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

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

    Celebrate Summer Peaches

    It’s that time of summer when juicy stone fruits come to market: nectarines, plums, apricots and my favorite, PEACHES!

    But isn’t it a bummer when you get a peach and it’s not bursting with that sweet flavor you remember? Well, peach evangelist Jon Rowley has worked to fix that.

    Jon says that when you cut the peach and its super shiny
    that will mean that its gonna be sweet!

    Every year he collaborates with Pence Orchards in Wapato and the organic Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood, California for Peach-O-Rama, celebrated at Met Markets.


    Each of these peaches must meet a minimum of 13 Brix (that is the measure of the % of sugar in the peach).

    So what to do with all these juicy peaches? Well, eating peaches out of hand is amazingly delicious, but I also love them sliced and tossed in an arugula salad dotted with goat cheese and a sprinkle of toasted northwest hazelnuts.

    And if you love sweetness, there is nothing better than a delicious homemade peach pie. And one of my favorites is with stone fruits: peaches, cherries and apricots. But you can make it with all peaches, too!

    The recipe incorporates my favorite fruit pie tip: put down a thin rolled out layer of almond paste on the bottom crust before filling the pie it adds a delicious flavor and keeps the crust from getting soggy.

    So here’s to the juicy peach! –Kathy

    Pie Holes
    Peaches combine with other Stone Fruits in this delicious pie!

    Summer Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Paste & Amaretto Cream
    You can use all peaches in the pie if you like or a variety of other stone fruits to mix in with the peaches.

    Makes 19-inch pie

    2 cups flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    6 Tbsp. shortening or lard
    6 Tbsp. cold butter
    2 to 3 Tbsp. ice water

    1/4 cup (2 ounces) marzipan (almond paste)
    3 cups pitted, 1/4-inch-sliced peaches, peeled
    1 cup pitted cherries, (I like to use tart cherries if you can find them, you can also use frozen ones without sugar)
    2 cups pitted, 1/4-inch sliced apricots
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 Tbsp. flour

    Egg Wash Glaze
    1 egg
    1 Tbsp. milk
    1 Tbsp. coarse sanding sugar (or substitute granulated sugar), optional

    Amaretto Cream
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 Tbsp. amaretto

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    To make the crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and nutmeg. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing gently with a fork until dough comes together in a ball.


    Divide into 2 even pieces. Do not over handle the dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before rolling.)

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first piece of dough to a bit bigger than your 9-inch pie pan. Brush excess flour off crust, and then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges. Roll out the remaining piece of dough to fit top of pan, but slightly bigger. Cover with plastic and move on to making the filling.


    To fill the pie: Roll marzipan into a ball, then press out into a disk on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll out to fit the bottom crust, place it in the freezer if it’s too soft.


    Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, then turn it into the curst using plastic wrap as a guide, fit marzipan into the bottom crust. (Remove the plastic wrap).


    Place the peaches, cherries and apricots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together sugars and flour, and then sprinkle over the fruit. Toss to coat the fruit well. Place fruit filling into lined pie pan.

    Place remaining dough round on top of pie, trimming off any excess dough. Then crimp bottom and top crusts together with your fingers to seal well and make a pretty edge.

    Mix together egg and milk, and lightly brush on top with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Make several slits in the top (or cut fun shapes) to allow steam to escape. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until crust is golden and filling is cooked through and bubbling. Cool pie on a rack.

    To make Almond Cream: When ready to serve, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients and whip until stiff. Serve dolloped on pieces of pie.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

    Posted by Kathy on August 7th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, events, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes

    Cooking Up Memories of Ernie Pino

    Ernie Pino – amazing chef, columnist, and most of all a dear friend, passed away earlier this month. I can’t find the words to express my sadness, so I will only say this: “Ernie I know that your table in Heaven is set with great food and drinks and that you’re surrounded with friends and love ones passed. We will miss you greatly, but you will live on in our hearts forever.”

    Ernie Pino
    Ernie and I in 2004 Getting Ready to Cook Paella!

    Years ago, Ernie did some amazing classes for us during the early days of the Food Studios on Spanish cuisine. I found in my files an article he wrote on his beloved paella. Here is his original followed by the recipes he did for the class. Thank you, Ernie for teaching so many chefs and food enthusiasts the fine art of paella; your passion lives on with us. –Kathy

    Paella—By Ernie Pino, 2003

    I love teaching cooking classes. Sometimes, I focus on NW themes, like chowders, salmon and shellfish. Often, I teach tapas, gazpacho, paella or any combination thereof. My students are always attentive, sometimes passionate, and never dull. Recently, a group of students was preparing to head home after one of my summer picnic salads classes, and for whatever reason my Hispanic heritage became the subject of conversation. I suddenly found myself waning nostalgic, extolling the virtues of being raised in a bilingual and bicultural home. Soon, some of the classmates began to share their own experiences of visiting Latin countries; a few even demonstrated their Spanish-speaking prowess (keep in mind, it was a warm and lazy summer evening, rich in camaraderie, food and just a wee bit of wine). Inevitably, this sort of dialogue results in an exchange of favorite Spanish terms, cerveza (beer) ranking among the top 10, closely followed by the Spanish word for bathroom, baño. Occasionally, a naughty phrase or two is dispensed but on this particular night someone said the word “paella”. Surprisingly, even the non-Spanish speakers raised their hands when asked if they recognized this term.

    So, in the midst of a course on al fresco foods, the focus shifted to the dish most closely associated with Spain, paella. Interestingly, although my students recognized the word, very few of them could tell me much about paella—a dish as rich in tradition as it is ingredients. And so today, the topic is paella. Grab your dictionaries—we’re talking Spanish.

    “La paella” or “paellera” is a metal cooking utensil—a flat, wide and shallow pan with two curved handles on opposite sides. The word itself is old Valencian and it’s roots stem from the Latin “patella”, which, in Galicia, Spain, means a flat basket. Today, the word paella is synonymous with both the luscious rice dish and the vessel in which it is prepared.

    Paella is traditionally cooked over firewood, which allows the smoke to permeate and add a robust flavor. The Spanish language has two different words for wood “leña”, which is firewood and “madera”, any type of wood…of which, some may become leña

    On the southeastern coast of Spain, below Barcelona, an area named El Levante is known as the Region of the Rices. The Moors brought the art of rice growing to this territory more than 1000 years ago, by establishing elaborate irrigation systems throughout the fertile deltas of the land. Understandably, rice has become a traditional staple there and it’s preparation, a delicious art form. As with most legendary foods, the origin of the dish called paella is hotly contested, yet the region most closely associated with this hearty stew remains Valencia. Thus, the title “Paella Valenciana”, which appears often in recipes and on menus.

    After rice became standard fare in Spain, the peasants of Valencia would prepare paella with common ingredients found in the countryside, such as onions, tomatoes and even snails. Occasionally, a rabbit or duck would be added and, when possible, a chicken or two. Eventually, the “Valencian rice” became widely known. By the end of the nineteenth century, “Paella Valenciana” had established itself.

    Today, tourists and locals alike will visit Spain’s restaurants and enjoy paella in its various interpretations. Some adventurous souls might even try their hand at preparing it at home. The basic foundation for true paella requires using short grain Valencian or Arborio style rice (the west coast equivalent being California Pearl rice), infused with saffron. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. Paellas can be all vegetarian, strictly seafood, a meat lover’s smorgasbord, or any combination thereof. You can incorporate squid, langoustines, guinea hen and quail, and make it up as you go—though a tried and true Spaniard may cry foul and proclaim his to be the recipe for a traditional and authentic paella. Beware; this dish has been known to stir passions as well as appetites. Although the list of ingredients may seem exotic and somewhat daunting, ask anyone who has made a paella or two and they’ll tell you—preparing paella is a Spanish piece of cake. Think about it: paella is a one-dish meal, it’s the perfect party food and it feeds a small tribe.

