At Burlap & Barrel, we love to cook, and since you're here, we bet you do, too.

But we have to say it: we don't like recipes. More specifically, we don't like recipes the way they're usually written. We want you to be experimental in your cooking, and spices are a great way to do that. Like making pasta sauce? Add a spice you've never cooked with before and see what happens. Dinner is a pretty low-risk way to make your evenings more exciting. Cooking should be fun and exciting, a way to communicate with the people around us about our aspirations, our creativity, and our love.

If you're still reading, you might be interested to know that we're working on a way to write recipes that encourages experimentation and adventure in the kitchen (and you might want to sign up for our newsletter below for updates.) In the meantime, we suggest:

1. Use spices indiscriminately - they'll make all your cooking taste better.

2. Trust your senses. Does it smell good? It's probably going to taste good, and make your food taste good too.

3. If you're the kind of cook who loves following recipes, the internet is full of them. Dig deep. Find personal blogs written with passion by people who use their cooking (and their blogging) to represent important aspects of their interests and identities. The first result on Google is rarely the most interesting.

4. Have fun! Spices are the best. They'll make you a better cook, a better eater, a better host, a better partner, a better person.

And if you find a great way to use our spices or are looking for more inspiration, join the conversation at the Burlap & Barrel Spice Forum.