Category Archives: Our Blog

10 Herbs Every Cook Should Know!

Dried herbs are an easy and convenient way to add flavor to all of your favorite dishes! Having them on hand allows you to explore all types of cooking on the fly!

Storing and using your Dried Herbs

  • Always store herbs in a cool dry place away from heat or direct sunlight, in order to get the best shelf life from your herbs.
  • If you use jars, be sure they are air tight!
  • Most herbs can be used for up to one year when stored properly before losing flavor and potency.
  • To convert from fresh to dried herbs in any recipe, use 1 tsp of dried for every Tbsp of fresh.
  • Adding your herbs to your oil before adding it your food is a good way to re-hydrate your herbs before using them.
  • Since dried herbs have best flavor when re-hydrated, add them when you start cooking or at least 15-20 minutes before you finish.  They best when added to a recipe during the cooking process rather than sprinkling them on top.

The Herbs

Dill
Dried dill is useful where fresh isn’t available, to give a Scandinavian touch to fish, egg dishes and potatoes (don’t confuse with dill seeds, which are used in pickles).

 

Oregano

Oregano is the one herb that is generally considered better dried than fresh. It’s indispensable in Italian and Mexican cooking, especially with tomatoes and cheese. Its cousin marjoram is often overlooked, but offers a sweeter, less assertive flavour, useful for red meats! It has a bold overpowering flavor, so it’s best paired with strong flavored dishes.

 

Bay Leaves
A couple of bay leaves will give mellow sweetness to braises, stews, stocks and soups. A bay leaf also makes a pleasing change when flavoring custards and rice puddings – infuse in heated milk, or stir in with the rice.

 

Thyme

Dried thyme is a multi-purpose herb to pop into a soup or casserole when a sprig of fresh is not available. Also great with chicken, and a staple of Black Bean Soup!

 

Cinnamon

This is a  a versatile spice that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Some initial studies claim it helps to reduce blood glucose and bad cholesterol, but more research is needed. What isn’t needed is an excuse to add cinnamon to your breakfast oats, hot milk, cakes and pies, or meat marinades.

 

Rubbed Sage

Rubbed Sage is better than powdered. It lacks the zing of fresh, but it complements poultry, pork and butternut squash and stuffings.

 

Rosemary

Rosemary adds a pine fragrance to slow-cooked dishes (particularly Italian-style soups, stews, braises and all lamb dishes). Use sparingly, and chop if you don’t want spiky leaves in your finished dish.

 

 

Black Peppercorns

 This is salt’s twin brother and always adds a kick to a dish. It is probably the most popular spice in the world. Best to buy the whole peppercorns and a grinder, but buying ground is fine too. For a sharper bite, try white pepper.

 

Ginger Powder

 The ginger root is a cornerstone of Asian cooking, imparting a slightly sweet, slightly hot flavor. Goes well will garlic in many Thai, Indian, and Chinese dishes.  Ginger may help stop nausea and may also relieve heartburn and bloating. Try a ginger and honey tea when you’re under the weather.

 

Basil

There’s nothing like basil in a tomato sauce or tomato salad. It’s easy to grow basil as a potted plant on a windowsill. Keeping a supply of dried basil at home, ensures you always have this amazing spice on hand!

 

Gingerbread Dog Cookies!

Do not leave your best friend out of your holiday baking this year! Here are 2 tested and bark-approved recipes for gingerbread dog cookies!  We found these recipes on two wonderful websites that are listed below!

Gingerbread Dog Biscuits
By Randi Dukes, of Dukes & Dutchesses

 

 

 

Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon Organic Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Organic Ground Cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix in the oil, molasses, and water; let sit for 15 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut out the cookies with bone-shaped cookie cutters. Transfer to the cookie sheet. Bake about 20 minutes until firm. Take out, cool and beware of drool!

