Oh, what’s in a brine? Sea salt, sugar, black peppercorns, onion, orange peel, garlic, sage, allspice, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, oregano, and crystalized ginger, to be exact.
But why brine? It’s no secret that things cook from the outside in. When dealing with thicker pieces of lean meat, this can mean the outside dries out and becomes tough before the inside is cooked to an acceptable level of doneness. Brining prevents this by working from the outside in, adding extra moisture to the outermost pieces. By adding aromatic, good-tasting spices to your brine, you also infuse those flavors into the meat.
The most common use for brining mix is the holiday turkey, but that’s doesn’t mean you should only use it once a year. Any time you’re cooking a whole bird, whether it be chicken, hen, or turkey, you’ll want to use a brine.
But that’s far from its only use.
Anna has worked at AllSpice for almost five years, loving every minute. Her favorite product is our Chile-Coffee Rub for everything from chicken to tofu. A close second would be the Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil, a key ingredient in most of her soups.
When asked what her favorite part of the job was, she said “Working here has made me a better cook. I’m constantly getting inspiration from customers and co-workers. I’m trying recipes now I never would have thought of 5 years ago.”
Anna likes to cook anything that keeps her in the kitchen all day. Apron on = happy time.
Here are some questions you may not have asked, answered by Anna:
It was rainy week here in Des Moines, so when I learned that National Dessert Day is October 14th, it seemed like the perfect excuse to break out one my grandma’s old recipes. A few months ago, I texted my grandma to see if she knew where I could find good almond paste here in town. She wasn’t sure so instead she just mailed some from the bakery in her home town. I was able to freeze most it, making several Dutch treats over the summer.
I put on Dana Schwartz’s Noble Blood (Marie Antoinette did NOT say ‘Let Them Eat Cake’) and decided on an Almond Butter Cake.
This cake has a pretty simple ingredient list, the hardest part of “making” it is having to wait for it to finish baking. I was feeling a little “extra” and decided to top my cake with sliced almonds and sugar. That part may not be traditional, but a little crunch goes a long way in my book.
I love being able to share recipes with you all, but this one stays in the family. Just know if you’ve ever had almond butter cake, my grandma’s is better. Mine is no where near as good as hers, but I do my best. It’s more about the chance to revisit the memory of learning to bake with her. My love of baking was born in my grandma’s kitchen. She taught me the importance of choosing high quality ingredients, taking your time, and adding a little bit of love.
Chai actually means tea, but the word has come to be associated with a specific blend of spices. The bold flavor of cardamom blends beautifully with rich cinnamon, allspice, and ginger in our Chai Spice Blend.
This spice blend goes beyond tea. The AllSpicer staffers love to use at as an all-purpose baking spice, adding it to breads, waffles, cookies, candies, muffins, cakes, and oatmeal. Chai Spice Blend gives the perfect fall flair to any baked good.
Brew a little bit in your coffee ,or stir into hot chocolate for a drink that we think actually knocks pumpkin pie spice down a peg. This year, Chai Spice Blend will be added to our updated Fall Harvest gift box, alongside Apple Pie Spice, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and our Mulling Spice Blend.