Snacks

Healthy Snack: Yogurt!

Yogurt is one of my definite go-to, easy snacks. It’s healthy; individually packaged; and come in a wide variety of flavors! From Boston Cream Pie to Passion Fruit, to Orange Creamsicle to Boysenberry.

And these days, people just can get enough of Greek Yogurt! It’s creamy and smooth and the low-fat varieties taste so luscious!

Greek yogurt is packed with muscle-building and appetite suppressing proteins, and fat-free versions are low in calories and sugar, making this treat a total win-win in my books. For added flavor, top it with freshly chopped fruits, crunchy granola, a drizzle of honey, or… shaved dark chocolate! The options are endless!

This dairy darling has many d’lish applications. I love mixing it into mashed potatoes or adding a dollop on top of my morning oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup. For healthy app, dip rice crackers or baked chips into plain Greek yogurt topped with salsa and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro – delicioso!

Greek yogurt is the perfect addition to any morning routine. It’s great when blended into my Fiber Packed Breakfast Smoothie! Blended with a whole-peeled orange, a spoonful of local honey, ice and a few flax seeds–you’ll have the energy you need to start your day right.

Yogurt has definitely lost its “plain vanilla” reputation and I’m glad! –Kathy

Fiber Packed Breakfast Smoothie
The great thing about smoothies are that you can customize to your personal taste. Add a tablespoon of protein powder, or toss in some fresh or frozen berries.

Using a whole orange adds not only great taste, but extra fiber too. And if you want to jack up the fiber even more add a few torn leaves of fresh kale.

And if you really love smoothies- be sure to get yourself a fantastic blender. I love my Vitamix it makes smoothies in a flash!

Makes 2 servings

1 large orange
1 ripe banana, cut in chunks
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
1 – 2 Tbsp local honey, agave nectar (or sub a packet of no-cal sweetener)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 cup ice

Cut the peel off the oranges, trim away any white pith, cut the fruit into chunks, removing any seeds.

Place the orange, banana, yogurt, honey, flax seeds and ice in a blender cup and blend on high speed until smooth. Divide between two glasses and serve immediately .

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 8th, 2013  |  Comments Off on Healthy Snack: Yogurt! |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, Snacks

Get Your Munch on with Pistachios

“Get Crackin’” has become a familiar tagline in TV commercials for the wonderful pistachio – but this little nut is more than just a pop culture phenomenon. Listed as a super food, nuts, and pistachios in particular, have a wide range of health benefits to top off their delicious flavor. From heart-healthy fats to high protein content, pistachios are the perfect snack or as a lovely accent to many d’lish dishes!

Sprinkle pistachios over Greek yogurt with dried cherries for a nutritious treat. Mix them in with dark chocolate, mini pretzels and dried cranberries for an indulgent trail mix. Or use them to finish off my Roasted Beets with Orange Honey Vinaigrette and Pistachios for tasty texture.

One of my favorite recipes featuring pistachios is my Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. Baked right in little mason jars and topped with a pouf of orange cream, these mini cakes are so cute and perfect for weekend entertaining!

So get crackin’ on some new ways to enjoy this healthful and flavorful nut! -Kathy

Roasted Beets with Orange Honey Vinaigrette and Pistachios
You can prepare this recipe part way in advance: After roasting beets, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, drain beets again if necessary, and proceed with the recipe, sauteing beets in the syrupy vinaigrette until heated through.

Makes about 6 servings

6 large beets (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, undiluted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel beets and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a 9- x 13-inch baking pan, then cover pan with foil. Roast beets in preheated oven about 40 minutes, then remove foil and continue roasting about 15 – 20 minutes more until beets are tender. Remove beets from oven and drain off any excess liquid.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan, whisk together remaining olive oil, OJ concentrate, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, and place over medium-high heat. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until syrupy. Add beets and saute to coat evenly.

Sprinkle nuts on top to garnish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes “in a Jar” with Orange Cream
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes “in a Jar” with Orange Cream
You can also make the cake batter up the day before, then just assemble in the jars, bake and serve warm! If baking ahead, you can chill down the baked cakes and just give a quick reheat in a hot oven or microwave to warm them.

Makes 6 cakes

Cakes
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fine fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Mariner liqueur
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Orange Cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate

Garnish: fine fresh orange zest

To make the cake batter: In a double boiler or medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter and chocolate are just barely melted. Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, zest, flour, orange juice concentrate and liqueur. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and the pistachios. Refrigerate batter for 2 hours or up to overnight.

To bake the cakes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir the batter to distribute the nuts. Divide the batter evenly, scooping 1/2 cup batter into each of 6 half-pint, wide-mouth canning jars (or you can substitute glass custard cups). Place the jars on a baking sheet and bake for about 22 to 28 minutes, or until the cakes are set but the centers are still very, very soft. (See chef’s note.) Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes and serve warm.

