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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Inside My Spice Cupboard

 Here's a peek inside my spice cupboard, and yes, it always looks that organized! I wish!

 I love experimenting with spices. Last year I purged my hold spices and replaced them with new. A few years back, It was hard to keep track of how long you had actually had a spice in your cupboard. I am very happy that now most spices have an expiration date on them. When I went through my spice cupboard last year, I found that some of them had expired over 3 years ago. I was shocked. I felt like yesterday that I had bought them. When I smelled them, they didn't really have much smell and if they don't smell good, they aren't going to add much flavor to your dish!

I have been using Trader Joe's spices for as long as they have been selling them. The only problem, they have a very small selection. The other problem with TJ's is that they get you hooked on a specific product and without any warning, you find out it's been discontinued. I still can't believe that they discontinued their Pasta Seasoning Blend. It was amazingly great! I still have their bottle with the ingredients listed and I plan to concoct my own.

I had heard about Penzy's Spices for several years from different people. I looked at their website but I never bought anything from them. About four months ago I saw that they had a store in Torrance, so we set out one Saturday morning to check it out. I was really on the hunt for Vietnamese Cinnamon. I had read about it and I was intrigued. When I smelled it the first time I was in love!! It was amazing! I bought the largest size and as you can see, it is time for a return trip. It's almost gone and I don't want to be without it. Our morning oatmeal wouldn't be the same without it!


They had many spices that I had never heard of, and of course, I had to buy those and look for recipes to use them in. I'm still not sure how I'm going to use the Horseradish Powder. The good news was that they are very reasonably priced, and they have several sizes to choose from. I bought the smallest sizes for those I was not familiar with, because most of them were under $3 each. We walked around for over an hour, smelling every spice that they had. That was the first time that we every experienced that; being able to smell a spice before you buy! Now I am ruined. I will never be able to buy a spice that I can't smell first.

If you have a store near you, I would encourage you to go as soon as you can. If not, buying online can be a great option. I bought a lot of spices and I can tell you, they are great and fresh.

Check them out!

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