Sometimes it takes a couple tries to get things right. So when the spice rack company AllSpice offered to send me a lovely wooden spice rack for review, I jumped at the chance (then celebrated with a spice-rich schwarma sandwich). Yes, this time I’ve got it!
I have always been a big spice user. In my very first apartment, I bought two spice racks, then dumped the contents of the second substituting more exotic spices–complete with taped on labels. Not pretty, but functional for a fledgling cook.
But today, in the remodeled kitchen of my grown-up house (with even more spices), I was struggling. After creating a spice drawer–which I thought would solve my problems, things still weren’t right. Plus, I had a vacation home with no order at all. And I didn’t want a “fix” that replicated the same problems.
So what’s wrong with my (even fixed up) spice drawer? Basically, everything slides when I open the drawer (especially when some of the jars are in use on the counter) and I keep needing to put them back in order. Even worse, my kids find it too tedious to re-sort them after they slide and just return what they used randomly, getting it completely out of order. And then I ran out of (reclaimed) jars, so some spices are in bigger jars… in a different cupboard.
Sigh. Sounds like a problem a big spice rack would fix. Hooray!
Allspice had the answer with spice racks that come in 12, 30 or 60 jar sizes. Yes, even light spice users deserve a beautiful spice rack. though I went right for the 60 jar size! The cabinets are natural wood, crafted in Maple, and come in four colors: Natural, Cherry, Walnut or White. I think the Cherry looks beautiful against my Hickory cabinets! They sit compactly on a counter top, going your choice of long way across or long way up (my pick).
Just as an aside, these are made by the creators of the popular Apples to Apples game–my kids will be so excited!
The spice rack includes fashionable black-lidded jars with plastic inset options (pouring, large shaker, fine shaker), plus a pretty comprehensive selection of pre-printed labels (along with some blanks). The only thing I owned that they didn’t have a label for was a mulling spice blend!
As you can probably tell, I am a power user of spices. For frequently used spices I buy 1 lb organic wholesale bags through my buying club, then invite my friends & relatives to refill at my house. For spices that are quicker to fade (like cayenne) or used sparingly (like saffron) I buy smaller quantities but still bulk (organic) if I can.
Of course the $100,000 question may be why do I need a setup like this? Well, I can tell you I’m not the world’s most patient person and it drives me crazy to have to sort through 40 bottles (sometimes twice) for the right spice. And it makes me even crazier to not have a spice I need and have to run to the store.
And the high number of jars? This is to keep some spices in both whole and ground forms (cloves, allspice, cinnamon, etc), others in two varieties (brown & yellow mustard seed, etc), and finally to be ready for slightly exotic dishes like this Schwarma Spiced Pita Sandwich, which just turned leftover meat into something really fun. No hunting, no shopping! More time to eat!
Now for a special offer to my readers. Use code ART to get 10% off a spice rack purchase from AllSpice!
And special thanks to WI Whisk.
- • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, or other trimmed meat (can be cooked or raw—I’ve done it both ways)
- • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing
- • 1 tsp cumin
- • 1 teaspoon paprika
- • ½ teaspoon allspice
- • ½ teaspoon cardamom
- • 1 teaspoon turmeric
- • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- • ¼ teaspoon ginger
- • Pinch of cayenne
- • Salt and black pepper
- • 4 tablespoons tahini paste
- • 6 tablespoons almond milk, yogurt or water
- • 2 tablespoons olive oil
- • 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice
- • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- • ½ teaspoon cumin
- • ½ teaspoon pepper
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
- • Pita bread, lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber
- Cut the meat in bite sized pieces. Mix all of the dry spices for the seasoned meat together and sprinkle on the trimmed meat.
- Prepare the sauce by putting all the ingredients but the tahini into a blender. Warm the tahini so it will blend better then add to the other ingredients. Blend until well-combined.
- Heat a large skillet, then add olive oil. Sautee the meat until well done for poultry or to taste for red meat. For pre-cooked meat, you just need to get it re-warmed.
- Serve in pita bread halves, with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cucumbers or other add-ons of your choice. Top with sauce.