Foodie News

Chia Seeds: the SUPER Food

Cha-cha-cha-CHIA! Yes, that is what we think of when we say chia. Those funny terra cotta heads sprouting green hair. Until now! Chia seeds are everywhere these days and have been sweeping the nation as an up-and-coming nutritional ingredient.


Who remembers these commercials?

Chock full of fiber and omega-3’s, these little seeds can be added to almost anything from juices, baked into muffins or even toasted and sprinkled on a salad! They digest quickly, hydrate your body better than sports drinks, and provide long-lasting energy. Athletes love them!

When soaked in a liquid, they become gel-like and are virtually tasteless. In Mexico, they are added in a drink called Chia Fresca made with fruit juice and chia seeds which have been plumped in water – sounds so refreshing!  I love a plumped spoonful spooned over a margarita for fun texture!

I have also used them plumped then blended in a low-fat salad dressing – they work as a natural thickener so you can use less oil, and who doesn’t love that!? If you’re looking to add chia seeds to your diet, check out stores like Whole Foods, PCC, and in the “Natural Foods section” of most grocers to buy them or try them in a fun chia beverage.

And check out this chia seed post from Wellness Mama for more tricks and tips on what to do with them, including her recipe for healthy homemade pudding.

So try something new and get your Cha-cha-cha-CHIA on! – Kathy

To plump chia seeds: Soak 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds with 1 1/2 cups HOT water. Let sit for 1 hour then store refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 22nd, 2015  |  Comments Off on Chia Seeds: the SUPER Food |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Edible Flowers: A Tasty Garden Adventure!

Food and flowers are wonderful side-by-side, but also can mix together. I was recently introduced to BloomNation (the online flower delivery company- connecting customers with area local florists) and reminded of how flowers on the table not only sets the tone for a meal, but many flowers you love are also be part of the meal.

From tiny cute Johnny Jump Up’s and frilly dianthus or carnations to lovely robin blue borage flowers – there is a world of tasty, beautiful, edible flowers awaiting you in the garden!

You can add edible flowers to salads, or to top a dish or cocktail. Freezing edible flowers into ice cubes will definitely snazz up your favorite cocktail.

Flower Cubes

I love them in my recipe for Sparkling Lemon Gin Punch.
St Germain liquor elderflower liquor is added for a lovely floral note.

Flower Cubes 2

Here is a quick Overview of how to make Floral Ice Cubes:
1. Pour distilled water into a large square silicone ice mold 1/4 full and freeze for 2 hours

Cube Tray

2. Place edible flowers into ice molds, drizzle with a little water, and return to freezer for 15 -20 minutes

Flowers in Tray

3. Fill the ice molds up to completely cover flowers in water and return to freezer and freeze overnight

Frozen Flowers

Move on to eating flowers: some of our favorite veggies and greens have tasty blossoms as well. For instance arugula blossoms are beautiful small flowers with a peppery flavor much like the leaves! For larger flowers I like to pull off the flower petals before adding to a dish.

Edible flower petals are fabulous to roll things in. For an amazing appetizer idea mix soft goat cheese with roasted garlic and some fresh herbs then form into a log in plastic wrap. Pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until very firm, then unwrap and roll in edible flower petals. Present on a cheese board or slice into beautiful rounds and serve on crostini – yum!

For a beautiful brunch dish top your favorite French toast or pancakes with Flower Petal Berry-Butter – it’s a show stopper! The butter is whipped with raspberry jam, sour cream and powdered sugar then rolled into a log. Chilled then pressed with edible flower petals. Just slice and serve.

