Posts filed under 'dessert'

Easy Holiday Entertaining with Sunkist

When the skies turn grey and the days are shorter, it’s easy to add a bit more sunshine to your winter with zesty Sunkist citrus. Tangy ruby grapefruits, zesty lemons, oranges from juicy navel and sweet cranberry-esque Cara Cara to deep pinkish-red Moro … these cheerful seasonal fruits add bright color and flavor to all things culinary, from batch-ahead cocktails to easy entertaining appetizers.

sunkist_logo_lrgTis the Season

My Tis the Season cocktail is perfect for those big holiday parties when you don’t want to be behind the bar the whole time. The pre-mix is a refreshing combo of fresh squeezed grapefruit and lemon juice, balanced with homemade simple syrup, white cranberry and vodka. Place it in a pretty bottle then just shake to order with a sprig of fresh rosemary and garnish with a beautiful cranberry for a seasonal sip that is sure to please.

For an easy and elegant entertaining appetizer try my Citrus Bruschetta with Goat Cheese. Traditional tomato and basil bruschetta topping gets zesty with the addition of tart-sweet Cara Cara oranges, brilliant green Castelvetrano olives, and tangy goat cheese on crunchy crostini – d’lish!

Looking for a savory nibble to pair with cocktails? Lemon Rosemary Pistachio Cocktail Cookies are the perfect size for teaming up with a holiday sip. Chock-full of lemon zest, fragrant rosemary, delicious feta cheese, and chopped pistachios, these bite-sized delights are finished with a light sprinkle of sea salt before they go in the oven. The dough can be made up to a week in advance and frozen until you’re ready to slice them up – perfect for unexpected visitors!

Round out your menu with a sweet ending; Lemon Poppy Seed Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges is a breeze to prepare ahead, leaving you more time to enjoy your guests’ company – it can be made up to 5 days in advance! This light custard stars finely chopped lemon zest and poppy seeds sprinkled throughout, and gets a beautiful garnish of segmented blood oranges. Serve them up in mini martini glasses for a fun little something sweet or mini “apps style” dessert.

So make your holiday season extra merry and bright with sunny winter citrus, and visit Sunkist.com for more fun citrus ideas. -Kathy

Tis the Season
Who wants to be tied to the bar during their party? Making a pre-mix for your signature holiday cocktail gives you more time to mingle with your guests and enjoy the festivities! Try shaking in fresh rosemary to add an herbal note.

Makes 1 drink

1/2 cup (4 ounces) Cocktail Pre-Mix (recipe follows)
Garnish: small sprig of rosemary and fresh or frozen cranberry

Measure the pre-mix into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a large martini glass. Garnish with rosemary and float cranberry in drink.

Cocktail Pre-Mix
Mixture can be made up to 4 days in advance and kept refrigerated.

Makes 4 cups – enough for about 8 drinks

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
————————-
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup white cranberry juice
3/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice

Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a quick simmer and remove from heat. (Do not reduce.) Cool to room temperature.

Combine cooled sugar mixture and remaining ingredients in a pretty glass bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.

*Non-Alcoholic Version: instead of the vodka increase the cranberry juice to 1 1/2 cups and the grapefruit juice to 1 3/4 cups.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen – www.liquidkitchen.com

Citrus Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
Switch up traditional tomato bruschetta with the addition of sunny citrus and brilliant Castelvetrano Olives . Sunkist Cara Cara Orange’s distinctive pinkish-red hue and sweet and tangy cranberry-like zing pair perfectly with the creamy goat cheese in this easy entertaining appetizer.

Makes 20 pieces

1 artisanal baguette
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt, as needed
————————————————–
2 Sunkist Cara Cara Oranges (or substitute Sunkist Navel Oranges)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped vine-ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped pitted Castelvetrano Olives* (or substitute calamata)
Pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt
—————————————————–
4 oz chèvre-style fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut baguette into 1/4-inch slices — you want about 20 nice-sized pieces. Lay out on a baking sheet. Lightly brush or drizzle bread with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until toasty. Let crostini cool.

