Fruit

Blending up a Signature Easter Brunch Cocktail

Looking for your signature Easter Brunch cocktail? The delicious & frothy Strawberry Silver Gin Fizz is a sure crowd pleaser and oh-so-spring looking! Delightfully pink and bright flavored, this drink is flash blended then finished with soda water for a fun and unique addition to your morning get-together. To make things easier, you can pre-batch the strawberries, sugar, gin, lemon, and egg white and keep refrigerated until ready to blend with the ice.

Happy Easter!

Strawberry_Silver_2
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Strawberry Silver Gin Fizz
Makes 4 – 6 servings

3/4 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup gin (or substitute vodka)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) freshly squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
2 organic egg whites (or 2 ounces pasteurized egg whites)
1 cup ice
———————————
1/4 cup soda water, chilled
Garnish: fresh strawberries and lemon peel twists

In a large glass measuring cup combine the strawberries and the powdered sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Combine the macerated strawberries, gin, lemon juice, egg whites and ice in a high powered blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and all ice has been blended in. Add soda water to blender. Divide fizz between chilled glasses. Garnish with strawberries and lemon twists.

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

Posted by Kathy on April 3rd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes

Valentine’s Day Love Potion

I know that I don’t have to remind you, but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Do you know what you are going to give your sweetie to show them how much you care?

Chocolates and roses have been done, so why not try something new this year. How about starting off your romantic evening with my Love Potion bottled cocktail? Fresh raspberry infused-vodka is mixed up with pomegranate juice, limoncello, and fresh citrus to create a crimson pink and d’lish drink.

Now, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can try making your own limoncello – it’s so easy! Just add lemon zest to some citrus vodka and let it sit for a few days. Then sweeten lightly with some rich simple syrup and voila. It will last up to a year in the refrigerator.

In the recipe I’’ll tell you how to bottle this up (just use little 187 ml bottles and cap) you can write a love note to your honey on a tag or make a fun valentine label.

Serve bottles chilled on ice and make a toast to your sweetheart! –Kathy

IMG_1155

Love Potion
This bottled cocktail is perfect for Valentine’s Day. You can make ahead and serve with personalized tags. Serve over large format ice cubes or spheres. Garnish with fresh berries.

Makes about 46 ounces – enough for 6 (187ml) bottles

2 cups vodka
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup Liquid Kitchen Quick & Easy Limoncello (recipe follows),
or use your favorite brand
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup simple syrup*
1 cup water

Place the vodka and raspberries in a blender and blend to infuse raspberries. Fine strain into a large pitcher. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Fill bottles 1-inch from top using a funnel. Cap or seal. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Shake before serving.

*To make simple syrup: combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Liquid Kitchen Quick & Easy Limoncello
For a demo on how to make Housemade Limoncello, visit www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups citrus vodka
3 lemons
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water

With a potato peeler, peel the zest from the lemon, being sure not to get any white pith. Place the lemon peel in a clean quart glass jar with lid. (Use the rest of the lemon for another purpose.) Cap the jar and shake well. Let sit at room temperature for 1 week, shaking the jars every couple of days.

After 1 week, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.
Strain the vodka into a pretty bottle. Add the cooled sugar syrup, cap bottle and shake to combine. Store at room temperature, for up to 2 months or, refrigerated, for 1 year.

*Glass bottles are available online as well as metal caps and cappers. You can also find them at home brew stores.

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

Posted by Kathy on February 6th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Amazon, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network

Pummelo: The Big Brother of the Citrus Family

Have you seen ginormous citrus fruits that look like monster grapefruits? They’re called pummelos – and are the biggest variety of citrus!

If you are a citrus fanatic like me, you will love pummelos. Pick one out that feels heavy for its size and is more green than yellow – in this case, green is good! These big babies pack a wallop of vitamins, and have a wonderful flavor, very similar to a grapefruit, but sweeter and in my opinion a little floral.

The biggest hurdle is getting through the peel, but once you know how, it’s really quite simple. First cut off the top and bottom – just enough so you can see the flesh of the fruit peeking through.

