Spice up the boring!

bbq spice shrimp

Tired of the same old, same old? Find yourself eating the same things, week after week? Spice up the boring! All it takes is a little taste test to find your favorite or to try something new.

Ginger knows how to spice up the boring! She steamed shrimp in J.O.’s BBQ Spice. It was so delicious that she added it to her salad for lunch ~ topped salad greens with BBQ spiced shrimp, feta, and honey mustard pretzel bits and balsamic dressing.

We are well known for our seafood seasonings but did you know we have all kinds of specialty spices? BBQ, Caribbean Jerk, Rib&Chicken, Rotisserie, and more all online and under the specialty tab! Unsure of how to use a spice? We are here to help! We all love certain spices and we all love to spice up the boring.

DSC_0729

Do you have a favorite? Ginger loves the Rotisserie & the BBQ, Kathleen loves the Rib & Chicken, I love the Caribbean Jerk & Blackened and my brother in law loves the Cajun! Between all of us, we’re not only spicing up the boring, we’re spicing up the world!

What about a favorite recipe you’d care to share? Leave a comment below or on Facebook!

Spice up the boring!

:) Pamela

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Blackened steamed shrimp w/Mexican rice and veggies!

corn salsa and shrimp

Blackened steamed shrimp w/Mexican rice and veggies is super fun to make! The best part is that it’s to your taste and to your liking. What we put in our recipe could be completely different from you!

We steamed shrimp in J.O.’s Blackened Seasoning. DELICIOUS and spicy if you use too much so be careful while sprinkling it on. We steamed some rice and then we made a Mexican salsa dicing up avocados, cherry tomatoes, black beans, corn, cilantro, tri colored peppers, Scallions, fresh lime juice, cucumbers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt! DELICIOUS and healthy.

Stepping outside your comfort zone of tried and true recipes is new and exciting. The best part about not working with a recipe is that it’s to your taste, to your liking and the more you do it, the better you become at perfecting just the right recipe…and then you write it down!

Blackened steamed shrimp is just the beginning. Why not try steaming shrimp in lemony seafood? J.O. #1 50% Less Salt? Just modifying one spice can make all the difference to your taste buds.

Try something new tonight! It’s just dinner.

Enjoy more of Ginger’s recipe posts on Facebook…Like Us today and don’t forget to share pictures of using J.O. Spice in your meals! We love pictures and we love our fans! Thank you!

:) Pamela

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More J.O. in the news!

truck

More J.O. in the news is a great way to start a Monday!

I couldn’t explain lacrosse, don’t joust and have no idea what county I live in but I do know that I didn’t like steamed shrimp or steamed crabs until I learned all about #18 and that’s all right by me!

http://www.movoto.com/md/things-people-from-maryland-have-to-explain/

Another fun read!

Enjoy,

:) Pamela

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Cinnamon in the air…smells like fall!

pumpkinautumn

 

The smell of cinnamon evokes the scent of fall…apple pie or cobbler baking in the oven, hot toddies, hot cider simmering on the stove with lots of cinnamon sticks and cinnamon inside your slow-cooker chili! Don’t forget there’s also snickerdoodles baking, gingerbread and cinnamon spiced cake straight from the oven! Got whipped cream?

Here at J.O. we have the wonderful Apple Pie Spice and Pumpkin Pie Spice. These spice blends have the right combination of cinnamon and other spices that you can use for so many recipes, not just pie! Cookies, pound cake, ice cream, cider and coffee drinks, add some to whipped cream, sprinkle some on top of your chili, your butternut squash soup, your hearty lamb stew or any stew that has the flavors of curry or cumin, coriander, chili or fall!

Even if you just have a pork or chicken to roast in the slow cooker, adding onion, peppers, 1 can of diced tomatoes, J.O. Garlic Pepper, J.O. Cumin/J.O. Cinnamon and/or Cinnamon Sticks to the mix, and cook on low for about 6 hours ~ the smell of cinnamon in the air makes coming home on that first fall day feel like a cozy hug! It’s the first day when you are attacked by the cold after just wearing shorts and you’re like, “Whoa. Where did fall come from?” You just need a hug of cinnamony warm goodness after that!

Then when you are ready, make some snickerdoodles -have you ever tried it with the J.O. Apple Pie Spice or the J.O. Pumpkin Pie Spice? That adds a nice and different zing to the cookies and makes the hot apple cider, and/or hot toddies a welcome treat!  Don’t forget to sprinkle the whipped cream with some added spice!

How do you enjoy a cold, fall day? What does the smell of cinnamon in the air evoke in your memories?

Happy Spicy Memories,

:) Pamela

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What’s on your crabs?

the great debate

So you think you know what’s on your crabs? Isn’t it funny how a spice can just add so much to a meal? I’m not sure people even realize the difference a sprinkle of spice makes…I just love to cook so I forget that some people don’t like to experiment with spices and flavors and the combinations that can make the difference between an okay meal to a fabulous meal. It can get overwhelming if you have no idea what coriander or celery seed or marjoram or crushed red pepper can do – even what J.O. #1 or J.O. #2 can do!

Someone just told me that she learned all about celery seed when she ate her neighbor’s potato salad. She never knew that was what made the difference and why she preferred her neighbor’s to her own! Another person said she could never get her mom’s noodle burger casserole just right until she learned that it was oregano, rosemary and marjoram – the spice that alluded her! What is the spice you love and didn’t know? I didn’t know I could make chili better with cumin, coriander, and cinnamon!

A lot of people think they are eating a certain brand on their crabs and go to the store, buy it and yet can’t get the combination just right when they steam…it’s because the spice is J.O.! Most crab restaurants use  J.O. #2 when steaming or preparing crabs. There is a difference. You can taste it and you can see it! Do you know how to tell the difference?

Become a fan of J.O. on Facebook. Let us know how you know what you are eating on your crabs and spread the word!

We love J.O. Crabby Fans,

:) Pamela

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Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe!

ribnchicken pork       potatoes with garlic pepper

 

It’s nice and cool and what better way to spend a lazy Sunday than with a Smoked Pork Tenderloin roasting in the oven while you settle into a good book, your favorite marathon on television or a 1500 piece puzzle?!

All you need is some spice – what’s your favorite J.O. Specialty Blend? We have used the J.O. Rib and Chicken on many occasions around here….try it on a pork tenderloin for the perfect smoked pork tenderloin! Just get a 1-2 LB tenderloin, rub the spice all over the meat, and let set for 20 minutes while the oven heats to 375 degrees. Roast the loin for about 45 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 140 degrees (covered). Remove from oven and keep covered, let stand for about 15 minutes.

Make some oven browned potatoes while you have the oven on – if you don’t like peeling, use red potatoes or the white new potatoes and cut them into chunks – sprinkle with J.O. Rotisserie Seasoning or J.O. Garlic Pepper and J.O. Rosemary or J.O. Caribbean Jerk Seasoning…either add some butter or some oil and roast alongside the pork until tender. If you leave uncovered, they will brown up nice and yummy. If you cover them, they will create their own steam and cook a bit faster but if you want the appealing brown and yummy look, uncover the last 20 minutes! Add some green beans and you have the best Sunday Smoked Pork Tenderloin Dinner in the family!

How do you Spice up your Sunday Dinners?

Have a great dinner idea? Let us know – jospicepamela@yahoo.com or jospiceginger@yahoo.com…we love to hear how you spice up your life!

Enjoy,

:) Pamela

 

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A great slow cooker spiced recipe!

The Camping Bucket DSC_0729

With Fall on the weather map and the holidays not too far away, spice baskets and bundles are becoming a hot item again! And fall always brings great slow cooker spiced recipes!

I have to try this new recipe in the slow cooker. It’s a 5 spice powder meatball concoction! I don’t have any 5 spice powder but I looked it up and thought it wouldn’t be too hard to try to concoct -

I do have 1 tsp. J.O. Spice Cinnamon, 1 tsp. J.O. Spice ground cloves, 1 tsp. J.O. Spice Fennel Seed*, 1 tsp. J.O. Spice star anise*, and 1 tsp. ground Szechwan pepper which are the ingredients for Chinese 5 spice powder. I have read that when you don’t have Szechwan pepper, just use regular black pepper or the 5 peppercorns blends…J.O. does sell both green and pink peppercorns, too, FYI. Some people also substitute allspice for the anise…I think it’s all in what you have, what you want to taste and your tastebuds. Either way, give your tastebuds a party!

*You will need to toast and then grind both of these.  Place some seeds on a baking sheet or saute pan, let heat until you can smell the seeds, then either grind in a mortar and pestle or in your blender. Star Anise is hard to grind down manually but it can be done. It’s worth all the hard work for the flavor!

After you have prepared the J.O. Fennel Seed and the J.O. Star Anise, combine them with the other 3 spices -blend them together in the blender or mortar and pestle.

(Store the remaining spice in an air tight container.  Some  more 5 spice powder recipe ideas:

  • Sprinkle over fish fillets, add brown sugar and soy sauce
  • Use on top of chicken, bake with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar
  • Sprinkle over vegetables in your stir fry

I think you’ll find that a little bit of work amounts to huge TASTE payoffs!)

5 Spice Powder Meatball Concoction a’ la J.O. Style!

Make your meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds  ground meatloaf mix (beef, pork and veal)
  • cup  panko bread crumbs
  • eggs, lightly beaten
  • scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish
  • tsp. J.O. Spice ginger
  • teaspoon  J.O. onion powder
  • teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (just a side note, this can be bought in the store but they say it’s fresher to do yourself.)
  • tablespoon  reduced-sodium soy sauce

Make these meatballs big -about a 1/3 cup each.

Combine these ingredients:

  • cup  beef broth
  • 1/2 cup  ketchup
  • can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • tablespoons  rice vinegar

Pour into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the meatballs. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 (make sure to check the meatball temp before eating~160 degrees).

It’s just a small way to fall back in love with slow cooker recipes. This recipe might seem like a lot of work…but you can cheat by buying the pre-made 5 spice powder or you can experiment as there are so many spices that can make a great meal.

What are you cooking this weekend in your slow cooker?

:) Pamela

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Fall back in love with slow cooker spiced recipes!

rotisserie  slow cooker

Fall is back! Fall back in love with your slow cooker and the great SPICED recipes that come from slow cooking! It’s amazing what you can do with spice,  y’know?  Have you tried?  What are your most amazing recipes that you would never have done if it were not for a specific spice?

I would not have fallen back in love with chicken salad had I never tried the Rotisserie Chicken Spice Seasoning from J.O.  It really adds a great flavor to chicken and even potatoes if you love to bake up a potato! Easy experiments like adding chicken/beef broth/beer/sherry or white wine to your meat and spicing it up with Caribbean Jerk Seasoning, Cajun, Venison/Steak Seasoning, or J.O. Garlic Pepper and J.O. Chili Powder and just letting the meat slow cook for hours…it’s amazing the meals you can come up with!

On one of my many experiments, all I did was cook 5 chicken breasts inside my slow cooker, adding a 32 oz. can of chicken broth and 2 cans of beer (don’t forget, this adds gluten), sprinkled with J.O. Garlic Pepper…let that cook for 8 hours. Then I split the breasts up and made quite a few meals:

1. BBQ pulled chicken using J.O. BBQ spice and a prepared can of BBQ sauce

2. Chili using 3 cans of tomatoes with the chili’s and J.O. XHot chili powder, J.O. Cumin and white beans

3. Chicken Cacciatore  adding J.O. Chopped Onions, J.O. Italian Seasoning, J.O. Minced Garlic, with 3 cans of stewed tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and utilizing the chicken broth from the pan

4. Chicken tacos using taco seasoning, 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes and frozen corn

I took a Sunday, let the slow cooker do the work and had easy meals for the week! I freeze what we don’t eat and save it for the next week or so. EASY!

Fall back in love with slow cooking! What are you going to spice your food up with?

:) Pamela

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Roles with spice company season life for Carroll couple

*Reprinted from baltimoresun.com September 28, 2014

J.O. Spice ownersMount Airy residents Donald and Ginger Ports head J.O. Spice Co., which supplies 800 restaurants, crab houses and carry-outs from New Jersey to the Outer Banks with seasoning for crabs. (Photo by Nicole Munchel / September 12, 2014)
By Mary K. Tilghman8:12 a.m. EDT, September 22, 2014

The crabs piled on a table for a backyard crab feast, hot and spicy, are probably sprinkled with a unique taste many in the area associate with summer in Maryland.

If the crabs came from one of the metro area’s carryout restaurants or crab houses, more than likely the seasoning isn’t the iconic Old Bay. Chances are, it’s a seasoning mix produced by a company run by a Carroll County couple.

This is no McCormick with its giant campus in Hunt Valley and hundreds of employees.

J.O. Spice Co., in Halethorpe, is family run and employs a couple dozen people to produce seafood seasonings, as well as a whole line of products to spice up meat, fish and poultry.

“You go to a restaurant and you eat your crabs, and you think you’re eating Old Bay,” said Ginger Ports, vice president of marketing and sales for J.O. Spice Co.

And, said Mount Airy resident, that’s fine. “That’s a Maryland icon. There’s a place for that product,” she said.

“Old Bay is in the grocery store,” she said. “J.O. is in the restaurants.”

Ginger Ports works in the office next to her husband’s in the spice company’s headquarters in the southwestern portion of Baltimore County, a short distance from the Anne Arundel County border.

Donald Ports, the president, is from the third generation of the original family to run the business.

