Smooth Sipping Chocolate

When I think of my childhood favorite after school treat, hot chocolate always comes to mind. But cocoa isn’t just for kids – that’s right adults! Jazz up the flavors with savory and spice add in’s – like infusing cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks into the base. You can even add in a chili pod for some heat!

You can switch it up in other ways too – for those avoiding dairy, there are lots of options these days. Coconut or almond milk make great alternatives.

Turn your cocoa into a cozy night-cap by stirring in a little honey whiskey or your favorite liqueur. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you’ve got to try my luscious Red Wine Sipping Chocolate.

This rich and creamy version combines sultry dark chocolate, a bold lush red wine and a touch of honey for sweetness. For even more decadence, top it off with a big fat toasted gourmet marshmallow (get the blow torch out!) and finish it with a sprinkle of red wine salt. That’s not your mama’s cocoa!

Now get to sipping! -Kathy

Red Wine Honey Sipping Chocolate
This hot chocolate combines three beloved ingredients: honey, chocolate and red wine – yes wine! It’s rich, delicious and meant to be sipped and savored. For even more decadence, top with toasted hand-made Honey Marshmallows, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with red wine salt.

Makes about 4 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons Wildflower Blossom Honey
Garnish: 4 Honey Marshmallows (see recipe) or substitute gourmet purchased marshmallows, red wine salt*, honey for drizzling

Combine the chocolate and wine in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until the chocolate is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the milk and honey, increase heat to med-low and continue to heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and pour into small cups for serving. Garnish with toasted marshmallows sprinkled lightly with red wine salt if desired.

*Red wine salt is available online.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for the National Honey Board

Posted by Kathy on February 15th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Snacks, chocolate, cocoa nibs, dessert

Hearty Root Vegetables

The cold weather months naturally make us crave heartier foods…so thank goodness for root vegetables! They are versatile in flavor, texture and application – as well as budget-friendly and a great source of complex-carbohydrates.

Rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, turnips and beets are all part of this delicious group.

Roasted Beets are so tasty, especially when finished with my Orange Cumin Glaze. Just pop whole beets in a 375 degree oven tented in foil and roast until fork tender – when cooled, the skins will slip off easily. I love them tossed in a salad with arugula, blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette.

The often overlooked parsnip is also a fave – roast them whole with a chicken alongside a few of those beautiful rainbow carrots we see in the markets these days. My Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup paired with chevre and walnut croutons is so delicious you won’t even notice that you’re eating a bowl full of vegetables! Pour yourself a glass of Washington wine and you’re all set for a cozy meal.

Parsnips and carrots can also be enjoyed simply steamed and mashed with seasoning, butter, olive oil or sour cream. It’s the perfect tasty side dish alternative to traditional potatoes.

Embrace these cold days by filling up with some hearty root veggies!
–Kathy

Roasted Beets with Orange Cumin Glaze
Makes about 6 servings.

5 large beets (about 2 lb.)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsps butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 Tbsp finely chopped orange zest
2 Tbsps chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash the beets and leave root untrimmed. Place beets on a large sheet of foil and seal like a package. Place foil packet on a baking pan and roast in preheated oven until very tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Poke beets to make sure they are tender.

As soon as beets are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off and slice into ¼-inch slices.

In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, cumin, vinegar , honey and corn starch. Stir until cornstarch is well incorporated.

Place liquid mixture in a large, non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking – while adding the butter and salt. Bring to a boil and add the sliced beets. Cook, turning beets as necessary, until they are hot and nicely glazed. Place on a serving platter or in large, shallow bowl.

Mix together the walnuts, orange zest and parsley and sprinkle over the beets.

