Spicing up your Comfort Food Favourites....February can be a bit of a cold miserable month, days are short and spring feels like it’s a very long way off. With New Year’s resolutions out the window it’s a time to turn to traditional comfort foods to cheer up those wintery days and warm your cockles.In the savoury comfort food department there are hearty soups, stews, casseroles and hotpots whilst for the sweet toothed amongst us there are pies, steamed puddings, baked fruits and crumbles. All of these things can be made even more delicious with a bit of subtle spicing. Plus, as well as tasting fantastic they fill your house with some wonderful aromas.There are lots of spices that can be used to liven up these comfort food dishes. Chilli, pepper and paprika would be obvious ones for adding actual heat to dishes but we prefer to stick with slightly milder spices and ones that can be used in sweet and savoury dishes interchangeably. So.....the Spicery’s top three winter warming spices are nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Nutmeg - the seed of an evergreen tree that originally only grew on a small chain of Indonesian islands, it goes particularly well with creamy savoury dishes. The French are fond of it in dauphinoise potatoes (a dish that would go down very well on a cold, gloomy day), or you could add a few grates to a creamy spinach soup or sauce for cauliflower cheese.Cinnamon - cinnamon quills are the coiled up bark of a tree native to Sri Lanka. Cinnamon goes particularly well with lamb - it’s used in the Greek baked dish of moussaka and frequently in Moroccan tagines - both fantastic meals for cold days. Or for a dessert try adding a cinnamon quill to pears poached with red wine and brown sugar.Ginger - Add a small amount (just a pinch) to a beef and red wine stew with a couple of whole star anise for a nod to the orient or go the whole way and make the Chinese dish of red braised pork. For more traditional dishes, ginger works wonders in hearty puddings such as steamed ginger pudding and parkin.Or, alternatively add this month’s free sample of Rumble in the Crumble (which contains nutmeg, ginger, cassia and allspice) to the fruit part of your usual crumble recipe for a mclassic English winter dessert.Happy Spicing!