Friday, May 31, 2013

Zesty & Thrifty Recipe: Vegetarian Cuban-Style Chickpeas & Rice (Garbanzos con Arroz)

Traditional Cuban Garbanzos con Arroz, aka chickpeas and rice, is made with pork, usually in the form of fatback, bacon or sausage. My Mom's garbanzos, however, were always vegetarian. Whether that was because money was tight, or because her mom also had omitted the pork, I do not know. All I know is that we always enthusiastically devoured her meatless chickpeas and rice, often asking for seconds.

The following is my recreation of my Mom's vegetarian (and vegan) Cuban chickpeas and rice. Once you try it, I think you'll agree that the hearty flavors can stand on their own, no pork required.

1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas aka Garbanzo beans, drained
2 Tbs olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 Tbs diced roasted red peppers (pimientos)
1 Tbs dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Cooked white rice, for serving

Heat olive oil and bay leaf in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion & pepper, saute until softened and onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to break down. Stir in chickpeas and remaining ingredients except cooked rice. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes at a low simmer. Uncover and stir: If the chickpeas look "soupy," raise heat to medium-high and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve over hot cooked rice and discard bay leaf before serving.  Makes 2 or 3 servings.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Cuban food is not spicy-hot. If you feel the need to add peppery heat to this savory dish, I recommend using a good cayenne hot sauce at the table instead of adding hot sauce to the recipe as it cooks.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Squeal Like A Pig Hillbilly Hot Sauce

Squeal Like A Pig Hillbilly Hot SauceAccording to legend, this flame-red, painfully hot habanero pepper sauce traces its origins to an old hillbilly recipe discovered in an abandoned moonshine still by an extreme raft guide lost in the West Virginia mountains.

When finally rescued, the poor guide was found clutching an empty Mason jar and a tattered, yellowed piece of paper with the hand-scrawled recipe as he babbled incoherently, with an occasional pig-like squeal punctuating his mad ramblings. The only word that his rescuers could make out was, "Hot!"

And thus goes the legend of Squeal Like A Pig Hillbilly Hot Sauce.

Whether you're into whitewater rafting, or a native of wild and wonderful West Virginia, or a fan of the movie "Deliverance," or merely someone who appreciates the fiery power of a classic habanero hot sa
uce, Squeal Like A Pig Hot Sauce will have you begging for mercy and squealing like a pig if you get careless.

Buy Squeal Like A Pig Hot Sauce online at the Carolina Sauces website, especially if you want it in time for a Father's Day gift.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lemony Sauteed Collards & Radishes with Spring Onions

collard greens with radishes
Here is a vegetarian & vegan-friendly recipe for collard greens that uses spring onions, lemon juice and radishes -- including the green tops -- for plenty of zesty flavor and a lighter, healthier impact than traditional southern recipes calling for fatback or bacon. The ingredient amounts are flexible and can be adjusted to your tastes and the quantities you have on hand. And by using the collard stems and the green tops of the radishes, both of which are edible and nutritious but often needlessly discarded, this recipe qualifies as thrifty by stretching the total number of servings possible. Just make sure you select radishes with tops that are green and fresh-looking rather than limp, yellow or brown.

1 large bunch collards, washed
1 bunch radishes with greens attached
2 to 3 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large spring onion* or 3-4 regular green onions
Juice of half a lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste (omit if you prefer a milder flavor)

*Note: I use the term "spring onion" to refer to immature onions typically available from farmers in the spring. They look like ordinary green onions on steroids, i.e., with a fairly large white bulb almost the size of a small shallot and two or more times larger than the white bottoms of the green onions found year-round at supermarkets.

Trim the stems from the collards, cutting off any tough ends, then chop the stems into small pieces and set aside. Thoroughly wash the radishes under running water, being sure to remove any grit from the leaves. Trim the radishes, reserving the green tops. Discard any wilted yellowed or brownish radish leaves and stems. Thinly slice the radishes -- if any are large, you can cut in half first. Thinly slice the spring onion or green onions, including the green part. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, then add collard stems, radishes, garlic & onion and cook, stirring regularly, until just tender. 

collards and radishes
While that is cooking, thinly slice the collard greens into strips:  I grasp several leaves in a stack and roll up together lengthwise as if making a cigar. Hold the roll firmly with one hand at the stem end and use a sharp knife to slice the "cigar" into about 1/4" slices. Place the collard strips in a bowl and set aside. Next, coarsely chop the radish greens and add to bowl with collards.

When the garlic mixture is just tender, add the collards & greens in batches, stirring after each addition to cook them down a bit before adding more. Once all the greens are in the skillet, sprinkle with a little salt & pepper, red pepper flakes if using, and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over everything. Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, to desired level of tenderness. Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Feel free to splash on some hot sauce at the table -- Texas Pete is a favorite in the South for spicing up collards and other greens.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Would You Eat "Fire Ant Juice?" Read This Before Saying "NO"

If you live or vacation in Florida, you've probably heard the warning about not disturbing a fire ant hill -- and perhaps you've had the misfortune of inadvertently stepping on one and experiencing the excruciatingly painful burn from being stung by fire ants.

Many people have described the agony caused by fire ant stings as feeling like their skin was on fire.

In light of that, why would anyone in their right mind ever consider eating fire ant juice?

The answer is quite simple, actually:  Because "Fire Ant Juice" is the name of a fiery-hot gourmet hot sauce made in Florida!

Click to buy Fire Ant Juice
Fire Ant Juice Hot Sauce gets its unforgiving heat from cayenne peppers, jalapeno peppers and habanero peppers. This three-pepper combination ensures that you'll feel the initial zingy bite of the cayennes followed by the smoldering burn of jalapenos, which explodes into a long-lived raging inferno as the habaneros kick in. This hat trick of heat is guaranteed to thrill the serious fiery-foods fanatic who yearns for and appreciates a well-crafted, multi-layered heat experience.

