Spice Mixes
from Sara's Kitchen
"They" say that variety is the spice of life.  Here is a collection of
24  spice mixes to make and enjoy.
  • Introduction
  • Taco Seasoning Mix Ole’
  • Mexican Bean Spice Mix
  • Italian  Seasoning
  • Onion Powder and Garlic Powder
  • Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Sara's Poultry Seasoning
  • Dos Hermanas Chili Seasoning Mix
  • Vegetable Seasoning or Broth Mix
  • Mamma’s Spaghetti Sauce Spice Mix
  • Homemade Chili Powder
  • Down Home Apple Pie Spice
  • Self-Rising Flour
  •  Homemade Confectioner’s Sugar
  • Homestyle Dressing Mix
  •  The Easy Way to Grease Your Pans
  • Chinese Five-Spice Powder
  •  Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Fines Herbs
  • Mexican Herb Blend
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Sara’s Salad Seasoning
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Super Soul Seasoning
    Start collecting your bottles, jars and friends now!  Have we got a project for you  . .
    Some  of the most expensive items on my shopping list have  always been the spice mixes  and seasoning mixes.  I really like them because they are so convenient and quick to use.  Ever in search of ways to cut our food budgets, Phyllis and I  began collecting recipes for homemade spice mixes.   We order our spices through a co-op where they are packaged per pound (at about the same cost as a small jar in the supermarket!) This is where the friend part comes in.  A pound of herbs and spices can be quite a bit, so it’s really convenient if you can find  a friend or two to split the order with you.  But hold on to those friends because this is one project where you can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen!  When putting together the mixes, one person can read the recipe aloud as another measures the spice into the jars and yet another serves as a “gopher” to arrange the ingredients in order.  Yet others can serve on clean-up duty so that the mess is cleaned as you go.

     I think that this would be a super project for a church circle or group of friends.  But don’t despair if you are “on your own.”  Herbs and spices freeze well, so, whatever is leftover of your bulk spices can be placed in a freezer bag and stored until needed. If you have a green thumb and can grow your own herbs and spices, then these recipes become even more economical!

    To get started, you just need your bulk spices,  jars, bowls, measuring spoons and cups, a wire whisk to stir the mixes, 2 inch-wide clear tape and several funnels.  The following recipes can be photocopied, cut out, and taped to the jars.

    Remember that you can control the flavor of the mix by increasing or decreasing individual ingredients to suit your family’s tastes. And homemade spice mixes make great gifts.  Enjoy!


     Taco Seasoning Mix Ole’
    3/4 cup dried minced onion
      1/4 cup salt
      1/4 cup chili powder
      1 Tbsp. dried oregano
      2 Tbsp. each cornstarch, crushed dried red pepper,
                         dried minced garlic, ground cumin
      Add 2 Tbsp. dry mix to 1 lb. ground beef and 1/2 cup water.  Heat through.
    This Taco Mix makes almost 2 cups of mix, enough for 12  batches  using 1 lb. beef each.  I keep LOTS of this on hand to flavor soups, stews, sautéed chicken breasts , meatloaves, meatballs, and for bean and cheese tacos as well as chicken meat tacos.
    Mexican Bean Spice Mix
    adapted from Recipes to Lower Your Fat Thermostat
    Combine in jar:
    1/2 cup cumin       1/2 cup chili powder
    4 Tb. salt      1-1/2 c. dried minced garlic
    4 Tb. black pepper   1-1/2 c. dried  minced onions
    To make:  rinse and sort 1 lb. beans.  Soak in  4 c. water
    overnight or fast soak (bring to boil, remove from heat,
    cover and let sit 1 hour) Pour soaked beans in crockpot
     with 2 cups fresh water, 3 Tb. mix &cook until tender.
    Before serving, add 1-2 tsp. salt. For refried beans,
    mash to desired texture and heat in frying pan.
    Italian  Seasoning
    1/3 c. dry crushed oregano
    1/3 cup dry basil
    2 Tbsp. rosemary
    1/4 cup each thyme, sage, and marjoram
    Makes 1-1/4 cups.
    Onion Powder and Garlic Powder
    Did you know you can make your own onion powder by grinding dried minced onions?  And  garlic powder can be made by grinding dried minced garlic in a blender or coffee mill.
         Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix
     When I was a child, I always thought the name “Sloppy Joes”  was so funny because my mother’s name is Johanna, but the grownups always called  her “Jo.”  She is the most organized, neat and clean person ever!  So I loved it when we had “Sloppy Joes!”
