Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year-End Clearance Sale at Carolina Sauce!

Now's the time to re-stock your pantry while saving money on delicious sauces, seasonings, condiments and snacks during our end-of-the-year clearance sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store -- no coupon necessary! Simply look for the red sale prices, or search for the words "on sale" when you search the Carolina Sauce site. If you still need a holiday gift for someone who likes to cook or enjoys zesty foods, you'll find that perfect gift here, at a great low price. To help you get started, below are links and descriptions for some of the mouthwatering products currently on sale:

NC Pepper Jelly is hand-made in the North Carolina mountains and comes in red and green, mild and hot. Old-fashioned pepper jelly is the perfect accompaniment to lamb, pork, poultry, steak, brie and other cheeses, and even bagels, croissants, toast and biscuits. Regularly $4.99 a jar, on sale for only $3.99! Also available in a 2-pack gift box, regularly $11.99 but now only $10.99!

Jump Up & Kiss Me Spicy Passion Fruit Sauce is an all-natural gourmet hot sauce that's sweet & spicy, and makes a great Valentine's Day gift for your favorite foodie or chilehead. Regularly $5.50 a bottle, on sale for only $5.25!

Firehouse Nuts are fiery smoked-habanero seasoned peanuts from North Carolina that come in a firefighter themed can. Make sure to stock up, because these are addictive! Regularly $5.99 a can, on sale for only $5.50!

Olio & Spices Chili Sauces from Israel are hard-to-find elegant sauces made from all-natural ingredients, full of flavor without fiery heat and divine with lamb, steak, chicken, seafood and even rice dishes. Available in zesty Garlic Chili Sauce and exotic Lemon Mint Chili Sauce, and each comes with free recipes -- and they're Kosher too. Regularly $6.99 a bottle, on sale for only $6.50!

Bubba's Special Sauce from Eclectic, Alabama, is thick and rich, chock-full of ripe tomatoes & chile peppers for garden-fresh flavor. Spoon onto any savory dish, dip chips in it and add to all your favorite Tex-Mex and Southwestern recipes. Regularly $5.25 a jar, on sale for only $4.99!

DEFCON 3 Wing Sauce is an award-winning mildly spicy Buffalo wing sauce that's made with real cream and is finger-licking good. Regularly $6.50 a bottle, on sale for only $5.75!

Blue's Chipotle Mustard Pepper Sauce is a full-bodied, full-flavored mustard-based hot sauce with a rich, smoky-tangy flavor and food-friendly medium heat. Regularly $6.99 a bottle, on sale for only $6.75!

Pluto's Caribbean Bliss Spice Blends capture the essence of Jamaican cuisine and come in original Hot, gentle Mild, and spicy-hot Fiery. Regularly $4.75 a bottle, on sale for only $4.25!

Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauces are thick, rich, award-winning barbecue sauces from South Carolina and come in sweet-tangy Original, smoky Hickory, and peppery Spicy -- and they come with free recipes! Regularly $5.95 a bottle, on sale for only $5.50!

Burning Asphalt Hot Sauces are racing-themed hot sauces from upstate New York that deliver big, bold flavor - these are not your typical vinegary, watered-down hot sauces. Available in Jalapeno, Habanero, Garlic Habanero and Sweet & Hot Garlic. Regularly $4.95 a bottle, on sale for only $4.50!

Burning Asphalt Steak Sauces are racing-themed steak sauces from upstate NY that are brimming with big, bold flavor. The Homestyle steak sauce delivers gourmet flavor with a mildly spicy finish and is on sale for only $4.50 a bottle (regularly $4.99). The zesty Sweet Pepper Steak & Dipping Sauce is excellent for the table as well as for glazing, dipping and marinating, and is on sale for only $4.75 a bottle (regularly $4.99).

D'Vine Foods Muscadine BBQ Sauce is a North Carolina original, a savory & tangy tomato-vinegar-mustard BBQ Sauce enhanced with sweet muscadine grapes. Regularly $5.50 a bottle, on sale for only $4.99. Only one (1) left in stock!

The Distillery BBQ Sauce from the award-winning The Distillery Bar & Restaurants in upstate NY is incredibly thick and rich with mouthwatering flavor that's bold, sweet, smoky & tangy. Fabulous on ribs & chicken, excellent in meatloaf & sloppy joes. Regularly $5.99 a bottle, on sale for only $5.75!