His grandfather, James Ozzie Strigle, a Tangier Island, Va., waterman, and his wife Dot, started J.O Spice Co. in a Baltimore storefront in 1945.

Don Ports, a Catonsville High School graduate, served in the U.S. Marine Corps before taking over operations at the spice company, then located on Hammonds Ferry Road, only a few miles from its present site.

The company, which produces its own combinations of spices, has been growing ever since.

J.O. Spice moved to its current location 24 years ago. Last December, it doubled its size when it took the adjacent 14,000-square-foot space for spice-mixing operations, a gift shop and specialty items.

With her youngest child in middle school, Ginger Ports, a long-time stay-at-home mom, considered getting a job when Don suggested that she work for J.O. Spice.

“Let’s keep it in the family,” he said.

One of her first projects was the custom crab mallet.

“It was the mallets that brought me in,” she said.

Don Ports bought the engraver and she began selling custom mallets to restaurants and for parties and even weddings. They sold 650,000 that first year and 800,000 last year.

Settling in

The couple moved to Sykesville soon after their marriage and now live in Mount Airy. They chose Carroll County, in part, because of the school system, and they like the slower pace after long days in the spice business.

“It’s more relaxed out there, slower, not as stressful,” Don Ports said.

The couple have three children and have been active in their community, especially Ginger Ports.

She participates every year in the American Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life. She worked first with a team in Sykesville, then formed a team six years ago called Colleen’s Crusaders, in memory of a friend who had ovarian cancer.

She also volunteered at oldest daughter Brittany’s school, Piney Ridge Elementary, and at Winfield Elementary, which Tyler and Bethany attended.

A soccer mom, she spent lots of time taking her son to games with his travel team.

“We were always, soccer, soccer, soccer and more soccer,” she said.

Tyler, now 19, is at Carroll Community College, studying golf management. He works at Rattlewood Golf Course in Mt. Airy, where this summer he taught golf to children.

Brittany, 21, hopes one day to take over J.O. Spice Co. She is studying business at Carroll Community College.

Bethany, 15, attends South Carroll High School.

All three have worked for J.O. Spice, doing everything from sweeping floors to sticking labels on bottles to stocking the store and running the cash register.

“Just because they were family, they didn’t get special treatment,” said Don Ports. “They probably had to work harder.”

Running a business meant a lot of time away from the kids for Don and now for both parents — although weekends usually remain open, Don said. The family had its first summer vacation together four years ago.

Now that she spends as much time in the office as her husband does, his wife understands his level of commitment.

“Working together has improved our marriage,” she said as her husband nodded in agreement.

Now, she explained, she understands the long hours and the customer service that gets Don Ports in the car to make a delivery on a Sunday evening.

Busy season

For a small family run company, they have a big job. Ginger Ports said there are some 800 Mid-Atlantic restaurants, crab houses and carryouts among its regular customers.

Local crab houses, as well as seafood houses from New Jersey to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, are their main focus. Another 25 distributors handle orders in North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey and New York. Small as it is, J.O. is spicing things up as far away as Australia and Singapore, too.

With the company delivering its spice mixes directly to restaurants and crab houses, you might not have heard of it. “J.O. has always been on the wholesale side,” Ginger Ports said.

Locally, restaurants such as the Woodbine Inn, Salerno’s, Park’s Landing, Winfield Inn, Captain Bob’s Manchester, Steamin Mad Crabs in Hampstead, and Casa Rico’s use J.O. Spice.

The familiar yellow and blue Old Bay can, on the other hand, is stocked in major retail outlets. “It’s a consumer brand and a consumer item,” said Laurie Harrsen, McCormick’s director of public relations and consumer communications. “That’s the way it started.”

Old Bay, marking its 75th anniversary, is available wholesale for restaurants and, to a small degree, for companies with licensing agreements to use the spice blend in their products.

“Primarily, it’s a consumer business,” Harrsen said. “That’s a good, long-standing heritage.

McCormick, which bought the brand in 1991, produced 50 million ounces — 3.1 million pounds — of Old Bay last year, she said.

J.O. produces enough spice to season 7 million to 12 million bushels of crabs a year. Some 1,750 to 3,000 tons of raw materials produce 3.5 to 6 million pounds of spice blends every year, according to Ports.

Spice only begins to describe J.O.’s participation in the traditional crab feast. They print bushel boxes for crab houses, stock brown paper to spread on the tables for crab feasts, order crab mallets by the trailer truck-full. They stock big paper bags and even vinegar, too.

“We literally provide everything but the crabs,” she said.

Since the demand for crab seasoning tends to drop in the off season, J.O. started a small gift shop in an unused space a few years ago. It expanded when the facilities grew last winter.