To make the Bruschetta mix: Cut the top and bottom off of the oranges then with a small paring knife cut the peel and white pith off of the sides of the oranges. Cut each orange in half lengthwise and then dice 1/4 to 1/3-inch. In a medium bowl, toss the diced orange, olive oil, tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic, olives, and season with a pinch of pepper flakes and sea salt. Set aside.

To assemble the crostini: Smear each piece of crostini with a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese. Place on a platter and immediately divide the orange mixture between the crostini (drain off any excess juice). Top crostini right before serving so they don’t get soft.

*Available at most grocer’s olive bars.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Lemon Rosemary Pistachio Cocktail Cookies
Studded with colorful pistachios and zesty lemon these savory bites are a great nibble with a cocktail. You can make the dough in advance and keep it in the freezer for impromptu guests.

Makes 24 to 30

1 cup (4 ounces) raw shelled pistachios (or purchase shelled, toasted and salted pistachios)
6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fine Sunkist Lemon zest*
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine corn meal
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
Kosher or coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F.

Spread the nuts (if not already toasted) on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cheese, sugar, lemon zest, rosemary and nuts with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and corn meal. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the lemon juice and mix until incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and shape into logs, 9 -10 inches long and 1- 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, twisting the ends, to help firm the dough. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in the freezer for about 30 minutes to further firm the dough. (The dough can be kept frozen for up to 1 month; remove from the freezer to temper overnight in the refrigerator before slicing.)

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F at least 20 minutes before baking. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray.

Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden on the bottom and still pale on top. Let cool.

* To make lemon zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit with no white pith attached. You can make fine zest with a zesting tool, microplainer or fine grater.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Lemon Poppy Seed Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges
This lush custard can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator. Top with beautiful blood orange segments right before serving. For a fun mini dessert try serving in small martini glasses.

Makes 6 servings or 12 mini desserts

2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fine Sunkist Lemon zest*
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
———————————–
2 blood oranges, segmented**

To make the custards: Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Soak until the gelatin is soft. Place bowl in microwave on high power for about 3 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted but not foaming up.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth and warm. Add the liquefied gelatin, and whisk in to incorporate.

Divide the mixture evenly into 6 small, glass custard dishes, pretty glasses, or 12 small mini martini glasses. Place the custards on rimmed baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Be sure the wrap does not touch the tops of the custards. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 12 hours, before serving.

To serve: Top each custard right before serving with blood orange segments.

* To make lemon zest: Zest is the outer peel of the fruit with no white pith attached. You can make fine zest with a zesting tool, microplainer or fine grater.

** To segment oranges: Cut the peel and all the white pith from the oranges, exposing the flesh. With a small paring knife, cut out the orange segments over a bowl, saving any juice.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios – www.kathycasey.com

Add comment December 16th, 2013

Festive Eggnog

When you start to see eggnog everywhere, you know the holidays are here! This velvety, smooth and rich drink… warm with spices, is a festive drink for sure!

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Hot Buttered Eggnog with Rum
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen®).

And variations abound from traditional to pumpkin and low-fat. Serve it cold, “straight up”, over ice, or with a splash of spirit…like rum, whisky or brandy. That will always adds some holiday cheer to any gathering!

But there are lots of other ways to enjoy eggnog other than drinking it. How about a light and fluffy Eggnog Chiffon Pie – a festive sweet ending to a holiday feast.

If bread pudding sounds more your style, then try Eggnog Bread Pudding with Rum Caramel. This dish is great made the day before. Just reheat and serve with a spirited rum caramel sauce. Super easy and delicious!

And of course, I just can’t blog about eggnog without giving you a good sippin’ recipe! My Hot Buttered Eggnog is a great winter warmer and a combo of two beloved sipping favorites. The base is made with rich vanilla ice cream and easily freezes so you can have it on hand for unexpected guests!

Watch how to make it on my Liquid Kitchen cocktail show and for more great holiday cocktail ideas, check out www.liquidkitchen.com.