But Fire Ant Juice is not just another cleverly-named hot sauce that cares more about an attention-grabbing name and high heat level than about the quality of flavors and ingredients inside the bottle. No, this potent potion is as much about high-quality ingredients and palate-pleasing flavors as it is about the fiery heat inspired by its namesake insect.

For one thing, the hot peppers are all listed ahead of vinegar on the ingredients list, which appears fifth on the label instead of first or second as with lesser, vinegar-based hot sauces. Furthermore, unlike generic vinegary hot sauces, Fire Ant Juice Gourmet Hot Sauce adds naturally sweet mango juice for tropical Florida flavor, ripe tomatoes for richness, and roasted garlic for savory zest. Finally, there are no artificial ingredients, additives or chemical preservatives in this high-quality, high-heat and high-flavor sauce.

Now that you have the full story, would YOU eat Fire Ant Juice?

If you've changed your answer to "Yes!" you can buy Fire Ant Juice Hot Sauce online at the Carolina Sauces online store, where it's currently on sale.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day

Memorial Day Flags by eddiecoyote on Flickr
Are you enjoying your day off today with a BBQ or cookout or family outing? Or perhaps you're spending the holiday shopping or watching the latest movies...

Or maybe you're painfully aware of the real reason for the holiday, and are remembering a loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country...

Regardless of how you're spending the day, please take a moment to pause and reflect about the meaning of Memorial Day.

Better still, find the time to honor the brave men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives on battlefields past and present. Place a flag or some flowers at a soldier's grave. Help spruce up a neglected burial plot. Attend a Memorial Day service at a military cemetery. Say a prayer, if that's something you do -- and if it isn't, then simply hold our departed heroes in your thoughts and heart for a brief moment.

On this solemn day, I am thankful for and humbled by the selfless service of those who have given their lives to protect and defend our great nation. May their sacrifices never be forgotten.

With deepest gratitude,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gloria's Cranberry Walnut & Orange Mini Scones

Although I love baking all sorts of breads, I rarely bake anything sweet.

This was my first attempt at scones, and I dare say they turned out nicely, albeit more reminiscent of shortbread than scones.

The recipe is what I came up with after doing some research online and in cookbooks, and using the ingredients that I had on hand in my kitchen pantry. For richer scones, you can use whole milk or half & half (I used skim milk for a lower-fat scone, and I'm sure you could use low-fat milk or even buttermilk).

Because I made these cranberry walnut orange scones for a potluck brunch, I cut them into mini-scones rather than full-size traditional scones. If you prefer larger, taller scones, press out the dough to a full 1" thickness and cut into larger, fewer wedges (8 to 10, perhaps).

3/4 cup milk (I used skim to cut fat)
Ready for egg wash & sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, very soft but not melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs chopped candied orange peel
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries*
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Topping: 1 beaten egg, approx. 1 Tbs sugar**

*Use either sweetened or unsweetened, whichever you prefer.

**I used a "cosmopolitan rimmer" sugar which was granulated sugar flavored with pomegranate juice, hence the pink color of the sugar shown in the photo to the right.

In a large bowl mix together the milk and butter. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt & cinnamon. Add this flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and whisk or stir until you have a stiff, dry dough -- you may need to use your fingers to work it together. Stir in the cranberries and walnuts until thoroughly incorporated, using your fingers if necessary. Remove dough from bowl, place in the middle of a large piece of plastic wrap and use your hands to press out into a large rectangle about 1/2" thick. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.

Baked and cooling
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Remove chilled dough from refrigerator, unwrap and brush top with beaten egg then sprinkle with sugar as desired. Cut into 24 wedges, rectangles or diamond shapes, then place 1" apart on lined/sprayed baking sheet. Bake at 375°F until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you love cranberries, the Carolina Sauce Company is your source for zesty cranberry sauces and condiments, including cranberry salsa and award-winning cranberry hot sauce. Visit our online store to browse our selection!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hot Spots Hot Sauces: Perfect for Firefighters & Dalmatian Lovers

Hot Spots Chief Smoky Hot Sauce
Searching for a unique Father's Day gift for a firefighter who enjoys spicy food?

How about a special Father's Day gift for a dog-lover, especially one who has a soft spot in their heart for Dalmatians?

In either case, look no further than Hot Spots Hot Sauces, a flavorful and fiery line of savory, all-purpose hot pepper sauces with adorable "firehouse" Dalmatians on the label!

From tangy jalapeno pepper sauce to incendiary habanero hot sauce, with flavors ranging from smoky to garlic-zesty and tomato to tangy, Hot Spots has a hot sauce for every taste preference.  These hot sauces are all-natural, too, and made with the finest ingredients, setting them apart from lesser sauces on the market.

Hot Spots Blaze Hot Sauce is the hottest of the Hot Spots family, with the powerful punch of habanero peppers in the forefront, complemented by the lower, slower burn of cayenne peppers for multidimensional heat. If you're not an experienced chilehead or serious fiery-foods fanatic, Blaze might be too hot for you to use as a table sauce -- but don't worry, it's not spiked with extracts or capsaicin oil; all the heat is natural and there are no funky aftertastes like with extract-spiked sauces. That means you'll get nothing but devilishly delicious flavor and incendiary heat when enjoyed on served food at the table. When used in cooking, Blaze Hot Sauce adds great flavor and high heat to omelets and other egg recipes, chicken dishes, seafood, hamburgers, your favorite chili recipe and more.

Hot Spots Chief Smoky Hot Sauce is made with habanero peppers that have been slow-smoked over smoldering hickory logs for layers of dark, rich, earthy flavors and a medium-hot burn that's mellower than the sharp bright bite of fresh habanero peppers. A healthy dose of garlic adds just the right zing while a squeeze of key lime provides a hint of zesty citrus. Chief Smoky Hot Sauce is wonderful with robust meat and poultry dishes, and is an excellent choice to add to cornbread, beans, stews, soups and other hearty fare.If you make your own barbecue sauce at home, this is the hot sauce to use when you want to add a touch of smoke and fire.

