Chai Waffles

These waffles are dreamy and delectable.

Put down that maple syrup, the whipped cream, all the toppings, I’d eat these plain and still warm from the waffle iron.

Of course, if you can wait, they are the perfect vehicle for all the usual suspects: fresh fruit, whipped cream, syrup, et cetera.

Chai Waffle Daydream

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, separated

2 cups Chai tea

4 to 6 tablespoons melted butter

If you are using our Chai Masala, double the recipe on the back of the pack for enough chai to make these waffles. If you make the chai a day in advance you can whip it out and throw together these waffles in a skinny minute. If you’re making the chai the day of let it cool before you make your waffles.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Beat the egg yolks and add the chai. Mix in with the dry ingredients just enough to blend them. Add the melted butter. Fold in the egg whites and bake in your waffle iron – short. sweet. tasty.

Enjoy!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Brunch Beauty Shots

Anything goes.

Go big or go home.

Less is more.

Too much is never enough.

Put an egg on it.

Just do it.

All these tag lines and catch phrases can be applied to the mystical occurrence that has been given the name brunch.

That’s why the Craic Team that brought you The Tower of Tex Mex loves brunch. It is synonymous with fun, good times, and great food.

Sooo, this past Sunday they started with an idea, a food fiesta really: chilled shrimp salad with tomatoes and avocado in a lettuce wrap.

Then this happened:

5 Spice Brunch

A very similar concept in that it was a chilled shrimp lettuce wrap….

But completely different.

The Craic Team had visions of a chilled shrimp salad with avocado and tomato and corn and hot peppers but then they found a sweet potato on the edge of expiration and all hell broke loose. That did NOT fit into their plans.

So the plans changed.

And they roasted that sweet potato with Garam Masala and pan sautéed that shrimp with Chinese 5 Spice and some peppers and uncooked ramen noodles and onion and a garlic clove or two. They made some peanut sauce, grated a carrot, chopped up some Thai basil, threw it all together on a lettuce leaf and called it brunch.

As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”

Sláinte,

Charleston Spice Co.

5 Spice Brunch

The Tower of TexMex

The Tower of TexMex

I had planned to post about Vanilla Ice Cream today.

But then I fell in love.

With life, and cherry tomatoes, and love, and guacamole, and a darn good poached egg.

*sigh*

And you know, people in love are irrational, so I put the Vanilla Ice Cream post to the side so that you guys could see this beauty.

The Tower of TexMex

The funny thing is, this all started out with an idea to make huevos rancheros. One thing led to another and you know what they say, when you give a mouse a cookie… So our crack team assembled this tempting tower of goodness and delight!

Here’s how you can make this happen:

Corn tortillas cut into squares (you’ll need 4 squares for every tower)

1 large onion, diced

1 lb. ground pork

2 Tablespoons Chimayo Chili Blend

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 cup masa flour (optional)

Some mixed beans (we had some hanging out in our freezer already)

Guacamole

Sriracha sour cream (that’s right, just add some sriracha to that sour cream in your fridge)

Cheese of your choice, grated

Lettuce, shredded (mostly just for garnish)

Tomatillo

Eggs, one or two for every tower you plan to make

Rice

1 cup of corn

1 cup of bell peppers, chopped

Start off by making your rice, saute the corn and bell peppers in the pan you’re going to make your rice in, then add your rice and water and cook as per usual.

While the rice is cooking, brown your onions, add the pork, and chimayo chili blend, brown some more. Add the masa, this helps bind it all together so you don’t lose any of the flavor from the juices! Put in tomatoes and cook until they’re just warmed through. Remove from heat.

If you have a griddle, start getting it warm to toast the tortillas. If you don’t have a griddle you can use a big pan. While you wait for the griddle to heat up, assemble everything else you need: shred the lettuce, grate your cheese, make your guacamole!

Toast your tortilla squares to the perfect toastiness for you, we let ours stay pretty soft, but depending on how high you want to stack your towers, a firmer tortilla platform may be necessary.

Once your tortillas are perfect, get a new pan and fill it with your tomatillo over medium to high heat and poach those eggs!

Once the eggs are poached, let the assembling begin!

Here’s how we layered our towers (from bottom to top):

tortilla, rice, pork mixture, cheese, tortilla, beans, sriracha sour cream, cheese, tortilla, guacamole, tortilla, egg, tomatillo.

The Tower of TexMex

Here’s to dreaming big and falling in love,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

 

 

 

Firecracker Shrimp

Firecracker shrimp

I used to hate shrimp.

Absolutely hate it, unless it was popcorn shrimp, but let’s be honest, after dunking those lil deep fried bites into ketchup they were more like chicken nuggets than seafood.

Now I love shrimp.

Absolutely love it, especially when it isn’t deep fried and dunked in sauce.

And these firecracker shrimp are no exception!!! You can serve them as an appetizer or the main dish, it’s your choice, no matter what there’s sure to be none left at the end of the meal!

Firecracker shrimp

Here’s what ya need:

1/3 cup Harissa paste

1 pound peeled shrimp

We used our own Harissa blend and followed the guidelines on the back to make a paste. Mix your paste and shrimp and let them sit up to thirty minutes. Skewer and throw them on your grill!!

It was hard not to eat these shrimp right away but we managed to hold back long enough to throw them on a bed of slaw in a hot dog bun:

Firecracker shrimp

We served these delightful sandwiches with a side of tomato cucumber salad seasoned with our spiced sea salt and grilled corn seasoned with our grill seasoning.

Firecracker shrimp

Happy grilling!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Apple Toad Muffins

Apple Toad Muffins

Is there a better way to start the day than with coffee and homemade baked goods? I can think of few other morning rituals that can bring such delight as reading a book, sipping coffee, and munching on a little something sweet.

With the cool spring mornings we’ve been having I’ve been craving apple muffins. So I went in search of a recipe that would satiate my desire and found this one. I decided to call mine Toad Muffins because I ended up using less topping than the original recipe and they turned out warty and toad like in appearance, appetizing description, yes? I sort of followed the recipe, I recommend you read this recipe because the author is very detailed and describes at what speed you should blend the different ingredients.

When I get into the kitchen it’s more of a free for all and by the time I get half way through such a detailed recipe I think, well, it probably doesn’t matter now, I’ve got a general idea of what I’m supposed to do now… Sometimes this works out, other times it does matter and things don’t turn out well. But this recipe was a success, even with a disregard to the blending instructions, thus I’m sharing it with you.Apple Toad MuffinsHere’s what ya need:

For toady topping:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Poudre Douce (or Pie Spice or just plain ol’ cinnamon)

1/4 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For muffins:

1/2 cup butter, at room temp

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temp

1/2 cup greek yogurt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups apple, peeled and chopped

In a small bowl assemble the topping: combine sugars, Poudre Douce, and butter. Stir in flour until all combined and crumbly. Put to the side.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line muffin tins with muffin/cupcake liners (makes about 15 standard size muffins (and yes, I used Halloween cupcake liners, who says you can’t celebrate Halloween in April?)).

In a mixer beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugars and beat on high until creamed. Add eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Beat until combined.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together with a whisk. Slowly pour in milk and blend until relatively smooth, then stir in apple chunks.

Pour into prepared muffin tins. Fill to the top and press some of the crumble topping on top. For once in my baking career, I erred on the side of caution with the topping. I tend to steer clear of overly sugar-coated muffins so I really didn’t use very much of the topping and had some left over.

Bake for 5 minutes at 425 F then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for 15 more minutes.

These will last about 3 to 5 days at room temp, but they do have a tendency to disappear when left in the open…Apple Toad Muffins

Enjoy,

Charleston Spice Co.

Creamy Dill Spread

Creamy Dill Spread

This spread is perfect for bagels, crackers, and bread. It’s also divine when spread on top of a steak or a burger!!

Here’s what you need:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temp

1 heaping Tablespoon Dill Dip

1 Tablespoon cream style horseradish (if using pure horseradish, use 1/2 amount)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix them all together. Let sit overnight or use right away!

This is one way we’ve used it, creamy dill spread and lox toast with deviled eggs and avocado on the side:

Creamy Dill Spread

Hope you have a great weekend!

xoxo

Charleston Spice Co.