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

Labor Day Picnic Foods

Labor Day is coming up – a holiday that commemorates the workers who have helped made this country great. To many, 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 potluck with friends and family? And twist up your menu with some new drinks and dishes. Start out with a refreshing drink such as a house-made sparkling blackberry lemon soda – perfect for using up the last of those wild picked blackberries! Serve it dry or add a splash of your favorite local vodka or gin.

For the food, set out an array of apps to make a meal of it. Try giving a sassy twist to some old favorites like Sriracha Deviled Eggs, and try something new in the dip department like Creamy White Bean Dip with Garlic and Rosemary topped with chopped up fresh summer tomatoes, and served up with fresh cucumbers, and grilled pita for dipping.

The possibilities are endless and delicious! –Kathy

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Sriracha Deviled Eggs – Yum!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs with Crunchy Cucumber & Shrimp
Sriracha adds a spicy kick and a beautiful color to these festive eggs. The shrimp and cucumber topping adds a fresh note and fun texture. Be sure to use eggs that are at least 10 days old or the shells will not peel off easily.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion
2 Tbsp. finely minced celery

2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup chopped cooked shrimp, well drained
2 Tbsp. finely minced English cucumber
1 Tbsp. finely minced red pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Garnish: extra Sriracha sauce and cilantro leaves (if desired)

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, Sriracha and salt, and mix until smooth (you can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment). Stir in the green onion and celery.

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, stir the vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl, until dissolved. Add the shrimp, cucumber, pepper and cilantro, and toss until well coated. Top each egg half with about one heaping teaspoon of the mixture. For extra flavor and spice top each egg with a dot of Sriracha and garnish with a tiny cilantro leaf, if desired. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Creamy White Bean Dip with Garlic and Rosemary
I like to serve this dip with crostini, grilled flat breads or fresh veggies, such as pieces of fennel, red peppers, blanched green beans or grilled vegetables. For a variation, top with diced fresh tomatoes, cucumber and your favorite olives.

Makes 3 cups

2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well (I used S&W White Beans in Light Seasoning)
6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely minced lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig

Drain beans well, then combine in a food processor with the garlic cloves. Process for about 1 minute, then scrape down sides of food processor work bowl, and add the chili flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. This dip will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve in a bowl; drizzle dip with a tiny bit of olive oil and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on August 27th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, 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

Coleslaw with Everything!

The sun is shining and that means picnics. And no outdoor meal is complete without coleslaw!

There are a lot of different varieties of slaw, and you can certainly switch up the cabbages. Try your next slaw with green, red, savoy, or nappa. But it’s the dressing that really gives slaw that tasty, zippy zing.

There are vinaigrette types, which range from tart and tangy. Then there are creamy or spicy styles, which are my faves.

I love a cooked thickened dressing – why? Well you know sometimes when you dress your slaw it gets kind of weepy and then bland. Well a cooked and thickened dressing takes care of that as it stays coated to the cabbage. Just thicken a simmering vinegar and sugar mixture with a little cornstarch, cool, and then add into mayo with your seasonings.

My recipe for Poppy Seed Pineapple Slaw is a great example of a cooked thickened dressing and is perfect to serve with barbecue-slathered ribs and fresh grilled corn! –Kathy


Poppy Seed & Pineapple Coleslaw
Makes 6 cups

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 tsp. salt
tiny pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger (optional)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 (1 lb. ) bag coleslaw greens or 8 cups of mixed shredded green and red cabbage
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 cup light or regular mayonnaise

In a small saucepan combine the crushed pineapple with juice, salt, red pepper flakes, ginger, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch. Whisk together well until the cornstarch is dissolved. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil while constantly stirring; cook until dressing is thickened. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place coleslaw greens, green onion, carrot and poppy seeds in a large bowl. Stir mayonnaise into cooled pineapple mixture, then mix into coleslaw, coating salad well.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on May 28th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Add New Life to Weekday Dinner With Modern Sides!

The side dishes of today should bring variety and spice to our meals. Baked potatoes and rice are still great go-to’s. But with so many interesting new options, it’s time to get creative!

How about trying some different varieties of rice? Try fragrant basmati so tasty jazzed up with chili paste, fresh ginger, chopped roasted peanuts, and a sprinkle of scallions. Or try jasmine rice simply steamed with lemongrass, ginger and garlic.

Couscous is super-fast and easy to make, as is bulgur wheat. Add in fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, dried fruits and some toasted nuts, then finished with a dash of ground coriander.

In the veggie category, glazed carrots and steamed asparagus are giving way to more complex dishes like Roasted Baby Eggplants with Spicy Peanut Soy Dressing, which I developed for Sunset – yes, please!