Hot Spots Fireball Hot Sauce
Hot Spots Ember Hot Sauce is a rich, medium-heat chipotle hot sauce that's made with tomatoes for a thicker texture and a special blend of secret spices for a more interesting, food-friendly flavor than typical vinegar-based chipotle sauces. The smoked jalapeno peppers (i.e., chipotles) make this sauce a little milder in heat than Hot Spots Chief Smoky, making it perfect for chicken, seafood and veggies as well as with meat. Because it's not vinegary, Ember Hot Sauce is fantastic with ribs, dribbled over fries, poured over scrambled eggs or burgers, and even with spaghetti and other pasta. It's also a natural with nachos, tacos, burritos, enchiladas and other Mexican, Southwestern or Tex-Mex fare.

Hot Spots Fireball Hot Sauce is a classic green jalapeno pepper sauce with a traditional vinegar base, plus a bit of garlic and a touch of spices to liven up the flavor. If you're a purist and prefer an honest, straightforward tangy jalapeno hot sauce, Fireball Hot Sauce will not disappoint. Enjoy this all-purpose medium hot sauce on pizza, nachos, burgers, chili, rice & beans, scrambled eggs & other breakfast food, and in savory recipes. Splash it into chicken soup or winter stews to add some pep. Mix it into dips and salsa for extra zip. You can't go wrong with this one!

Hot Spots Flame Hot Sauce is hotter than Fireball Hot Sauce because Flame is made with habanero peppers. Like its jalapeno counterpart, Flame Hot Sauce is a classic, all-purpose vinegar pepper sauce that delivers straightforward flavor true to its primary pepper ingredient. In this case, it's habaneros for a solid HOT heat level and that distinctive "fruity" habanero pepper flavor. A judicious selection of herbs and spices adds complementary savory notes without diminishing the role of the habaneros or altering the flavor of your food. Second only to Blaze in terms of heat, Flame is superb on traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas, as well as with heartier, more robust stews, grilled or roasted meats, bean dishes and the like.

Hot Spots Sparky Hot Sauce
Finally, there's Hot Spots Sparky Hot Sauce, a playfully feisty blend of chili peppers brought together in a zesty, tangy sauce for flavor and fire that continue to develop and grow with every bite. Sparky Hot Sauce is terrific for enjoying with chips, appetizers, chicken wings, fries, pizza, hamburgers, subs & sandwiches, plus so much more. In addition to shining at the table, Sparky Hot Sauce is a great choice when you want to add some heat to your favorite recipes without overpowering the flavors of the other ingredients, and without overwhelming your taste buds.

All six flavors of the firefighter/Dalmatian themed Hot Spots Hot Sauces are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauces online store, just in time for Father's Day.... and anytime you need a unique gift, or want to treat yourself to a superior hot sauce experience.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ancho Chile & Cheddar Cornbread

If you like your cornbread to be savory rather than sweet, and enjoy a bit of a peppery kick, you need to try this recipe.

The ancho chili peppers deliver that spicy kick along with a subtle earthiness and a darker, more rustic appearance, while the cheddar cheese and yogurt provide richness and tang. And by using nonfat Greek yogurt you keep the overall fat content of this cornbread much lower but without sacrificing texture or flavor.

If you don't have a cast-iron skillet in which to bake my Ancho Chili & Cheddar Cornbread, use a well-greased 9x9x2 baking pan and don't preheat it in the oven.

1 1/2 cups cornmeal (not self-rising)
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable, corn or canola oil
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 or 3 dried ancho chilies, roasted & rehydrated*
4 tsp baking powder

Dried Ancho Chiles
Buy dried ancho chilies
*Note: Not sure how to do this? Read my post on how to roast dried peppers, and my post on how to rehydrate and use dried chili peppers.

Use kitchen shears to snip the rehydrated ancho peppers into small pieces, or use a sharp knife to chop. Set aside. Grease a 9" cast iron skillet with butter or bacon fat, place in oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat together the eggs and oil in another bowl, then stir in the yogurt, corn and chopped ancho peppers and until thoroughly combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to thoroughly combine -- a wooden spoon works well for this. Fold in the cheese into this batter, then sprinkle in the baking powder and stir until mixed into the batter. Remove hot greased skillet from oven and immediately transfer the batter into the skillet, using a spatula to spread evenly.  Bake at 400°F until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  If you enjoy the earthy-sweet, mellow and mildly spicy flavor of ancho chile peppers -- which are dried poblanos -- check out Dave's Gourmet Ancho Powder, made from premium ground ancho chilies. It's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauces online store.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jamaican Jerk BBQ Sauces from Busha Browne are On Sale

Busha Browne's Honey Jerk BBQ Sauce
Add some festive island flavor and fire to your next barbecue or cookout with these two new Jamaican jerk barbecue sauces from Busha Browne, one of Jamaica's best-known and most popular sauce makers.

Busha Browne's Jamaican Jerk Honey BBQ Sauce takes their authentic jerk seasoning blend -- made the old-fashioned way with fiery scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, Jamaican pimento, thyme and other savory spices and herbs -- and blends in tomato, cane vinegar and real honey to create a thick, exotic barbecue sauce that will complement virtually anything. The savory, tangy, sweet and spicy flavor notes are well-balanced so that no single one overpowers the others. The subtle hint of cinnamon adds an inviting, mellow warmth that brings everything together. The body of the sauce is pourable but thick enough for slathering, basting, mopping and dipping. All of the ingredients are natural, and there is no high fructose corn syrup or artificial preservatives. If you prefer a barbeque sauce that's pleasantly sweet but not cloying, and with intriguing tropical flair, Busha Browne's Honey Jamaican Jerk Barbecue Sauce is an excellent choice for you.

