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Minty Mint

Don’t you just love the smell of fresh mint? Whether it’s in a cocktail, mixed into a fruit salsa, or growing in the garden, that fresh scent of mint can just brighten your day!

Have you ever tried growing mint? If you have, you know it is amazingly easy and will actually take over your garden if you’re not careful. And what’s better than a fresh handful of mint leaves whenever you want?

There are sooooo many varieties to choose! From peppermint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, lemon mint, orange mint and even lime mint – which is super amazing muddled into mojitos!

Speaking of cocktails – mint is of course the star in the classic mint julep.

If you’ve got a lot of mint in the yard, here’s a quick recipe for Fresh Mint Syrup:
-Combine a big bunch of fresh mint (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups) – stems and all
-2 cups of water
-2 cups of sugar

-Bring to a quick simmer then let steep for 1 hour. Strain and refrigerate.

Great for cocktails or add in lemon or lime and sparkling water for a tasty refreshing beverage.

And speaking of Juleps: with the Kentucky Derby this weekend you’ll want to have plenty of mint on hand – two of my favorite recipes follow.

So get minty with it in your garden this year! –Kathy

Classic Mint Julep
Makes 1 cocktail

2 mint sprigs
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/4 oz simple syrup or Fresh Mint Syrup

For garnishing: mint sprig

Add mint sprigs into a julep cup. Lightly muddle to release flavor.

Measure in spirit and simple syrup. Fill 1/2 way with crushed ice. Stir swiftly for 20 seconds. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® for Brown-Forman

Georgia Julep
Makes 1 cocktail

2 mint sprigs
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 oz peach puree
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 dashes peach bitters

For garnishing: mint sprig and peach/nectarine wedge if in season

Add mint sprigs into a julep cup or mixing glass. Lightly muddle to release flavor.

Measure in spirit, puree, simple syrup, and bitters. Fill 1/2 way with crushed ice. Stir swiftly for 20 seconds. Top with more crushed ice if needed . Garnish.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® for Brown-Forman

Posted by Kathy on May 4th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

Asparagus – The Sure Sign of Spring!

Asparagus –the veggie, springtime superstar is so versatile. We love it steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed; in soups, salads, or as a delicious side.

Although a lot of people have the perception that skinny asparagus is preferable, I don’t agree! The thicker stemmed fat ones are much better in flavor.

Just give it a rinse, and then snap off the fibrous ends at the “natural break.” You can save these for veggie stock or add to your compost bin.


Photo from Simply Recipes.

For sunny northwest days I like to coat my asparagus with a little olive oil and seasoning. Then toss it on a hot grill till just tender. Serve with a quick squeeze of lemon and a grating of fresh parmesan – yum!

Or how about the beloved combo of steamed asparagus with a rich and decadent hollandaise? Well I’ve got a Quick and Easy Blender Sauce recipe that will have you serving up this classic combo in no time.

So pick up some asparagus while the season is prime! –Kathy

Quick and Easy Blender Hollandaise
The entire amount of hot butter is key to this recipe, so be sure to make a full recipe. Serve over freshly steamed broccoli or asparagus, with fish or seafood or on steaks … and of course Eggs Benedict!

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tablespoon cream cheese
3 egg yolks or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg yolks
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Sunkist® Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot sauce

In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until bubbling and hot (but not brown). Or heat to bubbling in microwave.

While butter is heating, combine cream cheese, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce in a blender. Process for a few seconds to combine ingredients.

When butter is hot, with blender motor running, remove lid and add butter in a slow, thin stream; go slowly so it incorporates nicely.

Serve immediately or keep warm for up to 30 minutes by placing sauce in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid or mason jar with lid, set in a small bowl of hot water.
Sunkist Tips:
-Add in some lemon zest at the end for extra lemony flavor!
-Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of minced fresh tarragon or chives.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®.

Posted by Kathy on April 27th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, sides, vegetables

Dip In!

From party staples like gooey, cheese fondue to classic French onion or 7-layer fiesta dip, we all have our favorites.

These days dips are getting lighter and healthier. We’re whipping up our favorites not with full fat sour cream and mayo but with Greek yogurt as well as lite sour creams and mayos. Even this party staple can’t escape the better-for-you revolution!

Hummus is all the rage lately – made with protein-rich garbanzo beans. It’s quick-and-easy to make from scratch, but also available in a wide variety of flavors like roasted pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Cruise the hummus isle these days and you’ll find brilliant beet hummus and emerald green edamame varieties!


D’lish hummus!
(Photo from Epicurious)

Creamy white bean dips are also popular and fall into the better-for-you category, too. It’s tasty paired with bold flavors like in my Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade.

Now, we all love our dips with potato and tortilla chips but you can also lighten up your dippables. Try something new, like pita chips and rice crackers, OR go the veggie route with endive leaves, slices of crunchy fennel, or colorful bell pepper.