    Now, repeat after me, “pah-ay-ah”. It’s a Spanish word that you can say with conviction and authority. So roll up your sleeves and start practicing what you preach! – Ernie

    Ernie Pino’s Spanish Paella Dinner Menu & Recipes< Ajo Blanco con Uvas de Málaga (White Gazpacho with Málaga Grapes) Paella Valenciana with Seafood Torta de Manzana Cantabria (Apple Cake)/p>

    Ajo Blanco con Uvas de Málaga
    (White Gazpacho with Málaga Grapes)

    Serves 4 to 6

    This traditional, pre-Colombian, Gazpacho came from southern Spain’s Andalucía region, where almonds and grapes are grown. For centuries it was a common meal for the poor and working class, who grew most of the ingredients themselves. Then, when the rare and expensive products of the Latin American “New World” (tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers) were brought to Spain, the wealthy added these new vegetables to the dish and gave it an upscale edge. They also turned their backs on the more traditional white Gazpacho, and never looked back. This started a new wave of cooking in Western Europe, and made popular many of the foods we still enjoy today.

    2 cups water
    8 ounces French bread slices, crusts trimmed and torn into pieces
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
    2 garlic cloves, chopped and puréed
    1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
    2 1/2 cups ice water

    1 1/2 cups green grapes

    Pour 2 cups water over bread and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain. Squeeze bread until dry. Transfer bread to food processor. Add oil, vinegar and garlic purée. Season with salt to taste. Add almonds and ½ cup ice water, and blend until smooth. With machine running, gradually add remaining 2 cups ice water. Taste for salt.

    Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours (the flavors need to blend) and preferably over night.
    Serve chilled, mixing well before serving. Garnish each serving with grapes.

    Recipe by Ernie Pino.

    Paella Valenciana with Seafood
    Serves 6 to 8

    1 1/2 pounds raw jumbo shrimp
    5 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced (divided)
    1 – 2 1/2 lb. rabbit (or chicken), legs, thighs and breasts separated
    1 medium yellow onion, quartered, and 1 large onion, minced (divided)
    3 teaspoons salt (divided)
    1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1 cup sliced chorizo sausage (Spanish style)
    1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained and cut into strips
    2 large tomatoes peeled and chopped (see note)
    2 cups uncooked short-grain rice, such as Arborio or pearl
    8 ounces fresh, minced clams, drained, or one 6-ounce can, drained
    8 ounces fresh squid tubes and tentacles
    12 fresh mussels, scrubbed
    1 cup fresh or frozen peas
    1 cup fresh green beans

    Marinate prawns in their shell with 2 of the minced garlic cloves (prepare the night before and refrigerate.)

    Reserve the breast, legs and upper joints of the rabbit (or chicken) Combine the remaining pieces with 3 cups of water; add 1 the quartered onion, 2 teaspoons of salt, and ½ teaspoon of saffron threads. Boil 30 minutes, strain and measure out 2½ cups of the stock. Set aside. (Can be prepared earlier and refrigerated.)

    Cut the reserved pieces of rabbit (or chicken) into small pieces through the bone (or ask your butcher to do this for you).

    Dust the pieces with flour and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a paella pan or large heavy skillet on medium heat, and cook until crispy-brown and tender. Set aside.

    Add reserved shrimp and chorizo to the same pan, cooking until shrimp turns pink. Remove from pan and set aside.

    Add minced onion, remaining 3 cloves minced garlic, pimiento and tomatoes to the pan and cook until the onion is tender.

    Add the rice to the onion mixture and stir to glaze.

    Bring the reserved stock to a boil and add to the rice mixture.

    Add clams, squid and mussels, bringing to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.

    Add the peas and green beans, and cook 5 minutes more, uncovered.

    Arrange the rabbit, shrimp and chorizo atop the rice, amongst the squid and mussels. Cover the pan and place over hot coals or low heat on the stove, or in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Serve with a crusty bread and Rioja wine.

