Take the stress out of holiday cooking by visiting The Spice Way.
The store, located in Encinitas at 260B El Camino Real, offers hundreds of spices, blends and loose teas — each grown, dried and hand-blended by Spice Way employees — to help even the newest chef get a grasp on his or her own kitchen.
"Our whole concept is making cooking quick and easy so you can enjoy the memories that get created, especially during this time of year," said Debbie Kornberg, owner of the shop which has been around for about two-and-a-half years. "Because we have the blends, all the mad scientist chemistry work is kind of done for you. You can just use your spices with your proteins, vegetables and grains and transform it into a healthy, delicious meal."
Top sellers include rosemary, garlic and salt for roasted potatoes; pesto with olive oil; za’atar blend; pistachio mix for rice or quinoa; and a grilled chicken blend.
The tea comes in loose green and black tea-leaf blends, each with their own antioxidant benefits, as well as colorful fruit infusion blends.
In addition to the spices and teas, which are displayed in attractive candy shop-like bins the store also sells a variety of condiments, like balsamic oils and honey, to accompany the dishes.
The Spice Way also sells kitchen tools, like slow cookers, endorsed by celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, and tagenes, a Moroccan cookware made of ceramic to saute and cook meals on the stove or directly in the oven.
Kornberg, who hosts a monthly news segment on the television channel Fox 5, considers the shop a playground for seasoned chefs but also a training ground for those who want to become more skilled in the kitchen. She’ll often inform people about the health benefits of each spice.
"We help educate people about the flavors and profiles that marinade really well together," she said. "We really like to consider ourselves an educational resource center for people."
Kornberg offers themed cooking demonstrations throughout each month. No demos are scheduled for December, but in November, she taught customers how to make Thanksgiving dishes like stuffing and spiced cider.
"It's just an opportunity to come in and get some quick ideas on a food dish," she said. "It's just a Spice Ways twist on things to cook and the opportunity to find shortcuts in the process by utilizing the blends. It's a great way for people to come in, get exposed to the store, get some new ideas and walk away with a sample and a recipe."
The shop can also help ease the stress of holiday shopping by offering a variety of unique gift baskets or build-your-own options. They also sell organic beauty and skincare so "you don't neglect yourself while you're busy taking care of everyone else," Kornberg said.
Overall, Kornberg said The Spice Way's goal is to make being in the kitchen an "enjoyable experience" and "not an onerous task."
"Hopefully with the beautiful aromas, spices and herbs, they enable you to do that," she said.
For more information, visit www.thespicewaysd.com .