Gettin’ Spicy With Penzeys

Our #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, luuuuuuuuuuuvs Penzeys Spices. She can stalk them at an actual physical shop. She brought us a sample packet of Tsardust Memories Russian Seasoning, which is salt, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and marjoram. If you like Cincinnati-style chili (and I do!), this is a great seasoning for you. I know it isn’t the same blend, but it’s the same kind of profile (to my taste, anyway).

Somehow, I got wind of a special offer they were doing, so I went to the Penzeys online store. If you bought $25 of stuff, you got a free gift box and free shipping. Every purchase meant a donation to … I forget what, now. There are so many causes I want to support, from urban food deserts to abuses against refugees to human trafficking. Penzeys touches me where I live, though: Their motto is Love people. Cook them tasty food.

They put their money where your mouth is.

They donate spices, especially pepper, to organizations and locations that feed people, like food pantries and soup kitchens. They often offer discounted gift cards you can give to disaster recovery, so people who have lost everything in a hurricane or a flood can replace spices lost. It’s a little thing, but a human thing. That touches me.

Their website is filled with archived recipes as well as spices, blends, and “fun stuff” like magnets and superhero capes. At the top of each page, right next to the Search bar, is a little red heart. Clicking that takes you to a story of kindness and cooking, like this one about Homegirl Cafe and Catering, where young people in gang-rife neighborhoods and people transitioning from prison can learn to grow, prep, cook, and serve food, ideally moving out of the program and into self-respect without violence.


Here’s what I got for around $30:

I don’t really need spices, but I do need hope
A box in a box. And more hope!
Smoked paprika, dried shallots, Florida Seasoned Pepper, Pico Fruta, and Sicilian Salad Seasoning

But what’s in the gift box (which I kept, by the way)?

A KIND magnet, two recipe cards, an Embrace Hope pin (bling!), Mexican vanilla extract, and Salsa & Pico

I rubbed some of the Salsa & Pico on some Tilapia last night and pan-seared it for about five minutes a side. Charlie and I both loved it!

So I highly recommend Penzeys Spices on all kindsa levels.

I’m posting at Fatal Foodies today about brown smoothies.

A PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about someone who needs and/or receives hope.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Gettin’ Spicy With Penzeys

  1. Pete LAberge

    July 18, 2018 at 12:36am

    It appears you shared SOME of it with Dtr #4. But you kept the bling! Now she will know what you did! Steffie will have to re-wire the whole interwebs to solve this. She’s probably gonna bill overtime! Oy vay!

    And the Librarian will be jealous! Oh, man! Luuuuucccyyyy! This will neeed mucho explaining!

    Heck, I am feeling a mite left out, too! LOL!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 18, 2018 at 8:06am

      No, Pete, I have shared NONE of it with #4! She’s somewhat (justifiably) smug that she lives where she can just bop out to the store and buy Penzeys. I’ll share some the next time she comes to visit — by cooking with it. So far, I’ve only shared with Charlie. ‘Cause he’s special. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • pete laberge

        July 18, 2018 at 10:45pm

        Well, you put her in her place, eh! (She will not be so smug now!) Good for you! And cooking together is a fun thing. Charlie is very special. Enjoy the spices!

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Deborah

    July 18, 2018 at 11:24pm

    I just had to repurchase some smoked Paprika. I wish I knew about this place last week! Next time!

    I love Mexican Vanilla! The few times I’ve been in Mexico I buy a big bottle of it. There’s two things I’d buy from Penzey’s.

    The bling looks fun too.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 19, 2018 at 8:54am

      Absolutely, keep them in mind! I used another of my purchases, the Sicilian Salad blend, in green beans last night, and they were delicious!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. joey

    July 20, 2018 at 11:05pm

    Oh my goodness. I’m intrigued.
    This week, one of the girls ordered bagels, and I like an everything bagel. Then… Marian, then she told me you can buy ‘everything but the bagel’ spice and put it on other things.
    This tops that.
    What a spicy week!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

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