The following are some hints for my most commonly used spices and extracts. Always have these on had in your cupboard, so you can use them in a pinch. Also, use these as a guideline and remember when trying a new spice to go easy. You can always add more.
Here are the 12 spices to keep on hand.
Basil – Used in many Italian dishes and tomato dishes such as pasta sauce and pizza. Delicious in combination with oregano, garlic, and/or thyme.
Garlic Powder – Use 1/8 teaspoon to equal 1 clove of garlic.
Onion – Onion is an important flavoring in almost every country in the world. When combined with other ingredients, onion's flavor is rarely overwhelming or assertive.
Chili Powder - Used mainly in Mexican recipes, such as chili, tacos, and casseroles. Delicious in combination with cumin and garlic.
Cinnamon – Used in breads, fruits, many types of desserts, and vegetables such as carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes. Delicious alone or in combination with nutmeg, allspice, and/or cloves.
Oregano – Commonly used in tomato dishes, such as soups, stews, chili, pasta sauce, and pizza; also used in salads and salad dressings. Delicious in combination with garlic, basil, and/or thyme.
Ginger – Ground ginger is used in cakes, breads, steamed puddings, sauces, fruits, and vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots. Delicious in combination with cinnamon; also combines well with garlic in Asian dishes.
Dill Weed – Used in pickles, salads, and vegetable dishes. Delicious in combination with garlic; also works well with lemon.
Paprika – Used to add color to foods, and to flavor soups, salad dressings, and stews such as goulash. Often used to top potatoes and cream sauces.
Rosemary – Often used in soups, stews, tomato-based sauces, and vegetable dishes. Combines well with onions, garlic, oregano, or thyme.
Thyme – Used in soups, stews, vegetables, and tomato-based sauces. Delicious in combination with garlic, basil, and/or oregano.
Vanilla – Commonly used to enhance the sweetness of cakes, pies, breads, muffins, sauces, custards, puddings, fruit desserts, and vegetables such as sweet potatoes and winter squash.