Seasonings for the Season

Bah Humbug.

The Grinch.



That’s kind of been my holiday mindset lately.   I’ve been working hard at getting out of it—watching every holiday movie I can (but I do draw the line at Hallmark), decorating the house (although no one will see it but us), and playing Christmas music 24-7.  (Did you know there’s a Pandora station called “Christmas Music that Doesn’t Suck”?)

I miss my family.  Every year, we MAKE Christmas presents for each other—homemade gifts from the kitchen, handmade crafted items from knitting and sewing to wood working gifts and even seeds harvested from our gardens.  We spend a lot of time planning and preparing.  This year, we just couldn’t get into to.  (Plus, some of the things we had planned to make were not reasonably shippable.)

I did make a few preserves and I persevered and decided to create some spice  mixes for my nephew and BiL.

Here’s what I mixed up: Dukkah, Taco Mix, Spicy Steak Seasoning,  Habanero Rib Rub, and Moroccan Spice.

I’m including the recipes altogether here in case you need a quick gift.  Most of these recipes make enough to fill at least two spice bottles, one to give and one to keep.



Dukkah Spice

Angie’s Recipes

I use this on everything! It’s especially good on veggies.


  • 100 grams hazelnuts
  • 30 grams sesame seeds
  • 1 t. coriander seeds
  • 2 t. cumin seeds
  • 1 t. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 t. pink Himalayan sea salt, fine
  • ½ t. ground ginger
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • 2 t. Ground turmeric


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread the hazelnuts over a baking tray and toast in oven for 5 minutes or until toasted.
  2. Rub the hazelnuts between a clean tea towel to remove as much skin as possible. Place the toasted hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Add to the bowl with the hazelnuts.
  4. Place coriander, cumin and peppercorns in the pan over high heat for 1 minute or until aromatic. Transfer to spice grinder. Process until powder-like. Add to hazelnut mixture.
  5. Add remaining spices and salt to the mixture. Combine well using a whisk. Store in a jar until ready to use.

I’ve made some great oven roasted veggies with this spice mix (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and red onions).

Along with the Dukkah, I sent recipes for this veggie dish plus a card with ideas for using it on other things like yogurt, eggs, and even fruit.

Spicy Steak Seasoning

Spicy Steak Seasoning

From The Kitchen Witch

For anything–doesn’t have to be steak.


  • 3 T. black peppercorns
  • 2 T. fine Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 2 T. Kosher salt
  • 2 T. coriander seeds
  • 2 T. fennel seeds
  • 2 T. dried minced onion
  • 1 T. dried granulated garlic
  • 1 T. dried thyme
  • 1 T. dried rosemary
  • 1 T. red pepper flakes


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor, spice mill or blender. Pulse until blended and spices have broken down but not pulverized.
  2. Store in an air tight container until ready to use.

Taco Seasoning

Taco Mix

From Bake Your Day


  • 4 T. chili powder
  • 2 T. . flour
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T.  garlic powder
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 1 T. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. smoked paprika  (Use a very good and fresh smoked paprika.)
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 t.  fine sea salt
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. dried cilantro


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Store the seasoning mix in an air-tight container for up to one year.

For use in chili, use about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the above mixture in a recipe that calls for one packet of chili seasoning; adjust to your taste.

When making tacos using one pound of ground beef, start with 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup of water of the seasoning mix, bring to a simmer and allow sauce to thicken. Adjust seasonings to taste.

The BiL and Nephew #1 love to smoke so I included one of our favorite rub recipes but added a kick.


Habanero Rib Rub

Debra (based on Wild Willy’s Number One-derful Rub)

Use on ribs, brisket, chicken, burgers, and more.


  • ¾ c. paprika
  • ¼ c. fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ c. kosher salt
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 2 T. garlic powder
  • 2 T. onion powder
  • 2 t. cayenne
  • habanero powder (as much as you can stand)


Mix spice thoroughly in a bowl. Store covered in a cool, dark pantry.

For the last spice, I made a Moroccan spice mix.

Moroccan Spice

Not sure where I found this recipe.)


  • 1 t. each of ground ginger, nutmeg and fine sea salt
  • 1-1/4 t. ground allspice
  • 1-1/2 t. each of ground pepper, mace and cardamom
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1-½ t. turmeric


Mix and store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 1/4 cup

I love this spice mix and have used it in a butternut squash and chickpea stew.  Delicious and aromatic!

If you need some spice in your life, whip up one (or all) of these mixes.


For other quick and spicy gifts, you might check out these older posts:

Kitchen Pepper


Christmas Simmering Spices




Lemon Pepper


Grilling Spices


Rosemary and Thyme Spicy Herb Salt

6 comments to Seasonings for the Season

  • Deb, I am so glad that you enjoyed the dukkah recipe, which I use almost on everything too. So good on runny egg yolks..geeze, now I am HUNGRY.
    Sorry that you don’t get to visit your family. Corona really has ruined lots of things this year. We don’t visit the family this year either…just two of us with our cat..staying at home and watching Netflix…:-))

  • Mae

    That’s a beautiful idea for a gift. You must have access to a really good source of spices. I hope you cheer up as the holiday week continues!

    be well… mae at

  • A wonderful batch of spice mixes. More for my collection.