What was in the bag?

I know you all have been waiting for the big reveal of what was in the Penzeys Spices bag. You do not have to wait any longer. I needed to clean off the kitchen counter for tomorrow because I have two things on the “task” list tomorrow–making crepes in the morning and making cookies with Lance at some point tomorrow. 
The contents of the bag, in case you cannot make it out from the picture (left to right): 
  • 1 Raspberry Enlightenment
  • 1 Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 Kind Heart Gift Boxes
  • 1 Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Salt Free Mural of Flavor Seasoning
  • 1 Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1 Ruth Ann’s Muskege Ave Chicken and Fish Seasoning
and (in front):
  • 1 Chicken Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Pasta Sprinkle.
Each of the two Kind Heart Gift Boxes contains 4 quarter cup jars of spices. The same size jar as the Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning. Each box contains 1 each of: 
  • Penzeys Forward!
  • 33rd & Galena
  • Arizona Dreaming
  • Mural of Flavor.

All of this above (plus my magnetic bumper sticker that adorns my refrigerator) cost me a grand total of $26.80 and a fun trip across town with a friend.

I will be honest with you, there was some price inflation that was evident on this trip. It was more noticeable on this trip than the previous trip. I had a fairly long list and I knew that I was not going to be purchasing everything on the list on this trip. I am a reasonable person and I know that this can be very expensive. When I was told to “not have too much fun” I marked the most important items on the list as those were the things that I was out of or I could not wait until the next trip on. I marked a couple of the other things that I really wanted to try as well. When I got down there, however, I skipped on a few things that I used less often and the things that I wanted to try and got the things that I needed.

That does not mean that I did not get to have fun, however. Penzeys Spices is a very generous company. They send copious amounts of coupons to entice you and woo you. Some of the things above I bought because of the coupons and they cost me nothing to try as a result. However, some of the spices that I love had gone up a fair amount in price. The Mural of Flavor is about $4 more a jar if I am remembering correctly and the Taco Seasoning is about $3 more a bag, again if I am remembering correctly. The Poultry Seasoning had also increased in price, but I do not think that it was as dramatic as the others. I will have to pull out an old catalog and compare just how bad it has gotten. However, the Poultry Seasoning will last me a very long while because I do not use it very often but I do use it for a few things and I have been using it a bit more often lately.

That being said, I do have plans for the Raspberry Enlightenment. I do not like raspberries in particular, but my husband does. More importantly he likes Monte Cristo Sandwiches. They are typically served with a raspberry sauce. I found a recipe for a low fat, baked Monte Cristo Sandwich and I thought that would be a fun recipe to try with a really tasty Raspberry Sauce that I do not have to do any work for! How about that? That is one planned use for it. I am not sure what else I will get out of it, but I am not sure we will need the entire jar for the Monte Cristos.

The Cinnamon Sugar will probably go on toast or Snicker Doodle Cookies. How easy does that make it. It is really expensive Cinnamon Sugar Toast, but I did not pay for it so I cannot complain.

I will have to purchase some steaks to try the steak seasoning. I do not have enough in the freezer to feed the whole family, unfortunately. I have a couple. That is not going to work. I am sure there would be at least one protest. The kids love steak. I started them on the delicacy early. I was a little disappointed when I checked the freezer and found only two steaks remaining. Do not worry, it just means that they have not been on sale for a really good price for a long price. Again, this is a place where inflation has hit the stores and I do not enjoy paying high prices for certain things. We managed to burn through the remainder of the steaks before I restocked the supply. Whoops. Oh well, I am sure there will be a sale soon. This is Texas, there is always a steak sale of some sort, it is just a matter of whether is a good price or not.

I use the Mural of Flavor for a lot of things. I mean a lot of things. It is a nice universal seasoning depending on what flavoring you are going for. 

The Pasta Sprinkle is a great seasoning like that as well. It makes a fabulous seasoning for Chicken Alfredo Pizza! Just the right blend of seasoning to pep up the pizza and give it just enough pizazz. It works great in most pasta dishes to perk them up. It is a great substitute for Italian Seasoning if you run out.

The other stuff I will have to figure out what I am going to do with them. I have to decide what to cook for dinner the next couple of weeks and try them out. They sound interesting. I am certainly going to have to make room for them in the cabinet. That is always the interesting part after I go to Penzeys–how to get it all to fit in the cabinet when I get home.

I am really interested in the Chicken Taco Seasoning for the sole reason that it does not contain tomato powder. I love their other Taco Seasonings (Original and Bold). My family likes them. I, however, have given up fighting the tomatoes and the pain they cause so I was a little disappointed to find that they contained tomato powder. Fortunately, the Chicken Taco Seasoning did not. I had not tried it. I am not saying that I am going to be making Chicken Tacos. I am simply saying that I am using it instead of the other Taco Seasonings. I recently used three different other retail brand taco seasoning packets and I can say that while they did not contain MSG or tomato powder, they just did not have the same flavor or smell. They worked, but they did not have that rich flavor. It seemed almost forced. I look forward to using it my next round of Burritos, Enchiladas, and Taquitos.

I had previously thought that I had run out of cinnamon. I had emptied the bag of Penzeys Cinnamon. I was in the process of making Cinnamon Raisin Bread at the time. I improvised and made it with Pumpkin Pie Spice instead. It worked out fine. When I was going through the spices to make sure exactly what I was out of, low on, and whatnot I found found an unopened bag of cinnamon! I was giddy with delight. I am not sure how I missed it when I was looking the day I looked, but I did. Unfortunately, when I am making Cinnamon Raisin Bread, I use a lot of cinnamon so I use it up quick and this find will only hold me over for a little while but at least I could save a little bit of money when I went this last time.

The strangest part about this trip is that I did not buy a single bottle of Vanilla Extract or a single bag of Cocoa Powder. Those are two staples that are usually the reasons that I go to Penzeys Spices in the first place. I have three small unopened bottles of Single Strength Vanilla. I have one bag of Cocoa Powdered that was just opened. I am good until my next trip at least. The next trip for sure I will get some more.

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