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Old 12-05-2009, 10:13 PM   #11
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My "secret" ingredient is dried Herbes des Provence. You can get a decent jar in any grocery store spice section, but I buy mine at Polcari's in Boston on the corner of Salem and Parmenter. They sell it by the ounce so you can get a little or a lot.

Otherwise, I generally use fresh herbs, either from my little herb garden or wherever I can get some goodies. :) I love marjoram and tarragon. and lavender is one of the loveliest herbs You can use the leaves just as you would rosemary.

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Old 12-06-2009, 05:44 PM   #12
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Boy, I wouldn't want to cook without a large assortment. I love most of them, but reach for smoked chipotle powder, lemon pepper, and steak shake an awful lot. Oh, lavender salt and fresh basil get used a lot, Just for sheer smell, I like to cut twigs of my culinary grade rosemary and put it in a little vase

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Old 12-26-2009, 03:11 PM   #13
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WOW I do not know if I have a favorite I am a spice Queen though and study them all and love to use them. Some of the ones I use the most are cardamom, sumac, galangal and ok about 100 others lol.

I always keep fresh mint, parsley and coriander in the fridge as well.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vanilla Bean View Post
I love pepper too..... black pepper and red pepper flakes!

my favorite fresh herbs are basil, peppermint and garlic

dried... nutmeg, italian seasoning and garlic powder

I'm not fussy either... I buy what's on sale.
pepper on top of my list too. i don't salt so i use a lot of it.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:49 PM   #15
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Garlic, "Italian Seasoning", Smoked Paprika, Chinese Five Spice, and Sweet Sea Salt (I know, not an herb or spice, but it falls into this category by default.)
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:28 AM   #16
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I don't buy a lot of spice mixes, but two staples in my cabinet are Cavender's Greek seasoning and Lawrey's. They are my short-cuts. I buy a lot of others, but these mixes are the ones I reach for in a hurry.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:31 PM   #17
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I had a small jar of Herbes des Provence given to me this Christmas.

Please advise me as to what foods they should be used with. Also, should I freeze the jar to keep the herbs fresh longer?

The ingredients on the label just states, herbs and lavender.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:39 AM   #18
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Busyfingers, I love herbes de provence--great on chicken or pork. I also make the New York Times bread recipe, and sprinkle it heavily with H d P before baking. I buy a 4 ounce bag at a time, and keep it in the freezer.

For those of you who buy whatever is cheapest--try, just once, ordering from Penzeys or some other high quality spice company. You will be amazed at the incredible flavor. Kinda like the difference between store bought and homegrown tomatoes! If you buddy up with someone else and buy in bulk, the price difference between grocery store and Penzeys is minimal.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:21 PM   #19
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Sparrowgrass, I agree with stepping it up a dollar or two to get a better quality of herbs and spices. Although I cook a lot, there are only the two of us, so I need a long shelf life. Besides the blends I mentioned, I either order Penzeys or go to a local couple who buy in bulk and package it. It is always so disappointing to go to make a dish and find that there is little-to-no flavor in the seasonings on your shelf. I once went to make Greek spaghetti/Cincinnati chili only to find that my cinnamon was totally flavorless, and I'd just bought it at the grocery store. The same thing happened once when I was making your more mainstream chili and found cumin had no flavor. It's one thing when the spices are old and have been sitting on the shelf for awhile. But quite another to find out that your seasonings were old when you bought them. Paprika is another thing. You have to know how often I've been told paprika has no flavor, you just put it on things for color! Then people go "WOW! What did you season this with?" I've never gone wrong with Penzeys OR with my local "spice guy". Once I wanted a mild paprika for a dish, not hot or smokey, and he saw me walking down the street, ran out, brought me in, and had me sample his paprika. Yes, just what I was looking for. Nothing like a personal relationship with your providers. Yes, it costs a little more, and for some it simply isn't an option. But if it is, go for it, you'll be happy.
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:51 PM   #20
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Pepper, garlic, cumin, basil, peppermint, parsley, paprika, cayenne, thyme, rosemary, cardamom.. ok I'll stop here.

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