What are your Favorite Herbs & Spices? – Alexia French Fry Challenge

by Marla on July 3, 2011 · 39 comments

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Herbs, spices and seasonings on Family Fresh Cooking blog

Could you imagine life without herbs and spices? I sure can’t. A little pinch here and there brings food to unparalleled levels. Without all kinds of seasoning life would be a bit blah, don’t you think? My moods vary a bit by season. However, I always have go to flavors such as cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, thyme, Herbes de Provence that I use in my cooking and recipes.

Herbs, spices and seasonings on Family Fresh Cooking blog

This is my second in a series of weekly posts that tie back to the Alexia Foods Reinvent a Classic challenge that I am in. My job is to come up with unique flavors for the next baked french fry flavor to be launched in 2012. I recently asked you guys whether you prefer Sweet Potato or Russets…..in this post I want to know about your favorite herbs, spices and seasoning blends.

Herbs, spices and seasonings on Family Fresh Cooking blog

I always enjoy surprise elements when it comes to spices and herbs used in cooking. For instance check out this Lavender and Honey Raw Cheesecake at Roost Blog. Cheesecake is a classic, but when you add the distinct flavor of lavender it becomes that much more fabulous!

Herbs, spices and seasonings on Family Fresh Cooking blog

What Katie Ate is one of the most beautiful blogs ever and she uses fabulous spices and seasonings in all of her recipes. See her relish, ketchup, potato pie and orecchiette pasta salad. Tartelette is a true flavor connoisseur. Check out her Pineapple Sage Financiers and every recipe on her blog for inspiration.

Homemade carrot cake muffins for Easter with Peter Rabbit toppers

Those sweet Peter Rabbit Carrot Cupcakes taste even better with a dash of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

One of the most liberating experiences I had recently was buying 5 pots of fresh herbs at Trader Joe’s. I must admit that I do not have gardening skills. Whenever I have planted anything it lives a very short life. Very short. I am tired of running to the market each time I need garnishes, flourishes and flavorings. The herb pots I bought are in direct hit of the automatic sprinkler system. I think they stand a chance.

Herbs, spices and seasonings on Family Fresh Cooking blog

Sometimes it is nice to use what we would consider savory spices in dessert or sweet breakfast recipes. A while back I made an oatmeal with black pepper as the star ingredient. A few twists of black pepper brought a bowl of oats to new levels in my Baked Coconut Oatmeal with Pepper Nut Topping.

Healthy whole grain oatmeal breakfast with coconut milk and walnuts.

All this brings us back to the point of this whole discussion of herbs and spices. What are your favorite french fry flavors? Do you like them sweet, savory or somewhere in between. Do you like them spicy, mild or with a dip perhaps?

What are your favorite herbs? Do you prefer fresh or dried ones? How do you store your herbs and seasonings? Do you have an herb garden or planter?

Herbs, spices and seasonings on Family Fresh Cooking blog

There will be ongoing chatter & discussion on this topic over on my Facebook pageTwitter pages too. Please join us over there.

Links to Bloggers Who Love Their Herbs & Spices

Family Fresh Cooking disclosure: I was invited and compensated for my time to create a new French fry recipe for Alexia Foods. I will share a number of posts that tie back to this online event. The opinions expressed on Family Fresh Cooking are my own. They are products and brands that I carefully choose to share with you.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kulsum at JourneyKitchen July 3, 2011 at 7:46 am

Oh I don’t think I can survive a day without spices and herbs!


2 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. July 3, 2011 at 8:08 am

very pretty photos! Great post


3 Notyet100 July 3, 2011 at 8:33 am

I prefer fresh ones,..:) awesome post


4 Amanda July 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

Marla.. those pictures are amazing!! I feel like I am reading a gourmet magazine looking at those beautiful shots! You have made something seemingly boring into something so beautiful! Well done. :)


5 Marla July 3, 2011 at 9:06 am

Ha! Amanda when I was concepting this post I was thinking to myself “Now how can I make herbs sexy?!”
Glad to hear I made an almost boring subject way better!! Though certainly not as sexy as your cakes 😉


6 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather July 3, 2011 at 8:38 am

Sweet potatoes pair perfectly with both sweet and savory spices… you could go either way!


7 Marla July 3, 2011 at 9:51 am

Heather, that is true. I actually like a combo of sweet & savory on my baked sweet potato fries.


8 Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious July 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

Have you ever tried the Adobo Seasoning from Penzey’s? I use it on everything. It’s salt-free (you can always add salt to anything that needs it…can’t remove it from an herb mix). Verrrrry versatile. I often put it on potatoes.


9 Marla July 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Dorothy, I have never heard of that spice mix but now I will certainly be on the lookout for it. I also like when I can add my own sea salt. No need for a product to decide on that for me 😉


10 thepickyeater | a spoonful of yumm July 3, 2011 at 9:24 am

what a sexy post on herbs & spices 😉 my fav is herb cilantro and in spices – cinnamon 😀 i love using cinnamon sticks to make indian fried rice. gives it a aroma filled flavor 😀 i do have tulsi ( one type of basil ) & ajwain(carom) potted plants at home. a garden is on my wishlist !


11 Marla July 3, 2011 at 9:51 am

I adore the herbs and spices that flavor Indian cuisine. I bet your fried rice with the cinnamon stick is fabulous! Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs too. I feel bad for folks whose taste buds find it soapy.


