Author Archives: Elisabeth
What foods do you think of, when you think of summertime? Iced tea, fresh fruit, vegetables? These are all celebrated in the month of June. (I don’t really think “turkey” when I think of June, but hey, I’m always game to eat some delicious turkey).
Monthlong food holidays:
June 1: National Doughnut Day
June 2: National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day
June 3: National Egg Day
June 4: National Cheese Day and National Frozen Yogurt Day
June 5: National Gingerbread Day
June 6: National Applesauce Cake Day
June 7: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
June 8: Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day
June 9: National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day
June 10: Herbs & Spices Day and National Iced Tea Day
June 11: National German Chocolate Cake Day
June 12: International Cachaça Day and National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
June 13: Kitchen Klutzes of America Day (woo hoo!)
June 14: National Strawberry Shortcake Day
June 15: National Lobster Day
June 16: National Fudge Day
June 17: Eat All Your Veggies Day
June 18: International Picnic Day
June 19: National Dry Martini Day
June 20: National Vanilla Milkshake Day
June 21: National Peaches and Cream Day
June 22: National Chocolate Éclair Day and National Onion Rings Day
June 23: National Pecan Sandy Day
June 24: National Pralines Day
June 25: National Strawberry Parfait Day
June 26: National Chocolate Pudding Day
June 27: National Orange Blossom Day
June 28: National Ceviche Day
June 29: National Almond Buttercrunch Day
June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
This is one of our series of profiles of the AllSpice staff. Today, we introduce you to Denise D.
AllSpice regulars will recognize Denise — she’s the one with the British accent, and the inexhaustible list of cooking ideas.
Background: I was worn in Aberdeen, Scotland, and grew up in the Isle of Man, which I still visit and consider my “other home.” I went to school and college in England. I am a qualified Princess Christian Nursery Nurse (aka nanny), and am now (mostly) retired. I spent many decades looking after other folks’ newborns and small children in various parts of the world.
How did you come to be part of the AllSpice crew? I had been in a foodie book group with Alex (AllSpice’s founder) for a few years. He had been talking about starting a spice store “for people like us,” for ages. When he told us that AllSpice was really going to happen, I half jokingly told him that I would be delighted to help out for “a few hours” a week. The rest, as they say, is history. I am officially the longest-serving member of the Spicettes other than (AllSpice co-founder) Jen.
What’s your official (or unofficial) title? Alex dubbed me the “mixologist.” I love to experiment with all the possible combinations of olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
What’s your favorite thing to cook — or what is your specialty? My favorite is whatever moves me at the moment. I like a challenge and love to feed people, so when you visit, come hungry and come often!
Dessert tends to make my creative side happy, baking keeps me under control, new recipes keep me interested and odd/unusual ingredients make me think. All good stuff!
When someone else is doing the cooking, what’s your favorite dish? I’m very easy to feed, and very appreciative, too. Just no porridge, rice pudding, or others of that ilk, please! Boarding school did me in on those British nursery staples.
Do you have a food that’s a guilty pleasure? Chocolate. Am I meant to feel guilty, though?
What do you do for fun, when you’re not having fun at AllSpice? My pals are major, as are my westies, Dougal, Rory, and Flora.
I love everything about food: talking/reading about it, cooking it and eating it. Nothing like curling up with a new cookbook and planning a dinner party! I play tennis and walk the dogs, and am to be found regularly joining Weight Watchers — again — and forever losing the same 20 lbs!
What about you would people find surprising? I’m shy by nature. I’ve battled it all my life.
We get a lot of compliments from customers about our attractive packages. (No, not those kind of packages.) We have nicely-designed labels for our jars.*
But we also often get asked about where to find a rack that is just the right size for displaying and storing those jars. (And before you make a similar joke about the size of our rack — just don’t. What are you, a seventh grader? Gee whiz.)
We’ve been mulling over special AllSpice racks, and the woodworker who makes our custom salt cellars has come up with this:
What do you think? Would you be interested in this kind of spice rack? We’d like your input and ideas: please leave us your suggestions here in the comments, or drop us a note at info@AllSpiceOnline.com.
*(Thank you, super-designer Connie Wilson!)
1/4 Cup honey
4 tsp soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp Five Spice Powder
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Four 6-oz. skin-on salmon fillets
Nonstick cooking spray
1 lb slender green beans, trimmed
2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
1 Tbsp Roasted Sesame Oil
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
Combine honey, soy sauce, five spice powder, and minced garlic in a small bowl. Whisk to blend.
Place the salmon, skin side down, on a large plate, and lightly coat with the soy-honey mixture. Turn the fillets skin-side-up. Allow fish to marinate for 15 – 20 min at room temperature.
Set your oven to broil, and position top oven rack about 6 inches from broiler element. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat the foil with cooking spray.
Meanwhile, put green beans in a large bowl, and toss gently with the grapeseed and roasted sesame oil. Spread green beans in a single layer on one half of the prepared baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Carefully arrange the salmon, skin side down, on the other half of the baking sheet. Baste the salmon with any remaining honey-soy marinade from the plate.
Broil the salmon and green beans for a scant 3 min. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, toss the green beans with tongs, and reposition the salmon pieces, if needed, to allow them to cook evenly. Continue to broil until the salmon is just cooked through and the beans are tender but still crisp, 2 to 3 min more.
Remove the broiled green beans to a serving dish, and toss them lightly with the toasted sesame seeds and lemon juice. Arrange salmon filets on a serving platter and serve both dishes immediately.
For the sauce:
4 Cups vegetable broth
1-1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
For the quinoa:
2 Cups quinoa
1-1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp minced scallions
1-1/2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Five Spice Powder
1/2 Cup toasted sliced almonds
Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend.
If you bought the quinoa in bulk, rinse it in a bowl, swishing it around with your hand, and draining it in a fine sieve. If your quinoa was pre-packaged, skip this step.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat until very hot, but not quite smoking. Add the minced scallions, ginger, and five-spice blend; stir-fry mixture until fragrant, about 1 min. Add the quinoa; stir to combine and stir-fry for 2 to 3 min.
Add the sauce and bring the grain/sauce mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook on low for about 15 min, until the liquid from the sauce is absorbed. The quinoa will be tender to the bite, but not mushy. Remove pan from the heat, uncover, and fluff grains lightly with a fork.
Toast the almonds by cooking them in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they appear golden brown. Allow cooked quinoa to cool at least 15 min before stirring in the toasted almonds.
Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve dish while still warm, or allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Makes a great grain side dish instead of the usual rice or couscous.