    NOTE: To peel tomatoes, cut an “X” at stem end and on the bottom. Plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into iced water. Skin should slip off easily.

    Recipe by Ernie Pino.

    Torta de Manzana Cantabria
    (Apple Cake)

    This rich, rustic Cantabrian confection has a delicate spice-cake quality and somewhat of a pudding texture. It may be served warm or at room temperature.

    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
    6 Gala or Golden Delicious apples (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
    2 Tablespoons Applejack or brandy
    1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
    1 cup sugar
    3 large eggs
    3 Tablespoons milk
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    ¼ cup apricot jam
    1 Tablespoon applejack or brandy

    Powdered sugar (optional)

    FOR CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9” diameter spring form pan with
    2 3/4” high sides. Dust pan with flour. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add apples, cover and cook until tender, about 8 minutes per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer 16 apple slices to processor. Add applejack and purée. Add flour, sugar, eggs, milk, baking soda and cinnamon and just combine until blended. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Drain remaining apple slices and arrange atop batter in a circular (star-burst) pattern. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.

    MEANWHILE, PREPARE GLAZE: Stir jam and applejack in small pan over medium heat until jam melts, about 1 minute.

    Brush some of glaze over warm cake. Cool cake 30 minutes. Release pan sides. Heat remaining glaze and brush over cake. Dust with sifted powder sugar.

    Recipe by Ernie Pino.

    Posted by Kathy on May 12th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, soups

    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 and taste hits the spot.

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

    And there are so many varieties to choose from. Peppermint leaves are wonderful dried and steeped in hot water to make a simple, d’lish tea. And there are so many tasty varieties – Chocolate Mint, Pineapple Mint, Lemon Mint, Orange Mint… even Lime Mint that is perfect when muddled into mojitos!

    Also, for you cat lovers out there, remember catnip is a mint too. So careful planting mint, unless you want to attract every kitty in a quarter mile!

    As the weather gets warmer, cool off with my Fresh Mint Ice Cream. Nothing beats nibbling on fresh made ice cream under a shady tree!

    Mint Ice cream
    Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

    With the Kentucky Derby coming up mint juleps are on the horizon… oh yea! If you plan on hosting a Derby party, try making a batch of my Spiked Iced Tea Punch. Fresh mint pairs well with white whiskey, black tea, fresh juices, and brown sugar.

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

    Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Candies
    I like to serve this garnished with a bit more chopped mint candy and a fresh sprig of mint.

    Makes about 4 cups

    4 cups heavy whipping cream
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 cups packed mint sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
    6 egg yolks
    1 cup coarsely chopped Chocolate Mint Candies (recipe follows) or Frango Mint candies

    Combine the cream and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Tear the mint sprigs (to bruise them) and add to the cream mixture. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.

    In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the cream. Whisking constantly, bring to a bare simmer and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk frequently to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    Strain the mixture and discard the mint leaves. Stir in the chopped mint, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is finished, stir in the chopped candies. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze until ready to serve.

    Chocolate Mint Candies
    Makes 24 nice-sized pieces, or enough for 1 recipe of ice cream plus 12 extra pieces of candy

    12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    6 Tbsps. butter
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

    In a medium bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter, salt, and extract together over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the confectioners’ sugar, then stir to combine well. Spread the mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan.

    Let cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or refrigerate to harden faster.