Busha Browne's Smoky Jerk BBQ Sauce
On the other hand, if you prefer earthy, smoky barbecue sauces that deliver robust, complex flavors and finish with a fiery kick, Busha Browne's Smokey Jamaican Jerk BBQ Sauce will make your mouth sing for joy. Once again Busha Browne starts off with their famous jerk seasoning as the base and adds tomato and cane vinegar to create a basic barbecue sauce, and then they add natural hickory smoke flavor for a rich, deep smokiness. A touch of cane sugar adds mellowness without turning this into a sweet BBQ sauce. The result is a mysteriously dark, multidimensional barbeque jerk sauce that complements heartier grilled or smoked meats such as ribs, roasts, brisket and chops, while also working well with game, waterfowl (goose, duck), portobello mushrooms, and poultry (especially dark meat). As with the honey barbecue sauce, Busha Browne's Smoky Jamaican Jerk Barbecue Sauce is made with all-natural ingredients.

Both flavors of Busha Browne's Jamaican Jerk Barbeque Sauces are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauces online store.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Greg's Bacon & Sweet Potato Casserole

Have your taste buds have outgrown that tired, old sticky-sweet marshmallow-covered candied yam casserole that's popular on holidays and potluck dinners?

Are you looking for a new savory-sweet side dish that will pair well with roast chicken, grilled steaks or chops and other hearty entrees any time of year, and also doubles as a brunch casserole?

If you answered to any of the above, then try Greg's Bacon & Sweet Potato Casserole, a not-too-sweet, warmly spiced alternative to cloying sweet potato casseroles. The bacon adds subtly smoky, salty meatiness that will wake up your mouth and lift your spirits any time of the year.

1 lb sweet potatoes (we like them unpeeled but you can peel for smoother texture)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk (skim or low-fat is fine)
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon*
1/2 to 1 tsp ground nutmeg*
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
8 strips bacon, cooked** & crumbled

Prior to baking
*Note: If you prefer a subtle "winter spice" flavor, use 1/2 tsp of each. For a more intense flavor, use up to 1 tsp of each.

**Note: I save the bacon grease for other uses, and reserve a little bit for greasing the casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter or grease a large casserole dish (9" x 12" x 2") or two smaller casserole dishes. Cube and cook the sweet potato until tender -- you can boil in water or cook in a microwave oven with a little water -- then drain and mash in a large bowl with all the other ingredients except the bacon. Use a ladle to transfer the mixture into a blender (you may need to do this in 2 batches), and  blend until relatively smooth and frothy (the mixture will look lighter in color). Pour the mixture into the casserole dish(es), then gently fold in most of the bacon and sprinkle the rest of the bacon over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350°F until top starts lightly browning and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hr 15 mins. Makes 6 to 8 servings; refrigerate leftovers.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PETA Wing Sauce & BBQ Seasonings... Really??

PETA Wing Sauce
Recently-arrived at the Carolina Sauces online store are PETA Buffalo Wing Sauce and PETA BBQ Seasoning, the newest additions to the PETA sauces & seasonings product line!

If you're scratching your head and wondering what PETA is doing making chicken wing sauces and BBQ seasonings, let me clear up your confusion:

In this case, "PETA" stands for "People Eating Tasty Animals."

Late last year I introduced you to the original PETA products, including PETA Steak Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, Steak Seasoning and Garlic-Habanero Hot Sauce in a late-year blog post. We're now pleased to be able to bring to you more meat-friendly products from the unabashedly proud carnivores at People Eating Tasty Animals.

PETA Wing Sauce is a traditional tangy-spicy Buffalo wing sauce made with aged cayenne peppers in a vinegar-tomato base. Ironically, PETA Wing Sauce is dairy-free and vegetarian: The rich and creamy mouthfeel and buttery flavor come from vegetable margarine, not butter or cream. This is a crowd-pleasing medium-heat chicken wing sauce that's a good choice for parties, tailgating and cookouts, not just because of the funny label that's guaranteed to spark conversations but also because it's neither too hot nor too mild for most people. In addition to working with chicken wings whether breaded or bare, fried, baked or grilled, it's also a good choice for Buffalo shrimp and any other recipes calling for a Buffalo sauce.

PETA BBQ Seasoning
If brisket, pork butt, ribs, smoked chicken or other similar slow-cooked smoker fare is popular at your house, you need PETA Barbecue Seasoning, a robust and savory dry rub and all-purpose seasoning. Made without sugar (so it won't burn on your grill or smoker) and with a pleasant medium heat and zesty garlic flavor, it will please meat-lovers and vegetarians alike. You can even enjoy it as a popcorn seasoning, or sprinkled over French fries.

All PETA sauces and seasonings -- including these two new ones -- are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauces online store. Click here to buy PETA products.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 20, 2013

The "Skinny" on Kale Chips: Awesome or All Hype?

kale chips
Lately I'd felt like the last person left on the planet who had never eaten or tried making kale chips.

Honestly, I had remained stubbornly skeptical about all the hype surrounding kale chips, doubting  the laudatory claims regarding taste, crunch and ease of preparation.

Well, having now witnessed the making of kale chips -- Greg cooked them -- and eaten them, I can declare myself the newest member of Kale Chip Nation, albeit merely an "associate member" rather than a full-fledged, card-carrying, kale-bible-thumping convert.

Yes, kale chips can be delightfully crunchy and delicately crisp, almost airy:  When baked, the leaves are far thinner than any potato could ever be sliced. Frankly, I enjoy that lighter, fragile crispness more than I do the average potato chip. On the other hand, if you're a big fan of thicker-cut potato chips, kale chips might not be for you.

As to taste, baking does soften and mellow any bitterness, resulting in a surprisingly mild and subtle flavor that was pleasantly generically "green" and less distinctly "kale" than I had expected. For me, that was a huge positive because I'm not crazy about the flavor of kale unless it's well-seasoned and complemented by garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon or fatback or other such ingredients.

baked kale chips
Was the preparation and cooking process as easy as typically touted? Not really. If you want to avoid soggy, limp kale "chips" it's crucial that the leaves be DRY before tossing with oil and seasonings, and that takes a little time and effort. The few leaves that weren't completely dry did not crisp up during baking. Also, I was not prepared for the smell, which was rather unpleasant as it often is when cooking collards, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and the like. So, in addition to the expected cleanup of the baking sheets, I also had to air out the kitchen after Greg made the kale chips.