To make the orange cream: While the cakes are cooking, whisk the cream and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl until lightly peaking. Add the sour cream and orange juice concentrate. Whisk in until nicely peaking.

Top each cake with a dollop of cream and sprinkle with orange zest.

Chef’s note: Ovens differ, so bake the cakes for about 22 minutes for very soft center or 24 to 28 minutes for somewhat firmer centers. When removed from the oven, the centers of the cakes should still be gooey. If using cold batter from the refrigerator the cakes will take longer to cook.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 1st, 2013  |  Comments Off on Get Your Munch on with Pistachios |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, Snacks

National Popcorn Day

There are loads of d’lish food holidays out there! For example, did you know that January 19th is National Popcorn Day? Yum!

I love classic buttered and salted popcorn. It’s the perfect snack to munch on at the movies, during family game night, or as a healthy alternative to chips. And if those little 100-calorie microwave bags leave you craving something a bit more gourmet, try my ideas on how to spice up your snacking!

-Brown some butter before drizzling it on top, and then toss with cinnamon sugar to satisfy that sweet tooth craving – yum!

-If savory is more your style, add a dash of fresh chopped herbs in with some olive oil.

-How about spicing it up with a zesty hit of lime zest, cilantro and Tabasco?

-For the taste adventurer, try this: shake on some curry powder or furikake seasoning to add a truly unique and inspired flavor. Wow!


(Photo from Simply Recipes)

I’m always a fan of kicking classics up a notch and I love to grate sharp cheddar over my popcorn – but why not take it up a level by grating Manchego cheese over it and then seasoning it with sea salt and Spanish smoked paprika or experiment with different flavored seasonings like bacon salt. Just remember to be conservative with liquids like hot sauce when seasoning… no one is a fan of mushy popcorn.

So however you like it, pop up some tasty fun on National Popcorn Day! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 17th, 2013  |  Comments Off on National Popcorn Day |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Snacks

Kroger Family of Stores + MyMagazine Extras

Kroger Family of Stores has just made holiday entertaining that much more easier with their MyMagazine Extras Holiday 2012 edition! This go-to  guide features a plethora of ideas from gifting gift cards, homemade treats, some of my cocktail recipes for your next festive cocktail party, and so much more.

MyMagazine Extras is free to download and available for iPad, Android and Kindle tablets! You can also view their online edition here!

Here’s a sneak peak:

Holiday Manhattan with Spiked Cherries

Here’s to a Happy Holidays! -Kathy

Print
Kroger_familyofstores_logo

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 30th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Kroger Family of Stores + MyMagazine Extras |  Posted in Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

Cheers to Blended Drinks!

Blended drinks — from daiquiris and margaritas to grown-up boozy ice cream milkshakes — blended drinks are always great for crowds and refreshing on hot summer days and nights.

For something really unique, try out my Blended Peach Whiskey Sour. It’s my take on the classic whiskey sour and perfect for the whiskey lover. Fresh, ripe summer peaches, a whole peeled lemon, apricot jam, bourbon and just the right amount of ice mingle together for a sophisticated sip.

My Cheaters Blended Margarita is a fun and a super easy spin on the margarita. Simply add a can of frozen limeade concentrate – (yes, I know that I’m cheating — but really, it’s good!) – then, measure in a can-full each of tequila and light beer. Add to the blender with ice, zoom till slushy, and you have an amazing margarita – no, really!

Got a grown-up sweet tooth? Then try this, my Spirited Chocolate Cherry Milkshake. Made with bourbon, chocolate-cherry ice cream and brownies, this is more than the ultimate sundae-inspired treat!

So chill out on the last days of summer with blended drinks! -Kathy

Blended Peach Whiskey Sour
The addition of apricot preserves in the recipe helps bump up the flavor of this cocktail – especially if using frozen peaches. Try making also with fresh nectarines or apricots if in season. To see a me whip up this cocktail and more visit www.liquidkitchen.tv.

Makes 2 cocktails

2 cups ice
4 ounces bourbon
1 lemon, skin cut off, quartered
1 cup peaches (you can also substitute frozen, defrosted peaches if fresh are not available)
1 1/2 oz simple syrup
2 – 3 bar spoons apricot jam

In a Vitamix blender cup, add the ice, bourbon, lemon, peaches, simple syrup and apricot jam. Blend until the consistency is smooth. Pour into two, chilled small daiquiri or large glasses. Garnish with fresh peach or edible flowers.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

Cheaters Blended Margarita
Years ago, a friend made me a margarita using limeade concentrate, tequila, and beer . . . and it was crazy good! So, I’ve made up my own concoction here. What the heck, we’re all too busy sometimes! If you want to keep it on the down low, premix it (then hide the cans!) and put it in a pitcher, ready for blending.

