Fruit

Cider Craze

It was not long ago that ciders were far and few between, but now, ciders are popping up everywhere across the country. From dry tiny bubble-style (like a fine French Champagne) to bold and sassy, spiced (chai cider – yes please) and fruit-forward (think pear and raspberry). There’s something for everyone’s tastes.

Here in the northwest, we love our ciders! From restaurant menus to pubs to the shelves lined at your favorite grocer, ciders are everywhere!


A Rhuby Rum Cider Cocktail featuring dark rum,
grapefruit and pomegranate juices, and chai cider!
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

And with Thanksgiving coming, why not consider serving a hard cider with your holiday bird. Think a dryer style apple cider; it’s a great alternative to white wine.

Hosting a party? Mix up a batch of my Pear & Blackberry Sangria – sure to be a crowd favorite! Or how about putting together a cider tasting! Ask your guests to each bring a different cider. Put a brown bag over each one and tie at the top. Then give each guest 3 ribbons to hang around the top of their favorites, taste, unveil, and crown the cider winners. How fun is that!

So cheers to sipping some ciders! –Kathy

Pear & Blackberry Sangria
Blackberries can be switched out for raspberries or strawberries depending upon what’s peak of season at your local market.

Makes about 4-6 servings

1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup blackberries
—————————
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons blackberry honey
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. brandy or cognac
—————————
1 (22 oz) bottles Crispin Natural Hard Pear Cider Lion Belge
Garnish: fresh blackberries and sliced pear

In a blender cup combine the water, lemon juice and blackberries. Process until smooth. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. Add the honey, orange juice and brandy and stir until honey is dissolved. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

When ready to serve combine the blackberry mixture with the chilled cider in a large container. Add the berries and pear. Serve over ice

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

Posted by Kathy on November 8th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Cider Craze |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, 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!


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 September 13th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Apples |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recipes, salads, sides

Upside Down Cakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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

Almonds

Almonds whether raw, toasted, or made into a smooth butter — these little nuts are so 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 almonds can get your energy going!

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

Have you ever had fresh ground almond butter? Lots of our local stores offer “grind your own” – so yummy spread on whole grain toast and topped with a few fresh berries for a quick and healthy start to your day.

Add a healthy crunch to your next dish with d’lish almonds! –Kathy


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 Sriracha
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1 large head)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

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

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

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

Posted by Kathy on February 16th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Almonds |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides, Snacks

Back for the Holidays: “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes

fruit-cake-3

It’s been over 10 years now that we have been baking up our signature “Over 21” Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark! Garnering cult like status these delicious beauties are chock full of Maker’s Mark-soaked dried fruits, including apricots, cranberries, tart cherries and golden raisins as well as lots of tasty toasted nuts from hazelnuts to rich pecans – all bound with our signature spiced batter. Baked until golden then brushed hot out of the oven with a Maker’s Mark brown sugar glaze.

“This is not your grandmother’s fruitcake, and is sure to convert any fruitcake naysayers. With all that delicious bourbon, fruit and nuts in it, this fruit cake certainly won’t end up re-gifted! Some loyal fans have said they ate the whole thing themselves,” commented Kathy Casey, “I personally love to toast a slice for Christmas morning breakfast.”

Quantities are limited and sell out fast. So here’s how to order or pick-up:

  • -Starting November 28th Real Fruit Cakes can be picked up at Kathy Casey Food Studios, located in Ballard – Monday thru Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm (call 206-784-7840 to check on availability).

    -Order from our website starting November 28th while supplies last.

    -Priced at $11.95 this holiday season.

Kathy Casey Food Studios is located at 5130 Ballard Ave. NW and is open Monday through Friday
from 9 AM to 5 PM. (We suggest calling ahead to be sure that cakes are available).

For more information, contact: call (206) 784-7840, email dishing@kathycasey.com or check out our website www.kathycasey.com.

Posted by Kathy on November 11th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Back for the Holidays: “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, Kathy Casey, Lifestyle, Press, Recent Posts, Snacks

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!

huckleberries
Photo from The Daily Apple

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!

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 21st, 2016  |  Comments Off on Huckleberries – A taste of Late Summer |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes

Summer Blackberries

Ahh blackberries… the glorious summer berry growing in backyards, parks, and all along our northwest trails. These delicious juicy little fruits are definitely worth the fight with the prickly bushes that they grow on – and your patience will be rewarded!

Not only are blackberries delicious, but they’re good for you! With one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit – these berries are also a wonderful source of vitamins C and K as well as fiber.

Truth be told, I think blackberries really are a taste of summer, which is why they’re the perfect addition to a refreshing summer cocktail. Add them into a shaker tin with some fresh mint, lime juice, simple syrup and rum, and you have a wonderful (and easy to make) Blackberry Mojito!

Gone blackberry picking and now have a big bowl in the fridge? Throw some in your pancake batter and start the morning off with some d’lish Blackberry Pancakes topped with Citrusy Syrup.


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Or how about a summer salad tossed with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette – a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and fresh goat cheese – a great start to any summer meal.

Enjoy the last days of summer with a fresh bowl of blackberries! –Kathy

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
Toss with summer garden greens, and fat blackberries. Scatter with toasted hazelnuts and a crumbling of blue cheese or chevre. Dressing recipe can easily be doubled.

Makes about 1 generous cup of dressing.

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) blackberries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Liquid Kitchen® No. 5130 honey or local honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 8th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Summer Blackberries |  Posted in breakfast, Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

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  |  Comments Off on Summer Cherries |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Recipes
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