Monday, January 7, 2013

This post has EVERYTHING!

Normally I wouldn't make such a BOLD statement on the blog. But this post might embody all that Mini Manor is about. It has organization, it has DIY, it incorporates cooking, and it saves money. (I am trying to figure out a way for this project to be considered green, but I haven't been able to come up with one yet.)
I started making my own seasoning blends . . . things like Taco Seasoning and Cajun spice, even seasoning salt and curry powder. The pre-made store bought seasoning packets are FULL of extra sodium and other weird preservatives.
I started to make my own, only putting in the necessary salt and no extra preservatives. The mixes last approx 6 months in the cupboard (not quite as long as the store bought ones but still a respectable shelf life). And honestly they taste way Better!!!!
 Taco Seasoning: 
8 tbsp Chili Powder
4 tbsp Onion Powder
2 1/2 tbsp Cumin
2 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
2 1/2  tbsp Paprika
2 1/2 tbsp Oregano
2 1/2 tbsp Sugar 
1 tbsp Kosher Salt
This makes more than enough to last us 6 months. 

Montreal Steak Spice: The only thing we put on our steaks
 2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon crushed coriander
1 tablespoon dill
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes 
* Recipe from Here

Italian Seasoning: 
6 tbsp Dried Basil
2 tbsp Dried Parsley
3 tbsp Dried Oregano
2 tbsp Dried Rosemary
2 tbsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Dried Garlic

Seasoning Salt: 
6 tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Marjoram 
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Dried Mustard
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/8 tsp Dried Dill
1/2 tsp Celery Salt

Curry Powder: 
If you are going to make your own curry powder this takes some dedication because there are a lot of ingredients to buy. It's best to get a group of friends together and each make a batch. Otherwise it's a lot of money to put out at the beginning (unless you already own these spices).
1/4 cup Ground Coriander
2 tbsp Ground Turmeric
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Ground Allspice
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon 
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Creole Seasoning: 
1/4 cup Ground Cayenne Pepper 
1/4 cup +1 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tbsp Garlic Powder
2 tbsp Onion Powder
2 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Ground Black Pepper

Last is my recipe for a Veggie Dill Dip, I make this dip a lot so I mix the ingredients up and keep them ready at hand: 
3 Tbsp Dried Parsley
3 Tbsp Minced Dried Onion
1 tsp Dried Dill
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Seasoning salt
To make dip: Take 3 tbsp + 1 tsp and mix it with 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayo and 1 tsp fresh lemon juice. Keep in the Fridge for 2 to 4 hours then serve!

Those are the recipes I've made and tweaked and made again ;). You'll definitely have to adjust them to your own taste. We like spicy food so if you don't . . . you might want to watch the cayenne pepper! 
Next on my Spice to do list will be to make my own Chili Powder . . . it's a little more work because you have to buy dried chilies and grind them up yourself, but with the amount of Vegetarian Chili we make around here I think the effort will be well worth it.

I will add, that the one down side to making your own mixes is that you have to buy all the ingredients, all of the powders and original spices. But what I will say is that you use many of the ingredients in multiple recipes and when you are buying 'pure' spices like cayenne pepper and onion/garlic powder they are just what they say they are (there shouldn't be any other ingredients added to them). We store our ingredients in containers in our Spice Cabinet right beside the stove.
 We also store our Oils and Vinegars in the same cabinet.

And we store the seasoning mixes like Taco, Cajun etc . . . on the door in glass jars with snap lids!  There it is Spice Cupboard revealed . . . with recipes! ;)
It's a win win win, they taste better, they are better for you and they save you money, compared to buying pre made mixes you are spending Pennies instead of Dollars! 

Does anyone have a spice mix recipe I'm missing or maybe one that's better??? I would LOVE to hear it!!!!! 

*The plastic containers the cupboard are from Ikea and are the perfect size for Spices and the glass jars on the door are from Dollarama!


  1. I love how organized this space is! I've been wanting to try making my own taco seasoning for a while, and you've given me a bit more motivation! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is great. I love your organization. I have been wanting to try making my own spice mixes. I have a question. When a recipe calls for a pack of taco seasoning for example, how much do you put in? If I am going to make my own, I won't have a pack of store bought seasoning on hand to measure it out. Here is a green take..... you don't have paper wrappers to throw away from the store seasoning thus making it "green". Your plastic and glass containers are recyclable. :) Win, Win! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Great question. A package of Taco seasoning is about 28 grams which is just shy of 2 tablespoons!!!
      Hope that helps!!!