Roasted Baby Eggplants with Spicy Peanut Soy Dressing
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunset Produce

Roasting root vegetables intensifies their sweetness. I love to pair Roasted Beets with an easy Orange Cumin Glaze. Now that’s not boring, right?

So get out of your side dish rut and try something new. You never know, you may invent the next beloved “green bean casserole.” –Kathy

Roasted Beets with Orange Cumin Glaze
You can prepare this recipe part way in advance: Just roast, peel and slice the beets ahead of time. This can be done up to 3 days in advance. Then finish the rest of the recipe procedure per instructions.

Makes about 6 servings.

5 large beets (about 2 lb.)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsps butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 Tbsp finely chopped orange zest
2 Tbsps chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash the beets and leave root untrimmed. Place beets on a large sheet of foil and seal like a package. Place foil packet on a baking pan and roast in preheated oven until very tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Poke beets to make sure they are tender.

As soon as beets are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off and slice into 1/4-inch slices.

In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, cumin, vinegar , honey and cornstarch. Stir until cornstarch is well incorporated.

Place liquid mixture in a large, non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking – while adding the  butter and salt. Bring to a boil and add the sliced beets. Cook, turning beets as necessary, until they are hot and nicely glazed. Place on a serving platter or in large, shallow bowl.

Mix together the walnuts, orange zest and parsley and sprinkle over the beets.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on May 14th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Asparagus – The Sure Sign of Spring

Asparagus is a sure sign of spring. Looking for new ways to cook it? Well, I love it steamed, grilled, roasted, or sautéed. Just give it a quick rinse and then snap off the fibrous ends at their “natural break.” The ends can be saved for veggie stock or added to your compost.

Asparagus is also great to incorporate into a weekend brunch, in an easy egg scramble with shrimp and herby boursin garlic cheese – Yum!

If you’ve got the grill fired up, just toss asparagus spears in a little olive oil and seasoning, lightly grill and serve with oh-so-Northwest, homemade, toasted Hazelnut Aioli. Perfect for smearing, slathering, or dipping grilled asparagus into.

And don’t think you must go through a huge ordeal to make pickled asparagus! I’ve got a great recipe for Quick Overnight Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus – it’s a snap!

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

Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Grilled Asparagus with Hazelnut Aioli
Makes 4 – 6 servings of asparagus and 1 1/2 cups of aioli

2 bunches of fat asparagus – about 2 pounds
olive oil, as needed
salt, as desired

Hazelnut Aioli
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 egg yolks*
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
1 Tbsp. water

Wash asparagus and with a paring knife trim off the bottom 3 inches (the woody tough part) and discard. Meanwhile, get coals going in grill — you want to grill the asparagus over pretty hot coals.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To toast hazelnuts for the aioli:
Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 6 – 8 minutes, or until golden. When cool enough to handle, put hazelnuts in a clean, non-fuzzy dishtowel and rub as much skin off hazelnuts as comes off easily. Set aside until needed.

To make aioli:
In a food processor add the hazelnuts, sugar, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, egg yolks and salt. Process until smooth. In a measuring cup mix together the olive and hazelnut oils. With food processor running, SLOWLY drizzle in the oils; the drizzle should be about the width of a spaghetti strand. The mixture will slowly begin to emulsify, forming a mayonnaise-like consistency. (Don’t add the oil too fast, or the mixture will break!) When all the oil has been added, pulse in the water. Store refrigerated until ready to use. May be made up to 3 days in advance.

To grill the asparagus:
Place asparagus on a large plate and lightly brush with a little olive oil. Place asparagus over very hot coals and grill for about 1 minute on each side to mark asparagus nicely and cook until just done. Sprinkle with a little salt if desired.

Great served hot or warm dipped into or smeared with aioli — I like it served cold, too!

* Note: Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Asparagus, Shrimp & Boursin Breakfast Scramble
Makes about 4 servings

8 eggs
2 Tbsps. water
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup bias-cut fresh asparagus
4 oz. wt. (1/2 cup) bay shrimp, or cooked shrimp, chopped
1/2 cup Boursin cheese (garlic and herb)
chopped parsley or snipped chives for garnish if desired

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and water until very foamy; season as desired with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large, non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring often, until barely tender, about 2 minutes.

Add in the egg mixture and move the eggs around the pan with a spoon or spatula, turning them as necessary until they are three-quarters cooked, about 1 – 2 minutes, and have just started to thicken.

At this point add the shrimp. Fold into eggs, heat through and serve immediately. Dollop 2 tablespoons of Boursin on top of each serving and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Overnight Pickled Asparagus
Makes 1 large jar or about 20 pieces.

