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Avocados

Avocados! The mighty superfood that’s SUPER delicious. Their creamy, rich flavor certainly feels indulgent but, surprise! There’s nothing to feel guilty about here.

These lovely little fruits- that’s right, I said FRUIT! – have stolen the hearts of health fanatics everywhere. Packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats- they are the MVP of almost every diet trend. Paleo, Whole 30, Keto, and even low-carb enthusiasts welcome avocados into their kitchens with open arms.


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

Instead of using butter or oil in your next dish, why not use avocado oil! Or make a delicious pesto by pureeing a ripe avocado with lots of garlic, fresh herbs and a touch of olive oil. Then just toss with your favorite pasta for an easy weeknight meal. You can even go gluten or carb free by using zucchini noodles- also known as zoodles.

Mash up an avocado and spread on a d’lish sandwich- it’s the perfect replacement for mayonnaise. Or try using them in a fun new way, like in my Green Goddess Deviled Eggs!

Healthy, satisfying, and sooo versatile. Three cheers for Avocados!
-Kathy

Green Goddess Deviled Eggs
Tarragon and avocado are the stars of these garden-fresh deviled eggs. Tarragon’s anise notes and bright, green personality bring an herbaceous attitude to the recipe. For a truly classic Green Goddess flavor, replace the salt with 1 to 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
1/2 ripe avocado
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping
24 fresh tarragon leaves
Fresh-cracked black pepper

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

In a mixing bowl, mash the avocado well with a fork, then add the yolks and mash to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, tarragon, and salt, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.)

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

Top each egg half with a tarragon leaf and a grind of fresh-cracked 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 D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy on September 13th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Savor and Sip Summer

Summer is coming to an end soon, so why not preserve some of the season’s delicious flavors before they’re gone? I like to make fruit and herb syrups to use in cocktails and homemade sodas or lemonade. You won’t believe how easy they are to make!

Simply combine equal parts sugar (or honey!) and water in a saucepan. Add in some fresh chopped fruits, like peaches or blackberries, and throw in a few sprigs of herbs. I love to use mint or thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat and let it infuse for an hour. Yum! Are your taste buds watering yet? Once the mixture has cooled, pour it through a fine mesh strainer and into sealable bottles. You can store the simple syrup, refrigerated, for about 6 weeks.

And when you’re ready to use your d’lish syrup, simply mix it with fresh lemon or lime soda water for the perfect refreshing sipper. You can also use it to sweeten ice tea! Or why not shake up some cocktails and use your fresh fruit syrups in drinks such as mojitos, whiskey sours, margaritas, or one of my personal favorites- my Honey Lavender Peach Fizz!

Get creative and preserve the flavor of summer as long as you can!

-Kathy

Honey Lavender Peach Fizz

If the peach is super shiny when you cut it open, you know the brix (sugar level) is high and your peach is going to be sweet! Pick peaches that are heavy with a nice blush on them. This delicious drink is great to enjoy as a non-alcoholic refresher, or add a splash of your favorite local vodka or gin.

1 1/2 oz lavender honey syrup (recipe follows)
1 1/2 oz fresh peach puree (recipe follows)
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 oz sparkling water

Garnish: fresh lavender and/or rosemary

In a small pitcher or large measuring cup combine the juice and sparkling water. Stir. Pour into glasses filled with ice, garnish and enjoy! Makes one large or two small drinks.

Lavender Honey Syrup
Makes 1 cup

Honey syrup is easy to make and great to have on hand. I love it used in cocktails, homemade lemonade or non-alcoholic refreshers.

1/2 cup Golden Harvest Bee Ranch Lavender Infused Honey
1/2 cup warm water

Mix together ingredients until well combined. Store refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Fresh Peach Puree
Makes about 3 cups

Seasonal fruit puree can be made with any ripe fresh fruit. It will keep for about 3-4 days refrigerated, or place in small freezer containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Be sure to leave an inch of room at the top of the container for expansion during freezing.

For a fun brunch ideas try adding two tablespoons of puree to a champagne flute and top with a local hard cider for a delicious twist on the traditional Bellini.

3 cups diced fresh very ripe peaches
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. honey or sugar
2 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse for a few seconds then blend on high till nicely pureed. Strain and then refrigerate or freeze.

Recipes courtesy of Kathy Casey Food Studios-Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on August 24th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Flavor 2017: 12 Trends that Spell Opportunity

Want to know the biggest trends happening in the Food & Beverage industry right now? The Flavor Experience conference was the place to be this summer to get the delicious scoop!

Chefs, mixologists and industry gurus came together to share ideas, techniques and all things flavorful!

For the 2nd year in a row, Kathy Casey teamed up with industry heavy hitters: Data trend guru and menu consultant, Maeve Webster of Menu Matters and Cathy Holley, Editor-in-Chief of Flavor & the Menu to present “The Next Dozen” 12 Trends That Spell Opportunity.

See what is on the horizon in the world of trending Flavors, and how to incorporate these dynamic combinations into your menus. Check out the presentation below:

 

Posted by Kathy on August 22nd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Newsletter, Tasty Travels, Recent Posts, Conferences

Blackberries

Ahhh blackberries…the glorious summer berry. Growing in backyards, parks, and hiking trails, the Northwest is bursting with them. These juicy berries are definitely worth the fight with the prickly bushes they grow on!

Not only are blackberries delicious, they’re good for you too! With one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit- these berries are also a wonderful source of vitamin C and fiber. Healthy food that naturally tastes d’lish- what could be better than that?


Photo from Driscoll’s Berries
And if you don’t have time for picking – Driscoll’s has some pretty d’lish berries for “picking” up at the grocery store. I visited their farms a few years ago and got to try a blackberry unlike anything I’ve ever had before. They were HUGE and super sweet. They were a variety that you can randomly find during the season. I now look for these whenever I can 

So, whether you pick them or buy them- to me, blackberries really are a taste summer. And they’re the perfect addition to a refreshing summer cocktail! Muddle a few berries in a shaker tin with some fresh mint, 3/4 ounce lime juice, 3/4 ounce simple syrup and 1 1/2 ounces rum – shake it up and finish with a splash of soda – and voila – you have an amazing Blackberry Mojito!

Gone blackberry picking and now have a big bowl in the fridge? Throw some in your pancake batter and start the morning off with some Blackberry Pancakes topped with Citrusy Syrup. Or make a berry’licious summer sundae with strawberry ice cream, lemon curd and fresh blackberries – yum!

Or try my recipe for Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette, perfect tossed with local greens and finished with a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese- a great start to any summer meal.
-Kathy

Summer Greens with Blackberry–Honey Vinaigrette, Toasted Hazelnuts & Chevre
Makes 4 servings

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon local honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Salad
8 cups mixed summer greens
1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup (1 ounce) chopped, toasted hazelnuts
2 ounces chèvre-style goat cheese, crumbled

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Strain. Refrigerate until needed. The vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance.

To serve the salad: Toss the greens with Blackberry–Honey Vinaigrette and divide among 4 plates. Scatter with berries, hazelnuts, and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe© Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on August 10th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Spiked Summer Punches

The hot summer weather has finally hit the Northwest, which means entertaining is at an all-time high. When your backyard becomes the weekend hotspot for fun, punches are the perfect cocktail for a crowd!


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

So what is a punch, anyways? Well it was created around the 17th century and is typically a concoction of four to five ingredients, with rum as the base. I chat more about this in my Liquid Kitchen episode with Charlotte Voisey and her Port of Mischief Punch – which is a delicious take on a classic punch.

But if you want to do your own punch twist – simply choose your favorite liquor and add in some seasonal fruits, tea, or fresh infused syrups. If you like bubbles, add some sparkle to your punchbowl with champagne or prosecco – or step out of the box by splashing in a light, refreshing pale ale- like in my recipe for Hoppy Melon Rita Punch! (recipe follows)

Combining punch and beer might seem unusual, but the pair makes for a perfect summery sip – and Seattle native Fremont Brewing Company’s Summer Solstice Ale does the trick. Ultra-light and fragrant with citrusy notes of tangerine and hints of spice- this ale is the perfect co-star.

Serve it up in tall glasses garnished with a juicy wedge of watermelon, and you’re on your way to beating the heat in delicious style. So bust out that retro punch bowl and start mixing!

For more punchy goodness, visit my blog, DishingWithKathyCasey.com. And for d’lish cocktail inspiration, check out Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

Hoppy Melon Rita Punch
Makes 16 – 20 servings

zest of 2 limes (zest before squeezing for juice)
1 cup sugar
1 bottle (750 ml) silver tequila (about 3 cups)
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 cup Ruby Grapefruit Juice Cocktail
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups diced fresh watermelon
2 (12 ounce) bottles ale such as Fremont Summer Solstice Ale
Garnish: fresh watermelon wedges

In a large punch bowl (or large container such as a stock pot or pitcher) combine the lime zest, sugar, tequila, juices, and watermelon. Stir to combine well and dissolve the sugar. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for service up to 3 days in advance) Present in a large punch bowl. Add ale right before serving. Serve over ice in punch cups, or fun margarita glasses.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on August 3rd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Refreshing Fruit Salsa

Tomato salsa, Pico de Gallo, thick and chunky Picante Sauce- salsa is by far the most popular condiment in the US. Whether you like it sweet and mild or spicy and hot- it’s the perfect way to add big flavor to your meal. But hey, why not mix up your salsa rut and get sassy with summer fruit!

If you ask me, there are no rules when it comes to making a delicious fresh- fruit salsa. So get creative and just wing it! Use whatever chopped seasonal fruits you have and add a little onion, fresh lime, chopped cilantro, diced jalapeños or hot sauce, and a dash of salt.

I like to use cherries, melons, or peaches in the summer. In the winter, I choose more citrus based fruits like juicy California oranges and grapefruits. I also love to add a tropical twist with pineapple and mango. Fruit salsa is great over grilled fish, chicken, with crunchy chips – or really anything!


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey

Bought a giant watermelon and looking for other ways to eat it up? Try my recipe for Spicy Mexy Melon Salsa, served with a big bowl of tortilla chips and a margarita or fresh limeade – yum!
-Kathy

Spicy Mexy Melon Salsa
Add a few dashes of Chipotle Tabasco for added smokey heat!
Makes 4 cups

2 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup finely diced sweet white onion
4 cups chopped seeded watermelon – about 1/4” pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh jalapeño, seeds removed (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon coriander seed, lightly toasted in a pan and then crushed

Make this salsa up to 1 hour in advance – but not any earlier to keep the ingredients crispy and fresh.
Dissolve the sugar in the lime juice. Toss together remaining ingredients, and dress with sugar-lime juice mixture. Season with salt to taste.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on July 27th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Cherries Spell Summer!

Luscious, sweet cherries just scream summer to me. Cherry pie, cherry cocktails, cherry shortcake, boozy cherries over ice cream – is there anything better? Fresh cherries are also so tasty in a cocktail like in my recipe for Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd (recipe follows) – perfect for patio sipping with friends.


Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

I love cherries eaten out of hand, or in desserts, but they are also delicious incorporated into savory dishes too. Like in my Sassy Spicy Cherry Salsa – perfect for serving on a little goat cheese crostini or as a side kick to grilled chicken or salmon.

Simply half or quarter pitted cherries, toss with a little fine diced sweet onion, minced fresh ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of honey, and a little sriracha or chili paste. Then add in chopped cilantro or fresh snipped chives, season with sea salt, and voila! A crowd-pleasing salsa delicious on almost anything.

Don’t have a cherry pitter? Not to worry! Dig out those disposable to-go chopsticks I’m sure you have piled up in the kitchen drawer, poke through the cherry, and out pops the seed. Super quick and easy!

-Kathy

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Makes about 10 servings

1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 1/2 cups sprigs)
3 cups Bacardi Limon rum or silver rum
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh lime juice
1/4 cup clear cherry liqueur, such as Maraska maraschino
3 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Loads of ice for serving
Two 10-ounce bottles soda water
Garnishes:
Fresh mint sprigs
Fresh cherries on the stem

In a large nonreactive container, such as a glass pitcher, combine the mint, rum, sugar, lime juice, liqueur, and pitted cherries. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For each serving, fill a large rocks glass or tumbler with ice and measure in 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of the rum mixture, being sure to get some of the cherries into each glass. Top with 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of soda. Stir, then garnish with a mint sprig and a cherry.

Chefs Note: You can make the cherry-rum mixture up to 3 days in advance and keep it refrigerated= the flavors will just get better and better.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios

Posted by Kathy on June 29th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Kathy Casey

Burgers

When summer time finally hits the Pacific Northwest, burgers are the first thing on my mind. To me, the smell of a burger sizzling on an outdoor grill is simply intoxicating.

I’ll always love a classic beef patty piled high with condiments and spreads, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up. Burgers are a blank canvas to get creative and try new combinations. Your local farmers market is a great place to find inspiration.


Photo from Clean Eating

Outdoor BBQ in your weekend plans? Create a burger bar and make it interactive with a DIY set-up! Simply pre-heat your grill and have it hot and ready. Pick up some artisan buns and set out a variety of cheeses and spreadables like spicy sriracha mayo, fun mustards, local pickles, and grilled sweet onions. Offer unique patty options to please the whole crowd- like local grass fed beef, veggie black bean burgers, or seasoned turkey patties.

Or why not try my Barbequed Salmon Burgers on Lemon Dill Buns! The smoky grilled salmon patty paired with fresh condiments like lettuce, cucumbers, or a tangy vegetable slaw is knock-your-socks-off delicious. If baking your own buns seems daunting, not to worry! Just pick up your favorite from a local bakery and get to grillin’.

Make sure to have your guests bring some tasty sides, ice cold brews, and wine. And while the grill is still hot – throw on a few bananas for making up some grilled banana splits for a sweet ending – yum!
-Kathy

Barbequed Salmon Burgers
Makes 4 servings

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed (ask your fishmonger to do this)
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs minced onion
1 Tbs fresh dill
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS dried bread crumbs
¾ tsp kosher salt

Lemon Dill Buns, or local bakery bun
Mayonnaise or Tartar Sauce
Any combination of burger goodies you like, such as tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumbers, vegetable slaw, etc.

To make the burgers, chop the salmon well. Mix it thoroughly with the remaining burger ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape into 4 ½-5 in diameter well-compacted round patties. Refrigerate the patties, tented, for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to firm.

Pre-heat a grill to high and oil. Carefully place patties on grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side.

Split buns in half and toast lightly. Spread mayonnaise or tartar sauce onto buns, add the cooked patties, and pile high with garnishes of your choice.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy on June 16th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Kathy Casey, salmon
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