A few weeks ago I,  was chosen to be one of the brand ambassadors for The Spice Peddlers, a great shop in Sydney selling a fabulous range of herbs and spices!

Each month, they will send me a different spice or spice blend and I can play with it as much as I want.

Happy days people, happy, happy days.

I can’t tell you how excited this made me.  Well,  I can’t tell you…but I can can show you.

There may have been a bit of spontaneous dancing round the kitchen.

I may have done a little bit of this…Dance Move 1 Followed by a bit of this… Dance Move 2

I drew the line here.

It seemed a little bit too Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks…

But I was right back into the groove with this…

Dance Move 4

That’s how excited I was.

Then I got my first blend and…the fear kicked in.  What if it was terrible?  What if I was totally uninspired?  What if what I made turned out  awful?  What if  the sky fell on my head?  You know the usual nonsense panicky “I’m not worthy” that plagues the best of us at times….

Smoked Salmon Fritatta, Kale and Onion Pie, Best Bloody Mary Ever!
Smoked Salmon Fritatta, Kale and Onion Pie, Best Bloody Mary Ever!

So first things first.  Which for me was to open up the pack, lick my finger, dip it in and have a taste.

Yeah, I know…

I’m classy.

So much for the first unfounded fear.  The team at the Spice Peddlers had sent me a container of their Middle Harbour Seasoning. This is a blend of sea salt, lime leaves, lime zest, Tasmanian Pepper, black pepper, green peppercorns, lemon myrtle, dill, chervil and green and white onion.

Otherwise known as delicious!  It’s tangy from the lime, zingy from the pepper, punchy from the salt with a very slight herby, aniseedy undertone.  So good.  So, so good.

This would be perfect just spinkled on pita bread which is then toasted in the oven until crispy to have with dips and a lovely crisp cold glass of white wine on a hot summer day.  And you know what?  I’ll be doing that very soon.

Cooking With The Spice Peddler's Middle Harbour Seasoning
Cooking With The Spice Peddler’s Middle Harbour Seasoning

However, for the purpose of experimentation I wanted to get a bit more fancy.

We are heading into party season and I wanted to experiment with  some new fingerfood dishes…have I ever mentioned how much I love fingerfood?   There is something magical for me in a party pie, a mini burger, a bite-sized pizza, a canape….you get my drift.

I was once waxing lyrical to a friend about how if I owned a restaurant it would only serve small bits of food and wasn’t it crazy that no one had ever thought of that before?

She gave me a look.  You know. That look. “They’re called tapas bars” she said in a voice that suggested she was speaking to the mentally incompetent.

Yeah but…

No but…

My idea is to have cocktails and fingerfood and it would only be open for the cocktail hour…

Ok…never mind…it’s a tapas bar.

Damn those Spanish and their eerily prescient good food ideas.

Let’s quickly move on and talk about some of my better ideas…like this:

Smoked Salmon and Herb Frittata

Makes 16 mini frittatas

8 eggs 400ml cream

500ml milk

4 spring onions

200g smoked salmon, chopped

2 tsp Middle Harbour Seasoning

1 tsp chopped tarragon

1 tsp chopped chervil

1 tsp chopped chives

1/4 cup grated parmesan

 

Preheat oven to 150º.

Whisk together the eggs, cream and milk.

Add the spring onions, salmon, spice mix and herbs and parmesan.

If not using the spice blend, season with salt & pepper and increase herbs to 1 tbsp each.

Pour into greased muffin trays and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until base and sides are set. Serve sprinkled with additional chives.

Smoked Salmon Fritatta
Smoked Salmon Fritatta

Next up, I made this Serious Eats recipe for

Kale and Onion Pie

Except again, I subbed in the Spice Peddler Middle Harbour Seasoning for half of the herbs and I also sprinkled a little bit of the mix on the top of the pastry before cooking.

The mixture for this is delicious.  However, when I make this next time, instead of the “pastry” mix in the Serious Eats recipe I would use a really light crispy buttery shortcrust pastry or even a filo.

Kale and Onion Pie
Kale and Onion Pie

As soon as I tasted the Middle Harbour Mix I knew I wanted to make  cocktail with it..and what else would go with a lemony, peppery zingy herb mix than a Bloody Mary?

Can i just digress for a moment to talk about how much I love a Bloody Mary?  I love a Bloody Mary the way Don Draper loves a Manahattan. To me they are the height of sophistication. In my mind, enjoying a Bloody Mary is like enjoying oysters…when you can do it, you know you’re a grown up.  Even more so if you can down one before noon!

I’m also a big fan of drinking my vitamins and all that tomato juice, has to be good for you!

This recipe is probably the best one I have tried.  I think it’s the splash of sherry which adds a teeny bit of sweetness into the mix that does it – and I used the Spice Peddler Middle Harbour instead of the celery salt and also to rim the glass.

Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary

OMG, this was sooooo good, it set off another bout of dancing…

Bloody Mary

200ml tomato juice

1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

1 tsp Spice Peddler Middle Harbour Seasoning or Celery Salt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

6 drops Tabasco sauce

30ml Vodka

Splash  of cream sherry

Stir Ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain and serve!

Barbie Allen Dance/Exercise
Barbie Allen Dance/Exercise

I’m going to be spending my week perfecting my moves from my new favourite possession – the Barbie Allen Dance/Exercise Book.

She has an entire routine for Xanadu which I may share as a special Christmas Present for all of you…hell, if I get full enough of some Christmas spirit (we here at RFFMT are quite fond of a little bit o’ Hendricks for the holidays)  I may even dance it for you!

Have a fabulous week whatever you do… Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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