Posted in Pantry Raid, tips & tricks

Pantry Raid: Spice Cabinet

Hey all! 🙂

Since changing the format of KS Weekly, it seems redundant to me to post my menus ahead of time as I have been on Mondays, so I decided to post a feature or recipe instead in it’s place. This also gives me the option to tweak my menu as I please without feeling like I have to go back and edit the posted version.

This week, we have a Pantry Raid. Where I take everything out of my cabinet and show you what I’ve got and why. Below you’ll find an inventory of my spice cabinet. I’ve had this post queued up for a little while now so a few of my mains have changed appearance, I’ve switched to the big Sam’s Club sizes of onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning, and I’m trying a new brand of Herbes de Provence, for instance – but it’s the same stuff so didn’t really warrant a re-shoot.

I will say that I try not to buy more than I’ll use in a year, even if it’s a little cheaper. Of course, sometimes buying more can’t be helped, but I’d really rather have everything fresher. Even dried herbs and spices will lose their flavor over time, especially in an open container.

 

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Please also enjoy the rainbow painting in the background courtesy of my lovely niece, Alina. I keep it in my kitchen so I get to see it all the time.
  • Steak Seasoning – Reduced Sodium
    • ProTip: Toss some green beans with this and some olive oil, then roast at 400 or grill in a foil pan for about 15 minutes. A great weeknight side with your summer grillin’.
  • Apple Pie Spice
    • Oatmeal, pancakes, cookies, spice cake… I think I’ve used this in everything but apple pie!
  • Ground Cinnamon
    • Same as above, though I have also used this in a rib marinade…
  • Tony Chachere’s Salt-Free Creole Seasoning
    • Anyone who follows my cooking knows I’m a Tony Chachere devotee. It’s perfectly blended to my liking with a great peppery bite.
  • Old Bay Seasoning
    • I came across this iconic tin in my parent’s spice cabinet hundreds of times throughout my childhood, and I think it was the same tin all that time! Since this picture, I’ve run out and finally converted to the less sodium version, but it’s so tiny I expect to run out again soon!
  • Bay Leaves
    • The thing a lot of Chipotle customers have never seen, apparently. As far as I know, it’s considered good luck to get a bay leaf in your dish! I’ve been wishing for a little bay laurel of my own to keep in my kitchen for years, as the internet says they’ll do well indoors (while also repelling pests!), but I always seem to look when they are out of season!
  • Turkish Bay Leaves
    • Honestly, these were a gift from my Dad and I haven’t opened them yet. The Internet says they are milder than regular bay leaves, but that remains to be seen.
  • Ground Ginger
    • Another surprisingly useful addition. I use it in rice and stews mostly now, but I used to make my own chai concentrate and nothing else bites like ginger.
  • Crushed Red Pepper
    • Everyday. On everything.
  • Paprika
    • Keeps chicken and fish from looking bland while adding a nice smoky touch.
  • Mrs. Dash Spicy Chipotle Seasoning
    • Bought on a whim on a 2 for $3 sale and have been adding to stews and chili for sweet smoky spiciness ever since.
  • Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning
    • It’s ground pretty fine, but other than that the flavor is excellent! I don’t know why I expected this brand to be sub par but this was also from my Dad and I’m thoroughly impressed.
  • Granulated Garlic
    • Can’t live without. Desert island item for sure.
  • Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper
    • Again, much better than expected. This was one of the few I found already in my Love’s cabinet when I first started cooking for him. I’ve ceased looking elsewhere. I love that it has the lemony flavor I want, plus herbs, and minus salt. A+
  • Granulated Onion
    • Desert island. Always always always have on hand.
  • Dill
    • Thanks again, Dad. I’ve mostly used this for dips and dressings, but I use a ton of it at a time so I love the big glass jar.
  • Celery Salt
    • Marinades, dips, and dressings… I have a feeling I’m only scratching the surface with this one.
  • Ground Cumin
    • Smoky with a little more complexity than paprika. Cumin also has anti-inflammatory and anti-gas properties so be sure to add it to beans and chili!
  • Herbes de Provence
    • Super underrated as a saver of time and space. This brand was a little more lavender-y than I preferred – but did that stop me using it? NOPE.
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning
    • I really like this, it’s not too strong in any way. Very good on roasted potatoes and in poultry stews.
  • Chicken and Beef Bullion – Sodium Free
    • I’ll be honest – I really don’t use these that much anymore. I’ve gone full broth for the most part in an effort to increase flavor and nutrient density and cut back on processed or preservative-heavy ingredients, but they’re nice to have for emergencies. I know that contradicts a few of the above ingredients – but this was something I was putting in a lot of dishes, so by changing just this one, I edited out much more than if I cut out other things that I don’t use as often or in much smaller quantities.
  • Chili Powder
    • Can’t make chili without it…. But I also add it to taco meats and sometimes beef stew to level up the smokey flavor.
  • Hot Mexican Style Chili Powder
    • I’ve found the flavor on this is a little better or maybe just slightly more nuanced. I do find myself reaching for this one more often, but it doesn’t seem any hotter to me… just sayin’.

That’s it, for now…

Have a great day, everyone! ❤

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