Simple Kitchen Tips

Simple Holiday Survival: Top Spices For The Holidays

Did you know spices have a shelf life?  Humidity, heat, sunlight, and exposure to air can pull the flavor and aroma right out of spices and dried herbs. With the holidays here, now is the perfect time to replace those holiday spices you bought last year!  Colleen Messner of The Spice & Tea Exchange in St. Augustine, Florida, has a list of the top spices you should have in your cabinet for the holidays. (And most of them can be used year round!)

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Top Spices For The Holidays

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Nutmeg – This brown seed, when grated, provides a warm, spicy/sweet flavor to dishes. A whole seed can be stored indefinitely in an airtight container. Best when freshly grated.


Allspice – This spice tastes/smells like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. I love it on pork tenderloin!


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Cloves – This fragrant, nail-head shaped spice is perfect for decorating a ham or whole orange. Imparts a warm and sweet flavor.



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Green Pod Cardamom
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Green Pod Cardamom – Cardamom has a strong, unique spicy-sweet taste. Best when purchased in pods, which are removed and discarded before grinding the seeds. Adds great flavor to danish and other pastries.



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Star Anise
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 Star Anise – Sweet/warm spice with a licorice flavor. Great to use in pastries, stews or even asian cooking (It is one element in Chinese 5 Spice Blend).





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Candied Ginger
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Candied Ginger – Perfect to use in gingerbread or even chopped as decorative (and tasty!) topping for cupcakes!

Cinnamon – The favorite in the Simple Solutions Diva household! Warm and sweet, cinnamon works well in so many recipes during the holidays!


Storage Tips

  • Keep all spices in a dark, cool and dry place, away from heat. (So I guess that means I need to move my spice shelves away from the stove!)
  • Leafy items, such as oregano, basil, bay leaves do best when stored in the fridge.

Order Fresh Spices and Dried Herbs

If you would like to order any or all of these spices FRESH from the Spice & Tea Exchange, follow this link HERE to be taken directly to the products page of their website!

Simple Solutions Diva Is Now A Contributor To!

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 9.44.19 AMSimple Solutions Diva is excited to share that she is now a contributor to the website, The website, full of great tips and ideas provided in a short and sweet 30 second format, is perfect for the busy mom!

30Second Mom’s goal is to provide mobile moms with quick and helpful tips from other moms – each in about 30 seconds or less – delivered straight to their phones. Whether moms read the tips or watch them on video, they are delivered in clear and concise – and fun! – formats that won’t take much of moms’ most precious asset: their time.

Check out Simple Solutions Diva’s 30Second profile and tips by clicking HERE.

Make Your Own Bagged Salad And Avoid Preservatives

With bathing suit season right around the corner, I’m sure there are a lot of people eating salads to get ready for the warmer weather, so I thought this might be a great time to repost my very first Simple video, how to Make Your Own Bagged Salad.  Bagged salads at the store are so easy, but they do have to use preservatives to keep the salad fresh until you buy it.  This is a great way to avoid the preservatives and still have the convenience of bagged salad ready to eat in the fridge!

Bagged salad

To Find The Zyliss Lettuce Knife, Click Here!

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