Hump Day review of the Week | My Secret Weapon: Maplewood smoked sea salt

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I looove sea salt. I looove smoked sea salt. But Maplewood smoked sea salt? I adore. It’s one of my “secret weapon” ingredients that I have maybe crazily decided to reveal today. It adds a smoky, bacony, warm flavor to whatever you’re cooking.

For a great version of this sea salt check this one out from Etsy:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/101356083/smoked-bourbon-maple-salt?ref=market

 As an ode to this secret weapon, I have written a Maplewood smoked sea salt haiku. Hope you enjoy:

 

Smoky Sea Crystals

Fold them in with a secret

Of Bacon and warmth

 

I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy writing a haiku about sea salt. But I did it anyway. Happy Wednesday, now go eat some sea salt! Or some bacon. Or both! 

*Photo courtesy of Anna’s Spices on http://www.Etsy.com

Penzey’s Spices (Houston, TX location)

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Whenever I walk into this little shop in the Heights neighborhood of Houston, TX, it’s like wandering into a (really cool, hip) witch’s pantry filled with a magical smorgasbord of herbs and spices.  Sometimes I like to pretend I AM that cool witch scanning my herb collection for the right ingredient for a potion that I’m working on in my cauldron. I guess, for me, cooking is a little like creating magic spells except that the spell is on people’s taste buds and the cauldron is a heavy bottomed saucepan. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little make believe in the kitchen…But I digress… This little spice shop is filled with the most extensive (over 250 different spices) array of spices and custom blend spice mixes that you can find anywhere in Houston. (There ARE locations all over the US, just FYI, and a location on Preston Rd in Dallas for all my Dallas readers) And it’s all lined up in alphabetical order for easy access. If you’re looking for that exotic spice that you KNOW you wont find at the grocery store, or just more extensive types of certain spices, like deep red Turkish Aleppo red pepper or their smoky cedar smoked sea salt, this is the perfect place to stock up. Their mouth-watering special spice blend mixes, especially their Seasoned Salt, Southwest seasoning, Greek seasoning, and, for the homemade croutons, the Crouton Seasoning are A+MAZING. The best part is the actual spices are just such high quality and ridiculously fresh, and they are generally the same if not less expensive than most spices you find at the grocery store at about $5 per four ounce bottle. Ever since I discovered this little spice oasis, I have slowly weaned myself from all other spice brands, and most of my own pantry is beginning to look like that witch’s lair that I happened upon a year ago. Go give YOUR local Penzey’s a visit, and create your own magic in the kitchen! You can also order online at:

 

http://www.penzeys.com/