Cheers to some great holiday sipping! – Kathy

Eggnog Chiffon Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie

1 9-inch, baked, Spiced Graham Crust (recipe follows)

Eggnog Filling
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) Knox unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
4 eggs, separated *
1 cup sugar
1 cup half & half
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon rum extract

Rum Nutmeg Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/4 teaspoon rum extract

Pre-bake the Spiced Crust and cool.

To make the Eggnog Filling: In a small bowl soften gelatin in the water for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl whisk together the 4 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar (reserve the egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar), and set aside.

Place half & half in a heavy-bottomed large bowl set over a pan of simmering water (a bain marie), and whisk in softened gelatin, filling spices and the 1/2 teaspoon rum extract. Heat until hot but not simmering.

Whisk half of the hot half & half mixture into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Add the tempered egg mixture into the remaining hot half & half mixture, whisking constantly. Cook slowly until the mixture becomes thickened, stirring all the while. This should take about 3 minutes.

When mixture is thickened, remove from heat and cool to room temperature, stirring often to release the heat.

When mixture is cooled, place the egg whites in a mixer bowl and whip on high until soft peaks form, then gradually add the reserved 1/2 cup of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/4 of the whipped egg whites into the cooled mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining whipped egg whites until combined. Mound evenly into the cooled, baked pie crust and refrigerate until set, about 1 – 2 hours.

To make the Rum Nutmeg Cream: In a large bowl whip the cream, sugars and nutmeg until soft-peaked, then whisk in the rum and rum extract. Top chilled pie with the cream.

* Note: This pie contains uncooked egg whites. Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.

Spiced Graham Crust
Makes a single 9-inch crust

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons ice water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, graham cracker crumbs and butter with a pastry blender until mixture looks like peas. Gradually sprinkle in the ice water and mix gently with a fork until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overhandle dough. If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until pastry is golden and cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Eggnog Bread Pudding with Rum Caramel
If you won’t be serving it immediately, the pudding can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Remove 2 hours before reheating. Preheat an oven to 300°F. Heat the bread pudding, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just warm.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

8 cups packed 1/2-inch to 1-inch cubed, rustic baguette or French bread
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups high-quality eggnog (not fat-free)
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup dark rum

Rum Caramel
1 cup high-quality caramel sauce
2 tablespoons dark rum

Whipped cream for garnish

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with melted butter. Toss in the currants and dried cranberries.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, whole eggs, eggnog, nutmeg, and rum until well combined. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and stir gently. Let the mixture sit at least 30 minutes, poking the bread down into the egg mixture often and stirring it up every 10 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the bread pudding mixture in a 7- x 11-inch or 9-inch square glass baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center is just barely set and a knife comes out clean.

To make the Rum Caramel: In a small bowl, whisk together the caramel sauce and rum.

Serve the pudding warm, drizzled with some of the Rum Caramel. Garnish with a pouf of whipped cream. Serve additional Rum Caramel on the side.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Hot Buttered Egg Nog with Rum
Combining two holiday favorites! Add more or less to taste; rum and Spiced Eggnog Mix. For a demo on how to make this drink, check out my cocktail video on Liquid Kitchen.

Makes 1 drink

3 – 4 Tbsp. Buttered Eggnog Mix (recipe follows)
1 – 1 1/2 oz rum (or substitute brandy or bourbon)
4 – 5 oz boiling water
Garnish: fresh grated nutmeg, long piece of orange zest

Place Buttered Eggnog Mix and rum in coffee glass or mug. Stir in boiling water until batter is dissolved. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top. Garnish with orange zest.

Buttered Eggnog Mix
Makes about 7 cups (about 30 – 36 servings)

1/2 pound salted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 Tbsp. finely minced or grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 pint very high-quality vanilla ice cream
1 cup high-quality eggnog
1 Tbsp. real vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon rum extract

Be sure butter is softened. With an electric mixer; cream butter, orange zest and sugars together in a mixing bowl until totally smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Add comment November 21st, 2013

Sweet Northwest Cookbooks

Do you have a sweet tooth? I know I do! And I have found some great new books to help you make your favorite local goodies right in your own kitchen!