Chef’s Notes:
You can prepare this recipe part way in advance: Just roast, peel and slice the beets ahead of time. This can be done up to 3 days in advance. Then finish the rest of the recipe procedure per instructions.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre & Walnut Crostini
Makes 6 servings

4 cups 1/2-inch-sliced peeled parsnips (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsps butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth (I used packaged organic broth)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Croutons
6 1/4-inch-thick slices baguette or French bread
Olive oil
3 ounces chevre (goat cheese)
3 Tbsps chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Garnish: thinly sliced fresh chives and/or celery leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

First, toast the bread for the croutons: Lay the bread on a baking sheet, brush slices lightly with oil, and toast in the preheated oven for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until just lightly golden. Remove and let cool. (You can do this the day before and keep croutons in a tightly closed container after they cool.)

Toss parsnips and olive oil together in a bowl to coat evenly. Spread out on a baking sheet (you can reuse the one used for the bread), and roast till golden and totally tender, about 30 minutes.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and celery until very tender, about 3 minutes; do not brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds more. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken broth, cream and roasted parsnips and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium or low, to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add salt and cayenne. In small batches, puree mixture in a blender. (Be careful; it’s hot!)

Return soup to pan and adjust seasoning if needed. Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

To serve the soup and finish the crostini:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the cheese on the croutons, then top each one with a half-tablespoon of nuts. Press in slightly and bake for about 4 minutes or until cheese is warmed.
Meanwhile, heat the soup, stirring often, over medium heat till hot, making sure it does not stick on the bottom. Serve the hot soup in warm bowls. Top with chives or celery leaf and serve a warm goat cheese crouton on the side.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 8th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in French Seasoning Salt, Kathy Casey, appetizers, herbs, root vegetables, seasonings, sides, vegetables

Go Nuts for Almonds!

Hail the mighty almond! The crunchy nut that’s packed with flavor and healthy goodness.

Available in many forms – raw, slivered, flour, milk, butter, and oil – this nutty ingredient can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

And talk about versatile! It’s so easy to integrate them into your diet. That’s a good thing too – because this superfood is SUPER healthy! Packed with Vitamin E and rich in dietary fiber and healthy fats. Plus they are a super protein source and easy to have a little snack baggie around for when you’re feeling hangry!

Chopped up and added to salads, grain bowls, or your morning yogurt, they’ll keep you feeling full and keep your body’s metabolism on track. My Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw is the perfect healthy snack or side dish.

So go nuts! Nuts for Almonds, that is.
-Kathy

Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw
Makes about 8 servings

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Sriracha
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1 large head)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sour cream, salt and Sriracha. Add green onions, cabbage, cranberries and cilantro and toss until well coated.

The salad should sit for 30 minutes before serving. If making way ahead, refrigerate dressing and salad ingredients separately, then toss together 30 minutes before ready to serve. Toss the almonds into the salad right before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 1st, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, Snacks, appetizers, breakfast, dessert, salads

Crunchy Cabbage

Crunchy, colorful cabbage is one of the world’s oldest known vegetables.

Often seen shredded and topped on d’lish dishes like roasted pork tacos or wrapped up as old-school cabbage rolls, this humble vegetable is a wonderful source of dietary fiber. And as an added bonus – it’s super affordable and helps with weight loss.

Throughout the world there are hundreds of varieties of cabbage – green, purple, white, savoy, and napa – all with unique flavor profiles and textures.

But no matter the kind, it can be enjoyed in so many ways. Pickled, steamed, sautéed, braised, raw, or even fermented for popular dishes like sauerkraut and kimchi.

This time of year I love it braised – like in my recipe for Slow Cooker Fragrant Soy & Ginger Beef with Green Onions & Cabbage – fragrant with garlic, star anise, ginger, soy and cinnamon. The longer it cooks the sweeter it gets. Yum!
-Kathy

Slow Cooker Fragrant Soy & Ginger Beef with Green Onions & Cabbage
Makes about 6 servings

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds beef brisket roast
2 slices fresh ginger root
3 cloves of garlic
1 star anise pod
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in 6 wedges
1 very small head green cabbage, cut in 6 wedges
1 bunch green onions, ends trimmed off, cut in 2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Place beef into pan, fat side down, and brown the first side. Turn over and brown the other side. Transfer beef to a non-corrosive bowl or baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ginger root, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, brown sugar, soy, vinegar, and chili flakes and pour over the meat, turning the meat to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Then next day, remove the meat from the dish and place in the bottom of the slow cooker (reserve marinade). Next, layer in the onion wedges, then the cabbage and green onions. You may need to push down the cabbage a bit to make it fit.

Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved marinade until blended, then pour over the top. Cover tightly with the lid and set to cook on high. Cook undisturbed for about 8 – 9 hours.

To serve, remove the cabbage and onions to a platter and the meat to a cutting board. Slice the meat against the grain and place on the platter. Spoon the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on January 25th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Crazy for Cauliflower

Have you ever heard the phrase, “my little chou-chou”? It’s a French term of endearment meaning “my little cauliflower” – how cute is that!

Cauliflower hasn’t always had a beloved reputation, but these past couple of years it’s become the IT veggie – and that’s just fine by me! Cauliflower is rich with anti-inflammatory nutrients and vitamin K. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin C and very low in calories. Gotta love that!

Traditionally white in color – you might be surprised to know that it can be found in brilliant lime green, orange, and purple too! And it’s so versatile – it can be boiled, steamed, roasted, pickled, or simply eaten raw.

And these days you can get it “riced” at the store – which is d’lish to turn into carb-free fried rice. There’s even cauliflower pizza crust variations too – yum!

Instead of mashed potatoes as a side dish – whip up some cauliflower instead! For an even more exciting twist, try my recipe for Cauliflower Cheddar Custards.

So grab some cauliflower and see for yourself – eating healthy really can be delicious!
-Kathy

Cauliflower Cheddar Custard
This makes an excellent light supper served with a salad, or an accompaniment to a big juicy grilled steak.
Makes 4 servings

1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp salt
tiny pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp. sherry wine
4 eggs
1 cup (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cauliflower, garlic, salt and cayenne. Heat over medium heat until simmering, then cook for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender. (Do not let it boil.)

In a small cup or bowl, mix the cornstarch and sherry until smooth. Whisk this slurry into the hot mixture and let cook for about 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until well combined, and then stir in 1/3 of the hot cauliflower mixture. Then add the remaining hot cauliflower mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the cheese.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide mixture between 4 well-buttered 6-ounce custard cups. (Use a ladle to do this and be sure to stir up mixture well when portioning.) Set custard cups on a rimmed baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out just barely clean. The centers should still be just slightly wiggly as the custards will continue cooking for a bit after they come out of the oven.

Serve in the baking cups, or let cool for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn out into plates to serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on January 18th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, vegetables

Zesty Grapefruit

Some people don’t realize that California citrus is in season during the winter – which means zesty grapefruit is at its peak right now!

The mighty grapefruit first came to us in the 18th century as a cross between a pomelo and an orange. They are rich in vitamin C and packed with fiber. Grapefruits can also be your best friend if you’re looking to shed a few pounds.

Switch up your salad routine by throwing in some grapefruit, avocado, and a little red onions with some arugula – then whip up a dressing with grapefruit juice, honey, ginger and olive oil…yum!

Or how about topping your favorite fish or grilled shrimp with grapefruit segments tossed in olive oil, seasoning and chopped fresh herbs. The citrusy punch is the perfect complement to any seafood.

Are you a chicken piccata fan? Replace the traditional lemon with grapefruits instead – my recipe for Chicken Piccata with Grapefruit, Pine Nuts, and Capers is so d’lish!

Grapefruits are amazing in drinks too! For a refreshing, anytime sipper try my Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz – packed with flavor and fizzy goodness.

So grab a zesty grapefruit and get creative in the kitchen!
-Kathy

Chicken Piccata with Grapefruit, Pine Nuts and Capers
Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp finely minced grapefruit zest
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
4 grapefruit wedges for garnish, and squeezing

In a small, flat bowl, mix together the milk and eggs. In another flat dish, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.

Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then into the flour mixture. Coat each piece well, then shake off the excess.

Meanwhile, in a large, shallow, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and all the olive oil. Add the coated chicken pieces to the hot skillet, and cook until the chicken is golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain chicken on paper towels. Keep warm. (Keep the pan to make the sauce—don’t wash it.)

