Author Archives: Amanda

Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries

Two great things come together in the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries– a great mystery story and some great recipes! Inspired in turn by the Pike Place Market food scene and all the spice therein, Montana author Leslie Budewitz has created a feast for the senses.

Assault and Pepper (Final)

Leslie was good enough to share a recipe from the first book in this series with us, and it’s delicious! Here’s what she has to say about it……

“Inspiration for this recipe comes from the potatoes and broccolini in the Market. A hybrid of traditional broccoli and gai lan, also called Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, broccolini has long, slender stalks with small florets and kale-like leaves, and a peppery taste that holds up well when cooked. If you can’t find it, use traditional broccoli or broccoli raab. Traditional broccoli can be hard to find with the stalks intact, but the search is worth the effort. Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to cut out any knots and peel off the tough skin. Those stalks carry a lot of flavor and vitamins and minerals.

If you don’t have a chance to pop into the Spice Shop for Herbes de Provence, make your own with whatever you have on hand.  Herbes de Provence are spectacular sprinkled on sautéed potatoes, rubbed on chicken before grilling, or best of all, in roast chicken and potatoes. Add them to a lamb or a vegetable stew—think eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini, maybe some cannellini (white beans). Use them to season homemade croutons or tomato sauce.

You can also wrap a teaspoon of Herbes de Provence in cheese cloth and tie with kitchen string to make an herb bouquet, also called a bouquet garni. Drop it into a small jar of olive oil for a few days to make an infusion for salads or sautées.

For this recipe- don’t skimp on the Parmesan on top! If you need to cut it because you’re watching sodium—Parmesan is naturally low in fat—reduce the amount that goes in the egg mixture. The cheese on top broils to such lovely salty, crunchy perfection—you don’t want to miss that!

For dinner, serve with a green salad and crunchy bread, and a white wine—a light non-oaky Chardonnay, a Pinot Grigio, or any white with a clean, crisp touch.”

Broccoli Potato Frittata

Yield: Makes 8 servings


    For the Herbes de Provence
  • 2½ tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2½ tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried savory
  • 2 tablespoons dried crushed lavender flowers
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • For the Frittata
  • 8 to 10 small white potatoes (about 10 ounces total), scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces broccolini, trimmed and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


    For the Herbes de Provence
  1. Mix spices in a small bowl. Store in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Makes just over half a cup.
  2. For the Frittata
  3. Place the potatoes and broth in a large (10- to 12-inch) ovenproof skillet. On the stove top, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, turning the potatoes often, until almost all of the stock has been absorbed and the potatoes are tender.
  4. Preheat your broiler. If yours has variable settings, use the high setting and leave the rack in the middle of the oven. If your broiler is not particularly hot, raise the rack.
  5. Add the olive oil, broccolini, onion, and Herbes de Provence to the potatoes in the skillet. Continue cooking on the stove top on medium heat for about 2 minutes, turning frequently, until all the vegetables are coated with oil and herbs. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the skillet, cooking about 3 minutes, until the broccolini has become mostly tender.
  6. Beat the eggs with half the Parmesan and the salt and pepper. Check the heat in your skillet; you may need to turn it way down to avoid frying the eggs in the next step. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cover and cook on the stove top over medium-low until the eggs are lightly set, about 10 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top and place the pan under the broiler, until the top is bubbly and golden, and the eggs are just set throughout, about 5 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly before slicing into wedges. These reheat beautifully for breakfast or lunch.


As with all herb blends, experiment with your own touches. Let your taste be your guide. Other frequent additions: rosemary, sweet marjoram, or fennel seed. (Marjoram and oregano are distinct herbs but closely related and can be substituted for each other in some recipes.) Try a blend with whatever combination of the suggested herbs you have on hand. Then, next summer, grow a pot of lavender on your deck or in a sunny window!

The stories and recipes just keep coming so connect with Leslie her on her website,, on Facebook,, or on Twitter

Her latest book, Butter off Dead will be hot off the presses July 7th!!!!

Butter Off Dead (final)

Categories: Breakfast, French, Hot Topics, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: | 2 Comments

Turmeric Tropical Smoothie

I love a simple combination where all the ingredients are balanced and the flavors blend perfectly. This tropical smoothie with turmeric is a great example. Any number of ingredients would make a great add-in, from coconut and vanilla to ginger and cayenne- but if you really want to taste the turmeric, keep it simple! Everyone is raving about the super-spice these days and touting the health benefits of turmeric, so pop some into your morning smoothie and enjoy the flavors too!


Turmeric Tropical Smoothie

Serving Size: 2

Turmeric Tropical Smoothie


  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups hemp milk, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Categories: Breakfast, Course, Healthy, Recipes, Snacky Bits | Leave a comment

10 Spice Vegetable Soup with Cashew Cream

The timing is perfect! As spring beckons and we are craving healthier fare, what better way to welcome the weather than with this spice-centric soup from one of our new favorite cookbooks, The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon.

10-spice veg soup

“This is quite possibly the ultimate bowl of comfort food, made with a decadent, creamy broth and loaded with an array of health-boosting spices. It’s really hard to stop at one bowl! Be sure to soak the raw cashews in water the night before (or for at least three to four hours) so they are ready when you plan to make the soup.”

