Cooking · Family · Food · Shopping

A Spice in Life

By now, you all know that I love to cook. For me, cooking is like art. I am always amazed by the flavors, aroma and beauty that is created. It doesn’t matter how simple or how complicated a recipe may be, it is the end product that entices me. I love shopping local farmers markets, butcher’s shop or fish market when I get a chance. I have been known to drive hours to shop at a specialty grocery store. Nothing gets my creativity going like finding something new to try.

 
One of my standard gift requests is for my daughter to send me spices from Central Market. I just love Central Market. That trip to the specialty store I mentioned, that was to Central Market in Austin when I lived in Houston. HEB had not graced Houston with one yet. That was a very long time ago. This past year, once again I asked for spices for Christmas. But to my surprise, she gifted me a year of spices from a company called Piquant Post.

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During one of our conversations, I let her know that I had received her gift. I didn’t know how to respond because I knew nothing about Piquant Post. I looked at the little packages of spices and the recipe cards included. They came in this plain brown envelope, nothing exciting. The spices are finely ground so I couldn’t really tell much about it. It lacked the visual interest of spices not ground so finely. The first recipes were things I already make or had made before. I felt bad because all I could say is that it was interesting. I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to food. So, when the next shipment arrived, I took the time to really look at the recipes. These had more spice and creativity of food combinations. Ok, I thought I can work with that.

 
Living here in Florida, we have amazing Caribbean food. So, I decided the first recipe I would try was going to be the Jerk Chicken. I followed the recipe exactly as the card instructed using chicken breast. I decided to serve mine with yellow rice and fresh tomato slices. I was so surprised that I really like it! I mean, I could have made it hotter, but it was a great combination. I cooked mine in the oven and used the broiler to give a little char. My husband agreed with me that it was very good. I made a note of the recipe card of our rating. This is one I will want to make again.

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Now, Piquant Post does not have an online store for gift subscription receivers to order more spices from yet. But you can email them your request according to their website. My daughter can order since she sent it to me. I will investigate the reorder process and see what happens. You can’t remake the recipe if you don’t have the spice combination they provided.

 
Lacey did a good job surprising me with this one! Tonight, is Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork.

Cooking · Decorating · Family · Food · Shopping

Heading Home

On my way home, I stopped in Houston to see my daughter. Nothing puts a smile on my face like Lacey. We had dinner at one of our spots called James Coney Island. The memories we have made eating hotdogs there will always stick out in my mind. Thanks for another memory Kiddo!

 


I stayed a couple nights so that I could also get a chance to see Amber and Chris. I am so excited…they get married in January!! So proud of these two and the amazing future they have together.

 


I headed to downtown Houston so that I could go to James Avery and do some shopping. I love their jewelry and always find something for a gift or myself when I go. I picked a few things and headed over to Central Market.

 
HEB is a Texas chain grocery store and their specialty stores are Central Market. I wish Florida had an HEB, let alone a Central Market. The fresh squeezed orange juice puts all others to shame. You will find five or six different kinds of potatoes to exotic fruits in their produce. My mind just goes crazy with ideas when I am there. I want to take it all home. They have a butcher shop on sight as well as fresh seafood. A bakery and freshly made foods to take home, all kinds of spices, coffee and teas are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find. I fill my basket with all my favorites that I can’t get anywhere else and spices galore. I think I picked up at least 4 lbs. of Texas Pecan Coffee. If you ever get a chance to shop at HEB, you will love it. And if you get a chance to shop at Central Market, bring a cooler!

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After my little shopping spree and lunch, I headed over to Half Price Books in Pearland. I love the book store and lose time when I am in there. Then I made a stop at my favorite antique store there in town, Brows’ Aroun’ Antiques. They have been there since 2001 and I have been going there since they opened. I love finding new little treasures when I shop, and they never disappoint.

 
I had to make this visit short, but I will be back again soon. I made a stop in Port Allen LA on my way home to stock up on my Cajun favorites for cooking. Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun Meats is where I pick up my tasso and andouille. Wait until you see what I cook with them!