Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Marinade

The peri peri pepper, also known as the African bird's-eye chilli, is the hottest African pepper and plays a prominent role in South African cuisine - which, in turn, was influenced by Portuguese cuisine during colonial times. Nando's Chickenland, a well-known South African chain with restaurants around the world, has mastered the art of cooking with peri-peri peppers, and their rich, flavorful sauces have fans in many countries. Here at the Carolina Sauce Company, we're proud to announce the arrival of Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Marinade, the latest addition to the Nando's family. Featuring a hefty dose of fiery peri-peri heat in a lemony tomato base, this hot & spicy marinade from South Africa is seasoned with traditional herbs and spices to impart exotically delicious flavors to chicken, beef, pork and even seafood & veggies.

Like all the Nando's marinades and cooking sauces, Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Marinade is simple to use and delivers gourmet results with little effort: Just pour some sauce over whatever you're cooking (I use a resealable plastic bag), refrigerate (30 minutes for seafood, 2 or more hours for poultry, overnight for meat), and then grill, bake, roast or broil, basting generously with more sauce. That's it! You can also use Nando's Hot Peri Peri Marinade as a stir-fry sauce and in your crock pot, or add it to ground meat for zesty burgers, sloppy joes, meatloaf or meatballs. Your imagination is the limit with this wonderful sauce! Nando's Peri-Peri Hot Marinade is Kosher Parev, and contains no added MSG. And if you're counting carbs, you'll be pleased to know that it has only 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sauce on Sale, No Coupon Necessary!

Fiery hot sauce, robust BBQ sauce, zesty condiments, zippy wing sauce, and mouthwatering marmalades & other sweets are all on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company, and you don't need a coupon to take advantage of these great savings and low prices! Just look for the red sale prices or the words "On Sale" at the Carolina Sauce online store -- or better yet, check out the complete list of sale items below and simply click on the product name! Don't delay, as sale prices are good while supplies last, and some of these sauces are going FAST!

*Chile Pepper Soaps from New Mexico: Shaped like chilies and scented with cinnamon (red) and lime (green), these beautiful hand-made soaps are gentle on your skin (no peppers in the soap!) and make beautiful decorations, too

Hot Sauce on Sale:
*Bubba's Special Sauce: Made in Alabama and packed with rich tomatoes, spicy cayenne and a dash of fiery habaneros - perfect for cooking and for using at the table
*Race City Sauce Works Moonshiners Run Whisky Barrel Hot Sauce: An award-winning NC hot sauce that's made with 8 different locally grown chile peppers, a secret blend of herbs & spices, NC sweet potatoes and a splash of bourbon
*Tortuga Caribbean Hell-Fire Sauce: Made in Jamaica with ripe, fiery scotch bonnet peppers
*Uncle Brutha's Gourmet Hot Sauces: Comes in two deliciously devilish flavors, and both are on sale: The green Fire Sauce No. 9 made with serrano peppers, cilantro and ginger, and the red Fire Sauce No. 10 with red & green jalapenos, habaneros & serranos

BBQ Sauce on Sale:
*Apple Butter BBQ Sauce: Naturally sweet apples blended in a rich, thick tomato-mustard-vinegar barbecue sauce that's unbelievably delicious on ribs, chicken, and more
*Burning Asphalt Dutch Honey Smoked BBQ Sauce: Made in New York's northern Amish country, this is an old-fashioned smoky-sweet BBQ sauce the whole family will love
*Cool Hawg Hot 'n Spicy Grilling Sauce: Made in NC, this is a fiery-hot, smoky, thick & savory mustard-tomato sauce that's great on meats & poultry
*Dem Bonz Barbecue Sauce: Made in NC, and packed with sweet & tangy tomato-honey-vinegar flavor, just a touch of pepper, and NO smoke
*The Distillery Bar B Que Sauce: From the famous Distillery restaurant in upstate NY, this robust tomato-mustard sauce is mildly spicy/smoky and richly flavorful
*D'Vine Foods Muscadine BBQ Sauce: A surprisingly delicious NC original featuring local sweet muscadine grapes in a tangy tomato-vinegar-mustard base
*Joe Bud's Hot Everything Sauce: A Carolina mustard barbecue sauce that's hot & spicy, and great on everything from meats and poultry to seafood and veggies
*Little Boy's BBQ Sauce: Made in NC, both flavors are on sale: The tangy-sweet vinegar/tomato Chicken Splash that's wonderful on pulled pork as well as chicken, and the aptly-named Thick & Tasty BBQ Sauce made with tomatoes, molasses & apple cider vinegar, perfect for slathering on ribs, chicken & more
*Off the Hook Barbeque Sauce: A unique NC BBQ sauce that's tangy and mildy spicy, with a bold, savory flavor that's great for marinating, grilling, mopping, and dipping
*Outta The Park BBQ Sauce: A gourmet BBQ sauce made with organic tomatoes and brown sugar plus a bit of ginger & pepper for a mouthwatering flavor that starts off a little sweet and ends with a zippy kick
*Smokin' Cole's BBQ Sauce: An award-winning BBQ sauce from South Carolina that's bold and spicy (but not too hot), with a delicious sweet tang and hint of citrus
*Tarheel Premium Original BBQ Sauce: Made in NC, this tasty tomato-vinegar sauce perfectly balances sweetness, tang and peppery spice with just the right amount of body that's not too thick and not watery-thin
Texas Rib Rangers Barbeque Sauce: These are authentic Texas BBQ sauces that thick & rich & tomato-ey, and the Mild and Spicey flavors are on sale

Dry Rubs & Seasonings on Sale:
*Durn Good Seasoning Blends: Made in NC, all 4 flavors are on sale including the Original Durn Good Seasoning which is a traditional Southern spice blend, the zesty Cajun Spice Blend, the Caribbean-inspired Island Spice Blend, and the spicy Southwest Flavor Seasoning
*Mama T's Mesquite Flavored Seasoning & Dry Rub: Made on the NC Outer Banks, this seasoning adds authentic mesquite-grilled flavor to steaks & other foods
*Mama T's Tropical Seasoning & Dry Rub: Also from NC's Outer Banks, this herb & spice rub delivers true island flavor and is ideal for Cuban cuisine!
*Pluto's Caribbean Bliss Spice Blends: Made in NC by a Jamaican ex-pat, these spice blends have real Jamaican flavor, and the Mild and original Hot are on sale

Marinades & Dressings on Sale:
*Ann's Marinade, from Durn Good: Made in NC and developed by a hunter, this robust, savory marinade is wonderful with venison and other meats, and tenderizes tough cuts
*Melinda's Mango Coconut Pepper Sauce: Sweet & peppery, with rich tropical flavor that's fabulous on fish & seafood, chicken, pork, veggies & rice dishes, even stir-fry!
*Pluto's Paradise Potion: Made in NC and certified organic, this exquisite all-purpose marinade & sauce has the fragrant flavors of Jamaica but is NOT a jerk seasoning and is mild on the heat scale
*Thomas Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing: A unique blend of NC tomato BBQ sauce and gourmet balsamic vinaigrette, this dressing is amazingly delicious!
*Tortuga Mango & Ginger Stir Fry Sauce: Adds zesty tropical flavor to Caribbean and Asian dishes
*Tortuga Spicy Seafood Grill Sauce: Rich and savory island flavor for fish & seafood, with a peppery kick

