Spice of Life :) Plus McCormick Spices/Spice Rack Giveaway!

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 :)

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832 Responses
  1. Perry

    I love the poultry seasoning! I use it whenever I’m doing roast chicken, and although i’m thousands of miles away from home, when I open the bottle, for a minute, it always smells like Thanksgiving and my mom. And It makes the chicken taste great! Turkey breast too!

  2. Theresa

    First off, let me say that I LOVE your blog. I have made so many of your delicious recipes and my husband and I are big fans ๐Ÿ™‚ My favorite McCormick spice has to be Cumin. I add it to so many recipes and it really kicks up the flavor. It has such a distinct aroma that I love. I don’t even have to label it in my spice rack because I can tell what it is from just a little whiff.

  3. Elizabeth

    I just used McCormick ground cinnamon today in my Belgian waffles — yum!! Their cinnamon is also the best for Snickerdoodles!

  4. amygal

    I am a HUGE onion powder fan because my husband *thinks* he’s allergic to onions and won’t eat anything that he can ‘see’ onions in–even onion flakes–so I use the onion powder equivalent in anything that needs onions in it for the great flavor~!

  5. Casey

    I love the McCormick paprika on deviled eggs! I also like using the peppermint or mint extract in double chocolate chip mint cookies yumm

  6. Gigi

    Hi! I just found your site through Money Saving Mom. LOVE your recipes!

    My favorite spice is Smoked Paprika – SO many uses!!

  7. Natalie

    I still live at home with my Mom and when you open our spice cabinet, all you see is a sea of red caps. McCormick is a household staple. Our favorite spice is the Rotisserie Chicken. I cannot lie, we have about four bottles in case of an emergency. I would love to win this give-away so I can start a collection of kitchen items for my picky eaters one day!

  8. Carol

    I love their Chipotle Chili Powder and Saigon Cinnamon, their Five-Spice Powder and Caribbean Jerk Seasoning. Also just discovered their cocoa-chile powder…..YUM!

  9. Two of my all time favorite McCormick spices are dill and garlic. A spice that I have recently started using more and absolutely LOVE is cumin. I am newer to your blog, but I love it and have enjoyed each and every read!!

  10. heather shaw

    I can’t choose just one!! Organic Cinnamon is a winner but I also love the Roasted Ginger McCormick Steak Seasoning…love..love ’em all ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Sarah

    I love the Roasted Saigon Cinnamon! I put it in everything now because it has such a great taste! It is the only cinnamon that I buy anymore–it is awesome!!!

  12. Sandy Ramirez

    I LOVE Picky Palate! I subscribe to your blog AND on Facebook! This is a wonderful post about McCormick Spice of Life……THANK YOU so much! I use McCormick’s Grill Mates, and then the must haves like Cream of Tartar and Garlic Salt. Thanks for the opportunity too possibly win some new spices!

    Also, I always love your pictures in your posts – totally make me want to try everything.

  13. Jennifer W.

    I am a huge ginger and garlic powder fan! We do a lot of stir fry here and they just add the best flavor.

  14. I love McCormick’s spices… my old favorite, Sage. My new favorite, Lavender. I’ve put it in cookies, scones and lemonade. McCormick makes me want to be a better cook.

  15. Lori C

    I am absolutely loving the new roasted spices, particularly the saigon cinnamon and ground ginger. I’m looking forward to trying some more new flavors… Next on my list, the smoked paprika and roasted cumin.

  16. Melissa B

    Cumin, chili powder, garlic…those are the most loved and most used. Although I have a bazillion others! Probably should rotate the stock

  17. K

    I love their Apple Pie Spice and Pumpkin Pie Spice blends. They offer exactly the flavor I hope for in those two pies and are really usseful in other recipes, too!

  18. Since I have been on a no salt diet, I find McCormick spices give a lot of flavor to my food. I use the Roasted Siagon Cinnamin in my oatmeal,ground roasted Cumin,ground roasted Ginger and ground Coriander to spice up vegatables and chicken dishes. I find that all the McCormick spices bring out all the natural flavor in food.

  19. Kandice

    I LOVE McCormick! My mom works with them regularly with her job and is always coming home with gift baskets full of McCormick spices. My favorite McCormick spice mix is unfortunately no longer available…it was the Vegetable Supreme. They tell us that the new Perfect Pinch is the same…but it’s definitely not! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’d certainly love to win a spice rack of my very own…instead of always being jealous of Mom’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Barbi

    It seems I frequently use dried thyme, bay leaves, basil…. My most recent McCormick purchase was poppy seeds. I don’t really have a favorite spice, but McCormick is definately my “go to” brand.