So whatever the occasion, get out of your DIP RUT, lighten up –and try something new! –Kathy

Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade
I love to make the tapenade with those brilliant green Castelvetrano olives available at olive bars. If you want to take some extra time and pit them rather than buying pitted jarred olives, it is worth it! I like to serve this dip with pita chips or rustic crackers.

Makes 3 cups, or about 8 to 10 servings

Dip
1 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. very finely minced lemon zest
1 tsp. very finely minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tapenade
1 1/2 cups pitted manzanilla or other green olives, drained
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. very finely minced lemon zest
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or oil from sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained

Garnish: extra-virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary sprig

To make the dip: In a food processor, combine the drained beans, cheese, if using, and garlic, and process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. Store the dip, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

To make the tapenade: In a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and oil, and pulse till the ingredients are thoroughly chopped, but still have some coarseness to them. Add the parsley and sundried tomatoes and pulse until just integrated. The tapenade can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

To serve: Put the dip in a pretty bowl, smooth out the surface, then layer the tapenade on top. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, and garnish with the rosemary.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on April 20th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

Mustard is a Must!

I love mustard—zesty Dijon, zingy classic yellow, bitey coarse country-style. It is a universal condiment. From the seeds cooked in Indian fruit chutneys, to the sinus-clearing fiery paste served with Chinese barbecued pork.

Take Dijon for example. It’s a staple in the American kitchen and a must ingredient in many of my recipes from classic vinaigrettes to deviled eggs. I often use it to build an extra “layer” of flavor like in my Whipped Cauliflower with Dijon Mustard. It really rounds out the flavors in the dish.

Rub whole-grain mustard on steaks and roasts or stir it into a garlic alfredo pasta sauce. It’s good on or in just about anything! I like to roast shallots and then blend with whole- grain mustard for a d’lish accompaniment to charcuterie.

And last but not least, we can’t forget the American yellow mustard… Shh! It really is my fave! Zig-zagged across a hot dog of course and the classic ingredient in a home-style eggy potato salad! If you’ve never tried a Southern-style, yellow barbecue sauce (alias “Mop”), you should!

If you’re ever interested in making your own mustard, it’s pretty easy. My No. 1 tip would be to remember that the longer your fresh mustard sits, the mellower it gets. It can be pretty spicy when first made!

Yellow Mustard
Yellow Mustard Flower
Photo from Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission

And if you want to learn more about mustard check out the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission’s site – this is a cool commission that represents mustard growers and helps raise awareness about all things mustard! How cool is that! –Kathy

Whipped Cauliflower with Dijon Mustard
Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 large head cauliflower, about 6 cups florets
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 1 1/2-quart gratin baking dish with cooking spray, and reserve.

Break cauliflower into florets, and boil until totally tender, about 5 minutes. Florets should be “mashable” but not mushy. Drain well, transfer to a food processor with the cream, sour cream, butter, Dijon, salt and pepper.

Process until mixture is a smooth, thick puree. Pulse in 1/2 cup of the grated gruyere.

Transfer mixture into gratin baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until heated through, and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Sprinkle with chives to garnish.

Recipe © by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on April 13th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, sides

Juicing for Joy

As you walk the isle of the grocery store these days, you’ll soon notice the rows and rows of new juices readily available. What is all this juicy business? Well for starters, it’s an easy and d’lish way to get your recommended daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, and not to mention lots of vitamins and nutrients.

So what to do? Got the bucks to buy a bottle? It is pretty convenient to pop into a shop and pick up your favorite blend but over time it can be more expensive than your daily cup of joe.

How about buying a home juicer? Making juice from home can be an investment in time and money up front but with a little planning it truly is the best way to enjoy a juice filled lifestyle and the fresher the juice, the better the health benefits too!

Here’s a favorite blend of mine that you can play with the proportions to fit your pallet. I suggest doing 3 parts veggie or root juice to 1 part fruit juice and any salty, spicy or sour juices should be added to taste.

Beets ( In addition to being sweet and oh so pretty, they are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits)
Celery (It has a touch of natural saltiness, bright flavor, and it’s a natural diuretic)
Slice of fresh ginger
Apple
Lemon Juice

Want a powerful punch of antioxidants? How about whipping up a delicious Green Juice like this one from Sunkist.

 


Photo from Sunkist.com
 

Made with fresh squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, fresh pressed cider , ginger, and kale juice.  Yum!

Oh and did I mention that fresh veggie juices are great  as a mixer for cocktails too! That’s right. The juicing trend is moving into Happy Hour. Here is one of my favorite cocktails for spring: Make it with your favorite gin!

Carrot Collins
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
 

The carrot juice adds a subtle sweetness and a beautiful color, while playing well with the botanicals of the gin. Find this recipe and more at www.liquidkitchen.com

Happy Juicing!  –Kathy

Edible City Month!

How well do YOU know Seattle’s food history? Find out at the Museum of History & Industry (aka MOHAI) with their most recent exhibit, Edible City: A Delicious Journey! This is a must visit exhibit for anyone who loves food and wants to learn more of our city’s tasty history!

