Breakfast Bakes

Starting the morning off with a d’lish breakfast can set the tone for the rest of the day, but sleeping in can be an important weekend must – so quick and easy breakfast bakes to the rescue!

Stratas are a great make-ahead dish! Torn pieces of bread are tossed with a savory egg mixture then mixed with cheese, herbs and other goodies. Just soak overnight in the refrigerator and pop it in the oven when you wake up — poof! A flavorful and hearty breakfast in no-time.

Now we all know oatmeal is a breakfast staple – but how about
baked oatmeal! Think of it like a bread pudding… but with oats instead. You can mix in your favorite dried or fresh fruits and some nuts for an added crunch.

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth in the morning? Then how about an indulgent Cherry-Cinnamon-Roll Bake, finished with a drizzle of zesty lemon glaze. Oh yea…. It’s speed scratch fast…. And d’lish!
-Kathy

Sweet Pepper & Sausage Breakfast Strata
Strata makes for a lovely mid-day dinner, brunch or breakfast dish for a crowd. You can prep it the day or evening before your party and then just pop the strata in the oven 45 minutes before your guests arrive.

Makes about 6 – 8 servings

3 Red, Yellow or Orange Sweet Bell Peppers, or a combination
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
8 eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups 1-inch-diced French or Italian rustic bread, such as a baguette
2 cups (8 oz) grated Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Seed the peppers, dice them into 1/2″ pieces and set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add sausage and cook until half done, about 3 minutes. Add onion and reserved peppers, and sauté for about 8 –10 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp. Stir in garlic. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper until well combined. Add bread, Italian cheese blend, half the Parmesan cheese and the cooked sausage-pepper mixture.

Transfer mixture to an 11×13″ baking pan and lightly press into pan to fill evenly. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and let sit, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight, so that bread soaks up egg mixture.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F and bake strata for about 45 – 50 minutes or until puffy and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chef’s Notes: 1 baguette averages about 8 cups diced bread. Be sure to use a somewhat hearty bread for making this dish. Strata is also excellent as a simple supper dish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 24th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Breakfast Bakes |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Zesty Citrus

Ahhh…the smell of citrus. Is there anything better? Oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruits – all prized for their juice – but don’t forget about that zesty exterior!

The colorful peel of citrus is jam packed with flavor, nutrients, and can be used for so many things.

Why not make candied zest as a garnish in your next dessert or cocktail! Before squeezing – use a vegetable peeler to remove the colored zest then cut into thin strips (watch out for the white pith which can be bitter).

Bring 2 parts sugar and 1 part water to a boil in a shallow pan – add the citrus strips and simmer until it starts to resemble candy but is still pliable. Remove with tongs and set on a plate to cool – yum!

Or how about zesting some orange and lemon into a d’lish compound butter whipped up with some Thai sweet chili sauce and fresh ginger – perfect to top on chicken or grilled veggies when you’re looking for some extra flavor.

So go on, get zesty with it!
-Kathy

Triple Citrus Pepper Jelly Butter

This recipe makes a generous amount of butter, so try rolling it into a log, wrapping in plastic wrap and freezing. Then it’s ready to slice a piece off at a moment’s notice to top grilled chicken or fish or toss into sautéed veggies.

Makes: 2 cups, about 16 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 Meyer Lemon, zested and juiced
1 Blood Orange, zested and juiced
1 Lime, zested and juiced
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer or food processor and process until well mixed, about 10-15 minutes. If not completely combined, just keep mixing/processing; it will come together with time.
2. Store, tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 3 months.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®

Posted by Kathy on May 17th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Zesty Citrus |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Honey Desserts

Oh honey!  I’ve got some honey buzz for you….

The United States alone has more than 300 varieties of honey. The variety depends on the type of blossom the bees are collecting nectar from. From clover, to orange blossom – to the intense flavored buckwheat – there are a lot of sweet honey profiles to try.

In the northwest, we have one of my all-time favs: blackberry honey! So tasty whipped in some cream and dolloped on a bowl of fresh NW berries.

You can also infuse honey with bold spices like chili – or herbs like rosemary and thyme. Looking for ways to use up that lavender in your garden? Honey to the rescue! Simply grab a few sprigs of the aromatic herb and place into your honey jar. The floral flavor will soon marry with the honey to create the ultimate WOW to drizzle on your next dish – like my Honey Lavender Strawberry Shortcakes.

So next time you see a happy buzzing bee around, thank them for that sweet honey you get to enjoy!
-Kathy

Honey Lavender Strawberry Shortcake
Mix the honey and lavender together a few days ahead if time – the longer it infuses, the more delicious the flavor.
Makes 6 servings

Honey Lemon Buttermilk Scones
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely minced lemon zest
1/2 cup (4 oz wt.) butter, cut in small pieces, cold
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
———————————————————
Honey for brushing

Honey Lavender Strawberries
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender, crushed
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
———————————————————
Whipped Cream
To make the scones: Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or rub together with your hands until the texture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, mix together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into it. Combine with a few swift strokes. Dough should form a ball and all flour should be incorporated. Do not overmix.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick round (about 7-inches across). Carefully place on an ungreased baking sheet and cut into 6 wedges, leaving the sides still touching.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until cooked through and scones are golden. Brush with honey after removing from oven. Cool before serving.

