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Sipping Scandinavian

Ballard, long known for its rich Scandinavian heritage, has a new exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum called SKAL (pronounced “sk-OOL”) Scandinavian Spirits.

Skal

This exhibition explores the cultural history of Scandinavian libations, the most famous being aquavit (sometimes spelled “akvavit”). I can tell you that it’s delicious! And being a good Scandinavian myself, I’ve drank my fair share of it and I am thrilled to see this sip become hip.

But what is it? Aquavit, like vodka, is a spirit distilled from either grain or potatoes. After distillation, it is distinctive flavor comes from a blend of herbs and spices like caraway, fennel, and dill.

Great for sipping, I also like to add this into cocktails from Nordic-themed Bloody Mary’s as well as in my Citrus Scandi (aquavit, vodka, Cointreau, orange, and fresh grapefruit).

Citrus Scandi Cocktails and Citrus Splash fresh oysters!

Citrus Scandis & fresh oysters with a Citrus Splash!
For recipes, check out this episode of Liquid Kitchen.

What’s really exciting is that the Northwest is producing some pretty great aquavit: Portland’s House Spirits produces Krogstad and in Seattle the Old Ballard Liquor Company crafts several unique styles of aquavit.

Old Ballard Liquor Company proprietor Lexi is also the visionary behind the pop-up restaurant Tumble Swede, which celebrates a mash-up of Scandinavian and Pacific Northwest cuisine. Make sure to keep an eye out for her next pop-up.

So stop on by the Nordic Heritage Museum the exhibit runs until February 28th.

Skal! -Kathy

 

Posted by Kathy on January 28th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Holiday Hangovers

The year is coming to a close and the biggest party of the year is still to come! New Year’s Eve – celebrating the old and ringing in the new. And… let’s just say this usually involves at least a cocktail or two.

I have some great ways to give you a good start for the New Year, even if you do over-indulge a bit the night before.

My go-to cure is my Hangover Helper. Just empty a packet of Emergen C – (I like orange or raspberry) – into a juice glass and add a little vodka (or gin if you’re so inclined), a dash of bitters, and soda water. Top with a few drops of olive oil – yep, that’s right… Drink up!


My Hangover Helper works…I swear!
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne)

New Year’s Day entertaining? A Bloody Mary Bar for brunch will definitely help with that headache – with a little hair of the dog! Set up a DIY station and let your guests mix up their own concoctions. Put out different spirits (vodka, whiskey, tequila, gin, etc.), my go-to housemade Balsamic Bloody Mary mix, hot sauce, and lots of garnish goodies from pickled veggies to shrimp to beef jerky.

And don’t forget to eat! Boosting your metabolism will make you feel better faster than anything. And for some reason, a bacon sandwich sometimes can be the magic cure. You’ll feel better in no time!
Happy New Year’s! –Kathy

Hangover Helper
Emergen-C gives you a C- and B-vitamin boost and replaces some lost electrolytes, vodka is a little “hair of the dog,” bitters is a digestif, soda supplies bubbles, and the olive oil . . . well, an old bootlegger once told me that a small spoonful was good for coating a morning-after stomach.

Makes 1 drink

1 packet raspberry- or orange-flavored Emergen-C
1 oz vodka or gin
2 dashes Angostura bitters
4 oz chilled soda water
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Empty the packet of Emergen-C into an old-fashioned or juice glass. Measure in the vodka. Add the bitters and soda water and stir. Top with olive oil if desired. Drink and feel better!

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

Posted by Kathy on December 31st, 2015  |  Comments Off on Holiday Hangovers |  Posted in Cocktails, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network

Fig-a-licious Fruit!

Although I love them, figs are so much more than the iconic Fig Newton, which by the way was first sold dried in a commercially manufactured cookie in 1892. Who knew?

Figs: they’re unusual, versatile, and even grow well here in Seattle. I have a fig tree in my backyard!

Fig edited
A plump fig growing in my back Urban Garden – ready to be picked!

It’s best to pick figs when fully ripened. The fig is ready for harvest when it drops on the stem from its own weight. Pick with the stems attached, but always plan to use within a few days.

Although in the kitchen we consider it a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. There are no blossoms on the tree’s branches; the blossom is inside the fig. Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little seeds that give figs their unusual taste and texture.

Figs are of course fabulous fresh, but you can also cook up some creative dishes with them too.

One of my favorite apps is quick and easy: Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola and Walnuts. So easy to make. I love them paired with a delicious Manhattan made with House Spiced Vermouth – YUM!–Kathy

Roasted Figs with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Makes about 24 to 30 pieces

4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 pint fresh figs, halved lengthwise

Preheat an oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, mix the Gorgonzola and walnuts. Arrange the figs, cut side up, on an ungreased baking sheet, and top each piece with 1 generous teaspoon of the Gorgonzola mixture.