Gingerbread Dog Biscuits
By The Comfy Belly

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups oat flour (or brown rice, or other flour)
1 teaspoon Organic Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Organic Ground Ginger
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cooked, pureed squash (butternut, pumpkin, or other kind)
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and blend well.
  3. Add the eggs, squash, and molasses to the bowl and blend the mixture until it forms a ball of dough. I use a mixer, but you can also use a spatula, food processor, or your hands.
  4. Separate the dough into two balls. Place one ball of dough on a non-stick baking mat, piece of parchment paper or counter-top with some flour sprinkled over it to prevent sticking.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper or other non-stick paper or mat over the ball of dough. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out and place them on baking or cookie sheets. The biscuits don’t spread so no need to spread them out much across the baking sheets. Repeat until all the dough has been cut into biscuits.
  7. Bake the dough for 15 minutes, and then turn each biscuit over and bake for another 15 minutes.
    Cool and store sealed at room temperature for a month or so, or in the refrigerator for a few months.

Makes about 24 biscuits

Save Big this shopping weekend!

Small Business Saturday Sale 11/25/2017!

We hope you come join us in-store for Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 25th, 2017! We will be having all jewelry on sale 30% off (excluding consignment) and all Yankee Candle holiday gifts at 10% off!  You can also get an additional $5 off your purchase by using the coupon linked below:

Get your $5 coupon for in-store sales

Cyber Monday Sale 11/27/2017!

For Cyber Monday, we are offering a fantastic deal for all of our online customers! Just for Monday, November 27th, 2017 you can use coupon code CM2017 for 25% off your entire online purchase!!

Come save with us this holiday season!!

What does my stone do?

Many people ask that.  If you look on any crystal healing and metaphysical sites, you will see a huge amount of information that in the end, pretty much tells you that every crystal does everything.

There are important things to note about crystals.  They are little parts of our planet, with their own energy.  Their energy will interact with your energy for unique results for each one of us.  This is why some stones may feel really good for one person while others feel “off” for another.  

So with that said, what is the best way to know? Well – the fact is that forces in our planet have been hard at work for years creating these little gems!  They were created by the fires of volcanoes, the layering over time of debris, water currents or even the extreme pressures of continental plates pushing against one another.  These energies are tied into the matrix abd creation of each stone, so ultimately they are going to be dictating what energies that stone is aligned with.

So the next time you want to know the energy of a stone, instead of heading to a metaphysical site, head to wikipedia and see how that little gem was created!

Creation

So how did your stone come to life? What it underwater? Was it deep in the earth with intense pressure of a crater? Was it through a volcanic eruption? All of these things can give you a glimpse of the type of energy stored in each stone!

Colors

Colors have an impact on the energy of a stone in that it vibrates at a certain frequency.  So whatever energies are inside of that stone, that energy will be somewhat affected by the color frequency of that stone.

  • Red, Orange, Yellow: Creativity, power, change, drive, stamina, courage, lust, purification
  • White, Light Blue, Clear: Calming, focus, Healing, Spirits
  • Black, Brown: Grounding and Protection
  • Green – Prosperity, health, abundance
  • Dark Blue – Meditation, thought, Clarity, Academics
  • Pink, white: Love, relationships, self-love
  • Purple: Calming, stress relief, psychic ability.

Elements

Another easy way to see what types of energy are in that stone is to look at what elements created them.  If they were created deep in the earth through intense heat and pressure, the primary elements are earth and fire.  If they were created near a water via hydrothermal energy, they contain water and fire.  If they were created through erosion, they contain air and so on.

  • Fire: Stones formed through fire bring passion, drive, excitement, courage
  • Water: Stones formed through water bring healing, relationships, emotions, personal development
  • Earth: Stones formed through earth bring healing, abundance, prosperity, luck, grounding
  • Air: Stones formed through air bring clarity, psychic development, thought, creativity, communication, movement

 

Want to learn more? Visit us in Rock Hill or even sign up for our Gemstone Classes!

44730489 – fluorite mineral isolated on the white background

The inside on Allspice!

allspice-spoonAlthough you may know Allspice from it’s usage in gingerbread cookies, this spice can do so much more for your fall cooking line up!  This fragrant spice, either whole or ground – can be used in both savory and sweet dishes!

Allspice comes from a Tropical evergreen in the Myrtle Tree Family.  It’s name – Allspice – was given because it seemed to combine flavors from many different spices in this tiny little peppery looking gem!

