Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Great-Tasting Gluten-Free Sauces & Seasonings Now Available!

By popular demand, we have now assembled a new page on the Carolina Sauce online store where we list all of the gluten-free products that we carry. There's something for everyone and every taste preference from mild to fiery-hot, including gluten-free hot sauce, barbecue sauce, salsa, mustard, dry rubs & seasonings, and even gluten-free seasoned peanuts for your snacking pleasure! If a product says "gluten-free" on the label and it's available from the Carolina Sauce Company, you'll find it listed here for your convenience. So if you, a family member or a friend is allergic to wheat or gluten, has celiac disease, or is on a gluten-free diet, you (and they) can now safely shop for great-tasting gluten-free sauces, condiments and seasonings.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Final 3 Days of September Coupon Sale!

You're running out of time to save on select hot sauces, BBQ sauces, condiments and other zesty fare from the Carolina Sauce Company, including North Carolina tailgating favorites like UNC Tarheels Hot Sauce, ECU Pirates Hot Sauce and NC State Wolfpack Hot Sauce (sorry Duke fans, there's no Blue Devil Hot Sauce currently on the market), all three award-winning flavors of Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauce from South Carolina, and even select products from Walkerswood and Nando's! You'll need the special coupon code, which you can find in our September Newsletter, where you'll also find the complete list of all the sauces and seasonings in our special coupon sale. If you already used the coupon on an earlier order, you can use it again as many times as you want. But don't delay: The coupon code expires this Friday, October 1st!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheesecake a la Toad (Sweet & Spicy Cheesecake)

This recipe is from the creator of the award-winning Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces, hence the unusual name (no toads are injured or killed in the making of this deliciously devilish cheesecake!) You'll need a 10" x 3" springform pan.

1 1/2 lb cream cheese, softened (three 8oz packages)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbs pastry flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1 5oz bottle any flavor Toad Sweat Hot Sauce
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
2 cups crushed ginger snaps cookies
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Use cooking oil spray or vegetable oil and a paper towel to oil the springform pan. To make the crust, mix the ginger snaps & melted butter and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan.

In a mixer, blend the cream cheese, flour and sugar until smooth (you can use an hand-held electric beater and a large bowl if you don't have a countertop mixer). In a separate bowl, mix the Toad Sweat sauce, cocoa and sour cream until smooth. Add this sour cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture, then add the sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Slowly add each of the eggs and mix until well blended. Pour into the pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake at 350F degrees for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cake cool gently in the oven for 2 hours. Remove from oven and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bailey Farms Chocolate Habanero Hot Sauce

Bailey Farms is a family owned and operated farm in Oxford, NC that specializes in growing a wide variety of chile peppers. Among them is the intriguingly-named chocolate habanero, the hottest variety of habanero pepper discovered to date. This rare, incendiary chile gets its name from its gorgeous chocolate-brown color and its surprisingly flavorful taste, making it a favorite among fiery-foods fanatics who value flavor as well as heat. Bailey Farms Chocolate Habanero Hot Sauce features their homegrown chocolate habaneros blended with cherry peppers, onion and other all-natural ingredients, all cooked down to perfection to produce a sauce that delivers serious heat, gourmet flavor and a rich texture. No, there's no chocolate in this hot sauce, but trust me, it's almost as satisfying to my taste buds!

You can say that Bailey Farms Chocolate Habanero Hot Sauce is inspired by Caribbean or Mexican hot sauces in that the ingredients include carrots, lime juice, garlic and cilantro, but this sauce is not thin or vinegary. Rather, there's a robust depth of flavor from the long, slow cooking process, and perhaps also from the touch of molasses that isn't evident on the palate but which probably serves to round out the "sharp edges" of the habaneros. The sauce itself is beautiful to look at, with its deep reddish-brown hue and little bits of pepper and other fresh ingredients, and because of its more substantial texture it will stick to your food. An obvious choice for Mexican, Caribbean, Creole and Cajun dishes, this gourmet hot sauce is also quite good on pizza, in pasta sauce & on spaghetti, in stews & casseroles, splashed into raw ground meat for your favorite recipes, and added to marinades & BBQ sauces for chicken, beef, pork and game meats. I suspect it would also be quite nice used in conjunction with steak sauce for venison and other "stronger-flavored" meats. Just keep in mind that it is truly VERY hot.

Bailey Farms Chocolate Habanero Hot Sauce has been featured on the Food Network, and in 2008 it won the Critics' Choice Award at the NC Hot Sauce Festival. We're thrilled to be able to offer it at the Carolina Sauce Company, where you can now order it at a special sale price of only $4.99 for a full-size bottle!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vick's Flaming Pig Hot Grillin' Sauce is Back!

After a too-long absence from our warehouse, I'm happy to announce that we FINALLY have the award-winning Vick's Flaming Pig Hot Grillin' Sauce back in stock! This spicy-hot North Carolina barbecue & grilling sauce is a favorite of folks who like some kick in their food -- and Vick's Hot Grilling Sauce provides just that, thanks to the judicious use of cayenne, red and black pepper plus some horseradish to boot. The sauce base is tangy from vinegar and mustard, with just the right amount of earthy sweetness from brown sugar and molasses. There's just a hint of smoke, too, which adds a nice depth to the overall flavor.