Durn Good Seasonings are savory all-purpose spice blends from NC and come in Original (savory BBQ), Cajun Spice, Island Spice, and Southwest Flavor -- they help you turn ordinary meals into flavorful gourmet feasts with just a shake or two. Regularly $4.75 a bottle, on sale for only $4.50 each!

Select flavors of the hard-to-find Susie's Hot Sauces from Antigua, regularly $6.99 a bottle but on sale for only $6.75 each!

Ann's Marinade is a robust tenderizing marinade developed by a hunter especially for game and other tough cuts of meat. Adds rich flavor to venison, wild boar, pheasant, rabbit, beef roasts and even portobello mushrooms. Regularly $6.50 a bottle, on sale for $5.99!

Bear-Man Growlin' Grizzly BBQ & Dipping Sauce from upstate NY is an award-winning thick & tangy sauce with mouth-pleasing texture and a big, bold flavor that complements and enhances meat, poultry, venison and other hearty fare. Comes with free recipes, too! Regularly $5.99 a bottle, on sale for only $5.75!

Mama T's Seasonings are hand-made in Kitty Hawk, NC using family recipes, and come in tangy Ranch Style, savory Seafood Seasoned Salt, robust Mesquite Seasoning, and Cuban-style Tropical Island Seasoning. The large bottles are regularly $6.99 but have been slashed to only $6.50! The small bottles are regularly $5.99 a bottle, but are on sale for only $5.75!

Melinda's Habanero Steak Sauce blends fiery Caribbean flavor into traditional steak sauce for an amazing taste sensation. Regularly $3.99 a bottle, on sale for only $3.75!

Mixed Hot Pepper Rings are hand-made in the NC mountains using local farm-grown chile peppers. These spicy pickled pepper rings make a delicious condiment for sandwiches, grilled foods, omelets, and even pizza and nachos. Regularly $5.99 a jar, on sale for only $4.99!

Thomas Gourmet Foods Apple Chutney is made in NC using all-natural ingredients and makes a luscious condiment for pork, turkey, chicken and more. Serve with cream cheese or brie and crackers for a tasty appetizer. Regularly $5.99 a jar, on sale for only $5.75!

Thomas Gourmet Foods Pineapple Chutney from NC adds exotically delicious flavor to holiday ham, pork chops, broiled fish, roast chicken and more. Serve with cream cheese or brie and crackers for a tasty appetizer. Regularly $5.99 a jar, on sale for only $5.75!

Tortuga Hot Caribbean Pepper Sauce is an authentic mustard-based scotch bonnet pepper hot sauce from the West Indies. Regularly $3.99 a bottle, on sale for only $3.75!

Conquering Lion Hickory-Smoked XXX Hot Sauce is hand-made in rural West Virginia from all-natural and organic ingredients and delivers robust smoky flavor with super-hot habanero & cayenne pepper heat. This hard to find hot sauce is regularly $7.99 a bottle, on sale for only $7.50!

Just My Taste Jalapeno Dip, Sauce & Marinade is made in NC using garden-fresh jalapenos and other all-natural ingredients for pure jalapeno flavor and fire. Use at the table and in cooking -- makes an excellent alternative to tomato salsa. Comes with free recipes, too! Regularly $5.99 a jar, on sale for only $5.50!

Tortuga Mango-Ginger Stir-Fry Sauce adds exotic tropical flavor to all sorts of food including stir-fry, seafood, poultry, rice dishes, Chinese takeout and more. Regularly $3.99 a bottle, on sale for only $3.75!

Tortuga Spicy Seafood Grill Sauce delivers authentic island flavor and fire to grilled or broiled fish and seafood. Regularly $3.99 a bottle, on sale for only $3.75!

Don't delay, because these prices are good only while supplies last or thru December 31st 2010, whichever comes first.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, December 27, 2010

BBQ Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a tasty and nutritious snack, and they're especially good when roasted at home and seasoned to your liking. Here's a simple recipe that you can make with your favorite barbecue seasoning. I like using Pig Pen's Original Seasoning for traditional barbecue flavor, or Pepper Dog Dry Rub for Southwestern flavor.

Start with 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds - if using seeds freshly scooped from a pumpkin, make sure you rinse the seeds to clean off any pulp or fibers, then dry them by spreading on an oiled cookie sheet and baking for half an hour in your oven at 300F degrees. Remove the sheet from the oven and place the dried pumpkin seeds in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub or BBQ seasoning . Toss to combine and coat the seeds evenly. Spread the coated seeds on the cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 375F degrees or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool to the touch, then enjoy!