Steak Sauce on Sale:
*Burning Asphalt Steak Sauces: From upstate NY, both the bold Homestyle Steak Sauce and the Sweet Pepper Steak & Dipping Sauce are on sale
*Raisin the Steak: A savory gourmet steak sauce sweetened with raisins plus a hint of citrus for sublime flavor
*Tortuga Caribbean Steak Sauce: A classic steak sauce with a tropical fruit twist and a touch of peppery heat

Pasta Sauce on Sale:
*Both varieties of Mama Thomas Spaghetti Sauce, including the bright & fresh Mama Thomas Marinara and the thick, rich Mama Thomas Pasta Sauce
*All 3 flavors of Santo & Josie Gourmet Sicilian Pasta Sauces, including Tomato-Artichoke, Tomato-Eggplant and Tomato-Olive

Sweet Stuff on Sale:
*All 4 varieties of Carolina Sauce Co. Pepper Jellies: Made in the NC mountains, these beautiful & tasty pepper jellies come in Red and Green, and each color comes in Mild and Hot
*Lilly's Gourmet Maple Butter: Made in NC, this old-fashioned maple treat is divine on pancakes, toast, waffles, sweet potatoes, bagels, in oatmeal, drizzled on ice cream, etc.
*Mrs. Picky Fanicky's Marmalades & Chutneys: Made in the NC mountains, the heavenly Apple Pie MmmMarmalade and the sweet-savory NC Apple Peach Chutney are both on sale
*Mullen's Apple Sauce: All-natural and addictively delicious, tastes like apple pie without the crust!
*Race City Sauce Works The "Revenooers" Smoked Habanero Jam: Made in NC, this award-winning sweet & fiery pourable jam makes a mouthwatering glaze for ribs & chicken, and also a condiment for steak, pork chops, turkey, etc.
*All 4 flavors of Thomas Gourmet Chutney from NC, including Apple, Mango, Green Tomato, and Peach

Wing Sauces on Sale:
*Anchor Bar Bleu Cheese Sauce: From the birthplace of Buffalo wings, this bleu cheese sauce is the perfect accompaniment for hot wings
*Burning Asphalt Ranch Wing Sauce: From upstate NY, this zesty wing sauce blends classic cayenne Buffalo wing sauce with cool & creamy ranch dressing
*The Distillery Buffalo Wing Sauces from NY's award-winning Distillery Restaurant & Bar, both the spicy Original and fiery Hot are on sale
*Melinda's All-Natural Buffalo Wing Sauce, blending fiery Habaneros with zesty cayennes - both the Hot and the Extra Hot are on sale
*Race City Sauce Works Bootleggers Bounty Whisky Barrel Wing Sauce: Made in NC with 8 different smoked chile peppers & a splash of bourbon in a savory, buttery base
*Tony's Birdland Wing Sauces: From Rochester NY, all 3 flavors of this unique wing sauce are on sale including zesty Mild, spicy Hot and tangy Sweet & Sour

Salsa & Relish on Sale
*Carolina Sauce Co. Habanero Pepper Relish: Made in the NC Mountains, fiery-hot, sweet & tangy with a pleasing cabbage crunch
*Carolina Sauce Co. Sweet Pepper Relish: Made in the NC mountains, naturally sweet & tangy, mild not spicy
*Just My Taste Jalapeno Sauce & Dip: Made in NC, packed with spicy jalapeno flavor, a great alternative to salsa & comes with free recipes!
*Red's Sweet Salsa: A NC original, this sweet tomato salsa is not fruity and is great with Tex Mex food

Mustard & Ketchup on Sale:
*Burning Asphalt Ketchups, including zesty Jalapeno Ketchup and blazin' Habanero Ketchup
*Melinda's Spicy Ketchups, made with all-natural ingredients, no HFCS, and the spicy Jalapeno Ketchup and smoky Chipotle Ketcup are on sale

Jamaican Jerks on Sale:
*Pickapeppa Jamaican Jerk Seasoning from Jamaica, with authentic flavor and fire
*Pluto's Organic Jamaican Jerk Sauces: Made in NC by a Jamaican ex-pat and full of rich & aromatic flavors, both the Mild and Hot are on sale
*Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce: A feisty Jamaican jerk for marinating or enjoying at the table

Pickles & Snacks on Sale:
*Hot Dill Pickle Chips: Made in NC and packed with peppery, tangy flavor - perfect for spicing up burgers & sandwiches!
*Hot Pickled Garlic: Made in NC, you can enjoy these fiery pickled garlic cloves straight from the jar, sliced for salads & sandwiches, or chopped for recipes

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Carolina Sauce Habanero Pepper Relish

If you are looking for a fiery-hot, tangy-sweet relish for sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, etc., look no further than our brand-new Carolina Sauce Company Habanero Pepper Relish! We chose this sweet habanero pepper relish to bear our name because it's hand-made in small batches on a family farm in the North Carolina mountains using all-natural ingredients, locally grown produce, and a traditional southern relish recipe that's been spiced up with habaneros. The flavor is reminiscent of bread-and-butter pickles in terms of the tangy sweetness, and the texture has a pleasantly toothsome crunch from the chopped cabbage, peppers and onions. And of course there's a good fiery burn and bite from the habanero peppers, but not at the expense of the fabulous flavor.

We think our habanero pepper relish is perfect for adding a peppery punch to anything you'd normally dress up with ordinary pickle relish, i.e., hamburgers and hot dogs, wraps and sandwiches, brats and kielbasa or other sausage, and even breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs, hash browns & breakfast sausage. Drain and mix some of this zesty pepper relish with mayonnaise to make a spicy tartar sauce for fish and seafood, or blend with Thousand Island dressing to use as a spicy sandwich spread or salad dressing. You can even add some habanero pepper relish to old-fashioned prepared salads like Three Bean Salad, cole slaw, chicken salad or tuna salad to kick up the flavor and fire. Our habanero pepper relish is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, so get some today!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Zesty German Potato Salad

Chances are you're going to an Oktoberfest party this weekend, or hosting one yourself. Here's an easy recipe for hot German potato salad that's sure to be the hit of the party!

4 medium potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed well and cut in half
3 to 4 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion (I like using sweet onion)
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt, plus additional salt for boiling the potatoes
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 Tbs flour
Cracked black pepper, preferrably freshly ground
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water, plus additional water for boiling the potatoes

Add enough water to a pot to cover the potato halves, but then remove the potatoes. Stir in some salt into the water, using about a half-teaspoon of salt per cup of water. Bring the salted water to a boil, then add the potatoes. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes - don't overcook! Drain and set aside the potatoes to cool until you can handle them but they're still warm.

While the potatoes are cooking (and then cooling), fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp, then remove the bacon onto a plate covered with paper towels to drain, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet. Saute the onion in the bacon fat until tender, then stir in the sugar, 1 tsp salt, celery seed, flour and cracked pepper to taste (I use several twists of my pepper mill directly over the skillet). Stir constantly and cook over low heat until mixture is thick and bubbly, then remove skillet from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup water and vinegar. Return skillet to stove, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute while stirring, then remove from heat. Crumble the bacon into the skillet. Carefully slice the boiled potatoes into the skillet (I make fairly thick slices), stir gently to coat the slices. Return skillet to the stove and cook over medium-high heat until hot and bubbly. Makes 6 servings.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Operation Sauce Drop Ships 700th Gift Box to Troops!

Newsflash: Today, Operation Sauce Drop shipped its 700th free gift box of hot sauce & BBQ sauce to US troops serving overseas, thanks to the generosity of the Carolina Sauce Company and over 150 donors (some of whom have donated money multiple times). Since its inception just over 2 years ago, Operation Sauce Drop has sent 711 free gift boxes of sauce to troops stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, the Far East, and other APO/FPO locations. The Carolina Sauce Company operates this nonprofit program, donating the time and labor needed to fulfill gift box requests, paying for all incidental expenses associated with the program, and since July 2008 matching 100% of all monetary donations received. The troops and their families greatly appreciate receiving a little "taste of home," as is evident from their thank-you notes and photos such as this one and many more posted on the Operation Sauce Drop Feedback & Photos page.

The average cost to purchase and ship a free gift box of sauce is just over $20. Because gift box requests have greatly outpaced incoming donations, a lengthy waiting list has developed. The Carolina Sauce Company is working its way through this waiting list as donations come in, but as of today there are still 126 servicemen and women who are waiting to receive a free gift box of sauce. A mere $10 donation, which is matched by Carolina Sauce, will help send a free gift box of sauce to the next serviceperson on the waiting list. You can donate here. You can also shop to support Operation Sauce Drop by purchasing select sauces, salsas and relish where some or all of the purchase price is donated directly to Operation Sauce Drop. It would be wonderful if all troops on the waiting list could receive their free gift before the holidays, so please consider a donation in any amount, or shop to support Operation Sauce Drop. The troops will thank you for your generosity!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Carolina Sauce Sweet Pepper Relish

Sweet Pepper Relish is a sweet & tangy condiment that adds zesty flavor without fiery heat to sandwiches, wraps, burgers, hot dogs, hoagies and subs, as well as scrambled eggs, omelets, hash browns, breakfast sausage and more. If you enjoy sweet pickle relish, you'll flip for our Sweet Pepper Relish! This versatile relish also pairs nicely with fish and seafood, roast beef, pork chops, chicken, and other main courses. Because it's made with sweet bell peppers and not hot chilies, the whole family can enjoy our pepper relish, including kids and grown-ups with more sensitive palates.

Our Sweet Pepper Relish is hand-made on a family farm in the North Carolina mountains, using an old Southern recipe and all-natural ingredients including mild bell peppers (red and green) and real sugar, NOT high fructose corn syrup. The tang comes from vinegar, and a secret blend of pickling spices give this tasty relish its old-fashioned, "just like Granny's" flavor. Why settle for boring store-brand pickle relish when you can enjoy this wholesome pepper relish instead -- especially while it's on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cinnamon Fast Facts

The inviting scent of cinnamon makes me think of falling Autumn leaves, snuggling in front of a fireplace on a cold winter night, and homemade cookies and other baked treats. Cinnamon is a versatile spice, adding its warm, zippy flavor to sweet and savory dishes in many cuisines. I love cinnamon and often add a small piece of cinnamon stick to my hot cider or to hot tea while it brews, or add small chips of cinnamon stick to my coffee grinder when I grind coffee beans. I sprinkle ground cinnamon on buttered toast (either with or without sprinkling on some sugar as well) and stir it into hot oatmeal. Here are some fast facts about one of my favorite zesty spices.

*Most ground cinnamon (and some stick cinnamon) sold in the US is actually the ground bark of the evergreen Cinnamomum burmannii, also known as "Indonesian Cinnamon". This is the cheapest form of cinnamon and has the lowest essential oil content.

*Most stick cinnamon sold in the US is actually the bark of the Cassia tree, and not "true" cinnamon. Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum, C. Cassia) is also an evergreen, and it grows in southeast Asia including parts of China, India, Bangladesh and Viet Nam. Cassia bark is very thick, and is usually sold in large quills or broken pieces.

*True cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum, is a small evergreen tree found in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and is sometimes called "Ceylon cinnamon." True cinnamon is made with the thinner inner bark, resulting in less dense, tighter quills when in stick form. True cinnamon is rare in the US, and usually only found in high-end or gourmet markets.

*True Cinnamon is light brown or buff in color, and has a mildly sweet, subtly complex and gently "hot-aromatic" flavor which is best for sweets and desserts.

*Cassia and Indonesian Cinnamon are a much darker, reddish brown color, and their flavor is much more pronounced and pungent, sometimes characterized as bittersweet or harsh with a sharper bite, making it better for savory dishes rather than delicate desserts.

*Mexico is the number one importer of true cinnamon, using it in chocolate as well as in savory dishes like mole. England also uses true cinnamon much more widely than the US.

*In the Middle East, cinnamon is often used in savory chicken and lamb dishes. It's also used in many Indian savory dishes, and is featured in Persian cuisine including Persian curry powder.

*Cinnamon is touted for various health benefits: It is high in antioxidants, and its essential oil has antimicrobial properties. Cassia cinnamon has been shown in some studies to help control blood sugar in diabetics. Cinnamon also freshens the breath, and traditionally has been used to treat toothaches!

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Monday, September 21, 2009

Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

Fall is just around the corner and the days are getting shorter, but there are still plenty of warm days and pleasant evenings for firing up the grill -- and we have the perfect BBQ sauce that captures the flavors of late summer and early fall: Apple Butter BBQ Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company! If you're not familiar with apple butter, it is NOT apple-flavored butter. In fact, there is no dairy in apple butter. Rather, it's a luscious, old-fashioned apple spread that's the result of slow-cooking a bunch of apples with sugar, spices and a bit of water until the apples completely fall apart and everything cooks down into a deep brown "butter" that you can spread on biscuits, toast and bagels, stir into oatmeal and other hot cereals, or serve as an accompaniment for pork, chicken and turkey dishes. Our Apple Butter BBQ sauce blends real apple butter with a traditional tomato-vinegar-mustard barbecue sauce to create an amazingly rich & bold, naturally sweet and savory barbecue sauce that captures the essence of this special time of year. This is the kind of country-style barbeque sauce that will have the whole family licking their fingers and begging for more.

Our Apple Butter BBQ Sauce is ideal for slathering on ribs and chicken during the last few minutes of grilling, smoking or broiling, and you can also use it in the crockpot or serve it as a dipping sauce or table sauce for pretty much any kind of meat or poultry. I have a feeling it's going to taste fabulous on venison medallions and can't wait to give that a try later this fall when we have some fresh venison. Apple Butter BBQ Sauce is also delicious with kabobs of all sorts, including shrimp and veggie kabobs, and it imparts mouthwatering flavor to meatloaf and baked beans, too. I like to warm some of this sauce up in the microwave and then spoon over burgers when I get tired of using ketchup. Not only will young and old love the taste of this delightful barbecue sauce, but you can also feel good about serving it to your family because it is made with 100% all natural ingredients, and contains NO high fructose corn syrup (unlike many of the BBQ sauces you'll find at the grocery store). So what are you waiting for?? Get some Carolina Sauce Co. Apple Butter BBQ Sauce today while it's on sale, and before it gets too cold to grill!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Final 2 Days For Newsletter Sale!

Everyone loves a bargain, especially these days. And everyone loves good-tasting food. Today and tomorrow, you can get great bargains on good tasting food, by taking advantage of the ongoing Carolina Sauce Company Newsletter Sale! Lots of delicious sauces, condiments and snacks are currently on sale, AND by using a special coupon code, you can save an additional 10% off the product total for orders of $45 or more.

Want to find the coupon code, and special sale prices? It's easy: Read the latest Carolina Sauce Newsletter here on this blog to find the special 10% off coupon and info on sale items -- but don't delay, because the coupon is good for 2 more days only and expires tomorrow, September 20th!

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you already used the Newsletter coupon last week and want to use it again, I have good news: You can! Simply order at least $45 in products today or tomorrow at the Carolina Sauce Company online store and enter the coupon code when you check out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rosh Hashanah Recipes

If you are looking for some delicious traditional as well as new recipes to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, which begins tonight at sundown, look no further than's Rosh Hashanah recipe section, including recipes for smoked fish dip, challah, kugels, main dishes, and sweets like honey cakes and apple & pomegranate desserts. Likewise, Epicurious also has a good selection of recipes for Rosh Hashanah, as well as Israeli-inspired and Sephardic menus. MMMmmmm, I got hungry just browsing through some of the recipes and looking at the gorgeous photos!

Here's wishing a Happy New Year to all readers who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah!

Zestfully yours,

PS: The Carolina Sauce Company offers a nice selection of Kosher products, including the all-natural gourmet Olio & Spices sauces from Israel.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

If you weren't lucky enough to inherit your grandma's cast iron skillet and had to buy a brand- new one, here are simple instructions for seasoning it before you use it. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet, if properly cared for, will last for generations and will become one of your favorite (if not THE favorite) pieces of non-stick cookware in your kitchen. These tips come courtesy of "Taste of the South" Magazine:

1. Line the bottom rack of your oven with aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

2. Wash your new, unseasoned cast iron skillet in hot, soapy water using a stiff brush.

3. Rinse the skillet thoroughly and dry it completely. One way to ensure it thoroughly dries is to dry it with a towel first and then place the skillet in the oven for a few minutes while the oven is warming up. Just remember to use a potholder before removing the hot skillet from the oven (!!) and then let it cool to the touch before proceeding.

4. Spread a thin coat of melted vegetable shortening (e.g., Crisco brand) over the entire surface, both inside and out (I use a paper towel for this).

5. Place the skillet upside down on the top rack of your oven and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

6. Turn off the oven and allow the skillet to cool before removing.

7. Store your seasoned skillet in a cool, dry place, and never stack anything inside it because that could scratch the thin layer of seasoning. If that happens, the cooking surface will be more likely to stick and/or rust -- but don't despair, you can remedy the problem by re-seasoning the skillet using these instructions.

Note: Proper care of your seasoned cast iron skillet is essential for the longevity of its non-stick finish. This means never using soap to wash it, and NEVER putting it in the dishwasher. After baking cornbread in my cast iron skillet, I usually simply scrub it well with a dry paper towel to remove all crumbs. If you need to wash your skillet, use hot water and a stiff brush, and that's it -- resist the urge to use soap! After washing, make sure you thoroughly dry the skillet immediately and apply a light coat of shortening to the inside before storing.

How to deal with rust: If an old cast iron skillet shows signs of rust, you can scour it off with a metal brush (make sure you wipe out ALL the rust dust - I wipe with a damp paper towel and then thoroughly dry the skillet), and then re-season it using the steps above.

And now you're ready to make authentic Southern cornbread, fried catfish, and all sorts of other down-home Southern recipes!

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce

If you enjoy the fiery tropical flavor and unforgiving heat of scotch bonnet peppers, you'll be glad to know that Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce is finally available again, in all its furious glory! The scotch bonnet pepper is a Jamaican relative of the habanero pepper, and its color when ripe is a deep sunny yellow, much like the intense Caribbean sun at its peak in midsummer. The heat level of a raw scotch bonnet pepper usually ranges between an 8 and a 10 on a 10 point scale (assuming a jalapeno is a 4 to 5), so scotch bonnet peppers are definitely not for the faint of tongue! The famous Walkerswood company of Jamaica has once again resumed production of their scotch bonnet hot sauce, and it's as good as it ever was. This is an honest-to-goodness fiery-hot Jamaican hot sauce (but NOT a jerk sauce) with a straightforward flavor that won't interfere with the other flavors of your food -- in other words, Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce will add serious heat without the sometimes unpleasant "off" flavors in extract-enhanced hot sauces, and without making everything taste like jerk.

Made with scotch bonnet pepper mash and just a touch of traditional Jamaican seasonings like scallions, garlic and thyme, Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce is an ideal all-purpose table sauce and cooking sauce for people who like their food HOT. Splash it on pretty much any savory dish that could use a serious kick in the you-know-what to wake it up, or add it with care to recipes for chili, meatloaf and other ground meat recipes, Jamaican and other Caribbean cuisines, and to homemade marinades and grilling sauces. You can now get Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet hot sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company online store. And we sure hope the folks at Walkerswood continue to make this fiery hot sauce, as it's proving quite popular among old and new fans!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Savory Southern Fried Catfish

Using Mama T's Seafood Seasoned Salt in this recipe instead of ordinary seasoned salt adds delicious flavor from herbs and spices that are specially blended to complement catfish and other seafood. This recipe makes 4 servings but you can multiply it if feeding more.

4 fresh catfish fillets (about 1 1/2 lbs total), rinsed, drained & patted dry
1/2 cup self-rising corn meal (I like Martha White brand)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp Mama T's Seafood Seasoned Salt or other seasoned salt or salt-free seasoning
Vegetable oil for frying
Lemon wedges for garnish

Heat about 3 Tbs oil in a large heavy skillet (cast-iron is perfect) over medium-high heat. Shake together the cornmeal and seasoned salt in a large zip-top plastic bag, add a catfish fillet, zip and shake/pat until the fillet is completely coated on both sides with the cornmeal mixture. Remove the breaded fillet and set aside, then continue breading the catfish one fillet at a time. Once the oil is hot, fry the catfish 2 fillets at a time, about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and the fish flakes. You may need to add a little more oil after frying each pair of fillets - if so, make sure the oil heats back up before adding 2 more fillets (if the oil is too cool, the fillets will be greasy). Drain the fried catfish on paper towels and serve hot with lemon wedges for garnish.

*Note: For true old-fashioned southern fish camp flavor, serve with Thomas Fish Camp Cocktail Sauce and/or Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cackalacky wins NC Hot Sauce Contest!

Cackalacky Spice Sauce won the "Critics Choice Award" in the North Carolina Hot Sauce Contest held in Oxford, NC this past Saturday. The festival showcased sauce companies, craft breweries, and wineries from all over the state and coincided with the Governor's proclamation that September 12, 2009 is "North Carolina Hot Sauce Day." The "Critics Choice Award" was based on the decision of a panel of professional food judges, including Bob Garner, author of the acclaimed "North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time;" Al Carson, editor of The Oxford Public Ledger and professional food critic; Debbie Moose, professional food writer and radio personality; and Chef Ross Ragonese, department chair of the Culinary Arts Program at Vance Granville Community College.

Cackalacky Spice Sauce is an unusually delicious gourmet spice sauce that's all about great flavor with just a touch of peppery heat. Made with all-natural ingredients including southern yams, vine-ripened tomatoes, aged chile peppers, and a splash of burgundy wine, Cackalacky adds mouthwatering, zesty flavor to everything from hamburgers and barbecue to baked beans and and chicken wings. You can get Cackalacky, as well as other unique and tasty NC products, from the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Best-Selling Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce etc for August

The Top Ten Best Seller Lists in each zesty product category at the Carolina Sauce Company have been updated for August 2009. Quick links for each category list are below, as well as a notable product or two in each category:

*Best-Selling Hot Sauces: Many of the "usual suspects" are on this list, but the surprise 4th place finisher was Melinda's XXXXtra Reserve Hot Sauce from Costa Rica -- and the XXXX refers to the heat rating, not the label design!

*Best-Selling BBQ Sauces: One of our newest products, Outta The Park BBQ Sauce, finished in first place by a mile -- and once you taste its rich, tomato-ey, pleasantly sweet and perkily spicy flavor, you'll know why!

*Best-Selling Steak Sauce & Pasta Sauce: Another newcomer with mouthwatering flavor and just a touch of spice, Burning Asphalt Sweet Pepper Steak Sauce was the 4th best-selling steak sauce or pasta sauce for August -- and it's on sale!

*Best-Selling Marinades & Dressings: Two delicious new products finished seventh and eighth respectively: Thomas Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (a mouthwatering blend of traditional vinaigrette with a touch of tomato BBQ sauce) and Melinda's Mango Coconut Pepper Sauce (an all-natural, mildly spicy tropical marinade & cooking sauce) -- and both are on sale!

*Best-Selling Dry Rubs & Seasonings: Two flavors of Pluto's Caribbean Bliss Spice Blends, the original Spicy Blend and the extra-hot Fiery Blend, finished 6th and 9th respectively

*Best-Selling Gift Sets: With Labor Day coming just after the end of August, it was no surprise to see the mild version of our NC BBQ Sauce Gift Set was the second-most popular gift set for the month

*Best-Selling North Carolina Products: Our very own Eastern NC Hot BBQ Sauce was 6th on this list - and each bottle comes with a FREE recipe for authentic NC pulled pork barbecue!

*Best-Selling Wing Sauces: The Distillery Restaurant from upstate NY had its two ultra-rich Buffalo wing sauces on the best-seller list last month, with their fiery Hot Wing Sauce in first place and their spicy Original Wing Sauce in fourth -- and both are currently on sale!

*Best-Selling Jerk & Curry Products: The hard-to-find but oh-so-tasty Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce was the 5th best-selling jerk product for August, and it's on sale, too!

*Best-Selling Snacks & Sweets: The fiery-sweet "Revenooers" Smoked Habanero Jam from Race City Sauce Works in Charlotte NC was the 6th best-selling snack/sweet (and yes, it's on sale!)

*Best-Selling Mustards & Ketchups: Three brand-new ketchups made this list last month, including the sweet & spicy Burning Asphalt Zesty Jalapeno Ketchup from upstate NY (4th), the smoky-hot Melinda's Chipotle Ketchup (5th), and the bold & fiery Melinda's Habanero Ketchup (10th)

*Best-Selling Salsa & Relish: Both the mild and hot versions of our very own Chow Chow Relish made this list, in 3rd & 5th place respectively

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Samson's Town & Country Sauce

A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, a little bit bold and a little bit thick, Samson's Town & Country Sauce is the delightfully delicious younger sibling of the original Samson's Sauce, a North Carolina favorite since 1925. Samson's Town & Country Sauce is a cross between a regular all-purpose hot sauce and a flavorful mild steak sauce, which means it's perfect for adding a touch of sweetness and spice to steaks, burgers and other sandwiches, french fries, baked potatoes, scrambled eggs, pork chops & barbecue, chicken, fried fish, and all sorts of main courses. Town & Country Sauce is also a great way to add flavor to recipes like meat loaf, chili, baked beans, omelets, and more. I've been told it's even good on fruit salad, but I must admit I haven't personally tried that yet. What I have tried is splashing this versatile sauce into a mess of collards, and boy was that tasty! I'm sure it would be mighty fine with turnip greens, mustard greens, and other cooked greens too.

Like the original Samson's Sauce, Samson's Town & Country Sauce is made from the original hand-written family recipe. Specifically, Town & Country Sauce was created in 1986 by Gurney S. Boren, whose father developed the original Samson's Sauce back in 1925. Both sauces were commercially produced and sold by the family for 10 years, but then unfortunately the hand-written recipe for Town & Country Sauce was lost and this sauce disappeared from the marketplace. Luckily, the recipe was recently found in a box of old papers, and Samson's Town & Country Sauce is once again being produced and is available for purchase for the first time since 1996. And like the original Samson's Sauce, Town & Country Sauce has the famous "comic label" that dates back to the 1940s and is reminiscent of old "patent medicine" labels, with claims that the sauce can cure everything from baldness to amnesia and insanity, and might even be an aphrodisiac. Regardless, Town & Country Sauce is sure to make you smile, both when you read the amusing label and when you experience its food-friendly, palate-pleasing flavor. And at only $3.99 a bottle from the Carolina Sauce Company, you can't go wrong treating yourself to some Town & Country Sauce!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Samson's Town & Country Sauce is also low carb, with only 1 gram per teaspoon - not bad at all for a steak sauce & all-purpose table sauce & cooking sauce!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Carolina Sauce Company Newsletter & Coupon Sale

Coupon for 10% off EVERYTHING, 10 Days Only!

Use the Coupon Code Blog909 to get 10% off your order of $45 or more in products from the Carolina Sauce Company online store, good thru September 20th -- and yes, you can get 10% off already-discounted sale items!! Simply enter the coupon code Blog909 where indicated on the billing info screen when you order online, or mention the coupon if ordering by phone. But don't delay - this coupon is good for only 10 days and expires on Sept. 20th! (Note: Coupon does not include or apply to flowers or gift baskets or Operation Sauce Drop donations.)

Latest New Products, Many On Sale!