That said, it isn't especially hard or overly time-consuming to make kale chips, and I'd be willing to try making them myself the next time we get kale. We learned that you do need to pay special attention to a few things for best results. And that is the purpose of this post.

Here are our tips for awesomely crunchy, savory kale chips:

1. Dry the leaves thoroughly after washing and removing the stems. I cannot stress this enough. A salad spinner helps tremendously with this. Otherwise, use paper towels or clean terrycloth kitchen towels to pat the leaves as dry as possible. Then, regardless of drying method, spread the leaves in a single layer on paper towels to finish air-drying before proceeding.

2. Don't use too much oil.  When ready to bake, place the leaves and oil in a large resealable plastic bag, seal and gently shake, using your hands to gently manipulate the bag so that all the leaves end up with a light coating of oil. This is easier to do (and to clean up) than tossing in a bowl. For 1 average bunch of kale, 1 to 2 Tbs of olive or other oil should be sufficient. Start with less because you can always add a little more to the bag.

Tennessee Whiskey Seasoned Salt
3.  Don't over-season. Place the oil-coated kale leaves in a single layer on one or more baking sheets and then very lightly season with a pinch or two of sea salt or kosher salt, a few grinds from your pepper mill, or perhaps a little granulated garlic or your favorite savory seasoning blend such as Tennessee Whiskey All-Purpose Seasoned Salt (shown on left). Because the kale chips turn out so light and airy, you can easily over-salt or over-season if you're not careful.

4. Don't over-bake or else the kale will get bitter. Greg baked the leaves at 275°F in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes and then letting them bake until crisp and just very lightly golden on the edges. If you let the chips burn or get too brown, they will taste unpleasantly bitter.

5. Run your kitchen exhaust fan and/or open the windows when you make these. Like other vegetables in the Brassica family (collards, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), the kale will stink when you cook it. Do not let that scare you: The chips taste much better than their odor suggests.

So, are you a fan of kale chips? Do you have any tips for making them? Please let us know in a comment below - we'd love to hear from you!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Heads Up: Our May VIP Coupon Expires Tomorrow at Midnight!

If you want to cash in on some great deals on barbecue sauce, condiments and snacks for the long Memorial Day weekend, time is running out: Our May VIP coupon for the Carolina Sauces online store expires at midnight EDT tomorrow, May 20th!

May is National BBQ Month, and we've been treating our Carolina Sauce VIPs to the best discount yet this year, 7% off ALL Carolina Sauces products, including already discount sale items.  If you're a VIP and haven't taken advantage of your May coupon, be sure to do so before it expires tomorrow. If you've already used the coupon and forgot to order that special sauce or want to do some early Father's Day shopping, you can re-use the coupon on new orders as long as you do so before midnight tomorrow.

If you did not get your May VIP coupon, simply email me ASAP and I'll send it to you.

If you're not a Carolina Sauce VIP but want to become a VIP so that you can receive special VIP-only discounts and coupons in our monthly Newsletter, simply sign up here.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New BBQ & Grilling Gift Baskets for Father's Day

Pitmaster BBQ Gift Basket
Father's Day will be here before you know it, and the Carolina Sauce Company has two new gift baskets for Dads who love grilling, slow-cooking on a smoker, and all things barbecue.

The Ultimate Pitmaster BBQ Gift Basket, shown on the left, is the ultimate gift for the King of the grill and master of the BBQ smoker or pit. Well-stocked with some of Kansas City's finest barbecue sauces, dry rubs and seasonings, the 16" galvanized bucket comes with a full-size bottle of each of the following:
  • Meat Mitch Whomp BBQ Sauce
  • Tim & Todd's BBQ Sauce
  • Heffy's Sweet Mesquite BBQ Sauce
  • Cowtown Sweet Squeal BBQ Rub
  • The Slabs Rib Rub
But wait, there's more:  The Pit Master BBQ Gift also includes Steve Raichlen's renowned book, "How to Grill," plus a Cast Iron Sauce Pot that's perfect for cooking up that secret special sauce recipe, a Silicone Basting Brush for mopping and basting with your favorite barbecue sauce, a Silicone BBQ Mitt to protect Dad's hands when working at the grill or smoker, a Grill Brush for scrubbing grates and cleaning the grill, and a set of Fire Wire Flexible Skewers for making kabobs or even roasting marshmallows. The large, sturdy bucket is great as a beverage tub to ice down and hold Dad's favorite soft drinks or beer, and can even be used for disposing of hot charcoal ash after the grilling or smoking is done. All of these BBQ goodies come in the bucket which is securely shrink-wrapped, and you can get the whole thing gift-wrapped, too, if you'd like.

Grillmaster BBQ Gift Basket
Another excellent Father's Day gift for the outdoor chef or barbecue enthusiast is the Grillmaster BBQ Gift Basket, shown on the right. This bountiful barbecue gift has everything your favorite grillmaster wants and needs for a truly memorable BBQ and grilling experience. Featuring some of Kansas City's best-loved barbeque sauces, seasonings and dry rubs, the Grillmaster Gift Basket includes a full-sized bottle of each of the following:
  • Meat Mitch Whomp BBQ Sauce
  • Heffy's Sweet Mequite BBQ Sauce
  • Cowtown Sweet Squeal BBQ Rub
In addition to those zesty condiments, the reusable 9" galvanized pail also comes with Steve Raichlen's classic "BBQ Bible" book, a Silicone Basting Brush for mopping and basting with your favorite barbecue sauce, and a set of Fire Wire Flexible Skewers for grilling kebabs and roasting marshmallows. The pail can be used to dispose of hot ash during cleanup, or for holding or storing BBQ tools and accessories. As with the deluxe Pitmaster BBQ Gift Basket, the Grillmaster Gift comes shrinkwrapped with everything in the bucket, and you can choose to have the whole thing gift-wrapped.