A few whole pellets of Allspice can be added to rice to flavor a large batch or to brine for for turkey, pork and other meats as well.  

If you prefer to use ground Allspice, remember that a little goes a long way! You can sprinkle some on roasted root veggies or add a half a teaspoon to your favorite Chili recipe to give it a little kick!

For a new treat with Allspice – try two fantastic holiday recipes:

allspice

Canadian Shipping Update!

Just a quick note to let our Canadian customers know that we are updating our shipping options to Canada. Due to the possible pending stoppage with Canada Post, we are shifting all of our Canadian Shipping to Fedex instead.

Unfortunately this will increase the cost for our Canadian customers since FEDEX shipping is significantly more expensive than shipping via USPS (which partners with Canada Post), but our main concern now is making sure that customers receive their packages.

We will be keeping a close eye on the situation with Canada Post and will once again offer our regular lower-priced USPS shipping options once that situation is resolved.  Thank you so much in advance for your understanding and patience!

Canada-Post

Shamanite and More!

Just in – three new stones for you to choose from!

Black Calcite

Black-calciteBlack calcite is also known as “Shamanite”.  This stone is formed when large quantities of carbon infiltrate Limestone and calcite deposits.  It is generally found in Colorado in the United States.

Black Calcite is a fantastic grounding and protection stone.  But it is unique in that at the same time it does promote psychic development, while keeping you grounded.  This may sound like a contradiction but the high energy vibrations of this stone make it ideal for Shamanic Journeys (hence the name “shamanite”).    It is fantastic for removing negativity and for psychic protection while journeying.

We have received a shipment of 12 of these beautiful clusters.  Come get yours before they are all gone!

Red Quartz Clusters

Another beautiful find are these gorgeous Red Quartz Clusters!

Req-quartzRed Quartz happens when Hematite, pyrite or sphalerite bonds clear quartz – hence the color red!

Red quartz can be used to boost physical power and energy.  It is an excellent stone for those recovering from surgery, anemia and any type of constitutional deficiency.    It is also a great stone to keep around to boost your energy levels at times of high stress and tiredness.  We have a limited supply – come check them out!

Watermelon Tourmaline

watermelon-tourmalineWatermelon Tourmaline is a rare variety of Tourmaline that displays three different colors of Tourmaline in the same crystal (green, pink and White)!  These colors occur 100% naturally, through no human manipulation and are fairly rare!

This is great stone to balance male and female energies within yourself.  It can be used to attract love and to balance out all types of unbalances that can cause trauma and confusion.  All tourmalines have strong healing energy, but these in particularly not only heal but also balance.  This is a wonderful stone to work with the heart and throat chakras!

Small Celestite pieces to go!

celestite-chunksWe all love Celestite but the problem is that it can sometimes be fragile to carry around with you on a daily basis! Well – these little chunks of Celestite are perfect for your pocket or small altars!  They are not only portable but an inexpensive alternative for those that cannot afford a larger cluster! Same energy – portable little package!

Come see our new stones in person! All of the stones listed have limited quantities!

Spice up your Cabinets!

A well stocked spice cabinet is the first step in creating delicious meals regardless of season!  Here are some of the spices we recommend to always keep on hand!

Bay Leaves

These aromatic, woodsy-tasting leaves are sold dried.  Rich with color, add bay leaves to soups, stews and marinades! Be sure to remove the leaves before serving!

Black Peppercorns

Slightly pungent, these add flavor to almost any dish! Always use whole peppercorns over the pre-ground versions.  It will be well worth the effort!

Cayenne Pepper

Made from a small, spicy red pepper, this is the foundation of many bottled hot sauces and spice rubs!  Try it on Chili!

 Cinnamon Powder

Warm and aromatic, this spice has a bittersweet flavor! Use it for baking, as well as adding earthiness and body to stews, chili and curry!

Clove Powder

This herb is a staple in holiday baking.  Rich and sweet it makes fantastic gingersnaps! A little goes a long way!

 

Curry Powder

A staple of Indian food, our curry powder contains over 10 different spices!

