BBQ Spice Rub and Vanilla Sugar

Remember the other day when I shared a recipe for citrus sea salt?  Apparently that recipe got a lot of you excited about making homemade gifts!  I have received quite a few emails the last few days asking about other cute gift ideas that can be given along with the salts.
Lucky for you I have two other recipes to share.   These three jars make the perfect gift trio and will delight any foodie or kitchen novice alike. They also make the perfect gift for any party host or hostess!
I really like this spice mix rubbed onto roasted root vegetables for a little extra flavor.  I have also mixed it with a little oil and used it as a marinade for tofu or tempeh.  Since this is a gift for someone with more “traditional” taste buds than myself, I added the brown sugar in, but I don’t use this in my mix at home.  Feel free to adapt this recipe to suit your tastes.
BBQ Spice Rub
Makes about 1 cup
1/4 cup sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 cup paprika
1/3 cup brown sugar (optional)
Mix the ingredients together.  Pour into a decorative jar and gift!

I was originally thinking of gifting agave syrup infused with vanilla, but I knew my particular gift recipent would greatly prefer plain ole sugar so I went the basic route.  You could also use evaporated cane juice instead of sugar, make homemade vanilla extract, or even just give this cute jar filled with a few vanilla beans and let your recipient figure out how best to use ‘em.  Lots of options, but a super cute gift nonetheless!

Vanilla Sugar
Makes 1 cup

1 vanilla bean
1 cup (vegan) sugar

Cut the vanilla bean in half and then slit it open.  Scrape out the seeds and mix them in with the sugar. Use the dull side of your knife to bruise the spine of the bean a bit and then toss in with the sugar. Shake it a few seconds and it’s ready to go!  If you are using a fresh bean, it can be a little moist and will cause the sugar to clump. Just make sure to give the jar a good shake or stir every couple of days.

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