Try this new year's tradition: open each jar in your spice collection and give it a sniff. If you can't smell it, and you can't taste it, it should be replaced. Spices lose their pungency over time. Discard any that are past their prime. When you replace them, write the purchase date on the new jars. Most spices last 6 months to a year.
Here's a sweet-hot duo that belongs in your pantry:
Crushed red pepper flakes: We all know what they can do for a pizza! Add that same sizzle to soups, stews, salad dressings and Asian dishes. Try Thai Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing with the appetizing kick of crushed red pepper flakes.
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