    T his recipe makes  the  equivalent of 8 packages seasoning mix .
    3 Tbsp. = 1 mix package.
    1 cup dried minced onion
    3 Tbsp. green pepper flakes
    4 tsp. salt
    3 Tbsp. cornstarch
    4 tsp. instant minced garlic
    2 tsp. each dry mustard, celery seed, and chili powder
    Add 3 Tbs. mix to 1 lb. scrambled beef, 1/2 cup water
    and 1 cup ketchup or crushed tomatoes. If you like sweeter sloppy joes, you can add a bit of sugar to mix.
    For extra healthy Sloppy Joes, try the recipe using only 1/2 pound ground beef and about 1 cup cooked lentils.
    Pumpkin Pie Spice
    1/4 cup cinnamon
    1 Tbsp. allspice
    1-1/2 tsp. each ginger
              and nutmeg
    1 tsp. cloves
    Sara’s Poultry Seasoning
    (Get ready for the holiday season now!  Make a batch and freeze part back)
    1-1/2 tsp. Spike or seasoning salt
    2 Tbsp. each white or black pepper, parsley,
                  marjoram, thyme,  celery seed,
                  onion powder,  sage,  grd. rosemary
    1 tsp. each red pepper flakes, dry mustard,
                  summer savory, coriander, allspice
    1 Tbsp. each garlic powder,  oregano, grd. ginger
              Dos Hermanas Chili Seasoning Mix
    Chili is a very regional dish.  It can be served over rice, with noodles or crackers, or  substituting cubed pork for the beef. It is great on taco salad, over hot dogs, or in a casserole dish topped with cornbread.  In my opinion, it’s delicious any way it is served!  Use a rounded 1/2 cup of mix per pound of meat.  *A note regarding the tomato product.  I find it convenient to use the cans of chunky crushed tomatoes, but when I have canned or frozen my own tomatoes, I simply whisk them around in the blender or food processor a bit before adding them to the recipe.
    This makes the equivalent of about 12 packages of chili seasoning mix.
       2/3 cup flour
       3-1/2 cups minced dry onions
       1-1/4 cups chili powder (we like it hot, so I add 2 cups )
       3 Tbsp. salt
       2 Tbsp. cumin
       1/2 cup dried minced garlic
       red pepper flakes to taste
       3 Tbsp. oregano
       Crock pot method:   Stir together in large crockpot the following:
       2    28 oz cans crushed tomatoes   1/2 cup chili seasoning mix
       1/2 to 1 pound cooked, scrambled ground beef
       5 to 6 cups cooked beans (pinto, black, kidney or any combination)
       picante sauce and fresh onions to taste.  Cook several hours on low
    Vegetable Seasoning or Broth Mix
    1/4 cup each onion powder and dried
               parsley flakes
    2 Tbsp. each Spike or seasoning salt,
               garlic powder and celery seed
    2 tsp. each sage, marjoram, thyme,
            basil, oregano, pepper, dill weed
    1 tsp. summer savory
    Stir or shake before each use.
    For vegetable broth substitute:  use 1
         rounded teaspoonful for each cup of water.
    For seasoning:  just sprinkle a bit on to
         vegetables while cooking.
    Also good in soups, stews,  & casseroles.
           Mamma’s Spaghetti Sauce Spice Mix
    2 cups dry minced onion                       3 Tbsp. oregano
    2 Tbsp. dried green pepper flakes      4 tsp. dried basil
    1 Tbsp. dry minced garlic                     4  tsp. salt
    4 Tbsp. dry parsley
    2 tsp. each rosemary, thyme, marjoram
    OR 1 heaping Tb. Italian seasoning mix
    Add 3/4 cup dry mix to 1 lb. cooked ground beef,
    3  24-oz. cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 cup fresh or canned mushrooms, one cup grated zucchini &/or grated carrots, & celery & onions to taste.  Allow to simmer in crock pot all day
    or in stock pot on stove an hour or more until flavors blend
    & vegetables are soft.  Try this using TVP, Ground Meatless,
    or substituting cooked lentils for some of the beef.  This is also good cooked meatless as a marinara sauce.  Chicken, beef, beans or cheese can be added later. Freezes well.
    Homemade Chili Powder
    2 Tbsp. cumin
    1 Tbsp. each cayenne pepper,
       garlic powder, onion powder
    1 tsp. each allspice, cloves, oregano
    Makes about 1/3 cup.  We found this one to be less economical than store-bought chili powder, so always be sure to figure out prices!  This is one project where growing and drying your own herbs and spices would be a tremendous benefit.
