Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fresh Ginger Tea

We're experiencing a brief cold spell this week in central NC, with temperatures in the upper 30s tonight (which is COLD this time of year for this neck of the woods). So instead of my customary bowl of ice cream for dessert, tonight I'm sipping some hot mulled wine after dinner. Had I had some fresh ginger root handy, however, I would have made myself the following warming, tummy-soothing, healthy tea.

4 quarter-size (diameter and thickness of a quarter) slices of fresh peeled ginger root
2 cups water
Honey (optional)

Note: I make this tea in a small Corningware brand glass pot, and you can also use a ceramic tea kettle or other non-metal pot or vessel.

Simmer the ginger slices in the water for about 5 minutes. Strain and pour into two mugs or cups, and sweeten with honey if desired (about 1 tsp per cup). This recipe makes 2 servings, and is easily multiplied.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you enjoy the zingy bite of fresh ginger, you'll love Buderim Ginger Bears, a zippy, healthy and tasty alternative to your typical gummy candies.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shipping to Canada

As the Canadian dollar improves its position against the US dollar, we're getting more and more inquiries and orders from folks in Canada who are interested in buying hot sauce, North Carolina BBQ sauce, and more from the Carolina Sauce Company. We are pleased to be able to ship to Canada, using your choice of UPS Standard to Canada, US Postal Service Priority Mail or USPS Express Mail (the USPS no longer offers Parcel Post service outside the US). As explained on the Carolina Sauce Company Info Page, however, the online ordering system cannot accurately calculate the shipping costs to Canada. We also explain this on our online ordering screens, but some folks seem to miss this information and are then surprised to see either NO shipping charge, or an unusually high shipping charge. Those amounts (or lack thereof) are incorrect, as we explain. If you are placing an order to be shipped to Canada, please understand that we will ALWAYS manually calculate the actual shipping costs for all three available methods and email that information to you so that you can decide how you want to have your order shipped (or if you prefer, you can instruct us to cancel your order). Rest assued that we will NEVER charge your credit card or PayPal account until we receive your reply either selecting a shipping method, or cancelling your order. If you are in Canada and have any questions about placing an order with Carolina Sauce Company, please don't hesitate to contact us.

I hope this information is helpful, and I apologize for the inconvenience involved in ordering from Canada.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gloria's Spicy Guacamole

While some people use guacamole as a tongue-soother when eating spicy Mexican food (and some guacamole recipes even add a bit of sour cream to increase the fire-quenching properties of guacamole), I prefer my guacamole to have a bit of a zesty kick. If you like hot and spicy fare, try my spicy guacamole recipe!

3 ripe Hass avocados (these are the small, very dark green ones with rough skin - they have a richer flavor than the larger, lighter-colored smooth-skinned Florida avocados. If only Florida avocados are available, use 2.)
1/4 sweet onion such as Vidalia(R) or Texas Sweet, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic (I use Twenty Pepper Garlic for added fire), minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I include the seeds for added heat - if you're brave, you could even substitute half of a habanero instead)
1/2 fresh lime
Optional: 2 to 4 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped

Cut the avocados in half, rotating the knife around the pit. Twist open, remove the pit, and use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Mash everything together using a large fork, to your desired consistency. Sprinkle with salt, cilantro if using, and the juice of half a lime. Mix until just combined, and serve immediately.

Zestfully yours,

PS: As a sweet and mild contrast, I like to serve my spicy guacamole with a separate bowl of Red's Sweet Salsa.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hottest Hot Sauces: Blair's Death Hot Sauces

This is the second in a series of posts that explores the frightfully fiery world of ultra-hot hot sauces. Today I'm profiling the four Blair's Death Hot Sauces available from the Carolina Sauce Company online store. The original Blair's Death Hot Sauce, while not truly an ultra-hot because it isn't "fortified" with capsaicin extract, is nevertheless notable for its substantial and lingering heat level. The firepower comes from a blend of red and orange habanero peppers, which are the primary ingredients in the sauce, combined with fresh cayenne peppers and smoky chipotle. The next step up on the heat scale is Blair's After Death Sauce, which starts with the same recipe as the original Death Sauce but adds a bit of capsaicin extract, bringing the heat up quite a bit but still not quite as high as Dave's Insanity Sauce.

Next up on the heat scale is the intensely hot and unforgiving Blair's Sudden Death Sauce. There's nothing subtle about the firepower of this ultra-hot hot sauce (hence the name), which comes from using red habanero pods, cayenne peppers and "pure pepper resin" to ensure the heat keeps on burning long after the sauce is down the hatch. The flavors in Blair's Sudden Death are sweeter than Original Death and After Death, and there's no smokiness. Sudden Death is also spiked with ginseng, I guess to help you "feel alive" as the folks at Blair's like to say. Most chileheads consider Blair's Sudden Death Sauce to be around the same heat intensity as (or a bit hotter than) Dave's Insanity Sauce.

