Disclosure: I was sent these spices for the purpose of writing this post, however all words, photos and opinions are my own.
The older I get, the more I realise I’m a creature of habit.
I find myself falling into routines and patterns with things like the meals we eat, and end up having the same things week after week. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I really love the meals that we eat, especially with my husband cooking for us more.
It is good to spice things up now and then though. To try some new recipes and some new flavours.
So when I was offered some spice and rub collections from Life of Spice to try out I couldn’t wait to open them up and get cooking with them.
The Italian Collection comes in a lovely gift box which is a big plus if you want to give a set to someone as a present.
Inside the box are three metal tins of spice blends.
The Italian Job is a mixture of salt and Italian herbs (basil, thyme, oregano). Italian Herbs is a classic mix of oregano, thyme and rosemary, and Pepper Smurf is a peppered rub with rosemary, basil, marjoram and citrus.
I love that this collection has 3 different types of seasoning blend, so you can use them for so many different types of cooking.
The Italian Herbs and The Italian Job are great to use in pasta sauces and would also work really well with things like roast potatoes or wedges. The Pepper Smurf rub is perfect for rubbing into meats before grilling or barbecuing.
The second collection I was sent was the American Rub Collection, which has 5 different tins in the box.
Memphis Belle is an authentic Tennessee BBQ rub, while Kansas City Rib Rub brings the flavours of the Midwest. Much Adobo About Nothing is an adobo spice blend which is perfect for fajitas and chilli. Savannah Gold is a vibrant spice blend with mustard and garlic, and Sweet Home Alabama is a rich and smoky Southern spice rub.
When you open up the tins the smell you get is amazing, and what’s great is that each mix is distinctive enough from the rest of the collection.
A few of the rubs are labelled as being ‘barbecue’ rubs, and they would be absolutely amazing to use on all sorts of meats to go on the barbecue in the summer.
The real beauty of these rubs though is you don’t have to use them for barbecues. Or even meat for that matter.
You can use them to give amazing flavour to roasted vegetables and they’d be great for adding flavour to tofu. And the Much Adobo About Nothing would be perfect to use in a veggie chilli or to give a bit of a kick to a shepherd’s pie made with vegetarian mince.
I knew exactly what I wanted to make though, as soon as these spices arrived.
I used the Kansas City Rib Rub to spice up some slices of halloumi.
This rub is a gorgeous burnt orange shade and has a lovely smokey barbecue smell to it.
It was ridiculously easy to use too.
I just sliced up some halloumi and rubbed the spice mix into both sides of the slices.
Then I heated some oil in a pan and cooked the halloumi slices for a few minutes on each side. You could hear the spices sizzling in the oil as they cooked and the whole kitchen smelt amazing!
If you wanted you could layer some of the cooked halloumi slices in a bun with some mayo and lettuce and have it as a burger, which actually I think I’ll have to try next time.
What I did this time though was serve it with cous cous, which is something Steve and I used to have all the time when we were first living together.
I cooked the cous cous then added some of the Italian Herbs from the Italian collection for a bit of added flavour, then stirred in some chopped peppers.
Keeping the cous cous quite simple meant that the star of the show, the spiced halloumi, could really have it’s moment.
And oh my word it was good!
The saltiness of the cheese together with the smokey flavour and bit of heat from the rub worked so well together. I would say I can see this become a new regular fixture on our weekly menu, but actually I think we could still keep things interesting by using a different spice rub each time!
Special reader offer:
If you want to try the Spice of Life spices for yourself, or get some for the foodie in your life as a present, then I have a great offer to share with you.
Buy any of the collections from the Spice of Life website and use code LOS–NDBLG at the checkout to get an extra tin of spices absolutely free!
So what are you waiting for? Go break out of your food rut and spice things up!