I had an incredible opportunity to go to the McCormick Gourmet Kitchens last week with some other wonderful bloggers:  Jaden of Steamy Kitchen, Shauna of Gluten Free Girl and Nicole of Pinch My Salt.  I am really excited to work with these talented women and McCormick Gourmet.

We all met for dinner where the Chef mixed up some drinks and prepared a gorgeous dinner.  After not eating all day from traveling this was quite the treat.  I snapped some photos of our time with McCormick Gourmet, take a look

When we arrived to the McCormick Kitchens we were greeted by the lovely McCormick staff.  Chef Len fed us some delicious appetizers.  Tale a look below

Here is our menu for the evening.

Curried Chicken and Mushroom Spring Rolls.  INCREDIBLE!  Will definitely be making these again.

Marinated Shrimp with Mango and Radishes.  Perfect little appetizer.

Dirty Martini Steak Kabobs and Salad.  What a creative recipe for kabobs, full of flavor.  Loved these.

Sweet and Smoky “Pork and Beans.” I think we all had a few helpings of this one

Cheesecake Tart with Popcorn Crust and Berries.  This cheesecake caused quite the uproar, not kidding.  The flavor combinations here are unreal.  This will be made at my house very soon.

The next morning, we met for breakfast and enjoyed:  Tomato Zucchini Frittata, Cinnamon Apple Nut Muffins, Pepita Pumpkin Bread.

How good does this look?!

…and this?

This was one of my favorite parts of the trip…..along with the incredible meals, but learning about the history of the McCormick Spices was so fascinating.  Made me appreciate what goes into each jar I see at the store.

We also got to sample and smell a variety of spices.  The vanilla test was the most interesting.  If you’ve ever doubted buying pure vanilla….don’t.  It wasn’t even a comparison when sampled side by side.

Later in the day, we each whipped up 2 simple recipes that used a regular spice and then a roasted spice to sample and see the difference in taste.  I had a creamy cinnamon dip that I wanted to bottle up and eat with a spoon.  It was delicious!

Making my dip!

The other ladies Jaden, a sweet McCormick rep, Shauna and Nicole making their recipes

It was time for lunch and talk about a feast.  This salmon was one of the best salmon I have ever had.  Will be making it for my family. Smoked Paprika Roasted Salmon

Will be making these too! Harvest Vegetables with Roasted Ginger & Cumin

This was another recipe that we couldn’t stop eating, so delicious and I think it was unanimous that we will all be making these ribs! Chipotle Cinnamon Baby Back Ribs

As if we hadn’t had enough food, we ended our meal with these cute “cup” cakes with a bite.  Loved the heat that came through with each bite . Mexican Hot Chocolate “Cup” Cakes

Giveaway: An assortment of McCormick Spices with Spice Rack

3 winners!

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED, Winners have been emailed

Here’s How To Enter:

1.  Leave a comment and tell us, what are your favorite McCormick Spices?

2.  For extra entries, Follow Picky Palate on Twitter, RSS Feed and Like us on Facebook.  Leave 3 separate comments for this.

3.  Contest ends Monday January 24th 8pm PST.  Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be notified by email.  Giveaway provided by McCormick Gourmet.

*Spices will not be exactly as pictured in Photo

Good Luck!

*Disclaimer:  I have been hired to
work with McCormick Gourmet as part
of their McCormick Real Gourmet
Program and am being compensated
however the thoughts are my very
own :)