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Quick Pickles and Amazing Flavors

Who doesn’t love homemade pickles? But sometimes the idea of making them seems daunting. Quick pickle recipes to the rescue – easy to make and store refrigerated! This method is perfect for home pickling beginners.

My recipe for Quick Summer Garden Pickles is fast and easy. Clean quart jars, then pack with a mixture of vegetables (think baby cukes, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower), garlic, chili pods and some fresh flowering dill too if you have it. Boil up a sweet and tart brine and quickly pour into the veggie-packed jars. Quickly screw on the lid, and cool to room temperature for about 45 minutes, then pop into the refrigerator! In just two days, you’ll have delicious pickles to bring to a picnic or enjoy at a backyard BBQ.

And pickling isn’t just for veggies. For something a little different, try one of my favorites, Blushing Pickled Peaches! Peaches, fresh ginger, and garlic are covered with a brine of red wine, white vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds and crushed red pepper. They will keep for a month in the refrigerator. Perfectly d’lish to serve up with your favorite cheeses or grilled meats!

Who’s ready for tangy Blushing Pickled Peaches?

Here’s to quick pickles! –Kathy

Blushing Pickled Peaches
Be sure to use a freestone variety of peach for this recipe such as Elberta or Hale. Great with grilled ham, steaks and poultry, and especially fantastic with thinly sliced prosciutto, crusty French bread and a glass of Northwest Pinot Gris.

Makes 1 quart

5 – 6 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered, about 2 – 2 1/4 lbs.
2 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into 1/4-inch slices (2 oz wt.)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt or uniodized salt
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


Tightly pack the peach halves, alternating with the ginger and garlic, into 2 clean 1/2-quart jars. (or you can do one 1-quart jar).


Meanwhile, in a small, non-reactive saucepan bring the remaining ingredients to a quick boil over high heat. Immediately remove from heat and ladle over the peaches, making sure to cover them and transferring all the spices to the peaches.


Brine 2Finished

Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Immediately after cooling, refrigerate peaches. Chill the pickled peaches for 2 – 3 days before using them. They’ll keep 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Quick Summer Garden Pickles
Makes 4 quarts

Vegetable Mixture:
7 cups (about 2 lb.) 3/4″-sliced pickling cucumbers
2 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″-thick-slant-cut carrots
2 medium jalapeño peppers, cut in half, or 1 large, quartered
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks yellow or white onion
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks red onion
2 cups (8 oz wt) 1″ chunks red bell peppers (substitute some hot peppers or some of your other favorite summer peppers if desired)
2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″- to 3/4″-sliced yellow zucchini or yellow squash

Pickling Brine:
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. pickling spice
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss together to mix colors. Divide vegetables among four clean, regular mouth 1-quart canning jars, packing vegetables in tight. Set jars on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and then immediately ladle pickling brine into filled jars, filling to 1/2″ from the top and being sure to cover the vegetables and distribute spices evenly. Immediately cover jar with lid and tighten. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least 2 days before eating. Pickles will last refrigerated up to 1 month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on August 14th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

KUOW – 94.9 FM

Seattle’s KUOW – 94.9 FM is airing segments on farmers markets. Check out this segment on the Ballard Farmers Market and my tips on how to pick fresh peaches, including my Honey Lavender Peach Fizz recipe!

And for a demo on how to make Fresh Peach Puree, check out

Posted by Kathy on August 11th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Fruit, Lifestyle, Press, Recent Posts, Recipes, videos

The Mighty Peanut

Peanuts! In addition to being the core ingredient in a classic PB&J sandwich, they pack a serious nutritional punch and are really, quite healthy – when eaten in moderation.

Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated (MONO-Un-Saturated) fat, the type emphasized in heart-healthy diet. They are also a good source of vitamin E, protein and antioxidants. When roasted, peanuts’ antioxidant content are boosted and are similar to those found in blackberries and strawberries!

