We’ve just relocated from our house in town where we stay in the winter, out to the summer camp where we live and work for most of the year. Here at camp, we live in a small apartment, where the kitchen situation is – well – quite minimal!

We have a microwave, mini-fridge, toaster oven, and a two-burner hot plate, so it’s definitely functional for cooking. Getting a whole meal accomplished in this space is a bit of a challenge, but I’m grateful to have it!

Last spring, Brett built a little “spice shelf” for me to keep my favorite, most-often-used spices accessible (the rest of them are hidden in the cupboard). Let me take this opportunity to say that I love, love, love experimenting with different spices and herbs! I find all the different scents and flavors – as well as the health benefits – so fascinating.

So on that note, I’d like to share with you which spices are on my “favorites” shelf.


In alphabetical order (because I’m OCD and that’s how they are arranged on the shelf):


I’m actually one of those people who hates cilantro! What are we, like 10% of the population, or something like that? This one is on the shelf for my husband’s benefit.


I learned in the past couple of years that cinnamon is good for blood sugar stability and is anti-inflammatory! Who knew? It’s also delicious on almost anything you put it on J But to get the health benefits, it has to be Saigon cinnamon – not just cheap grocery store cinnamon.


This is on my shelf for one reason only: Pel meni. Those delicious, spicy Russian dumplings… mmm.

Garlic Salt

Maybe it’s just this brand – Lawry’s makes good stuff – but I really love this garlic salt. I put it on everything! Meat, vegetables, garlic bread… yum.

Mrs. Dash

This is another one of those versatile seasonings you can put on pretty much anything. It’s a perfect mix that enhances anything.

Onion Powder

I often prefer cooking with actual onions, but you know, sometimes you’re in a hurry – or you forgot to buy an onion at the grocery store – so onion powder is a good substitute!


When in doubt, add parsley. That’s my cooking motto.

Smoked Paprika

Okay, if you have never tried this, please do yourself a favor and buy some! Smoked paprika is amazing. Brett’s Uncle Roger introduced us to this a couple years ago; it was the secret ingredient in an incredible soup he’d made. It’s got a sweet, spicy, smoky flavor…. okay, I can’t describe it. Just try it!


So there’s my favorites for spices and seasonings. Nothing crazy or outstanding; mostly basics. There are definitely others I love, but these are the ones that made it onto my shelf of most-often-reached-for.

What would be on your shelf?


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