In the chicken cooking pan, add the garlic and stir around for a few seconds, being careful not to burn. Add the grapefruit juice and white wine. Increase heat to high, bring sauce to a boil, and let reduce by half. Immediately remove pan from the heat and whisk in the grapefruit zest, remaining butter, capers and parsley.

Transfer chicken to a warm platter and spoon sauce over each breast, then sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve with grapefruit wedges for squeezing over chicken. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Pink Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz
For an added ginger kick, try substituting ginger beer for the soda water in this refreshing drink. To make it libatious, add a shot of your favorite spirit!
Makes 1 drink

3 oz fresh squeezed Pink Grapefruit juice
1 oz Honey Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)
1 oz soda water, chilled
Garnish: Grapefruit wedge

Fill a tall glass with ice. Measure in the Grapefruit juice, Honey Ginger Syrup and soda water. Stir to combine and garnish.

Honey Ginger Syrup
Makes 10 ounces

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while stirring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on January 11th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Slow Cooker Comfort

After a busy winter day there is nothing better than coming home to a delicious, ready-to-eat meal. Yes! It’s time to dust off the crock pot!

When gloomy weather has you feeling a little down, a warm and hearty meal can be so comforting. You can do all the prep in the morning, and dinner can be ready right when you walk in the door! Simply “Set It and Forget It”!

Slow Cookers are wonderful way to utilize tougher cuts of big-flavored meat. Think juicy brisket, flavorful chili, spicy pork, or a delicious lamb curry. My recipe for Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt is a household favorite – it’s bursting with flavor!

And crock pots aren’t just for entrees either – I also love to slow cook up a batch of overnight oats with brown sugar, orange zest and dried fruits. Top it with some Greek yogurt, or coconut milk – it’s the perfect way to start off a lazy Sunday morning!

And the best part about these cozy meals? They make incredible leftovers! So turn on your crock pot and let d’liciousness simmer away!
-Kathy

Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup dried black currants or raisins
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut in 6 wedges each
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch dice
Fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint, very coarsely chopped or torn
Steamed rice or potatoes as an accompaniment

1. In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, cornstarch and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the curry powder, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, sugar and yogurt.
2. Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the slow cooker and add in the following order: onion, celery, currants or raisins, apples and bell pepper. Cover, set cooker to high and cook for about 7 to 8 hours.
3. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey Food Studios

Holiday Hangovers

For some, New Year’s weekend may involve a cocktail or two. (or three or four!) While there’s no harm in ringing in the New Year with a d’lish sipper, remember to always have one glass of water for every drink! But for those that have indulged a bit too much, I have some good ideas to help ease the day.

My go-to cure is what I call the Hangover Helper. Just empty a packet of Emergen-C into a juice glass and add a little vodka – or gin if you’re so inclined, a dash of bitters and soda water. Top with a few drops of olive oil — that’s right! Drink up! But if that sounds too intense, a glass of bubbly soda water with 4-5 shakes of Angostura bitters can help ease the tummy.

New Year’s Day entertaining? A Bloody Mary Bar for brunch will definitely help with that headache. A little hair of the dog! Set up a DIY station with lots of fun garnishes and let your guests mix up their own concoctions.

And don’t forget to eat! Boosting your metabolism will make you feel better faster than anything. For me…bacon is always the magic cure.

Wishing a happy start to your New Years! And remember to always have a designated driver. Cheers!
-Kathy

Hangover Helper
Over the course of testing recipes for my cookbook, Sips and Apps, I of course tried this one, too. I am pleased to say that it works.
Makes 1 drink

1 packet raspberry- or orange-flavored Emergen-C
1 ounce vodka
2 dashes Angostura bitters
4 ounces chilled soda water
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Empty the packet of Emergen-C into an old-fashioned or juice glass. Measure in the vodka. Add the bitters and soda water and stir. Top with olive oil if desired. Drink and feel better!

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps

Posted by Kathy on December 28th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey
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