Variety really is the spice of life! However, don't be ashamed if you don't know what a certain spice is or what to use it in. Not too long ago, I didn't use any spices other than garlic powder, salt and pepper. I'm not kidding! Some of you cooks are probably like "WTF? Really? How?" I know! It's crazy how I went so long in life without exploring the world spices. My taste buds have since forgiven me. I think. . .
For those of you who aren't exploring or cooking as much, you really should experiment and try spices out. (Since you're here, check out some of my recipes. hehe) I'm sure the majority of you have a spice rack in your kitchen filled with items you don't use and probably have no idea what to use them in. Keep in mind that if they've been sitting in your kitchen for years and have accumulated dust, it's time to go buy a new spice rack or start with a few jars at a time. Spices that are old are no bueno and believe me, it makes a huge difference in the flavor. On the same website as the reference guide you'll find out how to tell if they are fresh or not.
I came across Spice Advice while surfing food blogs and websites one day. It's a handy chart to show what you can use spices in and breaks it down by type of meats and stuff. Really cool!!So print it out and/or save it so you can use it as a reference next time you're hesitant about a recipe. You can start off by just following a recipe. After you become more comfortable with what spices you enjoy and how much to use, you can start substituting spices the recipe calls for with something you like more. Have fun with it! You are very welcome!