Friday, April 10, 2009

Spice it Up!

I love to cook. I love to eat. Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book huh? My grandma is one of the best cooks I know. Seriously, the woman invents her own salad dressings and can cook anything and everything. She is a master gardener and grows the huge bulk of her own produce. Given her credentials and experience with cooking, when she told me that she thinks that Penzey's Spices are some of the best around, I had to see for myself.

About two years ago, she took me to one of their stores which is located in a strip mall in Scottsdale. If you've never been spice shopping, it's a lot of fun. In fact Penzey's in general is a lot of fun. They send out a free catalog that lists all of their spices, detailed descriptions of what each spice is good for and there are always free recipes as well. They also publish a cookbook magazine that comes out 6 times a year. Put that on my list of magazine subscriptions to get.

In the store, there are glass jars filled with each of the spices they sell, so that you can have a whiff. Trust me, if you've never smelled two different cinnamons next to each other, you wouldn't understand. I love cinnamon, so I bought the strongest one. I also bought some ground white pepper, Apple Pie spice (I put it in the waffle batter I made on Sunday and it gave them a little sweet kick which was yummy), taco seasoning, cocoa powder and got a free jar of their chili seasoning which is also good for meats in general.

I also have to applaud the company for their packaging. Both of the spices I've opened up are so packed full that some of the spice spilled out as soon as I opened them. You know how you open up a bag of potato chips and--surprise!--they're half missing. Not with this company. You get your money's worth for sure. Also, you can buy in much bigger quantities that those little jars that you get in a normal supermarket.

If you enjoy cooking at all, you should at least go to the site and request a free catalog. You won't be disappointed.


Jessica Martiele said...

Wow...that sounds like HEAVEN to me. Kinda like one of those Indian Spice markets...oooooooh. Did you get Shanghai cinnamon? That's the strongest I've found...and it tends to burn. :)

HUMAN MILK in Ben & Jerry's? Are you SERIOUS??? I think I need to go vomit...excuse me...and if I can't vomit that way, I'll think of cow, scratch that, I'd just have to think of your warmed-up straight milk. :)


Lara said...

This actually sounds like an excellent idea for a gift for Joel. He would absolutely LOVE that. Thanks for the hint! And happy cooking...the waffles sound pretty dang good!

steve said...

Hmmm, I'm really liking your idea of spice for the waffles. I'm in charge of Waffle Friday at our house and that sounds tasty!!!

Kim Skinner said...

Pensey's is one of my favorite. Their dutch process cocoa is to die for! Love their vanilla too.

citymama1 said...

Mmm...there is a Penzey's spices near us but I have yet to check it out. I am now motivated to do so.

Lauren and Trevor said...

Sounds great! We'll look into it.

Heather said...

You have me very excited about spices right now! I can't wait to check that store out next time I go to AZ. I'm definitely ordering a free catalog too!