Our newest arrivals include our very own Carolina Sauce Company brand Vidalia Onion BBQ sauce, several new spicy ketchups, and the new & improved Pickapeppa Jerk Seasoning from Jamaica! Here are all the new products we've added since our last newsletter, many of which are on sale:

Hot Sauces
*Melinda's Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce, made with the Naga Jolokia or Ghost Pepper, the hottest pepper in the world - and it's on sale!
*Pickapeppa Gingery Mango Sauce: A faithful recreation of Ruth's Gingery Mango Sauce, this zesty (not fiery) sauce is all-natural and packed with zippy ginger
*Tortuga Caribbean Hell-Fire Sauce: Made from fiery scotch bonnet peppers, and on sale!
*Three new flavors of Nando's Peri-Peri Pepper Sauce, including the citrusy Extra Mild Lemon, exotic Wild Herb, and the sunny Hot Sweet Peri Peri Sauce
*Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce: Yes, this fiery favorite from Jamaica is back!

Steak Sauce
*Two delicious flavors of Burning Asphalt Steak Sauce from upstate NY, including the bold Homestyle Steak Sauce and the pleasantly sweet & gently spicy Sweet Pepper Steak & Dipping Sauce, both of which are on sale!
*Melinda's Habanero Steak Sauce, robust & fiery with a touch of sweetness, all-natural, and on sale too!
*Samson's Town & Country Sauce, a richer, sweeter version of the original Samson's Sauce, with another silly label that's sure to make you smile

BBQ Sauce
*Carolina Sauce Company Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauces: Authentic NC Piedmont (vinegar & tomato) barbecue sauce seasoned with real Vidalia onions, available in tangy Mild and spicy Hot. Both flavors come with a free recipe for making genuine NC pulled pork BBQ!
*The Distillery BBQ Sauce from the famous Distillery Restaurant & Bar in upstate NY, packed with thick, rich tomato-mustard flavor and on sale!
*Outta The Park BBQ Sauce: This instant best-seller is an all-natural tomato-based BBQ sauce that's thick and rich, mildly sweet, & zippy-spicy with ginger & pepper, and also on sale!
*Off the Hook BBQ Sauce: Made from an old family recipe, this hearty tomato-vinegar BBQ sauce is robust & savory, is great for marinating & grilling, and is on sale!
*Walkerswood Jamaican BBQ Sauce: At long last, this hard-to-find BBQ sauce is back! Made with bananas, hot peppers and jerk seasonings, this BBQ sauce adds mouthwatering tropical flavor to meats, poultry & seafood

Sweets, Snacks & Condiments
*Mrs. Picky Fanicky's NC Preserves, including the savory-sweet & mildly spicy Apple Peach Chutney and the sublimely delicious Apple Pie MmmMarmalade: Both are NC State Fair blue ribbon winners and come with recipe ideas, AND they're on sale!
*Hot Dill Pickle Chips and Hot Pickled Garlic, both made on a family farm in the NC mountains and both ON SALE!
*Sweet & spicy Burning Asphalt Ketchups from upstate NY, in Zesty Jalapeno and Blazin' Habanero - and yes, both are on sale!
*Melinda's All-Natural Spicy Ketchups, including smoky Chipotle, fiery Habanero, and hot Jalapeno

Wing Sauces & Jamaican Jerks
*The Distillery Buffalo Wing Sauces in spicy Original and fiery Hot: These are ultra-thick, rich Buffalo style wing sauces from upstate NY, and they're on sale!
*Burning Asphalt Ranch Wing Sauce, adding cool ranch flavor to traditional tangy Buffalo wing sauce for a winning combination (on sale!)
*Melinda's All-Natural Buffalo Wing Sauces: Habaneros dance with cayenne peppers in the tangy Hot and seriously spicy Extra Hot recipes, and both are on sale!
*Pickapeppa Jamaican Jerk Seasoning: It's back, now with authentic Jamaican Jerk flavor and fire, and on sale!

Dressings & Marinades
*Thomas Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing: This NC original adds a splash of tomato BBQ sauce to traditional balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and the result is amazingly tasty! Try it while it's on sale
*Melinda's Mango Coconut Pepper Sauce: This all-natural marinade & all-purpose sauce is packed with sweet & spicy tropical flavor, and it's on sale!

Sauce For A Cause

Sauce For A Cause lets you treat yourself to some really good food while helping to support worthy charitable causes. Whenever you purchase any of the zesty products listed under "Sauce for a Cause" at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, the manufacturers donate a portion of the proceeds to various charities and nonprofit efforts including breast cancer research, protection of endangered species, children's charities, and more. Among the companies participating are Carolina Sauce Company (offering BBQ sauces and chow chow relishes to help support Operation Sauce Drop), Charlotte's Santo & Josie gourmet Sicilian sauces (supporting children's charities), J.T. Pappy's Gator Sauces (supporting breast cancer research), Mullen's Apple Sauce (supporting families of fallen Chicago police officers), and more.

Send Free Sauce to Our Deployed Troops

Operation Sauce Drop is our non-profit program that sends free gift boxes of sauce to US military personnel stationed abroad. We've shipped over 600 free gift boxes to date, but there are still more than 100 troops on our list waiting to receive a free box of sauce. It costs around $20 for us to purchase and ship each gift box. The troops really appreciate the free sauce, as you can see from the thank-you notes to donors and photos they've sent in. Want to send a soldier a taste of home, and bring a smile to his or her face? Then please support Operation Sauce Drop by making a donation. The Carolina Sauce Company MATCHES all donations, so your money will go twice as far. You can also shop to support Operation Sauce Drop, where some or all of the purchase price of the listed products goes straight into Operation Sauce Drop (you get the products you order, and the money you pay is used to send free sauce to the troops).

Send Beautiful Flowers & Bountiful Gift Baskets

Send Flowers Send Flowers Send PhotoBlooms Flowers

The Carolina Sauce Company now offers bountiful gourmet gift baskets loaded with fabulous foods, delightful snacks and candy confections, specialty teas, and more. You can also order fresh flower bouquets direct from the grower, and send florist-arranged flowers of the highest quality, all at a reasonable price. Next-day and even same-day delivery options available! You can even personalize your floral gift with your own digital photo and card by selecting a "PhotoBlooms" gift. Simply click on the boxes above to browse our offerings and select that special gift that says "I love you," "I'm sorry," "Thanks so much," or anything else you want to express.

Follow SaucyGlo on Twitter for exclusive coupons, the latest food news, & for sharing zesty tips!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nando's Peri Peri Hot Sauces Back In Stock!

Our shipment of Nando's Peri Peri Pepper Hot Sauces from South Africa has finally arrived, and all 7 flavors are back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company! We also now have Nando's Sweet Apricot Cooking & Grilling Sauce available again, as well as a brand new flavor of Nando's Peri Peri Marinades that will soon be available on our online store (hint: it is sure to please chileheads who love the flavor and fire of the African Birds-Eye Chilli, as the Peri Peri Pepper is also known). We are in the process of filling all of our back-orders for Nando's products, and hope to get completely caught up tomorrow. If you are one of our customers who has been waiting for a Nando's backorder, we thank you very much for your patience and understanding. If you're one of those folks who had been waiting for the Nando's sauces to be back in stock before placing an order, well, now's the time! And if you're still waiting for Nando's Peri-Peri Barbecue Marinade, don't despair as we hope to have that delicious BBQ sauce & marinade back in stock soon.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Walkerswood Barbecue Sauce is Back!

After a very long absence (at least a year!), Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Barbecue Sauce is available again, and you can order it now from the Carolina Sauce Company! We were thrilled to learn that Walkerswood had started making this delectable tropical BBQ sauce again, and regular shipments of fresh sauce have been arriving in our warehouse. Needless to say, it's going FAST, and it's all we can do to keep up with orders and keep this product in stock -- but we'll keep re-stocking so long as folks keep buying (and Walkerswood keeps making) this unique and versatile barbeque sauce!

If you've never tried Walkerswood BBQ Sauce, you're in for a real treat: The main ingredient in this food-friendly sauce is bananas, and their natural sweetness is enhanced with brown sugar (there's no high fructose corn syrup in this barbecue sauce). Traditional Jamaican jerk seasonings like scallions, garlic, allspice and thyme are added for a savory counterpoint and authentic Jamaican flavor. And the judicious addition of tropical hot peppers adds just a touch of peppery heat without making this sauce too hot for sensitive palates. The result is a seductively delicious BBQ sauce that lends its festive island flavor to meats, poultry, seafood and veggies. Simply marinate for a couple of hours or overnight, and then grill or broil or bake as desired while basting liberally with more sauce. You can even use this sauce in your crockpot! And if you're one of the loyal Walkerswood BBQ Sauce fans who's been waiting for its return, now is the time to order yourself a bottle or more -- and don't delay, as one never knows when it might disappear again....

Zestfully yours,

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Burgers with Beer Sauce

This easy recipe is sure to be a hit this Labor Day (or any day) with beer-loving guys (and gals!) This recipe makes 6 burgers, but you can just multiply it if feeding a crowd.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef*
Optional: 1 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs diced onion
2 Tbs diced green pepper
1/2 cup ketchup**
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup beer
Optional: 6 slices of cheese
6 hamburger buns, OR 6 slices of toasted rye bread (to serve as open-face burgers)

In a large bowl combine the ground meat with salt if using (and with egg & bread crumbs if using ground venison or turkey instead of beef). Shape into six 1/2 inch thick patties and place on a platter and keep in refrigerator or cooler while you make the beer sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and saute the onions & peppers until tender. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, worcestershire sauce and cornstarch until thoroughly combined. Stir this ketchup mixture into the saucepan, then add the beer. Cook over medium-high heat while stirring, until the sauce reaches a boil, then lower the heat to keep sauce warm. Brush the top of each raw burger with the beer sauce. Grill the burgers over medium-hot coals until done, turning once and brushing with more beer sauce from time to time. If using cheese, place a slice on each burger just before removing from grill to slightly melt the cheese. Serve the burgers on buns, or on a slice of toasted rye bread for open-face burgers, with more of the hot beer sauce spooned over each cooked patty.

*For leaner burgers: Substitute ground turkey or venison for some or all of the ground beef. If using ONLY ground turkey or ground venison, you should mix in an egg and some bread crumbs or cracker crumbs to help the leaner ground meat bind into burgers.

**For spicy beer sauce: Substitute a spicy ketchup for regular ketchup.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pickapeppa Gingery Mango Sauce is Here!

If you were a fan of Ruth's Gingery Mango Sauce, or if you love the tropical flavor combination of sweet mango and zingy ginger, I have great news: Pickapeppa Gingery Mango Sauce is now available from the Carolina Sauce Company, with the same great flavor as the original Ruth's Gingery Mango Sauce! Made in Jamaica using all-natural ingredients and featuring a seductively exotic sweet-savory-zippy flavor, Pickapeppa Gingery Mango Sauce is perfect for folks who enjoy zesty foods without the burn of hot peppers. This versatile table sauce is great with chicken, roast turkey and other poultry; pork chops, ham or roast pork; fish and shellfish; and on rice and vegetables too. You can even use it as a sandwich condiment instead of mustard, or on burgers instead of ketchup, to add tropical flair to your lunch. And if you're health-conscious, you'll be glad to know that Pickapeppa Gingery Mango Sauce is gluten free, has very low sodium, and has zero trans fat.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, September 4, 2009

Backyard BBQ & Picnic Food Safety Tips

Many of us are probably planning to host or attend a backyard BBQ or a picnic this Labor Day weekend, so now is a good time as any to review some food safety pointers to reduce the risk of bellyaches (or worse):

*Avoid cross-contamination: Keep raw foods separate from cooked or ready-to-eat foods to prevent contamination during storage, preparation, grilling and serving. Don't return cooked foods to the same container or platter used for raw foods (or make sure you thoroughly wash the platter or container first, using soap and hot water). Likewise, don't handle cooked foods with utensils that touched raw meat, poultry or seafood, unless you first wash the utensils with hot, soapy water. Keep raw meat, poultry & seafood securely wrapped or sealed to prevent any juices from contaminating ready-to-eat foods, beverages, plates or utensils.

*Keep cold foods cold, hot foods hot: Use an insulated cooler with plenty of ice or ice packs for chilled foods, and keep it closed, and ideally out of direct sunlight. Keep hot foods hot either on the grill over indirect heat, or in a heat-insulating cooler (or in the oven at 200F degrees if cooking out at home).

*Use a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking: Color isn't a reliable indicator of doneness. The only way to be sure that meats and poultry are sufficiently cooked to kill harmful bacteria is to use a meat thermometer. For steaks, roasts and fish, cook to at least 145F degrees. For pork and ground beef, cook to at least 160F degrees (yes, that means no medium rare burgers, sorry!) For chicken and other poultry, including ground turkey or ground chicken, cook to at least 165F degrees. Don't forget to clean your thermometer after using, so that you don't inadvertently contaminate cooked food when checking the temperature!

*When in doubt, throw it out: Don't taste food that looks or smells questionable or "off". It's simply not worth the risk of food poisoning. If you have any uncertainty as to whether something is safe to eat, assume it's not and throw it out.

*Keep clean: Soap and water (especially hot) are your best friends. Do as much food prep as possible indoors where you can wash your hands, cutting surfaces and utensils frequently. If planning a picnic, find out ahead of time if there will be potable water available for washing hands, etc., and if so, bring along soap. If water won't be available, bring wet disposable towelettes for hands, and sanitizing wipes for non-eating surfaces (e.g., tables and vinyl table cloths). I also bring at least a couple of gallon jugs of water (I save and wash old milk jugs for this purpose) to wash serving dishes and utensils as necessary. Bring plenty of clean plates and utensils, and paper towels or clean cloths for drying. Before eating or processing raw fruits or vegetables, rinse under running water and wipe dry with a clean paper towel or cloth.