    To remove the candy from the pan, invert the pan onto a piece of plastic wrap or a cutting board, lay a hot towel over the pan bottom for about 1 minute, then tap the bottom of the pan. Loosen the candy with a spatula if needed. Cut the candy into 24 pieces to serve as candy, or coarsely chop to use in ice cream. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

    Spiked Iced Tea Punch
    Punch is the perfect party cocktail! For a more-spiked interpretation, let guests add a little more whiskey to their individual drinks. For summertime sipping add in a few slices of fresh peach or nectarine. For a demo on how to make this, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

    Makes about 8 cups, enough for 10 to 12 servings

    20 cloves
    1 orange
    6 very large sprigs fresh mint
    3 tea bags black tea
    3 cups boiling water
    1 cup ice water
    1 cup fresh orange juice
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    1 cup pineapple juice
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    2 cups Woodinville Headlong White Dog Whiskey

    Poke the cloves into the orange, then cut it into 3 slices. Put the orange slices, mint, and tea bags in a heatproof pitcher or bowl. Add the boiling water, let steep for 1 hour, then remove the tea bags.

    Add the ice water, juices, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, add the whisky, and chill until ready to serve. Serve in ice-filled glasses. Garnish as desired.

    Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps.

    Cozy Cocoa

    Can you think of anything cozier than a roaring fire and a nice, warm mug of hot cocoa? From grown up boozy versions and beloved classics to kid-friendly fun flavors, there’s a cocoa for everyone!

    It’s hard to beat My Mom’s “Old School” Cocoa – warm milk whisked until foamy with sugar and good old fashioned dark cocoa powder. A dash of vanilla or a cinnamon stick were all the variation we needed to finish off this heartwarming marshmallow-topped winter treat.

    But if you’re like me (and I think you probably are), you’ll have some fun jazzing up your favorite flavors a bit.

    My Bollywood Spiced Cocoa is a fun take on classic Indian flavors. Dark chocolate is melted into milk that has been infused with fresh ginger, cardamom, and cumin. Then whole thing is finished off with some unsweetened coconut milk. This is a great after-dinner sip for some more adventurous chocolate lovers.

    Want to turn your before-bedtime cocoa into a late night-cap? Try stirring a little honey whiskey or your favorite liqueur – yum!

    So get out your favorite mug and whip up some winter-warming cocoas. -Kathy

    Who can say no to rainbow sprinkles?

    My Mom’s “Old-School” Cocoa
    Makes 2 servings

    1 1/2 cups milk
    2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 Tbsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
    2 big marshmallows

    Place milk in a small heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar, then whisk into the milk to incorporate. Then add the vanilla. Heat until hot but not overheated. Do not boil.
    Serve in mugs and top with marshmallows.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

    Bollywood Spiced Cocoa
    Made with Theo’s Fair-Trade-certified Ghana Panama Ecuador 75% Cacao dark chocolate bar and uniquely spiced with Indian flavors and unsweetened coconut milk for a very distinctive sweet-and-savory hot chocolate.

    Makes 2 servings

    1 cup milk
    2 cardamom pods, crushed
    2 1/4-inch-thick slices, peeled fresh ginger
    tiny pinch ground cumin
    1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    1/2 bar Theo’s 70%% Cacao bar*, grated, or use 1 1/2 ounces other high-cacao-content chocolate

    In a small heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the milk, cardamom, ginger and cumin till hot but not simmering or boiling. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove the cardamom pods and ginger and discard. Place the pan back on the heat and add the coconut milk and chocolate. Whisk and heat until hot—but do not overheat. Serve immediately.

    *Available at markets like Metropolitan Markets, Whole Foods and PCC.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

    Posted by Kathy on January 2nd, 2015  |  Comments Off on Cozy Cocoa |  Posted in dessert, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Toast the Season with Cranberries

    Whether you like them as a side sauce cozied to turkey or made into a holiday garland with popcorn, nothing is as perfect for the holidays than cranberries!

    Seasonal foods just naturally go together. The apple, for example, is the perfect foil for its seasonal cousin the cranberry. They’re great together in my Apple Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust and Cranberry Semifreddo. How about a salad of winter greens with slices of crisp galas and spicy toasted walnuts tossed with my favorite holiday dressing, Cranberry Citrus Vinaigrette.

