Fruit

Creamy and D’Lish Avocados!

Every year I can’t wait for California avocados to hit the summer markets. They are so rich, creamy and flavorful! And they’re super nutritional, too! Like olive oil, avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat (AKA “the good fat”) as well as potassium, B-vitamins, and folic acid.

Avocados
(Photo from the California Avocado Commission)

Avocados are delicious when sliced and served in sandwiches like a summer BLTA, cozied up to thick sliced summer tomatoes. We also love them in chunky guacamole scooped up with crispy corn chips, or folded in a tropical fruit salsa.

I love them in salads, especially when paired with sweet and tangy oranges like in my Orange, Avocado & Red Onion Jumble with Poppyseed Vinaigrette it’s wonderful to top bib lettuce as a starter or as an accompaniment to grilled Alaska salmon. Yum!

Speaking of salads avocados are also great blended into salad dressings, such as the classic Green Goddess or in a low fat ranch—so tasty drizzled on grilled fish tacos.

And don’t forget breakfast, I love them sliced over a pepper jack cheese omelet with a dollop of fresh salsa – d’lish!

And yes avocados are also pretty tasty and interesting in blended beverages too. In Dubai, I had a really interesting layered drink with avocado, red date and rose. A little closer to home, Portland’s Lucy Brennan of Mint Bar put the blended avocado daiquiri on the cocktail map. It’s good – really!

Just remember my 2 avocado “rules”:
1. Buy them a couple of days ahead so they get nice and ripe — but are still firm.
2. Don’t throw that pit away! Put it back in your dressings and guacamoles until ready to serve. It helps keep the avocado from turning brown.

So think green and add in fresh California avocados to your next dish! – Kathy

Orange, Avocado Jumble
Photo from Kathy Casey Cooks: Favorites.

Orange, Avocado & Red Onion “Jumble” with Poppyseed Vinaigrette
Makes 4 cups; about 6 servings.

3 large oranges
1 cup very thinly sliced red onion
2 ripe but firm California avocados

Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup canola or light olive oil
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.

Cut ends off of oranges and then cut skin off the sides of orange, carefully removing all the white pith. Cut oranges in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place in a large bowl with onion. Cut avocados in quarters, peel and then slice into salad.

Toss with dressing and serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Green Goddess Dressing
Makes about 2 cups

1 ripe California avocado (reserve pit)
2 egg yolks*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
1 shallot, minced fine
4 anchovy fillets
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream (or light sour cream)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a food processor (or blender) place the avocado, egg yolks, lemon juice, herbs, shallot and anchovies. Process for about 1 minute until well combined. Then slowly drizzle in the oil, as when making a mayonnaise. Mixture should become smooth and creamy. Turn machine off and scrape down the sides. Add the sour cream and pepper. Process for about 30 seconds more or until smooth.

Place in a container; submerge the avocado pit to help dressing keep its green color. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dressing’s surface and cover well. Will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

* Note: Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 9th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, other, salads, sides

Berries & Bubbles

This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, I shake up a Berries & Bubbles cocktail! Fresh, in-season berries (I’m using d’lish raspberries for this episode!) works wonderfully with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, and Double Cross Vodka. A splash of Champagne bubbles adds a bit of elegance and is perfect for summer celebrations and entertaining!

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 30th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Celebrate Summer Sweet Cherries

From Bings to Queen Annes to Rainiers, 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.

Bing Cherries
Tasty bing cherries!
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Nothing beats eating cherries out of your hand but I love them muddled in fresh lemonade or in one of my favorite summer cocktails, Cherry Basil Mojitos for a Crowd. Make this ultra-refreshing sip up to three days ahead of time for your next barbeque or picnic. It’s perfect for your next patio party!

For a super easy app, Cherry Bings are fun. Pit large Bing cherries (with either a cherry pitter or by using a chopstick to poke the pit out). Roll in some goat cheese and toasted almonds. Viola – a d’lish appetizer!

Thinking of a summer cherry inspired entree? Whip up a batch of my Sassy Bing Cherry Salsa. It’s great on grilled chicken or salmon – yum!

So head out to the market to grab a big bag of fresh local cherries and taste the season! –Kathy

Cherry Mojitos
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Cherry Basil Mojitos for a Crowd
You can make the cherry-rum mixture up to 3 days in advance and keep it refrigerated—the flavors will just get better and better.

