Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Caribbean Tartar Sauce

This simple recipe was inspired by the festively zesty island flavor of Tortuga Spicy Seafood Grilling Sauce, which is only $3.99 a bottle when you order it from the Carolina Sauce Company. Enjoy it with fried or broiled fish, shrimp and other seafood, or as a feisty sandwich spread, and even in your favorite potato salad or tuna salad recipe for extra zip.

1 cup mayonnaise, regular or reduced fat or fat-free
1/4 cup minced sweet pickles OR drained sweet pickle relish
4 Tbs Tortuga Spicy Seafood Grilling Sauce
1 Tbs chopped green onion or scallion

Mix all ingredients together. For best flavor, refrigerate in a non-metal container for a few hours before serving. You can store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Zestfully yours,

PS: No time to make your own tartar sauce but crave that rich, homemade taste that's missing from grocery store tartar sauces? Try Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce for old-fashioned, down-home flavor the whole family will love--and it's also only $3.99 from the Carolina Sauce Company!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Just A Minute

Hey there, got a minute?

Yeah, I know, you're really busy today if you're stuck working like I am.... but you'll probably take a few minutes at some point during the workday to check Facebook, or to visit your favorite news website, or chat with a colleague in the break room. So yes, you have a minute, if you think about it.

And if you're not working today, then you're probably very busy preparing for your big Memorial Day cookout, or getting ready to spend the day at the beach, or otherwise running around with a hectic day planned.... but you'll still find time today to go online, or turn on the TV, or just take a break.

If you stop and think about it, we all have a minute.

One minute to consider what today, Memorial Day, is really all about. It's a day to remember and honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, who gave their lives on our behalf. Take a minute and think what the world would be like if the Civil War or World War II had turned out differently: Would you even be here? Imagine what it must be like to be told that your child, spouse, or best friend had been killed while serving in Vietnam. Or to watch your buddy die in combat in Iraq.

You may not have time today to watch your town's parade, or to place a flag on a soldier's grave at the cemetery, or to visit a local war memorial. And it's certainly not wrong to spend today having fun outdoors, or shopping, or otherwise having a good time--after all, we're able to enjoy our freedom because of the brave men and women of our armed forces.

But no matter what your plans are today, you can probably pause for a minute to remember our fallen heroes, and to offer up a silent thank-you for their service and their sacrifice.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Carolina Sauce Co. Memorial Day Schedule

The Carolina Sauce Company will be open for business on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th, but with reduced staff and shortened work hours. If you need to call us on Memorial Day and get our voice mail, or if it takes a little longer than usual for us to reply to your email, please understand that we're not ignoring you; we're merely short-handed for the day. We'll definitely reply as soon as we can, and in any event by Tuesday, May 31st, at the latest. And as always, you can order online 24/7 on our secure website, even on holidays and after hours.

Also, please be aware that neither UPS nor the US Post Office will be operating on Memorial Day, and therefore we won't be able to ship any packages on Monday. We will resume shipping orders on Tuesday, May 31st. Thank you in advance for your patience and your understanding.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gloria's Spicy Maple-Bacon Sweet Potatoes

This recipe combines three of my favorite foods: bacon, sweet potatoes and maple syrup. Make this as spicy as you'd like--or not--by which type of ground pepper you use, and how much. I used ground habanero, and it turned out to be just the type of fiery heat I enjoy. Folks who want a little less of a burn can use red pepper or cayenne, or even ground black pepper. Use real maple syrup, not "pancake syrup" or artificial maple syrup. I prefer the darker Grade B maple syrup, which is also less expensive than Grade A or Fancy, because it has a deeper, richer flavor. This recipe makes 2 servings as a side dish, and you can easily double or triple it to serve more. My Spicy Maple-Bacon Sweet Potatoes are a wonderful accompaniment to pork chops, roast chicken, grilled steak, and other hearty fare.

1 slice bacon
1 large sweet potato
1 Tbs maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground pepper: black, cayenne, red or habanero

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. While the bacon is cooking, wash the sweet potato and dry it with a paper towel. Cut the unpeeled sweet potato in half crosswise, then each half lengthwise. Slice each sweet potato quarter into 1/4" thick half-moon slices. When bacon is fully cooked, remove the bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb grease. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet, add the sweet potatoes and stir to lightly coat all slices with the fat (if necessary, you can add a little butter if there's not enough bacon fat). Cover and cook over medium heat for several minutes, stirring from time to time, until the sweet potato slices soften and start turning golden brown. Be careful not to overcook or they can get mushy. When the sweet potato is cooked, remove skillet from heat and crumble the bacon into the skillet. Add the ground pepper and maple syrup (it will sizzle), then stir with a spatula to combine all ingredients, being careful not to break up the sweet potato slices. Serve hot.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce is Back in Stock!

All four varieties of the renowned Bone Suckin' Sauce are back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company! These tasty North Carolina barbecue sauces are made in the western NC style, with a tangy-sweet blend of vinegar, tomatoes and savory spices for a flavor the whole family will love. Excellent on everything from pulled pork BBQ to ribs, chicken, seafood and even vegetables, Bone Suckin Sauce is available in the classic Original Bone Suckin' recipe, the spicy Hot Bone Suckin' Sauce with a healthy dose of hot peppers, and in two thicker recipes that are ideal for slathering: the mild Bone Suckin' Thicker Sauce and the spicy Bone Suckin' Hot Thicker Sauce.

When you order any flavor of Bone Suckin' BBQ Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company, not only will you be getting one of North Carolina's most famous barbeque sauces, but you'll also receive FREE recipes to help you enjoy Bone Suckin' Sauce in the kitchen as well as on the grill. This sauce is flying off our shelves quickly, and we've already been told by one of our suppliers that they're out of at least one of the varieties and won't have more until July, so don't delay and order your favorite version today while we still have it in stock (and while our May special is still running).

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last Chance to Get a Free BBQ Sauce Sample!

Time is running out to claim your FREE sample of Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce, an award-winning Piedmont NC barbecue sauce with a mouthwatering tangy-sweet flavor. To receive your free sample of Jim's Own Sauce, simply place an order in any amount (no minimum purchase required!) at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, and enter the word "JimsNews" (no spaces, no quotation marks) in the COMMENTS field or GIFT MESSAGE field, and we'll include your free sample (plus recipes) with your order.

Time is also running out to get 10% off the product total if you order $40 or more in products from the Carolina Sauce Company online store. Simply order $40 or more in products and enter the coupon code "JimsNews" (no spaces, no quotation marks) in the COUPON CODE field found on the billing page, and you'll automatically save 10% off the product total. We will also send you the free sample of Jim's Own BBQ Sauce, along with recipes.

Both of these special offers expire at midnight on Friday, May 27th, so don't delay!

For more information, check the Carolina Sauce May Newsletter, or visit the Carolina Sauce Facebook page and click on the Coupons tab.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spicy Crab-Artichoke Dip

Serve this zesty dip with chips and/or raw veggies for dipping. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 package (8 to 10 oz) imitation crabmeat chunks, coarsely chopped
1 small package (4oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup spicy salsa, such as Bone Suckin' Salsa, or picante sauce like Bubba's Special Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Optional Garnishes (one or more of the following): pickled jalapeno or hot pepper rings, sliced black olives, thinly sliced green onions including the green part

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Combine the chopped artichoke hearts, crabmeat, cream cheese, salsa, mayonnaise and salsa in a bowl. Spoon into a shallow baking dish or a pie plate. Bake at 350F until heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish as desired. Serve hot with chips, pita wedges or raw veggies.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spicy Spinach with Garlic & Ginger

This zesty recipe makes a flavorful side dish for steak, pork chops, roast chicken, and even fried fish. I've provided some alternative ingredients so that you can make the spinach as spicy (or less so) as you'd like.

1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach, washed, excess water shaken off & stalks trimmed (to save time you can use about 1 lb pre-washed baby spinach)
3 Tbs olive oil OR hot chili oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 green onions, chopped including some of the lighter green part
1 Tbs freshly grated ginger
1 Tbs sherry OR spicy pepper sherry
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: Sesame oil for garnish

In a large, lidded pan or wok, saute the garlic, green onions and ginger in the oil over medium heat until softened. Bring heat up to medium-high, add spinach and saute for about 1 minute, constantly stirring. Add the sherry, season with salt & pepper as desired, then cover the pan to let the spinach "steam" for 3 to 5 minutes until just tender (baby spinach will cook faster than mature). As soon as the spinach is tender, remove from heat, stir & serve. If desired, drizzle a little sesame oil over the cooked spinach before serving.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Weekend of Disappointments

I had such great expectations for this weekend....

Yesterday afternoon was a gorgeous spring day, warm and sunny without the oppressive humidity that comes later in the season and dominates the summer in North Carolina. I decided to spend part of the afternoon in Hillsborough at the annual Hog Days festival, which was wisely moved this year from its traditional late-June weekend to the 3rd weekend of May. Despite the gorgeous weather--or perhaps because of it?--this year's festival seemed to have only half as many visitors as last year's. While this meant shorter (or no) lines for food or at the various vendors, it also meant less support and exposure for the local businesses and nonprofits that had set up their tents, booths and concessions stands. Sadly, there seemed to be significantly fewer vendors this year as well, and I couldn't help but wonder if that meant that some of the folks who had brought their handmade soaps, jewelry, art and other crafts last year had since become casualties of the economy. Hopefully the reduction in festival size and attendance was due to the new date for the event, which also coincided with two much larger events in Raleigh (Artsplosure and the Got to be NC Festival--more on the latter later).

My biggest disappointment at Hog Days, however, was the BBQ that was offered for sale: As always, it was an amalgamation of the barbecue cooked by the competitors the night before. But unlike the tasty BBQ sandwich I enjoyed last year, this year's BBQ was completely lacking in any smoky flavor. Pit-cooked BBQ should have at least a hint of smoke. While the pork was moist, I couldn't discern any smokiness. The sauce used this year (already mixed into the pulled pork) was sweeter than what I personally prefer, and lacked spice or character. The nail in the coffin was the gigantic piece of gristle--not skin, but tough, inedible cartilage--that I had the misfortune of finding in my BBQ sandwich. Oh well, maybe next year will be better. At least the Orange County sheriff who gave me a "Junior Deputy Sheriff" star was a charming Southern gentleman who made me smile as I left the festival.

