dessert

Maple Syrup

When I think of Maple Syrup, I can’t help but think of warm and fuzzy memories – especially about breakfast.

So where does this d’lish treat come from? The mighty sugar maple tree! Quebec is by far the largest producer of this sticky syrup – producing 70 percent of the world’s supply. Thanks Canada!

There are several grades of syrup – ranging from extra light to extra dark – each with their own flavor profile and characteristics.

But this sugary delight isn’t just for sweet breakfasts or desserts. That’s right – maple syrup is delicious in savory dishes too! Added to a pot of slow-roasting baked beans; in a salad vinaigrette; or even a pork marinade.

Or how about some maple roasted veggies, finished with sea salt and topped over a piping hot bowl of creamy polenta – yum!

So branch out – and discover all that maple syrup has to offer.
-Kathy

Maple Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

6 tablespoons real maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and shallots. Combine the two oils and then, while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil into the syrup mixture. The dressing should be well mixed and emulsified. Whisk in the seasonings.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Rewhisk before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on April 5th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Maple Syrup |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, sides

Upside Down Cakes

Sometimes things are just better upside down. Bust out the baking dish – I’m talking about delicious Upside Down Cakes!

Light and fluffy cake batter encased by a sugary-butter topping and jeweled with chopped fruits – baked until ooey gooey and caramelized. What could be better than that?

So versatile and decadent – these cakes are a total crowd pleaser and often seen during the holidays. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is by far the most popular – but there are plenty of variations that are just as scrumptious! Apples, peaches, cherries, or plums – it’s the perfect vehicle for your favorite fruit.

This d’lish dessert is sometimes considered a little retro – but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try. Throw in some chopped nuts or layer on a boozy caramel glaze for a fun twist. Or throw that rule book out the window and try my Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake for breakfast!

You can even make mini versions using your trusty cupcake tin as the baking vessel!
-Kathy

Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

Batter
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Apple layer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
—————————–
vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray, and set aside.

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

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the pecans, and pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 15th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Upside Down Cakes |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Snacks

Bananas

Bananas, the ultimate all-natural portable snack! Perfect for throwing into your purse or bag when you’re on the go.

Besides being deliciously handy, bananas are a great source of potassium and are low in sodium. They are a good source of Vitamin B as well as Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Plus they are naturally fat free!

If you’re thinking of a late-season campfire, then consider this s’mores alternative:

Take an unpeeled banana and make a split lengthwise – just not all the way through. Carve a trough from end to end, keeping the peel. Munch on the removed banana to tie you over, while filling the trough with bits of marshmallow and chocolate and sprinkle with crumbled graham crackers. Wrap the whole thing in tin foil and stick it in the embers like a potato, or over a hot grill. After a few minutes, take it out and carefully unwrap. Yum!

And believe it or not, bananas are delicious in savory dishes too. My recipe for Banana Pineapple Chutney is flavored with warm spices like ginger and allspice. It’s a fantastic way to spice up a grilled chicken breast or pork chop.

So let’s face it – any way you slice them (or even if you don’t), bananas are d’lish!
–Kathy

Banana Pineapple Chutney
Great served with basmati rice and vegetable curries as well as grilled scallops, chicken, pork chops or ham.

Makes 3 cups

1/3 cup 1/4-inch-diced red onion
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
———————————–
2 Tbsp. currants
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced ripe fresh pineapple
2 cups (about 2 large) firm underripe bananas, peeled, cut in half lengthwise then in 1/2-inch chunks

In a heavy, wide, shallow, nonreactive pot, place all ingredients except the fruit. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for about 4 minutes until mixture is syrupy and slightly reduced.

Add currants and pineapple, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 1 minute. Gently fold in bananas and cook until just thickened, about 2 minutes more. Occasionally stir the mixture gently; do not stir roughly—you want to keep the fruit pieces’ integrity. Chutney should be thickened but still slightly juicy. If too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate if not serving right away. Chutney should be slightly warm for serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 8th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Bananas |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, sides

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons – a culinary favorite of mine with its deep yellow hue and fragrant flavor. Rumored to be a cross between a lemon and an orange, this zesty citrus is typically available December through April.

So what makes these cuties different from a standard lemon? Meyer’s have pretty “thin skin”, are highly aromatic, and have a sweeter taste than standard lemons. Their delicate flavor works great in cocktails, desserts, and savory dishes too!

I like to thinly slice them and roast alongside chicken or pork. The slices are so tasty when eaten with the dish – like in my recipe for Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port.