Next, score the peel on four sides. Just deep enough to get through the whole peel. Then, with your fingers, pull the pieces of the peel off and break the sections of the fruit apart. Remove the membrane from the segments, and then you’re ready to enjoy the fruit. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it is SO WORTH IT!


Here’s a video of demo-ing how to peel one!

Great on its own as a snack, or try adding it to a favorite dish. The team and I developed a bunch of new recipes for Sunkist such as Pummelo Tabbouleh! So branch out and try pummelo – its D’Lish!–Kathy

Pummelo_Tabouleh
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Pummelo Tabbouleh
Pummelo adds a beautiful color and tangy sweet flavor to this classic dish-up salad. Different brands/varieties of cracked wheat cook differently. More rustic types tend to be slower to absorb the water.

Makes 6 – 8 cups depending upon the style of cracked wheat used

1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups cracked wheat (bulgur wheat)
——————————–
1 Sunkist® Pummelo
1/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 roma tomatoes, diced 1/2 inch
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Place bulgur wheat and the 1 teaspoon of salt in a heat-proof large glass bowl or plastic container. Measure boiling water carefully and pour over the bulgur. Cover quickly with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour or until all the water has been absorbed. Uncover and let cool. (See headnote on cooking varieties of bulgur.)

To finish the salad: Peel the pummelo and tear the citrus flesh of each segment into pieces (discarding the white pith), set aside. (See how to open a pummelo.)

In a large bowl mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, remaining teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add the cooked bulgur and stir to combine. Then add the pummelo, tomatoes, parsley, and green onions and stir gently until coated with dressing.

Sunkist Twists:

  • Add in 1 cup chopped fresh kale.
  • For a protein punch add 1 can of drained garbanzo beans.
  • Try adding 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.
  • Recipe developed for Sunkist by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Posted by Kathy on January 22nd, 2015  |  Comments (6) |  |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, videos

    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

    Filling
    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

    Crust
    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.

    Fruit-Cake-3

    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.

    Fruit-Cake-4

    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® – www.KathyCasey.com

    Posted by Kathy on December 5th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Autumn Pears

    We are so lucky here in the Pacific Northwest to have such a delicious variety of sumptuous pears! Bartlett, Bosc, Seckel, Concorde – each one different, yet they’re all oh-so-delicious!

    The months of October through December are the prime time for pears.

    One of my favorite preparations for pears is roasting them: just cut them into thick wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, and seasoning. Roast them on a sheet pan in a hot oven until they are just tender.

    They’re great tossed in a fall salad, served with roast chicken or on a crostini with some gorgonzola for an easy appetizer like in my Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola! Or maybe even serve them with your Thanksgiving roast turkey as a tasty accompaniment!

    Another idea is to make a pear wasabi puree: sauté diced pears till tender, then puree them mixed with a little wasabi for a tasty sauce for grilled fish of scallops.

    And don’t forget about the drinks! Try infusing a bottle of vodka with a sliced pear. Let sit for 2 – 3 days then strain! Delicious in cocktails like my Pear Thyme Fizz or put it in bottles and give it as a great fall hostess gift! –Kathy

    Roasted Pear Crostini (2)
    Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne

    Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola
    These are extra-delicious topped with chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts. Balsamic glaze can be purchased at gourmet and well-stocked grocery stores.

    Makes 24

    Pears
    2 firm red Bartlett or other red-skinned pears
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

    24 pieces Herbed Crostini (recipe follows)
    1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled gorgonzola cheese or thinly sliced Cambozola
    2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

    For garnishing
    Tiny sprigs of fresh thyme

    Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

    To roast the pears: Quarter the pears lengthwise, then core. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 6 slices (you should have 24 slices, total). In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and thyme. Add the pears and toss to coat.

    Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay out the pears, not touching, on the baking sheet. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden and starting to caramelize on the edges. Pears can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.

    When ready to serve, lay out the crostini on a baking sheet and top each piece with about 1 heaping teaspoon of gorgonzola or a slice of Cambozola, then a slice of pear. Bake until just warmed, about 4 minutes.

    Drizzle each piece with about 1/4 teaspoon balsamic glaze, then garnish with thyme.

