Aimee’s Pretty Palate: Seasoned Greetings

Photos by Aimee Broussard

Every December, I try to include recipes that are fitting for the season. It’s always a dilemma with choosing whether I want to share recipes suitable for edible gifts appropriate for giving and receiving, or recipes you can include in your entertaining endeavors. And then there’s the whole wrapping up the year and the need for New Year’s Eve celebration snacks. Y’all know by now that I love to share some snacks! Thank goodness I have a blog so that the recipes not chosen for this space can be shared over there.

Because gift giving is my favorite, though, this month we are going to focus on homemade seasonings that you can easily whip together for your own enjoyment or to quickly package for a gift that is both thoughtful and unique. As my gift to you, printable gift tags for these seasonings are available on aimeebroussard.com so you can easily recreate them yourself.

My Cajun Seasoning contains zero preservatives or fillers and is pulled together with seasonings you likely already have in the spice cabinet. It’s great on anything you would use that store-bought stuff on, and because we are focusing on gift giving, it looks great tied in ribbon with a vintage teaspoon attached. You can halve the recipe if you don’t want any for yourself (but you do).

Need something salty and sweet to snack on while watching those Hallmark movies or waiting for the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve? I’ve got you covered! The Gingerbread Popcorn Seasoning will transform your popcorn into a gingerbread-house-tasting bowl of magic. It’s the perfect holiday snack.

And finally, just because Starbucks is giving the Pumpkin Spice Latte the boot in January doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy it at home, considering it only recently got cool enough to indulge. My Pumpkin Pie Spice blend makes it super easy to replicate at home. Toss it in a basket with glass mugs and pumpkin purée and—you guessed it—bring a smile to a pumpkin-spice-loving pal.

Happy holidays, friends!


HOMEMADE CAJUN SEASONING
Ingredients:
1 (26-oz.) carton salt
1 (1-oz.) container cayenne pepper
1 (1-oz.) container paprika
13 cup black pepper
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
3 Tbsp. onion powder
3 Tbsp. garlic powder
Combine all ingredients; store in airtight containers. Seasoning will keep for up to a 1 year.
Makes 3½ cups.

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
Combine spices in a small bowl, mixing well. Store in an airtight small jar or spice container.

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
Ingredients:
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp. pumpkin purée, or to taste
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
½ cup brewed coffee
Whipped cream (optional)
Additional Pumpkin Pie Spice for garnish (optional)
In a saucepan, whisk together milk, pumpkin purée and light brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot and steamy but not boiling. Remove from heat, and whisk in Pumpkin Pie Spice and vanilla. Slowly add coffee and continue to whisk until frothy. Taste and adjust sweetness with extra sugar if desired, then top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Makes 2 lattes.

GINGERBREAD POPCORN SEASONING
Ingredients:
1½ Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
Combine spices in a small bowl, mixing well. Store in an airtight small jar or spice container.

GINGERBREAD POPCORN
Ingredients:
8 cups popped popcorn (I used a 6.5-ounce bag of pre-popped popcorn)
3 tsp. Gingerbread Popcorn Seasoning
8 oz. white chocolate/vanilla candy melts or vanilla almond bark
1 cup red and green chocolate-coated candies
Holiday sprinkles (optional)
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. To one prepared pan, add popcorn and top with Gingerbread Popcorn Seasoning; toss to combine. Melt candy melts or bark according to package instructions, and evenly drizzle over popcorn. Add red and green candies and sprinkles, and again toss to combine.
Turn popcorn out onto second parchment-lined baking sheet, and allow mixture to cool to room temperature and chocolate to set. Popcorn mix will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Makes about 8 cups popcorn.

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