Vick's Hot Grilling Sauce is excellent for marinating, basting, mopping, dipping and pouring on everything from pork -- including Carolina pulled pork -- and beef to chicken, hearty veggies like portobello mushrooms or zucchini, and even grilled tuna or shrimp. Some folks use it as a spicy salad dressing or their "secret ingredient" in spicy coleslaw, hamburgers (add to the raw ground beef) and baked beans. And of course it's also a good sauce to use with venison and other game meats.

We hope to be able to keep Vick's Hot Grillin' Sauce in stock through the end of the year, but given what's happened in the past we can't make any promises. So if you've been waiting for this zesty BBQ sauce to arrive, or have been looking to try a new hot & spicy BBQ sauce, make sure to order it now while we definitely have it in stock!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Xtreme Hot Sauce

If you love really hot habanero hot sauces but also have high expectations for their flavor -- and assuming you're not a vampire -- you need to check out Xtreme Hot Sauce, the latest new product at the Carolina Sauce Company. This aptly-named hot sauce stands out from the crowd on every level: First, it comes in an eye-catching flask instead of the usual 5oz hot sauce bottle. One nice thing about the flask is that you get more sauce for your money, as it holds 7.5 fluid ounces (think of it as getting an extra half-bottle of sauce for the same price as many 5oz hot sauces). The simple, plain brown label with the graphic "X" is also a dramatic departure from the typical "busy" designs on many lesser hot sauces.

Second, the sauce inside the bottle is satisfyingly "extreme" without being "insane." What I mean is that this 100% all-natural hot sauce packs a mighty habanero wallop BUT not to the point where you can't taste the rich, garlicky flavor (hence my reference to vampires) with citrusy notes. Xtreme Hot Sauce takes the heat level right to the edge, without going overboard, so you can enjoy your food while also experiencing a good "hot sauce buzz" or endorphin rush. This sauce is pleasantly thick in texture with little bits of garlic and pepper, making it interesting to the tongue, which some folks (like myself) find appealing in a hot sauce. The aroma is also quite intense, with plenty of pungent garlic and peppery "bite" - yes, you might sneeze if you take a big whiff from the open bottle. But this is all consistent with the Xtreme theme, after all.

Best of all, Xtreme Hot Sauce is an excellent way to add intense heat to a savory dish without extremely painful consequences later, because it doesn't contain artificial heat enhancers (no extract in this baby). From pizza to burgers to Tex-Mex to casseroles and more, you can enjoy this hot sauce on pretty much anything except dessert. It's also a great heat & flavor booster for salsa, BBQ sauce, and recipes. If you're counting carbs or watching your sodium intake, you'll like the fact that this powerful and versatile hot sauce has only 1 carb and 35mg of sodium per teaspoon -- and trust me, a teaspoon goes a L-O-N-G way.

So, if you enjoy living life to the fullest and eating "on the edge", get some Xtreme Hot Sauce, especially while it's on sale at Carolina Sauce!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Greg's Grilled Sweet Potato "Fries"

Today is the first day of Autumn, although you wouldn't know it here in central NC where daytime temperatures remain in the sweltering-hot 90s. Nevertheless, in celebration of the Fall season, I thought I'd share this easy, tasty and healthy way to enjoy sweet potatoes. Greg cooks these sweet potato "fries" outdoors on our grill, but I bet you could use your oven and finish them under the broiler. There are no set quantities, so just make as much as you need. Greg usually uses 2 sweet potatoes when he cooks for the two of us, in case that helps.

First, thoroughly wash and completely dry your sweet potatoes. Don't peel them, because the peel adds rustic flavor and contains nutrients. Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into wedges or french-fry pieces - about the width or thickness of your finger is a good guide. Place the sweet potato fries in a bowl and add a little vegetable oil or peanut oil, just enough to coat the pieces, and toss or stir carefully with a spatula to completely coat the fries. You can also use a large resealable plastic bag instead of a bowl, and shake the bag to coat the sweet potato pieces. Sprinkle with some Kosher salt to taste and freshly-ground pepper if desired, while tossing or stirring.

Carefully place the sweet potato wedges or fries on your grill grate or in a grill "basket" and cook over direct heat until softened and golden brown (I like them a dark golden brown), turning carefully with grill tongs to cook all sides. Remove from grill and serve - you can season the cooked sweet potato wedges with your favorite BBQ seasoning or dry rub if desired, or with sugar and/or ground cinnamon if you prefer. I personally enjoy them straight from the grill "as is" or with a little extra Kosher salt.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Great Steak Sauce Sale!

