Traditional recipes

Spice is Nice

Spice is Nice

The exotic, sweet and spicy flavor of Saigon cinnamon is much stronger and darker than regular supermarket cinnamon. “Saigon cinnamon comes from an evergreen tree and is primarily used for its bark which has a beautiful aroma and flavor,” says Brown. “Saigon cinnamon is primarily produced in Vietnam, and has the highest content of flavor out of the cinnamon family which is why it is the most logical choice for a delcious cider!”"


This simple veggie dish is a regular late-night meal in the BOSH! Studio. It’s a healthy, colourful, delicious and super easy vegan recipe with a salty, sweet, nutty flavour and an incredible number of healthy veg. Make enough for leftovers, you’ll be sad when it’s all gone.

A great idea if you're trying to think up a speedy vegan lunch idea.


When Homebrewing Winter Warmers, Spice Is Nice, but Balance Is Better

This time of year, there are plenty of big barrel-aged barleywines, and sweetened and flavored pastry stouts flooding the market. But there is a simpler, more subdued style that has been a winter staple for the last 30 years or more. It’s a beer that requires the brewer’s restraint. The alcohol is elevated, but not too high, there is malt flavor but the balance isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. It’s the winter warmer.

“Winter warmer” means different things to different brewers. According to our guideline-writing overlords at the BJCP, classic English winter warmers such as Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome and Young’s Winter Warmer are commercial examples of the “British Strong Ale” style. Even the guidelines admit that grouping is more of an entry category that “fits in the style space between normal gravity beers (strong bitters, brown ales, English porters) and barleywines,” than it is a defined style.

Then again, Harpoon Winter Warmer, which many an East Coast craft beer drinker would consider the quintessential example, is tucked in the “Winter Seasonal Beer” style. This category is ambiguous, per BJCP guidelines, to “allow for brewer creativity as long as the resulting product is balanced and provides some spice presentation.”

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

Four breweries churning out some of the most loved winter warmers in the U.S. over the last three decades give their point of view on what makes for a winter warmer, and how to make one at home.

Creditt: Great Lakes Brewing Co. / Facebook.com

When Building a Winter Warmer Recipe, Consider the Classic English Style

According to Odell Brewing co-founder Doug Odell, a winter warmer should have “malty character with enough hops to balance that sweetness and add a little kind of spice to it, but not the sense of holiday spices.” Odell has been releasing the winter warmer Isolation Ale seasonally since 1999. Over all that time, the recipe and flavor profile has stayed the same — complex malt flavors of caramel, toffee, and dried prune taking center stage with just a hint of English Fuggle and Mt. Hood hops for that herbal spiciness he describes. The hops also add a hint of bitterness to the beer so it “doesn’t taste like you’re drinking sweet cough syrup,” Odell adds.

The Jubelale from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery has a similar flavor profile, emphasizing the British flavors synonymous with winter warmer: dark fruit flavors from crystal malt, and subtle cherry and berry notes from English yeast, says barrel master Ben Kehs.

Both Kehs and Odell agree that using a few different kilned and stewed malts boosts complexity, but there shouldn’t be too much impact from roast malt, if any at all. Odell says roast malt is appropriate in other styles at his brewery, such as his flagship Scotch-style amber ale 90 Shilling for dryness and chocolate flavors. However, there isn’t any room for roast character in his interpretation of a winter warmer. In Isolation Ale he is looking for a fuller mouthfeel with more caramel and toffee-forward flavor.

Kyle Matthias, Deschutes’ head R&D brewer, recommends that homebrewers avoid trying to build a winter warmer recipe as complex as possible, and to instead think of the desired malt flavor. “Roughly 10 percent of the grist bill for Jubelale is C150 (Crystal 150),” Matthias says. “You don’t necessarily need more types of malt to deliver an awesome beer.”

Credit: Deschutes Brewery / Facebook.com

Winter Warmer Fermentation: Subtle Yeast Character Is Key

English yeast is the standard for the winter warmer style and is used at both Odell and Deschutes. Kehs emphasizes the importance of controlling fermentation temperature to get the right flavor balance in a winter warmer. He says Jubelale ferments around 63 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the yeast-derived flavors in check. If the fermentation is too warm early on, the yeast will produce signature English berry and cherry esters that will compete with the malt flavor that is essential to this subtle style.

Odell notes that the brewery is distributing 15 percent more Isolation Ale this year compared to last year. “You stay home more and you want to be cozy in your house. So Isolation [Ale] and beers like it fit the mood,” he says.

