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Let's talk Seasonings

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Well, I almost added this to my last topic...Stored Food … now what. But, I decided to start an new thread to keep things straight. 


I am a penny pincher when it comes to shopping for certain things and one of those is spices. I refuse to buy a bunch of "specialty blend" spices. I mean why should I have a bunch spices already and 99% of the time I have all the spices I need to make a specialty blend spice.


What are some of our "specialty blend spices" that you buy? Could you make these at home using what you have?


So I will start us off with Fajita Seasoning. 


Most recipes I found called for onion salt and garlic salt, cornstarch and sugar...nope not in this house....cutting as much sugar out of the diet as possible and the corn starch is just a thickener. This is the recipe I came up with...



1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp salt ( I use sea salt and I use this much because I use fresh veggies)

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (here lately I have been ground chipotle pepper) 

1 tsp ground cumin


Now with all that being said, yes I am a penny pincher but I do buy good spices, especially in glass jars. I want them to last as long as possible. I do buy garlic and onion powder in the cheap $1 bottles from the Dollar Tree because I use so much of it, it is always fresh. I am off today so as the day goes on I will add more seasoning recipes.


Seasonings will make those bland freeze dried foods, and dry beans as well as those canned goods taste sooooooooooo much better. Even I can stomach another bowl of beans if the seasoning is there.



Edited to add: the reason I started with this one is I had to make some seasoning up because we had fajitas for lupper.



Italian Seasoning:


This is one SO easy, it is a shame that people really buy packs of Italian Seasoning. Again, I do not use cornstarch or sugar in my seasoning. Many recipes I have run across have both, this recipe is my take on it Italian Seasoning. I have been told that my spaghetti taste like it was made by an Italian momma


1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 dried oregano

1/2 dried basil

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Just a hint, if you add a potato to your spaghetti sauce it will help remove some of the acid, scrub it cut it in half and toss it in your sauce. Throw it away before serving, don't eat it.


Need a good Cajun seasoning recipe? Try this one


2 tbsp. paprika

2 tbsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. oregano

1 tbsp. salt ( I use sea salt)

1 tbsp. onion powder

2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Now comes the heat...Cayenne Pepper, If you like it with a bite use more. I start with 2 tsp then add more until I get the heat index that I want.


Durning the summer we use a lot of Old Bay seasoning. We do crab cakes, grilled shrimp, shrimp boil. You name it we will probably use Old bay on it. Several years ago I went searching for a homemade recipe. I found it on Pioneer Woman, so I tried out her recipe. It is delicious and so easy to make and of course I have everything in my spice rack already so....


Here is The Pioneer Woman's Old Bay Seasoning Mix Recipe 



  • 1 Tablespoon Celery Salt***
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Bay Leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
  • 1 pinch Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 pinch Ground Ginger

I make a big jar of this up when the weather starts to warm up and we use it all summer.

***Please note the only thing I use different from her recipe is instead of celery salt I use celery seeds ground to a powder and use half of a tablespoon.***

Edited by mommato3boys
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I make my own taco seasoning and onion soup mix because the mixes I see have ingredients that make me sick.  I make a ziplock bag full and keep it in a half-pint jar.

There's a lady I see sometimes who makes teas, spice mixes, incenses, what-have-you.  If I have cash when I see her, she makes my apple pie spice, curry spices, and garam masala.  I just like those pre-made, and I like them how she makes them.  If I run out when she's not around, I buy them pre-made from the store.  Otherwise, I pretty much like to mix as I go. 


My son, on the other hand, likes to buy mixes, expensive mixes, and he likes to mix them with each other or add things to them.  Do you see my bitten tongue?

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Taco Powder:

One measure each ground cayenne, garlic powder (more if your garlic powder is weak).  For a single recipe, this would be a spoon-handle scooped to the depth of my pinky fingernail.  Double that measure for each: salt (regular table salt--if you have large-flake salt, you will need more), dried and powdered oregano or marjoram (marjoram is better), powdered dry onion, and black pepper, fine ground if possible.  For a single recipe, you're looking at half a teaspoon.  Next comes cumin, which is what makes it taste like a taco instead of a crumbled hamburger, so twice as much cumin as salt or marjoram--however much you added of those important things.  Finally there's the paprika, which gives it a warm glow. Use twice as much of that as you did cumin. If you have chili powder, use that up, but if you don't, use paprika.  Smoked paprika is great.  Shake or stir and it's ready to go -- or store.

Edit to add: I don't do cilantro.  You probably noticed.