An excellent steak sauce is one that will enhance the natural flavors of a good steak, bringing out the best in the meat without overwhelming your tastebuds. An excellent steak sauce will also elevate a lowly hamburger, and also complement meats other than beef, including venison and other game, bison or buffalo, certain pork cuts, and sometimes even poultry and wild fowl. If you've only tried the mass-produced steak sauces available at your grocery store, you'll be in for a real treat when you taste the following "craft" or "artisanal" (to borrow two foodie terms - or just call them gourmet) steak sauces, made in small batches with the finest ingredients and utmost care -- and all currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store! I've categorized them into 3 basic classifications, for your convenience:

1. Traditional Steak Sauces: Featuring bold, earthy flavors from Worcestershire sauce, a pleasant tang from tamarind and just the right amount of sweetness to balance those robust flavors, these two Burning Asphalt Steak Sauces from upstate NY are similar to what you'd find in a fine restaurant, or make at home yourself if you had the time and the culinary background. Don't be frightened off by the name: The phrase "Burning Asphalt" refers to their creator's love of auto racing, and not to the heat level of these steak sauces! The Homestyle Steak Sauce is complex enough to please the most sophisticated palate with notes of red wine vinegar and zesty horseradish, but food-friendly and approachable enough to charm the whole family. For elegant flair, add it to gravy or pour on a roast beef sandwich. The Sweet Pepper Steak & Dipping Sauce is the playful sibling of the Homestyle sauce, with a hint of peppery heat and a sunny sweetness from a touch of fruit. In addition to dressing up a steak, you can use it as a glaze, marinade, and finishing sauce for ribs, chicken and kabobs (including veggie kabobs). Kids who don't mind a bit of spice absolutely love dipping fries and chicken fingers in this sauce!

2. Hot & Spicy Steak Sauce: If you love fiery foods and enjoy finding the right hot sauce for every meal, Melinda's Habanero Steak Sauce is what you need for steak, burgers and other red meat. Made with all-natural traditional steak sauce ingredients plus molasses (not corn syrup) for earthy sweetness, this hot steak sauce features a hefty dose of habanero peppers, making it a favorite of chiliheads who also love good food. Make no mistake, Melinda's Habanero Steak Sauce is not for the faint of heart or delicate of tongue - but if you are a hot sauce fanatic, this is the steak sauce for you. Plus it's also wonderful on grilled salmon or tuna steaks, too!

3. Tropical Steak Sauces: These two versatile steak sauces come to us from the Caribbean, where they're considered all-purpose table sauces rather than simply steak sauces -- and both are under $4 while on sale! Pickapeppa Brown Sauce is perhaps the best known and most loved sauce from the venerable old Pickapeppa company of Jamaica. This is NOT a jerk sauce, but rather a rich and complex savory sauce made with all-natural ingredients including tomatoes, cane vinegar, raisins, mangoes and Caribbean spices, and barrel-aged for over a year for added depth of flavor. There's just a touch of peppery spice without burning your mouth, making this sauce an ideal choice for family meals, cookouts with friends, and even for breakfast foods. Marie Sharp's Exotic Sauce is exotically delicious and all-natural. Made with green mangoes and tamarinds for a healthy tang, raisins and sugar for a sweet counterpoint, and zippy ginger plus a dash of habanero peppers for a zesty kick, this is truly an all-purpose sauce. Fabulous with steak and other meats, it's also excellent on pretty much all sorts of grilled food from poultry to seafood to veggies. You can also add it to ground meat for meatloaf, burgers, sloppy joes and other recipes.

I hope I've enticed you into broadening your steak sauce horizons and trying one or more of these full-flavored gourmet steak sauces, especially while they're on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting Creative with Crabanero Hot Sauce

Crabanero Hot Sauce is the original Bay-flavored hot sauce, developed specifically for splashing on all sorts of seafood including crabs, steamed or raw oysters, shrimp, fish, etc., and for adding authentic Chesapeake Bay flavor with fiery heat to seafood boils, stews, and the like. But this tasty hot sauce is surprisingly versatile and fun to play with in the kitchen. Here are five creative ways to enjoy the peppery fire and Bay seasoning flavor of Crabanero:

*Use in place of ordinary hot sauce when making Buffalo style chicken wings at home, for what I like to call Chesapeake Hot Wings

*Add a splash or two to hush puppy batter and you'll have the perfect side dish for fried seafood

*Spice up everyday cocktail sauce with Crabanero to zip up your shrimp cocktail -- Crabanero is also good when added to regular ketchup for dipping onion rings & fries (consider this two tips in one!)

*Shake a couple of dashes into your Bloody Mary instead of your usual hot pepper sauce and/or Worcestershire

*Stir some Crabanero into cole slaw for added zest, especially when served with fried food like chicken, catfish and more

Now's the time to stock up on Crabanero Hot Sauce, too, because it's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pickapeppa Brown Sauce

One of our loyal customers recently introduced me to the original Pickapeppa Sauce, also known as Pickapeppa Brown Sauce. I was familiar with several other fine Pickapeppa products, so I must confess that as a zesty-foods lover it came as a surprise to me that I'd somehow never tried the original Pickapeppa. The customer was right: This is indeed a delicious all-purpose sauce that's sure to please anyone who enjoys big, bold flavors with depth and complexity. I'd describe the flavor as "traditional steak sauce on steroids" and yet not "pushy" or overpowering. In other words, the layers of savory flavor will complement your food without overpowering it. There's a pleasant hint of sweetness and a touch of peppery spice, both of which are nicely balanced with the Jamaican herbs and spices for a thoroughly satisfying taste.