To serve shortcake: mix the honey with the lavender and then gently toss with the strawberries. Allow the berries to macerate for 10–30 minutes to become more juicy.
Split scones, top with berries, and finish with whipped cream.

Sweet Tip: This is a great basic scone recipe that is also excellent served as a breakfast item. Switch it up by using orange zest and adding dried currants, cherries, cranberries, or blueberries.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on May 10th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Honey Desserts |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Margaritas

Everyone loves a great margarita! It’s been popular in the U.S. since the early 50’s, and there are a lot of opinions on what makes a great margarita.

A classic ‘rita is typically made with tequila, fresh lime, a touch of simple syrup or agave nectar, and triple sec or orange liqueur. Let’s review our options.

The Tequila choices are vast:
• Silver is ideal for a fresh, bright margarita or made with fresh fruits.
• Reposado is aged a minimum of 2 months – 12 months in wooden casks. This light aging process rounds out a few of the rough edges found in many unaged tequilas.
• Añejo is aged more than 1 year and wonderfully smooth. It’s best for sipping on their own, but use it in a margarita if you like or add it as a float for depth of flavor.

Margarita MUSTS include starting with a good tequila, using FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice, orange liqueur (triple sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau) or a squeeze of orange works great too. Now sweeten to taste with a touch simple syrup or agave nectar.

Some like salt rims; some do not. I’m 50/50 and like a half rim of salt (my preference being kosher). And of course, there are the “add-ins,” a splash of cranberry juice, pomegranate, fresh berries … the possibilities are endless!

Here is a basic margarita recipe you can get creative with:

Basic Margarita Recipe
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 – 2 oz tequila of your choice
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 oz simple syrup or agave nectar (thinned out a bit)
1/4 oz orange liqueur (triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier)

Build drink in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cap and shake.
Pour into a glass, garnish with a lime wheel, and enjoy!

Looking to try something new? Shake up my recipe for Poppy’s Margarita – found in my Sips & Apps cookbook. Spicy cocktails are hot! The counterbalance of sweet, sour, spice, and salt achieves a mouthwatering result.

Cheers to a great margarita!
–Kathy

Poppy’s Margarita
Makes 1 drink

Kosher salt for rimming glass (optional)
Lime wedge
1 1/2 ounces Sauza gold tequila
1 1/2 ounces Spicy Chipotle-Lime Sour
1/4 ounce triple sec or other orange-flavored liqueur (optional)

For garnishing
Lime wheel with a straw inserted through the middle

If desired, rim an old-fashioned glass with kosher salt, and set aside.

Squeeze the lime wedge into a cocktail shaker and drop in. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the tequila, sour, and triple sec, if using. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into an old-fashioned or tall glass. Garnish as desired.

Spicy Chipotle-Lime Sour

Makes 3 cups, enough for about 16 drinks

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice

In a small saucepan, combine the chile powder, sugar, and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Mix in the lime juice.

Transfer to a pretty bottle. Chill before using. The sour will keep for up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps

Posted by Kathy on May 3rd, 2018  |  Comments Off on Margaritas |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Jars

When you first think of jars – the kitchen might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But think again!

We all know good old fashion mason jars are ideal for canning jam or pickling vegetables – but did you know they can be used for so much more? Next time you whip up a big batch of your favorite morning smoothie, portion it into a few mason jars and keep in the fridge. My Jump Start Smoothie is so simple to make! You can also layer in yogurt, granola, and fruit for an easy parfait.

Or how about some d’lish overnight oats – portioned into jars and easy to grab when you’re on the go. Now that’s a weekday breakfast – done simple!

Next time you want to make a salad dressing – forget the whisk and let the jar do all the work for you! You’ll get quite the arm workout shakin’ it up.

You can even bake directly inside jars – that’s right! Banana bread, custards, cakes – these days there are tons of recipes perfectly portioned for the mighty mason jar.

So think outside of the box and put those trusty jars to good use!
-Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits or fresh fruits
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey for another all natural sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 tsp flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 fresh kale leaf (optional)

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on April 26th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Jars |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Marinades

The sun is finally making more than a cameo appearance and for those living in the Pacific Northwest – that means it’s time to start grilling! Nothing kicks up the flavor on grilled meat, seafood and veggies like a fantastic marinade.

Marinades are super-simple to make and give an easy flavor boost to your dinner dishes with just a few ingredients.

Take inspiration for your marinade from different cultures. Chipotle, lime, and agave add instant cha-cha-cha to your chicken. Or try ginger, thai basil, sesame oil, and hot chili paste for a bit of zen for your dish.

My biggest marinade tip is: make it strong! The bolder the flavor; the bigger the taste. If you make your marinade and it tastes good – then it’s not bold enough. Pump up the flavor even more with spices, garlic, herbs, etc. Get creative!

