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Spice Up Family Dinners

Spice Up Family Dinners

Family dinners are a great way to connect as a family and build strong relationships as I wrote about previously. Obviously the mostly important part of family dinners is the family, but good food is always a bonus. What better way to spice up dinners than to do just that-spice it up. Here are 3 of my favorite spice mixes and seasonings.

Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning

My family has a “secret” spaghetti sauce that has been a staple of family celebrations since before I was born. In addition to more garlic, basil, oregano, mushrooms, and other seasonings, we like to add something called spaghetti sauce seasoning made by Spice Island. Unfortunately, they stopped making it years ago, but thankfully they gave the recipe to my grandma who called and complained that it was the special part of our “secret” sauce. Below is the recipe:

  • 3 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp summer savory
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground marjoram
  • 2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 tsp ground basil
  • 1 Tbs porcini mushroom powder (you can buy dried porcini mushrooms and grind it in a blender)

Trust me-it makes fantastic homemade spaghetti sauce! Or any Italian sauce.

Emeril’s Essence Seasoning

Another seasoning blend I really like is Emeril’s Essence seasoning. Now, you can buy it in the spices section of some grocery stores, but it tastes better blending it yourself. I don’t think it’s quite the same. His essence seasoning is a spicy blend with a lot of depth. It’s fantastic on pork chops, and I don’t even normally like pork chops.

You can find his Essence seasoning recipe at:

Savory Meat Seasoning

Lastly, my family loves this blend to put on roasts. My husband got a freezer full of expensive meat from his boss for Christmas, and this was a perfect seasoning for it:

  • Olive oil to mix the seasonings and spread over the meat
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbs fresh thyme
  • Pepper
  • 5-6 cloves of fresh garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano powder (or fresh) to taste

As my husband says when in doubt, just add garlic (not garlic salt).

Tanya Lindquist

Tanya is a licensed clinical social worker who worked for several years at various therapy clinics before becoming a stay at home mom. She loves helping families find tools and methods they can apply to helping children overcome any challenge.

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