Excellent on steaks, grilled meats of all sorts (including venison and other game), on roasts and in stews, Pickapeppa Brown Sauce is also good on heartier seafood and poultry dishes. Add a splash to gravy and soup for dimensional depth, or use it in place of Worcestershire sauce in Bloody Mary's for a new twist. Because this sauce is on the mild side of spicy, it's good with scrambled eggs and sausage or country ham to wake up your taste buds in the morning without scorching them. The ingredients are all-natural, and the sauce is aged in oak barrels for a least one year before bottling, allowing the flavors to meld and develop just like with wine or barrel-aged spirits. Pickapeppa Brown Sauce is low in sodium with only 40mg per teaspoon, and it has only 1 carb per teaspoon, making it a good choice for folks watching their sodium or carbohydrate intake. And if you're looking for a gluten-free sauce, you'll be glad to know that this versatile condiment is gluten-free. Pickapeppa Brown Sauce is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company for only $3.95, making it a real steal!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blair's Death Wings

This recipe comes from the creator of the infamous Blair's Death Hot Sauces, which are all-natural and super-hot. This recipe makes enough fiery-hot Buffalo-style wings (or "suicide wings" if you prefer) to feed a bunch of hungry tailgaters, and you can double or halve the recipe as needed.

Peanut oil (or other oil with a high smoke point) for deep-frying
4 lbs raw chicken wings, halved
One 5oz bottle of your favorite flavor of Blair's Death Sauce
1/4 cup melted butter

Deep-fry the wings until golden brown and well done. Use a slotted spoon to remove wings from oil and drain well on paper towels. Place the fried wings in a large metal bowl. Add the entire bottle of Blair's Death Sauce and the melted butter, tossing the wings in the mixture to coat thoroughly. Serve immediately, and garnish with celery sticks and/or carrot stick plus a side of blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing -- and plenty of napkins & cold beverages!

Zestfully yours,

PS: I like to dip my Buffalo wings in Anchor Bar Bleu Cheese Sauce from the renowned Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, the birthplace of Buffalo wings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: Back to School Zesty Tips & Coupon Sale!

Students are back in school and it's time to restock the pantry at home - or the college apartment or dorm room "survival supplies." If you're on a budget, don't despair - you can still pamper your palate with exotic sauces from around the world and favorite seasonings from home when you shop at the Carolina Sauce Company online store. Simply use the following special coupon for the sauces & seasonings featured below, including our three most popular collegiate hot sauces - take heed, fans of the UNC Tarheels, NC State Wolfpack, & ECU Pirates! Just enter the coupon code Blog910 when you order online (or mention the coupon when ordering by phone) to get 10% off the product price when you order any of the following sauces or seasonings through September 30th:

East Carolina ECU Pirates Hot Sauce, and NC State Wolfpack Hot Sauce, and UNC Tarheels Hot Sauce are all officially licensed and bear their respective schools' colors and mascots. These all-natural Louisiana style cayenne pepper hot sauces are tangy, spicy, and perfect for tailgating. Show your school spirit, or send as a gift to your favorite student or alumni.

Bear Man Growling Grizzly and Black Bear Boogie are thick, rich tomato-based BBQ sauces from upstate NY that are packed with slow-cooked flavors and intriguingly delicious ingredients including a splash of beer and little bits of onion, garlic & peppers. Plus they come with a FREE recipe brochure!

Dave's Gourmet Insanity Private Reserve Hot Sauce, 2009 Edition: Limited quantities of this collector's item are still available. Made with the world's hottest pepper, the Bhut or Naga Jolokia "Ghost" Pepper, each bottle is hand-signed and numbered by Dave himself.

DEFCON 3 Mild Wing Sauce: This award-winning, mildly spicy Buffalo wing sauce is made with the finest all-natural ingredients including real cream and aged cayenne peppers. Sure to please even the most discriminating hot wings lover!

D'Vine Foods Muscadine BBQ Sauce: This uniquely delicious, tangy mustard-ketchup-vinegar BBQ sauce from NC is enhanced with local muscadine grapes for a hint of natural sweetness that complements chicken, beef, pork and more.

Melinda's Jalapeno Ketchup: Quite possibly the best-tasting spicy ketchup on the market, this one's made with all-natural ingredients and perfectly balances rich tomato flavor with just a touch of sweetness and the right amount of peppery kick.

Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Marinade from South Africa is made with plenty of fiery Peri Peri peppers in a rich, lemony tomato base. Great with all meats & poultry, and even veggies and rice dishes!