My second disappointment came today at the Got to be NC Festival in Raleigh. In contrast to Hillsborough Hog Days, this year's Got to be NC Festival was significantly expanded from last year's event, with more attractions for kids (carnival rides, farm animals to pet), more live entertainment (music and other acts/performances), more "fair foods" (a mini version of the State Fair), and a fantastic fish fry hosted by the Shriners. The lunch they served was the high point of my day: Hand-breaded fish and shrimp that were expertly fried so that they were tender and not greasy, plus creamy cole slaw, crispy sweet potato fries, and humongous round hushpuppies larger than golf balls, also perfectly fried without any greasiness. North Carolina agriculture at its finest was on display, both in terms of animals and produce. The "Fiberfest" was fascinating, with a multitude of yarns & clothing made from sheep's wool, alpaca, and even rabbit and bison hair. Spinners and tatters were demonstrating their respective crafts while I walked the area.

The main attraction for me, however, was the NC Food & Wine Expo, which charged a $2 admission this year. Perhaps that's why the building felt less-crowded than last year's event. I enjoyed saying hello to some of the great folks I have the pleasure of doing business with, including Scott Granai of Outta the Park BBQ Sauce and Pluto who makes Pluto's Caribbean Bliss Spice Blends. I was encouraged to see so many new food businesses at the festival this year, and the samples I tasted ranged from quite good to superb. My disappointment, however, was in how few people were actually buying any of the wonderful North Carolina products that were being sampled and displayed. While nearly everyone seemed to be partaking of the free samples, hardly anyone was purchasing any of the products. I was quite disappointed, especially since this year's festival focus seemed to be "buy local" and yet people weren't putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak. With all the talk these days about "buying local" and supporting small farms and businesses, I would have expected more actual support--rather than mere lip service--for the hardworking local food companies participating in this year's festival.

My final disappointment this weekend came tonight, and admittedly it's a trivial one, and most likely only temporary. I had such high hopes for the sublimely delicious recipe I had planned as part of tonight's dinner, and I was convinced that it would prove to be an excellent recipe to post on this blog. After all, how could anyone--much less a pretty decent creative cook like myself--go wrong with ingredients like bacon, baby squash, fresh asparagus, sundried tomatoes, garlic, feta cheese and red wine, among others? Well, I did go wrong. While the end result was perfectly edible, it was far from visually appealing, and the texture was all wrong (soggy squash is not my cup of tea). So, rather than posting a wonderful new recipe tonight, I've suffered a minor blow to my epicurean ego and will need to go back to the drawing board (or stove) before I share the recipe that I had hoped to post tonight.

Although my weekend didn't quite live up to its expectations, at least it was enjoyable--and the world didn't end on Saturday, so I get to keep experimenting in the kitchen next weekend!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

When I got home from work this evening, I had a craving for sweet potato fries but I didn't want the hassle of dealing with a deep-fat fryer. Well, actually, I didn't want the additional fat and calories of "real" fries, either. So, instead I decided to try my hand at making sweet potato oven fries, with a spicy-salty kick as I was also yearning for some burning, so to speak. Here's what I did:

I thoroughly washed and dried a sweet potato, then used a sharp knife to cut it into french-fry sized pieces. I left the skin on because I enjoy the skin on my fries, be they sweet potato or regular potato fries. I placed the raw sweet potato fries in a bowl and tossed them with some olive oil until completely coated (you can also do this in a resealable plastic bag, especially if using more than one sweet potato). I placed the oil-coated fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkled them with coarse Kosher salt. I then lightly dusted them with some ground habanero powder--CAUTION: Habanero powder is intensely hot! For a tamer heat level, use your choice of coarsely ground black pepper, ground red pepper, cayenne pepper, or even a BBQ dry rub or seasoning such as my favorite, Pig Pen's Seasoning (omit the Kosher salt if using a rub or seasoning that includes salt). For a spicy-sweet flavor, I would recommend any of the Bone Suckin' Rib Rub Seasonings, or sprinkling the fries with a little sugar if you're using Kosher salt and pepper.

To cook the sweet potato fries in my oven, I moved one of the oven racks to the 2nd level below the broiler, rather than the level directly beneath the broiler. I placed the baking sheet on that rack and broiled the fries for about 7 minutes, or until they had just started turning golden. I then removed the baking sheet and stirred the fries so as to turn them over and returned them to the oven to broil for another two or three minutes until they were golden on all sides. I kept my eye on them while they cooked to make sure they didn't burn. Once the sweet potato fries were cooked to my satisfaction, I removed the baking sheet from the oven and placed the fries on my dinner plate. Although they weren't crispy like perfectly deep-fried fries, neither were they soggy or greasy like fries that are poorly cooked in oil that isn't hot enough. More importantly, my spicy oven-fried sweet potato fries completely satisfied my craving for fiery, flavorful and healthy sweet potato fries.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Farewell to Dave's Soyabi