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)
12 sprigs fresh basil
3 cups silver rum
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh lime juice
Loads of ice for serving
Two 10-ounce bottles soda water, chilled

For Garnishing: fresh mint and basil sprigs, fresh cherries

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

For each serving, fill a large rocks glass or tumbler with ice and measure in 4 – 6 ounces (1/2 – 3/4 cup) of the rum mixture (I like to use a ladle to do this), being sure to get some of the cherries into each glass. Top with 1 – 2 ounces of soda. Stir, then garnish with a mint sprig or basil leaf and a cherry.

Recipe  by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Cherry & Goat Cheese Bings
Makes about 20 pieces

20 fresh dark sweet cherries
1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced almonds
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
4 to 6 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)

Pit the cherries and set aside to drain on paper towels for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Meanwhile, mix the almonds, oil, and salt in a small bowl, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature. When cooled, use your hands to crush the almonds to the size of cracker crumbs; put into a shallow bowl.

Take 1 heaping teaspoonful of cheese in the palm of your hand, place a cherry on the cheese, and start rolling with your hands to coat the cherry. If there are any thin spots, add a bit more cheese. Immediately after rolling the cheese around the cherry, drop it into the crumbled almonds and roll to coat with the nuts. Repeat with the remaining cherries. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve, for up to 2 hours.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Sassy Bing Cherry Salsa
Serve this sassy salsa over grilled chicken or salmon. I also like to add in some toasted crushed coriander seeds for a different twist.

Makes about 2 cups

2 cups pitted sliced Bing cherries (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup minced Walla Walla sweet onion or other sweet white onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)

In a small bowl, gently mix all the ingredients. The salsa is best if made right before serving but can be made up to 2 hours in advance.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 25th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, sides

Strawberry Basil Blush

Stay refreshed and keep summer libatious with brand new episodes of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen®! Launching the 4th Season in style is my Strawberry Basil Blush!

This cocktail incorporates fresh, sweet strawberries with fragrant basil and works great with either vodka or gin. This drink is versatile; it can be strained and served up in a nice martini-style glass or served on the rocks in an Old Fashioned-style glass.

Cheers! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 17th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Fruit Salads

Quick: name 3 side dishes for your next barbeque. I bet fruit salad was on that list! Put down that recipe for Waldorf salad and get creative with new fruit salad ideas.

A fave d’lish trick is to mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with a local honey; then add in some chopped freshly picked mint from the garden. Toss this with juicy peach wedges or halved apricots – yum!

Try grilling thick slices of pineapple and then sprinkling them with a touch of ground chipotle chili, a touch of lime juice, and a quick scatter in some chopped cilantro. My mouth is watering just thinking about this one.

Icy cold watermelon chunks are terrific when tossed with feta cheese, chopped fresh basil, kalamata olives and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil! Now that’s a NEW salad everyone will love!

So think outside of the box and try a new spin on fruit salad…and don’t forget to tell me how you like your refreshing summer side! – Kathy

Fruit + Lavender
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
®.

Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender- Lemon Honey Syrup
Makes about 6 servings

Lavander Lemon Honey Syrup
1/2 cup high quality local honey
1/2 cup water
8 ea fresh lavander flowers, unsprayed and rinsed (or 1 tablespoon dry)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Fruit
an assortment such as the following of fresh ripe stone fruits to make about 4 cups after cutting:
-peaches, peeled, pitted and  cut in wedges
-large apricots, pitted and cut in wedges
-plums, pitted and cut in wedges
-nectarines, pitted and cut in wedges
-pitted fresh cherries

Fresh lavender flowers for garnish, if desired.

To make the lavender lemon honey syrup : In a small heavy bottom sauce pan combine the honey, water and lavender flowers. Bring to a low boil over med  heat – being careful that ist does not foam up. Slowly simmer for about  10  minutes or until like thin pancake syrup.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Then add lemon juice and strain. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

To serve: In a large bowl toss with the lavender lemon honey syrup. Garnish with fresh lavender flowers if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Todd English’s Watermelon, Fennel and Black Olive Salad with Feta Cheese
One of my all-time favorite watermelon recipes is chef Todd English’s. He embellishes a melon salad with the distinctive flavors of fennel, feta and kalamata olives contrasted against the cool red-glistening fruit. The recipe was originally featured in the Star Palate cookbook, whose proceeds benefited the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Makes 8 servings

4 cups seeded watermelon chunks
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a Japanese mandoline (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put the watermelon, fennel, olives, red onion, green onion, basil leaves, and feta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Divide among salad plates and serve immediately.

Adapted from “Star Palate: Celebrity Cookbook for a Cure” by Tami Agassi and Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 12th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides

Celebrating Summer Strawberries!

One of the surefire signs of summer is sweet, juicy strawberries appearing at the market! They’re the perfect sweet treats whether eaten out of hand or piled high on shortcake topped with whipped cream or dipped in warm chocolate. Yum! How about getting a little savory with your strawberries this year?

Local berries drizzled with balsamic glaze and a few twists of fresh-cracked black pepper make for a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Ever tried that combo as an ice cream? Check out Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream shop for their inspired balsamic strawberry ice cream!

They’re also perfect in salads – my Strawberry & Spinach Salad with sweet Walla Walla onions, goat cheese and my Poppyseed–Ginger Vinaigrette is one of my favorite summer recipes.

And don’t forget to muddle some in a summer- sipper like in my d’lish Strawberry Shag. It teams lightly-sugared strawberries with fresh basil! Shaken with vodka and lemon juice, this refreshing cooler is perfect to start any patio party!

Get creative and enjoy some “first of summer” strawberries! -Kathy

Spinach & Strawberry Salad with Glazed Almonds & Lowfat PoppyseedGinger Vinaigrette
Makes about 6 servings

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Glazed Almonds:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar

Salad:
8 cups baby spinach
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved or quartered, depending upon size
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet white onions, such as Walla Walla sweets, if in season

To make vinaigrette: In a blender combine the white wine vinegar, strawberries and ginger. Process until it is a smooth puree. Then add the remaining ingredients (except for poppyseed) and blend until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the glazed almonds: Lightly pan spray a baking sheet and set aside.
Place almonds and sugar in a non-stick skillet on high heat. Start stirring with a wooden spoon. Sugar will start to dissolve and then caramelize. Stir continuously to lightly toast almonds and coat with the sugar. When almonds and sugar are the color of dark amber and golden brown, quickly remove from the pan onto sprayed baking sheet.

Spread out with spoon and let cool totally before using. Break up before serving. NOTE: Do not touch sugar or almonds with fingers when cooking or immediately after cooking. It is molten sugar and very hot!

To make and assemble the salad: Place the spinach leaves in a large salad/serving bowl. Toss with the strawberries, onions and about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle almonds on the top of salad. Reserve extra vinaigrette for another use or serve extra on the side for those that desire more.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Strawberry Shag
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne)

Strawberry Shag
Fresh basil lends a fun flavor note to the classic combination of strawberries and lemonade. Soda water introduces a lively sparkle.

Makes 1 drink

1 to 2 large sprigs fresh basil
1/4 cup Sugared Strawberries with juice (recipe follows)
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 ounces chilled soda water

For garnishing: fresh strawberry, small basil leaf

In a cocktail shaker, press the basil and strawberries together with a muddler to release the basil’s flavor. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka and lemon juice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a large glass, top with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.

Sugared Strawberries
Makes enough for about 6 drinks

1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before using.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 13th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, appetizers, salads

Easy Smoothies!

As we’ve all heard, eating a healthy breakfast is important. It’s the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting your metabolism revved up for the day.  But some of us just don’t have time to get it together in the mornings (especially without that first cup of joe!). Now, this is where smoothies come in!

Dust off your blender (I love my Vitamix!) then add in either fat-free yogurt or protein powder, some of your favorite fruits either fresh or frozen and filtered water. But don’t stop there!

Try new additions like matcha powder, flax seeds, goji berries, and even trusty peanut butter; these all are great smoothie boosters.

“Green” smoothies are ever popular these days, but don’t let the color fool you. They’re super healthy! I like to make mine with organic “green” juice, some protein powder, half a ripe banana to add natural sweetness, then blend it all up with half a peeled orange and add in more greens with handful of kale! Yes, it looks like Shrek made it – but it’s a great way to start your day and you’ll feel green goodness coursing through you!

For other smoothie-inspired recipes, check out my blogging friend Healthy Blender Recipes‘ recipe for VEGA Vegan Banana Vanilla Chai Green Protein Smoothie – wowza! -Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits or fresh fruits
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey for another all natural sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 tsp flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 fresh kale leaf (optional)

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 30th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks, breakfast

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.

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 11th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert, salads, sides
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