Nando's Sweet Apricot Cooking & Grilling Sauce is lusciously fruity, sweet & tangy, and fabulous with pork, poultry, lamb and seafood. Amazingly good on kabobs, in stir-fry dishes and even on the stove top!

Scorned Woman Mustard: This thick & savory Dijon style mustard has great texture, mouthwatering flavor and a fiery finish - great on hot dogs, sandwiches, and anywhere you'd use regular mustard.

Susie's Burning Desire: This elusive hot sauce from Antigua is an authentic West Indian recipe featuring fiery scotch bonnet peppers in a tangy mustard base. All natural, and REALLY hot!

Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauces are award-winning tomato-based BBQ sauces from South Carolina that are thick & rich, slightly sweet and pleasantly tangy with a bit of a kick. Available in zesty Original, smoky Hickory, and peppery-hot Spicy. Each comes with FREE recipes!

Walkerswood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce is a festive Jamaican hot sauce packed with fiery peppers and Jamaican seasonings in a tangy, savory-sweet base. Already on sale for $3.75, the coupon gets you 10% off the sale price!!

Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce is the real deal, made from a traditional recipe with plenty of pureed scotch bonnet peppers for straightforward FIERY heat! The coupon gets you 10% off the already-reduced sale price!!

New Mexico Chile Pepper Soaps: OK, so these aren't edible, but they're gorgeous, richly-scented and good for your skin! Shaped like New Mexico green & red chilies, these handmade soaps come in Lime (green) and Cinnamon (red), and you can buy individual soaps as well as 5-soap ristras. Limited quantities available.

Don't delay: The Blog910 coupon is good on the above sauces only while supplies last, and in any event the coupon expires on Sept. 30, 2010.

6 Quick & Easy Tips for Zesty Eating

Whether you're a college student suffering from cafeteria food boredom, a dad who loves to cook, a busy mom looking for quick ways to liven up family meals, a bachelor searching for easy but zesty food, or simply someone who enjoys good eats, here are six easy tips to add flavorful flair to everyday dining:

*Turn plain cooked rice into festive "Spanish" rice by stirring 1/2 to 3/4 cup warmed chunky salsa into 1 cup of hot cooked rice - and yes, simply multiply the quantities for more rice.

*Spoon some chutney over a block of softened cream cheese and serve as an appetizer with crackers, bagel crisps, pretzels or toasted pita wedges.

*Don't settle for plain oatmeal or other bland hot cereals: Wake up your taste buds by stirring in your favorite marmalade or apple sauce. Or if you love hot & spicy foods, splash on some Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauce.

*Stock your pantry or dorm room with unique, full-flavored mustard & ketchup so that you never have to suffer through boring fast-food, takeout or cafeteria meals.

*Surprise family & friends with this easy, no-cook alternative to snack chips: Pour 1/2 cup canola oil into a medium bowl, stir in 2 Tablespoons of your favorite BBQ dry rub seasoning (I recommend Bear-Man Tummy Rub), add 4 cups of oyster crackers & stir to coat crackers completely. Let stand about 20 minutes for the seasoned oil to soak in, then serve in a clean bowl for snacking or use as a topping for soup or salad.

*Add a splash of your favorite hot sauce or mild spice sauce to ratchet up the flavor of tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad and other mayonnaise salads

Latest New Products at Carolina Sauce

Check out these brand-new, flavor-packed sauces, all of which are ON SALE:

*Virginia Gentleman Bourbon Chipotle Hot Sauce: This big, bold gourmet hot sauce gets its rich, smoky flavor from a splash of Bourbon and chipotles in a savory pepper-vinegar base. Excellent on all sorts of meat & grilled food!

*Haiti is Hot! Pepper Sauces: Made in Haiti using the finest locally grown all-natural ingredients including native Piman Bouk habaneros, your purchase of these hot sauces helps to rebuild Haiti by supporting small farmers, local entrepreneurship, and reforestation efforts. Plus they taste REALLY good! Available in sweet & spicy Mango-Acerola Cherry Hot Sauce and fiery-hot
Papaya Hot Sauce.

Operation Sauce Drop Update

Operation Sauce Drop is our non-profit program that sends free gift boxes of sauce to US military personnel stationed abroad. To date, we've shipped over 970 free gift boxes to our deployed military, at absolutely NO cost to them. The troops greatly appreciate the free sauces, as you can see from their thank-you notes & photos. Our cost to purchase and ship each free gift box generally runs from $20 to $25, and 100% of all donations received are used SOLELY to pay for the cost of the sauces & shipping. Want to send a soldier a taste of home and bring a smile to his or her face? Then please donate to Operation Sauce Drop. You can also shop to support Operation Sauce Drop, where some or all of the purchase price of the 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). Our troops will thank you for your support!

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

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spicy Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Fresh rosemary is probably my favorite herb, and I love spicy food and grilled food. This simple recipe features all of that, and is bursting with rustic flavor. Delicious hot off the grill, these chicken breasts are even better the next day if you refrigerate any leftovers and slice to enjoy in sandwiches & salads. You can double the recipe, and adjust the amount of any ingredient to taste. You need to marinade the chicken overnight, so plan accordingly.