    Down Home Apple Pie Spice
    1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
    1-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 tsp. ground allspice
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    Store, tightly covered, in a cool dry place
    Self-Rising Flour
    1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
    1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    Mix well.  Store in an airtight container.
    Homemade Confectioner’s Sugar
    Have you run out of confectioner’s sugar and need some FAST?  Just whiz:
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 c. cornstarch
    in your blender until mixture is a fine powder.
    Use as confectioner’s sugar.
    Homestyle Dressing Mix
    1 cup onion powder
    2-1/2 Tbsp. salt
    2-1/2 Tbsp. garlic granules
    2-1/2 Tbsp. black pepper
    2/3 c. dried parsley
    2 tsp. paprika
    To make dressing:
    Whiz 2 Tbsp. mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk (or milk or yogurt) in blender.  If mixture is too runny, you can spoon into the vortex about 1/4 tsp. Xanthan gum (available from most health food stores.)
    Cottage cheese, yogurt, or sour cream can be substituted for the mayonnaise.
    The Easy Way to Grease Your Pans
    In a small jar, mix:
    2 parts oil
    1 part liquid lecithin
    (available at most health food stores)
    Use a kitchen “paintbrush” to “paint” the mixture onto tins before baking, pots and pans before cooking, cast iron skillets, inside crockpot before cooking, etc.  This substitutes for the expensive aerosol spray cans such as Pam spray.
    I usually use canola oil, but olive oil can be substituted.  Be sure to keep the oil/lecithin mixture in the refrigerator and keep the little paintbrush in a plastic baggie in the fridge or freezer.  Stir the mixture each time before using (you may have to microwave it on 40% power for a few seconds to warm it up.)
    Chinese Five-Spice Powder
    Mix and store in an airtight jar:
    1 Tbsp. black pepper
    1 Tbsp. ground anise
    1 Tbsp. ground fennel seed
    1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
    1 tsp. ground cloves
    Sweetened Condensed Milk
    1/3 cup water
    3/4 cup sugar
    1-1/3 cups instant skim milk powder
    3 Tbsp. butter
    Heat water and sugar in medium saucepan until sugar dissolves, approximately 5 minutes.  Add butter, heat mixture until butter melts.  Remove from heat.  Place instant milk in food processor or blender.  Process until well blended.  Makes  about 1 cup sweetened condensed milk. (Use when Eagle Brand is called for
    1 can = 1-1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk)
    Fines Herbs
    1 Tbsp. parsley
    1 Tbsp. chives
    1 Tbsp. tarragon
    1 Tbsp. chervil
    Use in egg, vegetable and fish dishes
    Mexican Herb Blend
    2 Tbsp. chili powder
    1 Tbsp. onion powder
    1 Tbsp. garlic powder
    2 tsp. ground cumin
    1 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    1 tsp. pepper
    1 Tbsp. paprika
    1 Tbsp. salt
    Chocolate Syrup
    1 cup cocoa
    2 cups sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1 cup water
    1 Tbsp. vanilla
    Combine cocoa, sugar; blend until all lumps are gone.  Add water and salt.  Mix well.  Cook over medium heat, bringing to a boil.  Keep boiling until thick, stirring to keep from overflowing.  Remove from heat.  Let cool.
    Add vanilla.
    This can be waterbath canned for 10 minutes (after water comes to a boil.)
    Sara’s Salad Seasoning
    1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
    (we use Kraft free nonfat grated topping)
    1 Tbsp. salt
    1/4 cup sesame seeds
    2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
    2 tsp. celery seed
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp. onion powder
    1/2 tsp. dill seed
    1/2 tsp. basil
    Cajun Seasoning
    2 Tbsp. paprika
    1-1/2 Tbsp. salt
    1 Tbsp. garlic granules
    1 Tbsp. black pepper
    1 Tbsp. onion powder
    1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp. dried leaf oregano
    1 Tbsp. dried leaf thyme
    1-1/2 tsp. basil
    1 tsp. allspice
    1 tsp. ground bay leaves
    Add to meat, poultry, fish, rice, soups, salads, and eggs for a spicy Louisiana cuisine flavor.
    Super Soul Seasoning
    (like Seasoned Salt)
    4 Tbsp. salt
    2 Tbsp. black  or white pepper
    1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp. paprika
    1 Tbsp. onion powder
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    We use this on everything that calls for salt and pepper.