Makes about 6 cups, enough for 4 to 6 servings

3/4 cup tequila

1/4 cup triple sec
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, defrosted
1/2 (12-ounce) bottle lager or light beer
4 cups ice
Garnish: Lime wheels

Measure the drink ingredients into a large blender cup. Blend until smooth. Serve in margarita or old-fashioned glasses. Garnish with lime wheels.

For fun variations, try adding one of the following into the blender cup:
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup blueberry juice
3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
3/4 cup cubed fresh mango

Tips: If you have a small blender, then process half batches. Serve in kosher-salt-rimmed glasses if desired. Sometimes, I like to do “half-salted” rims.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

Spirited Chocolate Covered Cherry Milkshake
Boozy milkshakes are all the rage these days. Cherries, bourbon, ice cream and chocolate make for an indulgent milkshake treat, or for a sweet ending to your next dinner or cocktail party, serve in small tasting glasses. For a demo on how to make this drink, check out my cocktail show Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen!

Makes 2 shakes or 4-8 spirited dessert tasters

1/2 oz Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce or other high quality thick chocolate sauce
————————————————-
1 pint Ben & Jerry Cherry Garcia Ice Cream
3 oz bourbon
1/3 cup tart cherry pie filling
2 each petite brownie bites or 1 medium sized brownie
Garnish: Chocolate Whipped Cream (see recipe), Bourbon Soaked Maraschino Cherries**

Swirl the chocolate sauce inside a chilled milkshake glass.

Spoon the ice cream into the Vitamix blender cup. Pulse a few times until ice cream is broken up, then add bourbon, sour cherry pie filling and crumbled brownie.  Pulse again until just barely combined.

Serve in chocolate swirled glass, topped with a swirl of Chocolate Whipped Cream and a Bourbon Soaked Maraschino Cherry.

**To make Bourbon Soaked Maraschino Cherries: drain the liquid off of a jar of maraschino cherries. Then cover with bourbon. Let sit for at least 1 week before using.

Chocolate Whipped Cream
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 oz Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce or other high quality thick chocolate sauce

Stir together whipping cream and chocolate sauce. Pour into an iSi Whipper. Screw on top and then charge with 1 iSi Cream (N2O) charger. Lightly shake whipper. Store refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Note: you can also whip cream with a whisk and then pipe from a piping bag or use a spoon to dollop on top of milkshakes.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 26th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Cheers to Blended Drinks! |  Posted in Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, Snacks, videos

Lavender

Many people think of lavender as scenting soaps, spa treatments and perfumes. This flower is well-known for its calming and relaxing properties, but lavender has also enjoyed a long history in the culinary world. In fact, it is experiencing quite resurgence lately. Chefs, bakers and mixologists alike are using this member of the mint family to spruce up savory dishes, sweets, and cocktails.

Lavender is best used sparingly to let its fragrant flavour subtly shine – and not to overpower. When added to an herbaceous seasoning mix like Herbs De Provence, it gives a unique note to grilled proteins like chicken or pork.

Lavender
Close-up of lavender growing in my urban garden!

A sprinkle of lavender into your favorite sugar cookie recipe adds a delicious floral note, like in my Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies.

For a super-refreshing drink, whip up my Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler – drink it over ice or with a splash of gin, vodka or silver rum for summertime sipping perfection!

If you appreciate lavender as much as I do, be sure to check out the Sequim Lavender Festival. It’s a lavender-lover’s dream with tours of the local lavender fields, delicious lavender-infused foods and drinks as well as tons of sweet-scented goods and wares. It runs from July 20th to the 22nd – don’t miss this fun festival!

Here’s to lavender! -Kathy

Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies
A wonderful not-too-sweet cookie with big flavor.

Makes 12 cookies

1 stick butter, softened
2 tsp fresh lavender
1 Tbsp. lemon zest, finely minced
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. local honey

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter, lavender,  lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and mix until just combined. Add the honey and then mix until dough just comes together.

With lightly floured hands roll dough into a 2” round cylinder and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice dough into 12 even slices with a sharp knife and place on a baking sheet pan.

Bake shortbread in middle of oven approx. 10 minutes or until bottom of cookies are pale golden. Remove from oven and remove cookies to a cooling rack.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler
Zesty lime syrup with fresh lavender and mint make for a refreshing drink, perfect for any patio party or sunny afternoon.

Makes 7 cups – serves 8 to 10

3 Tbsp. finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)*
8 – 10 large sprigs fresh lavender
8 large sprigs fresh mint
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
————————————
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed Paramount Citrus Lime juice
3 cups water (or substitute soda water if serving right away)
Garnish: lime wheels and fresh lavender sprigs

Combine the zest, lavender, mint, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the mint to steep and the syrup to cool.

