Posts from September, 2009

Back To School (and Work) Quick-Start Breakfasts

Fall is here and that means back to school and work. For adults and kids alike, fall also usually means on-the-go breakfasts.

Of course many will acknowledge that a little something in the morning will get you going and help jump-start your metabolism, too. And some of those old-time breakfast favorites can be sooooo good. But, admit it, most of us really don’t make the time to cook up breakfast — other than perhaps a quickie bowl of cereal — very often.

These breakfast ideas may be a bit more prep-intensive than shaking out some cereal into a bowl, but you’ll soon see they don’t take much time at all in the morning if you do most of the preparation the night before.

I’ll bet that a lot of you stop for some version of a “McBreakfast” sandwich. But did you know purchased uncooked biscuit dough makes a base for some delish homemade breakfast sandwiches? And, really, who doesn’t love to whack that roll on the counter and see it puff up! The dough is filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and other goodies such as pesto, shrimp, pre-cooked bacon or sausage if you like, then sealed all around the edges and baked. Yum! Savory, hot breakfast to go. These also hold up to filling the night before or even baking ahead of time and reheating in the microwave — but cooked hot and fresh is definitely best!

Pair any breakfast with a nice, fresh fruit skewer with Sunny Orange Dip. You have a fun-to-eat and nutritious fruit to munch on the run.

And I’m sure many of you are eating those energy breakfast bars, so why not try making your own? It’s not much harder than whipping up a batch of Rice Krispie Treats. But mine are loaded with just a ton more good-for-you goodies – fruits, nuts… the list goes on. If you like the idea of adding some mini chocolate chips, go ahead! Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter…okay! Make a big batch on Sunday night and then keep them in an airtight container. Voila! Grab-and-go breakfast or snack for you and the kids.

Smoothies are also a great and easy meal-on-the-run too! No muss, no fuss and deliciously  healthy too! Try my recipe below or get creative and start tossing stuff in the blender!

So don’t limit yourself to just cold cereal for breakfast — give yourself and your family something new to get your days going this fall. Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Fluffy Stuffed Biscuits
Make 4 servings

1 tube of 8 large, uncooked, refigerate buttermilk biscuits, such as Pillsbury Grands
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and then coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raw, bulk breakfast sausage, cooked, and then crumbled
1/3 cup bay shrimp, drained well
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers or sautéed mushrooms
your favorite  pesto, such as Cibo

sesame seeds, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat eggs with salt and pepper. Lightly coat a small non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat; add eggs to the pan and stir gently to scramble until soft and just set. Do not chop up the eggs. Cool and reserve. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and grated cheddar until evenly combined. Lay out biscuits on a cutting board or clean work counter, and press each one out to 4-inch diameter. On each of 4 biscuits, place 1/4 of the scrambled eggs, leaving a clean 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch margin all around. Top each egg portion with 1/4 of the cheese mixture, then with your choice of either 1/4 of the bacon, sausage or shrimp or 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper pesto, being sure to keep the dough margins clean. With fingertips lightly moisten the margins with water, then place another biscuit over each mound of filling, lining up the edges and shaping to cover filling evenly. Pinch or crimp the edges together all the way around to seal thoroughly. Place biscuits 1 to 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. If adding sesame seeds, brush biscuit tops very lightly with water, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and press seeds lightly into the dough. Bake biscuits in preheated oven for about 14 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Chef’s notes:
Biscuits may be baked the night before, cooled and refrigerated, then reheated next morning in the microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until heated through.
Or the biscuits may be assembled on the cookie sheet, then refrigerated, tightly covered with plastic wrap, overnight. Let biscuits come to room temperature while oven is preheating, and bake next morning.
This is a good recipe to use up leftover cooked breakfast meat, such as sliced link sausage, ham or bacon. Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

On-the-Go Energy Bars
Try adding in 1 tablespoon of flax seed or peanut butter.
Makes 6 bars

Dry Ingredients

1 cup  multi-vitamin flake-type dry cereal, such as Kellogg’s Special  K
2 cups crispy rice dry cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1/2 cup salted roasted mixed nuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins, coarsely chopped  (or dates)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried non-fat milk powder

