Fruit

Summer Cherries

From Bings to Queen Annes, cherries are one of the Northwest’s most famed exports, and also one of our most valuable crops. Needless to say, they’re luscious, sweet & tart, and decadent.

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Cherry Mojito photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Eaten out of hand is always tasty but I love them crushed in fresh lemonade or in one of my favorite summer cocktails, Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd! Just combine pitted cherries, light rum, fresh squeezed lime juice, and simple syrup. Let this sit for an hour or so, and then add a big splash of soda water and ice. Now, you’re ready for summer sippin’!

Have you ever made cherry salsa? Make my Sassy Bing Cherry Salsa just like you would tomato salsa, but sub out fresh chopped cherries for the tomatoes. Toss with some fresh lime juice, fresh minced jalapeno, a little red onion and some cilantro–great on grilled chicken or salmon.

Or hey, how about just a big bowl of cherries for dinner? Why not! So head out to the market and pick of a big bag of fresh local cherries and taste the season! –Kathy

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Makes about 10 servings

3 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 1/2 cups sprigs)
3 cups silver rum
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh lime juice
———————————————–
10-ounce bottles soda water, chilled
Loads of ice for serving

For Garnishing: fresh mint, fresh cherries

In a large nonreactive container, such as a glass pitcher, lightly crush the cherries with a potato masher. Then add the mint, rum, sugar and lime juice. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours – or overnight. (You can remove the mint before serving if you like and then garnish with fresh ones.)

For serving: add the soda water to the pitcher of drinks. Add ice and serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® – www.LiquidKitchen.com

Posted by Kathy on June 24th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, Recipes

Juicing for Joy

As you walk the isle of the grocery store these days, you’ll soon notice the rows and rows of new juices readily available. What is all this juicy business? Well for starters, it’s an easy and d’lish way to get your recommended daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, and not to mention lots of vitamins and nutrients.

So what to do? Got the bucks to buy a bottle? It is pretty convenient to pop into a shop and pick up your favorite blend but over time it can be more expensive than your daily cup of joe.

How about buying a home juicer? Making juice from home can be an investment in time and money up front but with a little planning it truly is the best way to enjoy a juice filled lifestyle and the fresher the juice, the better the health benefits too!

Here’s a favorite blend of mine that you can play with the proportions to fit your pallet. I suggest doing 3 parts veggie or root juice to 1 part fruit juice and any salty, spicy or sour juices should be added to taste.

Beets ( In addition to being sweet and oh so pretty, they are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits)
Celery (It has a touch of natural saltiness, bright flavor, and it’s a natural diuretic)
Slice of fresh ginger
Apple
Lemon Juice

Want a powerful punch of antioxidants? How about whipping up a delicious Green Juice like this one from Sunkist.

 


Photo from Sunkist.com
 

Made with fresh squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, fresh pressed cider , ginger, and kale juice.  Yum!

Oh and did I mention that fresh veggie juices are great  as a mixer for cocktails too! That’s right. The juicing trend is moving into Happy Hour. Here is one of my favorite cocktails for spring: Make it with your favorite gin!

Carrot Collins
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
 

The carrot juice adds a subtle sweetness and a beautiful color, while playing well with the botanicals of the gin. Find this recipe and more at www.liquidkitchen.com

Happy Juicing!  –Kathy

Good for You Green Smoothies

Eating a healthy breakfast is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and gets your metabolism jump started for the day. But many of us just don’t have time to get it together in the mornings. This is where quick smoothies come in!

Now you have probably seen a lot of people drinking green things these days, such as juice, smoothies and kale is the star of the green! It’s reportedly among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and very high in fiber – so perfect in helping you feel full.

But sometimes purchased juices and smoothies can be really high in calories and sugar. With all that sugar, that kind of defeats the purpose.

Here is my favorite go to Green Smoothie:

    •1 – 2 leaves of Kale torn up
    •1/2 a ripe banana
    •Tiny touch of honey or maple syrup (not too much now or leave it our entirely)
    •1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt (or fat free coconut milk for a dairy-free option – this is the fresh refrigerated coconut milk)
    •3/4 – 1 cup of ice

Green Smoothies

Tear the kale leaves up and drop into a blender cup. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend it up until totally smooth and brilliant green – I have a Vitamix blender and LOVE it!

You can add other healthful additions right before blending, too. Think matcha powder, flax seeds, goji berries, and even almond butter or organic coconut oil. These all are great smoothie boosters and great for you.

So go Green and Jump start your day with a homemade smoothie! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on January 7th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, Lifestyle, Recipes

It’s Pomegranate Season!

I remember when I ate my first pomegranate as a kid….seated in a chair with a TV tray. Yes, it occupied my little hands for hours! Take note moms: it’s fun for kids. And yes, it will make their hands bright pink, but only for a day.


Juicy pomegranate seeds!

Pomegranate’s brilliant tart-sweet seeds are prized for their distinctive flavor and are high in antioxidants. I love the texture and how they pop in your mouth.

They are so great sprinkled on a winter salad of arugula, slices of orange, and fennel or endive, tossed with a champagne vinaigrette. Or finishing a dish of roasted Brussel sprouts and toasted walnuts adding their tart crunch.

Pomegranate Salad

Try them on ice cream or yogurt or even shaken into your favorite cocktail.

And I have a great tip to make de-seeding simple:

    •Cut the pomegranate in half, then holding a half firmly over a large bowl.
    •Hit it with a heavy wooden spoon and watch the seeds come tumbling out.
    •Repeat – then eat.