Spicing a Winter Warmer Recipe

Even the brews that the BJCP would consider a “winter spice beer” or “holiday seasonal” don’t pack the adjunct flavor punch of pastry stouts or barrel-aged beers.

“The most important thing we tried to do with [Harpoon] Winter Warmer was keep it approachable,” Al Marzi, chief brewing officer of Mass Bay Brewing, parent company of Harpoon Brewery, says. “We wanted the cinnamon and nutmeg to shine through … but it had to be the type of beer that you could still drink a few of.”

This balance between malt and spice requires a delicate touch — and special brewing techniques for those brewing their own at home, too.

Adding Spices

The method used to add spices on a commercial scale looks more like a homebrewing maneuver than it does a step in a large-scale production cycle. For Great Lakes Brewing’s Christmas Ale, brewers use a “giant tea-strainer-type device,” says education coordinator Michael Williams, filled with 20 pounds each of fresh peeled ginger root and whole cinnamon sticks that steep for the duration of the boil. The result is “a good amount of spice, but not so much that it ends up overwhelming the palate,” Williams says.

This step can be recreated at home with a muslin bag filled with spices. For a closer replication of Great Lakes’ method, homebrewers can use a stainless steel hop tube. (Just remember not to pack the spices too tightly — hot wort needs to be able to move between pieces in order to best extract their flavors and aromas.)

Harpoon takes a different approach to achieve faint notes of cinnamon and nutmeg in its beer, Marzi says. “We have them ground up and added straight to the whirlpool. The biggest thing to watch out for when using any dry spice is to make sure you don’t overdo it — nutmeg in particular,” Marzi says. He suggests erring on the more conservative side when adding spices in general because they can quickly become “way too much.” An overly spiced beer will have an unpleasant flavor balance but also less obvious side effects, such as a rough, drying mouthfeel from tannins extracted from spices or a slick, oily mouthfeel and reduced head retention because of oils absorbed from spices.

One option that is available to homebrewers, but not necessarily professional brewers, when striking this balance is steeping spices in the fermenter. Spices and the muslin bag or stainless-steel steeper need to be thoroughly sanitized, then soaked in the fermenting wort or finished beer to extract more flavor. (Spices can be sanitized by a quick boil in a small amount of water or soaking in a small amount of vodka overnight.)

Using Alternate Fermentables

Legacy winter warmer brewers emphasize restraint and drinkability, along with sweet malt and spiced flavors, as hallmarks of this seasonal style. Homebrewers should strike the same balance.

Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale uses 612 pounds of local honey sourced from T.M. Klein and Sons in each 75-barrel batch. Instead of being added to the fermenter where it would have the most flavor impact, it’s mixed with the wort as it flows into the boil kettle. This way, the honey lightens the body of Christmas Ale while contributing only subtle honey notes to the overall aroma and flavor of the beer, according to Williams. “It’s a great way to up the drinkability,” he says.

When calculating the target original gravity (OG) for a recipe that uses honey, remember that “honey is essentially going to ferment out almost a hundred percent,” says Williams. So, it can be considered equal to dextrose or pure sugar when writing the recipe. The fact that the honey is fermented completely into alcohol, leaving behind no protein, dextrins, or other contributors to mouthfeel is the reason a honey addition will cause a drier beer with a lighter body than the same recipe without added honey. For homebrewers searching for more flavor from honey or other alternate fermentables (like Belgian candi sugar or molasses), these substances can be added directly to the fermenter as well.

Whether the goal is a classic English-style winter warmer, or to up the ante with lots of seasonal spices, simply remember this style requires as much moderation and balance as any other. Brew your own with that in mind, and you’ll have a cozy, flavorful beer worthy of the winter warmer title — no matter what the BJCP calls it!


Welcome to Spice and Nice!

Welcome to my blog, Spice and Nice! My Name is Joy. Here is my little corner of the internet where I take time to appreciate and learn about new things.

You’ll find poetry (lots and lots of poetry), recipes, ramblings of my insanity, and the occasional post on the importance of relaxing far, far away from other people.

Some days, I will unfold my thoughts and share my distress, other days, I will write to encourage you.

I hope you stick around on this beautiful journey called “Life.”


Some Spice is Nice: Millennial Chefs Share Holiday Recipes Passed Down through Generations

When you think of a Christmas holiday meal, what comes to mind? Gathering at the table with A Motown Christmas Album” playing in the backdrop as relatives surrounded delicious dishes including Great Aunt Ruby’s decadent pecan pie? Or Grandaddy’s prized ham smoked and glazed just right? Extra pineapples, please. Whatever it is that might whet your appetite around Christmastime, this upcoming holiday [though atypical] and your family recipes might feel extra special this year.

