Posts from August, 2021

Picnic Foods

deviled eggs

Labor Day is coming up – a holiday that commemorates the workers who have made this country great. For many people, it also heralds the end of summer and the last 3-day weekend before school starts.

So why not enjoy the last blast of summer with a great picnic and twist up your menu with some new drinks and dishes.

For some tasty ideas, start out with a refreshing drink and use up some of those last of the summer market fruits. Just crush some fruits in a pitcher with a muddler or a potato masher, add in some fresh lemonade and your favorite flavored sparkling water or prosecco.

For the food spread –set out an array of apps to make a meal of it. Try giving a sassy twist to some old favorites like my Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs or try something new in the dip department like a creamy white bean dip with garlic and rosemary topped with chopped up fresh summer tomatoes, served up with fresh cucumbers, and grilled pita for dipping. The possibilities are endless and delicious! -Kathy

Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs
Eggs, bacon, cheese … they go hand in hand. These all-American eggs are great to serve as an app — or grab a couple for breakfast on the go.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard (optional)
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped crisp-cooked bacon
2 Tbsp. very thinly sliced green onions
Freshly ground black pepper

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, if using, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the cheddar until evenly mixed in.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix the bacon and green onion. Top each egg half with about 3/4 teaspoon of the mixture, and then sprinkle with black pepper.

Hard-Cooked Eggs

1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s D’Lish Deviled Eggs Cookbook

Posted by Kathy on August 31st, 2021  |  Comments Off on Picnic Foods |  Posted in Recent Posts

A Vegetable Mash Up

What’s old is new again – what with the uber popularity of Kale, Brussel Sprouts and Rutabagas.  In years past, Moms could not bribe the kids to eat these veggies.

A good example of an old but new veggie, is the gorgeous Lacinato Kale —- so beloved in Italy in slow cooked soups – now branded at the grocery store as “Dinosaur” Kale – hey, the kids will love it!

Also new on the veggie horizon, are vegetable mash ups – Kallettes (KALE-etts) which is a cross between brussel sprouts and kale. Or Broccolini which is a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan (Chinese broccoli), and the gorgeous Romanesco aka broccoflower – a lime green vegetable that takes the best of broccoli and cauliflower and marries them together in a blissful union.

Best of all, lots of veggies are showing up as the star on menus and not just as a side anymore! Like charred rainbow carrots with sumac or street corn in a myriad of variations like my recipe for Grilled Mexican Street Corn Picks – perfect to serve as a fun summer appetizer or easy side dish. -Kathy

Grilled Mexican Street Corn Picks
Appetizer size, these make for a tasty line up for any grilling party. You can also make this recipe with whole ears of corn to serve as a side or cut the corn off the cobb. For “chili-heads” offer an assortment of hot sauces served on the side. For a unique presentation, skewer corn with cocktail forks after grilling.

Makes: 12 – 16 pieces

4 ears of fresh corn
1 lime
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
12 – 16 short sturdy wooden picks

Pre-heat a grill on medium-high heat. Soak skewers in water.

Husk the corn, then using a serrated knife, cut each ear into 3 – 4 pieces depending on size. Meanwhile, zest the lime into a small bowl, then cut the lime in wedges and set aside. Whisk in the chili powder, mayonnaise, and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the cheese and cilantro.

Grill the corn, turning as needed until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 – 6 minutes depending on your grill.

Remove from the grill and insert a wooden pick into each piece of corn. Spread each piece of corn with some of the mayo mixture to lightly coat – then roll in the cheese mixture, placing finished corn on a platter as you go. Squeeze the reserved lime over the corn and serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on August 24th, 2021  |  Comments Off on A Vegetable Mash Up |  Posted in Recent Posts

Marvelous Melons: Cocktails and More

A few Summers ago, I whipped up a party-size batch of Watermelon Sangria. It was a hit and, really, just plain made my croquet game even better!

Some may think that melons have a hard time growing in our rainy climate, but thanks to irrigation in the drier and hotter environment of eastern Washington and Oregon — they are quite prolific. Hermiston, Oregon is especially well known for its watermelon crops. These famous melons are juicy and sweet!

With their crisp, cool, and refreshing qualities, melons evoke the essence of the summer season. We enjoy them in a multitude of ways, from simple chilled watermelon wedges with a sprinkling of chili lime salt – to colorful melon-ball skewers of honeydew and cantaloupe intertwined with thinly sliced prosciutto for utensil-free outdoor app-ing!

And if you want to try something new in the cocktail category, try shaking up my “Smitten” cocktail – tequila, fresh watermelon chunks, tart lime juice, a little simple syrup, a few sprigs of fresh cilantro and a dash of hot sauce – it’s different and d’lish! I’ve included a link to the video too.

So be sure to enjoy them while you can; there’s nothing like summer’s fresh melons to cool you off on a hot day!

It’s what you’ll be after drinking this drink! It’s like fire and ice in a glass. But use the hot sauce with slight hand.. it should enhance – not overpower. Shake in a few sprigs of cilantro for a little herbalicious’ness.

Makes 1 drink

1/3 cup fresh ripe watermelon (large 1” cubes)
2 oz. Sauza Blue tequila
3/4 oz. agave nectar
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
Garnish: half rim DIY Citrus Salt (recipe follows)

Muddle watermelon in a mixing glass, being sure to press the melon well to release the juices.  Measure in tequila, agave, and lime juice. Shake in hot sauce – do not over do it! Fill with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass with a partial Citrus Salt rim.

DIY Citrus Salt
I like to make this with coarse Fleur de Sel, but you can make the entire recipe with kosher salt too. Makes about 2 cups.

zest of 2 lemons
zest of 1 large orange
1 1/2 cups kosher salt or Fleur De Sel
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar

With a potato peeler, peel the lemon and orange, removing the colored part of the skin but not the white pith. Cut the peels in very fine strips, then mince (Reserve fruit for another use). In a large, shallow, glass baking pan, mix citrus zest and salt together and leave uncovered in a warm dry place in the kitchen. Stir a couple of times a day. Let sit at room temperature until the citrus peels are thoroughly dried—this should take about 3 to 5 days.

Once zest is dried in the salt, process in a blender until the citrus is just incorporated. Add the remaining salt and sugar and process again – pulsing a few times. Store in a dry, tightly covered container at room temperature.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on August 17th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Marvelous Melons: Cocktails and More |  Posted in Recent Posts

Chill Out with Summer Cold Soups

Gazpacho is the most widely known cold-style soup – Originally from Southern Spain, this fresh tomato-based soup is a summertime staple, and so refreshing on a hot day.

I like to add lots of veggies into my gazpacho like cucumbers and pepper. Finished with a drizzle of great olive oil and fresh herbs, or for a splurge maybe some fresh crab! Just think, you will not even have to turn on the stove for an elegant meal — on a hot summer night.

Tomatoes are not the only celebrities when it comes to this genre of soup …… there are lots of cold summer fruit soup recipes too!

Juicy, ripe melons are the star of my Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs.

This soup combines creamy coconut milk, bold Thai red curry paste, zesty ginger, and lemongrass. It gets topped with a pouf of sweet bay shrimp and crunchy water chestnuts tossed with fresh lime, basil, and mint – Yum! -Kathy

Thai Chilled Melon Soup with Shrimp and Fragrant Herbs
Makes about 4 cups (6 starter servings)

3 cups chopped ripe cantaloupe, rind removed
1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass
1 tsp. Thai red curry paste (we used Mae Ploy)
1 can (13–14 oz.) coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/4 lb. bay shrimp or chopped cooked shrimp (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup tiny-diced water chestnuts (Fresh ones are great if you can find them!)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs and lime wedges

In a food processor or blender, process the cantaloupe, sugar, ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste until evenly pureed. Pulse in the coconut milk, salt, and lime juice, just until combined.

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients.

Ladle soup into small bowls and spoon a pouf of topping into each serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Pass lime wedges on the side.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy on August 10th, 2021  |  Comments Off on Chill Out with Summer Cold Soups |  Posted in Recent Posts

Garden To Glass Cocktails

If you are like me, you have a plethora of herbs filling your garden this summer, of course we all know you can cook with them – but have you thought about sipping with them too?!

I am not just talking about the mint that grows like a weed. There are other herbs and even edible flowers that I enjoy adding to my summertime cocktail concoctions.

Try adding sage to your favorite margarita for a dusky, savory note.  Do you like your drinks tall and refreshing? Then just mix up vodka (or gin), fresh lemon, local honey syrup with a few sprigs of fresh basil and a splash of soda like in my Basil Collins (recipe below).  Fresh Berries prolific?  Shake some of those in too!

Rosemary is another favorite. Try adding a sprig to your next gin and tonic with a squeeze of fresh orange.

Another fun idea is freezing herbs and edible flowers in ice cubes! just get some of those large silicone format ice cube trays, they’re available online.  Fill them halfway with water, then pop in the freezer for 45 minutes to get lightly set.  Now, add in all kinds of herbs and edible flowers – I personally love to put thyme with my pansies, or sage with rose petals – then fill with water and freeze again. So great to add to splash of summer to any drink! -Kathy

Basil Collins
Makes 1 cocktail

2 – 3 large fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 1/2 oz. Honey Lemon Syrup (recipe follows)
1 – 2 oz. soda water
Garnish: basil leaf and lemon wheel

Tear the basil leaves and drop into a cocktail shaker. Measure in the vodka and Honey Lemon Syrup. Fill with ice, cap and shake. Add soda water to cocktail shaker and then pour into a tall glass. Garnish with fresh basil and lemon.

Honey Lemon Syrup
Makes 9 ounces, enough for 6 cocktails

1/3 cup local honey
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

In a small pitcher or jar, mix the honey and warm water until well-dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice and store refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on August 3rd, 2021  |  Comments Off on Garden To Glass Cocktails |  Posted in Recent Posts