Wet Ingredients

3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, undiluted
1 packet tangerine Emer’gen-C™ *
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
1 1/3 cups mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl and mix evenly. Stir together the orange juice concentrate, tangerine Emer’gen-C packet, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest in a small microwavable bowl. Then stir in marshmallows. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending upon your microwave. Stir. Marshmallows should be super puffed and melt when stirred. If not, microwave for 10 – 30 seconds more or as needed. Immediately add to dry ingredients and QUICKLY blend until mix begins to stick into a ball. Quickly dampen your hands in cold water and divide mixture into six heaping 1/2-cup size balls. Then flatten and form into hockey puck-shaped rounds, about 3/4 – 1 inch thick by 2 1/2 – 3 inches in diameter, dampening your hands as necessary to prevent mixture sticking to them. Place bars on ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes, turn bars and bake about 8 minutes more, until crisp on the outside. When thoroughly cooled, remove from pan with metal spatula. May be stored airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week. Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios® 
* Emer’gen-C™ is a vitamin powder supplement; it is available in small packages at most health departments & food stores or Fred Myers.

Fresh Fruits Skewers with Sunny Orange Dip
Makes 8 skewers and 1 1/3 cups of dip

8 10-inch wooden skewers or straws
16 large strawberries
16 large chunks fresh pineapple
16 large chunks apple or melon
16 fresh mint leaves (optional)

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, undiluted
1 cup sour cream (regular, lite or non-fat)
2 tablespoons honey

Mix dip ingredients together well. Reserve. Thread skewers with 2 pieces of each kind of fruit, alternating berries, pineapple and apple/melon chunks, and mint leaves if using. Serve with dip. Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Super Antioxidant Blueberry Smoothie

Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately. Copyright © 2009 Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on September 24th, 2009  |  Comments Off on Back To School (and Work) Quick-Start Breakfasts |  Posted in breakfast, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Your Next Food Network Star!


Melissa d’Arabian, who lives in Kirkland (,WA) with her family, is our Next Food Network Star!  This hometown hero cooked and battled her way through thousands of hopefuls ‘til the season finale.  Facing off against Los Angeles’ Jeffrey Saad, she came out on top and now has her own show. 

Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian started its first season with six episodes and premiered on Sunday, August 9th at 12:30 pm.  Blending culinary sophistication with her own home-style technique, Melissa promises gourmet meals at a fraction of the cost.  She covers a lot of ground with her tried-and-true recipes from Moroccan and Parisian fare to revamping Pork & Beans.  With the mantra of “four people, ten bucks, infinite possibilities,” how can you go wrong that! Click here for some of Melissa’s great recipes and clips from the show and be sure to tune in… The show will continue in January for the next season.

Growing up, she lived with her mother and sister in Tuscon, Arizona where she learned about budget-conscious cooking – life lessons that stuck with her.  While earning her MBA from Georgetown University in 1993 (I’m still saying WOW!!!!), she even worked several jobs to pay herself through business school, including working as a live-in cook for a family of seven.

This stay-at-home wife and mother of four continues to be passionate about food and all of her life’s experiences.  She blends her varied culinary adventures, business background, and life’s experiences to provide food lifestyle solutions and simple recipes for all walks of life.  To her, it’s not about what goes on the plate, but who the plate goes to. 

Congratulations Melissa!

Posted by Kathy on September 21st, 2009  |  Comments Off on Your Next Food Network Star! |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Recent Posts

Cupcakes – Everybody Loves ’em!


Who doesn’t love cupcakes?! They’re portable, versatile, celebratory, easy to make and even easier to eat! Cupcakes are pretty much the cat’s meow in the world of sweets these days.

If you want to make ’em yourself, Chronicle Books has put out a Cupcake Kit with everything you need to get started—the kit includes super-cute baking liners, a pastry bag with piping tips, and a 64-page booklet chock-full of tips, tricks and 14 mouth-watering recipes by noted cookbook author Elinor Klivans.


And if there’s an aspiring “really young” baker in your life, check out the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker that makes cupcakes in 30 seconds! There’s even a fun little “old-school style” commercial to watch on them. The Cupcake Maker’s kind of like the Easy Bake Oven, but quicker. You can nuke your cupcakes for 30 seconds then whip up the frosting and put it in the frosting spinner. Voila! Offered in 4 different flavors, each Cupcake Maker comes with mixes, frostings, cupcake cups and sprinkles. We “whipped up a batch” and—though kinda fun—they do taste like they took 30 seconds to make. There’s no substitute for the real thing … but this can be a great start to getting the little ones curious about making things themselves.