    Herbed Crostini
    Crostini are the must-have party basic. Use as a base for assorted toppers, such as creamy cheeses, tapenade, or spreads.

    Makes 32 to 40 pieces

    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    Pinch of cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
    1 long, skinny French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
    Kosher salt for sprinkling

    Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

    In a small bowl, mix the oil, dried herbs, cayenne, and garlic. Lightly brush the baguette slices with the herb oil or, in a large bowl, drizzle the bread with the oil and toss well. Lay out the bread in a single layer on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until just crispy.

    Crostini can be made in advance, cooled thoroughly, and stored in airtight containers for up to 3 days. If necessary, recrisp them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – www.liquidkitchen.com

    Pear Thyme Fizz
    Fresh thyme’s savoriness is wonderful against the crisp dryness of pear.

    Makes 1 drink

    1 large sprig fresh thyme
    1 1/2 oz Pear Infused Vodka (recipe follows)
    1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
    3/4 ounce Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
    Splash of chilled brut Champagne, dry sparkling wine, or soda water

    For garnishing
    Thin slice of fresh pear
    Small sprig of fresh thyme

    Bend the large thyme sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Top with a splash of Champagne. Float a pear slice and thyme sprig in the drink for garnish.

    Pear Infused Vodka
    Makes 1 1/2 cups

    1 large ripe pear
    1 1/2 cups vodka

    Core pear and cut into thin slices (leave skin on) and place in a mason jar with vodka. Cap and shake. Leave to infuse for at least 2 days (up to 5 days) and then strain. (Discard pears.) Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Simple Syrup
    This is a bar staple and the most commonly used sweetener. Though you can purchase simple syrup, it is ordinarily sweeter than I prefer, so I highly recommend making your own. Proportions vary but it is easy.

    Makes 3 cups

    2 cups water
    2 cups sugar

    Mix the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil 1 minute then immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature before using. Store in a clean glass bottle or container, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks or, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.

    Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – www.liquidkitchen.com

    Posted by Kathy Casey on November 26th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

    It’s Pomegranate Season!

    Some foods just have a way to remind us of the season and pomegranates do just that. I always know winter has arrived when I start seeing those lovely garnet fruits piled high in the produce section.

    Pomegranate edit
    Juicy pomegranate seeds!

    I remember eating my very first pomegranate as a kid, sitting in a chair with a TV tray. It occupied my little hands for hours…turning them bright pink but only for a day! Take note moms & dads!

    Pomegranates’ tart-sweet seeds are prized for their distinctive flavor and are high in antioxidants. Whether muddled into a cocktail or sprinkled on salads, they are d’lish!  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!  Side note: this is also a great stress reliever!

    For a quick and easy appetizer, add pomegranate seeds to hummus. It adds great texture to the already creamy hummus and helps the flavor jump at you with it’s tartness.

    In my Tender Greens with Tangerine Vinaigrette, pomegranate seeds add a very colorful and tart addition to this healthy, citrusy salad and plays well with the sweetness of the tangerine.

    So pick up some pomegranates and enjoy their tangy addition to a very delicious winter! -Kathy

    Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

    Tender Greens with Tangerine Vinaigrette & Pomegranate Seeds
    Makes 4-6 servings

    1 1/2 tsp very finely minced tangerine zest *
    3 Tbsps fresh tangerine juice
    3 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
    1/2 tsp dijon mustard
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 tsp sugar
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    2 Tbsps very light olive oil

    ————————————-

    4 cups gourmet greens mix
    1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce
    1/2 cup (about 3 medium) diced or segmented tangerines (peeled and seeded)
    1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

    To prepare the vinaigrette:
    * To make the tangerine zest, peel the tangerine with a potato peeler then mince zest until very fine.

    In a small bowl whisk together the tangerine zest, tangerine and lemon juices, dijon mustard, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Whisking continuously, drizzle in olive oil slowly to emulsify the dressing. Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.

    To prepare the salad:
    Wash gourmet greens, if necessary, and spin dry. Tear the Bibb lettuce into bite-sized pieces; rinse, if necessary, and spin dry. Toss greens together in a bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate until needed.

