Thinking about spicing things up…

…In the kitchen, that is.

In preparation for a visit from my in-laws, I am attempting to streamline my kitchen cabinets so that our guests will have a fighting chance of finding, say, the honey jar that was formerly hidden behind a wall of spice jars, or the crackers that were smooshed between the boxes of pasta and jars of canned tomatoes. The system makes sense to me, of course, because I came up with it, but it might not be so common-sense to anyone who is not able to read my mind

In any case, in the process of purging and reorganizing, I realized that I have many spices in my spice drawer that I NEVER use! Come to think of it, I really only use salt, pepper, a variety of spices used to make chili, and the occasional dash of rosemary or thyme in a chicken dish. How sad!

Do you use spices often in your cooking? Do you improvise with a dash of something here and there, or do you seek out interesting recipes that utilize more than a few of the spice jars in your pantry? I know that the dearth of spice combinations in my cooking is largely due to the fact that my young children are averse to “spicy” food (“spicy” means anything other than slightly salted to them!), but I think that I have also reached a wall when it comes to creativity in the kitchen.

Let us know if you have any spice combinations that we just have to try, or that your children particularly enjoy. Thanks!