When we were in Florida on Spring Break a couple of weeks ago, I was watching television. This is not something I do at home. We don’t have cable or one of those boxes that replaced antenas. I have an HD TiVo that can pick up PBS and CBS, which helps since the boys watch some PBS, but other than that I watch DVD’s. Consequently, it had been quite some time since I’d seen a commercial. So I was watching television and this commercial came on — something about, “Need inspiration for dinner?” That got my attention so I looked at the screen and watched a commercial for this:
(Note: This is not a marketing post for McCormick. No one contacted me and asked me to write it, and I doubt I would if they did. I turn down way more marketing requests than you will ever know.)
It’s called “Recipe Inspirations.” Basically, it’s a selection of seasonings and spices that I believe are pre-measured, but I could be wrong – it could just be the same amount of each and you have to measure – that comes with a recipe on how to cook a dish. I thought this was BRILLIANT. I love the fact that it gives people a chance to smell different spices, see what different seasonings do with different spices, give ideas on what to do with spices, give ideas for a new meal with new flavors — all without requiring someone to purchase a $6 bottle of spice that they may never even use again.
I realize that there was already a shortcut version to seasonings in those seasoning packets that you can buy. So, just for kicks, I looked up the ingredients for a fajita seasoning packet:
MALTODEXTRIN, SPICES (INCLUDING BLACK PEPPER), SALT, ONION, GARLIC, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, CARAMEL COLOR, LIME JUICE SOLIDS, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVORS, AND MODIFIED CORN STARCH.
And I looked up the ingredients for fajitas in this “Recipe Inspirations” product:
GARLIC, ONION, CUMIN, BLACK PEPPER, OREGANO AND CILANTRO.
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Dear God, I didn’t even know those packets contained all that junk. You figure, spices are spices right? Sheesh! I am going to have to look through my cupboards.
And I do have to say you and Gregg have inspired me to eat less processed junk. It’s hard to stop completely, I still have my soda addiction. But one step at a time, right? I have given up all pork products. First I don’t even like ham (YUCK!), but I have been looking at ingredients in meats, seeing if they snuck any pork in there, and I have been buying other variations of whatever pork item we would have used. For instance, bacon…now I eat turkey bacon, on the off chance I ever do it bacon. And I have to say, it ain’t all that bad :)
I bought one of those for the Quesadilla Casserole and it turned out nicely. I wanted to try something different. I loved not having to worry about how much of what spice since it’s all pre-measured for you. You’re right. This is a great way to get those who are timid to at least try to cook.
yeah i don’t buy the packets b/c of the junk in them. but we got some samples of those inspirations at the cooking show we went too. i haven’t used it yet. it was the shrimp scampi one and well i don’t like shrimp and actually forget they are in there.
Wow – Thanks, Hallee. I would have never even given that product another look, but I like that it is just seasonings (no fillers). I think even the most experienced cook needs inspiration sometimes! ;)
It really scares me to see some of the things that are put into stuff on supermarket shelves. I wish I had started looking/caring earlier. The best thing we can do is educate each other, I guess.
those are super cool!! Best of all, if we find one we like then we can make it ourselves. :)
I have been trying to avoid spice mixes/seasoning packs just because it is cheaper to make my own… I didn’t even think of the added ingredients. I am glad that you posted this information… I am pretty familiar with different spices by now but I’ll look into them if I do want to try something out that I don’t think I’ll be using all of the time!
Huh! I am always looking for shortcut products that are actually healthy- but these were not on my radar. I’ll have to look for them in the store. Sounds like something handy to have in the cupboard. Thanks for this!
I don’t know – I can see using these once to see if you like that type of food but after that no way. Talk about excess packaging. Can you not just buy those spices and keep them on hand. I find more and more products are being created to “save us time” Are we really that lazy that we can’t measure out a tsp of spice?
Great idea! I have so many bottles of unused spices that have gone bad. Thanks for posting this! (I found you via Real Food Wednesdays :)
I think that giving inspiration and a taste of a spice is a great idea to determine whether you want to purchase an entire bottle of spice.
These are really cool! I didn’t even know they existed until two weeks ago I was walking around the grocery and saw the display. I think it’s neat they premeasured them.