12 thepickyeater | a spoonful of yumm July 3, 2011 at 10:48 am

i cant believe people don’t like cilantro :(((( poor cilantro :-/ they sure don’t have good taste 😉 i think fresh herbs are anyday better than dried ones. you can see the difference when you make a dish with them


13 Rosa July 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

I love herbs and spices, and could not live without them! I like dried herbs as much as fresh ones as they are not comparable in flavor. Difficult to say which of them are my favorite….. ;-P

Lovely creations!




14 Marla July 3, 2011 at 9:45 am

Rosa, you are so right. Each herb & spice serves it’s own purpose. How lucky are we that we get to choose from so much variety!


15 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

cinnamon & ginger roasted potato sticks, I have a recipe on my site…they are really good and easy. You can even add stevia. So it’s like cinnamon and sugar, but with cinn & stevia (and a little ginger). Very candy-like. I am always all about the sweet rather than the savory.

And I was laughing at your very short life comments about your plants and gardening skills. :)



16 Marla July 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Averie, those cinnamon ginger potato sticks sound awesome. Love that I can use my stevia on those too :)
The gardening….not my thang.


17 Samantha Jean July 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I’m a huge fan of sweet and savory spices combined. I like when there is a little sweetness to a dish (I have a bit of a sweet tooth!) and then the bite ends on a spicy note. I think when those two spices are paired with one another, they are perfect. Especially when done correctly.


18 Marla July 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Samantha, I love the sweet/savory/spicy thing too. All if them together make the perfect french fry!


19 yummychunklet July 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Those Peter Rabbit cupcakes are so cute!


20 Betty @ scrambled hen fruit July 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I love the bold flavor of pepper on potatoes. Black, red, white- you name it. (Even on sweet potatoes!) Thyme is nice too. :)


21 Marla July 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Betty, I love the pepper on them too. No matter what the potato is and if they are sweet or savory.


22 Katrina July 3, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Cinnamon and basil are my favorite spices. Not together (I don’t think), but I like to use both of them a lot!


23 Angie's Recipes July 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Rosemary, thyme, estragon….the cupcakes are so cute!


24 Marla July 4, 2011 at 5:57 am

Estragon? Have never heard of that Angie….I must look it up. Rosemary & thyme are two of my favorites though!


25 Roxana GreenGril July 4, 2011 at 7:25 am

Oh no, a day without herbs and spices sounds more like fasting.
The Peter Rabbit cupcakes are so cute!


26 Kate@Diethood July 4, 2011 at 8:10 am

I have an herb garden. I love going in there and picking basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc… My favorite herbs and spices are probably rosemary, basil, cinnamon, ginger… too many ha? :))


27 Marla July 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Kate, never too many. I love them all too :) Awesome that you have an herb garden. Makes life a lot easier & way more tasty too!


28 Lucy July 4, 2011 at 8:58 am

Love all herbs and spices – does Lemon Verbena count as a herb – because I use it all the time to flavor everything – and of course to make tea


29 Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} July 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

You have a beautiful site! I love herbs and spices, the last two years I’ve starting growing herbs in pots and this year I incorporated them into my garden. The cup cakes are adorable and can’t wait to explore and try your creative recipes! Happy 4th! :)


30 Marla July 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Lisa, my goal someday is to have some beautiful large pots of herbs. Transplanting them sounds great, but mine would be destined to not make it beyond a few days…


31 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 5, 2011 at 3:35 am

I love the way you’ve arranged the herbs and spices on the slate board! Great styling.


32 megan @ whatmegansmaking July 5, 2011 at 6:37 am

I’m definitely a savory french fry person. even with sweet potato fries, I like them salty, not sweet. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


33 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] July 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Life would definitely be “blah” without herbs and spices.


34 susan July 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

I too, am a huge fan of What Kate Ate! I could not cook or live without cumin, oregano, celtic sea salt, chili powder. Especially love my homemade fries sprinkled with chili powder!


35 Jeanette July 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I love herbs and spices – I think I must have about 100 different spices/dried herbs in my drawer! A few mixtures I like are Fines Herbes and Herbes de Provence. I also like Cajun seasoning and Old Bay.


36 Marla July 7, 2011 at 4:16 am

Jeanette, I also have a HUGE spice cabinet. My biggest issue is space management. Wish I could find a way to best organize them and find the ones I need in a pinch. My favorites are always in the front lines.


37 Barbara | Creative Culinary July 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I love my herbs. As my kids moved out, keeping a big garden was just too much work for my own needs so I no longer do squash or tomatoes but the herbs are a mainstay…that many are perennial is a bonus too.

So…I just did some sorbets using fresh herbs and am in the herb mood. I matched some lemon thyme with Limoncello but now think I would love it with a sweet potato fry too!It’s too easy to think of the popular subject…garlic, rosemay, chives…how about a tarragon or oregano version? I love this challenge and can’t wait to see all of the results.


38 Marla July 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Barbara, thanks for all of your insight. You always use such unique & original flavors in your recipes. I had not even thought about tarragon, but I do really like it. It is so helpful that so many herbs are perennial. Makes life a bit more low maintenance.
Your sorbets sound wonderful for summer….refreshing. I need some lemon thyme in my backyard. Not sure if I have ever had it?!


39 Andrea June 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm

WOW. Love your photos! Thanks for sharing. =)


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