10 Spice Vegetable Soup with Cashew Cream

10 Spice Vegetable Soup with Cashew Cream


  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 11/2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato, regular potato, or butternut squash
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 tablespoon 10-Spice Blend
  • Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 to 2 cups baby spinach or de-stemmed torn kale leaves (optional)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas or other beans, drained and rinsed (optional)


  1. In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews with 1 cup of the vegetable broth and blend on the highest speed until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the carrots, bell pepper, potato, celery, diced tomatoes with their juices, remaining 5 cups broth, the cashew cream, and the 10-Spice Blend. Stir well to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with salt and black pepper and add the bay leaves.
  5. Simmer the soup, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the spinach and beans, if desired. Remove and discard the bay leaves before serving.
  7. Tip: If you don’t have the ingredients on hand to make the 10-Spice Blend, feel free to use your favorite store-bought Cajun or Creole seasoning mix and add to taste.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Angela Liddon, 2014.

If you are interested in exploring and tasting more recipes from Oh She Glows, pick up a copy in our store or online and join us for the World Spice Cookbook Club, coming up March 4th. RSVP to [email protected].

Categories: Cookbook Club, Course, Healthy, Notes from the Field, Recipes, Soups and Stews | 2 Comments

Oh She Glows 10 Spice Blend

Many chefs have a go-to spice blend all their own, and we are pleased to share this one from Angela Liddon, author of The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out. We fell in love with the book from page 1 and have chosen it as one of the World Spice Cookbook Club selections for 2015.

” This spice blend takes less than five minutes to throw together, and it can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to baked potatoes, kale chips, tofu, beans, avocado toast, and more.”

Oh She Glows 10 Spice Blend



  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium jar. Secure the lid and shake to combine. Shake the jar before each use.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Angela Liddon, 2014.

Categories: Cookbook Club, Healthy, Recipes, Spice Notes | 4 Comments

Cookbook Club 2015

For those of us who joined cookbook club last year – THANKS! – for making it such a huge success. 2015 is shaping up to be even bigger and better, with loads of new cookbooks to explore and an expanded summer series of social cookouts at our warehouse location. Here are the selections:


February 4th: World Spice at Home: New Flavors for 75 Favorite Dishes by Amanda Bevill and Julie Kramis-Hearne

March 4th: The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon

April 1st: Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of every Meal by Julie O’Brien & Richard J. Climenhage

May 6th: Afro Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry

June 3rdBrazilian Barbecue and Beyond by David Ponte, Jamie Barber, and Lizzy Barber

July 1st: Cocina Tropical: The Classic & Contemporary Flavors of Puerto Rico by Jose Santaella

August 5thAsian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Springrolls, Samosas and More and The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches by Andrea Nguyen

September 2nd: At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well by Amy Chaplin

October 7th: 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer

Membership in the club is free, and we “Meet & Eat” the first Wednesday of the month. Every member brings a dish prepared from the featured cookbook and we all gather to discuss the book, the food and whatever else comes to mind! Benefits include a 20% discount off cookbook club selections and a giveaway at each meeting.

Sign up in the store or email us at: [email protected]


Categories: Cookbook Club, Hot Topics, Notes from the Field, Tools of the Trade | Leave a comment

Sassy Short Ribs

We love all things sassy, and these short ribs are no exception. The bold flavor of our Sassy Steak Spice is infused into every bite along with orange marmalade and fresh oregano for an impeccable flavor combination. The great charm in this dish is the layers of flavor developed by adding spices in stages along the way, and finishing with fresh herbs… who says you can’t have it all? The melt-in-your-mouth beef is pretty good too.

sassy short ribs

Sassy Short Ribs

Sassy Short Ribs


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3 pounds small bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Sassy Steak Spice, divided
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano, divided


  1. Add the oil to a heavy, medium skillet, over medium heat. Working in batches- brown the short ribs, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer the seared ribs to a platter or bowl.
  2. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the Sassy Steak Spice over the onion and cook one minute more. Lower the heat and add the marmalade, cooking just long enough to melt it with the onion. Transfer the mixture to the insert of a 5-6 quart slow cooker, scraping out every tasty bit!
  3. Add the chicken broth, red wine and soy sauce to the cooker and stir to combine. Now nestle the ribs into the sauce and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 9 hours, until the meat is fork tender. Don't peek while it is cooking! You want all those luscious flavors to circulate for the whole cooking time.
  4. At the end of the cooking time, transfer the ribs to a serving platter and then strain the sauce into a fat-separator. Remove the strained bits of meat and onion to top the ribs on the serving platter and, after the fat has separated, pour the de-fatted sauce into a medium saucepan.
  5. Add the remaining teaspoon of Sassy Steak Spice and simmer the sauce 4-6 minutes to reduce and concentrate the flavors. Add 1 teaspoon of the oregano and cook 1 minute more.
  6. Pour the sauce over the ribs and garnish with the remaining teaspoon of oregano.
  7. Serve with brown or white rice, and lightly sautéed chard and/or bok choy.

Tip: For those of you with slow cooker inserts that are stovetop safe, go ahead and use it in place of the skillet to start the sauce and save a dish!

sassy steak spice


Categories: Asia, Course, Global Cuisines, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes, Slow Cooker | Leave a comment