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Posts Tagged ‘spices’

6 Compound Butters to Flavor Any Dish with a Little Decadence

Health nuts may want to look away for this one, because butter really does make anything better. We’re not just talking about a pat of any ol’ butter from the grocery store, though — we mean compound butters packed with flavors that will elevate whatever you make. This applies to breakfast, lunch, dinner and even brunch thanks to sweet and savory ingredients like strawberries, garlic, herbs and cheese (well, maybe not all of those mixed together).

So next time you want to add a little decadence to your dishes, soften up some butter and let your imagination take over. But if you have a difficult time deciding what to throw in there, we have six dynamite flavor suggestions for any occasion.

The Perfect Brunch: Strawberry-Black Pepper Butter

One of Bobby Flay’s favorite brunch hacks is to make a quick flavored butter. His Strawberry-Black Pepper Butter takes strawberry waffles to the next level, but you could also use it on pancakes, French toast or even regular toast. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even make your own butter by shaking around cream in a jar and then adding berries — see Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark’s instructions for berry homemade compound butter.

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Clean Out Your Spice Cabinet with These 8 Genius Recipes

When you open up your cabinets, you probably have at least a few dozen spice bottles staring at you. How many of them do you really use? Instead of letting them collect dust, it’s time for a spice purge, and we have the perfect recipes to do it.

FYI, spices last about six months once opened, although some brands claim you can keep them up to three years. Even though old bottles may not be spoiled, they lose flavor over time. So let’s get to cooking with everything from Italian blends to that allspice you use only twice a year.

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DIY or Buy: 7 Spice Blends That Pack Flavor In and Save Money

When you look in your spice cabinet, you probably see a lot of miscellaneous, barely used bottles. Instead of just letting them sit around and expire — because most do within a year — try blending a few of them up for delicious DIY spice blends. Whether it’s taking the everything spices from your bagel and putting them on, well, everything, or making a homemade chai for a fraction of the price of one at your local coffee shop, we’ve got you covered.

Check out seven spice blend recipes below, from sweet to savory and back again.

Chai Spice

Once you’ve mastered a chai tea latte at home, you’ll never need to buy one at the coffee shop again. You can also use these flavors to spruce up coconut macaroons or a milk shake.

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The Health Benefits of 7 Spices


While fresh herbs help flavor dishes all summer long, dried herbs and spices transform cold-weather dishes. If you’re new to cooking, or just starting to stock your pantry, knowing which herbs and spices you need on hand can be tricky. After all, herbs and spices can get pricey. Here are some must-haves, based on usefulness and health benefits.

Oregano: This fragrant herb lends its distinct flavor to Mexican, Greek and Italian cooking. On the health front, test-tube studies have found that key oils in oregano fight harmful bacteria.

Cinnamon: This warm winter spice is a quintessential flavoring in apple pie, but it’s not just for desserts. I add it to ground coffee before brewing and use a pinch in black bean chili. Cinnamon is ridiculously high in manganese, which helps you absorb  other vitamins and minerals, contributes to bone health, and also has some calcium and iron.

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Why I Love Kalustyan’s


Kalustyan’s, an iconic spice market in New York City, is the ultimate source for spices, chiles, grains, nuts, chocolate, cookware and all sorts of food things Middle Eastern, South Asian and other cuisines with a strong spice bent. It is one of my all-time favorite places to shop and get inspired to cook.

They are constantly expanding their inventory, so shopping there is always an adventure. If you want curry powder, they have classic Madras, but also Javanese, West Indian, Sri Lankan, or spicy Vindaloo as well as many others. The problem is, I hate to just pick one, so I usually get three or four. If I come with a list of, say, eight items, invariably I leave with triple that. Since I travel by subway, I am limited by what I can carry, but you would be amazed how many bags I can carry!

The staff is incredibly helpful, charming and knowledgeable; it is hard to get in and out of Kalustyan’s without a deep I-love-New-York feeling. Luckily, they have an awesome website and offer delivery all over the country so you can get inspired as well.

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Homemade Holiday Gift: DIY Harissa

Finished Harissa, With Ingredients

Food-wise, December looks something like this: Cookies, cookies, doughnuts, cookies, candy, cookies, cake, cookies. Champagne. Cookies.  I love all those sweets (and the bubbly) as much as the next gal, but between bites of buttery cookies and homemade caramels, I crave something savory, spicy and delicious.

I’m banking that I’m not the only one who feels this way, so this year I’m making a batch of harissa to give to friends as a holiday gift. This ubiquitous North African condiment is popping up in restaurants and on food blogs everywhere, and you can use it in many forms, from ketchup-like condiment to star-of-the-show spice rub. Sure, you can buy it in a tube, but making your own is easy, and you can control the heat level and seasoning.

Here’s how to make your own, package it and serve it up all month long.

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