Ready to Microwave 

Pump on the Frosting

Sprinkle with Fun

Now speaking of kids—and things kids love—my gal pal Cheryl Kroupa at the Cherry Foundation asked me to come up with some fun maraschino cherry recipes. I know you all have a jar of these cherries somewhere in your pantry or fridge and might not know what to do with them other than plop onto a sundae, toss into a Manhattan or garnish a Shirley Temple … well that’s an inspiration! Shirley Temple Cupcakes! Quick, easy and fun to make with the kids. Chef Cameo and I whipped some up—we loved them and sampled a few … okay, maybe more than a few. Just looking at them will make you smile! (Recipe follows.)

Kathy & Cameo whipping up some Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Now, if you just want to go buy some super-tasty cupcakes, there certainly are a lot of delicious choices out there—from Trophy Cupcakes to Jody Hall’s Cupcake Royale! And Jody’s just opened her 4th location—this one on Capitol Hill (1111 E. Pike Street)—which, like its sister shops in Madrona, Ballard and West Seattle, is open daily. Most recently I enjoyed a pink frosted cupcake and a few fresh raspberries from my garden for breakfast. So nice … but naughty 😉 Happy cupcakes for all! 

Cupcake Royale Assortment O’ Cakes

Shirley Temple Cupcakes
This recipe uses about two 10-oz jars of maraschino cherries. Every kid—young and old—will enjoy these easy cupcakes!

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box (18.25 oz) super-moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (about 12 cherries)
1 container (12 oz) white frosting
Garnish: 36 maraschino cherries, halved

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set aside. Combine the cake mix, soda, oil and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in the chopped cherries. Fill each lined cupcake cup 3/4 full with batter. Place pans in oven on a lower rack. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes and decorate each with 3 cherry halves. Created by Kathy Casey Food Studios for the National Cherry Foundation.

Posted by Kathy on September 17th, 2009  |  Comments Off on Cupcakes – Everybody Loves ’em! |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Battle In Seattle Clips

Take a peek at these fun clips by Croquet Creative of the Battle in Seattle: Crudo vs. Sashimi! I was one of the judges for this super fun event, and the video clips are fabulous!

Posted by Kathy on September 15th, 2009  |  Comments Off on Battle In Seattle Clips |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Recent Posts

Jammin’ with Kathy Casey

Please check out this fun blog I wrote for the Canning Across America website! I hope all of you will join us in the “Canvolution!!”

Posted by Kathy on September 14th, 2009  |  Comments Off on Jammin’ with Kathy Casey |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Recent Posts

The New Guard – Seattle

One cook, one musician, one artist. One dinner.

The new guard is a series to fête the up-and-coming, the rising—not the fleeting, but the arrival—of a new legion of creators. These nights will happen monthly in backyards, warehouses, airplane hangars, vacant lots.

Cooks culled by whitney ricketts.
Musicians selected by damien jurado and sarah jurado.
Artists curated by joey veltkamp.

Check it out at

Posted by Kathy on September 14th, 2009  |  Comments Off on The New Guard – Seattle |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Recent Posts

My Favorite Seattle New Hot Spots and Delicious Old Favorites

Seattle is a great place to be for us foodies and cocktailians, now more than ever! I would like to share with you some of my very favorite places to dine and drink around Seattle, the hip and new kids – the classic tasty favorites. I have included a variety of fun places, so try some new ones, and revisit the old favorites. Treat your self to some fun nights this fall — be it for a quick happy hour after work with friends or a snazzy dinner with that special someone! 

Tavern Law – the newest hip kid on the block
Seattle’s most recent addition to the cocktail community, (with fantastic tasty bites too… of course!) is Tavern Law –  a modern day speakeasy with classic cocktails and an old-time ambiance. A multi page cocktail menu with loads of golden era libations makes it hard to choose a fav. There is even a retro fun phone you pick up to call up stairs to join the speakeasy upstairs where Mixologist David Nelson will hand craft you a classic cocktail using freshly squeezed juices and housemade syrups and tinctures.

Brian McCracken and Dana Tough are the chefs of Tavern Law and Spur Gastropub. The friends’ collaboration dates back to their time in the kitchen at Maria Hines’ Earth and Ocean restaurant, together on Hines’ traveling team at the 2005 James Beard Dinner in New York, and today creating their menus at Tavern Law and Spur. Delicious nibbles you won’t want to miss are the Padron Peppers and the Pork Belly with Saurkraut – so very Fall’ish!

See you upstairs … I’ll be the blond drinking a Gun Club.