 

 Ginger Powder

Ground ginger has a more intense and astringent taste than fresh ginger.  This is a wonderful herb for baking as well!

Whole Nutmeg

A delicate and warm spice frequently used in baking can also be used in savory foods.  Adds flavor to squash, spinach and Béchamel sauce!

Dried Oregano

This wonderful and tasty herb is a member of the mint family! Often used in Mediterranean, South American and Cajun cooking.

 

Paprika Powder

This is a powder made from sweet peppers and can be available sweet or hot.  With it’s smooth red color, Hungarian Paprika is the highest quality, but we also carry domestic and Spanish varieties.  Can be used to season meat, seafood and vegetables.  It is also the traditional garnish for deviled eggs!

Rosemary Leaf

With a delicious aroma of Lemon and Pine, this herb is often used in Mediterranean dishes.  Also a delicious addition to Red Potatoes!

 Thyme Leaf

This delicate herb is incredibly fragrant.  Adds a subtle but delicious taste to meats, poultry and vegetables.  Very popular in Mediterranean, Creole and Cajun cuisines!

 

Spices generally have a shelf life of 12-18 months.  We recommend you purchase in small quantities so that you always have fresh spices on hand!

The meta-science of Crystals: Celestite!

Since we have just received a huge shipment of this beautiful stone, we wanted to share with you some cool facts about it!

Celestite is found worldwide, but in small quantities.  Although most of the time we associate it with the color blue, it can also be white, orange, colorless, green or grey – sometimes you can see all colors in the same crystal!  The largest blue Celestite geodes come from Madagascar,  but one of the largest geodes of Celestite in the world is located in the Put-in-bay cave in Ohio!

Celestite contains the metal Strontium, which is used to make fireworks.  Celestite often grows together with Barite and the two can be almost indistinguishable (although Barite is heavier).  Celestite is a sedimentary rock, which forms as layers upon layers of earth and rock lay on each other.  For this reason celestite is mostly found in sandstone and limestone deposits.  Celestite is generally considered a hydrothermal crystal which means it requires heat and water to form.

Energetically, Celestite is a strong crystal for communicating with your spirit guides or archangels.  It is a wonderful stone to improve mediumship abilities and meditation.  It can also be used to bring peace and calm after a hectic day.  Because of how Celestite is formed, it is strongly associated with the water element.

This crystal makes a perfect addition to a reading room, meditation room, yoga space or even personal altar.  Celestite promotes peace and harmony and is also excellent for those experiencing difficult emotional traumas.

Blue-Celestite

We have some beautiful pieces in stock! Come get yours today!

Winter is Coming…Eventually

While we may be enjoying this unseasonably warm weather, winter clouds are gathering. With colder weather on the way, and people retreating into their homes, being in close proximity, viruses spread. The most nefarious of the illnesses, that dreaded influenza, begins to take hold. Fortunately, there are several ways to loosen its grip. Here are three products to soothe your sickness.

Elder flower and berry:

  • Long used in treating influenza and colds.
  • Naturally rife with antioxidants, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
  • Loaded with tannins, which ease a sore and upset stomach.

Rose  Hips:

  • High in vitamin C.
  • Vitamin C may reduce risk and length of cold and flu by as much as 18%.
  • High in antioxidants.

Cold & Flu Brew:

  • Opens nasal passages.
  • Elder flower
  • Rosehips
  • Soothes nausea and upset stomach.
  • Anise seed. May contain antimicrobial properties.
  • Also may contain antimicrobial properties.
  • Yarrow
  • May help to break fevers and increase circulation.

These products go quickly, so stock up and remember to stay healthy!

wet winter

 

Bibliography

  1. Charlebois, D. “Elderberry as a Medicinal Plant.” Ed. J. Janick and A. Whipkey. Issues in New Crops and New Uses (2007). Online.
  2. Hemilä H, Chalker E. “Vitamin C for Preventing and Treating the Common Cold.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000980. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4.Online.

 

These products are not evaluated by the FDA. Information is for educational purposes only and not meant to treat or diagnose disease.