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 here in the northwest? That’s right! Farms like Alvarez located in Mabton and CB’s Nuts in Hansville have grown peanuts for years. You may have bought their delicious peanuts at a farmers market or in your local grocery store! Check out Agrilicious (agg-ree-LISH-us) – a great site for finding who’s growing what locally…. like peanuts.

A bounty of peanuts perfect for snacking!

Peanuts are great in sweet and savory dishes from classic peanut butter cookies to scattering on phad thai noodles. One of my favorite snacks to make is my Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts great to much 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® –

Posted by Kathy on July 29th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

Honey Varieties

Oh honey! That amazing sweet and flavorful product our wonderful bees give us!

I love bees, but I use to be afraid of them until I had a couple of hives in my urban garden and there were a LOT of bees! Honey bees go about their business and are busy, busy zooming around the everywhere. They are on a mission so make sure to not get in their flight path.

Did you know a bee will only produce about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime? Wow!

The United States alone has 300+ varieties of honey. The variety depends on the type of blossom the bees are collecting nectar from. In the northwest, we have one of my all-time faves – blackberry honey!

My Liquid Kitchen 5130 Honey harvested from my Ballard urban garden!

If you are like me and love to whip up creative beverages and cocktails – then swap out your simple syrup for honey syrup – take 2 parts honey and 1 part hot water and mix together until they are combined. It will store for over a week in the refrigerator.

Try adding it to a summery drink like a tall Lemony Collins or a Watermelon Honey Limeade, or in a delicious salad dressing like below!

There are some great recipes on The National Honey Boards site as well as.

Cheers to a sweet summer! –Kathy

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

8 cups local, mixed baby greens
Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
1/4 cup (1 ounce) chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 ounces chevre-style goat cheese, crumbled

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey such as wildflower or blackberry
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. canola oil or light olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

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

To serve salad: Toss greens with dressing and divide among 4 plates. Scatter with berries, hazelnuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on July 23rd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads


Many people think of lavender as scenting soaps, spa treatments and perfumes, and it’s well-known for its calming and relaxing properties. But lavender has also enjoyed a long history in the culinary world.

For the lavender lovers, the 19th Annual Sequim Lavender Festival is this weekend!

In fact, it is experiencing quite resurgence. Chefs, bakers and mixologists alike are using this member of the mint family to spruce up savory dishes, sweets, and cocktails.

Lavender is best used sparingly to let its fragrant flavour subtly shine and not to overpower. When added to an herbaceous seasoning mix like Herbs De Provence, it gives a unique note to grilled proteins like chicken or pork.

A sprinkle of lavender into your favorite sugar cookie recipe adds a delicious floral note, like in my Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies.

Beautiful Lavender growing in our urban garden at the Food StudiosLiquid Kitchen

If you are a jam maker try adding a pinch or two of lavender to your next batch of strawberry jam. I also love it infused in a little local honey and drizzled over cheese or a sprinkling in the filling of a berry pie.

For a super-refreshing drink, whip up my Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler – made with an easy to make lavender simple syrup. Drink it over ice or with a splash of gin, vodka or silver rum for summertime sipping perfection.

Here’s to lavender!–Kathy

Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies
A wonderful not-too-sweet cookie with big flavor.

Makes 12 cookies

1 stick butter, softened
2 tsp fresh lavender
1 Tbsp. lemon zest, finely minced
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. local honey

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter, lavender, lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and mix until just combined. Add the honey and then mix until dough just comes together.

With lightly floured hands roll dough into a 2” round cylinder and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice dough into 12 even slices with a sharp knife and place on a baking sheet pan.

Bake shortbread in middle of oven approx. 10 minutes or until bottom of cookies are pale golden. Remove from oven and remove cookies to a cooling rack.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler
Zesty lime syrup and fresh mint make for a refreshing drink, perfect for any patio party or sunny afternoon.

Makes 7 cups – serves 8 to 10

3 Tbsp. finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)*
8 – 10 large sprigs fresh lavender
8 large sprigs fresh mint
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 cups water (or substitute soda water if serving right away)
Garnish: lime wheels and fresh lavender sprigs

Combine the zest, lavender, mint, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the mint to steep and the syrup to cool.

