Spice it Up with this Giveaway before Thanksgiving

Spice it Up with this Giveaway before Thanksgiving

Just on time for Thanksgiving, we’re offering up inspiration to help get you excited for cooking any and all parts of the holiday meal.

Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of NYC’s famed La Boite spice emporium and master spice blender, has kindly shared one copy of his magnificent book, The Spice Companion, a Guide to the World of Spices. This definative guide to building flavor, with a breakdown of 102 familiar and lesser known spices, will inspire home cooks and chefs alike.


For more on why we love The Spice Companion, scroll down to the next post or click here to read our take on it.

To enter this giveaway:

Simply leave a comment below, telling us which spices and herbs you use in your Thanksgiving and Autumn cooking. Are they different than those you use at other times of the year? Which dishes do you make that rely on these particular flavors? We want to know!

This contest will end at 6:00 PM on Sunday, November 20, 2016. Please use an e-mail that will allow us to contact you promptly so we can ship this beautiful volume as quickly as possible. Sorry, USA mailing addresses, only.

About the images used in this post:

Reprinted from The Spice Companion.Copyright © 2016 by Lior Lev Sercarz. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Thomas Schauer. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.



  1. My mother always told me that the key to good cooking is knowing how, when and how much spice to use. I have two cabinets filled with dried herbs and spices (as well as a refrigerator drawer with fresh herbs). They are arranged in alphabetical order! I use them all the time. No different for Thanksgiving, although I use more because it is such a bountiful meal. This year: carrot soup with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and Aleppo pepper for sure. Koshary (cumin, coriander and cayenne) for my vegetarian entree.

  2. I use more sage and ginger around Thanksgiving.Cinnamon and nutmeg are used more often in autumn and winter. I have a fairly large collection of spices and dried herbs in my cabinet and enjoy experimenting with them. I have an herb garden in summer also. The only herb my husband will not eat is mint.

  3. This thanksgiving I am still able to use fresh rosemary parsley Sage and oregano from my garden…great with turkey and stuffing and sweeting squash which has been incredibly sweet by itself this year with maple brown sugar . My most favorite way to add flavor at the moment is using lemon salt I picked up at the Shuk in Israel

  4. My spice cabinet is full of spices & herbs…I am always looking to learn how to use them in a broader way & combinations than I do now. Growing season is ending so I’ve been busy drying herbs from the garden, pots are being brought in for winter use: rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme & more. The ginger & turmeric buckets are in for the winter too… Now it’s time to start my winter basil varies to grow inside. The vary of hot peppers are dried, fermented to paste & cut/frozen.
    This book would be a great addition to my reference books to help me expand my use of herbs & spices.

  5. I stick with faves – cumin, chipotle, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, etc. but add more cloves and allspice. I’m leaning towards more Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking as well as less meat and almost no red meat. I’m also experimenting with ethnic Jewish dishes.

  6. Favorite spices to use in the winter have hearty, smokey, or earthy qualities as my focus is in dense stews and curries, like black cardamom, cloves, and mace. In baking, use reconstituted dried fruits with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla.

  7. In fall I turn towards warming spices like curry and hot peppers for savory dishes as well as sage and rosemary. For sweets I like cardamom and nutmeg and allspice. So yesterday I made winter squash soup from a giant squash a friend gave me-10 pounds! I made 2 quarts each of soup with curry and 2 with sage. And the rest of the squash I saved to roast for Thanksgiving with root veggies and onions and I’ll add mustard seed and rosemary. Anything with apples I add ginger, dried and fresh or cardamom and nutmeg and allspice. Spices are a important but they don’t do anything if they’re not fresh and I’m not always good about throwing away the old stuff. I want to cook more with whole spices that I grind up.

  8. My autumn baking usually features cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves. I’m a big fan of Indian spice too – cumin, coriander, turmeric. I’m not so good with herbs like thyme and rosemary, but I’d love to learn!

  9. I love autumn and winter cooking and the wide array of spices and herbs used in both savory and sweet dishes. When I make pumpkin pie, my favorite part is grating the nutmeg and grinding the clove in my spice grinder, then blending them with ginger to perfectly spice the filling made from roasted sugar pumpkin. Family and friends appreciate the work put into it and understand that grinding the spices fresh makes all the difference in the world. Another favorite, also labor intensive, is a butternut squash gratin I make for Thanksgiving. I first made the dish over 15 years ago, and since both vegetarians and meat eaters alike love it, it’s become part of the feast each year. The dish requires a heavy dose of fresh sage, along with onions, squash and cream. I always buy fresh sage at the farmers market because it’s so fresh and aromatic, yielding the best result. Why go through all that work only to ruin the dish with an inferior ingredient?

  10. Nutmeg and cloves are my autumn spices. I usually keep them subtle, but they have a special place in my banana bread. As Stella Parks tipped me off, these spices contain eugenol, a flavorful compound also present in bananas. The banana flavor gets muted during baking, so adding these spices not just rounds out the flavor of the banana bread, it actually amps up the banana’s flavor itself.

  11. Someone smarter than me said: Variety is the spice of life. So this Thanksgiving I’m looking forward to using as many spices as I can… could use a spicy pick-me-up this Thanksgiving season!

  12. I love cooking with cumin and cinnamon. Cumin is great because it develops both a warmth and a unique flavor that jazzes up whatever you’re cooking with. Cinnamon just adds some sweetness and what’s wrong with that?

  13. Love La Boite and Lior’s creativity!! My favorite autumn spice is cumin. Adds warmth to legume vegan dishes and stews; and a great addition to lemon juice based salad dressings.
    All year round my fave is the flavors I grew up on allspice and 7spice mix (sab’a bharat). I thank my Lebanese-Jewish heritage for that. 7spice mix is good on anything and everything: added to boiled eggs or potato salad it adds flavor without overpowering; as a rub for roasted or bbq chicken, as an extra flavor layer in taboule. It’s so versatile!!

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