Tavern Law
1406 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122-3906
(206) 322-9734

Bastille Café & Bar – Ballard’s seen-and-be-seen place to be
Owners James Weimann and Deming Maclise – have loads of seattle restaurant, bar and coffee business ownership experience. And Bastille is their new Ballard baby. Built in a totally refurbished historical building the restaurant is decorated with a collection of found objects from Paris, Chicago and the Pacific Northwest – the interior is casual, hip, glitzy, cool… and is “the place to be seen in Seattle” right now.

This new and trendy French brasserie’s menu is created by Chef Shannon Galusha. Starters range from $4 to $14, salads and sandwiches from $7 to $12 and entrees from $14 to $22. Herbs, greens and other veggies are grown in the rooftop garden and grace many of the menus dishes. Some of my crew’s favorite’s were Grilled Octopus with Chick Peas, Preserved Lemon and Harissa and the Rooftop Garden Greens with Hazelnut Vinaigrette.

Be sure to have a drink or peek in the back bar – it’s rich chocolate walls and giant crystal chandelier evokes a feeling of being in a lovely French jewel box… that you just must hang out here, sip on a cocktail and be seen.

Bastille Café & Bar
5307 Ballard Ave
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 453 – 5014 

Plaka Estiatorio – A family affair comes to Downtown Ballard
Owners Ourania  and Anthony Mandapat- have their whole family running this cute new Greek Restaurant. Most often, Mom is cooking and Dad and the brother are on the floor. You can see all their fun family photos on the walls… It looks like they have been cooking and eating and having fun together over the years… and it shows.

Dad usually at the door and is quick to get you a beverage – Very friendly proud servers announce the specials and tell of their child hood favorites. My husband John and my favorites are the pita breads with an array of dips, fennel pickled beets and octopus. We like to order an inexpensive bottle of wine and get an array of small plates – making for a great weekday meal…. they’ll make you feel right at home!

*Plaka Estiatorio is a proud participant in The Tuesdays in Ballard promotion, so stop by on a Tuesday for some fun specials!

Plaka Estiatorio
5407 20th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 829-8934 

Canlis Restaurant – an Old Seattle Favorite with a New Vibe
Known for its breathtaking view, matched by the impeccable service, this restaurant continues to dazzle and preserve the family tradition while adding new creativity and energy to the fine dining world.

Mark and Brian Canlis are the Managing Owners – still keeping it in the family. While Mark is the leader of staff, guest and community relations, Brian focuses more on business development, product reinvention, and future opportunities. Together, they make a dynamic team who are just as great at being business partners as they are at being brothers. The charming David Kim is the Service Director and Maitre D. He runs a smooth and tight service team – and will make you feel special!

The kitchen is headed up now by the talented Executive Chef Jason Franey, Canlis Restaurant’s fifth ever executive chef in 58 years. His new menu will impress! Every course we had I was wowed by. New menu items like Fois Gras with Peaches, Honey and Fromage Blanc and Kona Kampachi with Avocado, Soy and Hot Mustard will tantalize your taste buds. And for you die hard old-school Canlis fans – YES the old favorites like the Canlis Table-Side Salad are still on the menu.

And if a big fancy dinner is not in the budget right now – just know that in the Canlis Bar you can have that special Canlis experience too – there are sexy little lamb sliders with Moroccan spices and truffle fries for just $14 – pair that with a martini or a glass of wine and Canlis can be an any day treat.

Canlis Restaurant
2576 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 283 – 3313 

Crush – Still a Delicious Favorite!
We most recently visited Crush for an impromptu dinner (Yes you need reservations!) …. but there was room at the counter bar that looks into the kitchen – and I’m glad there was! 

Upon entering this remodeled Tudor style house – you will be greeted by restaurant co-owner Nicole who will start your fabulicious dining experience off right with her charming, welcoming style.

It was a fun night watching the kitchen– searing, saucing, and plating with precision and grace. And it’s no wonder – Co-owner/Chef Jason Wilson was declared one of the Top Ten New Chefs in North America by the prestigious Food and Wine Magazine in 2006.

The night we were dining Chef de Cuisine Andrew Lanier was running the line – as well as shaking cocktails – the man was everywhere and was a whirlwind of hospitality. We had one of the best dinners I’ve had all year…Here’s a little sample:  Fresh Local Geoduck “Ceviche” & Citrus Essence with Cucumber‐Fennel Salad, Mint, & Lime Crème Fraîche   –   Handcut Tagliatelle Pasta & Caviar Sauce with Sea Urchin Roe & Quail Egg   –    Seared Sea Scallops & Caramelized Onion Risotto with Oxtails, Miner’s Lettuce & Watercress   –   there is just one “word” OMG!