Citrus juices are common in marinades and add a big hit of brightness to smoky grilled flavors. Keep in mind that marinating with citrus juices for too long can begin to “cook” your protein, particularly fish, before it even hits the heat. I like to use orange juice concentrate to really get a citrus punch in my marinade.

Another quick tip: If your marinade contains sugar or honey, be sure to grill on medium-low heat to prevent burning. Honey or sugar can scorch on high heat.

So this spring and summer, jazz up your cooking with some mouth-watering marinades. –Kathy

Basic Marinade for Grilling

Marinates 4 to 6 portions of protein

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or other fresh herb

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil, depending upon which herbs you are using

1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

4 to 6 portions of protein, such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork loin chops, salmon, or large shrimp, or large portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian option

In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Lay out protein in a shallow, non-aluminum baking pan. Spoon half the marinade on the top side of each portion and rub it around, then flip the protein and spoon on the remaining marinade, being sure that all surfaces are covered.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high heat, then brush grill lightly with oil. Be sure grill is hot before placing protein on it. Sprinkle both sides of protein with kosher salt, and grill on the first side, being sure not to move it until there is a good charred grill mark. (The biggest mistake that home cooks make is to “touch” what they are grilling too much and move it around before it is ready; this causes sticking.)

Grill to desired doneness. No specific time can be given as it will depend upon your heat and what you are grilling. Typically, if there are nice grill marks on each side, the food is probably close to done. You can refer to internal cooking temperatures on the Internet, but I think that most government-determined temperatures are too high. So, until you are a seasoned griller, get a small paring knife and cut a tiny “peek “into the center of what you are cooking. For poultry you will want to see no pink; fish should be just cooked and not dry; shrimp should be just pink on the outside and barely opaque inside; and steaks should be the way you like them!

This marinade is a basic one, so get creative here, too, when you feel ready. Practice makes perfect. And grilling is “rustic,” so if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world—just jump back in and try it again soon.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Lemon and Caper Marinade for Seafood or Chicken

Makes about 1/3 cup

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh lemon zest

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives

2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together well.

Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Marinate fish, shrimp, scallops or chicken breasts for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 19th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Marinades |  Posted in chicken, chipotle, citrus, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey

Easy Protein Snacks

These days, healthy eating has become a top trend across the country – and it’s no surprise why. Incorporating high-protein foods into your diet has so many health benefits.

It can help you maintain weight loss, boost your energy levels, and support strong muscles and bones.

And lucky for us – there are tons of protein packed, d’lish options that not only taste great, but are easy to make and totally portable.

My go-to snack are Energy Nut Balls – chock full of dates, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, and nuts. No baking required! It’s the perfect grab-and-go bite that keeps you feeling full and energized. You can even customize it with your favorite ingredients – nut butter, a drizzle of honey, goji berries or oats. Get creative with it! I love to roll mine in coconut flakes for an added crunch.

Or how about roasted chickpeas – tossed in olive oil, seasonings, and baked until crunchy perfection. These healthy legumes are packed with fiber.

So get snacking! Happy cooking everyone.
-Kathy

Coconut Lime Cashew Energy Balls
These are also delicious when made with lemon – or try a combo of both lemon and lime!

Makes: 24 balls
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
3/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Sunkist® Lime juice
2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon Sunkist® Lime zest
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
———————————————
1/4 cup desiccated coconut, for rolling

Directions:
Tear the apricots and put in a small bowl and toss with the lime juice and hot water, press the apricots into the liquid with a fork. Let soak for 10 minutes.

Place the apricot mixture and liquid, zest, turmeric, ginger, oats, flax seed, and coconut oil in a food processor and process until mixture just comes together.
Add the flake coconut, cashews and pumpkin seeds and pulse until seeds are broken down and chopped into the mixture.

Portion the mixture into heaping tablespoons and roll into balls, then roll in desiccated coconut to coat.
Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®

Posted by Kathy on April 12th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Easy Protein Snacks |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog

Maple Syrup

When I think of Maple Syrup, I can’t help but think of warm and fuzzy memories – especially about breakfast.

So where does this d’lish treat come from? The mighty sugar maple tree! Quebec is by far the largest producer of this sticky syrup – producing 70 percent of the world’s supply. Thanks Canada!

There are several grades of syrup – ranging from extra light to extra dark – each with their own flavor profile and characteristics.

But this sugary delight isn’t just for sweet breakfasts or desserts. That’s right – maple syrup is delicious in savory dishes too! Added to a pot of slow-roasting baked beans; in a salad vinaigrette; or even a pork marinade.

Or how about some maple roasted veggies, finished with sea salt and topped over a piping hot bowl of creamy polenta – yum!

So branch out – and discover all that maple syrup has to offer.
-Kathy

Maple Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

6 tablespoons real maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and shallots. Combine the two oils and then, while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil into the syrup mixture. The dressing should be well mixed and emulsified. Whisk in the seasonings.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Rewhisk before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 5th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Maple Syrup |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, sides
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