    But hey you can get crafty with them, too! For an impressive DIY holiday gift, try whipping up a batch of Crimson Cranberry Sage Vinegar to give out this year. Thread cranberries on a skewer and slip into a decorative clear bottle. Poke in a few sprigs of fresh sage, then add a pinch of sugar and salt to champagne vinegar – whisk together then pour into the bottles, covering the cranberries and sage. Cap and let sit at least one week before using. This vinegar makes a splendid and  colorful gift.

    So grab a few extra bags of fresh cranberries while they are in season and freeze a few bags for enjoying later. -Kathy

    Cranberries 2
    (Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table)

    Washington Apple-Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust & Cranberry Semifreddo
    Makes 10 servings

    1 tablespoon butter
    4 pounds Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges (6 cups)
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    2 tablespoons brandy
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 egg, separated
    3 egg yolks
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts
    2 tablespoons sanding or coarse sugar

    Cranberry Semifreddo (recipe follows)
    10 fresh or frozen cranberries for garnishing

    To make the filling, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the apples and cranberries. Stir in the brandy and lemon juice, then add the sugar and cinnamon. Cook until the apples are just wilted but still firm, and the juices have evaporated and cooked out; the mixture should be almost dry, not wet. Transfer to a shallow pan and cool in the refrigerator while making the crust.

    Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with a parchment round. Lightly butter the sides of the pan and the parchment, or spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Set aside.

    To make the crust, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugars on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vanilla and the 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating a few seconds after each. Beat until smooth and light, about 1 minute. (Reserve the egg white.)

    In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and walnuts, then add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 2 parts, mixing on low until just combined.

    Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Put a piece of the dough into the prepared pan and press it out evenly on the bottom and up 1 1/2 inches on the sides. (If the dough is too soft to work with, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes to slightly firm up.) Pile the cooled filling into the dough-lined pan.

    On a lightly floured surface such as a cardboard disk or big piece of plastic wrap, press the remaining piece of dough into a round 9 or 10 inches in diameter, depending on the size of your springform pan. Slide the dough onto the filling and press it into place. This top crust should fit just inside the dough that extends up the sides of the pan and come all the way to its edges. Carefully seal the seam where the top joins the side dough, making sure the edges are straight and even.

    Whip the reserved egg white in a small bowl until slightly frothy. Brush the top crust lightly with the egg white and poke the top with a fork in 5 places. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar.

    Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling out a bit. Cool to just slightly warm or room temperature before removing the pan sides. You might want to run a knife along the sides before unmolding. (When serving, be sure that the parchment paper is not stuck to the tart.)

    To serve, slice the tart into 10 wedges. Place each wedge on a dessert plate. Top with a nice scoop of the semifreddo and garnish with a cranberry.

    Cranberry Semifreddo
    Makes about 10 servings

    2 eggs, separated
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    2 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
    2 tablespoons superfine sugar
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

    Let the eggs come to room temperature while you proceed with the recipe.

    Combine the cranberries, juice, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the cranberries pop, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, then purée until smooth.

    In a medium stainless-steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and cranberry purée. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, taking care that the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk until the mixture is thickened and hot—but be careful not to overcook (scramble) the egg mixture; this takes about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone. Keep whisking until the mixture cools down, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

    Meanwhile, in a thoroughly clean and grease-free mediuim mixer bowl, whip the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until they just start to get frothy. Start sprinkling in the superfine sugar and whip until the whites are peaking. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chilled cranberry mixture.

    Whip the cream until stiff, then gently fold it into the cranberry mixture, taking care not to lose volume.

    Spoon the mixture into a 4-cup plastic container with a lid. Tap the container on a counter to release any bubbles, then smooth the top. Close the container, then place in a freezer for at least 8 hours, or until frozen.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

    Cranberry Citrus Vinaigrette
    Makes 1 1/2 cups

    2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup orange juice
    3/4 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

    Purée the mixture in a blender, then blend in the mustard and orange juice. With the machine running, gradually drizzle in the oil. The dressing should become smooth and emulsified. Blend in the salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Cranberries 1

    Crimson Cranberry Sage Vinegar
    Makes 6 cups

    1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    Fresh Sage
    1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
    6 cups white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Arrange the cranberries and shallot attractively in 2 clear glass wine bottles (you can skewer the cranberries, if you like, on long wooden skewers).