Sadly, our suppliers tell us that the rumors are true: Dave's Gourmet has discontinued production of their Asian-inspired marinade, Dave's Gourmet Soyabi Sauce. We sold our last 6 bottles earlier this week, and we're unable to get anymore. I will miss this savory-sweet soy-wasabi dipping sauce and marinade, which was perfect for sushi, spring rolls, tempura, tuna, salmon and all sorts of Asian dishes. Although we don't have any other similar sauces that blend soy sauce with wasabi, sesame oil and ginger, we do still offer two other wasabi products for fans of the sinus-clearing rhizome: The exotic and elegant Blair's Q Heat Wasabi Green Tea Sauce, which adds jalapenos and ginger for flavorful fusion flair, and crunchy Wasabi Peanuts, which are even more addictive and delicious than the ubiquitous wasabi peas found in grocery stores.

If you're searching for a new savory soy-based marinade, I recommend Ann's Marinade, made here in North Carolina and currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company. I haven't tried adding Asian ingredients such as wasabi, ginger or sesame oil to Ann's Marinade, but it's certainly worth a try to see if you can get a flavor similar to the now-gone Soyabi Sauce. But even without such kitchen experiments, I can say that Ann's Marinade is excellent on its own merits, especially with wild game and with leaner or less-expensive cuts of meat, because Ann's Marinade will penetrate tough meats to infuse them with rich flavor (and eliminate any "gamey" flavors) while also tenderizing them. I hope you'll give Ann's Marinade a try--and if you experiment with it to try to replicate the flavor of Dave's Soyabi, please do share the results by leaving a comment here!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All Flavors of Pepper Dog Salsa are Back in Stock!

All four fabulous flavors of Pepper Dog Salsa are back in stock again at the Carolina Sauce Company online store! Made in North Carolina using all-natural ingredients, these award-winning salsas feature authentic Southwestern tomato-pepper flavor with an earthy smokiness from chili pepper. Pepper Dog Salsas are delicious with chips, raw veggies and anything else you want to dip. But because they're thick and spoonably smooth rather than chunky or runny, Pepper Dog Salsas are also perfect for adding to your favorite recipes (tacos, meatloaf, sloppy joes, chili, burgers, etc.) and for spooning over enchiladas, burritos, huevos rancheros, and other Mexican, Tex-Mex and Southwestern fare. The three tomato salsas are available in Mild, Medium, and Hot, and Pepper Dog also makes a zesty, spicy-hot Salsa Verde (green salsa) with plenty of tangy tomatillos, fiery hot peppers, a splash of lime and a touch of cilantro. Not only are these salsas delicious and wholesome, they're also low in sodium, gluten free and fat free. Ole!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Having Trouble with the May Newsletter Coupon?

Some customers wanting to use our May Newsletter coupon for a free sample of NC BBQ sauce have reported trouble using the coupon for orders of less than $40 in products. For some strange reason, some folks are getting an error message saying that the coupon is valid only for orders of $40 or more--yet when we look into this, their order shows the newsletter coupon on our end. Please rest assured that our May newsletter coupon WILL get you a free sample of Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce, regardless of the total amount of your order. You don't need to purchase $40 in products to get the sample--as our newsletter states, there's no minimum order required to get the free sample of Jim's Own BBQ Sauce. Simply enter the coupon code and we can see it on our end, even if you can't on yours. If you want to be extra-safe, you can also enter the coupon code in the "Comments" or "Gift Message" fields of the online order form. Either way, however, we will include the free sample of sauce with your order, and I apologize for any confusion.

If you DO order $40 or more in products, the May Newsletter coupon code will get you the free sample AND also a 10% discount off your product total. The coupon code is available in the May Newsletter on this blog, and also on the official Carolina Sauce Facebook page in the Coupons section.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tips for Terrific Kabobs

Depending on which part of the country you live in, grilling season has arrived or is just around the corner. Kabobs (or kebabs, if you prefer) are a convenient way to enjoy several different tastes and textures in one meal, and are easy to make. Here are some quick tips to help you make the best kabobs, whether using meat, vegetables, chicken, seafood or fruit:

*If using metal skewers, to keep the food from sticking make sure the skewers completely clean and have no burnt-on residue from prior use

*If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for half an hour before using to keep them from burning during grilling

*Make sure your grill is completely clean to keep the kabobs from sticking while they cook. Brushing the preheated grate with vegetable oil will also help reduce sticking (use a fireproof grill brush!)

*Use ingredients that are the same size to allow them to finish cooking at the same time

*If making kabobs for the family or a barbecue and you'd like to let folks assemble their own "custom" kabobs, serve each ingredient in separate bowls so people can choose which veggies, meats, etc. they'd like on their kabobs. Provide two or three barbecue and grilling sauces (or more) from which folks can select.