4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the chicken in a food processor or blender and process until thoroughly blended. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and shake well, making sure all of the chicken is completely coated with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, remove chicken from plastic bag & discard the used marinade. Grill, turning once, until golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F degrees.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Monday, September 13, 2010

August's Carolina Sauce Best-Seller Lists are Now Available

If you were wondering what was the best-selling hot sauce last month at the Carolina Sauce Company, or for that matter the best-selling barbecue sauce or other best-selling products, I have good news: All of the product category best-seller lists for the Carolina Sauce Co. online store have now been updated with the results for August 2010. Normally I use this blog to highlight one or two items on each list. But due to time constraints at this time (I'm currently working on the upcoming September Newsletter with special coupons, discounts, a tasty recipe & other zesty information), please forgive me for breaking from tradition and simply announcing that the lists are now available for your perusal. Yes, there were some surprising new best-sellers including the "dethroning" of a long-time top seller. But you'll have to check out our best-selling products lists yourself to find out more!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spicy Cilantro-Parsley Pesto

This versatile, zesty pesto sauce is not just for pasta - try it on zucchini and other summer squash, grilled seafood, as a sandwich spread and even mixed with a little butter for spreading on corn on the cob. Feel free to adjust the amount of red pepper to your taste.

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 tsp fresh grated lime peel (avoid the white pith)
3 Tbs pine nuts
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp (or to taste) red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse to combine. While the machine is running, slowly pour in the olive oil and mix until incorporated. Taste and add salt as desired, and more red pepper flakes if desired. Process to desired consistency, and let stand at least 5 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator in a covered container if not using immediately.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Haiti Is Hot! Hot Sauces

Haiti Is Hot! hot sauces come to us from Haiti thanks to the efforts of Bel Soley, a visionary company committed to the rebuilding of Haiti "one pepper at a time." Made from the native Haitian variety of habanero known as the Piman Bouk, these amazingly delicious and fiery-hot hot sauces are based on traditional Haitian recipes and use all-natural, locally produced ingredients.

The Piman Bouk pepper has been measured raw at 124,000 Scoville Units and both flavors of Haiti Is Hot! pepper sauce feature plenty of heat, with the Mango-Acerola Cherry Hot Sauce on the hot side of medium-hot and the Papaya Hot Sauce being noticeably hotter, a good solid 7 or more on a 10-point heat scale. But what makes these hot sauces really stand out is their superb, unique flavors thanks to the use of the finest ingredients. Bel Soley works with small local farmers who grow their fruits and vegetables using organic standards. The Mango-Cherry sauce blends fresh Piman Bouk habaneros with the finest Francique and Mango Blanc mangoes (over 60 mango varieties grow in Haiti!) plus Acerola cherries for a sauce that's naturally sweet with a spunky hint of tartness and a peppery punch. The Papaya hot sauce combines papaya with a local sweet variety of grapefruit called Chadeque and cane sugar to create a tangy, fruity taste with a big habanero wallop. I like both of these hot sauces on all sorts of grilled food and robust dishes, from meat (including goat of course) to poultry to seafood, and of course they're ideal for making authentic Creole and Haitian meals.

Haiti Is Hot! Hot Sauces are sold in Haiti under the name "Nap Boule!", which in Creole means "we are on fire!" When you purchase these hot sauces, you help the rebuilding efforts that are ongoing in Haiti: Bel Soley (which means "beautiful sun") is actively involved at the community level to foster local economic development, entrepreneurship and empowerment coupled with the improvement and protection of Haiti's environment including reforestation efforts and financial assistance to small farms that want to implement organic methods and obtain organic certification. For this reason -- and also because these hot sauces taste great -- we are pleased to include the Haiti Is Hot! sauces in our Sauce for a Cause program. And for a limited time, you can purchase either or both flavors of Haiti is Hot! Sauce at a special discounted sale price when you order them from the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On Sale Now: Walkerswood Jonkanoo & Scotch Bonnet Sauces!

Walkerswood makes some of the finest -- and most popular -- Jamaican sauces and seasonings, with devoted fans in Jamaica as well as here in the USA. And for a limited time only, the Carolina Sauce Company has slashed its already low prices on the feisty and flavorful Walkerswood Jonkanoo Hot Sauce and the fiery-hot Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet Pepper Hot Sauce. These hot sauces were already a bargain at the regular price of only $3.99 for a full-size 5 oz bottle, but you can now order each of these Jamaican favorites at the limited-time special sale price of only $3.75 each! This special extra-low price is good only while supplies last, so don't delay and order today - no coupon necessary!