The hottest hot sauce of this foursome is Blair's Mega Death Sauce, with a cool-looking holographic label. Hotter than Dave's Private Reserve Insanity Sauce but not quite as hot as Black Mamba Hot Sauce or Da Bomb Ground Zero, Blair's Mega Death Hot Sauce currently holds 5th place on our list of hottest hot sauces. Assuming you're brave (or crazy) enough to try this ultra-hot hot sauce, and assuming your tongue can get past the extreme heat and actually taste any flavors, you might be able to appreciate the sweet flavors of guava and molasses, some smokiness from chipotle, and the zingy bite of ginger. The heat in Mega Death sauce comes from red habanero pods, cayenne and ancho chiles, as well as the chipotle and "natural pepper flavor" which I suspect is another variation on capsaicin extract.

All four Blair's Death Sauces are all-natural, and each bottle comes with the trademark Blair's Death skull keychain.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 25, 2008

Kiki's Calypso Pasta Salad

This delicious recipe comes from a Carolina Sauce Company customer. One nice thing about this recipe (in addition to making a truly tasty and unique salad) is that you can adjust the amount of heat and seasonings to customize the recipe for your taste preferences.

1 jar (12 oz) Roasted Red Peppers
1 can (4 oz) Sliced Olives (your choice of black or green)
1 jar (6 oz) Sun-dried Tomatoes
1/2 bag of Fresh Spinach
1 box of Whole wheat pasta
1 bottle of Wish-Bone Robusto Italian Dressing
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, diced (optional)
2 teaspoons (or to taste) Matouk's Calypso Sauce
Oregano to taste
Basil to taste (shredded fresh Basil is a nice touch if available)

Note: This recipe should be good to make a box to a box and half of pasta.

Boil the pasta according to package directions until it’s done. Drain and place in a large bowl. Chop the peppers, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes and saute them in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes, just long enough to cook them. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the pasta. Add the Wish-bone dressing, a small amount at a time until you are pleased with amount of dressing mixed with the salad. (Note: Usually a 1/3 of a bottle should be enough for this recipe.) Add the Matouk's Calypso Sauce, starting with 1 teaspoon. The sauce adds a lot of heat in small amounts. For best results add a teaspoon, stop and taste the pasta, and repeat until you are pleased with the amount of heat. Add the fresh spinach to the bowl and stir to combine. The heat from the pasta and vegetables should slowly wilt the spinach. When the spinach is wilted, add the Parmesan cheese and the herbs. To make it fancier you can add fresh diced mozzarella cheese. Mix everything together, cover and chill in the refrigerator to let all the flavors meld.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Big John's Famous Key West Hot Sauce: Sad News

I learned some sad news today: The maker of Big John's Famous Key West Hot Sauces has discontinued the original, Blue Label recipe and will no longer be manufacturing it. Bottled by hand in small batches and bearing a homestyle label with the trademark pirate, Big John's Famous Key West Blue Hot Sauce was beloved by many who had the joy of finding it in Key West and splashing it on conch fritters, stone crab, and other tropical fare as well as everyday foods like burgers, fries, sandwiches, and more. Made in the Caribbean style with a carrot and vinegar base plus scotch bonnet peppers for heat, Big John's Key West Hot Sauce stood apart from the competition by using hot pickled carrots plus red capsicum peppers, resulting in a full-bodied, tangy hot sauce with great flavor and just the right medium burn to please most palates. Big John's Hot Sauces have always been hard to find outside Key West, Florida, but we always made sure to have plenty at the Carolina Sauce Company online store for all the folks who wanted to enjoy it at home after visiting Key West. Sadly, we're down to our last 6 bottles of Big John's Famous Key West Blue Hot Sauce, so don't delay in getting some for yourself because once these bottles are gone, this hot sauce will be history.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boar & Castle Sauce: We Didn't Do It!

It's time to set the record straight: We (the Carolina Sauce Company) didn't do it! We weren't the ones who discontinued Boar & Castle Sauce, so please don't blame us. At no time did we ever manufacture this delicious sauce, which obviously has quite a passionate and devoted following. We, the Carolina Sauce Company, were simply an online retailer for this venerable old sauce and condiment from Greensboro, North Carolina. We were just as dismayed as y'all upon learning that the manufacturer was closing down and would no longer make Boar & Castle Sauce. So please stop leaving angry messages and emails blaming us for "killing" Boar & Castle Sauce, because we didn't do it. Believe me, if I could bring back the sauce, I would do so in a heartbeat.

That said, we are VERY interested in the rumors that Boar & Castle Sauce may one day be back on the market. That's why we're keeping a list of folks who want to be notified if and when Boar & Castle Sauce is available again. So please DO keep emailing and calling us if you are not yet on our "Boar & Castle Sauce waiting list" and you want to be notified if it's back on the market. To get on the waiting list, simply email us ("salesATcarolinasauceDOTcom") or call us (919-286-1080), and give us your name and email address (or phone number, if you don't have an email address). And please DO keep sharing your memories of the old Boar & Castle Restaurant, and any other stories you may have about the restaurant or the sauce, in your emails to us. I'm hoping to assemble those stories for a "Boar & Castle Memories" section on this blog someday.