*If using harder ingredients that tend to take longer to grill, such as chunks of corn on the cob or Brussels sprouts, slightly precook them in the microwave or in boiling water until just barely softened

*If planning on marinating kebab ingredients, do so first and then skewer the marinated ingredients. Discard used marinade and use fresh marinade for basting during grilling

*Make dessert kabobs with grill-friendly fruit such as chunks of fresh pineapple, peach, mango, and even fresh figs (cut in half). You'll want to either save space on your grill for fruit kabobs or clean off a section of the grate used for savory foods before grilling the dessert kabobs

*Consider chunks of moist breads as a complementary kebab ingredient: e.g., corn bread chunks or focaccia chunks for savory kabobs, pound cake chunks for fruit kabobs

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: Get a Free Taste of NC BBQ Sauce!

FREE BBQ Sauce Sample & Coupon Sale

For a limited time only, receive a FREE sample of Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce with any product order at the Carolina Sauce Company online store when you use the coupon code JimsNews, no minimum purchase required! We'll also send you some new recipes for this award-winning North Carolina barbecue sauce along with your free sample, to help you get started enjoying a free taste of NC. ***But wait, there's more: Order $40 or more in products and you'll ALSO receive 10% off your product total when you enter the coupon code JimsNews online or mention the coupon when ordering by phone (919-286-1080). This coupon is good on all regularly-priced AND already discounted sale items, so now's the time to get ready for Memorial Day while saving on your favorite condiments, relishes & salsa, marinades, BBQ & grilling sauces, snacks and even hot sauce. Don't delay, because the JimsNews coupon expires on Friday, May 27, 2011.

Featured Recipes

Here are a couple of easy, mouthwatering recipes featuring Jim's Own BBQ Sauce:

Jim's Own Baby Back Ribs (by Jim Arnold, creator of Jim's Own Sauce)
1 rack plain baby back ribs
1 bottle of Jim's Own BBQ Sauce, Original Homestyle or spicy Hot

Preheat oven to 250F degrees. Cut the rack of ribs into two-rib sections. Bake the plain ribs in a covered pan at 250F for approx. 2 hours. Remove from oven and brown the ribs slightly on the grill over medium coals. Reduce heat and baste with Jim's Own Sauce, at least 3 times per side, until ribs are done.

Pan-Fried Butterflied Chicken Breasts on Burger Buns (by Marilene Van Schalwyk)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbs vegetable oil for frying
1 Tbs soy sauce
McCormick's Vegetable Sprinkle
1/2 cup Jim's Own BBQ Sauce, Original Homestyle or Hot
4 Hamburger Buns

Butterfly the chicken by cutting 3/4 of the way through the breast and flipping it open to form a heart shape. Add oil to frying pan and heat. Place the chicken breasts in the pan, season with Vegetable Sprinkle and add soy sauce to the pan. Cook until browned, then flip over each breast and add Jim's Own BBQ Sauce to the pan. Continue cooking over medium heat until completely cooked through and browned on each side. Serve each breast on a burger bun with your favorite toppings--we like a slice of cheddar cheese, some lettuce, and a slice of tomato. You can also use the Tomato Relish (FREE recipe provided when you use the JimsNews coupon code with any order at the Carolina Sauce Company, through 5/27/11).

A Note from a Soldier

Earlier this week I received the following email from an Army Platoon Sergeant serving in Afghanistan, who had received a free gift box of North Carolina sauces through Operation Sauce Drop, our non-profit program that sends free BBQ sauce and hot sauce to US military personnel stationed abroad:

"Please thank everyone involved in sending me the sauce gift box. We plan to enjoy them when we have chicken fingers, which is usually once a week. I want you to know the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen I work with truly appreciate everything the Carolina Sauce Company is doing for the troops. Most of my guys rarely receive care packages of any kind, so anytime I receive gifts or packages I ensure they are the first to help empty the contents. Attached is a picture of me with the sauces, please continue your efforts in supporting the troops."

To date, we've shipped 1,080 free gift boxes to our deployed military, at absolutely NO cost to them. The troops truly appreciate the free sauces, as you can see from their many thank-you notes & photos. Our cost to purchase and ship each free gift box generally runs about $25, and 100% of all donations received are used SOLELY to pay for the cost of the sauces & shipping. Carolina Sauce pays for all the overhead of the program and also for a portion of the costs of each gift box. Gift box requests often outpace donations, and in fact at this time we have pending 2 requests that we are unable to fulfill because the program is presently out of funds. Please help us send a soldier a taste of home by donating 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!

Find Recipes, Special Coupons, Product Reviews, Zesty News & More

The Carolina Sauce Facebook Page is your source for Carolina Sauce news, interesting food articles, recipes, and exclusive Facebook-only coupons. For access to these special coupons and the latest zesty news, simply visit our Facebook page and click on the "Like" button to become a Fan. You can then click on the Coupons tab and access coupons and other special offers. You can also subscribe to our free RSS feed for this blog by using the sign-up fields on the left-hand column of this blog. Finally, follow SaucyGlo on Twitter for additional exclusive coupons, the latest food news, and sharing zesty tips!

Zestfully yours,

"Almost" Blue Tick Dressing

Like many folks who were fans of the original Blue Tick Dressing from Carolina Swamp Stuff, I've been seriously missing that delightfully sweet-tangy raspberry-poppyseed dressing and marinade ever since the manufacturer closed its doors a few years ago. I continue to hope that someone will bring back this Carolina original someday, which is why we're keeping a list of people who want to be notified if we're ever able to get Blue Tick Dressing again (keep reading for details on how to get on our waiting list if you're interested). In the meantime, I've been trying to whip up a reasonable imitation to satisfy my culinary cravings. Try this version, and please leave a comment to let me know what you think--and feel free to share your version of "almost" Blue Tick Dressing for other readers to try!