    Right before serving, in a large bowl toss the greens with the dressing until well coated. Divide salad between 4 – 6 chilled salad plates. Garnish each one with some of the diced tangerines and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Posted by Kathy Casey on October 23rd, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Huckleberries – A taste of Late Summer

    It’s time to talk about huckleberries. This native Pacific Northwest berry is delicious in drinks, desserts, incorporated into dinners, or straight off the bush!

    There are lots of places you can pick huckleberries and often you can get some great hiking in, too. Find a trail in the mountains that takes you roughly above 2,000 feet; huckleberries grow fine at sea-level, but really go wild in higher elevations. Look for bushes in meadows or along lakes. The Washington Trails Association has a great list of “huckleberry hikes.”

    Just remember these 2 key pointers:

    1. Lots of berries grow in our neck of the woods, and not all of them are edible. Make sure to take a guidebook along to make sure you’re picking the right ones.
    2. Keep your eyes open for roaming animals. Our wildlife loves huckleberries as much as we do; you might even spot a bear so be careful!

    And they’re not just for pie although I love them studded into an apple pie like in my Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust.

    One of my favorites is a savory Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce. Or how about roasted with slices of sweet potato – yum!

    And if you’re headed to Portland anytime soon – drop into the Heathman Restaurant & Bar and try our Huckleberry Mule On-Tap. Made with ABSOLUT Vodka, fresh lime, and handcrafted ginger beer then topped with Liquid Kitchen Wild Huckleberry Preserves – yum! And Chef Michael Stanton is sure to have some tasty huckleberry menu items as well!

    Huckleberry Mule
    Huckleberry Mule on-tap!

    These wild fall berries are delicious in almost anything! –Kathy

    Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust
    Makes 1 9-inch pie

    Crust
    2 cups flour
    2 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp round nutmeg
    1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
    12 Tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
    6 Tbsps ice water

    Filling
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    3 Tbsps flour
    2 Tbsps cornstarch
    7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced, peeled and cored apples (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
    1 cup fresh wild huckleberries
    milk and sugar for topping (optional)

    To make the crust:In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and graham cracker crumbs and mix evenly. Cut in 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 2 disks and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

    Divide dough into 2 pieces and press gently into disks. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes while you make the filling.

    To make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, cornstarch, apples and huckleberries. Set aside.

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    Remove dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into 2 rounds, each about 12 inches in diameter. Brush excess flour from one crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit bottom crust into pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2″.

    Mound the fruit mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Brush edges of bottom crust lightly with water and then cover pie with top crust. Trim top crust overhang to 1 inch, then fold overhanging top-crust dough under edge of bottom crust overhang and tuck excess dough under, even with edge of pan. Seal and flute edges with fingertips to make a pretty crimp. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top, brush top crust lightly with milk then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

    Bake for 10 minutes at 425, 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®.

    Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce
    Makes 4 servings

    4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
    kosher salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 Tbsp clarified butter or olive oil plus more if needed
    1 shallot, minced
    2 large fresh sage leaves
    3/4 cup port
    1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    1/2 cup crumbled Oregon blue cheese or other full-flavored blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
    1/4 cup fresh wild huckleberries

    Garnishes:
    fresh sage leaves
    crumbled blue cheese
    fresh wild huckleberries

    Read through the entire recipe before beginning, and have all ingredients ready within reach of the range.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken liberally on each side with salt and pepper. (If chicken breasts are really large, then lightly pound out a bit between sheets of plastic wrap.)

    In a large, heavy, ovenproof nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over high heat until hot. Sear the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

    Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the chicken for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until juices run clear. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

    Place the chicken-cooking pan over high heat and add the shallot and sage leaves to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in the port and mustard and scrape up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan to get all that good flavor into the sauce. Continuing cooking on high heat to reduce the port to 1/4 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream, and reduce until saucy and almost glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the cheese and whisk in for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove the sauce from heat and stir in the huckleberries.

    Discard the sage leaves. Whisk in any accumulated juices from the resting chicken breasts, taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

    To serve, plate the chicken breasts on dinner plates and drizzle with the sauce, dividing evenly. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and a sprinkling of cheese and huckleberries.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on September 18th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes
    Untitled