Roast the figs for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is hot. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

Recipe © from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook.

Posted by Kathy on September 18th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Fig-a-licious Fruit! |  Posted in Books to Cook, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

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

Wild Fennel

Did you know fennel grows like a weed in the Pacific Northwest? Especially in Ballard. I see it growing along the road on my commute to work every morning and it grows beautifully in my urban parking lot garden! It’s basically a weed – a delicious, anise-flavored weed.

Fennel 1
Fennel growing in my urban garden!

If you want to try planting it, find some growing wild and then harvest the seeds in the fall. Sprinkle the seeds around your garden, but be careful. It likes to grow and spread everywhere.

If you happen to have wild fennel in your neighborhood or garden you can use the whole plant. Early tender fennel fronds chopped and added to a salad. Even the coveted fennel pollen picked from the flowers are great in dishes – so elegant and trendy to sprinkle over almost anything.

Fennel 2
Harvested fennel seeds

Here is a link to my Liquid Kitchen video on Small Screen Network to see how to make Fennel-Roasted Walnuts – a great nibble to serve with your favorite cocktail.

Later in the year, I love to harvest the seeds, dry them and enjoy all year long! -Kathy

Fennel-Roasted Walnuts
This recipe is from my book Sips & Apps and is one of my favorites. Perfect to take to a party, or even bag up for little gifts.

Makes 5 cups

2 tablespoons fennel seed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white
1 pound (about 4 cups) walnut halves

Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, or lightly oil it.

Grind the fennel seed in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until finely ground. In a large bowl, mix the ground fennel with the sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the nuts and toss to coat evenly. Using a fine-mesh strainer, drain off excess egg white. Add the drained nuts to the spice mixture and stir to coat evenly.

Spread the nuts on the pan; they will be a little thicker than a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir, and roast for 20 minutes more, until the nuts are golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir the nuts on the baking sheet but do not remove them. Be sure to let the nuts cool completely and become crisp. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If necessary, recrisp them in a 350 degree F oven for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

Posted by Kathy on June 4th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Wild Fennel |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, Snacks, videos

Minty Mint

Don’t you just love the smell of fresh mint? Whether it’s in a cocktail, mixed into a fruit salsa, or growing in the garden, that fresh scent and taste hits the spot.

Have you ever tried growing mint in your garden? If you have, you know it is amazingly easy and actually will take over if you’re not careful, but what’s better than a fresh handful of mint leaves whenever you want?

And there are so many varieties to choose from. Peppermint leaves are wonderful dried and steeped in hot water to make a simple, d’lish tea. And there are so many tasty varieties – Chocolate Mint, Pineapple Mint, Lemon Mint, Orange Mint… even Lime Mint that is perfect when muddled into mojitos!

Also, for you cat lovers out there, remember catnip is a mint too. So careful planting mint, unless you want to attract every kitty in a quarter mile!

As the weather gets warmer, cool off with my Fresh Mint Ice Cream. Nothing beats nibbling on fresh made ice cream under a shady tree!

Mint Ice cream
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

With the Kentucky Derby coming up mint juleps are on the horizon… oh yea! If you plan on hosting a Derby party, try making a batch of my Spiked Iced Tea Punch. Fresh mint pairs well with white whiskey, black tea, fresh juices, and brown sugar.

So get minty with it in your garden this year! –Kathy

Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Candies
I like to serve this garnished with a bit more chopped mint candy and a fresh sprig of mint.

Makes about 4 cups

4 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups packed mint sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
6 egg yolks
1 cup coarsely chopped Chocolate Mint Candies (recipe follows) or Frango Mint candies

Combine the cream and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Tear the mint sprigs (to bruise them) and add to the cream mixture. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the cream. Whisking constantly, bring to a bare simmer and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk frequently to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Strain the mixture and discard the mint leaves. Stir in the chopped mint, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is finished, stir in the chopped candies. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze until ready to serve.

Chocolate Mint Candies
Makes 24 nice-sized pieces, or enough for 1 recipe of ice cream plus 12 extra pieces of candy

12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsps. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter, salt, and extract together over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the confectioners’ sugar, then stir to combine well. Spread the mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan.

Let cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or refrigerate to harden faster.

To remove the candy from the pan, invert the pan onto a piece of plastic wrap or a cutting board, lay a hot towel over the pan bottom for about 1 minute, then tap the bottom of the pan. Loosen the candy with a spatula if needed. Cut the candy into 24 pieces to serve as candy, or coarsely chop to use in ice cream. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Spiked Iced Tea Punch
Punch is the perfect party cocktail! For a more-spiked interpretation, let guests add a little more whiskey to their individual drinks. For summertime sipping add in a few slices of fresh peach or nectarine. For a demo on how to make this, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

Makes about 8 cups, enough for 10 to 12 servings

20 cloves
1 orange
6 very large sprigs fresh mint
3 tea bags black tea
3 cups boiling water
1 cup ice water
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups Woodinville Headlong White Dog Whiskey

Poke the cloves into the orange, then cut it into 3 slices. Put the orange slices, mint, and tea bags in a heatproof pitcher or bowl. Add the boiling water, let steep for 1 hour, then remove the tea bags.

