Bridal Bliss: Starter spice kits and bridal shower food
Headed for domestic bliss? Setting up kitchen — with new linens, appliances, gadgets, and, of course, cooking ingredients — is so much fun! Be sure to include an array of seasonings to get your cooking off to a delicious start. Simply Organic® has every top quality, organic spice and seasoning you'll need.
Starter spice kits
If you're a seasoned cook, you'll know which spices you can't do without. In this case, you might use our list as a reminder, and add to it any favorite spices that we haven't included. (Maybe you love the aroma and taste of coriander in many of your baked goods, for example.) Otherwise, here are some suggestions for the most basic spices you'll want to stock in your new spice rack. (For a smaller starter list, choose only the starred items):
- Bay Leaf
- Chili Powder
- Cinnamon Powder*
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Cumin Seed Ground*
- Dill Weed
- Garlic Powder*
Also consider adding some seasoning blends to your list (especially if you enjoy ethnic cooking). Italian Seasoning and Curry Powder are two top choices.
A starter spice kit makes a great gift, too!
If you know a couple about to be wed
Consider putting together a creative gift presentation of seasonings. Place the spices in a colander with a fun dishtowel and some wooden spoons, for example, or arrange them in a cooking pot along with oven mitts or in a serving bowl along with cloth napkins. For a small gift (literally), you might choose Simply Organic Mini-Spices (high quality organic spices in cute, small containers).
If you or your partner enjoys grilling
Be sure to add a grill to your registry, and remember to include Grilling Seasons® — such as Poultry, Veggie, Seafood, Chop or Steak Seasoning — on your seasonings list.
Salt and pepper are anything but ho-hum when you grind them fresh. An easy way to do this is with Simply Organic's Spice Grinders. Consider Grind to a Salt (a blend of sea salt, red chilies, black pepper, garlic, onions, celery and mustard). For pepper, try Daily Grind (freshly ground black peppercorns) and and Get Crackin (a blend of white, green, and black peppercorns) to cover your basic salt and pepper needs (at the stove or on the table).
In addition to salt and pepper, you might want to include an All-Seasons Salt and an All-Purpose Seasoning (for seasoning delicious meals in an instant and for when you don't know quite what to sprinkle on that morning omelet, for example).
When it comes to recipes, be sure to ask family members to provide you with traditional favorites. Have friends give you their best recipes, too (this is always a nice bridal shower activity). And have everyone recommend his or her favorite cookbook. You'll want at least one how-to book on hand, such as Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (there's also a vegetarian version).
When you're looking for new recipes, also be sure to visit our recipe pages, where you'll find recipes to help you make stellar meals
Check out our product and guide pages, too. Use it to create shopping lists, choose a dinner menu, take notes while cooking or shopping, get featured recipes and cooking tips, locate stores where you can find our products and download coupons.
Enjoy the process of setting up your kitchen, of finding great recipes, and of cooking. And hearty best wishes and congratulations!
Planning a Bridal Shower?
Relax and enjoy it with these food shortcuts
Your dear friend or sister announces she's engaged. She wants you to be her maid of honor. It goes without saying, you're thrilled for her. But does this mean you'll have to plan at least one bridal shower? Not to mention, wear a dress not of your own choosing and find the perfect gift?
If planning the bridal shower causes you the most anxiety, help is on the way. We suggest cutting down on stress with these time-saving tips to host a simple but sensational shower for the bride.
When the bride's mother or other guests ask if they can bring anything, say yes. Ask them to bring something you don't especially enjoy preparing, or something you know is that person's specialty which the bride really loves. Or have each guest bring a dessert or appetizer, so you can focus solely on the rest of the party and fun. Offers to help are gifts, so allow other bridesmaids or friends to assist if they offer. Working together can add to the shower fun, and give you stories to share as you continue down the wedding day road.
Go the healthy route
The bride, her bridesmaids and the mother of the bride all want to fit into their dresses when the big day finally arrives. The most thoughtful meal you can offer your guests is a delicious and healthful one. Provide great-tasting, nutritious snacks that go easy on salt, fat, sugar and other potentially unhealthy ingredients and your guests will fondly remember your hospitality.
Remake everyday favorites
Great dishes don't require hours in the kitchen. Make your easy-to-prepare favorites and dress them up with special festive seasonings. Try distinctive seasoning blends like curry or Italian seasoning, or even seasoned sugar combinations like lemon sugar or cinnamon sugar for a gourmet touch. For example: Add a liberal dose of a spice like oregano, basil or cayenne (or an herbal seasoning blend) along with some garlic and Parmesan cheese to your usual mashed potatoes and you'll instantly serve something out of the ordinary.
Use clever shortcuts
For inviting flavor without fuss, keep a supply of natural dressing and dip mixes on hand for fresh, homemade appetizers and snacks. Add a dip or dressing mix, such as creamy dill, French onion, guacamole or ranch to equal parts of low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat plain yogurt and mix in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with fresh veggies you can buy already cleaned and cut up at the store.
Plan and shop wisely
Don't exhaust yourself shopping. Outline your menu — including impromptu snacks — ahead of time. Then pick up everything non-perishable at the same time, eliminating last-minute sprints to the grocery store. Don't panic if your grocer is missing that key spice ingredient since it's easier than ever to order online. We carry culinary items like organic spices, seasoning blends, baking extracts and flavors, and other cooking ingredients and supplies — which we'll will ship to you within a few days of your order.