A to Z Spices

ALLSPICE: These small dark, reddish-brown berries are so called becausetheir aroma and flavor resemble a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Use berries whole in marinades; for boiling and pot roasting meatsand poultry; in fish dishes, pickles and chutneys. Also available ground and excellent for flavoring soups, sauces and desserts.

Hot and spicey food

ANISE: Commonly called asniseed, these small, brown oval seeds have the sweet, pungent flavor of licorice. Also available ground. Use

seeds in stews and vegetable dishes, or sprinkle over loaves and rolls before baking. Try ground anise for flavoring fish dishes and pastries for fruit pies.

CARAWAY: Small brown, crescent-shaped seeds with a strong liquorice flavor and especially delicious as a flavoring in braised cabbage and sauerkraut recipes, breads (particularly rye), cakes and cheeses.

CARDAMOM: Small, triangular-shaped pods containing numerous small black seeds which have a warm, highly aeromatic flavor. You can buy green or black cardamoms although the smaller green type is more widely available.

CAYENNE: Orangey-red in color, this ground pepper is extremely hot and

pungent. Not to be confused with paprika which, although related, is mild flavored.

CHILI POWDER: Made from dried red chilies. This red powder varies in flavor and hotness, from mild to hot. A less fiery type is found in chili seasoning.

CINNAMON & CASSIA: Shavings of bark from the cinnamon tree are processed and curled to form cinnamon sticks. Also available in ground form. Spicy, fragrant and sweet, it is used widely in savory and sweet dishes. Cassia(from the dried bark of the cassia tree) is similar to cinnamon, but less delicate in flavor with a slight pungent ‘bite’.

CLOVES: These dried, unopened flower buds give a warm aroma and pungency to foods, but should be used with care as the flavor can become overpowering. Available in ground form. Cloves are added to soups, sauces, mulled drinks,

stewed fruits and apple pies.

CORIANDER: Available in seed and ground form. These tiny, pale brown seeds have a mild, spicy flavor with a slight orange peel fragrance. An essential spice in curry dishes, but also extremely good in many cake and cookie recipes.

CUMIN: Sold in seed or ground. Cumin has a warm, pungent aromatic flavor and is used extensively in flavor curries and many Middle Eastern and Mexican dishes. Popular in Germany for flavoring sauerkraut and pork dishes. Use ground or whole in meat dishes and stuffed vegetables.

FENUGREEK: These small, yellow-brown seeds have a slight bitter flavor

which, when added in small quantities, is very good in curries, chutneys and pickles, soups, fish and shellfish dishes.

GINGER: Available in many forms. Invaluable for adding to many savory and sweet dishes and for baking gingerbread and brandy snaps. Fresh ginger root looks like a knobby stem. It should be peeled and finely chopped or sliced before use. Dreid ginger root is very hard and light beige in color. To release flavor, ‘bruise’ with a spoon or soak in hot water before using. This dried type is more often used in pickling, jam making and preserving. Also available in ground form, preserved stem ginger and crystallized


MACE & NUTMEG: Both are found on the same plant. The nutmeg is the inner kernel of the fruit. When ripe, the fruit splits open to reveal bright red arils which lie around the shell of the nutmeg – and once dried are known as mace blades. The flavor of both spices is very similar – warm, sweet and aromatic, although nutmeg is more delicate than mace. Both spices are also sold ground. Use with vegetables; sprinkled over egg dishes, milk puddings and custards; eggnogs and mulled drinks; or use as a flavoring in desserts.

PAPRIKA: Comes from a variety of pepper (capsicum) and although similar in color to cayenne, this bright red powder has a mild flavor.

sweet or spicey?
Mild flavor depending on season!

PEPPER: White pepper comes from ripened berries with the outer husks

removed. Black pepper comes from unripened berries dried until dark

greenish-black in color. Black pepper is more subtle than white. Use white or black peppercorns in marinades and pickling, or freshly ground as a seasoning. Both are available ground. Green peppercorns are also unripe berries with a mild, light flavor. They are canned in brine or pickled, or freeze-dried in jars. They add a pleasant, light peppery flavor to sauces, pates and salad dressings. Drain those packed in liquid and use either whole or mash them lightly before using. Dry green peppercorns should be lightly crushed before using to help release flavor, unless otherwise stated in a recipe.

POPPY SEEDS: These tiny, slate-blue seeds add a nutty flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. Sprinkle over desserts and breads.

SAFFRON: This pice comes from the stigmas of a species of crocus. It has a distinctive flavor and gives a rich yellow coloring to dishes, however, it is also the most expensive spice to buy. Available in small packets or jars(either powdered or in strands – the strands being far superior in flavor). This spice is a must for an authentic paella or Cornish Saffron Cake. Also an extremely good flavoring for soups, fish and chicken dishes.

SESAME SEEDS: High in protein and mineral oil content, sesame seeds have a crisp texture and sweet, nutty flavor which combines well in curries and with chicken,pork and fish dishes. Use also to sprinkle over breads,cookies and pastries before baking.

STAR ANISE: This dried, star-shaped seed head has a pungent, aromatic

smell, rather similar to fennel. Use very sparingly in stir-fry dishes. Also good with fish and poultry.

TURMERIC: Closely related to ginger, it is an aromatic root which is dried and ground to produce a bright, orange-yellow powder. It has a rich, warm, distinctive smell, a delicate, aromatic flavor and helps give dishes an attractive yellow coloring. Use in curries, fish and shellfish dishes, rice pilafs and lentil mixtures. It is also a necessary ingredient in mustard pickles and piccalilli.


All spices should be stored in small airtight jars in a cool, dark place, as heat, moisture and sunlight reduce their flavor.

Car Donation To Charity – Guide On How To Enjoy Tax Relief

Apart from the satisfaction of giving out your car to charity, there are other benefits you will enjoy. Yes, have you thought of the fact that with donation you are going to have an IRS tax deduction? This is true and you really can save money from taxation when you donate that car to a charity of your choice.

Now, you may want to know how this works. Well, read the paragraphs below.

  • When you decide to donate your used car or that vehicle that you no longer use, shopping for the right charity becomes the first step to take. There are hundreds of charities out there and from these you can select and make decisions to give out your car. By doing this, you now will relish the thought having put a smile on face of those needing help.
  • Not all donated cars are used by the charities, hence the charity can decide to use the car or sell it, depending on its need. If the car you donated is sold by the charity, you are to be issued with a certification stating the value of the sale to unrelated parties. With the copy of this certification you can file along your tax return to the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) for tax deduction.
  • Getting tax deduction from a Car Donation to Charity is may also involve other considerations. There are legal provisions for the vehicles having valuation more than $500 and $5000. Also, the IRS would need to copies of the filled sections of the IRS Form 8283 (sections A for cars worth more than $500 and Section B for car Worth more than $5000).
  • More so, the use of the Hearst Black Book, the Kelley Blue Book, and the guide of the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) may be required to determine the worth of Vehicle that is below $5000.

So, when you make donation of car to charity you can get tax relief on that vehicle if you obtain the necessary documentation from the charity. Find out how what they intend to do with the donation. Get a tax receipt from them and file such along with your tax clearance so you can get tax reduction from the IRS.

Finally, you can now take advantage of the various charities and donate your care.  The information above has guided you on how to take advantage of car donation to charity and enjoy tax relief.




Debt Consolidation Loan Calculator – Apply It to Know If You Need To Consolidate

No one really in his or her right thinking will want to deal with multiple debts. However, there are uncontrollable circumstances that can make you not able to repay your debts easily. If you are overwhelmed with multiple debts it is time you might consider debt consolidation. But you need to find out if this process is really the right thing for you to do.

This is important because debt consolidation does not always favor the borrower and would end up costing you more than before you applied the process. A Debt Consolidation Loan Calculator can help you find out if the process of consolidation is right for you or not. The following paragraphs explain further details about this online tool.

Debt consolidation means a process whereby multiple debts are combined or put together as one debt. If you go for this option, you automatically owe only one debt instead of many. The reason for doing this is to enjoy the following:

  • payment of low monthly repayments
  • payment of loan with lower interest rates
  • improvement of your credit score
  • easy and quicker payments of loans
  • Saving money on the amount you pay for debts etc.

Many debt `consolidation companies operate on the Internet and offline. You can search for these lenders to find out what they have to offer.

Now, with the use of the Debt Consolidation Loan Calculator you can determine if consolidation is the best thing for you. It is important to find if this process will bring about the above benefit for you in the long term. Going from company to another may not be the best for you. However, with this calculator you will find out if you are taking the right step or not.

How to use the Debt Consolidation Loan Calculator

To use this calculator, you need to fill in certain details or data to find out how much you will eventually pay. The details you may enter into the tool include: current balance and monthly payment of the credit card loan you owe, you also need to enter the interest rate for the consolidation as well as the term or tenure of the loan.

Finally, this article has provided you with very useful information about the debt consolidation loan calculator.  The importance of using this tool cannot be overemphasized. If you want to find out whether you truly need debt consolidation, take advantage of this tool today.