Along with salt and cinnamon, chili powder is probably the most common seasoning found in American kitchens. It spices up steaming bowls of chili on cold winter evenings but can also add zip to eggs, snacks, soups and stews.

Chili powder isn't a single spice but a mixture of chili peppers, oregano, cumin, salt, and sometimes cloves, coriander, pepper, garlic and/or allspice.

Like other spices, chili powder is best when purchased in small quantities, since its flavor will diminish after opening. Try flavoring your menu with one of these favorite recipes.

Chili powder lends a little kick to Chili Cheddar Biscuits, the flaky, buttery biscuits pictured above. "I like to serve them with steaming bowls of chili or hearty beef soup," writes Kim Marie Van Rheenen of Mendota, Illinois.

This thick zippy Chili Stew (pictured above) from Amy Short of Lesage, West Virginia is loaded with familiar ingredients, such as ground beef, tomatoes, kidney beans and chili beans. Chili powder and green chilies season it just right.

Pep up a party with Zesty Snack Mix, a crunchy well-seasoned blend of cereal, pretzels and cheese crackers. "You can alter it by adding mixed nuts," says Codie Ray of Tallulah, Louisiana.