Monday, November 28, 2016

What's your most-used Tex-Joy?


                  What’s your most-used TexJoy?
Mine’s garlic, with file at No. 2. I have lots more yellow labels, packaged in Beaumont, Texas. I had the pleasure of visiting the Texas Coffee Company store and warehouse at 3279 Martin Luther King Parkway in Beaumont. Never been? Why, it’s a good-smelling little museum that gives you the background behind the joy in TexJoy. The store is a little space with a wooden cabinet filled with vintage packaging. Remember little glass bottles of TexJoy Fruit-Ade flavoring? I don’t, actually. But I have some of the root beer mix. From little cans to plastic jars, this lobby shares the spicy history along with photos and missives from folks who have a TexJoy story to share.
          Foodie news is that the company continues to experiment. I’ve told y’all about Rooster Booster and Butt and Rib Tickler. Here’s something even more new: single serve coffee cups for your fancy machines. Good morning, from Texas Coffee Company. Look for their saltless herb seasoning. Your relatives who have somehow found themselves living far from Southeast Texas could use a holiday lift via one of their Texas-shaped gift packages.

                      Spices are ancient, yet McCormick is always on top of new trends. This season try new Asian flavor blends from McCormick Gourmet: Japanese Seven Spice, Korean Style Red Pepper and Thai Basil. Start off by experiencing these flavors on breakfast eggs, then popcorn. Then go crazy with vegetables and meats.
                      I’m sending the organic taco seasoning mix to my niece for her Taco Tuesdays. When we tried the chili mix, my husband asked me to add more of my own hot pepper, etc. There’s a roasted cinnamon and gingerbread spice plus colorings from nature that ought to play well with holiday desserts.
                      Bone broth, sold in a little box, can be heated and sipped. I tried that in a mug but decided I’d rather use it as a base for a pot of beans. I’ve begun playing with green-topped Gourmet Seasoning Blends in Citrus Chili with Chia Seasoning, Cinnamon & Nutmeg with Chia Seasoning, Italian Seasoning with Flaxseed and Matcha Green Tea with Ginger Seasoning. By instinct and by suggestion, you can start by trying many new seasonings on egg. The matcha can go on anything from ice  cream and latte to cake, chicken and seafood.
            Talkin’ turmeric
            Were you talkin’ turmeric? McCormick Kitchens says everybody is, and I’m always on board with their tips. Corporate Dietitian and cookbook author Dr. Wendy Bazilian developed recipes with the McCormick Kitchens. "I like to balance its earthy flavor profile with other spices and herbs. Try pairing turmeric with honey and pumpkin pie spice in a warm golden milk or sprinkle it on roasted sweet potato wedges along with black pepper and a pinch of salt,” she said.
             I have some in the spice rack now. Let’s see what else McCormick says we can do with it.
            Wake-Up Call
  • Smoothies: Take everything you love about autumn and put it in a blender. Try a Pumpkin Apple Smoothie using pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and turmeric.
  • Avocado toast:  Add a squeeze of lemon and a few dashes of turmeric to mashed avocado, then sprinkle crushed red pepper on top for a tasty breakfast or snack.
  • Warm muffins: Stir 1 to 2 teaspoons of turmeric into pumpkin, zucchini or banana muffin batter, either a homemade version or packaged mix.
  • Eggs: Whisk turmeric into scrambled eggs or frittatas, or blend into the yolk mixture for deviled eggs at weekend brunch.
  • Golden milk: Combine coconut milk, turmeric, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice to make the ‘it’ pick-me-up beverage: Golden Turmeric Milk.
Mid-day Boost
  • Salad dressing: Include turmeric in a simple homemade dressing for a kick of sweet, tangy flavor atop salads and grain bowls.
  • Veggie dip: Mix turmeric, sea salt, cinnamon and lemon juice with low-fat yogurt for a tasty Creamy Turmeric Dip that’s ready in just five minutes. Pack with vegetables and pita chips and take to work for a midafternoon snack.
  • Chicken and tuna salad:  Add a pinch of turmeric and chopped apple or sliced grapes to classic chicken or tuna salad.
            Golden Spiced Supper
  • Chicken: Stir turmeric into your favorite chicken marinade for an easy weeknight meal. Or, try  Honey Mustard Turmeric Chicken, which uses honey, Dijon mustard, turmeric and thyme.
  • Soup: Stir turmeric into a tablespoon of low-fat plain or Greek-style yogurt and swirl into warm soups like lentil, tomato or split pea.
  • Orange Sides: Turmeric pairs well with orange foods like sweet potatoes, butternut and acorn squash, pumpkin and carrots. Try dusting on sweet potato wedges with sea salt and black pepper before roasting.
  • Sauces: Add a sprinkle or two of turmeric to your favorite jarred marinara or spaghetti sauce. 
For more turmeric tips and recipes, visit
            Hummus Made Easy
            Bush’s Best  has different flavored packets labeled Hummus Made Easy. Let’s first pretend blending beans and seasonings isn’t already an easy, healthy crowd pleaser. But go ahead and try what I did. The Roasted Red Pepper, designed to blend in with a can of Bush’s Garbanzo Beans, was welcomed at the Port Arthur News holiday covered dish. Unless an empty dish says otherwise.
            Another secret, I used white beans, because that’s what I had. Then I garnished the bowl with olive oil and a dusting of herbs. The mix made it super easy and I enjoyed that packaging offered suggestions and that I found plenty of room to play around with my own designs.

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