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ENDED SpicePanda Gets You Cooking! #SpicePanda #Giveaway

Spice Panda Subscription Box

 Financial compensation was not received for this post. A sample product was gifted from SpicePanda. Opinions expressed here are my own.

Keep reading for to learn how you can win a year’s subscription to SpicePanda!

If I had my way, my myriad of spices wouldn’t be tucked away in a cabinet, but rather on display so I could see them every time I’m in the kitchen. They aren’t just functional, they’re beautiful! I might even have a sort of spice shrine using the jars and tins of all my treasured flavors. That said, imagine my excitement when I learned of the SpicePanda subscription box service that would send twine-wrapped packages of fabulous spices right to my front door!

When I received my first treasure box and was instantly smitten with the adorable SpicePanda logo!

Spice Panda Box

Spice Panda box

A suspenseful peek inside the box revealed lots of goodies that I couldn’t wait to dig into!

Spice Panda contents

SpicePanda finds artisanal spice makers that are making incredible spice blends and ships them every quarter right to your front door. These spice boxes have a theme and always showcase spice makers that you wouldn’t typically find at your local grocery store. Every box has a theme and this quarter’s box got a little “outside the box.” The SpicePanda Spring Box that I received is all about story and place. SpicePanda explains that the different experiences of their five featured spice makers illustrate how taste and flavor are shaped by where the spices come from and the stories we tell about them. To help discover these flavors, each box comes with recipe cards featuring a recommended dish from that spice maker that highlights the best of each blend so that when you receive your box… you can get cooking!

Spice Panda literature

A little about my new spice friends…

Featured Spice Makers

Pursuit of Spice

Spanish Paella Culinary Spice Kit

The folks at Pursuit of Spice have created pre-measured, individual packages of pure and natural spices boxed together with the recipe and directions to prepare International recipes in your own kitchen. Hand picked and gathered in the fields of Spain, the vibrant red Crocus flower stigmas (Saffron threads) impart a luminous yellow color and deep flavor tones as it’s cooked. This Valencian Paella fuses this with smokey, earthy and herb flavors for a luxurious dish. This Culinary Spice Kit comes with detailed cooking instructions on the back.

I do enjoy a great paella! On the surface, it looks and feels like a super fussy, complicated dish to prepare. With this neat little kit, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Flavorful and authentic…I love that it includes saffron. I was looking for an excuse to buy some shrimp…yum!

Paella Kit

paella Pursuit of Spice

pursuit of spice paella

The Spice House 

Vulcan’s Fire Salt

Watch out! This one is a blazing punch of heat!  This spice combination has influences from Caribbean and eastern Central American recipes, though it doesn’t fall into any ethnic or regional tradition. Goes well with most meats and you can make a variation of your normal garlic bread by using fresh rubbed garlic and this salt instead of garlic salt. Just use it any time you want to add some flavor and some heat. How about on corn? Potatoes? Spice up your Bloody Mary or cocktail sauce.

Hand mixed from: Salt, Louisiana Chile Mash, Garlic, Habanero Chile, Shallots, Tellicherry Pepper, Lime Peel, Pimenton de La Vera, Picante, Cumin, Allspice and Vinegar.                                           Uses: Good on any meat, vegetable or fish. A flexible spice blend.

Vulcans Fire Salt Popcorn

We prepared the Cheesy & Spicy Popcorn recipe included in the Spice Panda box to test the Vulcan’s Fire Salt.  Start with fresh popped popcorn – the old-fashioned way if possible. We just toss some kernels in a pot with a little coconut oil and let ‘er rip! So much tastier than microwave popcorn. Add Parmesan cheese and the Vulcan’s Fire Salt.

While it has great flavors, it pretty much melted my face off.  Not that that’s a bad thing!  Hubby liked it a lot and even added extra seasoning to his popcorn.  Great option for this fiery blend.

Alchemy Spice Company Scenic City Sizzle Alchemy Spice Company is dedicated to producing the highest quality spices available today. Their spices are all-natural, meaning that they use no flavor enhancing chemicals like MSG, and they don’t use synthetics like silicon dioxide to prevent caking. “In the Scenic City where barbeque’s North Carolina sweet sauce collides with Memphis’s spicy rub in a classic backyard brawl, Alchemy has gone gonzo grilling. This pepper ignites steaks, burgers, chicken, & pork. Bungalow backyards will be smoking for miles with the peppery flavor of this all-purpose rub. If you thought grilling couldn’t get any better, you were mistaken.”

Ingredients: tellicherry peppercorns, onion, garlic, fennel seed, chilies, rosemary, sea salt, file, ginger, white peppercorns, celery seed, cumin seed, pink peppercorns, green peppercorns

Uses: Steak, Burgers, Chicken (esp. grilled), Pork, Sweet Potato Fries

Calicutts Spices Vermont Maple Spice Blend Fresh, hand-blended, no MSG or additives. Calicutts Spices is a small, family-owned business that’s really beginning to make a name for themselves. This fabulous Vermont Maple Blend is sweet and spicy – a perfect mix. This blend is delicious, but I can’t seem to find it on their website? I’m gonna need more soon…though the other options sound pretty yummy, too!

Sweet Potato Bake Off Challenge 

Both Alchemy and Calicutts were put to the test on a Sweet Potato Bake Off Challenge.  If you’re a sweet potato fan like me, you’ll have to try this one. The easy recipes were included in the SpicePanda box and are basically 1) Cut up the potatoes; 2) Toss them in a little oil (I always like coconut, but use your favorite;) 3) Toss in the spice blend of your choice; 4) Bake until golden. Alchemy and Calcutts Sweet Potato Bake Off

The verdict?  The best I’ve got is “it depends.”  The Alchemy Scenic City Sizzle is a more savory blend (fennel is a strong flavor in this one) than the sweeter Calicutts Spices Vermont Maple.  I really liked them both, but if forced to choose – Calicutts wins this battle.

Red Stick Spice Company NOLA Pepper Blend Although I live in Atlanta now, my family is from Louisiana – New Orleans and Red Stick (better known as Baton Rouge.) When I saw this particular jar, I got a little giddy. My dad – from whom all of my spice knowledge flows – developed products for Zatarains for more than twenty-five years. Our family knows New Orleans flavors and laughs at those who make weak and uneducated attempts to recreate them.  Good ole Red Stick Spice Company, though…if you could see me now, you’d see me on my feet and clapping.  The NOLA Pepper Blend is savory and spicy and great for any type of meat, including game, poultry and seafood. Also great in stews, sauces, gumbo and grilled fish (NOLA stands for “New Orleans, Louisiana,” btw.)  Alligator, anyone? I’m putting them on the fast-track to the top of my Spicy Wish List. Check out what they have to offer (heads up – when you run across their “Clillies and Peppers” section, I’m pretty sure they mean “Chilies”) – lots of yummy sounding stuff and I’ll be shopping soon.

Ingredients: Bell Peppers, Garlic, Onion, Chiles, Sea Salt, Spices.

Uses: Wings, Corn on the Cob, Fish, Popcorn, Rice, most meats.

Chicken and Pork Vs. Red Stick, Alchemy and Calicutts

Hubby and I had a big grill day to try out these wonderful spices on something more traditional – pork chops and chicken.  We generously seasoned each piece with one of the blends and tossed them on the fire. Man, the smell was amazing! When they were done, we sampled each one. Yes, we ate a lot of meat! In the end, every one of these spice blends was delicious for different reasons. Each flavor conjured up a memory or brought us to a unique place.  Kudos to SpicePanda for gathering this unique and special box of spices for their customers!

        Chicken and Pork Grill 2 Chicken and Pork Grill 2

 

All told (and tasted!) I am very happy with the SpicePanda subscription box.  The unique package of spices has clearly been carefully and thoughtfully curated. Each artisanal product selected is held to high standards of quality, flavor and freshness.  Now…fingers crossed for a sea salt themed box!

Until 5/31/14, Nest Full of New readers may use the discount code “NEST15” for 15% off  the first subscription box from SpicePanda!

Want to win a subscription to SpicePanda for a WHOLE YEAR?!?! 

Giveaway - Enter To Win (2)

 Mr. and Mrs. SpicePanda (adorable, right?) have very generously offered to give a full year of their amazing SpicePanda spice boxes to one lucky Nest Full of New reader!  Simply complete the entries in the Rafflecopter below and you’ll be one step closer to creating your own spice shrine!

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