Five Things Tuesday — Favorite Food Aromas

Dr. Tanya of Salted Caramel challenges us to share about food aromas we enjoy. I decided to list two sweet and three savory aromas. It can be hard to narrow them down — especially when you enjoy so many foods — but here are a few favorites.


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Vanilla may often be accused of being “plain vanilla,” but it is really a great flavor and has a wonderful aroma when baking. Even a bottle of vanilla extract has an aroma so enticing that, as a child, I begged my mother for a taste. Of course, I was disappointed that, unsweetened, it was so bitter. It’s so interesting that two of our favorite flavors for sweets, vanilla and chocolate, start out bitter.


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As nice as vanilla is, if given a choice between vanilla and chocolate or almost any other sweet flavor and chocolate, I’ll always opt for chocolate. Baking chocolate goodies have a wonderful, rich aroma. I wonder if workers in the Hershey factory ever tire of the fragrance? I used to pass a Nabisco factory in Hawthorne, New Jersey and smell Oreos and other goodies baking as I drove past. Sadly, this location will no longer be making cookies.

And on to the savory …


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A good friend of mine once shared me how he was bothered by the scent of basil. How? I love the aroma of basil in cooking or directly from this plant and fragrant herb. Cuisine-wise, I don’t think you can get more of a concentrated basil taste or aroma than in pesto, one of my favorite things. I’m so happy when I snip fresh basil from the herb garden, toss it in the food processor with some pine nuts, parmesan, salt and olive oil … bingo, pesto!


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Garlic may seem like a strange one to list as it’s considered a stinky scent when referring to someone’s breath. Perhaps, we don’t like it to linger on a person’s breath, but when you’re a fan of garlic, the aroma of garlic in cooking is really tempting and wonderful. Garlic is in so many recipes for cuisine of different ethnic heritage. It’s no wonder. It add so much flavor. After the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, garlic was one of the foods the Hebrews longed to have again.


Rosemary is another herbal scent I love. I adore it on some roasted potatoes or a pan of roasted veggies. Aside from salt and pepper, it may be the only other seasoning needed to add a boost in flavor.

I know there are so many other aromas I could name … like peppermint or lemon, but I was limited to five. Do you agree with my choices? What are your favorites?

Five Fad Foods I Like and You Should Try

(If You Haven’t Already)

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This post was inspired by Dr. Tanya at her blog, Salted Caramel. It was not difficult to think of five fad foods that I like (as I like a lot of different foods.) Let’s see if we can narrow it down to five.

1.) Roasted Vegetables

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I’d like to think that I would have eaten more veggies as a child if roasting veggies was as common then as it is now. I’d much rather eat a veggie roasted than boiled which was the most common way I ate them (or didn’t eat them) as a child. It just sweetens them up a bit, sometimes almost caramelizing them. I could eat them every day. I’ll always remember my trip to Whole Foods where an employee at the hot foods counter persuaded me to try a roasted Brussels sprout. “I wish every veggie could taste like this,” he told me. I agree.

2.) Sheet pan dinners

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Sheet pan dinners seem almost indistinguishable from roasted veggies at times. The sheet pan dinner incorporates the other but includes your proteins too. Salmon is pictured above — one of my favorite things in the world. Often sheet pan dinners include sausage — one of my other favorite things in the world. They are fairly easy to prepare. Everything goes into one pan and cooks together, and if you line your pan with foil, the clean up may just be simple too.

3.) Quinoa

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Quinoa is a grain that is considered a superfood. It really has an incredible amount of nutrition in it such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc and potassium. It is also really high in dietary fiber and in protein. I do like the tricolor kind as pictured above. It doesn’t taste different than the ordinary kind, but I find it more visually appealing.

I did not know what I was doing when I first tried quinoa. I just cooked some and added some fruit on top — cherries. I was not impressed. Rice, cooked the same way with no seasoning, would be equally unimpressive. Quinoa is great mixed with herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and other seasonings. You can add veggies and make a salad. It’s very versatile.

4.) Grain Bowls

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Grain bowls have a grain base like maybe quinoa or rice or farro. Your veggies or any protein along with sauces or dressing are added on top. It’s like a healthier version of a casserole without loads of cheese and creamy soups. There’s something very nice about having a complete meal in a bowl, and the flavor combinations can be very interesting and varied.

5.) Sriracha

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Yes, I like that hot stuff with the rooster on the bottle. I still like Tabasco. I’d still probably prefer a Tabasco taste on things that traditionally have it … like hot wings. I would say that the difference is sriracha has more sweetness than Tabasco, and Tabasco has more tang than sriracha. Someone who is not accustomed to hot spices might not detect the sweetness exactly. They are both about equally hot. It is also a thicker sauce than Tabasco which might be helpful in some recipes or applications.

What do you think? Do you like any of these fad foods? Would you try them if you haven’t tried them yet?