed, cut in half, and ready to go in my wok with some olive oil and that awesome Garden Salad stuff. Everything was done at the same time and we had an amazing dinner on the table in 15 minutes. LOVE IT! I've already done this meal again but paired the salmon with some fresh corn-on-the-cob and a strawberry salad.

Unfortunately for those of you living in Seattle, the closest Penzys store is Portland update: SEATTLE!  They have locations all over the country and you can be sure that I will be taking advantage of their online store to have at least one jar of Penzys in my cupboard from now on! Thank you, Tricia!!


  1. We have a Penzey's in Memphis and it is my downfall! Be sure to sign up for their catalog and/or order more online! Some of my other favorites include the Double Strength Vanilla (expensive but worth every penny!) the Smoked Spanish Paprika (add to any Mexican or BBQ dish, even homemade salsa, for extra depth and smoky flavor), Greek Seasoning, Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (yummy on air-popped popcorn and steamed veggies), and Vindaloo (an Indian curry blend). I could go on! I have never tried Sunny Spain, so I'll add that to my list for my next trip!

  2. Oooh...almost forgot! Their Vietnamese cinnamon is TO DIE FOR. You have not smelled or tasted cinnamon until you've had this stuff!

  3. HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Leslie's right about the cinnamon.
    I'm so proud. :)


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