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you're following a low-carb diet and are looking for low-carb hot sauces, you'll be thrilled to know that both the Walkerswood Scotch Bonnet sauce and Jonkanoo sauce have zero carbs.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Carolina Sauce Closed on Sept 8 2010

The Carolina Sauce Company will be closed tomorrow Wednesday, September 8, 2010, while we attend a seminar. You can still shop online tomorrow on our secure website, and orders placed tomorrow will begin shipping out on Thursday the 9th. Although no one will be in the office to answer the phones or reply to emails while we are closed tomorrow, please do feel free to leave us a message (visit our Contact Us page for our phone number and email address) and we'll reply as soon as we are able after we re-open on Thursday. Thank you for your understanding, and your patronage.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Zesty BBQ Turkey Burgers

Here's a delicious recipe for full-flavored turkey burgers with a zesty kick. This recipe makes 4 burgers - simply multiply it if you're feeding more folks this Labor Day. Make sure your grill grates are as clean as possible to prevent these lean burgers from sticking.

1 lb raw ground turkey
1 beaten egg
Your favorite barbecue sauce (preferably a thicker BBQ sauce)
1/3 cup soft bread crumbs (if tearing bread to make, tear into very small pieces)
1 jalapeno, deseeded & minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbs pickle relish
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Vegetable oil spray (e.g., Pam brand)
4 hamburger buns

Combine the egg and 2 Tablespoons of barbeque sauce in a large bowl. Stir in the bread crumbs, jalapeno, onion, pickle relish and garlic. Add the ground turkey and use your hands to combine everything thoroughly. Shape into four 3/4"-thick patties, making a small depression in the middle so that the middle of the burger is a little less thick than the edge (this will keep them from bulging in the middle during grilling). Spray both sides of the burger with a little vegetable oil spray to keep them from sticking on the grill. Grill the burgers directly over medium-hot coals for 7 minutes (keep grill uncovered). Flip over and grill until completely done, about 8 to 10 minutes, brushing with BBQ sauce a few times. Because these are turkey burgers, you need to make sure they're well done. Serve on hamburger buns with more BBQ sauce and your favorite toppings - you can toast the bun insides on the grill if desired.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Safety First When Playing With Fire

Greg and I have been enjoying the beautiful weather -- and our grill -- this weekend, and I bet lots of folks have been doing the same thing, and/or are planning a big barbeque for Labor Day. Having experienced a bit of an accident that could have turned catastrophic yesterday (see below), I figured this was as good a time as any to review some grilling safety tips:

*Think Clean. When preparing food indoors or out, keep your hands and cooking surfaces clean. Don't forget to rinse and scrub fruits and veggies, and never place cooked food on plates or surfaces used for raw meat, poultry or fish. Utensils and plates used for raw meat, poultry or fish should be washed in hot, soapy water before re-using.

*Turn Up the Heat. Use a meat thermometer when cooking meat or poultry to make sure it has reached a safe internal temperature. This means 165F for poultry, 160F for beef hamburgers (sorry, medium rare or rare simply isn't safe), 145F for beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts and chops, and 160F for pork.

*Keep It Hot. After cooking, keep hot foot hot until serving -- this means at least 140F (below that temperature, bacteria can grow rapidly).

*Stay Cool. If a dish requires refrigeration (e.g., mayonnaise and mayo-based salads, cold cuts, etc.), keep it refrigerated as long as possible before placing in a cooler to travel or to enjoy outdoors. Make sure your cooler has plenty of ice to last as long as necessary (ideally, refrigerated foods should be kept at 40F or below, because bacteria grow rapidly at above 40F).

*Watch the Clock. Once served -- taken off the grill or out of the cooler, for example -- don't let food sit out for longer than two hours. If serving food outdoors and it's hotter than 90F (the day's temperature, not the food), don't let food sit out for over one hour. Longer than that, and bacteria will multiply quickly.

*Careful with that Fire Starter! This one almost burned Greg yesterday, literally! A long-handled lighter is a great way to light a charcoal chimney or grill, and is usually quite safe -- unless, of course, it suddenly cracks and spills lighter fluid all over your t-shirt, as happened to Greg. Being the smart guy that he is (and given that we were on our back deck, not at a park or someone else's home), he went inside and changed shirts BEFORE trying to light the coals using a different lighter. If you end up spilling lighter fluid on yourself, PLEASE don't risk catching yourself on fire. Change shirts if at all possible (and of course wash any fluid off your hands, arms etc.). A long match or long-handled lighter (one that isn't leaking!) will keep you from burning your fingers when starting a fire. If you use starter fluid, only use charcoal lighter fluid (never gasoline or other flammable liquid) and NEVER add charcoal fluid once coals or kindling have already been ignited.

*Quench the Flames. When you're finished grilling, let the coal and ashes cool completely before disposing of them in a metal (non-flammable) container. DON'T dump them in a trash can, or you just might start a real fire. It's a good idea to have a spray bottle of water to spray over the coals and ashes to make sure they're completely out before disposing of them.

*Beware the Smell. If using a gas grill and you suddenly start smelling gas while cooking, this is BAD. Get away from the grill ASAP and call the fire department.