So do keep those emails coming for the waiting list - but please don't blame us for the demise of Boar & Castle Sauce, 'cuz we didn't do it!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mama's Shrimp Dip

This recipe comes from "Slap Ya Mama" Cajun Seasoning, a genuine cajun spice blend from Ville Platte, Louisiana. This award-winning seasoning has been around for over 50 years, contains no MSG, and comes in original black pepper seasoning and the gentler white pepper seasoning blend.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 Tbs mayonnaise
4 Tbs catsup
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 can tiny shrimp, drained
Either flavor of Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, to taste

Mix cream cheese and mayo, add catsup, onion and bell pepper, then stir in shrimp and Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning (black pepper OR white pepper, to taste). Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bear-Man Tummy Rub

Our newest dry rub and seasoning, Bear-Man Tummy Rub, is a yummy little treat that's a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and not overly salty like many other dry rubs on the market. There's nothing but goodness in this flavorful, food-loving dry rub: no artificial additives, no MSG, no dyes, no gluten, and its ingredients are non-irradiated. Now for the goodness: Bear-Man blends together brown sugar, chili powder, two different types of paprika, 3 kinds of pepper, and assorted spices and herbs for an all-purpose seasoning that is "tummy-rubbin' good." Use Bear-Man Tummy Rub to season meats including ribs (pork or beef), steak, pork chops, poultry, and fish and seafood. Sprinkle some Tummy Rub on vegetables (it's fabulous on buttered corn on the cob, and on roasted new potatoes), or mix into ground beef when you make burgers, meatloaf or meatballs for a delicious change that'll have friends and family asking for seconds and begging for the recipe. Speaking of recipes, there's a simple recipe on the label for making seasoned oyster crackers, which make a great alternative to popcorn or chips for snacking! Bear-Man Tummy Rub, as well as all 3 delicious varieties of Bear-Man Barbecue & Dipping Sauces, are now available from the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sap-Happy Golden Bear Maple Sauce

Bear-Man Sap-Happy Golden Bear Maple Sauce is the latest stroke of genius from Barry the Bear-Man in upstate New York. This culinary masterpiece is made with pure maple syrup (the first ingredient on the label), and the sweetness is the perfect foil for the spicy ingredients (including jalapenos, ginger and cayenne) and the savory ingredients (including tomato-based chili sauce, soy sauce and mustard). If all of this sounds complicated, it is, but in a very good way! These diverse ingredients come together in a harmonious marriage of layered flavors in Sap Happy Golden Bear Maple Sauce, to create a grilling and cooking sauce that complements meats, poultry, seafood and vegetables. To add further mouth appeal, the sauce has little bits of onion and other fresh ingredients to add textural interest to the thick sauce. The heat level is about a medium, meaning that it's spicy enough to please folks who like hot food but not too fiery for more sensitive tongues. This is a premium gourmet sauce that's complex enough to satisfy sophisticated palates, but also so darn tasty that regular folks and even kids will beg for seconds of anything made with it.

If you love maple syrup, and if you enjoy spicy, rich sauces, you'll be delighted with Sap Happy Golden Bear sauce. I happen to LOVE maple syrup (the real stuff, not fake pancake syrup), so much so that I sometimes sweeten my coffee or tea with it and pour it over ice cream. And I also love spicy foods. So if you're like me, don't be ashamed if you end up taking a swig or two of Sap-Happy Golden Bear Maple Sauce straight from the bottle (yes, I did that). Do I have a drinking problem? Only when it comes to sauces as delicious and satisfying as Bear-Man Sap-Happy Golden Bear Sauce!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kosher Products Page

A couple of days ago I posted a comprehensive list of Kosher products available on the Carolina Sauce Company Online Store, and mentioned the need for a page on that site with "one stop shopping" for all the kosher sauces and seasonings. Well, I have good news: the site now has a Kosher Products page with all the Kosher hot sauces, BBQ sauces, seasonings and condiments. This will save you the time and trouble of having to do a search on the site for Kosher products. Hopefully the text links at the top of the Carolina Sauce Company home page will be updated soon to include a text link to the Kosher page. At least the link tabs on the left column of the online store pages have been updated, however. Next on the agenda: updating the Low Carb page to list all the low carb sauces, seasonings and snacks.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Plea for Help

I don't like to beg. Heck, I don't even like to have to ask someone for a favor. But I'm going to swallow my pride and do both (i.e., beg, and ask for a favor). You see, I have a bit of a problem. As of today, there are 100 deployed troops who have signed up through Operation Sauce Drop to receive a free gift box of sauces to help spice up their bland, boring MREs. The problem is that Operation Sauce Drop has run out of money, and we can't fulfill these gift box requests until we raise more funds. What's really depressing is that some of the soldiers have been on the Operation Sauce Drop "waiting list" since December!

