Key SPices to Keep in Your Kitchen and How to Keep them Organized

Keeping Your Spices Organized for Better Cooking - Homemaking Organized

When it comes to keeping your kitchen clean and organized don’t neglect to spend some time taking care of your spices.

Keeping Your Spices Organized for Better Cooking - Homemaking Organized

Spices add that special touch to a dish. They help to distinguish one cuisine from another. They can truly make or break your cooking.

It's important to keep your spices organized to make sure your parsley doesn’t taste like garlic and other mishaps.

Here are Some Tips for Keeping Your Spices Organized

  • Buy your spices in small fragrant quantities. Spices sitting for a long time in containers can lose some of their oomph! over time. I know it's tempting to load up, especially if you find a great deal but you will notice a difference. Give it a try and buy your spices as you use them.
  • Find a good source for your spices. Chances are the ones in the bulk bin at your favorite grocery store are a little old and stale. Th Try some online sources. I personally highly recommend Penzey's. We have a Penzey's store across the river from where we live and we make a special trip a few times a year to get the good stuff. You an also order from their website. And I love the freebies they always include!
  • You can also try grinding your own spice powder with some of the more fragrant spices such as black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cloves etc. You can grind them with a simple mortar and pestle.
  • If you store your spices in glass jarsstore the spicesaway from light.
  • Store your spices away from the heat of your stove and any other really warm place in your kitchen. The heat will cause the spices to lose their flavor.
  • If you do keep your spiced in glass containers put these in the cupboard. You can also find stainless steel spice containers.
  • Label your spices so you know exactly what you have. I made you some cute little printable spice labels here.
spices-organized

My Top 12 Spices and How I Use Them

(these are in alphabetical order)

  1. Basil: I use this in Italian dishes and sauces such as lasagne, and spaghetti. In the summer I grow this.
  2. Bay Leaves: Bay leaves go in soups and also keep my grains bug free.
  3. Chili Powder: I use chili powder in chilis, burritos, and the like.
  4. Cinnamon: I use this not only for baking but also in some chicken dishes, especially those with a Middle Eastern Flair
  5. Cumin: Especially good in things like taco fillings.
  6. Garlic: What?! A kitchen without garlic? All meat dishes. I dash garlic on almost every meal. Apart from being tasty it’s a great good for you herb.
  7. Ginger: Another spice I use when I want a Middle Eastern Flair and in cookies.
  8. Nutmeg: Another spice I use when I want a Middle Eastern Flair
  9. Paprika: I add this spice to all my chicken dishes. This is great in my new favorite Russian Meatball dish Tefteli courtesy of Natasha's Kitchen (so good!)
  10. Parsley: I feel this herb adds an extra freshness to my dishes. It is great in stews and on top of salads. Potatoes, pork dishes. I freeze the fresh and keep a bottle of dried in the pantry.
  11. Oregano: Another one for Italian style dishes and chicken dishes. The dried is more fragrant than the fresh.
  12. Rosemary: This herb has a strong flavor. Makes good rosemary potatoes.
  13. Thyme: Thyme is great in chicken dishes and also has a very strong nice flavor. I think Thyme is the one I couldn't do without.

Specialty Spices I Buy Seasonally or for Special Dishes

Cilantro : In Mexican dishes or just whenever 'cause I like the dish.

Saffron: To add color to Middle Eastern and African rice dishes.

Sage: At Thanksgiving and in other turkey dishes.

Garam Masala: A spice blend common in the Middle East and India. I love it and use it a lot especially if I'm cooking a dish with rice or couscous.

Think you have a dull dish? Get to know your spices. It could make all the difference!

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