Favorite Things
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These are a few of my favorite things: Spices/Seasonings

I get really curious about what people use and keep in their kitchens.  Back in May, I posted about my favorite kitchen gadgets.  It was a fun to write and you can see it here.

This time around I decided to open up my hilarious spice cabinet.

“Why is it hilarious Molly?”

Let me tell you.

I have an internal conflict with my kitchen, you see.  On one hand it has the world’s smallest pantry.  Annoyingly small.  So small we had to set up storage shelves in the basement.  Boo.

The trade off, however, is that next to my pathetic pantry, I have the cutest darn spice cabinet.  It really is the funniest thing.  The shelves are only about an inch or so wide so it’s not suitable for much more than rows of small spice canisters.

I’ll never forget when my college roommate came over to our house for the first time and I flung it open.  She started laughing and couldn’t believe how thin and tiny it was.  She thought it was a false door for “decoration”.  Who decorates with false door?

Ignore the 2 cans of Manwich in the bottom.  I’m not responsible for those.  See my husband.

We want to move in the spring and if/when we do, I’m really going to be sad to leave it behind. I may ask my husband to build one in between the studs of our next kitchen wall. While some may see it as pointless, I ask you to tell me a better way to store/display your spices.

They aren’t piled up in a bin.

They don’t fill up a lazy susan in my already space-challenged pantry.

They are all displayed in easy reach.  My organized self smiles at that.

So what are my favorites?  I’ve picked the ones I reach for the most and are often on my grocery list to be replenished.

Some may seem pretty common and traditional.

Some are Texan staples I was introduced to when I met my husband.

Some you may wonder, “What was she thinking?!?”  Hopefully not.

But anyway, in no particular order:

#1 Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce
The. Best. Stuff. Ever.  I add it to everything from meatloaf to blue cheese dip.  Anything that needs a rich, savory taste.

P.S. Don’t ever buy generic Worcestershire sauce.  The meat loaves from the winter of 2010 aren’t discussed for a reason.  It was shameful.  Don’t do what I did.  Lesson learned.

#2 McCormick Smoked Paprika
I would wear this as a perfume.  Just kidding.  Maybe not.  The smell is just divine and the flavor it adds is even better.  Smoked paprika and I go way back.  We have a good relationship as evidenced in these recipes:
Broiled Paprika Shrimp
Smoky Sweet Popcorn
Guinness Bacon Shepherds Pie

#3 Morton’s Chili Blend
Don’t confuse this with coffee–it’s that dark.  Growing up in my Midwestern home, chili powder looked closer to smoked paprika in color.  We also used a packet of taco seasoning to make our tacos.  I feel sorry for myself at that age.  I was really missing out.

This stuff is dark, rich, and packs a punch.  One of the first meals my husband made for me was true, Texan tacos.  Take a pound of ground beef, brown it and drain it.  Add a can of plain tomato sauce and heaping spoonfuls of Morton’s until your then-girlfriend’s eyes bug out of her head in worry.  Simmer for about 10 minutes and serve on tortillas with Franks hot sauce.  You’ll die and go to heaven.  Believe me.  I did and came back to tell the tale.

My mother in law has shipped us bags and bags of the stuff.  Would you believe I have 8 bags in my freezer right at this very moment?  Turns out I can’t find a website for Morton’s and Amazon isn’t selling it yet.  If I were you I’d start making friends in the Texas panhandle.

#4 Roland Balsamic Glaze
Sure, you could make your own and it might taste better.  This little bottle is so dang convenient though.  I reach for it to squeeze on a tomato salad, grilled fish, bread, pears, you name it.  The best use for this glaze might be the peach appetizer I made for the ice cream finale party and the recipe is here.  You can get a lot of mileage of this little bottle on tons of foods.

#5 Salt Lick Dry Rub
I use this on every sort of meat out there.  Ribs, chicken, roasts, chops, steaks, etc.  If you didn’t read my post on our trip to Austin, Texas and lunch at the original Salt Lick, click here, and you’ll understand.  I also have canisters of this in my freezer.  Clearly, I don’t like to be unprepared.

I feel like I just participated in an episode of MTV’s “Cribs–Spice Edition”  We’re at that point where I thank you for coming, tell you it’s time to leave, and close the spice cabinet door.

So thanks for coming (reading)!

What are your absolute spice/seasoning staples that line your “guaranteed-bigger-than-mine” pantries?

Filed under: Favorite Things


Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.


  1. I have a really shallow floor to ceiling cabinet in my kitchen that I love. It’s about 6 inches deep, and the perfect pantry to never lose anything in. Now you have me wishing I had another even shallower one for spices/herbs/seasonings 🙂

    • Isn’t it funny how something that doesn’t make a lot of sense at first turns into something you don’t think you could live without?!?

  2. You have THE BEST spice cabinet ever. I know because I used to have one just like it, and we took it out when we remodeled. Now I have to rummage through two places (I could so rant…) Enjoy while you can!!

    • A fellow spice cabinet person! Tell me I’ll recover when we eventually move…or at least will be ok until I make the husband add a new one?

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