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Mad About Spices

  • Crazy about Cocoa!

    The world is crazy about cocoa and for good reason not only does it produce a wonderful euphoric feeling when consumed, it tastes great on practically anything. There are so many amazing benefits to consuming cocoa that well have to write more about it in another article. But suffice it to say, that for the past decade, a steady influx of scientific data has shown that cocoa and its derivatives (chocolate) contain extraordinary disease-fighting properties, one of them being significant in the fight against heart-disease. It can reduce the risk of heart-attacks, strokes, and high-blood pressure, and can even reduce the risk of certain cancers. Continue reading

  • Hummus and the Chickpea

    Many disputes have erupted over the years as to the origins of the famous hummus dip and understandably so. Who wouldnt want to take credit for creating this amazing dish? Its considered to be one of the healthiest dips to eat, easy to prepare and it is inexpensive to buy. Even though there is little evidence along with many contradictory theories as to the exact origins of hummus, we know this much, hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. And in many Middle Eastern countries chickpeas along with other vegetables have had a long, rich history of having been cultivated in that part of the world for centuries. Continue reading

  • The Ubiquitous Fennel

    In certain culinary circles, fennel pollen has garnered much attention as being a secret trendy ingredient. In fact, some equate this delicately flavored gold dust as an incredibly powerful spice with the zing of licorice, honey and citrus and nearly as valuable as gold dust. Continue reading

  • Super Bowl Party Dips

    If you are planning on hosting a super bowl party, and you want to enjoy watching the game, they why not make it easy on yourself with these big easy dip ideas.

    For starters, guacamole and chips will always be a big super bowl favorite -- its quite a family fav in our house. One way you can zest up your guacamole is with a little zhug blend made with the perfect herbs and spices such as, Tianjin chili, garlic, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves and cilantro. This fiery blend will set tongues wagging and your guacamole will be talked about ad infinitum.
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  • Thyme and Thyme again. . .

    Time and time again, one of the most versatile and widely used herb by humans has been, and still is thyme. This small, low-growing shrub with its curled leaves has been used by the Ancient Egyptians for embalming purposes, the Ancient Greeks used it in their baths, and for burning incense, and when the Romans came in to power, it was believed that they were responsible for spreading this wonderful herb throughout Europe; and the many applications for the wondrous herb has never stopped. Continue reading

  • The Many Faces Of Rosemary

    I just cant get enough of this great spring weather and for good reason, this is the time when so many amazing herbs are in full bloom, and one in particular is rosemary, which in my recipe book is a real super-star!

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  • What a Mint!

    Who hasn't enjoyed the fresh taste of mint in yummy Peppermint Patty, or chewing gum, breath-mints, mint tea, and in those crazy delicious mint juleps? I, for one, will always be in love with the familiar taste of mint in Moroccan tea that I became accustomed to drinking when I was a young child.

    Mint is believed to have had its origins in Asia and the Mediterranean region. In many ancient cultures, serving mint tea was a symbolic gesture as a sign of hospitality when friends and guests would visit. And it is still the tradition in the Middle East for mint tea to be served to guests on their arrival. Continue reading

  • The Magic of Spaghetti Aglio E Olio Peperoncino

    Its mid-summer and the weather is living proof that it is still a great time for outdoor bbqs. But what about those days when you dont feel like grilling? Im talking about those days when you just want good old-fashioned tummy filling, palate pleasing food. Well I have just the right suggestion during those momentary mood-food swings -- Spaghetti aglio e oliopeperoncino (translation: Spaghetti with garlic and oil and red-chile flakes). This traditional Italian pasta dish is believed to have its origins from the region of Abruzzo. But Id go further to say that Spaghetti aglio e olio is probably one of the most common and popular dishes that is eaten on a regular basis all across Italy; and Im sure that most Italians would agree with me.
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  • Thai Curries

    Judging by the number of amazing dishes out there in the world, I would guess that Thai food has to be right up there as one of the most popular global cuisines. It is believed that the Thais secret in creating delicious food is simply in the balance of combining the four fundamental flavors: sourness, sweetness, saltiness and spiciness with heat sitting at the top of the four flavors. Continue reading

  • King of Mushrooms

    Porcini mushrooms are at the top of the list for being one of my favorite fungi. Not only because they impart a rich, earthy flavor to any variety of dishes, but because they are very easy to cook with its that simple. I mean you can add dried or fresh porcini's to anything from pasta to soups to eggs or to jazz up burgers. I, for one, am crazy about these born to be wild mushrooms and with a scientific name like Boletus edulis (say that 3 times fast) who can blame me? Continue reading

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