Wednesday, October 5, 2011

{31 Days} Stocking your Pantry: Spices

Spices – the arsenal of spices available for cooking is almost overwhelming!

We take a simple approach: have the basics, make any specialty blends that you need.  This has kept our cost down and our cupboards a little less cluttered!   


Savory Spices

In our pantry, we have:

  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Garlic (minced & powder)
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ground Mustard
  • Cream of Tarter
  • Minced Onion
  • Italian Seasoning (we love Mrs. Dash – salt free!)

Many of our most-loved spices – oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, onion, and Italian seasoning are purchased in bulk.  Running out of these isn’t an option with the way that we cook, so the larger bottles help us make sure we have spices around when we need them.

Our more diverse spice collection is housed in our spice wrack.  We decided to replace the spices that we don’t often use with those we do – so we re-labeled our canisters. 

Here, we have spices like:

  • Lemon Pepper (Mrs. Dash)
  • Garlic and Herb (Mrs. Dash)
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (McCormick)
  • Smokehouse Maple Seasoning (McCormick)
  • Rosemary
  • Paprika
  • Celery Seed
  • Bay Leaves
  • Season Salt
  • Thyme
  • Chives

“Sweet” Spices

We love cinnamon and vanilla – so these are our main bulk spices we use for baking and sweet goods.  Additionally, you’ll find nutmeg, ginger and cloves in this mix.  The other extracts we have include peppermint and anise.  Most folks would also include almond in the mix, but that one doesn’t make an appearance in our kitchen due to my nut allergy

Together, these spices enable us to make just about any dish we want – and, we can easily make up our own spice mixtures as needed.  My friend Lynn has shared a handful of her favorite spice mixes she makes herself – like taco and fajita mix.  I have used both, and we love them!

I encourage you to choose one one spice you might typically buy and try making it on your own.  Here are a few recipes from fellow bloggers to help in that process:

Poultry Seasoning
Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Emeril’s Baby Bam Mix
Italian Seasoning

Do you have a favorite make-at-home spice mix? 


  1. My make at home spice is taco seasoning. I guess it's not really a spice, but it is made with my pantry staples.

    Do you have a substitute for cardamom? I have been meaning to ask you if you knew what would work instead of cardamom in a recipe.

  2. I've never thought to buy spices in bulk, but now that I've seen this post, I'm definitely going to consider it...esp. for things we go through often! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  3. I make my own taco seasoning and chili seasoning. I don't really bother with Italian seasoning -- just add a bit of oregano and a bit of basil!

  4. For some reason, I've never thought to buy spices in bulk, and I have a membership to BJs. I really should, since I go through things like oregano very quickly.

    I don't have a favorite spice mix, but I do like to make my own tacos without a packet.

  5. Great topic!You have a lovely blog, and so helpful!! :) I look forward to readin more of your series!

    I blog at "Only a Breath" and would love for you to stop by if you have time! I'm writing about "31 Days to Love Your Neighbor". It has been a very interesting journey to say the least! :)

    Have a great day!

  6. Fred Meyer also has a bulk section where you can just scoop a bag of spices for a fraction of the cost, and refill your containers at home. I am sure they are not the only ones.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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