It's Hot Sauce Day!

I learned today that it is officially "Hot Sauce Day".  I didn't even know there was such a thing, but what a fun holiday!  Check out this link:

Hot Sauce Day

Here are some fun hot sauce facts that I discovered as well:

  1. The first commercially available hot sauce was introduced in 1807.
  2. The oldest surviving brand is Tabasco, introduced in 1868.
  3. The United Kingdom is home to two of the hottest peppers in the world, the Naga Viper and the Infinity chili.
  4. A chili pepper's "hotness" is measured by the Scoville Scale - the higher the rating a pepper has on the scale, the more capsaicinoids it has and the more intense the chili flavor it has.
  5. India is the world's largest producer and consumer of chili peppers.

Probably many of you knew these facts before, but I found it a fun search.  While I'm not a fan of Tabasco, it is amazing how long that brand has been around.

So I guess I'll have to add some hot sauce to dinner!  The kids have already decided they want spaghetti for tonight's dinner, so we'll experiment with Hott spaghetti and maybe some Hott garlic bread.  I'll put NW Elixirs Hott Sauce on the table as a condiment for the spaghetti sauce, and add Verde Hott to the garlic butter before we toast the bread.  I'll let you know what everyone thinks next time.

Leave me some comments on how you are going to celebrate Hot Sauce Day!  I'd love to hear some creative ideas to try out myself.


Posted on January 22, 2018 .

Winter blues and comfort food

Unless you live somewhere sunny and warm (and I'm jealous of you all!), it's about this time of year that I just want to sit in a chair and eat comfort food and wait until spring.  It seems so far away.  I want to eat healthy and cook healthy, but making a salad in the winter just seems so.... yuk!

The sad thing is, it is easy to make comfort food and shovel it in!  And of course that doesn't do great things for trying to fit into a swimsuit on spring break! Ugh.  So I've been trying to come up with ideas to keep the healthy, keep the flavor, and make a different kind of comfort food.

Keep the healthy:  I've been doing a lot more with soups.  Soup is a great way to have a meal, warm up, and get some extra hydration.  I work outdoors, and a warm bowl of soup is fantastic when I get home.  I've also found it's very easy to make soup out of leftovers meals.  For example, when I slow cook something like chicken, rice, and vegetables, the leftovers make wonderful soup by simply adding water.


Keep the flavor: Here comes the fun part!  Soup can sometimes be really bland, but I've started adding NW Elixirs Hott Jolokia to all different kinds of soup.  You don't need much - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in a bowl after it's heating up.  It really adds great flavor without making it really spicy!  I add it to chicken and beef soup of all kinds, but I find it is especially good with soups that have a good amount of broth.  It adds flavor to the broth in a way I didn't expect.  I was kinda scared of ghost peppers - everyone talks about hot crazy spicy they are.  However, I didn't realize how flavorful they were too. I also used the Hott Jolokia in some Thai Coconut soup, and again SO good!

There are many nights I am kind of a lazy cook - especially when there is a football game on!  After nearly dying of a heart attack yesterday watching my beloved Vikings -- what an ending! -- I was looking for something simple to make for dinner.  My kids love Chicken Tikki Masala from Costco, so I pulled that out.  I added a couple of teaspoons of NW Elixirs Verde Hott because it does tend to be a little bland for my taste.  After is was ready I added an extra teaspoon to my serving to give it a little more "kick".  Loved it!  One of the things I love about these sauces is that you can cook with them, and then add more to a serving if you want it a little spicier.  My kids don't like as much spice as we do, so being able to use as a cooking and finishing sauce keeps all the palettes in the house happy.


Tonight, making some salmon and going to try a new recipe that Chef Andrew sent me.  It only has 2 ingredients, so it's prefect for  me!  We'll see how it turns out!




Posted on January 15, 2018 .

A culinary journey - even I can make delicious meals!

I'm your average consumer.  I'm not a chef and never will be, but I like flavorful food! I even had to look up how to spell the word "culinary" for the subject of this post! I cook dinner most nights for my family.  I do a lot of the grocery shopping.  I often have a glass of wine while I am cooking because I'm bored.  I try to be original once in a while, but find myself repeating recipes over and over again.  I google recipes, but if they have more than 5 or 6 ingredients I'm scared.  And I probably wouldn't have all the ingredients in the house anyway...Who has a fresh marjoram or rosemary on hand any given day?

I grew up in the midwest, and most meals were meat and potatoes one night and a casserole of leftovers the next night... followed by jello salad.  I digress, but the point is there wasn't much spice in our diets.  Once I had a family and started cooking at home more often, I realized how un-original and bland my meal were!

I wanted more flavor and spice!  I wanted to make food that made people smile.  But how could the average cook like me actually accomplish this? I decided to start experimenting with spices and cuisines outside my midwest upbringing.  Many meals contained my experiments -- some good and some bad, but I started to realize that I actually liked more flavor and spicier food.


I had always stayed away from hot sauce because I didn't think I liked it.  But a couple years ago I decided to try a couple of hot sauces produced by a local company called NW Elixirs, mostly because it was owned by a friend of the family.  WOW!  I think I went through an entire bottle in a week!  I was immediately hooked.  The flavor was so good and so different than any of the traditional hot sauces I'd tried and disliked.    However, at first I didn't really know what to do with it outside of eggs, tortilla chips, and maybe tacos.  I wasn't very creative and I went through a lot of tortilla chips!  I wanted to figure out how I could experience these wonderful flavors without limiting my diet to eggs and tortilla chips.  So begins the journey of NW Elixirs spicy culinary sauces becoming part of virtually every meal now.  I'm still just your average family cook, but with these products, I can make simple meals even better.

I recommend you bring some of these amazing sauces into your kitchen and just taste the results.  I'm going to share some stories about my cooking and invite you to share yours as well.  Starting off simple, here are a couple of super easy ways I've found (with experimentation) to add amazing flavor to your meals.  :

Killer Marinade:  Mix 1/3  NW Elixirs Hott Smoke and 1/3 water and 1/3 oil.  Marinade steak, chicken, or pork and grill or bake.  Marinading overnight brings out the best flavor.  But if you aren't that organized, like me, marinading a couple hours is fantastic too!  Use the leftover marinade as you grill or bake. 

Spicy Chili, Tacos, Sloppy Joes: Add about 3 Tbs of NW Elixirs Hott Sauce #1 to the meat as you cook.  No matter what recipe you use, it makes it even better.  Also, if you forget to add it while you are preparing the meal (story of my life), just add it afterwards.... still amazing!!

More to come.... stay tuned!  Please share your comments and insights as well. 

Next up: We like it spicier than the kids, but there are easy solutions!

Tracie Bjugan


Posted on January 10, 2018 .