  3. Great post! I pinned you! I've been doing my own taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix for a while but looking forward to adding the others. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for the Montreal recipe!! My spice cabinet needs a rehaul. Very motivating!!

  5. I have every spice to make curry powder. LOL I have a huge bunch of spices. I too was thinking of starting to make my own taco seasoning, cajun and dry ranch dressing. I have a few of IKEA's containers. LOVE them!

  6. I wished my spice cupboard looked like this. My pantry is fully organized but my spice cupboard could use ALOT of help. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I too have been making my own spice mixes but do have to admit I cheat from time to time when I go to Trader Joe's :/ Thanks for the motivation to get my spice cabinet organized! You Rock :)

  8. I love how organized everything is. The look is perfect. I make my own taco seasoning just by using the basic ingredients every time I make tacos. I just might try making it up ahead of time.

  9. I love how you make your own seasoning. I love coming to your blog!!!!!


  10. Hello,
    I tried looking for the containers on the IKEA website and can't find them. Do you know the name ? Thanks


  11. Wow.. now that's an organized spice cupboard very nicely done Ashli., Love the recipes too, will give those a try.

  12. Love this! We have a lot of the necessary spics already on hand. I will have to try this for sure.

  13. luv it! you inspire me so much to push thru the "i'm so tired of organizing i could vomit" slush. and thanks for the taco seasoning recipe. we eat a ton of stuff with taco seasoning, tacos, taco burgers, etc. i'd been using wildtree (very organic brand) but there's just something that tastes a bit off about it (but i use it because the cost - WOW!), i'm gonna try my hand at it when i'm done with the wildtree

  14. You are awesome! I'll have to try one or two of your recipes.

    I have similar containers from ikea that I store my rice, extra flour and oatmeal in. They work really well and I love how they can go right into the dishwasher! So perfect.

  15. Thanks for the recipes!! I just bought the same storage containers from Ikea -- LOVE them!! We have the same little door organizers and they fit in our cabinet perfectly with the new containers! I might have to go buy a few more now to store all of your yummy mixes :)

  16. I would love a good recipe for fajita mix, ranch dressing and onion soup mix. Thanks for the recipes. I am pinning this!

  17. Great post! I started making my own taco seasoning after seeing a recipe on Food Network (Good Eats). We love it. And as you said it may seem expensive to buy each of the ingredients, but I personally had nearly every one you listed anyway and most probably have at least a few. Thanks for the recipes and love your beautifully organized cabinet!

  18. Could be considered green as you're not buying the disposable packaging that the spice blends come in. There! Now you've hit ALL that MM represents. :) Thanks for sharing the recipes.

  19. You are making me crave a spice cabinet makeover! This is so clean and pretty. And, I love the idea of making my own spice blends. The question is: how much of each do you use? If tacos call for a whole pack of seasoning, how many teaspoons is that? (I'm aware that this is me being lazy... I could probably look it up!)

  20. You are so clever. I really want to organise my spices they are in 2 containers and always a battle to find the one I want. Yours is super organised and labelled clearly - great job girl! As for making my own spice blends, I dont tend to buy the blends only the pure herbs and spices so probably not for me really. But I admire your committment I bet they taste fantastic :)

  21. Thanks so much for sharing. I've been trying to make more of my own spice combos.

    I love seeing your perfectly organized cabinets -- there is something so calming about organization, isn't there? I admit, there may be something wrong with me for saying that!

  22. This is exactly the post I needed! I was just talking to my husband about wanting to stop buying those silly taco seasoning packets. Not only do I think making your own would be more delicious but one of my 2013 goals is to really KNOW what I'm putting in our family's tummies! Thanks for sharing! Just discovered your blog last week and I'm hooked :)

  23. Oh this is great! Thanks for sharing these recipes!!

  24. What a fabulous spice cabinet! My deep cleaning service would be very happy with me if I got my spice cabinet that shiny and organized!
    I was looking for a recipe for curry, and now I found one! Thanks!

  25. For the Montreal Steak Spice recipe are the crushed red pepper flakes different than chili pepper flakes. I can't seem to find red pepper flakes. Thanks!!


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