8:22:00 PM
Today I was inspired by one of my followers Laura, a single mom on a budget, who puts together her own mixes and powders to save money. She has been experimenting and trying different combination and has generously shared her perfected recipes with me. 

From Laura: I try to keep a basket/box full of little jars of things to use for hostess gifts/teacher gifts/ thank you gifts etc. I also do spice blends as well like my garam masala blend or my dry rub mixture. All shelf stable ingredients. Just tie ribbon on neck or stack 2 or 3 and tie up with nice cloth/dishtowel. 

Laura's jars are filled with some items that she dehydrated first and grinds into powders to make the final mixes. These are easy combinations that will save you money and will help use some of the dehydrated products you have stored. 

French Fry seasoning 
2 tsp salt
1Tbs dry minced garlic (I use my dehydrated garlic)
1Tbs dry onion (I use my dehydrated onions)
2 tsp. chili flakes (any dry peppers will work, I use red pepper flakes)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

Grind all together in processor or coffee mill or use mortar and pestle as fine as can get. I normally make double or triple batches. Sprinkle on hot popcorn, sprinkle on French fries before fry and again after, sprinkle in skillet fried potatoes, sprinkle on chicken wings before sauce them. 

Flavored Sugars

vanilla sugar - sugar and vanilla pods 
lemon sugar - lemon zest and sugar  
cinnamon sugar - cinnamon and sugar  
(From Laura: I often stack these three as a sugar bundle.)

Vanilla sugar is done 2 ways. Slit new or used vanilla bean pods and place in jar of sugar. The sugar will absorb the vanilla flavoring. As use sugar just add more sugar to jar.
I personally prefer to grind vanilla beans with sugar in my coffee grinder to almost powder stage. I use about 2 beans for 2 cups sugar. Depends on how strong of vanilla taste you want it to have. Great in coffee if you like the vanilla flavored coffee's, sprinkled on cookies, on ice cream. 

Lemon Sugar is just sugar combined with as much dried lemon zest or dehydrated lemon peel powder as you prefer.  

Cinnamon sugar is just like Mom and Grandma have done for years. 1 cup sugar to amount of cinnamon you like. I like mine heavy on the cinnamon and sugar so use quite a bit of cinnamon.  Use on buttered toast, sprinkle on warm sugar cookies, over any sweet potato or pumpkin dish, in coffee. 

Instant Hot Cocoa Mix
4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups cocoa 
5 cups powdered milk
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch 
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding powdered mix 

Sift all together and keep in airtight glass container. 
To use: Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons powder mix per mug of hot water or hot milk. (I prefer 3)
Optionals: Can add mini marshmallows, sprinkle with peppermint (candy cane dust)  

Garam Masala 
Combine 2 teaspoons ground cardamom, 
5 teaspoons ground coriander, 
4 teaspoons ground cumin, 
1 teaspoon ground cloves, 
2 teaspoons black pepper, 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg. 

Yield: 1/3 cup.

Laura's Dry Rub Mix 
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
tablespoons sea salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
tablespoons cumin
tablespoons chili powder
tablespoons black pepper
tablespoon cayenne 
1/3 cup paprika
tablespoons lemon pepper
tablespoons onion salt or powder
tablespoons garlic powder
tablespoons dry mustard
tablespoon dried basil  (optional)
tablespoon dried oregano (optional)
tablespoon dried parsley (optional)

If you like it Cajun or hot add a few pinches of dry hot pepper flakes. Mix all together and use on chicken and pork. Keep in closed and pork. 

Chinese Five-Spice Powder 
3 tablespoons cinnamon,
2 teaspoons aniseed, 
1½ teaspoons fennel seed,
1½ teaspoons black pepper,
¾ teaspoon ground cloves.

Combine all ingredients in a blender until they are processed.

Taco Seasoning
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp powdered oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Mix all ingredients together. This makes the equivalent of a 1/4 ounce package of commercial taco seasoning mix. You can mix this into ground meat or use as a seasoning rub before grilling chicken or skirt steak.

Blackened Seasoning
4 tsp ground paprika
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsps garlic powder
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt (Kosher)
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or to your taste – be careful!
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a jar, give it a good shake, and store in a cool, dark place.

Apple Pie Spice
1/4 cup cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg 1 tsp. allspice 
1 tsp. ground ginger 

Mix all spices together and put into an airtight container (or spice jar).

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