Edible flowers are available at farmers markets and also right from you yard! But please remember not all flowers are edible, so double-check before you go into your yard and start munching away—also be sure they are pesticide-free. -Kathy

Sparkling Lemon Gin Punch
A delicious and sophisticated punch for any grand get together. For the ultimate presentation, serve over large format ice cubes studded with edible flower petals made in square silicone ice molds.
Makes about 11 1/2 cups, serves 16 – 18

1 cup clover or wildflower honey
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed Sunkist Meyer Lemon juice or
3 cups gin (1 750 ml bottle)
1 cup elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain
—————————————–
1 bottle (750 ml) brut Champagne or Prosecco
Garnish: Sunkist Lemon peel twists

In a large pitcher, combine the honey and warm water; stir until well dissolved. Then add the lemon juice, gin and elderflower liqueur. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for service up to 3 days in advance). When ready to serve, pour the chilled mixture into a punch bowl or large drink pitcher (You could split it between 2 pitchers and add half a bottle of champagne to each.) Serve over ice and garnish with lemon twists.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® for Sunkist

Flower Petal Berry-Butter
Borage, Johnny-jump-ups, calendula and rose petals make a pretty combination for this recipe.

Makes 3/4 cup (6 oz. wt.)

1/4 pound lightly salted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbsps. seedless berry jam
2 Tbsps. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. sifted powdered sugar
Dash of ground cinnamon
3 Tbsps. lightly chopped, unsprayed edible, mild flavored, flower petals

Whip all the ingredients except flower petals in a blender, food processor or mixer until well blended. Fold in the flower petals. (Or I like to roll the butter into a log in plastic wrap then chill a bit then roll into the flower petals to coat. Wrap and chill – then slice for serving!)

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

Posted by Kathy on September 11th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Edible Flowers: A Tasty Garden Adventure! |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Popcorn

Popcorn seems to be all the rage right now! From concepts dedicated to only popcorn like the local KuKuRuza (KOO-KOO-ROO-ZAH).

They started here in Seattle just over 10 years ago and now have stores in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul and even Cairo! The popcorn rage is popping worldwide! One of my favorite combinations is their caramel and cheddar popcorn – yum!

Popcorn 1
Who’s ready for popcorn – I AM!

But popcorn is becoming the star in numerous new ways in products and on menus. For instance recently I saw on an episode of the new TV show Say it To my Face! (which is a pretty fun show on the FYI Network) where they made fried “popcorn shrimp” actually breaded in chopped popped corn. Not that’s pretty Fun!

And then what about all those cupcake and ice cream concoctions topped with popcorn, caramel corn and chocolate popcorn – yes please!

Now at home there are plenty of ways to top your corn – grated parm – or drizzle with spicy Sriracha garlic butter, the possibilities are endless.

Popcorn 2
I love these soft popcorn balls from Land O’Lakes studded with gumdrops and nuts.

But the best old school treat of all is homemade popcorn balls – so fun to make with the kids. Land O’Lakes has some great recipes on their site. Just don’t forget to butter your hands! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on September 3rd, 2015  |  Comments Off on Popcorn |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts

Quick Pickles and Amazing Flavors

Who doesn’t love homemade pickles? But sometimes the idea of making them seems daunting. Quick pickle recipes to the rescue – easy to make and store refrigerated! This method is perfect for home pickling beginners.

My recipe for Quick Summer Garden Pickles is fast and easy. Clean quart jars, then pack with a mixture of vegetables (think baby cukes, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower), garlic, chili pods and some fresh flowering dill too if you have it. Boil up a sweet and tart brine and quickly pour into the veggie-packed jars. Quickly screw on the lid, and cool to room temperature for about 45 minutes, then pop into the refrigerator! In just two days, you’ll have delicious pickles to bring to a picnic or enjoy at a backyard BBQ.

And pickling isn’t just for veggies. For something a little different, try one of my favorites, Blushing Pickled Peaches! Peaches, fresh ginger, and garlic are covered with a brine of red wine, white vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds and crushed red pepper. They will keep for a month in the refrigerator. Perfectly d’lish to serve up with your favorite cheeses or grilled meats!

Preserves
Who’s ready for tangy Blushing Pickled Peaches?

Here’s to quick pickles! –Kathy

Blushing Pickled Peaches
Be sure to use a freestone variety of peach for this recipe such as Elberta or Hale. Great with grilled ham, steaks and poultry, and especially fantastic with thinly sliced prosciutto, crusty French bread and a glass of Northwest Pinot Gris.

Makes 1 quart

5 – 6 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered, about 2 – 2 1/4 lbs.
2 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into 1/4-inch slices (2 oz wt.)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt or uniodized salt
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredients

Tightly pack the peach halves, alternating with the ginger and garlic, into 2 clean 1/2-quart jars. (or you can do one 1-quart jar).

Layering

Meanwhile, in a small, non-reactive saucepan bring the remaining ingredients to a quick boil over high heat. Immediately remove from heat and ladle over the peaches, making sure to cover them and transferring all the spices to the peaches.

Brine

Brine 2Finished

Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Immediately after cooling, refrigerate peaches. Chill the pickled peaches for 2 – 3 days before using them. They’ll keep 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

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

Quick Summer Garden Pickles
Makes 4 quarts

Vegetable Mixture:
7 cups (about 2 lb.) 3/4″-sliced pickling cucumbers
2 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″-thick-slant-cut carrots
2 medium jalapeño peppers, cut in half, or 1 large, quartered
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks yellow or white onion
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks red onion
2 cups (8 oz wt) 1″ chunks red bell peppers (substitute some hot peppers or some of your other favorite summer peppers if desired)
2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″- to 3/4″-sliced yellow zucchini or yellow squash

Pickling Brine:
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. pickling spice
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss together to mix colors. Divide vegetables among four clean, regular mouth 1-quart canning jars, packing vegetables in tight. Set jars on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and then immediately ladle pickling brine into filled jars, filling to 1/2″ from the top and being sure to cover the vegetables and distribute spices evenly. Immediately cover jar with lid and tighten. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least 2 days before eating. Pickles will last refrigerated up to 1 month.

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

Posted by Kathy on August 14th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Quick Pickles and Amazing Flavors |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

Celebrate Summer Peaches

It’s that time of summer when juicy stone fruits come to market: nectarines, plums, apricots and my favorite, PEACHES!

But isn’t it a bummer when you get a peach and it’s not bursting with that sweet flavor you remember? Well, peach evangelist Jon Rowley has worked to fix that.

Peaches
Jon says that when you cut the peach and its super shiny
that will mean that its gonna be sweet!

Every year he collaborates with Pence Orchards in Wapato and the organic Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood, California for Peach-O-Rama, celebrated at Met Markets.

Peach-o-rama

Each of these peaches must meet a minimum of 13 Brix (that is the measure of the % of sugar in the peach).

So what to do with all these juicy peaches? Well, eating peaches out of hand is amazingly delicious, but I also love them sliced and tossed in an arugula salad dotted with goat cheese and a sprinkle of toasted northwest hazelnuts.

And if you love sweetness, there is nothing better than a delicious homemade peach pie. And one of my favorites is with stone fruits: peaches, cherries and apricots. But you can make it with all peaches, too!

The recipe incorporates my favorite fruit pie tip: put down a thin rolled out layer of almond paste on the bottom crust before filling the pie it adds a delicious flavor and keeps the crust from getting soggy.

So here’s to the juicy peach! –Kathy

Pie Holes
Peaches combine with other Stone Fruits in this delicious pie!

Summer Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Paste & Amaretto Cream
You can use all peaches in the pie if you like or a variety of other stone fruits to mix in with the peaches.

Makes 19-inch pie

Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
6 Tbsp. shortening or lard
6 Tbsp. cold butter
2 to 3 Tbsp. ice water

Filling
1/4 cup (2 ounces) marzipan (almond paste)
3 cups pitted, 1/4-inch-sliced peaches, peeled
1 cup pitted cherries, (I like to use tart cherries if you can find them, you can also use frozen ones without sugar)
2 cups pitted, 1/4-inch sliced apricots
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. flour

Egg Wash Glaze
1 egg
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. coarse sanding sugar (or substitute granulated sugar), optional

Amaretto Cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. amaretto

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and nutmeg. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing gently with a fork until dough comes together in a ball.

Dough

Divide into 2 even pieces. Do not over handle the dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before rolling.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first piece of dough to a bit bigger than your 9-inch pie pan. Brush excess flour off crust, and then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges. Roll out the remaining piece of dough to fit top of pan, but slightly bigger. Cover with plastic and move on to making the filling.

Crust

To fill the pie: Roll marzipan into a ball, then press out into a disk on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll out to fit the bottom crust, place it in the freezer if it’s too soft.

Flattened

Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, then turn it into the curst using plastic wrap as a guide, fit marzipan into the bottom crust. (Remove the plastic wrap).

Covered

Place the peaches, cherries and apricots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together sugars and flour, and then sprinkle over the fruit. Toss to coat the fruit well. Place fruit filling into lined pie pan.

Place remaining dough round on top of pie, trimming off any excess dough. Then crimp bottom and top crusts together with your fingers to seal well and make a pretty edge.

Mix together egg and milk, and lightly brush on top with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Make several slits in the top (or cut fun shapes) to allow steam to escape. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until crust is golden and filling is cooked through and bubbling. Cool pie on a rack.

To make Almond Cream: When ready to serve, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients and whip until stiff. Serve dolloped on pieces of pie.

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

Posted by Kathy on August 7th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Celebrate Summer Peaches |  Posted in dessert, events, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes

Honey Varieties

Oh honey! That amazing sweet and flavorful product our wonderful bees give us!

I love bees, but I use to be afraid of them until I had a couple of hives in my urban garden and there were a LOT of bees! Honey bees go about their business and are busy, busy zooming around the everywhere. They are on a mission so make sure to not get in their flight path.

Did you know a bee will only produce about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime? Wow!

The United States alone has 300+ varieties of honey. The variety depends on the type of blossom the bees are collecting nectar from. In the northwest, we have one of my all-time faves – blackberry honey!


My Liquid Kitchen 5130 Honey harvested from my Ballard urban garden!

If you are like me and love to whip up creative beverages and cocktails – then swap out your simple syrup for honey syrup – take 2 parts honey and 1 part hot water and mix together until they are combined. It will store for over a week in the refrigerator.

Try adding it to a summery drink like a tall Lemony Collins or a Watermelon Honey Limeade, or in a delicious salad dressing like below!

There are some great recipes on The National Honey Boards site as well as.

Cheers to a sweet summer! –Kathy

Local Greens with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette, Toasted Hazelnuts & Chevre
Makes 4 servings

8 cups local, mixed baby greens
Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
1/4 cup (1 ounce) chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 ounces chevre-style goat cheese, crumbled

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey such as wildflower or blackberry
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. canola oil or light olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. 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.

To serve salad: Toss greens with dressing and divide among 4 plates. Scatter with berries, hazelnuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

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

Posted by Kathy on July 23rd, 2015  |  Comments Off on Honey Varieties |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

In The Mix Magazine

In The Mix Magazine shared my recipe for Gin with House-made Bitter Lemon & Soda cocktail as a refreshing summer gin drink. Perfect to sip while enjoying the warm summer weather.

For a demo on how to make the House-Made Bitter lemon, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

Posted by Kathy on June 30th, 2015  |  Comments Off on In The Mix Magazine |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Press, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network

Cheers Magazine

Cheers Magazine shared some of the #SippingSocial beverage trends that I’ve seen posted on social media and that I presented at this year’s NRA conference’s BAR event. Check out www.LiquidKitchen.com for a link to my presentation and don’t forget to tag #SippingSocial for all the cool drink ideas that you see.

Posted by Kathy on June 26th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Cheers Magazine |  Posted in Cocktails, Conferences, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts
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