See how foodie frontrunners have shaped Seattle from the early days of Pike Place Market truck farmers to the origins of the Rainier cherry. Meet the man behind Seattle’s first sushi bar and discuss/debate Seattle’s signature dishes. From farmers and fishers to celebrity chefs, it’s all there – even a photo of me at 25!

And for the month of April, MOHAI has gathered some of the region’s top restaurants for “dine in for Edible City Month!” a tasty tie-in to Seattle Restaurant Week.

So Dine in For Edible City Month and then check out the MOHAI exhibit to taste the city! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on March 30th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

D’lish Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs – they are everywhere these days! The long loved classic-style made with mustard, mayo and some pickle relish is a popular picnic and party favorite. But these days deviled eggs are getting all dressed up.

Steak and eggs? Yes, we have a deviled egg for that! Just mix up the yolks with a little A1 steak sauce and a touch of mayo – fill and top with a small slice of grilled steak.

For those that like it spicy, you’ll love my Wasabi Deviled Eggs. Wasabi paste, green onion, a touch of mayo and tiny diced cucumber get mixed with the yolk. I like to top this one with a spicy wasabi pea for a crunchy fun garnish!!


Who’s ready for a bite of Wasabi Deviled Eggs?
Photos from D’Lish Deviled Eggs.

Or how about getting your fiesta on with my Chipotle Deviled Eggs: add in some chipotle to deviled egg filling, then top with a little fresh salsa and pieces of crunchy corn chips.

deviled eggs
Chipotle Deviled Eggs—yum!
Photos from D’Lish Deviled Eggs.

Have trouble peeling your hard boiled eggs? Well here’s a tip: roll them on the counter (gently) then peel under running water so the shells slip off easily.

And for more deviled egg ideas, make sure to get a copy of D’Lish Deviled Eggs – with over 50 recipes, there’s a recipe for everyone! So get crackin’ and enjoy some d’lish deviled eggs! –Kathy


Available in book stores, at the Food Studios, and online!

Wasabi Deviled Eggs
Wasabi adds a creative kick of heat, and crisp, fresh cucumber adds textural crunch to these bold eggs. Top these little green devils with a wasabi pea for a fun finish.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
6 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. purchased wasabi paste (or 1 tablespoon wasabi powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion
2 Tbsp. finely minced English cucumber

Topping
24 wasabi peas

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 and wasabi paste, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the green onion and cucumber.

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 wasabi pea, whole or cracked.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Chipotle Deviled Eggs
I’ve been making these for years and they have become a cocktail-party staple. The spicy tomato topping adds textural and visual pizzazz. Serve these with your favorite margarita for a perfect pairing.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling,
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. regular or low-fat sour cream
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 to 2 Tbsp. chipotle chile purée (see tip)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion

Topping
1/2 cup small-diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp minced white onion
2 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 tsps chipotle chile purée (see tip)
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, chipotle purée, garlic, and salt, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the green onion.
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.
To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and chipotle purée. Top each egg half with about 1 tsp of the topping.
Tip: To make chipotle chile purée, place canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, with the sauce, in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Freeze any extra purée for another use.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

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, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Posted by Kathy on March 23rd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, Snacks, appetizers

Peanuts

March is National Peanut Month! In addition to being put in a classic PB & J sandwich, they pack a serious nutritional punch.

Peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, protein and antioxidants. Did you know that they are not actually in the nut family? They’re grain-type legumes, related to beans, lentils, and peas, and grow underground!

Speaking of growing, did you know that peanuts grow in the northwest? Take a peek of this list on Agrilicious for locally grown peanuts, then look for them this summer at farmers markets. They are so tasty when they’re fresh toasted.

Peanuts are great in sweet and savory dishes from classic peanut butter cookies to scattering on phad thai noodles. And of course there’s that delicious peanut sauce, so great for appetizer dipping.


Butterscotch Peanut Bars on Taste of Home

One of my favorite snacks to make is Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts: perfect to munch on while sipping a cocktail. Here’s to the mighty peanut! –Kathy

Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts
If the nuts lose their crispness after cooking, re-toast them in a 350-degree oven for a couple of minutes before serving.

Makes about 4 cups

1 egg white
1 Tbsp. water
1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) salted, dry-roasted, skinless peanuts
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
2 tsp. five-spice powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white with water until foamy. Add the peanuts and toss to coat. Transfer the nuts to a strainer, shake, and let drain for at least 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, sesame seeds, five-spice, cayenne and salt. Add the drained peanuts and toss to coat thoroughly.

On a large baking sheet with sides, spread the nuts out in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Stir the nuts with a spatula and spread them out again. REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE to 200 degrees and bake for 45 to 55 minutes longer, or until dry.

Loosen the nuts from the baking sheet but do not remove them from the sheet. Cool to room temperature. Be sure to let the nuts cool completely and become crisp. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on March 16th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, Snacks
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