Remove and discard mint from syrup. In a large pitcher, combine the cooled syrup, lime juice, and water. Serve over ice in a tall glass garnished with lime wheels and mint. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

* Zest is the outer peel of the fruit – with no white pith attached. You can remove the zest from the fruit with a fine zesting tool that makes long, very thin, pretty strands, or you can peel off the zest with an ordinary potato peeler, being careful not to get any white pith, and then finely mince it.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® –

Posted by Kathy on July 16th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in events, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

Potato Salads

Potato Salad is the go-to summer side dish. It’s perfect when cozied up with grilled chicken, or a plate of BBQ goodness.

Everyone seems to love their Mom or Grandma’s versions. Is yours creamy, eggy, pickley? A lot of times it’s what you grew up with that becomes your gold standard.

But why not mix it up a little with some creative takes on this perennial favorite. Greek or Asian potato salad? Why not? My Greek Potato Salad incorporates red potatoes with fresh oregano, calamata olives, bell peppers and cucumbers with a d’lish Feta Vinaigrette.

And one of my new faves is Wasabi Potato Salad. Still warm steamed potatoes are tossed with soy and seasoned rice wine vinegar – cooled then mixed with a wasabi spiked mayo, celery and green onions. Yum!

Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios.
Or whip up a batch of All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs from my book D’Lish Deviled Eggs

So whatever potato salad you’re setting your table with this weekend I know it will be D’Lish! – Kathy

Greek Potato Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
Makes 8 cups

2 lbs red potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup halved pitted calamata olives
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 cup tiny-diced red onion
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup crumbled cheese)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Steam potatoes until very tender, about 12 – 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, oregano, salt and pepper.

When potatoes are still warm, toss them with the dressing and set aside until cool, then stir in the remaining ingredients.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on July 9th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Fourth of July Cherries

Cherries just say summer to me and are perfect for this Red, White, & Blue holiday weekend. Cherry pie, cherry cocktails, cherry salad – I WANT IT ALL!

The only other challenge to cooking with cherries is pitting them. If you are pitting a lot of cherries, it’s best to get a large plunger pitter. I like the kind that clamps onto the side of a picnic table – the outdoors are the ideal place to do this messy chore.

Stem the cherries, then load up the hopper and start punching the plunger down. The only hitch is that, by the time you are finished, you are usually freckled with pink dots! So wear an old shirt—cherry stains are hard to get out, and this can sometimes be the pits!

For quick pitting projects, you can also use a wooden chopstick to poke out the pits.

This weekend try layering fresh pitted cherries with pieces of shortcake, whipped cream and some blueberries in little half pint jars for a d’lish Red, White, & Blue Cherry-Berry Shortcake! –Kathy

Red, White, Blue
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Red, White, & Blue Cherry-Berry Shortcake
This recipe is super-cute layered in wide-mouth half pint canning jars for a country picnic theme. The recipe is best made up a couple of hours in advance and refrigerated. Top with whipped cream right before serving.

Makes 8 servings

2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1/3 cup cherry or strawberry jam
8 shortcakes, torn into pieces OR 1 purchased pound cake, about 10.75 oz, cut into 1” cubes (about 5 cups)
1 pint fresh blueberries
3 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream
8 fresh cherries for garnish – or maraschino cherries

Pit the cherries, and cut them in half. Toss with the jam and let sit for 20 minutes.

Divide the cake between eight 10-oz glasses or wide mouth half-pint canning jars. Evenly distribute the cherries over the cake then scatter with the blueberries. Top each serving with whipped topping and garnish with a cherry.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on July 2nd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

In The Mix Magazine

In The Mix Magazine shared my recipe for Gin with House-made Bitter Lemon & Soda cocktail as a refreshing summer gin drink. Perfect to sip while enjoying the warm summer weather.

For a demo on how to make the House-Made Bitter lemon, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

Posted by Kathy on June 30th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Press, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network