  21. Jen McDonald

    Picking a favorite spice is like picking a favorite kid. Not gonna happen, but I LOVE spices! My cupboard is full of all kinds of strange ones. I’d love to try more new ones too!

  22. Kimberly Mele

    I love to use a lot of spices, depending on what it is I make. I love Chai, so nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom. I use cardamom a lot, as I have major Scandinavian heritage. I also like to use Cinnamon Extract in my coffee with vanilla creamer. I did see this chance to enter on Facebook.

  23. Becca H.

    What a WONDERFUL opportunity! I couldn’t begin to imagine how much fun that would be for my taste buds! I think my favorite spice of McCormick’s is the new Saigon cinnamon. YUM!

  24. Kim

    I like to use cinnamon and paprika a lot. I want to try the roasted spices you have talked about. They sound great. I love the flavor when I roast and grind my own, so it would be nice to find that already bottled.

  25. Valerie K

    I really like their sea salt- just for that extra flavor. How long are spices good for though? Some have been in my cupboard since I was married ( 10 years ago )?

  26. Jean Gottfried

    You job is taking you many places. I enjoy reading about your adventures. Cinnamon is my all time favorite.

  27. Elizabeth Simpson

    I love McCormick spices. I have so many favorites. The spices I use the most are cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, oregano, and the salt free garlic and herb mix. Yummy!

  28. Deanna Deutsch

    I LOVE the ground cumin. I saw the roasted ground cumin and HAVE to try this. The smell of roasted cumin in the kitchen makes my mouth water for mexican and a margarita!

  29. I use a lot of cinnamon for baking, so I’m very intrigued by the Roasted Saigon Cinnamon. I also need to try out those wonderful vanilla beans… and for savory dishes I love the Smoked Paprika!

  30. Katrina

    I love cinnamon so I want to try their new roasted cinnamon. I love cumin too so I would like to try the new roasted cumin.

  31. Andrea

    Since Asian dishes are a regular thing in my house, McCormick Garlic Powder and Ginger Powder are staples in my pantry.

    Oh, and I also like you on Facebook ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Janah

    I use the sea salt all the time as well as cumin, and black pepper. I need to branch out so this would be awesome!

  33. Jenn P

    I love love love the crystallized ginger! It gives a nice chew to crispy gingersnaps! I also love the whole nutmeg and smoked paprika!

  34. VanessaG

    My favorite McCormick spices are cinnamon and garlic salt(not together of course!). I only use McCormick because it’s the best!! Oh, my bday is the Jan.28th, so it would be a great bday gift/suprise to win!!!

  35. I remember, growing up, that my mom always had the hugest container of McCormick’s cinnamon that was used all the time.

    Now I have the same. Although, I also cannot live without my ground mustard.

  36. I LOVED being at the McCormick retreat with you, Jenny. I look sort of pissed off in that photo, but I was just focused on making the ginger honey butter. It was such joy to finally hang out with you!

  37. sweetpumpkin

    I love working with cumin. I started experimenting with it about a year and a half ago. It is awesome. I would love to wing this spice rack! I need one since my spice cupboard is so difficult to keep neat and straight:)

  38. Donna B

    I’ve recently discovered the joy of cardamom. It’s such a warm indescribable flavor. Instead of hot chocolate, I enjoy a cup of warm sweet vanilla milk with a sprinkling of cardamom. Oohh, sweet dreams….
    Cardamom is also one of the 4C’s for my Butter Chicken (Cardamom, Cumin, Coriander, & Cayenne).

  39. Teri Dingler

    I use their Smokehouse Ground Black Pepper and their Worcestershire Ground Black Pepper quite frequently. It flavors my meat dishes like no other seasoning! Teri Dingler

  40. wyomom2

    I wish ALL my spices were McCormick. Quality spices make all the difference. My favorites, and most used, would be garlic powder, cumin and cinn. Would love this spice rack!

