Seasoning with Herbs and Spices

CATEGORIES: Informational Posts, Sara

One thing Kate and I will be doing this year is addressing some of the topics that we frequently get questions about. Kate wrote a great post recently on uses for different types of salts and we have posts on oils and flours too (okay so Kate did all of them). Recently on facebook I mentioned I was cleaning out my disastrous spice cabinet and that sparked some questions on the subject. Since it’s something we get lots of questions about via email and recipe comments, we thought it was time to get spicy! Bad pun, I know.

If you’re bummed out there’s not a recipe today, no fear! Read through this post anyway because there’s tons of links to some of our most favorite recipes.





  1. I really need to go through my spice cabinet too!

    There is two great stores in my town to buy spices. One buys them in bulk but puts different sized containers. The spices here are fresh and it's great to get different sizes but the other store has a different appeal. All the spices are in big jars and they measure them out for you. You can open the different jars and smell them. I could spend so much time doing just that.

    I would only like to add one thing about herbs to your wonderful post. Fresh herbs tend to lose their flavor over prolonged cooking periods while dried only get better and better. I like to add my fresh herbs at the end of the cooking time and the opposite for my dried ones.

    Keep up the good work on this blog!


  2. Last week I got tired of opening my spice cabinet and having one of the random jars leap out of the cabinet at me. Buying new jars so they'd all be uniform was too pricey. I got the idea to use clean baby food jars and make a label for each spice. Baby food jars are as little as $.33 (or cheaper) per jar compared to $1 a jar average at storage stores. I used mason jars for baking powder/soda, chili powder etc as well as my taco seasoning (I make a big batch because I use it so often and I know EXACTLY what's in it). Not only is my cabinet much more tidy but I know when it's time to buy more.

    How one organizes is personal but I converted one of my utensil drawers into a pull our spice drawer and the baby food jars fit perfectly. I organized them alphabetically and voila I'm not frustrated anymore!

    Also, I found that one regular size spice container (McCormick for instance) fits perfectly in a stage 2 baby food jar.

    No baby in the house? Find recipes that utilize baby food (like carrot cake or quick breads), find a friend who has a baby and ask for their jars OR buy the jars you need and "donate" the food to the mommy and in return ask that she save the jars for you (only don't ask her to peel the labels for you because that's sort of a little work). 🙂

    I just love your blog! Every recipe I've tried has been a huge hit! Thanks so much!!

  3. Thanks for the info!

    Have you seen those tubes of fresh herbs? They have them in the produce section. They're great. I keep mine in the freezer so they last for quite a while! 🙂

  4. I saw on Oprah and have since checked it out myself, buying spices at the dollar store. They are the same as the grocery stores but way cheaper.

  5. Jennifer- what fantastic ideas! Thanks for sharing all of that. I be a lot of people have baby food jars sitting around.

    Ingrid- I have seen the spice tubes. I've only used the ginger before, but I love it. I bet the others are super handy too, I'll have to try them out!

  6. Another great source for buying spices in bulk and at a very good price is the internet! Besides generally being cheaper, you can often find unusual stuff that you can't get locally. Penzey's is well-known (and excellent, but can be a little pricey) but I also like Spice Barn and My Spicer. Amazon has some good deals as well.

  7. Oh, I love this. It's great to have someone break it down into nice, concise list. I mean…have you seen the spice aisle? I could stand there as long as I stand in the toothpaste aisle at Target!! Thank you for this. I'm Tweeting it as we speak.


  8. Great post about herbs and spices. My mom lives near a bulk store that sells spices, and I often buy the ones that I use a lot of (cinnamon, basil, thyme) there. My favorite place to peruse, though, is Polcari's Coffee in Boston, MA… They roast their own coffee and sell spices by weight, letting you buy just what you need! Amazing quality and selection, and fun to look around. I just wish I lived closer!

  9. Thanks for the great post. You guys always have awesome recipes and tips. I too am a huge lover of butter and lemon pepper on rice-yummy!

  10. I was so glad to see your info on expiration dates of herbs and spices. It’s good to know that your parents still have tin boxes of spices! Me, too! :0)

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