Remove and discard mint from syrup. In a large pitcher, combine the cooled syrup, lime juice, and water. Serve over ice in a tall glass garnished with lime wheels and mint. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

* Zest is the outer peel of the fruit – with no white pith attached. You can remove the zest from the fruit with a fine zesting tool that makes long, very thin, pretty strands, or you can peel off the zest with an ordinary potato peeler, being careful not to get any white pith, and then finely mince it.

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

· Liquid Kitchen

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 12th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Lavender |  Posted in Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

Easter Leftovers? No Problem!

With the Easter holiday fast approaching, it’s time to load up on all the goodies to fill up those delightful baskets: marshmallowy Peeps® (which now comes in chocolate!), brightly colored jellybeans, the classic chocolate bunny and of course, colorful and decorated hard-boiled eggs.

IMG03009-20110420-0940
Aren’t they just egging you on?

Once all the goodies have been found (we hope!) and eaten, what do you do with all of the extra Easter bounty? Turn them into other d’lish goodies!

Have extra Peeps on hand? Well, they’re perfect to melt into my Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps. I love to rip their heads and use them for “garnish!”

IMG03023-20110420-1045
Peep garnished Tweeps!

For the adults, grab a few of those chocolate bunnies and stir yourself up some Bunny’Licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue using a splash of your favorite liqueur or shot of espresso. Serve with an assortment of fruits for dipping or some of those leftover Peeps.

With all those extra eggs, how about an egg salad sandwiches? I like to add a little curry twist with my Springtime Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches. Then top it off with a tasty garnish of thinly sliced radish and cucumber – oh – so springy!

Grab those extra Easter goodies and cook up some springtime fun! -Kathy

Peep & Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps
Makes 30 treats

3 Tbsp. butter
6  packages yellow Peeps®  – 30 peeps(you can use bunnies too for pink treats)
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup small jellybeans

Pull 30 of the peeps heads off and set aside for garnish.

In a large sauce pan heat butter over low heat melt the butter until melted. Then add peeps and stir over low heat until melted. Then stir in rice crispies and jellybeans. Stir until cereal is well coated and jellybeans are distributed.

Place mixture in a pan sprayed 8”x8” baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to compact the crispy treats. Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve cut (5×6) into 30 squares.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Bunny’licious Chocolate Mocha Fondue
Makes 4 servings

6 ounces of left-over chocolate bunnies
1/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon liquor such as: Grand Marnier, ameretto or Frangelico  liqueur (optional)

For dipping: fresh fruit for dipping cut into chunks, such as: pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, apple wedges and oranges

Other fun things for dipping are: pound cake chunks, holiday cookies, small chocolate chip cookies, other candy such as Peeps® …..

Break up or cut bunnies in small pieces (chocolate chip size)  into a  glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot coffee over them. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If coffee is not hot enough to melt chocolate, then microwave  for 10 seconds. Stir in liqueur if desired.

Transfer mixture to a fondue pot or pretty bowl and serve warm with long forks and lots of goodies for dipping.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Springtime Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches
Makes 4 sandwiches

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (see procedure)
2 Tbsp.very thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp.1/8-inch-diced red onion
2 Tbsp. 1/8-inch-diced celery
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise (regular or light)
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
Coarse ground black pepper

—————————————————

8 slices high-quality tender bread such as brioche, Macrina potato bread, or egg bread
butter lettuce leaves
16 very thin slices of peeled cucumber
4 red radishes, very, very thinly sliced

Chop hard-boiled eggs to nice 1/4-inch pieces, good for making the egg salad. In a bowl, mix chopped eggs with green onion, red onion, celery, and curry powder until evenly distributed. Mix in mayonnaise gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Divide and spread the egg salad evenly among 4 slices of the bread. Layer on the lettuce and cucumber and radish slices, dividing evenly, and close the sandwiches.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 29th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Easter Leftovers? No Problem! |  Posted in dessert, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides, Snacks

Cozy Up with Cocoas!

Sipping hot cocoa brings up cozy, winter memories for me: Now that’s a hot cocoa! (Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®)my mom mixing up Hershey’s cocoa powder with warm milk and a dash of cinnamon (or vanilla) in her old copper-bottomed Reverewear pan. Ooh and my favorite part! The big fluffy marshmallow floating on top… yum!

I still love making My Mom’s “Old School” Cocoa when it’s freezing out. Kids of all ages love it when they need something to warm up with or to relax to.

Cocoa is the perfect vehicle for flavor experimenting from fragrant spices like cinnamon and cloves to the totally unexpected profiles like Indian curry and cardamom.

For the recipes, continue reading on Amazon’s Al Dente Blog.

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 27th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Cozy Up with Cocoas! |  Posted in Amazon, dessert, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks
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