Especially when making cherished family recipes passed down through the generations for our family and friends to eat. Because all of our loved ones might not be able to come around our tables due to certain restrictions because of COVID-19. But, hopefully, these recipes from two local chefs will spread some holiday cheer, and who knows, maybe you could add these dishes to your family collection, too.

For Detroit-based Lauren Gillon, 25, she has perfected cooking into a work of art with her business Elle, the Foodie. The food and wine blogger and co-host, The Millennial Winedown, details her food adventures at millennialmeetsstove.com. And on her website, she shares one of her famous recipes passed down from her great grandmother: braised collard greens. Gillon’s mother gave her the recipe after receiving it from her mother, who received it from her own mother.

Gillon, who grew up cooking greens before the holidays or for Sunday dinners said that making them entailed creating a small assembly line her grandma created where one would pick the greens, wash them, and rinse for cooking.

“During college when I was away at school I would get home and get recipes,” Gillon said later of developing a desire to cook food, which she has been doing for the last four years.

Lauren Gillon, a home-based chef, and her grandmother inspired her to make delicious dishes, including braised greens.

Photo provided by Lauren Gillon

Everything from homemade, buttery, flaky biscuits to hearty chilis [layered with bacon and colorful [vegetables] can also be found on her seasoned Instagram page — just don’t go there hungry.

Now, as an adult, Gillon makes her grandma’s greens and prepares them for her whenever she gets a craving, and she approves of them every time.

When asked what it smells like in her kitchen with the greens cooking on the stove, with sincerity, and without hesitation, Gillon said something like home.

“Like a southern grandmother’s kitchen,” Gillon said, adding that it smells savory, smoky, with a hint of acidity from the vinegar to round it all out.

Braised Collard Greens Recipe:

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 3 to 4 bunches of collard greens
  • 2 to 3 lbs of smoked meat
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 tsp granulated garlic
  • 3 tsp granulated onion
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. Start with the base flavor. My family has always taught me to make greens with smoked meats. They add a distinct flavor to veggies and the smokiness is undefeated. In college, finding smoked meats wasn’t always easy so I would substitute for fresh bacon. My preferred meat is smoked turkey parts. You can also choose smoked pork parts. Start by heating 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat. I like to add a medium onion that has been peeled and chopped as well as minced garlic.
  2. Next, I like to add chicken broth or chicken bouillon with a cup or two of water to prevent the bottom of the pot from scorching. I also like to add in my garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper. At this point, I add in whatever smoked meat (in this case, a smoked turkey leg) I have chosen to use and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the collard greens to the pot with smoked meat. Add in vinegar and sugar and pushed the greens down into the pot during the wilting process. They may not all fit at first, but as they cook down- you will find that there will be plenty of room.
  4. Cover the pot and allow the greens to simmer for 2 hours or until the smoked meat has fallen off the bone. Serve immediately and tag @elle.thefoodie in your pics!

Detroit Chef James Chatman, 30, marches to the beat of his own drum and our taste buds are ever so grateful for it. Chatman, years ago, played football and had a scholarship at Wayne State University that he turned down because cooking was his true passion.

“When I was in the kitchen I was calm and relaxed and felt peace I knew it was something I wanted to do,” Chatman, who graduated from culinary school, said. “I got my inspiration from literally watching the women in my family cook.”

Both sets of his grandmothers threw down in the kitchen and his dad isn’t too shabby either. That’s when the recipes were passed down to him like his grandfather’s teacake and honey-baked ham recipe and his grandmother’s roast.

“Since I can remember it started with my grandma [making the roast], then my mom makes it and now I make it from time to time — I usually only make it around holidays,” Chatman, who operates Family Table 313 said, adding that he is the first chef in his family. For more information find him on Instagram @jecwhlgn or email him: [email protected]

Local Chef James Chatman makes teacakes and other foods based on recipes from his family, among other inspirations.

Photo provided by James Chatman

With his tea cake recipe, he said a lot of people love it but they are skeptical at first.

“People are like, ‘What is it?’ because it looks like a real brown piece of cornbread,” he said, adding that the cinnamon-infused morning treat is something to accompany tea or coffee. “My granddad made that all the time, especially around Christmas and Thanksgiving.”

Chatman said that food is relative, an element which he tries to incorporate at his business.


Use in any recipes calling for a specific seasoning blend, like these 8 Easy Healthy Chicken Marinade Recipes.

Spices will settle and sometimes clump slightly. Just give the mix a stir each time you use it to refresh the mix.

