'Tis the Seasoning: Quick gift ideas!

Even if you barely know what a stove is, you'll appreciate these seasoning blends. Sprinkle on meats and vegetables before sautéeing, roasting or grilling. Mix up a batch to give as gifts or keep for yourself. You'll love the taste!

Gourmet Rosemary Sea Salt Blend

Sprinkle this multipurpose seasoning on chicken, pork, fish, baked potatoes or cooked vegetables. Or use it as a brining spice: Combine 3/4 cup of the seasoning with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 gallon of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Add the meat; refrigerate 1 hour to brine. Then cook the meat as you normally would.

3 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 cups flaky coarse or sea salt
1/4 cup dried rosemary, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 tablespoons rainbow blend peppercorns, coarsely crushed*
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons juniper berries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons ground coriander

1. Line paper plate with double thickness of paper towel; place orange peel on plate. Microwave on high until peel is dry, checking every 30 seconds. (You should have about 2 tablespoons dried peel.) Cool completely.

2. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Package in glass jars.

TIP *To crush whole peppercorns, place in heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Pound with flat side of meat mallet or heavy pan until coarsely crushed.

3 cups

Sweet and Smoky BBQ Rub

Generously rub this barbecue seasoning on steaks, chicken or burgers, or sprinkle it over oven-baked potato chips or french fries. When grilling or sautéing meat seasoned with the rub, use medium heat to prevent the sugar from burning.

1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup smoked paprika
1/2 cup paprika
1/3 cup ancho chile powder
1/3 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup ground cumin, toasted*
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Package in glass spice jars.

TIP *Toast cumin in dry small nonstick skillet over medium heat 30 to 60 seconds or until fragrant and slightly deeper in color.

2 3/4 cups

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