The trio of Nicole, Jason and Andrew keep impressing – The menu changes often and is seasonally and creatively inspired – make your reservations now – or maybe if you call you’ll get lucky and have to sit at the kitchen bar!

2319 E Madison St
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 302 – 7874

Posted by Kathy on September 10th, 2009  |  Comments Off on My Favorite Seattle New Hot Spots and Delicious Old Favorites |  Posted in Restaurants, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio

Kathy Casey’s Tropical Summer Patio Party


 The Menu:
Passion Fruit Rum Punch
Avacado & Pineapple Salsa with Taro Root Chips or White Corn Tortilla Chips
Bib Lettuce Salad with Toasted Macadamia Nuts, Papaya, and Lychee Vinaigrette
Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Mango Ginger Glaze
Coconut Scallion Rice
Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae

“Tropical” is such a fun theme for a summertime deck or patio party. Bright colors, flowers, tikis, lanterns, tall iced drinks are festive all on their own, but add a delicious warm-weather menu and you’ll be hula-ing on the terrace in no time.

Those that read me often know, my whole entertaining philosophy is, “do as much as you can in advance,” and this is a perfect example of a menu that lets you do just that. (Be sure to read through the recipes to see what you can do a few days in advance)

The nice thing about this menu is that everything can be prepped ahead of time and then just assembled. The cocktail premixed; salsa ingredients chopped and then mixed right before serving. Salad dressing and greens prepared ahead and then just tossed to combine. Rice can be made the day before and reheated; ribs just heated and glazed on the q. And dessert couldn’t be easier – or more delicious.

For libations, we started with a delightful drink, Lilikoi Rum Punch—a blend of passion fruit nectar, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice and spiced rum served over ice. You can stir up a tasty non-alcoholic version as well, omitting the rum and mixing in a splash of soda water. To accompany the punch whip up a quick and easy a pineapple avocado fruit salsa served with Taro Root Chips or with white corn tortilla chip for scooping.

While your guests are nibbling head for the grill to start finishing off the Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Mango Ginger Glaze which are pre-prepped by marinating for a day, slow-roasting till tender, and then chilled. A glaze is made by reducing the flavorful mango marinade; the precooked ribs are reheated on the grill while being basted with the glaze till golden and sticky! Serve the ribs up with Coconut Scallion Rice and a tender lettuce salad dressed with toasted macadamia nuts, fresh papaya, and lychee vinaigrette. Yum!

And for dessert – pick up a couple of pints of tropical-flavor ice cream such as Häagen- Dazs pineapple coconut and mango ice creams, some good caramel and chocolate sauces as well as Trader Joe’s Dark Roasted Pistachio Toffee, some candied ginger and a few edible flowers to let guests create their own ice cream sundae with toppings.

A phrase I learned on a tour bus in Hawaii when I was eight years old has stuck in my head for ever!: wiki wiki. It means quick quick. With all this meal readied in advance, that’s what it will be when you serve your guests. So put on your tackiest and brightest alohawear, grab some friends and neighbors, put on some Don Ho and have a tropical party of your own this summer! ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Passion Fruit Rum Punch
Makes 10 – 12 servings

3 cups Looza passion fruit nectar
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups pineapple juice
1 bottle spiced rum
soda water as needed
Garnish: lime wedges, edible flowers, or drink parasols

In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve: Fill rocks or tall glasses with ice and pour in rum punch. I like to add a little splash of soda water to lighten the drink a bit. Garnish and serve. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 Avocado & Pineapple Salsa
Note: you can mix in tiny bay shrimp or chopped cooked large prawns to make a shrimp salsa variation- just up the amount of lime juice and sweet thai chili sauce.
Makes about 8 servings

3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 -4 Tbsp. thai sweet chili sauce*
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup minced red onion
3 cups finely chopped, ripe fresh pineapple
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 large ripe but firm avocados
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
For dipping: crostini, corn tortilla chips, taro root chips or other fun dipables

* Available from well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocers. Have all ingredients except avocados cut up and measured before assembling. In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, thai sweet chili sauce and salt till well mixed. Add the onion, pineapple and bell pepper.