Before I beg (and ask for a favor), first let me say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to those of you who have already donated to Operation Sauce Drop, and/or who have helped spread the word about this nonprofit program to send free boxes of sauce to US troops stationed abroad. Your generosity is deeply appreciated by these brave servicemen and women, and by their loved ones, as you can see from the touching thank you notes and photos from the troops who have already received gift boxes (over 150 troops have received gift boxes to date).

Now I beg. If you haven't yet contributed, please consider donating to Operation Sauce Drop. The average cost to send out a gift box is about $20, but even $5 can help (and of course $50 or $100 means that more soldiers will get their sauces sooner). EVERY SINGLE PENNY donated goes solely to pay for the cost to purchase and ship a gift box, and the Carolina Sauce Company donates a portion of the cost for each gift box as well.

And now I ask for a favor. If you have already made a donation, or if you cannot make one at this time for whatever reason, you can still help our troops get their sauce by spreading the word about Operation Sauce Drop. This means emailing people you think might want to donate, posting the link to Operation Sauce Drop (<a href="http://carolinasauce.stores.yahoo.net/opsadr.html"/a>) on forums where folks might be interested, placing an Operation Sauce Drop banner on your website or Facebook or MySpace page, mentioning this program to friends on social networks or chat rooms, or doing anything else you can think of to let more people know how they can bring a smile to a soldier's face by sending them the gift of zestiness for their meals.

As always, thanks for reading my blog, and for all of your help with this effort.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you're wondering why the background in the photo is "blurred out", it's because there was potentially sensitive info (e.g., family photo, legible papers, etc.) and we didn't want to inadvertently jeopardize the serviceman's safety. I have no idea if any of that info might have been "sensitive", but I'd rather err on the side of paranoia rather than doing anything that could possibly compromise the safety of our troops!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kosher Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Seasonings, etc.

Passover begins at sundown on Saturday, and that prompted me to find out how many different Kosher products are available from the Carolina Sauce Company. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few, and not just hot sauces, either. In fact, it would make sense to set up a page on the site with all the Kosher products, much like the pages for organic products, NC products, and low carb products (this latter page is incomplete, so that's now also on my ever-growing to-do list for the website). Anyway, for now I thought it would be helpful to post a list of all the Kosher hot sauces, barbecue sauces, condiments, seasonings etc., for folks who are observing Passover but still want to enjoy zesty meals. So without further ado (and until such time as I can put together a Carolina Sauce Company online store page with all the Kosher products for easy shopping), here's the current list:

Kosher Hot Sauce:
Bone Suckin' Hiccuppin' Hot Sauce, made in North Carolina
Melinda's Hot Sauces, in 10 different varieties including several different habanero hot sauces, Amarillo mustard hot sauce, chipotle hot sauce, jalapeno hot sauce, and mango hot sauce
Nando's Peri Peri Hot Sauces, in Hot, Extra Hot, Medium, and Garlic
Robert Rothschild Hot Raspberry Thunder Sauce, a fruity and FIERY hot hot sauce
Texas Pete Hot Sauce, in original (2 sizes), garlic, and extra hot

Kosher Seasonings & Dry Rubs
Bad Byron's Butt Rub, funny name but seriously good
Bone Suckin' Rib Rub, another North Carolina original
Char-Crust Seasonings, delectable steakhouse seasonings in 8 varieties including Original Hickory, Hickory & Molasses, Garlic Peppercorn, Cajun, Smoky Spicy Southwest, Ginger Teriyaki and more
Nando's Peri Peri Grinds, whole spices in a convenient grinder bottle, in mild Lemon Herb, spicy Medium and fiery Hot

Kosher Barbeque Sauce
Bone Suckin' Sauce, in 4 varieties including original, thicker, hot, and hot-thicker

Kosher Marinades & Cooking Sauces
Nando's Cooking & Grilling Sauces, in 4 flavors including Curry Coconut, Lemon, Sweet Apricot, and Roasted Red Peppers & Tomatoes
Nando's Marinades & Grilling Sauces, in 3 flavors including Lime & Cilantro, Portuguese BBQ, and Sundried Tomato & Basil

Kosher Mustard
Bone Suckin' Mustard, sweet and hot

Kosher Salsa
Bone Suckin' Salsa, chunky homestyle tomato salsa in Mild and Hot

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sweet & Sour Pork Skillet

This easy recipe comes from the makers of Yam Good Sauce, a deliciously unique NC barbeque sauce made with sweet potatoes. You'll find more tasty recipes in the free recipe brochure that we'll send you when you order Yam Good Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company online store.

1 cup Yam Good Sauce
1 lb pork, cut into strips
1 can (13.5 oz) pineapple tidbits, reserve the liquid
1 clove garlic, minced (for a hot & spicy dish, use a clove of Twenty Pepper Garlic)
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup quick-cook rice
Salt to taste

Brown the pork in a little bit of oil in a skillet. Add Yam Good Sauce, pineapple, garlic and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in rice, cover and continue cooking on low about 20 more minutes, until liquid is absorbed and pork is tender.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

REMINDER: Sauce Sale in April

Tax Day is here, and to help ease the sting we're running a special sale in April at the Carolina Sauce Company. Folks who subscribe to the RSS feed or otherwise read this blog will have access to a special coupon code in a post earlier this month. The coupon will give you 10% off the regular price of select hot sauces, BBQ sauces and more, as explained in my earlier post. If you're new to this blog or missed the post, here's a quick link that will take you to the list of sauces on sale and will also give you the special coupon code. Go ahead and treat yourself to some zesty hot sauces and save money in the process - but hurry, the special sale and coupon expire at the end of April!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, April 14, 2008

George's BBQ Sauce voted "Best in the Carolinas"

Newsflash: George's Original Barbecue Sauce has been chosen "Best in the Carolinas" by the popular cooking magazine Every Day With Rachael Ray. George's BBQ Sauce is featured in the May 2008 issue of the magazine, which describes it as having "a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy" thanks to its addition of apples and sugar to the traditional eastern NC vinegar base. Delicious on pulled pork barbecue as well as grilled meats, BBQ chicken and other poultry, and grilled seafood, George's Barbecue Sauce can also be added to crockpot recipes, vegetable dishes, and more.

In addition to the slightly spicy, tangy Original, the folks at George's BBQ Sauce also make the hot pepper enhanced George's Hot Barbecue Sauce, and the tomato-rich George's Special Barbecue Sauce. There's also a mini bottle of George's Original BBQ Sauce, which makes a popular gift item, stocking stuffer, addition to a gourmet gift basket, or wedding favor. All three flavors come with two pages of recipes, and are available from the Carolina Sauce Company. You can even get a nifty George's BBQ Sauce Gift Box (shown in the photo) that holds 3 bottles of your choice: one of each flavor, or any combination of flavors, or simply 3 bottles of your favorite flavor of George's Barbeque Sauce. The George's BBQ Gift Box makes an ideal hostess or housewarming gift, or a thoughtful special-occasion present for an outdoor cook. If you haven't tried George's BBQ Sauce yet, you've been missing a real treat - so get some today and start cooking!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

SunFire Meatloaf

This simple but zesty recipe is just one of several in the recipe brochure you'll receive when you order a bottle of SunFire Original Marinade & Sauce, or SunFire Garlic Marinade & Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company. These gourmet marinades feature red wine vinegar, a touch of tomato, a splash of white wine and just enough spices and pepper to add a zippy, zingy flavor with just the right amount of heat to please virtually all palates. Even kids love foods made with SunFire Marinade & Sauce, and this meatloaf is sure to be a hit with your family.

1/2 cup SunFire Marinade, Original or Garlic flavor
12 oz ground beef
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Form into a loaf in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until done.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nando's Medium Peri-Peri Grind

I'm pleased to announce the arrival of Nando's Medium Peri-Peri Grind at the Carolina Sauce Company Store. This newest addition to the family of Nando's Peri-Peri Grinds (which also includes the mild and citrusy Lemon & Herb Peri Peri Grind and the fiery-hot Nando's Hot Peri Peri Grind lets you add either whole spices or custom-ground spices to all your favorite foods and recipes. As the name suggests, Nando's Medium Peri-Peri Grind has enough Peri Peri and other peppers to spice things up, but not too much so that you can still use it on fish and seafood, salads and veggies, as well as poultry and meats. Pop the lid and twist the top to grind savory garlic-herb flavor with peppery heat conveniently over served food, or into recipes -- but avoid grinding over a steaming pot or you risk caking the spices in the bottle. With their handy "two-way" top that lets you pour whole spices or grind them as needed, Nando's Peri Peri Grinds are versatile as well delicious!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cheesecake a la Toad

No amphibians are harmed in the making of this recipe. The "toad" reference in the title of this recipe is Todd "Toad" Guiton, creator of the award-winning Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces. These unique North Carolina hot sauces feature all-natural fruit flavors and habanero peppers for a surprisingly delicious sweet & spicy taste sensation. Originally designed to be poured on ice cream, cheesecake and other desserts, Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauces can also be used as marinades or grilling sauces, glazes or dips for chicken and shrimp, and even as a pancake syrup or stirred into oatmeal. The following recipe comes from Todd Guiton, and can be made with any flavor of Toad Sweat (Key Lime, Cranberry, Chocolate Orange, or Lemon Vanilla).

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

To make the crust, mix the crushed ginger snaps with the melted butter and spread evenly on the bottom of a greased 10" x 3" springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling, blend the cream cheese, flour and sugar in a mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the Toad Sweat Hot Sauce, cocoa and sour cream until smooth. Add the sour cream mixture to the cream cheese and sugar, and pour in the vanilla. Mix well. Slowly add each of the eggs and mix well until blended. Pour into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cake cool gently in the oven for 2 hours, then refrigerate. Enjoy!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Intrigued by Toad Sweat but not sure which flavor to try first? Then get the Toad Sweat Dessert Hot Sauce Mini 4-Pack, featuring a mini-bottle of each flavor of Toad Sweat!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauce

Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauces are made in South Carolina from a third generation family recipe. These thick and rich tomato-based sauces achieve that rare balance of sweetness, tang, smoke and spice that sets truly excellent sauces apart from the ordinary. Over the past few years, Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauces have won numerous local and national awards, including first place finishes at the National BBQ "Best of the Best" Festival, the National BBQ Association Awards of Excellence, and the renowned Scovie Awards competition. All three sauces have a robust, full-bodied flavor that complements ribs, meat and chicken, and all can be used for marinading, basting, dipping and finishing. Uncle Pete's Original BBQ Sauce is the oldtime family recipe, delivering a spicy but not hot "kick" to your food. Uncle Pete's Hickory BBQ Sauce adds natural hickory flavor to the original recipe, to impart genuine "pit-smoked" flavor to foods cooked on a gas grill or indoors. My personal favorite is Uncle Pete's Spicy BBQ Sauce, which fires up the original recipe by adding more black pepper and red pepper for a mouthwatering medium heat level that doesn't overpower the other flavors in the sauce. Order some Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauce today, and get a free recipe brochure packed with tasty ideas for the grill and the kitchen!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Craig's Jones'en Espresso Barbecue Sauce

A barbeque sauce made with coffee?!? I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I got ready to taste Craig's Jones'en Espresso Barbecue Sauce, but boy was I in for a treat! Chef Craig Jones of Johnstown PA has a real masterpiece here (and I ain't talkin' K.C., either). This bold, slightly sweet & slightly smoky BBQ sauce starts off with a tomato-vinegar base that's thick and rich, and is enhanced with bits of onion and garlic for texture and an infusion of coffee that adds dark, deep layers of flavor notes (no, you don't taste the coffee per se, but you can tell there's something special going on with the ingredients). The result is a gourmet sauce that just begs to be slathered on ribs and other meat, including chicken and game. Use Craig's Jones'en Espresso Barbecue Sauce for mopping, marinating, basting and dipping, or stir some into your baked beans or meatloaf recipe. Unlike any other sauce on the market, this Espresso Barbecue Sauce just might start a new trend!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Samson's Sauce

Samson's Sauce is a peppery all-purpose table sauce with a zesty, tomato-vinegar flavor, and an old-fashioned funny label reminiscent of "patent medicine" labels from the late 1800s/early 1900s. To any regular person reading the label, the wild claims regarding baldness, hangovers, aphrodisia, amnesia and insanity come across as a humorous parody. But apparently someone at the FDA was not amused several years ago, and after much bureaucratic wrangling the agency finally relented and allowed the folks who make Samson's Sauce to keep their funny label, but only with the disclaimer "comic label" added and also some tweaking of the language. The good news is that the original bold and spicy flavor of Samson's Sauce wasn't messed with, and one claim on the label is 100% true: Samson's Sauce really does make everything taste better! The mild-medium heat level and complex layers of flavor (ingredients include onions, garlic, anchovies, tamarind, horseradish, mustard, peppers and other savory spices and seasonings) will complement steaks and other meats, BBQ of any variety, soups, stews, casseroles, vegetables, and egg dishes. This North Carolina sauce has been a local favorite since 1925, and has devoted fans throughout the US. And now you can order it from the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Last week we received several new products, and I spent the weekend tasting and reviewing them. Samson's Sauce is merely the first of several products that we'll be adding to the Carolina Sauce Company Store this week, so stay tuned for more new product announcements these next few days!

Monday, April 7, 2008

New Low Prices on Jim's Own BBQ Sauce!

Newsflash: We've just slashed our prices on Jim's Own Homestyle Bar-B-Que Sauce and Jim's Own Hot Bar-B-Que Sauce in pints and quarts! Jim's Own BBQ sauces have won multiple awards over the years for their lipsmacking-good tangy-sweet-spicy flavor that's delicious on everything from pulled pork barbecue to grilled chicken, roasted veggies, fried fish, hushpuppies and more. Thanks to our ability to now purchase this authentic Piedmont NC (vinegar & tomato based) barbeque sauce in higher volume, we can now pass along the savings to you, our loyal customers. Effective immediately, pints of Jim's Own BBQ Sauce (mild Homestyle and spicy Hot) are only $4.99 a jar, while quarts have been slashed down over a dollar to $8.25. And your shipping costs will be cheaper per bottle the more bottles you order at one time (in other words, the incremental increase in shipping makes it far more economical to order 6 or 7 bottles at a time than to get just 1 or 2 bottles).

