I love to bake – mainly due to the fact that it requires precise measurements and…if I follow every direction…it (normally) comes out looking somewhat like the photo that inspired the delicacy! Recently, I have found so much creative freedom in cooking – a space that doesn’t require the same level of exactitude and opens up opportunities to try out new versions with each go-round.

With the holidays upon us, here are five of my favorite go-to flavors that I keep stocked year round!

Cinnamon: Often considered a holiday spice, this jar of goodness can complement any plate, year round. It is proven to support metabolism and can be included in both sweet and savory dishes. I add a dash to my coffee, pancake mix…even on top of bacon! Freshly grated cinnamon can also be used aromatically in a stovetop version of apple cider to welcome your guests for the holiday season.


Turmeric: I put this spice on everything! With anti -inflammatory properties, add it to your baked chicken and kale with a side of Portobello mushrooms for a quick cure to joint pain!


Lemon: This is a magical addition in the kitchen. It has the ability to brighten greens, lighten up a savory dish, and spark your morning metabolism when added to a glass of water. Squeeze a slice on top of your seafood, or grate the rind for some zest in your traditional chicken dish. With endless health properties and fantastic flavor, it’s a citrus to keep stockpiled in the fridge.

lemon zest

Mint: Add a sprig of mint leaves to a pitcher of iced tea or sprinkle them in your stove top Christmas cider. Known for its stomach settling ability, fresh mint is a sweet addition to both beverages and dinner plates.


Ginger: Again considered a holiday spice, ginger is a powerful spice that needs to carefully added, so as to brighten but not overpower a dish. I prefer ginger root grated over a soup or protein dish. It keeps well in both its raw and crystallized form, offering many options in keeping it year round.



What are your go-to spices for your favorite dishes? Send your secrets to muumuu@shopnational.com.

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