Here are a few suggestions on how to use your homemade seasoning blends:

Cajun Blend – on burgers, pork, salmon, chicken, and Cajun Sausage & Veggie Kabobs

Chili Blend – in soups/chili, on ground beef, sloppy joes, Whole30 Crockpot Chili

Jerk Blend – excellent on grilled pork, chicken, steak, and fish

Mediterranean Blend – on seafood, chicken, roasted veggies, and Garlic Herb Salmon Foil Packets with Potatoes

No Salt All Purpose Blend (my personal favorite, I use it on everything!) – roasted potatoes, veggies, scrambles, burgers, marinades, and Chicken Zucchini Poppers

Ranch Blend – in a dip, on roasted potatoes, homemade Ranch dressing, and Sheet Pan Roasted Ranch Veggies

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend – muffins, pies, baked goods, oatmeal, and Pumpkin Applesauce Blender Muffins

Italian Blend – tomato sauce, on fish or chicken, in a marinade, and Sheet Pan Summer Shrimp & Veggies

Taco & Fajita Blend – tacos, fajitas, soup, chili, grilled chicken, kabobs, or Instant Pot Taco Stuffed Pepper Soup


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Call Volume and Virtual Appointments

We are experiencing a very high volume of calls and inquiries and are doing our best to get in touch with you within 24 hours. We apologize for any delay as we truly want to discuss your project with you. Take a look at our many blogs regarding budgets and designs as well as looking through our large portfolio of projects. We are continuing with virtual appointments as we move forward. Virtual appointments have been very successful - having the ability to screen share with you the many possibilities for your outdoor living is something we focus on. We look forward to speaking with you and setting up a time to get started on your project. Give us a call, and we can start the process today.


Always Homemade. Always from Scratch.

First I just want to say I’m beyond excited to finally start this project and share my kitchen adventures with you all! I will have recipes, videos, step by step tutorials, and even some fun photos to add to my modeling portfolio featuring none other then my sweet treats and me of course. The recipes will range from my famous Sailor Jerry’s Cinnamon and Spiced rum caramel apple pie to my favorite morning juices I make daily at home.

Raspberry Muffins Topped with Cinnamon Streusel

My Website is up and running! If your interested in ordering something feel free to email with the address listed above(very very top of the page)! New things will pop up from time to time as this is just a small portion of my life although someday I do hope to turn my little site into a store front bakery!


Spice is nice: student-friendly recipes

Good nutrition is important for many reasons – especially if you want to keep your energy up, illness at bay and your concentration sharp while studying and working. We can often overlook our health when focusing on our careers, but it is worth remembering that looking after our basic needs is an essential, not a luxury.

One of my lovely law student friends has recently started creating student and budget friendly recipes over on Instagram here as @studentmealsonabudget – I highly recommend following the account for inspiration and guidance. She posts cheap and easy meals – ideal for novice cooks. She kindly agree to write up a recipe (suitable for vegans) for Silks And The City, which is filling, warming, quick to make and HEALTHY. We not only need to feed our minds, but our bodies too – and a curry always hits the spot!

There are many different types of daal recipes. This one is a staple in most Pakistani households and is a simple one for beginner cooks to try.

  • Yellow lentils: ½ cup
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Salt: to taste
  • Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Tumeric poweder: ¼ teaspoon
  • Water: as required to maintain the consistency

(This is the finishing touch which is poured over the daal for added flavour)

  • Oil: 2-3 tablespoons
  • Garlic: 2 cloves sliced
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Green chilli: 1-2
  • Coriander seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Dried red chilli: 3
  • Coriander: to garnish
  1. Empty the lentil seeds in a pan and pour water approximately an inch above them.
  2. Add salt, red chilli powder, garlic and turmeric powder.
  3. Let the lentils cook on a low flame until they are cooked (up to 20 minutes). Keep stirring until the lentils combine with the water to form a smooth consistency.
  4. [For the tarka]: In separate pan, heat the oil and add the sliced garlic, the cumin seeds, green chilli, coriander seeds and red dried chilli. Cook for a few minutes.
  5. Dish the daal in a serving bowl and pour the tarka over. Add some fresh coriander to garnish.

(One packet of lentils and jars of spices last for ages – so this is a very cost-effective meal.)

Release your inner ‘Salt Bae’ with this simple recipe

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Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe

This Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe is a family favorite and so easy to customize! We love adding peppermint during the holidays but use cinnamon candies for Valentine’s Day and Chick-o-Sticks for Easter…or caramel corn for Halloween….I love how versatile this Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe is! Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe [&hellip]


Watch the video: Star Wars: The Old Republic. Soundtrack. Spice is Nice (October 2021).