Monday, March 21, 2011

An ode to Penzey's

It has been a bit since I updated here, but I've been cooking... just fallen into that trap of forgetting to take photos. A couple weeks ago, we made Calzones at home. It worked out pretty well, but since I had to work that day we used store bought pizza dough. While I'm glad I didn't have to mix and knead the dough on a day when I was tired from work and life in general (although that can be quite therapeutic) the store bought dough just didn't do it for me. I think next time we'll make our own dough.

The calzones themselves are so easy. Just a quarter cup of ricotta cheese, any fillings you like (we used red pepper and hot italian sausage slices), fold 'em over,  and bake as the dough directions say. Serve with marinara or pizza sauce on the side (or as Dave did, pour it on top).

This weekend, we did pork chops and mashed sweet potatoes. I didn't have a specific pork chop recipe in mind, just knew I was going to do a breaded, seasoned pork chop in the oven. So I pulled out the "Mural of Flavor" jar from Penzey's, some basil, garlic, pepper, and oregano. But I honestly think they would have been great with just the "Mural of Flavor" on its own. This stuff is amazing!

Earlier in the fall when I wanted to do a Viennese Chocolate cake that called for Dutch processed cocoa, we went to Penzey's. We had a coupon for a free "gift box" of four different spices. You had to spend $5 to get the free gift box, but in a spice shop that isn't hard to do. We got a bag of the Dutch processed cocoa, a bag of Penzey's taco seasoning to try, and walked out with the gift box as well. The cocoa was to die for, the taco seasoning flavorful without the high sodium you find in grocery store taco seasoning packages, and the gift box a real treasure. The four spices I received were the Mural of Flavor,  Garlic Powder, Ground Black Pepper and a jar of Cinnamon. I've been really quite pleased with all of them.

If you've got a Penzey's near you, you should go check it out! The variety of spices they have is just astounding. Walking around the store, I find myself wanting to try all the new things I haven't heard of and salivating over the things I have.

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