A universal-type ingredient, which I use somewhat sparingly ... however, when needed, it's indispensible.
Although I don't often use cardamom, it's a lovely addition to certain yeast breads. Perhaps I'll find other ways to use it in future cooking adventures.
Though I rarely use cayenne pepper, I like what it contributes in certain dishes.
I have to admit, I don't get too fancy about chili powder. I purchase one of the well known brands. Sometine it would be fun to do a little exploring. Perhaps one of the on-line readers would like to contribute a little expertise on this subject.
There's nothing that smells better than an apple pie baking in the oven with a generous dose of cinnamon. Cinnamon is a wonderfully versatile ingredient, in desserts of course, but also in some main dishes. It's one of the few spices I purchase in larger quantities.
A wonderful spice, but to be used temperately or else it has a tendency to take over.
This spice I use primarily in Southern and Southwestern dishes. In the bottle, it has a pungent, not-altogether inviting scent. However, used well it adds an undefineable flavor which I wouldn't want to do without.
I most often use fresh ginger in Asian dishes, both cold and hot. In a pinch, I'll use ground ginger as a substitute, but there is a difference.
Ginger is an excellent spice both for baking and also for some savory dishes. Although fresh may be preferred, I sometimes use the ground in Asian dishes rather than do without if I don't have any fresh.
Nutmeg has an affinity for both savory and sweet dishes. It combines very well with white pepper in dishes with white sauces. Of course, it adds much to many baked goods, including many breakfast goodies (such as pancakes, doughnuts) and many fruit desserts (such as apple pie).
I find white pepper to be an important ingredient in a number of somewhat subtle sauces. I use it in many light cream sauces such as the sauce for macaroni and cheese, and some pasta sauces which use cream rather than tomato as a base.