    In a non-aluminum pan, bring the vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Immediately pour the liquid into the bottles, filling them 1 1/2 inches from the top. Let cool to room temperature, then cork. Let sit a minimum of 2 days before using. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 – 3 months, or refrigerate for up to 6 months.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Posted by Kathy Casey on December 18th, 2014  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in dessert, Fruit, KOMO Radio, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

    It’s Time for Fruit Cakes!

    Fruit Cake (or fruitcake) sometimes gets a bad rap. Those doorstopper hard as rocks cakes with bright, florescent cherries that gets re-gifted every year passed around at every while elephant party…

    Fruit Cake Monster
    A Fruitcake monster!

    But there is great fruit cake, too! Like my holiday favorite “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark! I love a slice in the morning with a great cup of coffee.


    These REAL fruit cakes are fully loaded with 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 a signature spiced batter recipe. Baked till golden then brushed over and over with a bourbon-brown sugar glaze. Now this is fruitcake – a REAL FRUIT cake.

    So if you have a fruit cake fan on your Holiday Gift List or want to be a fruit cake convert, I have you covered. You can order them online for delivery or pick them up at the Food Studios in Ballard.


    Quantities are limited so be sure to place your orders soon because they sell out FAST!

    Wishing you all a real fruit cake filled holiday season! -Kathy

    “Over 21” Bourbon Fruit Cake
    Makes 6 mini-loaves

    1 cup chopped dried pineapple
    1 cup chopped dried apricots
    1 1/2 cups tart dried cherries
    1 cup golden raisins
    1/3 cup currants
    1 1/4 cups chopped dried mango
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened (very important!)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 tsp. orange zest
    2 tsp. lemon zest
    6 eggs
    1/4 cup bourbon
    1 3/4 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 cup chopped hazelnuts
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 cup whole almonds

    Bourbon Glaze
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup bourbon

    In a large bowl toss together the dried fruits then pour the boiling water over the fruit and toss again. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    In a mixing bowl whip the butter (be sure it’s super-softened!) on medium-high speed with the white and brown sugars for about 4 minutes or until fluffy. Add the molasses and then the vanilla and zests. On medium speed add 1 egg at a time, beating 1 minute between each addition. Mix in bourbon. Mixture should be whipped until it is smooth and silky.

    In a sifter combine flour and spices. Remove bowl from mixer and sift in dry ingredients, folding into egg mixture until well incorporated.

    Separately, in a very large bowl mix together plumped fruits and nuts. Add cake batter and fold into the fruit and nuts until well coated.

    Divide mixture (about 1 1/2 cups each) among 6 buttered, nonstick mini-loaf pans (6-inch x 3-inch x 2-inch) or disposable aluminum mini-loaf pans. Smooth out batter, then bang each pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.

    Place pans on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 – 55 minutes or until set and cooked through.

    Meanwhile make the Bourbon Glaze: In a very small saucepan combine the water and brown sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature. Then whisk in the bourbon.

    When cakes come out of the oven, remove from pan and place bottom up on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. With a pastry brush, brush the Bourbon Glaze liberally on the bottom and sides of cakes while still warm. Do this quite a few times. Then turn cakes top side up and brush with more of the glaze. Keep brushing with glaze on all surfaces every 20 minutes or so until all of the glaze is used up. Cover cakes with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.

    To wrap cakes: Wrap each cake individually with plastic wrap, then wrap in parchment paper. Seal with Christmas stickers and ribbon or raffia and baubles. If desired, write recipe name, baker and date on outside wrapper with a fine permanent marker or metallic pen.

    Store cake at room temperature until ready to give.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

    Posted by Kathy on December 5th, 2014  |  Comments Off on It’s Time for Fruit Cakes! |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes