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Sparklers. Sprinklers. Spices.

Splashing in the water, barbecuing in the backyard, and watching the fireworks are just a few of the things that will be going on during the 4th of July celebrations. If you are already in the midst of planning a blockbuster cookout in an ocean of grilled goodies and snack items, you might want to consider something different for the kids this time around; something like grilled corn-on-the-cob or grilled kebabs.

Id like to think that using the right spices and seasonings could add a touch of texture, flavor and color to make summer food festive and tasty. Some of the spices that come to mind for the 4thof July food fest are harissa and paprika. Both are red in appearance. Both add zest and flavor to any recipe, and both are not packed with heat, so the kiddies and those with sensitive palates can easily enjoy the taste of mild spice and delicious food.

At Whole Spice we offer two variations of harissa: one is our coarse harissa spice, which is a blend of aromatic chilies, toasted cumin, garlic, sea salt & citric acid and is most notable in making the famous perri perri sauce that is used in North African cuisine, especially Morocco and Tunisia. And the other is our unique harissa spice mix, which combines the aromatic blend of California and New Mexico chili peppers, coriander, garlic, salt, cumin, cayenne chile & citric acid. It is most notable as an ingredient in a meat or fish stew served with vegetables and as a flavor enhancer for couscous. Both harissa varieties work very well with most meat dishes so try it as a rub or as an ingredient in making zesty sauces.

Paprika can be used in just about any kind of dish from meat, fish to eggs and vegetables. It is mild enough and colorful enough to make all recipes look like a professional chef creation. And while you are feeding the family and friends, don't forget to make a pitcher of cold beverages. How about lavender lemonade made with our gourmet lavender sugar?

For us, we will let the kids decide what they want to eat for a festive Independence Day treat. But in the meantime, they love my spaghetti and meatball recipe made with harissa and paprika spices. You don't have to wait for the 4th of July to enjoy this zesty dish, just follow this simple recipe and enjoy the holiday with the family!

Kid's Favorite Spaghetti and Meatballs - click link