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream”, recipes from the local beloved ice cream emporium, features sweet seasonal recipes for ice creams, sorbets and toppings made with local ingredients. I really want to try the recipe for Gingerbread and Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwiches – Yum!

The new cookbook “Cutie Pies” is written by Dani Cone, the owner of Capitol Hill’s High 5 Pie. This book focuses on their signature miniature pies and has great tips for crusts, fillings and toppings. Her Cranberry Nut Cutie Pies would be perfect for your next holiday party!

Top Pot Doughnut fans can bake up some fun with their book “Hand Forged Doughnuts”. They reveal secrets and recipes so you can whip up the famed Valley Girl Lemon and Pink Feather Boa doughnuts at home.

And then there is liquid dessert… Autumn Martin, the founder of Ballard’s Hot Cakes has a new book: “Malts & Milkshakes: 60 Recipes for Frosty, Creamy Frozen Treats”. Can you say Chocolate Espresso Whisky Malt – YES please!

So check out these decadent books and give’em a try! -Kathy

Add comment October 11th, 2013

Hooray for Fall Apples!

Washington State and apples – they go hand-in-hand AND there is so much you can do with them. How about dessert? There is nothing more classic than warm apple pie, but even this beloved recipe can stand a new twist. Try adding in grated cheddar cheese to the crust and tossing some local cranberries into the filling for my Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust. A match made for the fall as apples and cranberries are both in peak season.


Who’s ready for pie? I know that I am!
Photo from
Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

And apples aren’t just for desserts, try adding diced apples into a chili!  My Stadium Apple Chili recipe combines diced Fuji apples with chilis, pork sausage and beans. The Fujis are nice because they keep their shape and add a touch of sweetness – perfect for tailgating and definitely oh-so northwest!

For an easy appetizer I like to make a Spicy Apple Onion Compote. Sauté diced apples with a little onion until just barely tender, then add in some red pepper jelly – YUM! Serve this on top of crostini or rustic crackers with a smear of goat cheese or a slice of brie and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts. Perfect for your fall party entertaining!

Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, apples are a great addition to any meal! – Kathy

Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Cheddar Cheese Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shortening or lard
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
4 tablespoons cold water

Pie Filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced apples, peeled and cored (about 2 – 2 1/2 lb.)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
milk and sugar for topping

To make the crust: In a large bowl combine flour, salt and cheddar and mix evenly. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces then roll out into 2 circles.

On a lightly floured surface roll one dough piece out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off of crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking.

Cover the other dough piece (the pie pastry top crust) with plastic wrap while making the filling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To make filling: In a large bowl toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, apples and cranberries. Mound apple mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter and cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges with fingertips. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Stadium Apple Chili
Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon dry whole oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Spicy Apple Onion Compote
Makes enough for 6 servings.

1 large green apple with peel, cored and cut in chunks
1/4 medium white onion, cut in chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup red pepper jam (medium spiciness)
1 tablespoon dried currants

In a food processor pulse the apple and onion until they are chopped into 1/4- to 1/3-inch pieces.

In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, onions and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes until apples and onions are just tender.

Add the lemon zest, vinegar, pepper jam and currants and bring to a boil. Let boil about 2 minutes until loose and chutney-like. If compote gets too dry while cooking, add a tablespoon of water. Remove from heat and cool.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

1 comment October 3rd, 2013

Giant Zucchini!

Zucchini are a favorite summer squash and gardeners (and neighbors of gardeners) know they can grow to at least three feet – impressive!

An incredibly versatile vegetable, zucchini flowers are edible too!  They are wonderful sautéed in a lovely summer pasta dish or stuffed with cheese, lightly battered and fried.

Zucchini is the perfect star on the grill. Try my Cumin-Marinated Grilled Zucchini topped with Tomato and Corn Summer Salsa. Just cut medium-sized zucchini in half lengthwise, rub with a little olive oil, sea salt and cumin, then pop on the grill! Top with a great quick-to-make salsa – sweet corn, diced tomatoes, some jalapeño for spice and a touch of lime. Super easy and so delicious!