Edited by Ambergris
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I come from the deep south and I now live in an area where Cajun/creole seasoning is very hard to find, so I usually make my own.  My go to recipe is:

Cajun Seasoning

2.5 Tab paprika

2 Tab salt

2.5 Tab garlic powder

1 T black pepper

1.5 Tab onion powder

1 Tab cayenne

1 Tab oregano

1 Tab thyme

*sometimes I add a bit of celery SEED (not salt) about 1Tab when I do (don't grind them, just add whole)


We always use it before it goes bad, so I'm not sure how long it will stay good. 

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We use file.  I have sassafras trees.

Not that I'm terribly fond of the spice.  I've just been trying to get used to eating what grows here.  And that stuff does grow here.  Do you ever try to focus on what you would have if you only had what grew locally?  

Red pepper, all the annual herbs of course, but not all the perennials.  We can grow rosemary, although it's tender, and thyme is difficult because the weather is too hot.  We can grow garlic, meaning my neighbors can, but I usually fail spectacularly at it.  And so on. 

Edited by Ambergris
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Although I am fully capable of mixing my own spices (and often do) I find it so much easier for me to just buy the Amish blends.  They're very inexpensive and I just put them in some of my pint (or half pint) jars and add a dessicant to the jar and they store quite nicely.  I really like the Sazon type blend.  I always mixed my own until I found it available already mixed.

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Those little jars of spices are so expensive! I can't believe how much they cost. I was going to make some of my own mixes but by the time I'd buy the little bottles, it would have been cheaper to buy the pre-made mixes. 


One of them was salad seasonings. I like it in pasta salad with Italian dressing. By the time I got all of the ingredients, all I would have ended up with would have been one very expensive small bottle of the mix. 


I've got plenty of copycat recipes for emergency but as long as I can buy them cheaper then that's the way I'll go for now. 


One thing I always buy is Mexine (sp) chili powder. It's very mild and a little bit tangy. But then again, I put ketchup and macaroni in my chili so don't go by me. 

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Some good ones there.  I buy from Ham Towne Spicery for several of my spices. They have no salt and all natural. He and his wife make them and sells them at a Farmer's Market in Smithfield, VA.  No MSG and no salt though you can buy them with the salt. I asked them for the no salt because of DH. He cannot have salt nor the MSG as well.  Though I do grow my own basil, rosemary, chives and a few others.  The ones I buy are gourmet herbs. though when Farm Fresh went out of business, I did buy a lot of spices for 80% off.  And yes those were the ones in the glass jars as well. I save those jars for the spices I grow. 

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The little jars are very expensive, but you can sometimes buy the big containers in bulk.  Some things that we really go through I buy in big containers and it ends up being a LOT cheaper.  ex--poppy seed, garlic powder, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, etc.  I also stock up on the small bottles when they go on sale after holidays.  


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Mmmmmmm....spices.  I am a spice hoarder... 99% of the time, I make my own blends.  The hardest blend, for me, is KFC’s. They use MSG, we are highly allergic to it.  

For tacos, the Mexican oregano seems to make it taste exactly like Taco Bell, that’s the reason DH insisted having it in the spice garden.  I’m still trying to find more recipes for Greek oregano, that one plant is now 2’ wide & tall, and looking for Italian oregano seeds or plants.  

Ambergris, thyme seems to like the heat here, seems to like not getting water occasionally, but, dislikes direct sunlight.  (It’s a dry heat. :knary:) One year, it was in a planter, shaded in the spring, but, half the area would get direct sun in the summer.  The sun side would die off.  (That would have made a good time lapse video.  Lol) Last year, I planted it in the part of the spice garden, that is shaded, most of the time.

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I don't use all that many spices and herbs. Sam's Club have the big containers of spices that I have bought. I think it's Tone's brand. 


Also if you have a GFC (Gordon Food Service) in your area, they have the the large size containers. They have a huge variety. That's where I usually get cinnamon. I can't remember the prices. Most of their brands are Trade East and they have no MSG. 

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  • 2 months later...

Since the last time I visited this topic I bought 60 oz. of Mexene chili powder. I can't find any of it locally, I searched. I guess it isn't very popular so who knows how long they will continue to make it.


I'm still heartbroken over Halsa shampoo going out of business.



On ‎2‎/‎10‎/‎2020 at 10:41 AM, Jeepers said:


Also if you have a GFC (Gordon Food Service) in your area


I read all of the comments in this thread before posting here. I saw this one.

GFC = Gordon Food "Service".  Cervice?  Both have the ssssss sound. 

Huked On Fonix dropout.  :sEm_blush:

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