The zest of their peel is fragrant and delicious too – especially when added to shortbread cookies or an Herbed Orzo Salad.

So wake up your taste buds with this citrusy delight – and hurry before they’re gone!
-Kathy

Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & 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 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled Meyer lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 teaspoon 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 by Kathy Casey Food Studios ®

Herbed Meyer Lemon Orzo
Makes 6 servings

12 ounces dry orzo pasta (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots
1/2 cup very coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced Meyer lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and cook for approximately 6 – 7 minutes, stirring often, until just al dente or per package instructions. Immediately drain well, then place orzo in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in butter, olive oil, shallots and herbs to coat well. Then stir in lemon juice, zest, seasonings and cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 22nd, 2018  |  Comments Off on Meyer Lemons |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, chicken, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, herbs, meats, salads, seafood, sides, Snacks

Smooth Sipping Chocolate

When I think of my childhood favorite after school treat, hot chocolate always comes to mind. But cocoa isn’t just for kids – that’s right adults! Jazz up the flavors with savory and spice add in’s – like infusing cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks into the base. You can even add in a chili pod for some heat!

You can switch it up in other ways too – for those avoiding dairy, there are lots of options these days. Coconut or almond milk make great alternatives.

Turn your cocoa into a cozy night-cap by stirring in a little honey whiskey or your favorite liqueur. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you’ve got to try my luscious Red Wine Sipping Chocolate.

This rich and creamy version combines sultry dark chocolate, a bold lush red wine and a touch of honey for sweetness. For even more decadence, top it off with a big fat toasted gourmet marshmallow (get the blow torch out!) and finish it with a sprinkle of red wine salt. That’s not your mama’s cocoa!

Now get to sipping! -Kathy

Red Wine Honey Sipping Chocolate
This hot chocolate combines three beloved ingredients: honey, chocolate and red wine – yes wine! It’s rich, delicious and meant to be sipped and savored. For even more decadence, top with toasted hand-made Honey Marshmallows, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with red wine salt.

Makes about 4 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons Wildflower Blossom Honey
Garnish: 4 Honey Marshmallows (see recipe) or substitute gourmet purchased marshmallows, red wine salt*, honey for drizzling

Combine the chocolate and wine in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until the chocolate is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the milk and honey, increase heat to med-low and continue to heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and pour into small cups for serving. Garnish with toasted marshmallows sprinkled lightly with red wine salt if desired.

*Red wine salt is available online.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for the National Honey Board

Posted by Kathy on February 15th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Smooth Sipping Chocolate |  Posted in chocolate, cocoa nibs, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Snacks

Go Nuts for Almonds!

Hail the mighty almond! The crunchy nut that’s packed with flavor and healthy goodness.

Available in many forms – raw, slivered, flour, milk, butter, and oil – this nutty ingredient can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

And talk about versatile! It’s so easy to integrate them into your diet. That’s a good thing too – because this superfood is SUPER healthy! Packed with Vitamin E and rich in dietary fiber and healthy fats. Plus they are a super protein source and easy to have a little snack baggie around for when you’re feeling hangry!

Chopped up and added to salads, grain bowls, or your morning yogurt, they’ll keep you feeling full and keep your body’s metabolism on track. My Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw is the perfect healthy snack or side dish.

So go nuts! Nuts for Almonds, that is.
-Kathy

Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw
Makes about 8 servings

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Sriracha
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1 large head)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sour cream, salt and Sriracha. Add green onions, cabbage, cranberries and cilantro and toss until well coated.

The salad should sit for 30 minutes before serving. If making way ahead, refrigerate dressing and salad ingredients separately, then toss together 30 minutes before ready to serve. Toss the almonds into the salad right before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 1st, 2018  |  Comments Off on Go Nuts for Almonds! |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, Snacks

Unicorn Trend – It’s a Rainbow Kind of Feeling

We all know the Northwest is known for its rain, but when the sun finally comes out, so do the rainbows! Legend has it there’s a pot of gold at the end…but I think there’s something else hiding under there. Unicorns!

It’s no secret that the wild unicorn trend has taken the country by storm. Restaurants all over the place are serving up unicorn inspired lattes, cakes, bagels, and more. The colorful creations are truly a sight to see.


Unicorn Sushi Photo from Chaarg


Unicorn Bagels Photo from Kirbie’s Cravings

So what does it take to be a unicorn food, you ask? Glitter, sprinkles, shimmer, and bright colors of course! The crazier, the better.

