Wanting to expand my culinary horizons, I have been tempted to try one of those meal kits that deliver daily to your home everything needed to enjoy dinner as a family. After researching, I found something lacking…

Has it occurred to you that most of the meal kits out there DON’T come with a cook?

I know, I was SO disappointed!

The meal planned, the groceries delivered, and dinner on the table when we get home….. ah, the life! Maybe someday…

The Reality

My husband and I are empty nesters with a busy life, which means we’re not home for dinner as much as we would like to be. With a shellfish allergy and gluten intolerances, we worry about balancing the expense with our restrictions (both real and imagined). What if we don’t like – or can’t eat – a lot of what they send? We can’t just throw out a bunch of food!

For us, meals that include fresh ingredients are sometimes decided that day. While meal kits are clearly a good idea for many families, they just don’t seem like a good match for us.

The Background

If you haven’t already read the post on my culinary background (or lack thereof) feel free to catch up here. In short, I’m hoping to learn more. But with so little free time, and so overwhelming an amount of variety in spices and recipes, where do I begin?

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And then I found Piquant Post. After reading through the information and finding out their spices are gluten free, I was intrigued. Not gonna lie, I signed up immediately and paid for a six month subscription for about the same price as Devon and I going out for one mid-priced dinner.

This is a monthly subscription service that can be had at a fraction of the price of meal kits!

What’s in it for us?

Each month, we get recipes and their associated spices. The great thing about this is that there is nothing included that will spoil quickly. This is important because our week is already crazy, and we don’t need that kind of pressure!

AS I mentioned before, learning to use a variety of spices in my cooking has been a goal for some time. Finding time to learn it all is a little overwhelming. With Piquant Post, we have a month to try four different spices with their associated recipe cards. These are chosen for us, without our having to pour through tons of recipes to decide what to try next. A full month to try four recipes. I can do that. No pressure here!

What We Appreciate

Each month’s contents are different. We just received our first envelope; here’s what we received:

A picture of the mailing envelope, four spices, and four recipe cards.

We have never heard of ANY of these spice blends!

It’s a foodie adventure in an envelope! I would venture to say that even cooks with more, “Spice awareness” would be happy with a subscription to this service, considering the quality and variety of these spices and blends.

What We (and the Neighbor) Think

So this evening we tried the Ethiopian Chicken over Lentil Stew and Tanzanian Spiced Greens. We had no idea what Ethiopian food was. We have also never had collard greens. Wow, are we a boring conversation for true foodies! Apparently, we have lived under a rock for a great deal of our lives. Devon and I shopped for the groceries that we needed and set out to create our inaugural dishes. We tried two because the Tanzanian Spiced Greens seemed like a good side dish, and why not? Nothing says we have to only have one a week.

Turns out we loved it! The recipes were easy to understand and follow, and it went all according to plan. I even felt like I knew what I was doing and everything!

I forgot to add the parsley to make it pretty, but hey…it was still amazing!

A neighbor stopped in as we started to cook, and we invited him to stay for dinner. Thankfully the recipes had us making double what we would have been able to eat. If you are a family of one or two, this is a bonus – LEFTOVERS!

The layers of flavors, the aroma, and the empty plates give me the confidence to try all sorts of new cookery.

We have leftover spices, too! The recipe cards give other ideas of how to use these blends, which encourages us to become a little more daring in our cooking experiments.

We have two other recipes to try, and then a new adventure awaits for next month. I say, “Keep ’em coming….”

Now I just need to know if, “Cooking wine” means, “Wine you cook with” or “Wine you drink while cooking”?

So much to learn…..

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4 Comments on “Learning to Cook With Spices

  1. That looks very good! I’d love to try the recipes. A tip about spices: some of the generic brands have very little flavor. I discovered this a few months ago while making chili and I had to use nearly a whole container of chili powder. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a meal prep and finding out that your spices aren’t spicy or don’t add any flavor. It pays to get the name brands.

  2. This looks so delicious! Its fun to mix and match with spices. Thanks for sharing!

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