The diversity of their products keeps the staff working year round, Ports said. The work may change according to the season but “it keeps them busy,” Ports said. That way, she explained, there are no layoffs, or temporary employees and everybody works full time, with holidays and two weeks at Christmas off.

“Everyone is like a family,” she said.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/carroll/westminster/ph-ce-jo-spice-carroll-2-20140922,0,2691291.story#ixzz3EL7n9f00

Thanks for reading another great article!

:) Pamela

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“All Baltimoreans know that J.O. Spice is where its at.” – direct quote.

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

It’s all true Charm City.

1. It’s Perfectly Acceptable To Address Everyone As “Hon”

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: Facebook user Honfest

Some Marylanders take offense to the stereotype of the “hon” but not Baltimoreans. They’re loud and proud about it, hon! They even have a “Honfest” that celebrates true hon culture.

So get your hair done up, put on those fake eyelashes, and get ready for a hon parade cause this is Baltimore.

2. There Is Nothing Better On The Planet Than Berger’s Cookies

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: Flickr user Emily-Carlton

This classic, chocolatey, delicious Baltimore snack is not meant to be eaten lightly… you need at least a pound of Berger’s or you’re doing something wrong with your life. Quit being an amateur.

3. Except Maybe Kicking Back And Drinking Natty Boh All Day

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: Flickr user newskin0

National Bohemian Beer was brewed in Baltimore before recently being bought out by Pabst. But Baltimoreans don’t care. To them, it will always be the beer that defines their city.

This is, and will forever be, the beer any true Baltimorean craves on a hot summer day at the beach or while watching an Orioles game. It’s Natty Boh, or nothing.

4. Baltimoreans Have Complicated Feelings About “The Wire”

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: giphy.com

No matter how much they deny it, Baltimoreans secretly love “The Wire” and the notoriety it gives the city. Plus, watching the show and seeing their neighborhoods, stores, and schools as sets is actually a pretty awesome thing about living in Baltimore.

5. Utz Potato Chips Are The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened To The Potato

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: Facebook user Utz Snacks

Utz Potato chips are a way of life in Baltimore. Sprinkle a little J.O. Spice on them and you’re golden. Yum.

6. Wondering Who The Heck The Poe Toaster Is, And Where The Heck He Went

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: wikimedia user midnight dreary

If you’re a true Baltimorean, you’ve undoubtedly tried to get a glimpse of the Poe Toaster—a mysterious man who visited the grave of Poe on Poe’s birthday, leaving only a rose and a bottle of cognac behind.

The tradition went on for 75 years, and though it has since stopped, many Baltimoreans still visit the grave on Poe’s birthday to see if he’ll return. This is just one of those Baltimore traditions that’ll never really die.

7. Love The Orioles Or G.T.F.O (Especially You Nationals Fans)

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: blogspot user nats55

There’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned baseball rivalry to make a city. Almost all Baltimoreans (with any good sense in them) root tirelessly for the Baltimore Orioles. However, an unfortunate few still pledge loyalty to the Washington Nationals (for God knows what reason…)

So, Nationals fans beware. This is the Orioles’ city. And they’re proud of it.

8. The Need To Eat All The Delicious Crabs You Can Get Your Hands On

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: Facebook user Schultz’s Crab House

Everyone knows that Baltimore has the best blue crabs in all of Maryland. Don’t believe me? Head to the Baltimore Crab Festival. Or, better yet, the Baltimore Crab and Beer Festival.

Baltimoreans know how to make crab in a million different ways and could serve it to you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tip: you eat crabs with your hands. Utensils are not for true Baltimoreans.

9. A Holiday Hubcap At Nacho Mama’s Makes The World A Better (And Drunker) Place

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

SOurce: Nacho Mama’s

All Baltimoreans know the best place to drink on a Friday night is Nacho Mama’s. Where else will you get to have a cheap, hubcap-sized margarita? The answer is nowhere. So drink up and enjoy. Plus, the nachos are, well, amazing.

10. Yelling At People About J.O. Spice Being Better Than Old Bay Just Comes Naturally To Baltimoreans

10 Things Only People From Baltimore Will Understand

Source: J.O. Spice

All Baltimoreans know that J.O. Spice is where it’s at. If someone tells you its Old Bay, they’re clearly an outsider. So away with you, Baltimorean posers.

*Reposted from movoto.com/baltimore-md website – posted August 28, 2014

Proud to be a Baltmorean? LOVE J.O.? Let us know! Review us on our website – we love to spread the love of spice all over!!!

Thanks for being a J.O. Fan!!!!

:) Pamela

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