You can buy these grilling and BBQ gift baskets, as well as many other barbecue gifts and gourmet baskets, on our Gift Baskets & Gift Boxes page of our website.  Make sure to place your order soon so that it'll arrive in time for Father's Day!

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Are you reading this when it's too late to ship a gift in time? No problem, send a gift certificate instead! We have many electronic gift certificates and gift cards that arrive within 24 hours or even in mere minutes from when you click "send." Browse our Gift Certificates page for more information, and to purchase gift certificates in a variety of budget-friendly amounts.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to Grill Asparagus, Outdoors or Indoors

Did you know you can cook asparagus on a BBQ grill

More importantly, have you ever tasted grilled asparagus?

On a whim and out of sheer boredom, I tossed a few asparagus spears on our grill (a grill equipped with GrillGrates does an excellent job on asparagus), and cooked the really slender ones indoors on my George Foreman grill. To my surprise and delight, the grilled asparagus -- both ways -- was marvelously tasty and ridiculously quick & easy to cook. Grilling simultaneously deepens and mellows the flavor of the asparagus, allowing a subtle sweetness to develop while softening any "grassy" or "vegetal" flavor notes. And the texture is remarkably satisfying, too: When grilled just right, the asparagus retains just the slightest crispness on the outside with an almost-buttery interior.

Asparagus grills so quickly that you need to keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking. It usually takes no more than 5 or 6 minutes from start to finish, including washing and trimming any tough ends, and the actual on-grill time is probably only two to three minutes. So I don't recommend walking away from your grill once the asparagus is on.

Here are my tips for grilling asparagus, whether on a conventional outdoor barbecue grill of any kind, or indoors on a George Foreman grill or other similar indoor grill:

1. Wash asparagus, trim off any tough ends (I snap them off but you can use a knife if you prefer) and pat dry with paper towels.

2.  Preheat your grill. If cooking outside, make sure your grates are clean. If using an indoor grill, the grate plates should be clean and oiled per manufacturer recommendations.

3.  Lightly season the asparagus if desired (I like a light sprinkling of lemon pepper or other similar mild seasoning) and toss with a little oil or spray with cooking spray.

3.  If grilling outdoors, place the asparagus spears across the grates over indirect low to medium heat and close the grill cover. If grilling on a Foreman Grill, place the spears across the grate ridges and close the grill cover. In both cases, grill for 2 or 3 minutes, then check for doneness: The asparagus should be bright green with light or golden grill marks and "al dente" fork-tender (a slightly wrinkly appearance is normal, but you don't want the asparagus to get mushy-soft). Older, thicker spears will take a little longer to cook, while very young and slender spears can cook in barely 2 minutes. That's why I recommend checking for doneness after two minutes.

Serve the grilled asparagus "as is" or with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of melted butter, a sprinkling of sea salt, a couple of grinds of black pepper, a pinch or two of fresh chopped herbs or other simple seasoning. I like adding the grilled asparagus to a lightly-dressed spring salad.

If you try grilling asparagus, please leave a comment to tell us what you think.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Now Available: Blair's Death Rain Ancho Chili Cheeseburger Chips

Spicy potato chips are nothing new.

Neither are cheese-flavored potato chips.

But have you ever heard of cheeseburger flavored potato chips? And what about spicy ancho chili pepper potato chips?

Now wrap your head around this one: All-natural, kettle-cooked potato chips that taste like an ancho chili cheeseburger!

If your mouth is watering by now and you wish you had bowl full of crunchy, salty, spicy, beefy-cheesy potato chips, I have good news:

The Carolina Sauce Company now carries Blair's Death Rain Ancho Chili Cheeseburger Potato Chips, and you can buy them online, and they're on sale!

Those crazy chileheads at Blair's always seem to come up with outrageous flavor & fire combinations for their Death Rain Chips, and these brand-new Ancho Chile Cheeseburger Kettle Chips from Blair's are par for the course.

Thick-sliced and kettle-cooked the old-fashioned way for the ultimate in crispy crunchiness, these unique potato chips are practically smoldering with smoky ancho pepper heat and bursting with remarkably satisfying cheeseburger flavor.  It's like enjoying your favorite burger without having to visit the drive-thru window at your local fast-food joint!

So if you're a fiery-foods fanatic who enjoys spicy flavored potato chips, or you're hosting a party or cookout and shopping for unusual and spicy snacks, be sure to order a few bags of Blair's newest kettle chips, and get ready to feel alive!

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Blair's Death Rain Potato Chips come in a variety of other flavors and heat levels, including Chipotle, Buffalo Wing, jalapeno Cheddar, Habanero and Jolokia. You can find them all, along with Blair's hot sauces and other zesty products, at the Carolina Sauces online store.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Easy "Throw Recipe": Pasta with Roasted Spring Vegetables

This simple and versatile recipe is in the "throw cooking" style: I simply used what I had on hand and threw it together without worrying about measurements.

I happened to have fresh asparagus, young carrots and spring onions (aka green onions) from the CSA we joined this year, along with a little bit of white wine from a previously opened bottle, and half a package of whole wheat pasta shells. Because I didn't have any fresh herbs on hand, I used dried herbs. You could either use the same ingredients or substitute other fresh vegetables that you enjoy roasted, and likewise with the herbs (fresh or dry will work). If you don't want to use wine, simply use a little bit of chicken or vegetable broth, or even a bit of the water from the boiled pasta if you are vegan. And the cheese is completely optional.

You can adjust the quantities to make as many servings as you need (the amounts below were sufficient for 2 large or 4 small portions). In fact, the whole point of this post is to inspire and to show that cooking a wholesome, flavorful homemade meal need not be a complicated or expensive proposition.

8 oz whole wheat pasta (or regular pasta)
8 oz asparagus, any tough ends trimmed
2 slender, young carrots, peeled & trimmed
2 spring onions, including green tops
Salt & ground pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs white wine (or broth or pasta water)
Fresh or dried herbs to taste: I used dried thyme
Opt: Shredded parmesan or other cheese, to taste (I used 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice the asparagus, carrots and onions into approx. 1/2" rounds. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, then place in single layer in a shallow roasting pan (if needed you can drizzle with a little more olive oil). Roast until tender and golden to taste, approx. 30 to 45 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, and then cook the pasta according to package directions -- you'll want to try to time this so that the pasta is ready around the same time as the roasted vegetables. If the vegetables are done first, remove from oven and set aside. If the pasta is done first, drain and set aside in a warm spot with a little bit of the cooking water (not more than a couple of Tablespoons).

When everything is done, transfer the roasted vegetables into the empty pasta pot and use the wine (or broth or pasta water) to deglaze the roasting pan. Add the drained pasta with just a tiny bit of the cooking water back into the pot with the vegetables, pour in the liquid from the deglazed roasting pan, sprinkle with herbs and then gently toss to combine -- a silicone spatula or large wooden spoon works well. Taste and season with salt & pepper if desired, then add cheese if using and gently stir to incorporate the cheese. Serve hot, and refrigerate any leftovers.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you have a "burning desire" to spice up this dish, by all means feel free to sprinkle with some crushed red pepper flakes, or even a few splashes of your favorite basic hot sauce.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

To my Mom and all the Moms out there, the Carolina Sauce Company and I would like to wish you a very happy and zesty Mother's Day!

Heartfelt thanks for all the little things (and of course the big things, too) that you do, your selfless caring and compassion, your unwavering love and support, and all of your hard work.

May today and every day be filled with beauty, light and love.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Thrifty & Easy Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Buying a whole chicken is far more economical than buying parts, and is a great way to stretch a tight food budget. It takes only a few minutes to cut up the bird, plus you have the option of cooking it whole.

True confession time: Until a few days ago, I had never attempted to roast a whole chicken. To my relief, it proved to be quite easy and the mouthwatering results were well worth the wait (it does take well over an hour to cook, and the bigger your bird, the longer it will take).  Although my first roast chicken wasn't as evenly browned or resplendently golden as those seen on cooking shows, "foodie blogs" and in professional photos, I am not ashamed to show a picture of it. It tasted just as good -- if not better -- than any roast chicken I've had before, and was proof that food need not be beautiful to taste good.

I hesitate to call the following a "recipe" because it's merely an accounting of how I went about roasting my first chicken using ingredients I happened to have on hand at the time. When it comes to making roast chicken, the flavor possibilities are almost limitless: You can use any kind of seasoning, dry rub, or savory blend of herbs and spices that you like. The same is true as to the vegetables:  If you can roast it and enjoy eating it, feel free to use it. And instead of placing garlic cloves and lemon slices in the chicken's cavity, you can put fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs, thinly sliced orange, fresh chopped chives or sage, or virtually anything else or even nothing at all other than a sprinkling of your dry seasonings. Let your palate, imagination and ingredients on hand be your guides.

Because I was cooking only for Greg and me, a smallish chicken was sufficient to feed us and provide some leftovers for salads or sandwiches. If roasting a larger chicken, you may need to cook it longer -- use a good meat thermometer to let you know when it's done (thigh temperature reaches 180°F and the juices run clear). If the breast is done before the rest of the bird, cover the breast with a piece of foil to prevent over-browning or drying out.

Jim's Own Safari Rub
Safari Rub
1 chicken (I used a broiler/fryer that was almost 3 lbs)
10 to 15 garlic cloves
Half a lemon, thinly sliced & seeds removed
2 large carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2" chunks
1 small rutabaga, peeled & cut into small chunks
Up to 1/4 cup white wine
Jim's Own Safari Rub or other seasoning or rub of your choice
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove giblets packet from inside the chicken cavity and save for another use (I freeze until I have enough for making dirty rice or fried giblets). Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place in a roasting pan, breast side up with the wing tips tucked under the bird if possible. Spread the lemon slices and garlic cloves inside the chicken. Some recipes call for tying the ends of the drumsticks together with kitchen twine, but I didn't do this. Pour the melted butter over the entire bird (you may need more melted butter for larger chickens), then sprinkle generously with the Safari Rub to coat the whole chicken (I used about half of the packet of rub).

Ready for the oven
Pour a little wine into the roasting pan around the chicken (just enough to cover the bottom) then place the chopped carrots and rutabaga around the chicken and sprinkle the vegetables with a little more of the rub.

Place in oven and roast until the internal thigh temperature reaches 180°F and the juices run clear -- this took about 1 hr 45 mins for my chicken, and larger birds will take longer.

Almost done
When the chicken is done, remove from oven and transfer the chicken onto a plate or platter and cover with foil while it rests -- this will ensure that your chicken is juicy.

Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (or 425°F depending on how tender the vegetables are), return the roasting pan with the vegetables to the oven and roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender to taste.  Serve vegetables along with the chicken, and refrigerate any leftovers.

How do you like to roast chicken? Tell us in a comment below.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

NEW from Matouk's: Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Hot Sauce

Matouk's Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Hot Sauce
Click to buy Matouk's Scorpion Pepper Sauce
Matouk's Hot Sauces, world-famous makers of traditional Caribbean hot sauces, have released a brand-new hot sauce: Matouk's Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Hot Sauce!

The newest member of the Matouk's product line is at least as hot as their incendiary Matouk's Flambeau, the hottest of the bunch until now. This should come as no surprise given that the main ingredient in Matouk's Trinidad Scorpion Hot Sauce is the newly-crowned world's hottest pepper -- yes, even hotter than the ghost or jolokia pepper.

But don't dismay: As is the case with the entire Matouk's family, this newest member features that familiar, food-friendly, rich and tangy mustard base that you've come to know and love. And the Trinidad scorpion peppers are aged and pickled, just like the scotch bonnet peppers that Matouk's uses in all their sauces including this one. So if you can handle the extreme heat of the new hottest pepper on the planet, you will be rewarded with superb flavor.

