Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kitchen DIY: Fajita, Cajun & Steak Seasoning Blends

I love making stuff at home, especially in the kitchen! And saving money is not the only thing I love about it. I love how much more fresh everything tastes, and the aromas that happen as whatever you're creating comes together; it makes me feel very old fashioned in a way.

But the part I love the most by far is how much healthier everything is when you make seasonings from scratch. No preservatives, or MSG, or anti-caking agents. When you see how simply and accurately your homemade version can happen, you really start wondering what all the other junk in the store bought version is for. And something special happens.You begin to feel really powerful in the kitchen knowing that simple, real ingredients can be made into something new.

That realization can be a huge step towards a healthier kitchen and a healthier you!

If scratch or homemade seasoning blends sound totally scary and foreign to you, don't fear. Seasoning mixes are harmless and a perfect place to start your homemaking adventures. They are so incredibly easy, that you'll wonder why you ever put on shoes and ventured out for store bought mixes.

Here are a few to get you started! These are perfect for summer grilling, but keep them on hand year-round, because they're marvelous for all sorts of things.

First into the kitchen...

Fajita Seasoning
aka Taco Seasoning

I love love love this recipe! I use it for so many things, from making the authentic pupusas my Salvadorean husband adores, to searing up some finger licking chicken thighs or flavoring ground beef for tacos. Once you smell this cooking on a pan with ground beef your mouth will water and you'll wonder why you ever bought a packet of the "real" stuff.

In my opinion, fajita seasoning pairs best with foods and cooking processes that will meet a lot of direct heat. Sauteing or searing brings out the flavors in this mix the way no other cooking method can.

Spices & Herbs You'll Need
4 tbsp Chili Powder
2 tbsp Sea Salt
2 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Powder

Easy. Put all spices into a small mason jar or airtight container and shake well. Store in container until ready to use.

Now go make a delicious taco spread for dinner tonight!

Up Next...

Cajun Seasoning

Now to be totally honest, this is not a recipe that sees the light of day much in my kitchen... Cajun is just generally not my thing. But when I've got a taste for fried rice, and the typical ginger and soy flavors aren't calling me, I'll grab this mix and make Cajun fried rice with shrimp.

I love this seasoning mix for shaking things up, and getting out of a cooking rut. It's delicious on any sea food, and of course, rice. A little olive oil, water and vinegar turn this into the perfect marinade for not-another-boring chicken breast.

Herbs & Spices You'll Need
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Paprika
¼ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
¼ tsp Oregano

1. Easy. Again. Put all spices into a small mason jar or airtight container and shake well. Store in container until ready to use.

Last, but certainly not least...

Steak Seasoning Mix

Oh shall I compare thee to a perfectly cooked steak? No, seriously, who doesn't love steak? (Ok, you got me on that one, vegetarians, but that's not the point!)

I certainly love a perfectly cooked cut of steak, and if that's on the menu for dinner, my husband is NOT complaining either. But there's little worse than having a beautiful hunk o' meat standing in front of you, and no good way of seasoning it.

Now I know chef's and foodies get all haughty with their salt and pepper steak, and I know first hand how wonderfully amazing a plain, grass-fed cut can be, left naked in all it's glory... but there is just something magical about juicy, delicious perfectly seasoned beef.

I've tried probably over 20 steak seasonings and marinades, literally, but nothing compares to the simplicity and undeniable tastiness of this one. And steak is not the limit! This seasoning mix is delicious on pork as well.

Herbs and Spices You'll Need
2 tbsp Sea Salt*
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Black Pepper
½ tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
½ tbsp Thyme
½ tbsp Rosemary
½ tbsp Coriander

1. Bring all spices and herbs together with a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or small blender to make a uniform mixture. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
2. Use mixture as a dry rub on beef or pork. Or use it to create a marinade:

Steak Marinade
You'll Need
¼ cup Olive Oil
¼ cup Water
1 tbsp Vinegar
2 tbsp Steak Seasoning Mix

1. Emulsify in a blender (for best results) or whisk together.
2. Add meat and marinade to a zip top bag or glass dish.
3. Allow the two to become acquainted for at least 1 hour before cooking.

*Note: The salt in this recipe is a lot lower than ones you may be used to. You'll want to salt and pepper the top and bottom of your meat just prior to cooking for grade A results.

Now go cook something! I hope I've inspired you to get creative, and turn old boring kitchen staples into something new. Now go forth and be the king (or queen) of your kitchen!



Epic Mommy Adventures




  1. I love making my own taco seasoning, but I never made my own cajun or steak seasoning. I pinned this so that I can try it in the future!

  2. I've made my own taco seasoning, bt not the other two, so, like Rachael... I will be trying them soon! thanks for sharing them, Bree!

    diana | Life in German.

  3. Never tried doing this but I love seasoning and tacos! Going to try this, thanks and pinning :)

  4. Thank you for sharing. I have been wanting to starting making my blends, but I had no idea what would work.
    Now I need some jars. ;)
    Thanks for sharing and for joining #WednesdaysWisdom!

  5. Thanks Bree! Pinning to my Blogger Spice Board. They look wonderful! I love make my own spice blends.

  6. The cajun seasoning sounds delicious and I bet it would be perfect on fries!


  7. Hi Bree! I'm making these this weekend! I'm going to buy jars and label them, so that I can have them ready to go! Thanks so much for sharing. Pinning!

  8. Great post Bree! I like making my blends at home too. The store bought are full of sodium that don't do anything for the taste.

  9. The steak one sound like a good one for me to try next. Visiting from Saturday Soiree.

  10. These are great to have handy! Pinning! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thanks for sharing at the Say G'day Party! Pinned all your submissions and hope to see you next week!
    Love making my own seasoning!

  12. Love your combinations! Visiting from Simple Saturdays.

  13. Thanks for sharing on Friday Features Party! Pinned and shared.
    Hope you will join us for Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday!

  14. Great idea to make your own seasoning. No worry about additives and other chemicals. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.

  15. These are great seasoning mixes!! I definitely have a use for all of these! Lol. Thanks for sharing at the Talented Tuesday party :)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing at Waiting on...Wednesday!

    Holly @ www.iwillservewhileiwait.blogspot.com

  17. Mmm...this way you can control whatever goes into them! Fantastic! Thanks so much for taking the time to link up with us over at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again on Friday! Feel free to bring a friend :)

  18. I love all your homemade blends! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday, I just pinned this recipe it looks so good! Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  19. Thanks for sharing these! I love making my own spice blend vs the packaged stuff at the store. These are perfect for summer :)

  20. Bree, I love seasoning sauces! I make a Paula Deen seasoning that we love, but I can't wait to try these. I think I have all of the ingredients. Thanks for sharing with SYC. I will be featuring you this week.

  21. Good morning! We are hosting a SEASONING and SPICE MIX RECIPE link up this week. I would love for you to share these wonderful recipes with us :)

  22. I'm looking forward to try your Seasoning and Spice Mix Recipes, they sound delicious. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  23. This looks fantastic! You are really amazing!! Your post has been pinned,tweeted and shared on Facebook! Your post will be featured this week on the Friday Favorites Link Party at Mustlovehome.com. Come by and see your feature and share another of your favorite posts! The party goes live Thursday at 7PM. I hope to see your there...Hugs - Christine at Must Love Home

  24. I would love to try a new Fajita Seasoning like this! It is fun to try out new seasonings and spices on recipes.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

  25. I've never attempted my own seasoning....seems fairy simple, I really should try doing one :)

  26. these spices blends are really great and delicious,.
    all natural food