Have a giant zucchinis? Get sweet with it and grate it into my Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  The zucchini keeps the cake moist and delicious. Top it off with a Chocolate Espresso Glaze – YUM!

And if you just can’t eat them all, then put on some costume wings and become the “zucchini fairy!” Share the zucchini bounty and leave one on your neighbors doorstep – your neighbors will thank you!

My intern, Emily told me her dad used to unload his over-sized zucchini on unsuspecting house guests and neighbors by leaving them on the backseat of their cars for them to find on the drive home – pretty sneaky! Emily grew a pretty decent sized one herself this year, too!

Emily's Zucchini
Emily with her Giant Zucchini !

Whether in the garden or on the grill, zucchinis really are a fantastic vegetable for the summertime! – Kathy

Cumin Grilled Zucchini With Tomato Corn Summer Salsa
Makes 6 servings.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (about 1 1/4 lb.)

Salsa
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced ripe tomatoes
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (about 1 medium ear of corn)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Garnish
regular or non-fat sour cream

Pre-heat grill to hot — you want to grill the zucchini over hot coals.

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Add zucchini and rub oil mixture all over the zucchini, making sure they are covered well. Set aside.

To make salsa: In a large bowl mix together all the salsa ingredients well. Adjust jalapeños as needed for spiciness desired.

To grill zucchini: Place zucchini over very hot coals and grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side to mark zucchini nicely and cook until just done.

Serve zucchini topped with salsa and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Espresso Glaze
Serves 12.

Cake
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)

Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsps strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, zucchini and chocolate chips.

Butter and flour a large (10-cup) Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and place cake on a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a small pan heat the chocolate, cream and coffee over low heat till smooth and just melted. Pour over cake. Let set 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Add comment August 22nd, 2013

Homemade Ice Cream

From giant scoops of piled high ice cream to refreshing fruity sorbets as well as sometimes decadent gelatos and the all-American-classic ice cream sandwiches, frozen treats have long been a favorite for kids of all ages for any part of the year. Homemade ones couldn’t be easier these days with ice cream makers becoming more affordable and space saving convenient – plus it’s a fun activity for the entire family!

The best part? You can literally go wild with custom flavors. Love ginger and pineapple separately – then try it as a flavor combo! Want a dairy-free alternative? Try making it with coconut or almond milks!

Unexpected combinations make for delicious treats, too. Blueberry Lemon Mascarpone ice cream is the perfect end to a backyard BBQ dinner topped with a tumble of fresh picked blueberries.

If the mint in your yard is taking over the garden like mine is, then try making my Homemade Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream with easy to make lush chocolate inclusions to fold in – yum! So pretty and tasty served in little frozen glasses topped with a fresh mint sprig!

With my basic recipe for a Sour Cream Ice Cream Base, you can add in any of your backyard fruit bounty from juicy berries to lush peaches. So get that ice cream maker churning and celebrate summer the old fashioned way! – Kathy

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

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 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon 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.

Sour Cream Ice Cream Base
This recipe is a great base to incorporate in any fresh summer fruit.

Makes about 5 1/2 cups.

1 1/2 cups, fresh fruit (such as peaches, berries, cherries)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup half & half
1 cup cream
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (or other nuts – optional)

Place fruit, spices, sugar and half & half in a blender. Process until fruit is broken down but some chunks still remain.

Place fruit mixture in a large bowl. Whisk in cream and sour cream until smooth. Chill mixture for at least 30 minutes.

Place cream mixture in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. When mixture is frozen, fold in the walnuts if using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Add comment August 1st, 2013

Training the Mini-Chefs aka Cooking with Kids!

Getting in the kitchen with kids is always fun; they make the best little sous chefs! I started cooking early with my mom and grandma – peeling fuzzy peaches and kneading breads (into fun shapes and characters). My all-time favorite task: adding lots of sprinkles on the cookies! Letting kids help prepare meals is also a great way to get around picky-eating habits, and get them interested in fun, healthy food too!

