When I was a kid, summer was full of freedom, adventures, and of course ICE CREAM! I can still hear the catchy jingle of the ice cream truck slowly turning the corner to go down my street.
Today, the market is full of classic and snazzy ice creams, gelatos, custards, and frozen yogurt treats. But the classics are always a favorite.
Take the ice cream sandwich as an example. Creamy, soft ice cream sandwiched between a pair of homemade cookies… now, that’s what I call heaven! With so many great ice creams on the market it’s easy to “sandwich” your own. How about Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia – with chunks of chocolate and cherries folded into rich vanilla bean ice cream. Sandwich between Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies with dried cherries and almonds – yes, please! Or Gingersnaps with Summery Local Peach Ice Cream – mmmm!
And we can’t forget the ice cream float! The classic vanilla ice cream and root beer is always a favorite, but how about something different? Use locally made soda and ice cream with new flavors to take this to a whole new level! I like not-too sweet Vanilla Bean DRY Soda so d’lish when poured atop a big scoop of Molly Moon’s Honey Lavender ice cream. Now that’s a local float!
Beer cocktails are defiantly all the rage these days and especially d’lish when made with our amazing local craft beers. If you’re hosting a fiesta, a beer based punch is a great option to make bartending a breeze! Try my recipe for Hoppy Melon Rita Punch – Fremont Summer Solstice Ale, fresh citrus, diced watermelon, and tequila – Yum!
And if you’re looking for an alternative to the classic margarita, how about a chelada! Originating over 75 years ago, this classic is now a drink staple. Made with Mexican beer, the juice of one lime, and served over ice in a salt rimmed glass. Refreshing!
Michelada is another variation with added spices, sauces, and peppers. Some people also make it with a splash of tomato juice, too.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! –Kathy
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®
Hoppy Melon Rita Punch
Makes 16 – 20 servings
zest of 2 limes (zest before squeezing for juice)
1 cup sugar
1 bottle (750 ml) silver tequila
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup Ruby Grapefruit Juice Cocktail
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups diced fresh watermelon
2 (12 ounce) bottles Fremont Summer Solstice Ale
Garnish: fresh watermelon wedges
In a large punch bowl (or large container such as a stock pot or pitcher) combine the lime zest, sugar, tequila, juices, and watermelon. Stir to combine well. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for service up to 3 days in advance). Present in a large punch bowl. Add ale right before serving. Serve over ice in punch cups, or fun margarita glasses.
Canning is a fantastic way to preserve the flavors of the season and an age old custom. Lots of people learned to can from their friends or family – I learned to can from my mom and grandma, making jar upon jar of preserved peaches, apricots and yummy jam… there’s nothing like a PB&J with jam you’ve made yourself!
If “putting up” some of summer’s delicious bounty sounds like a fantastic idea to you, there’s no time better than the present to jump right in – head to Pike Place Market on Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 14th for National Can It Forward Day! Canning Across America and Jardin America, the makers of Ball home canning products, have teamed up to present two days full of fun, educational canning and cooking demos. But don’t worry if you can’t make it – the entire event will be streaming live at freshpreserving.com from 8:00AM to 4:00PM on Saturday. For the full event schedule, click here!
If you just can’t wait to get started canning, check out my easy and delicious recipe for Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Jam! And don’t forget to visit Canning Across America to join the Canvolution and find mouth-watering recipes, gorgeous photography and a warm, welcoming community of like-minded canning enthusiasts.
So fire up your canner and here’s to preserving our local flavor! – Kathy
With its ambience firmly rooted in the classic train
stations of Europe, stepping into Chef Michael Mina’s newest endeavor, RN74, is the perfect respite from the bustle of downtown Seattle. Mina has come home to Washington and his culinary roots to lead us on a gastronomic tour along ‘Route Nationale 74’, the main thoroughfare through France’s Burgundy region and the restaurant’s namesake. The bar, booths and the gentle clack of the flipping “Last Bottle” list, styled after retro train arrival and departure boards, all unite to leave you thinking your train will be arriving just as soon as you finish your glass of wine. And indeed, wine is a big part of the concept at this new hotspot; Mina has teamed up with Wine Director Rajat Parr to shine the spotlight on red and white Burgundy wines as well as local wine producers and various New World offerings. Of course, great wine needs great food and RN74 has absolutely no shortage of that. Elegant but unpretentious, Mina offers up classic French fare made with locally-sourced Northwest ingredients and his signature California flare.
Pacific halibut is found primarily along the North American West coast and is commercially fished mainly off Alaska and British Columbia. In 1923, with reserves suffering from being overfished, the United States and Canada signed a convention on halibut, leading to the creation of the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which today regulates Pacific halibut fishing. Members meet annually to review research, check on the progress of the commercial fishery, and make regulations for the next year’s season. This management allows for a maximum of sustained halibut harvesting.
Fished for in Alaska and British Columbia, halibut are the largest of all flatfish. The biggest ever recorded for the northern Pacific was a 495-pound fish caught near Petersburg, . Alaska
Halibut is valued for its sweet, mild flavor, firm meat, and snow-white color; it is the second favorite fish in the Northwest, surpassed only by salmon. Market forms of the fish include steaks, fillets, and fletches (split body-length fillets), plus the extra-tasty cheeks so applauded by their culinary fans.
I have included a very simple recipe for Grilled Halibut with Lemon Herb Splash that really lets the delicate fish shine though. I like to serve it with a simple bread salad studded with fresh summer tomatoes and cucumbers.
In the Seattle metropolitan are you can find fresh halibut at:
Seattle Fish Company stores are located in Freemont and West Seattle. Independantly owned, Seattle Fish Company features NW fish as well as warm water ‘exotics.’ They purchase daily and troll-caught halibut will be available through the end of the season (November 15th)
If want your fish skinned they can accommodate that – just ask the fish monger. And for shopping assistance look for the folks in “Red Coats” on Fridays and Saturdays at the Admiral and Proctor Stores.
Seattle’s got snow! So at the Food Studios we decided to use our extra time and make up some tasty Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark. This recipe is reminiscent of Frangos texture and is fun and easy to make at home. It is also great to make up for tasty gifts. The perfect thing to stay in and make this weekend.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Makes 24 nice-sized pieces of candy
15 pieces round, red-striped peppermint hard candies
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Unwrap the candies and place in a large plastic bag. Press out any air and close the bag. Place it on a sturdy surface and then cover with a towel. With a meat mallet or heavy pan, smack the candy until crushed into 1/4- to 1/8-inch pieces. (Good to get all your aggressions out!)
In a medium bowl, warm the chocolate, butter, salt, and extract together over a bain-marie (pan of barely simmering water), whisking until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the powdered sugar, then stir to combine well.
Line a 8″ square baking pan with foil – shiny side up and make is very smooth.
Spread the mixture into the baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the crushed candies and press into the chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.