*Stay Away from Danger. Make sure your grill is located a safe distance from the home, deck railings, overhanging branches, and anything else that could catch fire.

*Keep Kids & Pets Away. Declare a three-foot "kid-free & pet-free zone" around the grill, for everyone's safety. The last thing you need is little ones (of the two-footed or four-footed variety) running into the grill and knocking it over or getting burned - or bumping you into the grill and getting you burned, or knocking food out of your hands, etc.

*Moderation, Please. If enjoying "adult beverages" while manning the flames, do so in moderation. A drunk cook is more likely to burn the food or themselves, or cause an accident, or overlook good food/fire safety practices, or inadvertently let the coals burn out before all of the food is fully cooked (as recently happened to one of my readers, who shall remain nameless).

With that in mind, here's wishing everyone a safe and tasty Labor Day!

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

PS: Make sure to follow SaucyGlo on Twitter tomorrow, as I'm going to post a one-day-only Labor Day coupon exclusively for my Tweeps!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quick Ideas for Using Fresh Summer Herbs

If you grow herbs, or have a generous neighbor willing to share his or her bounty with you, or if you can buy fresh herbs at a good grocery store or local farmer's market, here are some quick & easy ideas for enjoying them this Labor Day:

*Sweet basil leaves are the perfect accompaniment to vine-ripened, homegrown (or farmer's market) tomatoes. Sprinkle julienned or coarsely chopped basil over sliced tomatoes, add a light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and a little bit of Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper. For added elegance and substance, serve with slices of fresh mozzarella and crostini or sliced Italian bread.

*Mint leaves can dress up the simplest summer dessert: Add a few mint leaves to a bowl of fresh berries, sliced peaches, melon balls and fruit salad. Garnish a serving of sorbet with a couple of mint leaves for a flavorful and colorful touch. My favorite is a couple of scoops of mango sorbet served with a few fresh raspberries and two or three of mint leaves. Beautiful counterpoints of colors, textures and flavors!

*A little bit of fresh rosemary goes a long way to add a punch of flavor to a simple oil & vinegar marinade. Strip the rosemary leaves from the stem, lightly crush the leaves in the palm of your hand using the fingers of your other hand, and then sprinkle over pork, chicken or vegetables on the grill. You can also sprinkle the crushed rosemary leaves over pizza crust or focaccia brushed with olive oil before baking (or grilling). I like to toss rosemary leaves into my green salads when dressed simply with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper.

*Chop some fresh parsley and add to potato salad or pasta salad for a color accent and zesty flavor. Fresh parsley is also great with grilled chicken, seafood or veggies.

*Minced fresh dill or chives add a punch of flavor to grilled salmon and other grilled seafood.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you love herbs and enjoy them year round, you'll love Big Daddy's Superb Herb Seasoning, an all-natural blend of leafy herbs (not powdered herbs) and spices, and containing NO MSG or added fillers.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Top 10 Best-Selling Zesty Products for August 2010

Here are the top ten best-selling sauces and seasonings across all product categories for August 2010 at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce moved up from #4 in July to become our top selling barbecue sauce and all-around best seller last month. Wells Hog Heaven is an authentic eastern NC BBQ sauce made with vinegar and spices, and no tomatoes.

2. Matouk's Calypso Hot Sauce from Trinidad & Tobago broke back into the top 10 list in dramatic fashion by finishing in 2nd place for August. Full of fiery scotch bonnet peppers and other authentic West Indian ingredients, Matouk's Calypso is a favorite among chiliheads who enjoy Caribbean hot sauces.

3. Scott's BBQ Sauce is another genuine eastern NC BBQ sauce, and with plenty of red pepper it's hotter than the Wells sauce.

4. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce: This lusciously flavored and mildly spicy hot sauce made it back onto the top ten list, possibly because August was National Peach Month and we were running a special discount coupon for all of our peach products.

5. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce is one of the original ultra-hot hot sauces, and with its healthy dose of capsaicin extract it's best used by the micro-drop, with extreme caution!

6. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce is the milder, sweeter sibling of Matouk's Calypso, and adds sweet tropical papaya to the traditional fiery scotch bonnet recipe.

7. Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is our all-time best-selling Jamaican jerk product, and this intensely aromatic and spicy-hot wet rub is frequently on our monthly list of overall best-sellers at Carolina Sauce.

8. Buderim Ginger Bears are made with real Australian ginger, and these popular gummy bear candies are regularly on our best-seller lists.

9. Calhoun's Charcoal Grill Seasoning is made with real charcoal and adds mouthwatering char-grilled flavor to anything you cook even when you don't use a charcoal grill.

10. Outta the Park BBQ Sauce completes our list of August's best-selling sauces and seasonings. This gourmet barbecue sauce is made with mostly organic ingredients and delivers rich tomato flavor with zesty tang and a pleasantly peppery finish.

We're in the process of tabulating the category-specific top-sellers for August, and as soon as those totals are in I'll post the highlights here (and the complete lists will be available on the Carolina Sauce site).

Zestfully yours,