Add the ice water, juices, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, add the whisky, and chill until ready to serve. Serve in ice-filled glasses. Garnish as desired.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps.

Posted by Kathy on April 23rd, 2015  |  Comments Off on Minty Mint |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, dessert, events, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Valentine’s Day Love Potion

I know that I don’t have to remind you, but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Do you know what you are going to give your sweetie to show them how much you care?

Chocolates and roses have been done, so why not try something new this year. How about starting off your romantic evening with my Love Potion bottled cocktail? Fresh raspberry infused-vodka is mixed up with pomegranate juice, limoncello, and fresh citrus to create a crimson pink and d’lish drink.

Now, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can try making your own limoncello – it’s so easy! Just add lemon zest to some citrus vodka and let it sit for a few days. Then sweeten lightly with some rich simple syrup and voila. It will last up to a year in the refrigerator.

In the recipe I’’ll tell you how to bottle this up (just use little 187 ml bottles and cap) you can write a love note to your honey on a tag or make a fun valentine label.

Serve bottles chilled on ice and make a toast to your sweetheart! –Kathy

IMG_1155

Love Potion
This bottled cocktail is perfect for Valentine’s Day. You can make ahead and serve with personalized tags. Serve over large format ice cubes or spheres. Garnish with fresh berries.

Makes about 46 ounces – enough for 6 (187ml) bottles

2 cups vodka
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup Liquid Kitchen Quick & Easy Limoncello (recipe follows),
or use your favorite brand
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup simple syrup*
1 cup water

Place the vodka and raspberries in a blender and blend to infuse raspberries. Fine strain into a large pitcher. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Fill bottles 1-inch from top using a funnel. Cap or seal. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Shake before serving.

*To make simple syrup: combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Liquid Kitchen Quick & Easy Limoncello
For a demo on how to make Housemade Limoncello, visit www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups citrus vodka
3 lemons
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water

With a potato peeler, peel the zest from the lemon, being sure not to get any white pith. Place the lemon peel in a clean quart glass jar with lid. (Use the rest of the lemon for another purpose.) Cap the jar and shake well. Let sit at room temperature for 1 week, shaking the jars every couple of days.

After 1 week, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.
Strain the vodka into a pretty bottle. Add the cooled sugar syrup, cap bottle and shake to combine. Store at room temperature, for up to 2 months or, refrigerated, for 1 year.

*Glass bottles are available online as well as metal caps and cappers. You can also find them at home brew stores.

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

Posted by Kathy on February 6th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Valentine’s Day Love Potion |  Posted in Amazon, Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network

Holiday Hangover Cures

The year is coming to a close and the biggest party of the year is still to come – New Year’s Eve! It’s time to celebrate the old and ring in the new. And… let’s just say this usually involves at least a cocktail or two.

I have some great ways to give you a good start for the New Year, even if you do over-indulge a bit the night before.

My go-to cure is my Hangover Helper. Just empty a packet of Emergen-C (I like orange or raspberry) into a juice glass and add a little vodka – or gin, a dash of bitters, and soda water then top with a few drops of olive oil. Yep, that’s right – drink up!

New Year’s Day entertaining? A Bloody Mary Bar for brunch will definitely help with that headache – with a little hair of the dog!

Blood Scandi
The Bloody Scandi I created for Sip Northwest Magazine
made with Aquavit, Demitri’s and Local Pickled Beets

Set up a DIY station and let your guests mix up their own concoctions.

Put out a selection of different spirits:

  • -Vodkas
  • -Gin
  • -Aquavit
  • -Tequila
  • -Whiskey

Bloody Mary Mixers:

Condiments to Spice & Flavor Things Up:

  • -Tobasco
  • -Sriracha
  • -Green Hot Sauce
  • -Fresh Lemon Wedges
  • -Fresh Lime Wedges
  • -Horseradish

And Lots of Garnishes for your Guests to Skewer up!:

  • Chunks Cheese
  • Pickled Veggies(pickled beets, asparagus and beans)
  • Cooked Prawns
  • Beef Jerky
  • Sliced Salami
  • Stuffed Cherry Peppers
  • Selection of Olives
  • Hard Smoked Salmon or Pickled Herring (yes that’s right – I’m Scandinavian!)

And don’t forget to eat! Boosting your metabolism will make you feel better faster than anything. And for some reason, a bacon sandwich sometimes can be THE magic cure. You’ll feel better in no time!

Happy New Years! – Kathy

Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2014  |  Comments Off on Holiday Hangover Cures |  Posted in Cocktails, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos
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