PS. This is also a great holiday stress reliever. And be sure you put on a bib apron, the pink speckles will be flying! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, salads

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

Oats
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

Batter
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  |  Comments Off on Oatmeal Any Time of Day |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Apples

    A true sign of fall: apples appear everywhere. From thick caramel-coated and dipped in nuts to sweet and tangy cups of fresh-pressed cider at the local market to grand glass bowls filled with elegant red apples simply used as a table centerpiece.

    The Northwest has always been the hub for amazing apples. Glorious Galas with their perfume-y sweet flavor, firm Fujis that hold their texture amazingly well when cooked, deep-blushed Braeburns, and the list goes on.

    What most of us (at least us pie-lovers) think about when thinking of apples is pie, I love to make my apple pie with a little cheddar in the crust – yum!

    Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon-Bacon Vinaigrette
    Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunkist

    But in addition to desserts there are bushels of other great ways to cook with apples. Try whipping up a Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon-Bacon Vinaigrette. It’s really quick and delicious.

    Looking for a new side dish? How about a toothsome Apple Barley Risotto – a twist on the classic using pearl barley instead of Arborio rice?

    Just remember, one of the best apple tips to observe is to always keep your apples refrigerated. At 70 degrees, apples break down and become soft 10 times faster than if refrigerated. Many a Northwesterner accomplished this in the olden days by stashing the winter’s apples under the bed, back when winter bedrooms were quite chilly. I bet those rooms smelled appley great!

    Cheers crisp fall apples – crunch! -Kathy

    Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Meyer Lemon–Bacon Vinaigrette
    This salad is delicious as a starter, or serve it as an entrée topped with grilled chicken breast and crumbled blue cheese.

    Makes 6 servings as a starter salad

    6 cups baby spinach
    1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
    1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion

    Vinaigrette
    1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Sunkist Meyer Lemon juice
    2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    ———————————————
    1/4 cup finely diced raw bacon
    2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

    Place spinach, apple and onion in a large, heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt
    and olive oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

    In a small nonstick pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until three-quarters done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, but do not brown garlic. Add the reserved vinaigrette to the hot pan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over reserved spinach mixture.

    Toss until salad is well coated with dressing, and serve immediately.

    Recipe created by Kathy Casey for Sunkist®

    Apple Barley Risotto
    Allow about 50 – 60 minutes total cooking time for this recipe.
    Makes 4 servings

    2 Tbsp. butter
    1 cup chopped mushrooms
    1/4 cup finely diced red onion
    1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 Braeburn or Fuji apple, unpeeled, cored and diced 1/4-inch
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    1 cup water
    1/4 cup shredded, high-quality Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
    1/8 tsp. black pepper
    salt to taste (If using canned broth, less salt will be needed.)

    In a large heavy-bottom saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and red onions. Sauté till mushrooms are limp. Add the garlic and stir around for about half a minute. Then immediately add the wine, increase heat to high and reduce wine till syrupy, about 3 minutes.

    Reduce heat to medium and stir in the diced apple and barley. In a bowl or large measuring cup mix together the broth and water. Add 1 cup to the barley and simmer till almost all the liquid is absorbed about 6 – 8 minutes.

    Stir in another cup of the broth-water mixture and continue cooking, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process again until all the liquid has been used and the barley is tender.

    Remove from heat and fold in cheese, nuts and pepper. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.

    Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

    Posted by Kathy on October 8th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Apples |  Posted in Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recipes, salads

    Bananas for Bananas

    Bananas, the ultimate naturally portable snack! Perfect for throwing into your purse or bag.

    Besides being deliciously handy, bananas are a great source of potassium while being low in sodium. They are a good source of Vitamin B6 as well as Vitamin C and dietary fiber, and are naturally fat free!

    If you’re thinking of a late-season campfire, then consider this s’more 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 tide 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 little while, take it out and carefully unwrap. Yum!

    s'more banana
    Fun Photo from Tablespoon.

    And bananas are quite delicious with savory things as well. My recipe for Banana Pineapple Chutney is flavored up with warm spices such as ginger and allspice. It’s a fantastic way to zip up a grilled chicken breast, or even better with a pork chop.

    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® – www.KathyCasey.com

    Posted by Kathy on September 24th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Bananas for Bananas |  Posted in Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Fig-a-licious Fruit!

    Although I love them, figs are so much more than the iconic Fig Newton, which by the way was first sold dried in a commercially manufactured cookie in 1892. Who knew?

    Figs: they’re unusual, versatile, and even grow well here in Seattle. I have a fig tree in my backyard!

    Fig edited
    A plump fig growing in my back Urban Garden – ready to be picked!

    It’s best to pick figs when fully ripened. The fig is ready for harvest when it drops on the stem from its own weight. Pick with the stems attached, but always plan to use within a few days.

    Although in the kitchen we consider it a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. There are no blossoms on the tree’s branches; the blossom is inside the fig. Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little seeds that give figs their unusual taste and texture.

    Figs are of course fabulous fresh, but you can also cook up some creative dishes with them too.

    One of my favorite apps is quick and easy: Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola and Walnuts. So easy to make. I love them paired with a delicious Manhattan made with House Spiced Vermouth – YUM!–Kathy

    Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
    Makes about 24 to 30 pieces

    4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1 pint fresh figs, halved lengthwise

    Preheat an oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, mix the Gorgonzola and walnuts. Arrange the figs, cut side up, on an ungreased baking sheet, and top each piece with 1 generous teaspoon of the Gorgonzola mixture.

    Roast the figs for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is hot. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

    Recipe © from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook.

    Posted by Kathy on September 18th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Fig-a-licious Fruit! |  Posted in Books to Cook, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos
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