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Get 10% Off a Case of Capsicana Zing Sauce!

If you love Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce, you can save 10% off the regular case price (12 bottles to a case) for the 10 oz bottles when you order from the Carolina Sauce Company and use the special coupon now available on the Carolina Sauce Company Facebook page. You can only see the coupon if you're a Fan of Carolina Sauce on Facebook. If you're not already a Fan, simply click on the "Like" button on our Facebook page to become a fan, and then click on the "Coupons" tab and you'll be able to see the special coupon code for 10% off a case of 10 oz Zing Sauce.

FYI our warehouse is closed until January 5th, but you can still order online while we're closed and we'll resume shipping orders after we re-open on January 6th.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you prefer smaller-size bottles, you'll be glad to know that the 5oz bottles of Zing Sauce are currently on sale, no coupon required!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Carolina Sauce Co. Closed Until January 6, 2011

The Carolina Sauce Company is closing at 4pm eastern time today December 23rd, and we'll be closed through Wednesday, January 5th, to give our hard-working employees some time off with their families. We will re-open for business on Thursday, January 6th. You can still place orders at the Carolina Sauce online store while we are closed, but they will be shipped after we re-open on a first-come first-served basis. If you email or call us while we're closed, please understand that we won't be able to reply until after January 5th.

Many thanks to all our customers for making this our best and biggest December ever. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, a safe and Happy New Year, and all the best for 2011!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Need a Last-Minute Christmas Gift?

If you're like me, you haven't finished your Christmas shopping and still need a gift for at least one more person on your list -- and you're rapidly running out of time and ideas. While I can't buy you more time, I can suggest two easy Christmas gifts that are sure to bring a smile, and which require almost no effort on your part - and which will arrive by Christmas, too!

1. Send a Carolina Sauce Company gift certificate. Our gift certificates NEVER expire, and are impossible to lose because we keep a record in our system and can look them up if someone misplaces the emailed certificate. To send a Carolina Sauce gift certificate, simply select the amount you want for your certificate, enter the recipient's email address, and complete the online checkout process, and we will email the gift certificate to the recipient in 3 days, which means they'll have it on Christmas Day. If you prefer a paper gift certificate, simply enter YOUR email address as the "recipient", and you'll receive the certificate via email in 3 days (on Dec 25th if you order today) and can then print it out to hand to the person you want to give it to. Finally, if you need the gift certificate before Christmas Day, simply print out the email confirmation that you will receive right after you order the gift certificate - although that in itself is not a certificate, it's proof that you purchased it and that the recipient will get the actual certificate via email.

2. Send a Gift Basket, Flowers, or Gourmet Foods from one of our affiliates. Choose from bountiful themed gift baskets in every price range, gorgeous fresh flower bouquets directly from the growers and stunning floral arrangements, mouthwatering gourmet food gifts and more, all through specially-selected vendors including GrowerFlowers, LobsterGram, Wine Enthusiast, and more. Simply click on the boxes on the left column of this blog to visit one of our affiliates and view their offerings, and they can ship your gift so that it arrives in time for Christmas.

Hope that helps, and good luck with your last-minute holiday shopping!
Zestfully yours,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ginger & Spice Cookies

These old-fashioned cookies will fill your house with the wonderful aroma of holiday spices while they bake.

1 1/2 sticks of margarine, melted
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg
2 cups plus 1 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of allspice

Beat together the melted margarine, 1 cup sugar, molasses and eggs, until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes or so. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, then cover and refrigerate for several hours until this dough is stiff. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Roll the dough into marble-size balls, then roll each ball in granulated sugar. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart from each other and bake at 350F until they start to flatten. Makes about 18 cookies.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Job & Career Themed Sauce Gifts

If you're looking for a unique and thoughtful gift to give to a firefighter, pilot, lawyer, veterinarian, musician, Marine, or doctor, this list is the place to start!

*Gift for Lawyers, Judges, Paralegals, Legal Secretaries: Your favorite legal professional is sure to smile when you give them our Lawyers Gift Set featuring a bottle each of gourmet hot sauces named Lawyer's Breath, Contempt of Court, So Sue Me, and Under the Influence. The labels have old-style drawings of comical legal settings reminiscent of 19th century prints. And as an added bonus, these hot sauces actually taste really good!

*Gift for Marines: A favorite at Camp Lejeune, Semper Fi Marine Corps Hot Sauce bears an elegant gold-foil label with the Marine Corps seal. This is an all-natural Caribbean style hot sauce that's excellent for adding heat to any dish without altering its flavor. As an added bonus, we donate $1 from the sale of each bottle to Operation Sauce Drop, our nonprofit program that sends free sauce to deployed troops!

*Gift for Firefighters: Firemen are generally known for their appreciation of hearty, tasty food and a flair for spicy snacks. Firehouse Nuts are sure to please your favorite firefighter, with their feisty smoked-habanero kick and gourmet-peanut crunch. The firefighting-themed can features fire engines, hoses, axes and other tools of the trade. Firehouse Peanuts are currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company, so stock up for the whole fire station!

*Gift for Doctors: If your physician is a fiery foods fanatic, give him or her a bottle of "Doc's Special," aka Jamaica Hell Fire Doc's Special Hot Sauce. Made in Jamaica using sun-ripened and aged tropical peppers and Blue Mountain pimento (allspice), this fiery hot sauce will cure the bland-food blahs.

*Gifts for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Dog Trainers, Pet-Sitters: Want to say "Thank You" to the vet, pet-sitter, groomer, dog walker or other special person who's been keeping your pooch healthy and happy? Give them some Pepper Dog salsas, dry rub seasoning, or one of our special Pepper Dog Salsa & Rub Gift Sets or Salsa Samplers. And if they love fiery foods or collect hot sauces, throw in a bottle or two of Mad Dog Hot Sauce.

*Gifts for Musicians: Featuring colorful, creative labels that sport electric guitars, Blues hot sauces were inspired by the blues and are a flavorful gift for your favorite blues, folk or rock guitarist. Blues Carolina Pepper Sauce is a tangy, spicy Carolina vinegar pepper sauce that's excellent with BBQ, wings, fried foods and any other savory dish. For folks who enjoy seriously fiery heat, there's the award-winning Blues Habanero Reserve Hot Sauce. And for rich, smoky-peppery-mustard flavor there's Blues Chipotle Mustard Pepper Sauce, which is on sale, too!

*Gift for Pilots: If an aviator is on your holiday gift list, give them a North Carolina original that was created by a retired Air Force colonel and is made using "airport peppers" (that should pique your curiosity - click on the product name to read more!) Mile High Hot Sauce is made with ripe red jalapeno peppers, which gives this sauce its deep red hue and addictive flavor & fire that's richer than that of regular green jalapeno sauces. The classic label features the silhouette of a prop plane, and the bottle is a generous 10-oz size (twice as much sauce as regular hot sauces!)

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Spiced Hot Apple Cider

Spiced hot apple cider is a festive way to stay warm during a chilly winter evening. This recipe makes about 8 to 10 servings, and can be doubled or halved as needed.

8 1/2 to 9 cups apple cider or apple juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 to 3 sticks of cinnamon (about 4 inches total)
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspices
Peel of 1 lemon (no pith), cut into strips
Opt: Cinnamon sticks OR cinnamon candy sticks to garnish each mug

Place the spices and lemon peel in the center of a square of cheesecloth. Bring the 4 corners together to form a pouch, tie together with a string. Combine the apple cider or juice and the sugar in a large saucepan. Add the spice bag. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the spice bag and pour or ladle into mugs. If desired, add a cinnamon stick or cinnamon candy stick to each mug as a garnish.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Friday, December 10, 2010

3 More Saucy Gifts for Sports Fans

If there's a baseball fan or NASCAR fan on your Christmas gift list, here are some tasty gift ideas that will make him or her smile:

1. Durham Bulls Triple-Play BBQ Sauce: Officially licensed by the Durham Bulls, AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, this delicious Piedmont NC barbecue sauce features a tangy, slightly sweet and mildly spicy tomato-vinegar flavor that's excellent with Carolina style pork BBQ and also as a marinade and grilling sauce for chicken, ribs and more. Previously only available at the Durham Bulls' ballpark, you can now order it online from Carolina Sauce Company! Durham Bulls BBQ Sauce is also a unique and thoughtful gift for fans of the classic baseball movie, "Bull Durham."

2. Outta the Park BBQ Sauce: Created by a Red Sox fan now living in North Carolina, this sauce is sooooooo good that even Yankees fans love it - and I know that personally! This is not a Carolina-style vinegar barbecue sauce. Rather, it's thick and rich with plenty of tomato, just the right amount of savory tang, and a feisty peppery finish that's just enough to wake up the tastebuds without burning (yes, this barbecue sauce is kid-friendly). Outta the Park BBQ Sauce features a baseball-themed label, and it's great on everything from ribs and chicken to burgers and even pizza. Made with all-natural, mostly organic ingredients, Outta the Park BBQ Sauce will please foodies as well as regular folks who love good chow.

3. Burning Asphalt Hot Sauces, Steak Sauces, BBQ Sauces, Buffalo Wing Sauces, Spicy Ketchups and Dijon Mustard: Hailing from upstate New York, Burning Asphalt sauces and condiments are the brainchild of a passionate auto racing fan -- hence the racing-inspired name and the labels bearing race cars and a checkered flag motif. All of the Burning Asphalt products deliver mouth-pleasing flavor and texture because they're made with the highest quality ingredients and carefully crafted in small batches. Virtually impossible to find outside of New York and New England, you can now send your favorite NASCAR fan, Indy fan and sports car enthusiast all of these fabulous Burning Asphalt products through the Carolina Sauce online store.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

4 Zesty Gifts for Hot Sauce Newbies (and one for wimps)

If you'd like to introduce someone to the wonderful world of spicy foods without burning them out and scaring them away, here are some mild but flavorful hot sauce gifts that will please the palate while bypassing the pain of more fiery hot sauces:

1. Mild Hot Sauces Gift Set: This excellent "starter kit" includes 5 different hot sauces that are mildly spicy, with just a touch of peppery heat and plenty of rich flavor. Includes African Rhino Mild Peri-Peri Pepper Sauce, Ring of Fire Garden Fresh Pepper Sauce, Marie Sharp's Mild Habanero Pepper Sauce, Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce (comes with recipes!), and Nando's Extra Mild Lemon Peri Peri Sauce.

2. Fruits on Fire Gift Set: This gift set is a little hotter, for folks who are ready to take the next step after the Mild Sauces without plunging into the fire. Fruits on Fire features 6 unique and delicious hot sauces that masterfully add fruit to temper the heat of the chile peppers and add food-friendly flavors. Includes a bottle each of Dave's Gourmet Ginger Peach Sauce, Marie Sharp's Grapefruit Pulp Habanero Sauce, Maui Pepper Apples Ass Hot Sauce, Melinda's Mango Habanero Sauce, Toad Sweat Cranberry Dessert Hot Sauce (excellent on turkey, chicken & pork, too!), and Scorned Woman Sweet Majic Hot Sauce made with peaches and apricots.

3. Tortuga Sweet & Savory Caribbean Sauces Gift Box comes with a bottle each of Spicy (but not hot) Seafood Grill Sauce, zippy Mango-Ginger Stir-Fry Sauce, and moderately spicy, award-winning Sweet Heat Caribbean Pepper Sauce, all made in the Caribbean. The festively colorful gift box includes easy recipes, too!

4. NC Mountains Pepper Jelly Gift Box: This lovely white gift box includes 2 jars of your choice of red or green pepper jellies, in your choice of Mild or Hot -- and the Hot isn't really that spicy; after all, these pepper jellies are made in North Carolina, not New Mexico! Our pepper jellies are hand-crafted in the North Carolina mountains using an old family recipe and locally grown & dried peppers, for an old-fashioned sweet & savory condiment that's great with roast beef, chicken or pork, with cheese & crackers, or heated until melted and used as a grilling glaze.

And for the friend or loved one who's a "hot sauce wimp" or simply prefers to avoid all spicy foods, give them our blissfully mild and decadently delicious Sweet Gourmet Gift Set, featuring full-size jars of all-natural gourmet Apple Sauce, old-fashioned creamy Maple Butter, cinnamon-spiced Apple Chutney, and luscious Peach Cocktail MmmMarmalade.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spiced Almond Cookies

These rich and spicy almond cookies are especially nice during the holiday season with a mug of hot cocoa or apple cider. This recipe makes 6 dozen cookies - plan on starting the recipe at least a couple of hours before you want to bake the cookies, because the dough needs to chill in the refrigerator.

1 cup butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (you can use light but I prefer dark)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp real vanilla
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Opt: Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (enhances the "punch" of the other spices)
1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat well. In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the almonds. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, then add the almonds and stir well until thoroughly combined. Use your hands to shape this dough into two 9-inch-long rolls. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap (waxed paper will also work) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight - the dough needs to be thoroughly chilled.

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Unwrap a roll, slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake about 8 to 10 minutes until done. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow cookies to cool 1 minute on the sheet before removing. Repeat until both rolls have been sliced and baked.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

5 Tasty Food Gift Ideas for Sports Fans & Sportsmen

If you're looking for a unique food gift this holiday season for a sports fan, athlete, or an outdoorsman who loves to hunt or fish, here are some tasty -- and affordable -- ideas from the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. Collegiate Hot Sauces: For the guy who loves his college basketball, football and other college sports, we have several great-tasting Louisiana-style hot sauces bearing the officially-licensed school name and mascot of his favorite team, including UNC Tar Heels Hot Sauce, NC State Wolfpack Hot Sauce, ECU Pirates Hot Sauce, and US Naval Academy Hot Sauce. Looking for a hot sauce from another college? Email us at sales"AT"carolinasauce"DOT"com or call us at 919-286-1080 and we'll see if we can special-order it for you!

2. Gifts for Tailgating: For that special someone who faithfully tailgates before every home game, give them our one-of-a-kind Tailgating Party Gift Set with 9 different sauces, seasonings, condiments and snacks to enjoy with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, ribs, steaks and more -- only $45! And for the mustard connoisseur we have the Mustard Lover's Gift Set featuring a variety of 5 different mustards ranging from pleasantly piquant and sweet to insanely hot & spicy.

3. Gifts for Watching the Big Game at Home: For that buddy who always invites the gang over to watch the big game on the big flat-screen TV, we have several delicious choices including the Pepper Dog Salsa Gift Box with a jar each of Mild, Medium and Hot southwestern-style salsas, the spicier Pepper Dog Salsa & Rub Gift Box with Hot and Verde (medium) salsas plus a bottle of spicy BBQ Seasoning, our finger-licking-good Wing Sauce Gift Set with 4 different flavors of Buffalo wing sauce plus a bottle of Bleu Cheese dip, and our popular Snack Lover's Gift Set featuring BBQ peanuts, spicy popcorn, hot pickled garlic and spicy Ass-Kickin' Jelly Beans.

4. Gifts for the Sportsman: For the guy who loves to hunt and enjoys wild game, we have a special Hunter's Gift Set with sauces and seasonings that bring out the best in venison and other game (and are also excellent with beef, pork and chicken). If a fisherman or seafood lover is on your gift list, give them our Seafood Lover's Gift Set with 6 different sauces and seasonings to enjoy with fish and seafood, including gourmet crab cake sauce, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce, Blue Crab salsa, seafood seasoning and more!

5. Gifts for the Health-Conscious Athlete who Enjoys Good Food: Who said athletes can't be foodies? If you want a thoughtful and flavorful gift for someone who works out and watches what they eat but also appreciates zesty food, check out our extensive selection of healthy sauces, condiments, seasonings and snacks including Low Sodium and No Sodium products, Low Carb and No Carb sauces, Organic products, Kosher products, and Gluten-Free products.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Still can't decide what to get as a gift for someone with discriminating taste? Simply send a Carolina Sauce Co. Gift Certificate, and let them pick out the perfect sauces for their palate! Gift certificates are available in many different amounts to fit any budget, and they never expire -- plus we keep a record of them so they can never be "lost."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Spicy Jalapeno-Cheese Crab Dip

This recipe makes a fantastic holiday party appetizer. Serve warm with crackers, pita wedges, baguette slices, or even restaurant-style tortilla chips. If your budget is tight, you can even substitute imitation crabmeat for the real crabmeat - just coarsely shred or chop before using in the recipe.

1 lb crabmeat, picked over for shells
1/2 cup Just My Taste Jalapeno Dip
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or pepperjack cheese
2 Tbs plain goat cheese (the soft kind) OR cream cheese (if you don't like goat cheese)
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise (you can use low-fat but NOT fat-free)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced (you can use hot pickled garlic for extra zest)
1/3 cup chopped onion (I use sweet onion, but you can use any kind)
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the Parmesan cheese, place mixture in a casserole dish or oven-proof serving dish (keep in mind that you'll be serving the dip in the same dish you cook it in), and sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375F until golden brown on top, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on your oven. That's it!

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Best-Selling Hot Sauces, BBQ Sauces, Condiments, etc. for November

November's best-selling products in each product category at the Carolina Sauce Company have now been tallied and posted online. Below are links to each top-ten list, along with one or more highlights from each list. The best-seller lists are a great place to shop for gourmet Christmas gifts and zesty sauces, snacks & seasonings for your holiday menus.

*Best-Selling Gift Sets: You'll give the gift of good taste when you give any of the unique gift sets on this list, such as our new Taste of NC Gift Set featuring a variety of delicious gourmet products made in North Carolina, or our ever-popular Tailgating Gift Set with all the sauces and condiments you need for your game-day cookout or party.

*Best-Selling Snacks & Sweets: If you're looking for a gift for firefighters, you can't go wrong with some Firehouse Nuts, which are premium NC peanuts seasoned with smoked habanero and other zesty spices. And for a quick and elegant holiday appetizer, try any of the best-selling Thomas Gourmet Chutneys in Mango, Apple, Peach and other luscious flavors, all wonderful with baked brie and other cheeses.

*Best-Selling North Carolina Products: Although this list has several NC barbecue sauces, it also includes the peppery Samson's Sauce, a feisty all-purpose hot sauce with an amusing old-fashioned label, and the decadently sweet & rich Lilly's Maple Butter, made from an old family recipe and delicious on pancakes, biscuits, ice cream, in hot cereal and even straight from the jar.

*Best-Selling Hot Sauces: If you need a gift for someone who claims no hot sauce is hot enough, give them Dave's Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce, made with the world's hottest pepper, the Naga Jolokia or "Ghost" pepper. And for the cook who enjoys spicy foods, A Taste of Thai Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce from Thailand is sure to be a hit.

*Best-Selling Barbecue Sauces: If you'd like to introduce someone to North Carolina barbecue sauce, you can't go wrong with Shoog's Authentic NC BBQ Sauce, an eastern NC vinegar sauce that's perfect for pulled pork and for marinating chicken or meat. And if you're looking for a premium tomato-based BBQ sauce for ribs and chicken, you'll love the all-natural, mostly-organic Outta the Park BBQ Sauce, an award-winning rich and tangy barbecue sauce with a little peppery kick - and it's on sale, too!

*Best-Selling Marinades & Dressings: If your holiday cooking plans call for roast beef, pork, chicken, or venison, you'll need a flavorful savory marinade like Ann's Marinade from Durn Good, which will add mouthwatering flavor while tenderizing, too. Ann's Marinade is a favorite among hunters and folks who enjoy wild game.

*Best-Selling Salsa & Relish: If you're entertaining this holiday season, consider including Capone Family Secret Giardiniera on your relish tray or in cocktail sandwiches for authentic Chicago deli flavor. And if you're serving chips and salsa to watch the big game, change things up with Just My Taste Jalapeno Dip, Sauce & Marinade instead of (or in addition to) regular tomato salsa - it's also great for cooking and comes with pages of FREE recipes!

*Best-Selling Mustards & Ketchups: Fans of spicy ketchups are sure to enjoy our 3rd and 8th best-selling condiments, Burning Asphalt Zesty Jalapeno Ketchup and Burning Asphalt Blazin' Habanero Ketchup, racing-themed condiments from upstate New York. And if you're looking for a mustard gift set with a variety of tasty mustards in different styles, you need our Mustard Lover's Gift Set.

*Best-Selling Wing Sauces: One of our newest products, The Distillery Garlic Cajun Wing Sauce, broke into the top ten list last month - in addition to making deliciously garlicky & spicy Buffalo wings, it's also phenomenal with fish, seafood and chicken. And if you need a gift for someone who loves hot wings, give them our popular Hot Wings Gift Set with 4 different wing sauces plus a bottle of Anchor Bar Bleu Cheese Dip.

*Best-Selling Steak Sauces & Pasta Sauces: If steaks or pasta are on the menu this Christmas season, you need to check out the tasty sauces on this list -- such as Mama Thomas Marinara, a traditional Italian style marinara that's wonderful with pasta, bread sticks, fried calamari, bruschetta and more; and the exotic and spicy Melinda's Habanero Steak Sauce, adding Caribbean flair and fire to a classic steak sauce base (and it's on sale, too).

*Best-Selling Rubs & Seasonings: One of my personal favorite dry rubs is almost always on this list, and was our 5th best-selling dry rub last month: Pig Pen's Original Seasoning from Salisbury NC, which is excellent as a BBQ rub and seasoning for ribs, pork butt, chicken, shrimp and even veggies. Another terrific rub comes from upstate New York's famous Dinosaur BBQ Bar & Grill, Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub, blending zesty Cajun spices with just the right amount of peppery heat.

*Best-Selling Jerks & Curry: As expected, all of the Walkerswood Jerk products from Jamaica are featured on this list -- but if you want to try another really good authentic Jamaican jerk sauce at a price that can't be beat, check out Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce, only $3.99 a bottle!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fiery Mexican Mole Dry Rub

This intensely flavorful, aromatic and spicy-hot dry rub is inspired by Mexican mole sauce, and is excellent on pork, beef and chicken. If not using right away, store in an airtight container.