  41. Cheyenne Renard

    I use all Mc Cormick spices, they are the best quality. Not just saying that but have used them as long as i have been cooking. It would be hard to give a fav one but i am in love with two off the top. One being Cardamom. Love love love it and the other being Ginger i am so into those two Thank you for every thing . Love Cheyenne from Henderson Nevada

  42. I used McCormick Spices a lot because I have Celiac disease and many of their spices are gluten free! I’ve only used a couple of the Gourmet ones so, I’m excited to have a chance to win some. The ones I use all of the time are chili powder, fennel seed, garlic powder, onion powder…the basics.

  43. jackie taylor

    Yummmmmm….it’s hard to narrow it down to 3 spices. I’ll have to go with cumin, basil and cinnamon. I am looking forward to trying their new spices

  44. Suzanne

    I love their spices! A few of my (basic) favorites are cinnamon, garlic powder, and ground mustard (that I use in my homemade macaroni and cheese). Thanks for the giveaway!

  45. I love the Mediterranian Spice! I use it on my tilapia or chicken. it’s so delicious! i also love love love their mesquite seasoning. I follow you on twitter!

  46. Rachel G

    I recently invested in McCormick’s Smoked Paprika and I LOVE it! I try to find ways to use it with everything I make. I also love your blog, and have made several of your recipes (always giving you credit) for my friends to enjoy. My book club thanks you!

  47. Lori Po.

    While it’s not exactly a single spice, I absolutely LOVE McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken. I use it in all sorts of recipes to give my chicken and turkey a little kick!

  48. Mindy

    Favorite McCormick spice: pure vanilla extract. Every time I open it to use it I have to smell it first. So heavenly!

  49. Melba Melendez

    I like the McCormick smoked paprika. I am famous for my chili in my family and I use to use paprika until I discovered the smoked paprika. I also like using the dry mustard in my BBQ sauce. Next time I think I’ll try using the Mustard Seed and toasting it like in the Dirty Martini Steak Kabobs:)

  50. Stevie Bechtel

    I love the saigon cinnamon. I really need to try the roasted one now! Gosh darn my plethora of cinnamon! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. Lori

    I love useing spices, dill and Rosemary are prob my fav, and garlic of course. This would be a great addition to my kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Melissa S.

    I love the McCormick lemon pepper seasoning. I’m always using that on chicken. I also love their garlic powder.

  53. Naomi Bigler

    It’s hard to choose which spice we like best in our house! My husband is fond of fennel seeds at the moment but I think my favorites are rosemary and white pepper.

  54. Looks like an amazing trip! I don’t know that I have a favorite spice but I use cumin in my cooking most often. I love the flavor it adds. Cinnamon is my kids favorite…They always ask for cinnamon on their toast, in their applesauce, etc.

  55. I only use & buy McCormick! ๐Ÿ™‚ My housewarming gift from my mom was a gorgeous collection of McCormick seasonings & spices. I love them all! The ones we use the most though, are Roasted Saigon Cinnamon, Garlic Salt, Garlic Powder and the Lemon & Pepper seasoning.

  56. ellen

    I LOVE the grinders most. I use the cinnamon grinder every morning with my oatmeal; I especially like that. I also use the Steakhouse Seasoning grinder and the Peppercorn Medley grinder for salads and for cooking meals. I can tell you that ALL the spices in my kitchen are McCormick.

  57. Heather H.

    Been following your blog for a long time. I use Garlic Pepper Salt in everything, and I quite literally mean everything. Even if its a combo of garic powder, pepper, salt. However I can get it. I really like McCormick’s Thyme, Italian Seasoning, and Vanilla Beans though.

  58. VickiT

    Oh gosh, my favorites? UMmmmmmm ALL of them? LOL I cook and bake a lot so I probably have almost every single one they sell. I guess on a daily basis I am always reaching for my garlic and onion powder. I think that goes into almost every main dish I make. I also use cumin and fennel quite often but the fennel I like crushing myself because the flavor is just that much fresher by doing that. For cooking on the grill though their Montreal Steak seasoning is a MUST have. The flavor of that on steaks, ribs and even chicken too is incredible. My husband even agrees with that and won’t cook on the grill without that one.

    The bad thing about McCormick spices? Well, at least in MY kitchen right now is that almost all need to be replaced because many are beyond their freshness date. I would LOVE to win this to replace some of those.

  59. Megan S

    My favorite spices are cayenne, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Of course not all together, but that might be good too.

  60. Sarah H

    I love the ground coriander…I haven’t even been able to find coriander by any other spice line in my grocery store, and we LOVE our mexican food around here.

  61. Crissy

    I love buying the huge containers of McCormick’s cinnamon, taco seasoning and parsley at the warehouse stores.

  62. Amanda

    My absolute hands down favorite is their Salad Supreme blend. My grandfather used to make the best pasta salad. When I finally begged enough, he gave me the recipe and I found out this was the secret ingredient! So easy to make and so very tasty.

  63. Amanda

    Gosh- how do you choose just one? Cinnamon is used quite often.. but I also love the Dill, Garlic Powder, and especially the chili powder!

  64. Breann C.

    I grew up in a home where spice consisted of salt and pepper, then I got married and my husband, who loves to cook, would throw in all these different spices and I’d be so upset….until I tasted it! Now I can’t not add spice to everything! I haven’t tried a McCormick spice that I don’t like!

  65. Nikki G

    I “like” you on facebook.
    I will also tell you here my daughters favorite is basil. She eats fresh incessantly when we have it but if we don’t she will use my McCormick from the cabinet to add to her pasta.

  66. What an awesome opportunity. Curious how the opportunity came about? My favorite McCormack spices are the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, since I use these both a lot in my baking. I also love the grinders…particularly the black pepper and sea salt.

  67. Stephanie Higgins

    My favorite McCormick spice is the ground cinnimon as well as the pure vanilla. It makes my baking taste amazing!

  68. Carolyn

    I like all of their spices. For my wedding my mom had a custom spice rack made for me and filled it with McCormick spices! Unfortunately it does not fit in my current kitchen. (it’s a wall rack).

  69. Val

    I use a variety of spices the Italian seasoning , basil, posemary etc and during this winter season can’t keep enough of chili powder and cumin

  70. Lisa Wyatt

    I love the plain old black pepper that you grind youself. There is such a huge difference between the flavor of it and the old timey powdered stuff!

  71. Love this! And love you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t tried any of the roasted spices yet, but would love to. I’m smack out of ginger, and I LOVE that stuff. Had to borrow from my neighbor in a pinch just now.

  72. Michelle

    To be totally honest, I never had the extra money in my budget to purchase the better quality spices…I always reached for the least expensive jar I could get. It never dawned on me that there could be a quality and taste difference. It would be nice to win.

  73. Jessica B

    I absolutely LOVE the coarse ground black pepper. I have learned to make my own “pepper bacon” at home…its also good on sweet potato fries.

  74. Sondra Jarvis

    My favorite McCormick spice is a toss up. I love using cinnamon on so many things, but my great grandmother and grandmother introduced me to using All Spice… it works so great in many of our traditional family dishes and I have found new ways to use it as I have continued to learn new recipes all the time.

  75. Crystal

    My favorite spice of all is Cinnamon. I add to anything I can, especially pancake batter. And my daughter loves to mix it in with her applesauce! Mmmmm ๐Ÿ™‚

  76. Susan

    I use many of the McCormick spices, love the Montreal Steak seasoning, the cumin, and Herbes de Provence mix. After my cumin is gone, I want to try their Roasted Cumin.

  77. Chrissy

    I love McCormick’s Sea Salt, but I am intrigued by the Saigon Cinnamon.. I’m going to have to check that out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  78. It’s hard to choose a favorite of the spices. I eat a preservative free diet, and adding quality spices is an easy way for me to spice up meals. I love the cinnamon on my apple sauce, garlic on my chicken, chili powder on my pork chops..

  79. Kimberly Atkins

    My favorite spices would be Garlic (I seem to add it to everything when I cook, from, Eggs, to Meats, to Veggies.) and Cinnamon. I love the taste of cinnamon, and it always brings a little sweetness to my fruits, without me having to add sugar.

  80. Cassie

    I love the sea salt, and of course the onion powder. I am just trying out the Jalapeno peppers, too. I have limited spices right now, so this would be great! Thanks!!

  81. Sobeida Rodriguez

    as I’m Cuban, My mother always filled the house with the scent of Cumin and your Roasted Cumin always takes me back to my childhood days of watching her cook. It’s always in the pantry.

  82. I use McCormick spices exclusively I go thru cinnamon because I use it to make pies for our local restaurant. The cream of tartar for the meringue on pies, the vanilla, I could go on and on.

  83. Amanda

    McCormick’s Smoked Paprika, I hadn’t been able to find any brand of smoked paprika in my neighborhood until just recently when McCormick’s magically appeared on the shelf at the grocery store! I used to have to order it online and the cost of shipping was more than the spice itself!