Quarter and peel avocados, then cut into small dice and add to the salsa along with the cilantro. Lightly and gently fold all ingredients together till well combined. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes before serving or serve immediately. Serve in a bowl with a spoon on a platter surrounded by chips and/or other dipables. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 Bibb Lettuce Salad with Toasted Macadamia Nuts, Papaya, and Lychee Vinaigrette
Makes about 8 servings

2 -3 large heads Bibb or other butter lettuce
1 (20-ounce) can lychees in syrup*
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 large ripe papayas, peeled, seeded and cut in cubes
1 cup macadamia nuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (be sure to get the salted nuts!)
 * Available from well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocers.

To prepare the greens: Cut off the root ends of the lettuce and remove any bruised outside leaves. Rinse lettuce and spin dry. Tear larger leaves into pieces. Wrap prepared lettuce in paper towels, place in a large zip-style plastic bag and refrigerate. You can do this up to 2 days ahead.

To make the vinaigrette: Drain the lychees and reserve the syrup. Cut or tear the lychees into quarters and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, cayenne and salt. Stir in 2 Tbsp.s of the reserved lychee syrup and the lychees. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving. (Extra lychee juice is great mixed with soda water for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.)

To serve the salad: Whisk the dressing to remix well. Place the greens in a very large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the greens and gently toss, coating leaves well. Lay out half the greens on a large platter, being sure to get some of the lychees evenly distributed. Then scatter with half of the papaya and nuts. Lay out remaining greens, distributing lychees, and scatter with remaining papaya and nuts. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 Coconut Scallion Rice
Makes about 8 servings

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained well
1 Tbsp. oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 cups water
1 can (13 – 14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk*
2 tsp.s kosher salt
small pinch cayenne pepper
Garnish: thinly sliced green onions
* Available from well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocers.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put the very well-drained rice in a 2-quart baking dish, and set aside.A
Heat the oil in a nonstick or heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the green onion lightly, about 1 minute. Add the water and coconut milk and bring to just barely a simmer; do not boil.

Stir the hot mixture into the rice; stir in the salt and cayenne. Seal tightly with foil and bake in preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and fluff with a fork. Serve immediately or serve at room temperature. If making the morning or day before serving, refrigerate and then reheat in a microwave in a microwavable bowl covered with plastic wrap. Garnish with green onions. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Mango Ginger Glaze
Prep the ribs at least one day in advance or up to 3 days ahead. Be sure to read through the recipe before starting
Makes about 8 servings

3 cups mango juice or nectar
3 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder*
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
4 racks pork baby back ribs (1 3/4 – 2 pounds each, about 8 pounds total)
1/2 cup spiced rum
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

* Available from well-stocked supermarkets and Mexican grocers
In a bowl, whisk together the mango juice, ginger, garlic, sherry, oyster sauce, chile powder, soy sauce, brown sugar and salt.
Cut rib slabs in half and divide meat between 3 very large zip-style plastic bags. Re-whisk marinade and divide between bags. Press air out of bags and seal. Move marinade around to get all over ribs. Refrigerate ribs overnight or up to 24 hours, turning whenever you think about it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a large roasting pan or 2 rimmed baking sheets liberally with cooking spray. Remove ribs from marinade (save marinade to make glaze) and lay ribs out in a single layer in pan(s). Sprinkle meat with rum, cover pan(s) tightly with foil, and roast ribs in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours or until very tender. When ribs are done, drain off fat, cool and refrigerate ribs, covered, overnight or for up to 3 days.

Meanwhile, transfer marinade to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer marinade for about 45 minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, then drizzle into the simmering sauce while whisking continuously. Cook for 1 minute until thickened and remove from heat. Cool and refrigerate until ready to grill ribs.

To grill and serve ribs: Cut each rib section in half—you should now have 16 pieces. Preheat grill to medium and place ribs, bone side down. Brush each rib portion with a little sauce. Cover grill and cook ribs for about 8 to 10 minutes, until that side gets some nice color. Turn ribs over and brush with sauce, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until browned. (If using a gas grill, adjust heat so as to heat and brown ribs but not burn them; if using a charcoal grill, move ribs around as needed.) Turn ribs over one more time and brush again with sauce, cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes until ribs are hot through and nicely browned and glaze is cooked on and sticky. Serve immediately. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on September 3rd, 2009  |  Comments Off on Kathy Casey’s Tropical Summer Patio Party |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads