Recent Posts

Easy Entertaining

Who doesn’t love to throw a dinner party, but some just do it with a little less stress.

Here are a few of my fave entertaining tips:

    •Write out your menu and plan out your prep day by day, preparing as much as you can in advance and picking recipes that can be finished at the last minute.
    •Have each one of your guests help with a different dish when it comes time to serve it. They’ll have fun and it will take some stress off of you!

Here’s an example of my favorite fall menu:

Start with Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre and Walnut Crostini. The soup can be made ahead and then just finished off before you serve. Next, a salad of arugula and brilliant radicchio tossed simply with balsamic and olive oil sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Then move on to an entrée of oven-roasted Spiced Chicken with Pears and Port. It slow cooks while you are mingling with guests.

Then finish with Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Holiday Ale Caramel – this can be made a week before. Gotta love that!

Pumpkin Panna Cotta w Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce
Mini Pumpkin Panna Cottas with Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce – d’lish to the last spoonful!

So, I’ve supplied the menu, now, all you have to do is invite a delightful group of friends! –Kathy

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 Tbsp. 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

6 1/4-inch-thick slices baguette or French bread
Olive oil
3 ounces chevre (goat cheese)
3 Tbsp. 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© Kathy Casey Food Studios®. –

Spiced Chicken with Pears and Port
This is a great entrée for a dinner party. I also love it sprinkled with blue cheese right before serving for a delicious twist.

Makes 6 servings

3 firm ripe fresh pears
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 tsp. cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnishing

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pears in half and core. Cut each half in half and then in half again—to make large chunks. Reserve.

In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet or piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and sprinkle each piece liberally on both sides with the spice mixture.

In a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté half of the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. As the pieces are browned, place them, skin side up, in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan or small roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Pour off any excess oil, then sauté the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon for about 1 minute. Add the port and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring just to a boil, and then add the hot mixture, with all the goodies, to the roasting pan, pouring it around, not over, the chicken to keep the browned crust intact.

Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout and nicely browned on the outside, with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (chicken will gain another 5 degrees on standing).

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon slices from the sauce and distribute them over the chicken. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. (If you like your sauce to have a bit more body, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth and whisk into the reducing sauce. Cook till lightly thickened.) Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed, then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and goodies. Scatter with parsley leaves for garnish.

Recipe© Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Ale Caramel & Sea Salt
You can make the panna cotta up to 5 days in advance—just keep tightly wrapped with plastic. The caramel sauce can also be prepared up to a week beforehand, making it the perfect dessert for a busy holiday schedule.

Makes 8 regular (4-oz) servings or 16 mini (2-oz) servings

1 packet Knox unflavored gelatin
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mascarpone
1 cup pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not pre-seasoned pie filling)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Sea salt for sprinkling (sea salt)

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Soak until the gelatin is soft, then microwave on high power for only about 2 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted but not foaming up.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, sour cream, mascarpone, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Add the gelatin and whisk together well.

Place the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth and hot (150 to 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).

Remove from the heat and divide the mixture evenly among 8 regular or 16 mini martini glasses (or 8 custard or 16 espresso cups). Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the panna cotta. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours to set.

To serve: Drizzle each panna cotta with ale caramel sauce (1 tablespoon for the minis or 2 for the larger portions), and then sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Chef’s note: If making the ale caramel sauce is too much for your schedule, then substitute with a speed scratch sea salt caramel sauce; mix 1/2 cup purchased high-quality caramel sauce with 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, depending upon how salty you like it.

Holiday Ale Caramel Sauce
If made ahead, cool completely and store refrigerated. Bring to room temperature to serve. The recipe makes more than you’ll need for the panna cotta; extra sauce can be drizzled on ice cream, pound cake or other desserts.

Makes 2 cups

1 (12-ounce) bottle pumpkin ale or other seasonal beer, such as Pike Brewing Co. Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium-large saucepan, bring the ale to a low boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat, add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve.

Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring (stir or swirl the pan only if necessary to prevent boiling over) for about 10 to 15 minutes, until thick and syrupy (about 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream and butter (it may splatter!), and then cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. If serving right away, cool until just warm; it will thicken up more as it cools. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe© Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy on November 19th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, KOMO Radio, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, soups

“Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes are back for the holidays!

‘Tis the season once again where the Food Studios elves will be busy chopping nuts and soaking loads of fruit in bourbon … to make our annual holiday-inspired “Over 21” Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark!

These REAL fruit cakes are full of Maker’s Mark-soaked dried fruits, including apricots, cranberries, tart cherries and golden raisins as well as loads of nuts from toasted hazelnuts to rich pecans – all bound with my signature spiced batter. Baked then brushed hot out of the oven with a Maker’s Mark bourbon- brown sugar glaze.

Kathy Casey's "Over 21" Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker's Mark
Who’s ready for a slice of “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark?

“This is not your grandma’s fruitcake and has over the years now gained a cult following. Chock full of Maker’s Mark bourbon-soaked real fruits and toasted nuts it’s sure to convert any fruitcake naysayers. It’s hard not to eat the whole thing!” commented Kathy Casey.

    Starting November 23rd Real Fruit Cakes can be picked up at Kathy Casey Food Studios,
    Monday thru Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm.
    • Order from our website starting November 23rd while supplies last.
    • Our festive loaves are priced at $11.95 this holiday season – supplies are limited, as they sell out fast!

Watch our YouTube video to see deliciousness in the making!

Kathy Casey Food Studios is located at 5130 Ballard Ave. NW and is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. (We suggest calling ahead to be sure that cakes are available). During Food Studios hours, there is available parking in the back lot. For more information, contact: call (206) 784-7840, email or check out our website

Posted by Kathy on November 17th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Recent Posts

Get Saucy

Often the trick to a d’lish dish is the sauce, but sometimes making one can be a bit daunting.

Seattle author Susan Volland’s new book Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors will help take the mystery out of making a great sauce. So you can easily splash, slather, drizzle or douse!

Susan Volland - Mastering Sauces

From basic recipes for stock (the building block of sauces) to creative and unique takes on classic recipes, this book has sauces covered from A to Z.

From quick and easy Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce to her recipe for a Vegan Corn “Hollandaise” – there are a lot of ideas to finish off your favorite dish.

Here are some of my favorite tips from her book:

  • How to fancy up a white sauce: think sweet curry or caramelized onion and roasted garlic
  • Not your everyday cheese sauce: with cheddar and ale or tomato and goat cheese
  • Even chocolate gets a tasty saucy twist with ancho chili and fresh mint
  • Susan is an amazing chef and has wanted to write this book for years. It is one of the most comprehensive sauce books of all times and destined to become an eternal classic. Her recipes are always well written and precision tested.

    So crack open a copy of Mastering Sauces and get saucy!

    P.S. – And It’s never too early to think about holiday gifts for your favorite foodie. –Kathy

    Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce
    Susan says: “This sauce is nutty, sweet, and slightly exotic, and, it can be whipped up in less time than the quick-cooking dishes I like to dunk in it: grilled chicken skewers, Vietnamese spring rolls, or pot stickers. Double or triple the recipe, and you can use it to simmer chicken or as a sauce for chewy stir-fried noodles. It keeps well.”

    Yield: 1/2 cup

    1/4 cup hoisin sauce
    1/4 cup water, coconut water, or Really Good Chicken Stock
    2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
    1 Tbsp. fish sauce (or substitute 2 tsp. light soy sauce or tamari)
    2 tsp. sambal oelek or Sriracha, or to taste
    1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, Tamarind Water, or rice vinegar

    Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the sauce at room temperature or lightly warmed.

    If storing, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Vegan Corn “Hollandaise”

    Susan says: “The friends and I have introduced this sauce to—even die-hard carnivores and butter lovers—claim to prefer this vegan version to classic hollandaise. The creamy yellow sauce mimics the texture of hollandaise without relying on eggs and butter. It is not as cloying, it’s heat stable, it’s tasty enough to be slurped up by the spoonful, and there is little or no guilt afterward. You will need a few specialty ingredients: miso, nutritional yeast flakes, and arrowroot. These are available at some supermarkets and at natural foods markets. Arrowroot is added for stability and gentle thickening; kudzu root (available at health foods markets) can also be used.”

    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

    1 1/2 cups water, Corn Stock, or Corncob Mock Stock
    1 cup fresh or thawed frozen yellow corn kernels
    1/3 cup whole raw cashews
    1 Tbsp. white (shiro) miso
    1 tsp. nutritional yeast flakes
    1/2 tsp arrowroot
    1 – 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    Pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of Tabasco

    Combine the water, corn kernels, and cashews in a saucepan, cover, and simmer until the cashews are tender and the corn is very soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

    Transfer the cashew mixture to a blender, add the miso, yeast, and arrowroot, and puree until very smooth. Strain back into the saucepan, pressing the solids against the sides of the strainer to extract as much smooth pupl and liquid as possible. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is just simmering and has thickened. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Serve warm.

    Unlike hollandaise, this sauce can be refrigerated and reheated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Posted by Kathy on November 12th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Fairmont’s Global Cocktail Menu and Liquid Kitchen in Cheers Magazine

    Earlier this summer the Fairmont Global mixology team visited Liquid Kitchen for a drink development workshop to create a new global cocktail menu – launching later this November. Check out Cheers Magazine for full coverage of the R&D session the Classics, Perfected menu, meet the Fairmont Tastemakers, and recipes for the Right Word and Pomegranate Paloma.

    Posted by Kathy on November 11th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Press, Recent Posts

    Fairmont’s New Cocktail Menu and Liquid Kitchen on Lux Worldwide

    Libatious article in Lux Worldwide on the Fairmont Hotels’ new global cocktail menu – Classics, Perfected developed at the Liquid Kitchen with the Fairmont Global mixology team. Check out the full article here and learn about the Fairmont Tastemakers’ creative process.

    Posted by Kathy on November 9th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Press, Recent Posts

    Oatmeal Any Time of Day

    Oatmeal. We know that it makes for a hearty breakfast. The reason is that it contains soluble fiber (that stays in the stomach) helping you feel fuller, longer. This can keep you from overeating!

    Eating just a half cup of oatmeal a day is enough to reap its many health benefits, such as supporting weight loss and boosting heart health to name a few.

    There are a lot of varieties of oatmeal on the shelves today. Let me break it down for you. Steel-cut oats are the whole oat grain and bran, and are chopped with steel blades. Rolled oats are de-hulled then steamed and flattened between two rollers. Instant oats are steamed longer and completely cooked before dried. The less processed the oats are, the more fiber they will contain, and the more health benefits can be gained from eating them.

    On the weekend, I like to cook a big batch of steel cut oats, let them cool, then layer it in 1/2 pint jars with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Screw on the jar lids and refrigerate for the week. In the morning just remove the lid and then heat with a little fat free coconut milk in the microwave for a quick and healthy breakfast on the go!

    Citrus Upside Down Cake 2
    Who’s ready for a slice of Sunkist Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake?

    And don’t forget about baking with oatmeal! My favorite is Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake! Great for a special brunch topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt. D’lish! –Kathy

    Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake
    Great for a hearty dessert or even as a breakfast cake, served with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Read all the way through recipe before starting. It is important to use a nonstick pan and to turn the cake out of the pan 5 minutes after removing from the oven.

    Makes 1 (9-inch) round cake, serving 8 to 10

    2/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 Tbsp. Sunkist Orange zest
    3/4 cup boiling water

    Orange Layer
    3 Tbsp. butter
    3 Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 large Sunkist Navel Orange, peel on, ends cut off and sliced into 8 to 10 thin slices

    2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, prepare the pan and orange layer: put the butter in a 9-inch nonstick round cake pan and place in the oven until the butter is just melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and then lay out the orange slices in a pretty pattern.

    To make the batter: In a mixer (or large bowl), combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, soda and salt, and then add this mixture to the sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and pecans, and mix until well combined.

    Without disturbing the orange layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until cake is golden and tests done.

    Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from oven. Loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate. Let cool before serving.

    Chef Notes:

  • Try adding 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom to the oat mixture for a different spice-flavor profile.
  • Great to serve for brunch; this cake is very moist, so you can make it a couple of days ahead.
  • Photo and Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®.

    Posted by Kathy on November 6th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes

    The Fairmont’s Global Cocktail Menu and Liquid Kitchen on London-Olios

    Great write-up on the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ new cocktail program launching later in November. Here’s a sneak peak of the cocktails – developed at the Liquid Kitchen with the Fairmont Tastemakers team – (at last month’s media event at The Savoy). Check out London-Olios for the full post.


    Posted by Kathy on November 3rd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Press, Recent Posts

    Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant

    Most people have had hand at cooking spaghetti squash, and there are a lot of ways to prepare this tasty vegetable.

    This winter squash starts getting popular at the farmers market and grocery store in early fall. The cooked stringy flesh is delicious, but there are a few cooking tricks to know.

    (Photo from Elizabeth Norris’ blog)

    Cut the squash in half length-wise. Make sure to use a good knife and a little muscle – this is a sturdy squash! Once you have the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp the same way you would with any other winter squash.

    Turn the halves cut-side down in a baking dish. Add a little water and roast in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when a fork slides in and out of the flesh easily. If you’re in a hurry you can quick cook it the same way in the microwave in a glass dish – just blast on high until fork tender.

    Now to get those noodle-like strands out of the shell. Turn the squash up and gently scrape the flesh with a fork along the grain and loosen it up. Then scoop the squash into a bowl and finish how you like.

    It’s a great low-calorie and gluten-free option to traditional pasta for topping with marinara. Or toss it with maple syrup or honey, a little butter or olive oil, some minced fresh herbs and some sea salt for a great side dish to any entrée. –Kathy

    Posted by Kathy Casey on October 29th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts