• sugar + spice

    Raspberry Sugar

    Whether you scatter, sprinkle, or mix it in, this Raspberry Sugar  will add its flavor + crunch magic to whatever needs a little abracadabra!  Imagine  licking the rim of your margarita not greeted by salt but instead Raspberry Sugar. Lip-smacking good! It’s so easy to make this Raspberry Sugar. All it takes is a cup of sugar + frozen raspberries + a little patience. (I used white sugar because a wanted to create this beautiful fuchsia hue, but you may use any granulated sugar.) Mash + strain frozen raspberries to extract their juice. Mix the sugar into the juice and dry in a low temp oven.  Taa-daa! This sugar will…

  • gluten free,  main course,  pescetarian,  seafood,  sugar + spice,  Uncategorized

    Quick + Easy Blackened Shrimp 

    A gold star on my forehead. There was nothing I treasured more than that sticky foil star, smack dab between my eyes. I intended to wear it the entire day, as a trophy, a distinction. Unfortunately, within the hour my forehead was glistening with perspiration and the star lost its grip. Such is life in New Orleans where the weather is either balmy, hot, or ooh-wee chile’ scorching. What had I done to receive such a high honor? I cleaned my plate. Almost to the point of licking. I was at K-Paul’s, Paul Prudhomme’s restaurant, experiencing blackening seasoning for the first time. On redfish, I recall. Redfish seasoned and seared…

  • sugar + spice

    House Blend Blackening Seasoning

    Years after the buzzwords blackened redfish burst onto the foodie scene, I dined at Chef Paul Prudhomme’s restaurant in New Orleans. It took one mouthful of that flavor explosion to make me a life-long devotee. If you ask me about that dining experience, I will unashamedly confess that I licked my plate clean. Period. I am including what I believe to be a replication of the authentic spice blend that was born in the kitchen at K-Paul’s. This blackening seasoning is so easy to throw together you may never buy it from the market again. A bonus of making your own is that you can personalize this recipe to control…

  • Asian fare,  sugar + spice,  vegetarian

    House Blend Curry Powder

    Even Indian-spice newbies can create this amazingly robust and simple curry powder blend. Once I learned how to make my own, I never looked back. While curry blends vary across the geography, they typically combine golden turmeric + earthy cumin + nutty fenugreek with various and sundry drool-worthy flavors. Tailoring the combination of spices to your own palate just makes sense. Making your own blend also gives you control over toasting the spices or not. Toasting the spices brings out a deep, delicious earthiness. If possible, start with whole spices. They tend to be more vibrant and retain their fresh flavor longer. Spices that are already ground are exposed to…

  • sugar + spice,  vegetarian

    Za’atar Spice Blend

    Alright, everyone. Get out your mortar and pestle.*  We are going to make za’atar! Za’atar literally translates to mean “wild thyme” in Arabic. Much like curry blends vary across geography, za’atar blends vary throughout the Middle East. This ancient spice combination typically consists of thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac.     Sumac is the dried, ground drupes (berries) of a shrub prevalent throughout parts of Africa and Asia. This crimson spice has a tangy, lemony zip to it. At first I used thyme straight from the garden. The green leaves were so very pretty when fresh and whole, but I realized the za’atar would benefit from drying them, as the…