Are you throwing a kids’ party? A variety of interactive nibbles is terrific to serve. Try my Garden Ranch ‘n’ Veggie Deviled Eggs. These eggs are easy to whip up with ranch dressing. Kids will love to help peel and fill the eggs and sprinkle on the colorful, crunchy carrot and celery garnish.

Growing up, I always loved a classic Shirley Temple. My sweet twist on this recipe makes for a perfect treat or dessert! My Shirley Temple Cupcakes incorporates lemon-lime soda and maraschino cherries folded into no-fuss white cake! The kids will love to frost and garnish these deliciously adorable treats!

So put an apron on the kids and cook up some fun together! –Kathy

Garden Egg
D’lish!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Garden Ranch ’n’ Veggie Deviled Eggs
Whether its after-school snack time or a backyard birthday party, these tasty little eggs are easy to make with the kids. The veggie topping adds a fun crunch.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
1/2 cup pre-made ranch dressing
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Topping
1 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp minced celery
2 Tbsp minced carrot
2 Tbsp pre-made ranch dressing

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 ranch dressing and parsley, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.)

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix the bell pepper, celery, and carrot together. Top each egg half with 1/4 teaspoon of the ranch dressing and a sprinkle of the veggie mixture.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

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

Shirley Temple Cupcakes 2
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box (18.25 oz) super-moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda*
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (about 12 cherries)
—————————————
1 container (12 oz) white frosting
Garnish: 36 maraschino cherries, halved

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set aside.

Place the cake mix, soda, oil and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in the chopped cherries.

Fill each lined cupcake cup 3/4 full with batter. Place pans in oven on a lower rack. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake and decorate each cupcake with 3 cherry halves.

Cook’s Note: This recipe uses a 10–12 oz jar of maraschino cherries.
* Such as 7-UP, Sprite or Sierra Mist.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Add comment June 6th, 2013

Nutritious & D’lish Almonds!

Almonds! Whether you like them raw, toasted, or made into a smooth butter, these little nuts are great for you. They’re rich in dietary fiber, vitamin E, and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

Most importantly, they’re a great source of protein and perfect for a mid-day snack! Just 10 raw almonds can give you a quick pick-me-up!

I also love them toasted and tossed into basmati rice, sprinkled over yogurt or in my morning oatmeal. And of course, they add a great a great crunch factor to salads like in my Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw. Try switching almonds in, instead of walnuts, for your next batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Speaking of baking, this summer get creative with your fruit shortcake by whipping up a batch of Cinnamon Almond Shortcakes – top with a bounty of seasonal fruits (e.g.: strawberries, raspberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, grilled pineapple, etc.) and a poof of brown sugar whipped cream – yum! –Kathy

Cranberry Almond Salad

Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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 sambal oelek or other Asian red chili paste, or a pinch of red chili flakes
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 package Almond Accents Honey Roasted sliced almonds, or 1 cup toasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sour cream, salt and sambal oelek. 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 Almond Accents into salad right before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cinnamon Almond Scones
This not-too-sweet, nutty scone is the perfect foil for sweet summer stone fruit shortcake. Serve 6 scones for dessert and then you’ll have 2 extra for breakfast or seconds!

Makes 8 scones

2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 Tbsps (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed
1 egg white
1/2 tsp water

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 dinner knives until the mixture is the texture of coarse crumbs (just like making a pie crust). Stir in the almonds.

In a separate bowl, whisk the whole egg with the 3/4 cup buttermilk until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid into it. Combine with a few swift strokes. The dough should form a ball and all the flour should be incorporated. (If the dough is way too dry, add 1 tablespoon more buttermilk.) Do not overmix.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick round. Carefully place on an ungreased baking sheet, then cut into 8 wedges, leaving the sides still touching.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and water until mixed, then brush the dough lightly with the egg white glaze.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the scones are cooked through and golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Add comment May 11th, 2013

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