Spices & Flavors

Did you know that over 150 million Americans consume coffee on a regular basis? Needless to say, Texans are no exception. Even though the  Lone Star State is mostly known for its sumptuous BBQ, coffee is one of the beverages on the top of the list that can start any Texan’s morning or spruce up their afternoon. But what do you do when a coffee machine is nowhere in sight? Well, it’s time to improvise.

With a steep increase in growth of 115% for the cold brew industry, that fresh hit of coffee no longer needs to leave java lovers sweating for their cup. Here are a few simple ways to prepare the perfect cold brew without a coffee machine.

Prepare a Cuppa for the Next Day

This cold brew method is the ideal way to get that delicious cup of coffee ready for the next day, as it takes a cool 12 hours to steep. This method makes use of cold water and is the ideal summer companion. Coffee lovers simply need two glass jars, a non-textured dishtowel, and a few clothes pegs. Stirring utensils and a decent portion of ground coffee make up the remainder. The trick is to simply add a cup of water for every 25 grams of coffee. Give this mixture a good stir, cover, and then let it rest for 12 hours. Once this is done, the fun starts as the cloth is fixed to the second jar with the pegs. The cloth should form a hollow of at least 4 to 5 inches in order to be effective. Once this is done, the homemade cold brew is ready.

Variations to the Cold Brew to Spice it Up

The first and most effective way to get the most out of a cold brew on a hot day is by adding a few blocks of ice. To take it to the next level and perhaps even serve it as a delicious beverage at a barbecue, simply add some flavored syrups. Chocolate and caramel complement coffee well, as well as a homemade vanilla bean mix.

When the Kids Go to Sleep

There are two beverages that simply just seem like they’re made for each other and they are coffee and liqueur. There are a number of great flavors out there, which means an adult iced coffee never needs to taste the same again. For the best results, use crushed ice and a tot of liqueur per cup of coffee. A little bit stronger might not agree with everyone. Some of the liqueurs that complement coffee the best include the berry liqueurs, as well as mint and hazelnut.

The humble coffee bean has the ability to turn sleepy heads into functional human beings and also provides a necessary boost to a long way. There’s simply no reason to settle for instant coffee when there’s no coffee machine around ever again, even for a cold brew.

Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

May 25, 2016
by Curt

Pulled Pork Finishing SauceThis sauce recipe is for those of you like myself who don’t like vinegar based sauces. I looked at a lot of different recipe ingredients in the non-tomato vinegar based sauces that are commonly used for pulled pork and put together what I thought was the perfect combination for me. Sometimes you just hit a winner on the first try!

I created this because my pulled pork came out a bit on the dry side. I don’t like using the traditional tomato based BBQ sauces, and I don’t like smoking the traditional shoulder roast for pulled pork because it’s so fatty! I use a pork loin, but the problem with that is it does tend to dry out a bit.

The butter in the recipe is what helps keep the meat moist, but a little bit goes a long way, so mix the sauce in a little at a time until you have it the way you want it.

After saucing the pulled pork I smoked with this recipe, I shared the pork with some friends. I got a lot of compliments. I’ll be using this from now on when I smoke a pork loin!

Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the apple juice. Allow to cool.
  4. NOTE: This yields 2 cups. Should be more than enough for 1 large pork loin. A little bit goes a long way, so mix it in a little at a time.

Excellent Caribbean Style Spice Rub

November 15, 2015
by Curt

Caribbean Style Spice RubI have created some good spice blends, and some not so good spice blends. And then I’ve created some great spice blends. This one falls into that next, rare level up, The Excellent!

Hence the name of this spice blend. I created it for a recent recipe to be used on some orange roughy fillets I grilled. Man-oh-man, did it turn out delicious. It was a big hit with the dinner guests! One of those flavors that make you stop and say; Mmmmmm, mmmm, as soon as you taste it!

Give it a try. I would love to hear back from you.

NOTE: This will make enough for about 1 lb. to 2 lbs. of fish fillets. You may want to mix this in larger portions. This should keep just fine in a sealed shaker, just as your other spices do.

Excellent Caribbean Style Spice Rub


    Spice Blend
  • ½ cup onion powder
  • ½ cup ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup salt
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ¼ cup ground ginger
  • ¼ cup black pepper


  1. Mix all of the spice blend ingredients together in a spice shaker container.
  2. NOTE: This recipe assumes you want a good amount mixed, so you have some left over. If you want to cut it down for one use, just change cup to teaspoon or tablespoon, leaving the ratio the same.

Sugary Sweet Spice Rub

April 1, 2015
by Curt

Sugary Sweet Spice RubThis rub, as you can see, goes extremely well with pork, but can also be used very successfully on poultry, beef, and fish. It’s very sweet, but has just enough salt and complimentary flavors to create a perfect balance to the sweetness. If used for smoking meat, it creates a delicious sweet crunchy bark on the outside of your smoked meats.

Sugary Sweet Spice Rub


    Spice Rub
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup mustard powder
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cilantro
  • 1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
  • Reserve for Cooking
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the spice rub ingredients together and thoroughly coat the entire surface of the meat you're smoking, grilling, or cooking in the oven. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare your grill or oven.
  2. Halfway through cooking, turn the meat over, and sprinkle the reserved brown sugar on the surface facing up. Use more brown sugar if the 1/4 cup wasn't enough. Continue cooking until done.