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs raspberry jam
1 heaping Tbs poppy seeds
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender and mix until combined. Slowly pour in the oil while blending, until it's fully incorporated. Use right away or refrigerate (preferably in a lidded glass jar or bottle) for up to 5 days. If not using right away, shake well before using.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you want to be added to our Blue Tick Dressing waiting list, please email us (sales"AT"carolinasauce"DOT"com), and we'll notify you if and when we can get this product again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Joe Bud's Hot Everything Sauce Wins International Award!

Joe Bud's Hot Everything Sauce, a rich and savory South Carolina style mustard barbecue sauce with a spicy-hot kick, recently won the Bronze Medal in the Bar-B-Cue, Glaze & Marinade category at the 2011 World Wide Mustard Competition! This international competition is in its 18th year and featured hundreds of entries from all over the world. The official judging was conducted by a "blind" panel of food critics and chefs and was hosted by the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, WI. This is the second major award for Joe Bud's Hot Everything Sauce, which also won a Scovie Award in 2004 in the Hot American Style Bar-B-Cue Sauce category.

Joe Bud's Everything Sauce was developed by Joe "Bud" Johnson from a 50-year-old family recipe originating in South Carolina. Although now made and bottled in North Carolina, Joe Bud's Everything Sauce is true to its South Carolina roots, with a tangy mustard base that complements everything from ribs (beef or pork) to pulled pork BBQ to chicken and even seafood, burgers, meatballs, baked beans and vegetables.
The Original version of Joe Bud's Everything Sauce features just enough spice to keep the flavor interesting without adding heat, while the Hot version adds hot peppers to the original recipe and is sure to satisfy fans of fiery foods. Last year the Original version won a Gold Medal at the 2010 World Wide Mustard Competition, so it's only fitting that the Hot version should win a medal at this year's prestigious event. Both versions are made with the finest all-natural ingredients, and you can buy Joe Bud's Everything Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company. While supplies last, we'll even send you a FREE card with recipe ideas and tips when you order either flavor from us!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Savory Herbed French Toast

French toast can trace its origins to medieval European kitchens, and early versions could be either savory or sweet. This savory recipe is a version of panperdy or "pain perdu" in French, and can be made with fresh or dried herbs as available.

4 eggs
4 slices bread (white or whole wheat)
5 Tbs chopped fresh herbs (one or more of the following will work: parsley, tarragon, chervil, chives, savory, etc.) OR 1 Tbs dried herb blend such as Big Daddy's Superb Herb or Mama T's Tropical Island Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste (omit if using dried herbs that include salt)
1/4 cup butter

Beat together the eggs and herbs, plus salt & pepper if using. Melt the butter in a frying pan until hot. Place the sliced bread in the hot butter and fry on one side until it starts turning light golden brown. Turn the bread over and pour half of the egg-herb mixture over the fried side. As soon as the other side of the bread starts turning golden, flip the slices over again and pour the rest of the egg-herb mixture over them. Let the egg mixture set on and around the bread slices until fully cooked, then slide the bread slices onto serving plates and enjoy immediately. Note: This savory French toast is especially delicious with a little bit of sweet pepper relish, or even some Busha Browne's Spicy Tomato Love Apple Sauce as a condiment.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Final Day of "Saucy Mama" Coupon Sale

Today is the last day for our "Saucy Mama" Mother's Day coupon sale: Save 10% off the product total at the Carolina Sauce Company when you place an order online in any amount (no minimum purchase required) and use the special Coupon Code found on the Carolina Sauce Company Facebook Page. If you're already a Fan of the Carolina Sauce Company on Facebook, you can get the coupon code by clicking on the Coupons tab. If you're on Facebook but not yet a Carolina Sauce Fan, just visit our Facebook page and click on the "Like" button to be able to access all coupons. And if you're not a Facebook user but would like to receive a "Saucy Mama" coupon code, simply send me an email TODAY (sales"AT"carolinasauce"DOT"com) and I'll reply back with your coupon code.

Here's a saucy HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all the Moms out there!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spiced Rum Butter

Surprise Mom on Mother's Day when you serve this delightful grown-up butter with her breakfast in bed or at the dinner table. Spiced rum butter is tasty on toast, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, croissants, dinner rolls, baked sweet potatoes, steamed carrots, and more. It's best if you make it ahead of time (a few hours or overnight) to allow the flavors to develop.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of grated nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch ground ginger
3/4 tsp grated orange or lemon peel
3 Tbs rum, preferably dark

Cream together the butter and brown sugar until fully combined, then beat in the spices and citrus peel. Slowly beat in the rum. When all ingredients are fully incorporated, press the seasoned butter into one or more ramekins or other small cups or bowls. Store in the refrigerator to allow the butter to set and the flavors to meld, then remove from the fridge a few minutes before serving so that it's more spreadable.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Friday, May 6, 2011

Need a Last-Minute Mother's Day Gift?

If you still need a Mother's Day gift for a Mom who enjoys good food, or misses her favorite North Carolina products, or who likes to cook, give her a Carolina Sauce Company gift certificate! Our gift certificates NEVER expire, and they're impossible to lose or misplace because we keep a record in our system and can look them up if someone can't find their certificate. To send a Carolina Sauce gift certificate, simply select the amount you want for your certificate, enter the recipient's email address, and complete the online checkout process. The gift certificate will be automatically emailed to the recipient in 3 days.

If you prefer a paper gift certificate that you can immediately hand to Mom, or that you can include in a mailed card or package, simply print out the Order Confirmation Email you'll receive after you complete your online order (don't forget to click on "Send Order" to complete your order!). Although the confirmation email is not the actual gift certificate, it's proof that you purchased it and that the recipient will receive the actual certificate via email in 3 days.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Best-Selling Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Gifts, Condiments etc.

Our category-specific lists of best-selling products at the Carolina Sauce Company have now been updated to reflect the 2011 year-to-date results so far. Below are links to each top-ten list, along with one or more highlights from each list. These best-seller lists are a great place to shop for Father's Day and Mother's Day gifts, graduation parties, summer barbecues, and all your zesty needs and desires.

*Best-Selling North Carolina Products: Our very own Hot Dill Pickle Chips are in 8th place and perfect for hamburgers and sandwiches. And if you're looking for an excellent BBQ dry rub for pork or beef, try Pig Pen's Original Seasoning, from Salisbury NC.

*Best-Selling Snacks & Sweets: We've received a fresh shipment of Buderim Ginger Bears this week, and these zippy Australian ginger gummy bears continue to fly off our shelves (yes, they're our best-selling snack as usual). If you're looking for a savory & spicy cookout condiment, you'll love our deli-style Mixed Hot Pepper Rings, made especially for us in the NC mountains using locally grown hot peppers (currently in 5th place).

*Best-Selling Barbecue Sauces: Our all-time best-selling BBQ sauce continues in 1st place so far this year and is Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce, an eastern NC vinegar sauce that's perfect for pulled pork and for marinating chicken or meat. If you prefer a spicier sauce for your Carolina barbecue (or for marinating), you need Scott's BBQ Sauce, which is also an eastern NC vinegar barbecue sauce but with a hefty dose of red pepper flakes for a fiery kick (presently in 9th place).

*Best-Selling Gift Sets: It's not too late to send a gourmet Mother's Day gift, such as our two-jar Thomas Gourmet Crab Cake Sauce Gift Box or, for the Mom who loves North Carolina products, our mild Bone Suckin' Sauce Gift Set or our spicy Hot Bone Suckin' Sauce Gift Set.

*Best-Selling Hot Sauces: If you need a quirky but tasty hot sauce gift for someone with a sense of humor, check out Samson's Sauce, a North Carolina original that's been around since 1925 and sports an old-fashioned humorous label reminiscent of old-time patent medicines (e.g., claims to cure baldness, vertigo, hangovers & more).

*Best-Selling Marinades & Dressings: A favorite of cooks, grillers, chefs and hunters, Ann's Marinade from Durn Good is a robust, savory marinade for all sorts of meat and wild game. Ann's Marinade penetrates to add mouthwatering flavor while tenderizing even the toughest, leanest cut. Ann's Marinade is currently on sale, too!

*Best-Selling Rubs & Seasonings: The original Bone Suckin' Seasoning Rub (previously called Bone Suckin' Rib Rub) is currently our 7th best-selling rub or seasoning, and adds feisty sweet-savory flavor to everything from meat to poultry to veggies. Next on the list is the aptly-named Big Daddy's Superb Herb Seasoning, a gourmet blend of of dried herbs that will complement chicken, seafood, egg dishes, steak and more.

*Best-Selling Salsa & Relish: Our very own Habanero Pepper Relish is our best-selling relish or salsa so far this year, and its serious habanero heat is sure to please chileheads and fiery foods fanatics.

*Best-Selling Mustards & Ketchups: My spicy ketchup of choice is also our best-selling ketchup, Melinda's Jalapeno Ketchup, a delicious all-natural ketchup that's not too sweet (no corn syrup or HFCS!) and delivers a zesty jalapeno kick. It's Kosher, too!

*Best-Selling Steak Sauces & Pasta Sauces: If you like to accompany your steaks or burgers with a complementary sauce that adds interesting flavor and spice, you'll probably enjoy the exotic and spicy Melinda's Habanero Steak Sauce (in 5th place), which adds Caribbean flair and fire to a classic steak sauce base. And if you enjoy teriyaki, you'll love Bone Suckin' Yaki (in 8th place), a richer, lower-sodium version of traditional teriyaki but with a North Carolina twist.

*Best-Selling Jerks & Curry: One of my favorite sauces is Pluto's Paradise Potion (in 7th place), created by a Jamaican expat now living in NC and capturing the essence of traditional Jamaican cuisine in a mild (not spicy-hot), fragrant sauce the whole family will enjoy. It's organic, too! Another winner in my kitchen is the 6th place Nando's Coconut Curry Cooking Sauce from South Africa, a creamy, moderately spicy tropical curry sauce that's marvelous with fish, seafood, chicken, rice and noodle dishes.

*Best-Selling Wing Sauces: If you enjoy traditional Buffalo style wings with fiery, tangy flavor, you'll love our 3rd-best selling wing sauce, The Distillery Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce from the award-winning The Distillery Restaurants in upstate New York. This rich and creamy wing sauce will thoroughly coat your chicken wings, ensuring plenty of fiery-hot flavor in every bite. It's so good, you'll probably want to use it on grilled chicken, with buffalo shrimp, and even stirred into potato salad!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Capsicana Zing is Back in Stock!

Good news for fans of Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce: It's now back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company! Packed with an enticing flavor that's a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet, and with just a bit of zip, Zing Sauce is an all-purpose, food-friendly table sauce and cooking ingredient that the whole family will love. Enjoy Capsicana Zing on everything from breakfast eggs to lunch sandwiches to dinner casseroles and splashed on your favorite entree. It makes a delicious dip or spread when blended with cream cheese, and adds pizazz to your favorite salads. Available in two sizes (5 oz and 10 oz bottles), we'll send you a FREE recipe sheet when you order Zing Sauce from us!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

For Saucy Mamas Only

Are you a Saucy Mama, or do you know one? In celebration of Mother's Day, we have a special coupon for ten percent off your product total at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, no minimum order amount necessary! That's right, you get 10% off all products, regardless of whether you order only 1 bottle or 100 bottles. This special coupon is available from the Coupons tab on the Carolina Sauce Facebook page. If you're not already a Carolina Sauce fan on Facebook, just click the "Like" button on our Facebook page and then you'll be able to access the Coupons page.

If you're not a Facebook user but you're a Saucy Mama who wants a coupon, just send me an email (sales"AT"carolinasauce"DOT"com) with the subject line "Saucy Mama Coupon" and I'll send you your own special coupon for 10% off all products.

This special offer and coupon are good only through Mother's Day, Sunday May 8th, so don't delay!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gloria's Spicy Couscous Salad

Here's a very easy, healthy and tasty dish that you can enjoy as a side dish or a main course.

1 package plain couscous, prepared according to package instructions
1 cup canned chickpeas, well-drained
1 cup halved grape tomatoes (you can substitute quartered cherry tomatoes)
1 small cucumber (a pickling cuke works well), peeled & diced
1 minced garlic clove, fresh or hot pickled garlic
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup Mixed Hot Pepper Rings, well-drained (you can adjust amount to taste, or substitute a chopped jalapeno or other pepper)
6 to 10 pitted Greek olives
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley OR cilantro
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Salt & black pepper to taste
Optional garnishes: anchovy fillets, pepperoncinis, crushed red pepper flakes

Prepare the couscous according to package directions and allow to cool--you can even make the couscous the night before and refrigerate until ready to use. In a large bowl, mix together the couscous and all other ingredients. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add any optional garnishes as desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April's Top 10 Best-Selling Sauces & Products

We had an extremely busy April at the Carolina Sauce Company (many thanks to our customers, both new and returning!), but I've finished tallying the top ten best-selling products for the month and they're now posted on the Carolina Sauce website. For your convenience, I've listed them below as well:

1. Our best-selling sauce last month was Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce, a vinegar-based barbecue sauce from eastern NC that's ideal for pulled pork BBQ as well as for marinating chicken and meat.

2. After being out of stock for some time at the manufacturer level, we finally received a new shipment of Buderim Ginger Bears from Australia, which led to this zippy candy being our second-best selling product in April.

3. Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is the real deal, as native Jamaicans will tell you, and this concentrated jerk paste from Jamaica was our third-best seller last month.

4. In fourth place is Matouk's Calypso Hot Sauce, a fiery and flavorful scotch bonnet hot sauce from Trinidad and Tobago.

5. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce finished fifth, and is a delightfully delicious, mildly spicy hot sauce inspired by the sweet and savory flavors of Southern cuisine.

6. Matouk's West Indian Sauce blends sweet papaya with fiery scotch bonnet hot peppers for a thick, rich tropical flavor that complements poultry, seafood, rice dishes and more.

7. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce is an intensely-hot hot sauce spiked with capsaicin extract and a favorite of serious chiliheads who can't get enough heat.

8. A North Carolina favorite, Castle Sauce is a classic steak & burger sauce from Greensboro with a rich and tangy mustard-tomato flavor.

9. In ninth place last month was the medium-heat JT Pappy's Flamin' Gator Sauce, an all-natural savory BBQ sauce that's excellent on anything you grill, even alligator!

10. Completing our list of April's best-selling sauces is a personal favorite of mine, Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce, a tangy-sweet Piedmont NC style barbecue sauce made with vinegar, tomato, and just a touch of sugar. Enjoy it on pulled pork or as a marinade for chicken--and also in the FREE recipes we'll send you when you order Jim's Own barbecue sauce from us!

Over the next few days I'll be updating the product category best-seller lists to reflect our year-to-date totals, and as always I'll post some highlights here.

Zestfully yours,