Following these simple precautions will help everyone stay healthy while enjoying a backyard cookout or picnic this Labor Day weekend.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mrs. Picky Fanicky's NC Marmalades & Chutneys

Mrs. Picky Fanicky's is a small, family owned and operated business in rural North Carolina that grew out of numerous blue ribbons at the NC State Fair for their scrumptious all-natural marmalades and chutneys made from family recipes. Friends and family kept devouring these old-fashioned Southern preserves almost as fast as Miss Jody could make them, and finally convinced her to get her creations packaged for commercial sale -- and boy, am I glad she did, because this stuff is GOOD! Her North Carolina Chutney is an old style peach and apple chutney that's savory, subtly exotic and sublimely spiced with a zesty peppery finish. It's the perfect complement to pretty much any meat or poultry as a side dish or relish, and is also wonderful with salmon or tuna steaks. I like to spoon some of this apple peach chutney over softened cream cheese for a quick appetizer with crackers, and it's also tasty when combined with sour cream as a dip for raw veggies and apple or pear wedges. You can even mix it into cooked rice for a fancy side dish, or stir it into chicken salad for gourmet results. The possibilities are nearly endless for this versatile and delicious condiment!

Another treat from Mrs. Picky Fanicky is her Apple Pie MmmMarmalade, so named because you'll go "Mmmmmm!" with pleasure when you taste this amazing apple marmalade. Although she won't reveal her secret blend of apple pie spices, I'm pretty sure I taste cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and maybe even a touch of allspice and cardamom. It doesn't matter, whatever her secret is, it's definitely a winner because it's extremely difficult NOT to eat an entire jar of Apple Pie MmmMarmalade in one sitting. In addition to enjoying it "straight", it's heavenly as a warm or cold topping for vanilla ice cream as well as on biscuits, toast, bagels, pancakes, waffles, french toast, bread pudding, and more. Stir it into oatmeal for a delicious hot breakfast your kids will love. Serve it with pork chops and other savory meat dishes as a sweet counterpoint to a hearty entree. Add it to poultry stuffing to add subtle autumn flavor. In short, Mrs. Picky Fanicky's Apple Pie MmmMarmalade is not just for dessert!

I asked Miss Jody to tell me a bit more about how she got started making such wonderful marmalades and chutneys, and this is what she wrote:

"I spent many years growing gardens and preserving vegetables as well as making marmalades. Every time we traveled I would study other products, constantly reading labels, and I had a passion for North Carolina apples and North Carolina Peaches, plus a little gift of gab. My youngest son is in a wheelchair but he can work at the kitchen sink washing jars and cleaning fruits or vegetables for preserving. We started entering the State Fair with our pickles, chutneys and marmalades. Well, after winning numerous Best of Show awards and blue ribbons, someone came to me and said, 'you ought to bottle that stuff and sell it. The NC Dept of Agriculture will help you.' Well one thing led to another, next thing we were at Bobbee's Bottling [a local copacker] having large batches made and hauling it home. My kids named the marmalade 'MmmMarmalade' cause it was so good, and the response has been the same from food fairs and taste samplings. Both our products are traditions with time-tested recipes, no preservatives, and we laugh at 'refrigerate after opening' [on the label], cause it's foolish to cool an empty jar. Our logo, 'To Be Sure..That's Good Eatin..' and my company name is a reflection of me, Mrs Picky Fanicky, because after all I am Picky..."

Mrs. Picky Fanicky's marmalade and chutney are all-natural, very low in sodium, and come with FREE "Recipe Ideas" cards -- and they're currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Best-Selling Zesty Sauces for August 2009

Here are the top 10 best-selling sauces and condiments across all product categories at the Carolina Sauce Company for August 2009 -- and there was an impressive debut by a brand-new barbeque sauce, so keep reading!

1. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce: This perennial favorite of Caribbean hot sauce aficionados was our best-selling hot sauce and overall top seller. Matouk's West Indian is made with fiery scotch bonnet peppers and sweet tropical papaya for authentic island flavor

2. Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is the real deal, made in Jamaica and by far our most popular Jamaican jerk seasoning. Full of fiery hot peppers and intensely fragrant spices & herbs, a little goes a long way with this rich jerk paste/wet rub

3. Outta The Park BBQ Sauce is a brand new product at Carolina Sauce, and it's making quite a splash with its rich tomato flavor that's slightly sweet with a zippy-peppery kick. In addition to finishing third overall, Outta The Park BBQ Sauce was also our best-selling barbecue sauce and best-selling NC product last month! It's also currently on sale.

4. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce hails from Jamaica and is one of our all-time best-selling products. Spicy and flavorful, this all-purpose table sauce is the perfect hot sauce for practically anything that could use some heat

5. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce is an authentic eastern NC vinegar-based barbecue sauce that's perfect for pulled pork BBQ and is regularly on our best-sellers list

6. George's Original BBQ Sauce is another authentic eastern NC vinegar-based barbeque sauce, but it has a hint of apple & tomato to cut some of the sharp "edge", making it delicious for pulled pork plus BBQ chicken and more

7. Buderim Ginger Bears: This addictive, grown-up gummy candy comes from Australia and is made with real ginger, for healthy snacking

8. Scorned Woman Hot Sauce is a classic vinegar-pepper hot sauce that's great with everything from scrambled eggs to burgers to pizza and more

9. Melinda's Reserve XXXXtra Hot Sauce: Made in small batches using aged habanero peppers, this is a seriously hot hot sauce from Costa Rica that's beloved by serious chileheads everywhere

10. Castle Sauce is a classic North Carolina steak sauce from Greensboro that's been on our best-seller list since its introduction last year, and its rich tomato-mustard tang is great on burgers, fries, sandwiches and more

We'll soon be updating our product-category lists of best-selling sauces & seasonings, and there were some newcomers in many categories last month, so stay tuned for those updates!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BBQ Sauce & Condiments on Sale for Labor Day!

Fire up the grill, pack up the cooler and get ready for Labor Day with delicious BBQ sauces, cookout condiments, hot sauces and more at specially reduced prices! Simply visit the Carolina Sauce Company online store and look for the red sale prices, or look for the words "On Sale", when you click on a product category tab. You can also search the Carolina Sauce Company store for the words "on sale" and that will show you a list of all the products currently on sale. But don't delay, as these special sale prices are good only while supplies last!

Here are some of my favorite on-sale barbecue sauces, ketchups and condiments to help you get started:

Cool Hawg Grilling Sauces: Thick & rich, with a spicy mustard-tomato base

D'Vine Foods Muscadine BBQ Sauce: Blends sweet NC muscadine grapes in a tangy, slightly sweet tomato-vinegar-mustard barbecue base

Burning Asphalt Spicy Ketchups: Sweet & spicy, in zesty Jalapeno and blazin' Habanero

Trolly Stop Hot Mustard Sauce: From a little hot dog stand in Wilmington NC, this spicy dijon mustard has a hint of chipotle smoke & spice, and a touch of sweetness from tropical fruit

Hot Dill Pickle Chips, perfect for topping your burgers with a crunchy, spicy kick

Mullen's Apple Sauce: Heat some up and spoon over vanilla ice cream for a classic dessert

Zestfully yours,