Here at the Carolina Sauce Company, we're dedicated to offering the zesty flavors of NC barbecue sauce and other full-flavored products at fair and reasonable prices, with a friendly and personal down-home touch. As we grow, we'll continue to provide excellent products with excellent customer service, and we'll continue to look for ways to help save you some money when you shop with us. So help us keep our new low prices on Jim's Own BBQ Sauces by shopping with us online, or by phone at 919-286-1080. Thank you for your business!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Creamy Curried Spinach Soup

I adapted this recipe from the original printed on the back of a Carnation(R) Evaporated Milk can. It's simple to make, wholesome and healthy, and best of all, it's zestily delicious! Serves 4.

1 can (15 to 16 oz) chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 can (12 oz) Carnation(R) Evaporated Fat-Free Milk
3/4 cup chicken broth (I use organic or homemade, whenever possible)
3/4 cup apple juice (I use all-natural unsweetened)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp curry powder (I use a hot curry powder from my local Indian grocery store)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ginger
2 cups fresh spinach leaves (about 2 oz), chopped
Chopped peanuts for garnish (I use Maxwell's Extraordinary Jalapeno Peanuts for added zip)

Place the chickpeas, evaporated milk, apple juice, chicken broth, curry powder, garlic and ginger in a blender, cover and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Pour into a medium saucepan and add the spinach. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, simmer until spinach is tender (about 1 minute), being careful not to overcook. Ladle soup into four bowls and top with chopped peanuts if desired.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Updated Best-Seller Lists by Category, for March

If you're interested in finding out which hot sauces were the best-selling hot sauces at the Carolina Sauce Company in March, or perhaps the top ten best-selling barbecue sauces, dry rubs, salsas, etc., then check out the lists of Best-Selling products by category, updated through April 4, 2008. In addition to hot sauces, BBQ sauce, dry rubs, and salsas & condiments, you'll also find lists of best-selling snacks, gift sets, Jamaican jerks, hot wings sauces, marinades & dressings, and mustards. We update these lists at the start of each new month, so you'll always have easy access to the most popular sauces and other zesty products.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, April 4, 2008

Top 10 Best-Selling Sauces for March 2008

The numbers have been tallied, and the top ten best-selling sauces at the Carolina Sauce Company last month are:

1. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce, an authentic eastern NC barbecue sauce (vinegar base, no tomatoes) for pulled pork and more

2. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce, a thick, seriously hot scotch bonnet sauce from Trinidad & Tobago

3. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce, a spicy and flavorful all-purpose table sauce from Jamaica that hearkens back to colonial times

4. Bone Suckin' Sauce, a tomato-based western NC style BBQ Sauce that's fabulous on ribs, chicken and more - comes with recipes!

5. Blue Tick Dressing, a gourmet berry vinegar and poppyseed vinaigrette for salads, marinades, etc.

6. Capsicana Zing Sauce: Spicy but not hot, this zesty pepper sauce is sweet and tangy, and even kids love it! Comes with recipes, too!

7. Matouk's Calypso Hot Sauce: Made with Caribbean scotch bonnet peppers and papaya, it's tropical sunshine in a bottle

8. Scorned Woman Hot Sauce, an old favorite made with a blend of hot peppers in a vinegar base

9. Bone Suckin' Hiccuppin' Hot Sauce, a NC tomato-vinegar hot sauce from the makers of the original Bone Suckin' Sauce

10. Carolina Swamp Sauce, a unique marinade and grilling sauce for meats, poultry, seafood, veggies and more

We'll soon be updating the specific product categories to show the best-sellers in each, so stay tuned for more info on what fellow foodies and chileheads have been buying (and eating!).

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April Hot Sauce Sale (and More!) for Blog Readers

If you subscribe to our RSS feed or otherwise read this blog, then you're in luck this month! Exclusively for our Blog readers and subscribers, we're running a huge hot sauce sale -- and we're also offering BBQ Sauce for sale, and other products, too! Simply place an order at the Carolina Sauce Company Store, or place your order by phone at 919-286-1080, anytime in the month of April, and get 10% off the product price by using the coupon code "Blog408". It's that simple! Here are the hot sauces and other products that are on sale (while supplies last) when you use this coupon code:

Hot Sauce on Sale:
Ass Kickin' Cajun Hot Sauce
Ass Kickin' Garlic Hot Sauce
Blair's Mega Death Hot Sauce: Caution, it's an Ultra-Hot hot sauce!
Blair's Original Death Hot Sauce
Da Bomb Ground Zero Hot Sauce: Caution, it's an Ultra-Hot hot sauce!
Hog's Breath Key West Extra Hot Sauce: From the famous Hog's Breath Saloon in Key West
Kato's Down South Hot Sauce: Fresh & fiery orange scotch bonnet pepper sauce
Marie Sharp's Hot Habanero Pepper Sauce: Traditional Caribbean habanero hot sauce from Belize
Marie Sharp's Orange Pulp Habanero Pepper Sauce: Habanero hot sauce with a citrusy twist!
Toad Sweat Chocolate Orange Dessert Hot Sauce: Try it on ice cream!
Toad Sweat Cranberry Dessert Hot Sauce: Fabulous on chicken, turkey sandwiches & more
Toad Sweat Key Lime Habanero Dessert Hot Sauce: Delicious on pork & seafood
Toad Sweat Lemon Vanilla Hot Sauce: Wonderful on fish -- and French toast!

Mustard & Salsa on Sale
Ass Kickin' Mustard: Southwestern spicy dijon
Peppers Chipotle Smoked Corn Blue Crab Salsa: Smoky & hot, with real Maryland blue crab!

Gifts on Sale
Red Chile Soap Ristra: All-natural, cinnamon-scented, handmade soaps from New Mexico, in the shape of chile peppers (6 soaps to a ristra)
Green Chile Soap Ristra: All-natural, lime-scented, handmade soaps from New Mexico, in the shape of chile peppers (6 soaps to a ristra)

Jamaican Jerk Products on Sale
Orelly's Jerk Q Sauce: Made from a traditional Jamaican recipe, for rich jerk flavor on anything you grill, roast, bake, crockpot, etc.
Wahoo Willie's Jamaican Wing Sauce: Unique, award-winning hot wing sauce with a Jamaican jerk twist!
Walkerswood Hot & Spicy Jamaican Jerk Sauce: A sweet & fruity jerk table sauce

Barbeque Sauce on Sale
Dinosaur Habanero Wango Tango BBQ Sauce: Hot & Spicy!
Dinosaur Roasted Garlic Honey BBQ Sauce: Medium-hot with bold, rich flavor
Jim's Own Homestyle BBQ Sauce, pints: Piedmont NC style BBQ sauce with old-fashioned label - comes with recipes!
Jim's Own Hot BBQ Sauce, pints: Hot & spicy Piedmont NC style BBQ sauce with old-fashioned label - comes with recipes!
Little Boy's Chicken Splash BBQ Sauce: Tangy-sweet vinegar & tomato based NC barbecue sauce for chicken, pork & more
Ole Time Barbecue Sauce: Flavorful eastern NC BBQ sauce, vinegar-based with a bit of tomato & other unique ingredients
Ole Time Hot Sauce: Hot & spicy traditional eastern NC vinegar BBQ sauce, no tomatoes

Marinades, Cooking & Grilling Sauce on Sale
Nando's Sweet Apricot Cooking & Grilling Sauce: Wonderful with pork, poultry and seafood!
Orelly's Jerk Q Sauce: Made from a traditional Jamaican recipe, for rich jerk flavor on anything you grill, roast, bake, crockpot, etc.
Sunfire Original Marinade & Sauce: Gourmet red vinegar marinade, comes with recipes!
Sunfire Garlic Marinade & Sauce: Like the Original Sunfire, but with a helping of extra garlic - comes with recipes!

Dressings on Sale:
Wahoo Willie's Carribean Ranch Dressing: Creamy ranch with a festively spicy twist!
Wahoo Willie's Mango Vinaigrette: Summer sunshine for your salads & seafood!

Wing Sauce on Sale:
Wahoo Willie's Jamaican Wing Sauce: Unique, award-winning hot wing sauce with a Jamaican jerk twist!

Get 10% off the product price on the above products when you purchase them from the Carolina Sauce Company and use the coupon code "Blog408" during the month of April 2008, while supplies last. And yes, you can order more than once this month, and keep using the coupon on those products as long as we have them in stock! It's our way of thanking you for reading my blog and subscribing to the feed.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dave's Insanity Private Reserve 2008 Is Here!!!

Newsflash:: Dave's Insanity Private Reserve Sauce, 2008 Edition, has FINALLY arrived at the Carolina Sauce Company! You can now order your very own limited edition bottle, numbered and hand-signed by Dave himself. As previously mentioned, the 2008 edition of Dave's Private Reserve features the world's hottest pepper, the Naga Jolokia, also known as the ghost pepper. As you can see in the photo, Dave has commemorated this new era in the ultra-hot hot sauce arms race by decorating his trademark wooden coffin with a "ghost pepper."

Orders are already coming in, quickly snapping up a good number of the bottles that arrived today. Don't be left out in the cold - order your own bottle of Dave's Insanity Private Reserve Sauce, 2008 Edition today!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Yes, this is my second post today. My first post, "Hottest New Products - Too Hot To Handle??" was somehow misdated as a March 29th post. The correct date for that post should be April 1, 2008. You probably guessed that if you read the post...