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I'm allergic to garlic and onions: talk to me about your other favorite spices!

I read a critique recently that said cooks are too dependent on garlic and onion to spice dishes. I know I've been quite guilty of that. so when I identified that I'm allergic to onions and garlic, I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to break out of a rut and try out some new flavors in my kitchen. So homies, tell me about some of your favorite spices and how you use them!

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Easy-cheesy pumpkin dip

Since it's that time of year when squash is cheap and plentiful, I picked up a kabocha squash (a.k.a. Japanese pumpkin) and decided to make something with it for Thanksgiving dinner. But I don't like pumpkin pie or any other vegetable-as-dessert type things, so I figured I'd make something savoury. Anything with cheese tends to be a winner, and with the stripe-y pumpkin-bowl the dip is baked in, you can gain bonus points for fancy-ass presentation.