I have to admit that, besides a little information from my Grandmother and my Aunt, I learned to cook by watching my Mom. Of course that was when I was a kid!

As I have navigated through life, I discovered that keeping out of a food rut is key to not overeating and enjoying cooking. There are some things you just have to know and one of them is essential.

Know the shelf life of spices. I actually had decades old spice cans in my cupboard and 2 weeks ago discovered they are worthless. Crud! According to spice company McCormick, nutrients and flavor in the spices are gone after  a certain time period. Here are the rules:

1. Seasoning blends only last 1 to 2 years.

2. Herbs and ground spices last 1 to 3 years

3. Whole spices last for up to 4 years.

You will know the spices are ineffective by smelling and tasting them. Now we both know! I have a lot to learn, so I look forward to hosting the Taste of Home Cooking School this coming Tuesday (the 29th).