1 bunch (about 1 1/4 pounds untrimmed) fresh fat asparagus

Pickling Brine
1 1/2 cups distilled vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 garlic cloves, sliced in half
2 Tbsps. pickling spice
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Wash asparagus and with a paring knife trim off the bottom 3 inches (the woody tough part) and discard.

Place asparagus in a canning jar standing up or in a glass bread pan or other non-corrosive container. The asparagus should fit tightly in. Set jar or container on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan over high heat. Bring to a hard rolling boil and then immediately ladle brine with the spices over asparagus, being sure to cover the asparagus and poking down the spears if needed. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.

Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least overnight before eating. Pickled asparagus will last refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on April 10th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides


Cinnamon has a spicy history. Wars were fought over trading rights and Ancient Romans paid more for cinnamon than its weight in gold!

Cinnamon Sticks
Fresh cinnamon sticks from World Spice Merchants at Pike Place!

It has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine for its warming qualities to provide relief at the beginning of a cold or flu, especially when mixed in tea with fresh ginger.

Today everybody’s spice rack has a jar of ground cinnamon lying around. It’s a must for all those recipes that are oh-so-American from apple pie to cinnamon rolls to snicker doodles. We love our cinnamon!

But it’s not only used for sweets. It flavors all TYPES of foods from Greek eggplant moussaka and spicy Indian curries to Mexican hot chocolate and Middle Eastern pastries. Cinnamon adds a warming touch to Garam Masala, a spice mix with cloves, cardamom and cumin used in finishing vegetables and meat dishes.

I also love it in couscous dishes and even in a sultry Spiced Vinaigrette on a salad. Cinnamon Scented Basmati Rice will change how you cook rice forever!

One thing to remember ground cinnamon only lasts for about 6 months, and cinnamon sticks stay fresh for about a year. Keep your spice jars tightly sealed and in a cool spot.

Keep things spicy with a hint of cinnamon! – Kathy

Spiced Vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 tsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger

Combine vinegar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, spices, and salt in mixing bowl, whisking well.

Gradually whisk in olive oil, emulsifying the dressing. Whisk in minced ginger. Let sit 8 hours or longer before using.

Store extra dressing refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Cinnamon Scented Basmati Rice
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained well
3 Tbsps. butter
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced onion
1 cinnamon stick, cracked in half
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Small pinch cayenne
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon (or lime) juice
1 1/2 tsp. minced lemon (or lime) zest
2 Tbsps. cream
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsps. thinly sliced chives

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Place the very well-drained rice in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

Melt the butter in a nonstick or heavy saucepan. Add the onion and cinnamon stick and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the cayenne, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, cream, and salt, and bring to a boil.

Stir the mixture into the rice, being sure to scrape up and include all the goodies. Seal tightly with foil and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving, then fold in the chives.

Recipe adapted from Dishing with Kathy Casey Cookbook.

Posted by Kathy on March 27th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Rainbow Chard: Add Some Color To Your Veggies

Rainbow chard (also known as Swiss chard and silverbeet) is a beautiful green leafy vegetable with deep green leaves and bright red, yellow, orange, or pink stems.

(Photo from Austin Fresh.)

Related to beets, these nutrient-packed leaves are high in magnesium and iron, as well as an excellent source of fiber. They’re also rich in vitamins A, C and K, and they are high in antioxidants (as are all deep green leafy veggies).

They’re so versatile! You can enjoy rainbow chard sautéed, steamed or even raw. It’s also makes a great addition to any “green” juice or blended into a smoothie.

To prepare: strip the leafy part from the stems and cut up or shred depending on how you are serving. Then thinly slice the colorful stalks.

A raw salad with Swiss chard, cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese is a great start to a meal.

For a warm vegetable side dish, sauté the sliced ribs first with some olive oil, garlic and lemon zest. Then when almost tender toss in those brilliant green leaves and cook till just wilted. Finish with a sprinkling of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Or try my recipe for Farro with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms.

Now that’s some d’Lish colorful eating! – Kathy

Farro with Swiss Chard, Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/2 cup whole farro grains
2 qts water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup sliced wild or domestic mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
pinch red chili flakes
1 large bunch swiss chard, leaves torn and stems/ribs sliced
1/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon
3-4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre) or 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan

To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine farro and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer; cook the grain for about 30 minutes, or until very tender, but do not let it become mushy. Add more water if it gets low. Drain the cooked farro and set aside. (You can do this the day before; refrigerate cooked grain.)

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms and the swiss chard sliced ribs until half cooked, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for a few seconds. Stir in swiss chard leaves. Add chicken broth and cooked farro, and cook, turning greens several times, until greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon over dish to brighten flavor. Serve dolloped with goat cheese or scattered with grated parmesan.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 11th, 2014  |  Comments Off on Rainbow Chard: Add Some Color To Your Veggies |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides