Foodie News

Training the Mini-Chefs aka Cooking with Kids!

Getting in the kitchen with kids is always fun; they make the best little sous chefs! I started cooking early with my mom and grandma – peeling fuzzy peaches and kneading breads (into fun shapes and characters). My all-time favorite task: adding lots of sprinkles on the cookies! Letting kids help prepare meals is also a great way to get around picky-eating habits, and get them interested in fun, healthy food too!

Are you throwing a kids’ party? A variety of interactive nibbles is terrific to serve. Try my Garden Ranch ‘n’ Veggie Deviled Eggs. These eggs are easy to whip up with ranch dressing. Kids will love to help peel and fill the eggs and sprinkle on the colorful, crunchy carrot and celery garnish.

Growing up, I always loved a classic Shirley Temple. My sweet twist on this recipe makes for a perfect treat or dessert! My Shirley Temple Cupcakes incorporates lemon-lime soda and maraschino cherries folded into no-fuss white cake! The kids will love to frost and garnish these deliciously adorable treats!

So put an apron on the kids and cook up some fun together! –Kathy

Garden Egg
D’lish!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Garden Ranch ’n’ Veggie Deviled Eggs
Whether its after-school snack time or a backyard birthday party, these tasty little eggs are easy to make with the kids. The veggie topping adds a fun crunch.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
1/2 cup pre-made ranch dressing
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Topping
1 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp minced celery
2 Tbsp minced carrot
2 Tbsp pre-made ranch dressing

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the ranch dressing and parsley, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.)

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix the bell pepper, celery, and carrot together. Top each egg half with 1/4 teaspoon of the ranch dressing and a sprinkle of the veggie mixture.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s D’Lish Deviled Eggs, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Shirley Temple Cupcakes 2
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box (18.25 oz) super-moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda*
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (about 12 cherries)
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1 container (12 oz) white frosting
Garnish: 36 maraschino cherries, halved

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set aside.

Place the cake mix, soda, oil and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in the chopped cherries.

Fill each lined cupcake cup 3/4 full with batter. Place pans in oven on a lower rack. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Frost each cupcake and decorate each cupcake with 3 cherry halves.

Cook’s Note: This recipe uses a 10–12 oz jar of maraschino cherries.
* Such as 7-UP, Sprite or Sierra Mist.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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

Farmers Market Local Bounty

Thanks to Washington’s amazingly diverse agricultural community, we are blessed with loads of farmers markets. Shopping for local products means you get the best of the best at the peak of its season!

They are also a great place to pick up produce you might not have tried before like nettles (great for flavorful soup) or freshly picked wild morel mushrooms to sauté serve alongside a sizzling steak, or make a rich sauce to top halibut!

Of course, downtown’s famous Pike Place Market is always a fun trip, but hey — new farmers markets are popping up all the time. Check out www.SeattleFarmersMarkets.org to see what’s new in the city!

Before you venture out, here are a few helpful tips:

-Wear comfortable shoes
-Have a couple of large reusable grocery bags with you (for all your great finds!)
-Bring cash (it’ll make the experience quicker and easier)
-My biggest tip is to carry a small notebook to record cooking notes and varietal info from the growers

So get out there and support local farmers markets! Don’t forget to leave a note on this blog with some of your favorite market finds. I would love to hear all about them! –Kathy

Pan-Roasted Halibut with Morel Mushroom Cream
The morel, one of the richest-tasting wild mushrooms, is a spring delight after long NW winters. Just a few morels will do you in a recipe, for their flavor is intense. Serve with sautéed fresh pea vines.

Makes 4 servings

Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 cup coarse chopped fresh morel mushrooms (about 3 ounces), or 1/2 ounce dried morels, soaked in the white wine and then chopped
3 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper

Fish
4 skinless halibut fillet portions (6 to 8 ounces each)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh chives for garnishing

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the shallot, garlic, and mushrooms, stirring often, for about 2 minutes, or until the shallot is translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add the brandy and wine and cook to reduce for about 5 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and slowly simmer, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced to about 1 – 1 1/4 cups and lightly thickened. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and white pepper. Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth but with some texture still, about 30 seconds; be careful, because the sauce is very hot. Set aside and keep warm.

To cook the fish, preheat an oven to 450°F. Season the halibut with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the fillets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the fish until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillets.

To serve, place the fillets on warm plates spoon the sauce over them. Garnish with chives.

Chef’s Note: Prized halibut cheeks would be a tasty alternative when available. They range in size from 3 ounces to up to 1 pound each, depending on the size of the fish.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 16th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood

Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

D’lish Deviled Eggs

My 10th cookbook D’Lish Deviled Eggs has HATCHED! Deviled eggs are always a party favorite and the first to fly off the table. With 54 tried-and-tested (thanks KCFS team!) recipes, my new book takes my love for this people-pleasing appetizer from traditional to creative. From the Classic Picnic-Style to Beet’ing Heart, there is definitely an egg recipe for everyone. Yum! One of my absolute favorite recipes from D’Lish Deviled Eggs is my “California Roll” Deviled Egg”, topped with Alaska King crab – YUM! Try this one out for a sushi-twist! And for more d’lish egg recipes and tips, check out my new website www.DLishDeviledEggs.com for all things Deviled Eggs!

DDE Book CoverCalifornia Roll egg
“California Roll” Deviled Eggs – D’lish!
(Book Cover & photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs)

For more D’Lish Deviled Egg tips, check out my segment on King 5’s New Day Northwest.

New Day cams
Behind the scenes at New Day Northwest!

Culination!

culination-logo

Out to revolutionize the way people learn how to cook (while also learning about wine and make cocktails of course!), Culination is a cool new e-learning platform that is mobile/tablet friendly, very engaging, and will work with voice command as well. But the Culination team needs your help! If you’re interested and want to learn fun recipes from taste makers like myself, Thirsty Girl’s Leslie Sbrocco, restaurateur Ethan Stowell, PBS cooking veteran Joanne Weir, award winning chef Jason Wilson and others, then help spread the word and donate through the Indiegogo Campaign. Even $5 will help. So please join us and become a Culinator!

If you want to hear all about it in detail then check out pal Siiri Sampson’s blog for the whole scoop!

Tasty Travels & Fun Events

Since January, it has been non-stop traveling and great events like Speed Rack – Seattle! Speed Rack is a Sassy National Competition created by and for female bartenders, pitting them against each other in a round robin style timed challenge – check out this video teaser on YouTube.

Speed Rack logo

Alongside fellow guest judges Rob Roy’s Anu Apte, Drink Boy’s Robert Hess, and Pegu Club’s Audrey Saunders, we watched, tasted and critiqued as these mistresses behind the bar worked their cocktail magic.

Speed Rack judges
The Judges!

The finals are coming up this month in New York – so if you’re in the area on May 16th, come cheer on the finalists! Make sure to get your tickets soon.

Speed Rack ladies
The Northwest Speed Rack Ladies!

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VIBE logo

Shortly right after, it was time to fly out the door again – from St. Louis to Boston and then to Las Vegas for the industry annual VIBE Conference! Hosted in the always faboo Las Vegas, this annual event brings in spirits industry leaders and taste makers for a jam-packed two days full of seminars, panels, presentations…and of course tastings!

At the opening Pour It On reception, we teamed up with Monin and William Grant & Sons and crafted a crowd favorite: the Berries & Brimstone cocktail featuring Monin’s new Hickory Smoke Syrup.

KC
Shaking up a Berries & Brimstone!

(Photos by Ernie Sapiro)

First, we mixed the smoke syrup with Everclear to make a flammable mist. We dropped a dry bay leaf into an Old Fashioned glass, spritzed it liberally with the mist, and flamed it to char the leaf. Then we shook up Milagro Reposado tequila and a few fresh blackberries with fresh lime and Monin Blackberry… then poured it over the flaming leaf. This process added a rich layer of flavor to the drink, balancing the sweet, tart and savory.

The following day, I teamed up with my Liquid Kitchen associate Dänny Ronen and bar managers/mixologists Matt Seiter from Sancturia in St. Louis and Kevin Diedrich from Jasper’s Corner Tap in San Francisco, to present a panel on one of the hottest up-and-coming trends – Tapping Potential: Cocktails On Tap!

Seminar photo
Seminar in session
(Photos by Heather Jones and Ernie Sapiro)

Kevin and Matt did a “live demo” on tapping a cocktail, and then Liquid Kitchen’s Heather Jones proceeded to serve over 60 cocktails in just a few minutes. The whole process from the tapping demo to serving cocktails in front of the attendees was less than 7 minutes – now that’s some fast service!

VIBE panel

Cocktails on Tap Panel with Matt, Dänny, Kevin and myself.
(Photo courtesy of Ernie Sapiro)

And to top off a great week the Fairmont Hotel’s & Resort won the VIBE Vista award for Best Spirits Program for Hotels, Cruise Lines, & Casinos for their FAME program (that Liquid Kitchen created and has managed since 2006) – exciting!!!

Congrats to the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for winning 2013 Best Spirits Program award!

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Driscoll logo

Next it was off to Driscoll’s berry farms with an amazing group of top bloggers. I absolutely love berries so I was definitely in berry-licious heaven while learning a lot about berries. We got to taste new varieties of berries right in the fields and met the young “Dr. Strawberry” who shared with us how they are constantly improving Driscoll’s berry varieties – sweeeet! Check out my blog for my tasty Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake and Strawberry Shag Cocktail recipes.

The next day the group headed to the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine. I really enjoyed meeting and hanging out with some of my favorite bloggers like the Intoxicologist, Blender Girl, Food in Jars, and Health & Wellness expert Ani Phyo during this tasty weekend full of demos, seminars and parties!

Rasp hands
Yes, I LOVE raspberries this much!

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Then it was off to Kentucky for the Beam Pinnacle of Mixology event to lead a fun Pinnacle Cocktails and Techniques Inspired from the Kitchen seminar. Heather Jones and I showed techniques for a “new school” Chi Chi: shaking up fresh Pineapple-Agave, Pinnacle Vodka, and fresh lime – then topped it with Coconut Milk Foam and a “carbonated” cherry – fun!

POM set-up
Preparing for my seminar

Salted Caramel Whipped Mochas
Dispensing Salted Caramel Whipped “Mochas!”

Other topics included cocktail umami like in my Garden Oasis cocktail – vodka, hand-pressed basil, celery and cucumber (celery adds a salty touch and an umami note), shaken with a lemon elixir. We garnished this with plumped basil seeds, adding a super cool texture to the cocktail.

We then finished off our presentation with a cool technique I learned from Johannes Roiner, Head of Culinary Strategy at iSi. He taught me that coffee has proteins in it and when combined with a little syrup, liquor, and ice then charged and shaken – you can have a super frothy espresso cocktail. Voila – thus the Salted Carmel Whipped Mocha!

Serious Sippin’ with the Liquid Kitchen

KCLK logo

Make sure to stay tuned for my brand new episodes of my Liquid Kitchen cocktail show with Small Screen Network! Filming of Season 4 has just wrapped up. New episodes include: Berries & Bubbles, Pineapple Mezcal Cooler, and more. In the meantime, try my Gin with Housemade Bitter Lemon and Soda for a refreshing springtime drink!

Ice balls
Erwin
“guarding” the big bowl of Sparkling Tradewinds Punch with Bitter Truth & Cherry Ice Balls

SSN behind the scenes
Behind the scenes of Liquid Kitchen with the Small Screen crew!

D’Lish Book Reads

Here are some of my new favorite reads – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart
Do you ever stop to think about the garnishes, liqueurs and syrups you put in your favorite cocktails? Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, definitely has! Amy’s guide to backyard bartending isn’t your standard neighborhood cocktail recipe book. She has uncovered some seriously cool history on some common, and some not-so-common cocktail ingredients, such as corn and agave to barley and lemon verbena. Check out her funny promo vid, too!

Book Covers

The 50 Mile Bouquet by Debra Prinzing
Outdoor living specialist and author Debra Prinzing writes a great read on the slow flower movement in her latest book, The 50 Mile Bouquet. From organic flower farmers to the hot-topic of sustainability, Debra’s book is a great guide for those with a green thumb. I love to garden and this is definitely a must-read!

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Don’t forget to join me on my blog Dishing with Kathy Casey and weekends on KOMO News Radio for all things D’lish, including recipes, tips, and fun events. And grab a copy of Sip Northwest Magazine (available at my Dish D’Lish Seattle airport locations) and check out my Shake Swizzle & Stir column!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful spring with many tasty adventures! –Kathy

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Follow on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef. Blogging: Dishing with Kathy Casey.
Like on Facebook: Sips & Apps and Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen. Read: D’Lish Deviled Eggs.
Watch: www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

If you haven’t signed up for my Newsletter, you can sign up here.

Premier Chef’s Dinner Benefit hosted by Rick Bayless!

The annual Premier Chef’s Dinner benefit is here again! This year it is being hosted by none other than the illustrious Rick Bayless, and will take place at Sodo Park by Herban Feast on Sunday, May 19th. In it’s 22nd year, the Premier Chef’s Dinner benefits Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and will feature an all-star cast of Seattle’s most-loved chefs including Greg Atkinson of Restaurant MarchéJosh Henderson and Brian O’Connor of Skillet; Phil Lehmann and Kim Mahar of RN74; Jason Stratton of Spinasse; Rachel Yang of Joule Restaurant; and many more. Make sure to get your tickets soon as this is a wonderful event with all proceeds supporting Fred Hutch.

For more information, visit www.fredhutch.org/chefs.

Fred Hutchinson

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 13th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, events

Decadent Chocolate

Do you love chocolate? Have you admitted to being a “chocoholic?” I know there are a ton of you out there, including me! I can’t get enough of Seattle’s fabulous local chocolates!

Fran’s Chocolate is a Seattle institution when it comes to sweets. Internationally recognized, Fran Bigelow is truly the Mother of Chocolate in Seattle. From hand-dipped truffles, to sea salt caramels, everyone has their favorite treat. My personal guilty pleasure is the famous Gold Bar – gooey buttery caramel studded with almonds and covered with dark chocolate – yum! It’s definitely one of my go-to’s.

Theo Chocolate is another top dog in Seattle, famous for their delicious bars. Theo’s is also dedicated to addressing social issues, something we love to support! Theo is the only Organic, Fair Trade, Fair for Life certified Bean-to-Bar chocolate factory in North America. In fairly recent news, they have teamed up with Ben Affleck to help Congolese farmers.

Theo Chocolate
Theo Chocolate in Seattle’s Fremont Neighborhood!

You can visit the Theo’s shop in Fremont and browse all of their delectable chocolates, and even take a tour! Watch as their artisans hand-place garnishes, learn about their chocolate-making process, and even get a little sample! What a yummy excursion!

Hot chocolate more your style for a good chocolate fix? Be sure to check out Chocopolis in Queen Anne! Chocopolis can make any of their artisanal chocolate bars sippable! They also host Chocolate Happy Hours on Thursday evenings and tasting classes.

So when you get the craving to bite into something a little sweet, head to one of Seattle’s wonderful chocolatiers!  Or if you want to get your chocolate fix in your own kitchen try whipping up on of my fave recipes: Chocolate- Cherry Pound Cake a la mode with Drunken Tart Cherries made with dried tart cherries from the Chukar Cherry Company, who’s been producing all natural dried cherries in the Northwest since 1988! – Kathy

Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake à la mode with Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 8 servings

Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (regular, not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

Glaze
1/2 cup (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate cherry ice cream or other ice cream of your choice
Drunken Tart Cherries (recipe follows)

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 5-by-9 1/4-inch nonstick loaf pan and set aside.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until very fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Beat in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, in three parts, to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until well combined; do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, filling evenly. Rap the pan sharply on a counter several times to release any air bubbles, then smooth the surface of the batter.

Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 30 minutes of baking.

Unmold the cake and turn it right side up. Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan or in a microwave oven, gently heat the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is just melting. Remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool to almost room temperature but still liquid. Pour over the cooled cake. Let the glaze set for 15 minutes before serving.
To serve, slice the cake into 16 slices and serve 2 slices, shingled, per serving. Top with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of cherries with their syrup.

Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 1 cup

1 cup pitted dried tart cherries
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup boiling water

Mix the cherries, amaretto, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cherries and stir well. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours before using. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 18th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Amazon, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

Dishcrawl is headed to Kirkland

Dishcrawl heads to downtown Kirkland! On April 30th starting at 7:00pm, food lovers will have a chance of going on a tasting tour of 4 Kirkland restaurants, meet the chefs & owners and get to know other neighborhood food lovers! Tickets are on sale now, so make sure you buy yours today!

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 15th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, events

Driscoll’s Berries

I’m just back from a day with Driscoll’s Berries and had a berry-licious day eating and learning all about berries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Blueberries. OH MY! With all this tasty inspiration, I wanted to share my favorite Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake and Strawberry Shag recipes. Stay tuned for more blogging about my trip and other berry-inspired ideas – make sure to follow me on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef for more berry pictures!

Strawberries2Strawberries1
Berries for the pickin’ and munchin’!

For other fun berry-ful recipes, make sure to check out the Driscoll’s berry blog, too! -Kathy

Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake
Bakeries often freeze their cake layers before filling and frosting them, as doing so is easier when the cake is really firm. Generally, by the time you have finished frosting the cake, it has defrosted and is ready to eat.

Makes 1 (3-layer) cake, serving 12 to 14

Strawberry Cake
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cake
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups cream

Filling
1/2 cup high-quality strawberry jam
1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer or other large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the softened butter. Using an electric mixer, mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add half of the milk and mix for 2 minutes more to cream the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the remaining milk, eggs, and vanilla. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 more minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake layer and turn it out onto a rack to cool thoroughly.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn the speed to high and mix for 1 minute. Stop the mixer, add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Repeat twice, until all the powdered sugar has been added, then increase the mixer speed to high and whip for 3 minutes.

In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff, then fold it gently into the cream cheese mixture until just incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to frost the cake.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, stir the strawberry jam until smooth, then gently fold in the strawberries. Set aside until ready to fill the cake.

To assemble and frost the cake: On a large cake plate, place 1 layer of the cake. Spoon one-half of the strawberry filling in the center, then spread it out to 3/4 inch from the edge. Top with 1 cup of the frosting and spread the frosting to 3/4 inch from the edge. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat. Place the final layer of cake on top, then press down gently on the cake layers to stabilize them.

With a large rubber or cake spatula, mound half of the remaining frosting on the top of the cake. Spread the other half around the sides of the cake, covering up all cake and swirling the frosting decoratively. Smooth out the frosting on the top of the cake. Let the frosting dry a little before garnishing the cake.

Stem the garnish berries, and cut in half lengthwise. Place, cut sides down, around the top edge of the cake. Arrange any extra strawberries in a small pattern in the middle of cake. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Strawberry Shag
Fresh basil lends a fun flavor note to the classic combination of strawberries and lemonade. Soda water introduces a lively sparkle. For other libatious inspiration, make sure to check out Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen!

Makes 1 drink

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

For garnishing
Fresh Driscoll’s 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 Driscoll’s 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 Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

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