Buy Matouk's Trinidad Scorpion Pepper Sauce online now at the Carolina Sauces online store, where it's currently on sale.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Simple Sauteed Scallops Salad (Mother's Day Recipe)

It was my lucky day when I stumbled upon a one-day-only sea scallops sale at my local Whole Foods. While I adore scallops, they're normally priced outside my budget and therefore a very rare treat. So, seeing them on sale at a ridiculously low price, I picked up some of these plump, delicately-flavored and naturally low-fat & high protein morsels of goodness from the sea.

Scallops sometimes get a bad rap because of the light, attentive touch it takes to cook them. In fact, scallops can be downright intimidating to home cooks because they (the scallops, not the cook) can go from still-raw to overcooked and rubbery in mere seconds. That said, one benefit of scallops cooking so quickly that they require your undivided attention only for a few minutes, unlike other "tricky" foods that demand a much longer time commitment.

As with most seafood, the secret to perfectly cooked scallops is to remove them from heat just before they're fully cooked, because the residual heat in them will finish the cooking process in less than a minute. Specifically with scallops, you want to remove them before the middle is completely opaque (when viewed from the side the middle is still translucent rather than solid-white like the top or bottom).

And now for a confession: My original intent when making this recipe was to sear the sea scallops so that they'd have that eye-catching golden-brown color to contrast with the bright green of the baby lettuce bed. Alas, my pan and butter were not sufficiently hot at the time I added the scallops, and I also used too much butter for the amount of scallops. So instead I decided to call this recipe "simple sauteed scallops salad" rather than the trendier, more lofty-sounding "seared sea scallops over mesclun." If you prefer to sear the scallops, by all means go for it; the finished dish will be delicious either way. This recipe would make a lovely Mother's Day recipe, by the way.

Sea scallops
Seafood-friendly seasoning blend, e.g., Gentlewoods Natural Safari Rub, Caribbean Key Lime Spice, or Tennessee Whisky Lemon Pepper & Herb seasoning
Mixed salad greens, e.g., mesclun or baby lettuces
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper (preferably sea salt & freshly ground black pepper)

*Note: There are no ingredient amounts in this recipe because they're unnecessary: It will work for any number of scallops, and you can use any seasoning blend you like as long as it's not too robust or intense (you still want to taste the scallops, and their delicate flavor can be overwhelmed). You probably need no more than a Tablespoon (if that) of butter for a pound or so of scallops -- I used 2 Tablespoons, which was too much.

Too much butter!
Pat the sea scallops dry with paper towels and place in a single layer on a plate. Generously sprinkle on both sides with seafood seasoning -- I used the Safari Rub from Jim's Own -- and set aside.

In a large bowl toss together the salad greens with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice, and salt & pepper to taste -- you want to dress the lettuce lightly and not drown it in oil or lemon. Transfer dressed greens to individual serving bowls or plates.

Melt a little bit of butter in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the scallops to the very hot butter and cook (or sear) on both sides for about 2 or 3 minutes per side: The goal is to cook most of the way through but not completely, which means you'll want to remove the scallops from the pan while the middle is still slightly translucent.

When ready, remove pan from heat and use tongs or a slotted spatula to transfer the scallops from the pan to the salads. Squeeze just a little bit of lemon juice over each salad and serve.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  Did you know you can order fresh sea scallops online and have them express-delivered to your home? Click here to buy sea scallops.

Monday, May 6, 2013

How to Become a Carolina Sauce VIP and Get Exclusive VIP Deals

Sign Up for Carolina Sauce VIP Coupons
Click to become a Carolina Sauce VIP
"How do I become a Carolina Sauce Company VIP?"

"How do I qualify for VIP discounts at the Carolina Sauces online store?"

"How do I get Carolina Sauce Company coupons?"

If you're asking one or more of those questions, you're not alone. We hear those questions a lot.

Fortunately, the answer is the same for all three:  Simply sign up to become a Carolina Sauce VIP!

As a VIP, you'll receive our FREE monthly Newsletter with exclusive VIP coupons and discounts that you won't find anywhere else. Our VIPs get the deepest discounts and best coupons available, plus product reviews and VIP-only recipes, grilling tips & cooking ideas -- all in our monthly Newsletter (we value your time and don't bombard you with weekly or daily emails, unlike other companies). In fact, our May Newsletter, celebrating National BBQ Month, will be emailed to our VIPs this week, and you won't want to miss it if you love great barbecue.

If you're now asking, "Where do I sign up?" you've come to the right place: You can sign up right here, right now in just 3 quick & easy steps:

1.  Type your email address (your name is optional) and select an Email format (we recommend HTML) below, then click the "Join" button:

Sign up to be a Carolina Sauce VIP and receive our FREE monthly email Newsletter with exclusive coupons, special sales, new product info, zesty recipes, and more.  We send the Newsletter only once a month, you can unsubscribe anytime, and we NEVER share your email or contact info with anyone.  Sign up below, then click the 'JOIN' button:

First Name: 
Last Name: 
Email Format: 
"This is my second order from Carolina Sauce. I have been totally satisfied with both orders. Great selection to choose from and fair pricing. Prompt response and shipment. Shipped and received in perfect condition. I will do business with this company again. No fear using their products and service. Thank you." --Bill J., Lancing TN

2.   Check your email for a Confirmation Email from us (it should arrive within a few minutes) and click on the confirmation link in the email. If you don't click on the link, your name won't get added to the VIP list, so don't forget!

3. If you haven't received the Confirmation Email within a few minutes, check your Spam folder. If you STILL don't see it, send me an email that says "Sign Me Up" in the Subject line, and I will manually add you to our VIP list.

Any questions? Simply leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page, or send me an email.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Your email address is safe with us, and you can read our Privacy Policy here. We fully comply with CAN-SPAM and will NOT send you any other emails unless you ask us to contact you or there is a problem with your order requiring us to notify you. You can unsubscribe from our VIP email list anytime, and we NEVER sell, share or disclose your email address with anyone else.