1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Mexican)
1 Tbs dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
approx. 1/2 tsp ground chipotle (to taste)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground habanero powder (to taste - substitute ground red pepper if preferred)
1/4 tsp chili powder (preferably Mexican)
1/4 tsp Spanish paprika
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of ground cumin
Dash of ground coriander
Dash of ground cinnamon
Dash of ground allspice

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a small bowl until completely mixed together. Pat onto all sides of raw meat or poultry, then let the meat or poultry sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours to allow the flavors to penetrate. Grill, broil or roast the meat or poultry as desired.

Zestfully yours,

PS: No time to make your own dry rub? Check out the wide variety of dry rubs, BBQ seasonings and spice blends available from the Carolina Sauce Company, many of which are currently on sale!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Top 10 Best-Selling Sauces & Seasonings for November 2010

Here are the top ten best-selling sauces and seasonings across all product categories for the month of November at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. Matouk's Salsa Picante Hot Pepper Sauce was our top-selling product, and this marks the first time that Matouk's Hot Pepper Sauce has led the top ten list. This is a traditional savory West Indian hot sauce made with plenty of fiery scotch bonnet peppers and a thick mustard base.

2. Castle Sauce finished second last month. Made in Greensboro NC, Castle Sauce is a tangy mustard-tomato all-purpose sauce and condiment that's great for burgers, steaks, fries, onion rings, deli sandwiches and more.

3. Matouk's West Indian Sauce is the milder, subtly sweeter sibling of our first-place finisher, and adds tropical papaya to tame the scotch bonnet heat. Excellent on poultry and seafood!

4. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce is our best-selling barbecue sauce of all time. This Eastern NC vinegar-based BBQ sauce has no tomatoes and just a touch of spice, and is ideal for pulled pork barbecue or as a marinade.

5. Matouk's Calypso Hot Sauce is packed with rich island flavor and fire. Made in Trinidad & Tobago, Calypso Sauce is wonderful on all sorts of grilled foods and anything that could use some tropical flair (and flare!)

6. A Taste of Thai Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce broke into the top ten list for the first time in November. This spicy sauce is made in Thailand and delivers authentic Thai flavor to your favorite recipes.

7. Scorned Woman Hot Sauce is a classic vinegar-pepper hot sauce that's perfect for everyday use if you enjoy fiery foods.

8. Thomas Sauce, Original: This Piedmont NC barbecue sauce and marinade has plenty of vinegar tang that's mellowed with tomatoes and seasoned with a special blend of spices for authentic Carolina flavor.

9. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce captures the flavors of Southern summertime in a bottle, with sun-ripened peaches and sweet Vidalia onions plus just the right amount of hot pepper for heat without pain.

10. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce completes our list of the top ten best-selling sauces for November. A perennial top-ten finisher, Pukka Sauce is a flavor-packed all-purpose hot sauce from Jamaica made in the colonial (not Jerk) style. Enjoy it on everything from breakfast eggs to lunch sandwiches to your favorite dinner entree.

Zestfully yours,

PS: We're in the process of updating the category-specific lists of best-selling products on the Carolina Sauce website, so stay tuned for highlights from those lists in a future post.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Savory Cottage Cheese Latkes

If you want to make something special for Hanukkah, try this rich and tasty alternative to traditional potato latkes. Enjoy these cottage cheese latkes with applesauce, smoked salmon, pickled herring, or even chutney if you wish.

1 cup cottage cheese (you can use low-fat)
3 eggs
1 cup milk (you can use reduced-fat)
1 cup matzoh meal
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt (can adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs chopped chives
1/2 tsp chopped dill
Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Place cottage cheese in a large bowl and use a hand-held immersion blender to cream it (you can also just blend the cottage cheese in a regular blender and then pour into a large bowl). In a small bowl beat together the eggs and milk, then stir into the cottage cheese in the large bowl. Mix in the matzoh meal, salt, pepper, garlic and herbs. Pour some oil into a frying pan, heat over medium-high heat, then carefully pour 1/4 cup of the cottage cheese batter into the hot oil. Use the back of the ladle or a spoon to flatten the middle of the pancake so that it will cook. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown, then carefully flip over with a spatula to fry the other side for a few minutes until golden brown. Once browned on both sides, remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remainder of batter.

Zestfully yours,