One of the details that I love about my house is the built-in spice rack in one of the cupboards. Actually, all the cupboards are pretty awesome. It’s safe to say that the cupboard are my favorite part of my house. But I was making a huge error in kitchen food safety by keeping the dog food and dog dish in the kitchen. Not only does it promote yucky things getting in our food (seriously, pets do not belong in the kitchen, but I have a hard time following that rule!), but it also kept me from being able to reach my spice cupboard, which in turn led it to be a gigantic mess. Because I’m short. So last weekend I cleaned it out. And that’s when I realized that I’m out of a lot of my spices. So I organized my list of must-have spices (as well as salt and pepper) in my cupboard and I thought you might like to see what I cook with.
I cook at least one Italian dish per week. It’s one of our staples. In menu planning, I typically plan 1 Italian, 1 Mexican, 1 casserole, 1 roast, and then fill in the rest of the blanks with whatever. Leftovers for lunch or, if we have a particularly large amount, for a dinner. These are my basic Italian spices that I use regularly.
- Chili Powder
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Cayenne Pepper
I make the spices easy on my husband – I make 1 row of Italian spices that also double as Mexican spices. Then add the chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, and cayenne pepper on the end. This way, if he’s cooking and wants to make an Italian dish, he can use the main Italian spices, and if he wants to go Mexican he adds the others. My Italian seasoning tastes slightly different because I use the ones that are not repeated in Mexican too, but he doesn’t often notice.
- Cream of Tartar – can’t make snickerdoodles without it!
I love baking, and these are my mostly commonly used baking spices. Although I do use some others, these are the ones I use the most. These can be used outside of baking too – like Ginger Orange Chicken or using cinnamon in a mole sauce.
Pickle Canning Spices
We love pickles in our house, so even the years when I don’t get the fruit harvest packed away, I do manage to get pickles done. These spices I usually have every summer. And hey – it’s summer! They can be used in cooking as well, but I’m not totally adventurous all the time, so they mainly stay used for pickles.
Meat Seasoning Spices
- Season Salt – my husband’s favorite
- Old Bay
- Canadian Chicken Seasoning – my husband’s second favorite
We eat a lot of chicken and pork in our house now, but we enjoy a good roast now and again. These are our go-to spices for meat seasoning. I think of sage, tarragon and savory as my Thanksgiving spices too. They also perk up any gravy!
Fat Flush Spices
- Cayenne Pepper
I love my Fat Flush recipes, especially scrambled eggs with spinach and spices. You can read about my review of Fat Flush Soup here. These spices not only make food tasty, but help me drop weight – definitely keeping them in my cupboard!
What are your must have spices?
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