But you don’t have to go out to enjoy this whimsical trend- get creative and try it at home. Jazz up your next party with cupcakes covered in edible glitter. Or how about a glitter rimmed cocktail- now we’re talkin’!

And you don’t have to stop there – top an ice cream sundae with a heaping handful of cotton candy. Sprinkle some luster dust on fresh fruit for a fun twist. If you’re feeling extra crafty, use food coloring to make unicorn butter or whipped cream! Top it on waffles, pancakes, or muffins for a wacky breakfast treat.


Unicorn Milkshake Photo from BethCakes

And if you really want to get your Unicorn DIY on, check out the fun step by step instructions on how to make a Unicorn Bark Milkshake on BethCakes blog – if anything it will make you smile!

So whether you have kids of your own- or you’re just a big kid at heart- the unicorn food trend is the perfect way to bring a little magic to your day.

-Kathy

Posted by Kathy on July 20th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Unicorn Trend – It’s a Rainbow Kind of Feeling |  Posted in chocolate, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio

Picture Perfect Pies

My oh my, I LOVE pie! Whether you’re celebrating a holiday, enjoying a summer time BBQ, or having a casual family dinner- pie can be the perfect dessert for any occasion. Strawberry lavender rhubarb, meyer lemon meringue, salted caramel pecan…the flavor combinations are endless!

I love a fresh berry pie with grated lemon zest added to the filling. Warm from the oven and topped with a big scoop of classic vanilla ice cream- yum!

It’s no secret that apple is crowd favorite flavor too. Choose a new variety of apples from the farmers market to switch things up, and then try adding dried cranberries or currants to the mix. If you’re really in the mood to try something different, add Tillamook cheddar to the crust- one of my personal favorites.

And you don’t have to stop there! Get creative with your crust. I like to add goodies such as sliced almonds, fine chopped walnuts, or poppy seeds. The crunchy texture pairs perfectly with a flaky, buttery pie dough.

Celebrate summer with your next pie! Picking fresh fruit at a local you-pick-farm is such fun and a great way to get the whole family involved. And once the hard work is done, treat yourself by making my Free-Form Stone Fruit Hand Pies. Happy baking!
-Kathy

Free-Form Stone Fruit Hand Pies
Makes 8 pies

Almond Crust
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup shortening, cold
1 large egg, beaten
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons ice water

Stone Fruit Filling
2 1/2 pounds assorted stone fruit such as: sliced fresh peaches, (peeled) nectarines, apricots, plums, or pitted cherries (about 7 1/2 – 8 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup (4 ounces) marzipan or almond paste, optional
Sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

To make the Almond Crust: Mix the flour, almonds, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening and, with a pastry blender or clean hands, combine until mixture forms pea-sized particles.

In a small, separate bowl, mix together 2 TABLESPOONS of the beaten egg, the vinegar, and the ice water. (Reserve the remaining beaten egg for egg wash.) Stir this mixture into the dry mixture and mix until the liquid is just incorporated. (This dough should be fairly moist and pliable, not crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time.)

Form the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour before rolling out.

To make the Stone Fruit Filling: Place the fruit in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon together and reserve.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly spray 2 or 3 large baking sheets with nonstick vegetable spray and set aside.

After the dough has chilled, cut it into 8 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick circle. Keep the other pieces covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap while you work. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, keeping the rolled-out circles separate and covered.

Sprinkle the fruit with the reserved sugar mixture and toss very gently. Coat the fruit thoroughly; no dry mixture should be left in the bowl.

If using the marzipan or almond paste, divide it into 1/2-tablespoon pieces. Flatten out each piece and tear it into several pieces. Place pieces on tart shells.

Divide the Fruit Filling among the tart shells, placing about 3/4 heaping cup in the center of each. Gather up the crust edges around the filling, bringing about 1 1/2 inches of pastry all around over the fruit to make an open-faced, rustic-looking tart or hand pie.

With a spatula, carefully transfer each tart to a baking sheet. (You will be able to fit about 3 to 4 tarts on each sheet.)

Whisk 1 teaspoon of water into the reserved beaten egg and lightly brush the exposed dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle the tarts lightly with sugar, if desired.

Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Chef’s Tips:
It is very important to allow 1 hour for the Almond Crust to chill before rolling out.

The fruit and dry ingredients are mixed at the last minute to avoid drawing too much liquid from the pears, which could make the crust soggy.

Recipe © 2017 Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on June 22nd, 2017  |  Comments Off on Picture Perfect Pies |  Posted in citrus, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey
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