Books to Cook

D’Lish Cookies

Store-bought cookies just never taste as good as homemade. Isn’t this always true? Could it be that the extra dose of hands-on love makes homemade cookies that much more special?
I love cookies and have been making cookies most since I could stand. I still cherish my first Betty Crocker’s Cookie Book. Its colorful pages are to this day encrusted with pieces of dough, sugar, and other cookie ingredient goodies.

S'more Cookie
A Pile of my S’more Cookies available at my Dish D’Lish cafes!

Do you love cookies but never have enough time to whip up a batch? Then try out this baker’s trick. When you do have time, make up a few batches of your favorite cookie doughs then roll them each into logs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then label and freeze them. Now, whenever the cookie craving hits you or guests stop by, just pull out a roll, slice, and then bake. Voila! Instant cookies will be ready for that after school snack, cookie craving, special guest, or any fun occasion.

I love experimenting with cookie doughs and see how the flavors bake together. How about taking your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and adding hazelnuts, instead of walnuts? Next time, try adding lavender and lemon zest or even herbs in a shortbread cookie. What about a pinch of cayenne pepper to gingersnaps for a sassy twist? Add a splash color to white chocolate macadamia cookies by stirring in dried cherries to the dough.

At my Dish D’Lish® cafes the S’mores Cookies are the most popular cookie. Chocolate dough is studded with toffee bits and finished with a topping of marshmallows and graham crackers  – baked till gooey good!

Everyone has a favorite. Mine is my Mom’s Oatmeal Gumdrop Jewels. My mom has made these cookies ever since I can remember. One of my favorite memories is having the important job of cutting up the gumdrops…and taking a sneaky quick bite every so often!

So get that glass of milk or cup of coffee ready, it’s time to bake up these sweet delights! -Kathy

Dish D’Lish S’mores Cookies
These are the most popular cookie at my Dish D’Lish Cafes! The marshmallow graham cracker topping makes them gooey delicious!

Makes 10 jumbo cookies

Dough
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 8-ounce package toffee baking bits

Topping
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

To make the cookie dough, in a mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening, sugars, egg, and vanilla well. Sift the flour, cocoa, soda, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix into the butter mixture. Stir in the toffee bits.

In a large piece of plastic wrap, roll the dough into a 3-inch-diameter log with flat ends. Wrap well and refrigerate the dough to chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 4 or 5 baking sheets with baking parchment (see Chef’s Note, below).

While the oven is heating, make the topping. Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a rubber spatula or spoon until the marshmallows are thoroughly coated. The mixture will be very sticky.

Cut the chilled dough into 10 equal slices. Place 2 or 3 slices on each prepared baking sheet. (When baked, these cookies spread to about a 5-inch diameter, so bake only 2 or 3 per pan.) In the center of each cookie, place about 1 heaping tablespoon of topping, using it all.

Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, or until just done. Let cool on the baking parchment until totally cooled and easy to remove.

Chef’s Note: If you’re short of baking sheets, just lay out the dough slices on additional pieces of baking parchment. When a pan of cookies is done, remove the pan from the oven, slide the parchment with the baked cookies onto a rack, place the next parchment sheet of dough on the pan and bake.

Recipe © Dish D’Lish®

My Mom’s Oatmeal Gumdrop Jewels
To make this task a bit easier, try snipping them into pieces with clean, wet scissors.

Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.

2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal (rolled oats)
1 pound spiced gumdrops, cut up into approximately 1/4-inch pieces}
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter, shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix in buttermilk. Sift together dry ingredients and blend in. Mix in oatmeal, gumdrops, walnuts and raisins. Chill 2 hours, then drop by tablespoonfuls on a greased baking sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 21st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Oysters- A Taste of the Sea

Did you know that northwest oysters are considered some of the best in the world? The reason our oysters taste so great is our clean waters. Different locations and environmental factors give the oysters distinct physical characteristics and flavors. Why just this week I tried a new oyster at The Walrus and the Carpenter: Sea Nymphs from Hama Hama Oyster Co, Hammersley Inlet, Wa – YUM!

Cynthia Nims, oyster aficionado, great friend and author of the new book Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home the Taste of the Sea says, “Oysters are so cool! They are filter feeders, filtering gallons and gallons of water up to 30 to 50 gallons a day.” That gives them their distinctive flavor.

Oysters from our pristine Northwest waters range in size from the tiny Olympias to large Pacifics. Smaller oysters, like my favorite, the Kusshi, are perfect for slurping.

oystercover

Cynthia’s opening chapter really gets you thinking – “What is it About Oysters?” She adds, “They have inspired hip oyster bars, backyard grilling feasts and elegant celebration meals. They evoke songs, poems, and fashion shows. They satisfy our hunger, fuel our romance and feed our souls.”

Oyster purists say there is never a better way to eat raw oysters than unadorned, MAYBE with a squirt of lemon. For the uninitiated oyster-slurper, this can be a bit scary. Cynthia suggests “If it’s your very first oyster – and having a big glob of cocktail sauce is your training wheels, then go for it.”

Once the training wheels are off, try some naked or with fresh and light toppings like her Kimchi-Cucumber Relish – crisp cucumbers, finely chopped kimchi, rice wine vinegar, and a touch of soy sauce.

“Oysters have a richness that is complimented by things that are fresh, peppery, and a touch acidic”, adds Nims. I agree and love citrusy toppings like chopped tangerine segments, mixed with a little finely minced shallot, a grating of fresh horseradish or a dash of hot sauce and snipped chives –d’lish!

Being a great pal of Cynthia’s also means an invite to “cook book testing night” – which means a delicious evening of oyster recipe tasting: from Grapefruit- Basil Granite for topping raw oysters, or pickly Oysters en Escabeche,  to silky sexy Oyster & Celery Root Bisque –  yum!

Oysters, celebrate this tasty bivalve in every way, you’ll be sure to find a new favorite oyster recipe – I know I did!  – Kathy


Kimchi-Cucumber Relish
Enjoy on freshly shucked oysters.

Makes 1 cup, enough for about 4 dozen half-shell oysters

3/4 cup peeled and seeded finely chopped cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped kimchi
1 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. soy sauce, plus more to taste (optional)

 

In a small bowl, stir together the cucumber, kimchi, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Taste for seasoning, adding a bit more vinegar or soy sauce to taste. Let the relish sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend.

Transfer the relish to small ramekin or other small serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 hour.

Photo and Recipe from Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home the Taste of the Sea by Cynthia Nims, Sasquatch Books. Follow Cynthia on Facebook and Twitter.

Kathy’s Favorite Seattle Oyster Spots for Slurping:
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Taylor Oyster Bars
Chinook’s

Posted by Kathy on March 10th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, My Seattle, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood

Money Saving Braising

Looking to make a meal to impress, but don’t want to break the bank? Braising can make even the toughest cuts of meat, an inexpensive, melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Braising is a loooooong, slow-cooking method that can be done on the stove-top, in the oven, or in a crock pot. What a great treatment for less tender, more flavorful cuts of meat. Think beef chuck, lamb shanks, chicken legs, or short ribs. These tough cuts are less expensive, but really taste like a million bucks if they’re cooked low and slow. Perfect for a lazy Sunday supper.

First, season up your meat, then give it a good sear in a hot pan with a little oil. Add in tasty ingredients like wine, herbs, and veggies. Cover tightly and pop the pan in an oven on LOW HEAT (around 300 – 325 degrees) and forget about it for a few hours! Now the hard part: be patient. Don’t try to rush the process; this takes time.

Once it’s finished, don’t forget about all that juicy braising liquid. It’s perfect to make a tasty sauce with!

One of my favorite dishes to make is my Slow Cooked Roasted Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic. Perfect for a comfort food Sunday night snuggled up with some fluffy mashed potatoes – yum!

Here’s to slow cooking! –Kathy

Slow-Cooked Roast Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic

If the sauce is not thick enough, make a cornstarch slurry using 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce, a little at a time, until the desired thickness is reached.

Makes 6 to 8 generous servings

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 bottle (about 1 1/2 cups) red wine
3 Tbsp flour
20 cloves garlic, peeled
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, optional

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

With paper towels, pat the roast dry. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over high heat until hot.

Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and sear on all sides until well browned. Remove the meat to a platter. Add the onion wedges and mushrooms to the pan and stir around for a few minutes, then tuck the roast back into the pan, pulling the onion and mushroom mixture up from under the roast.

Whisk together the wine and flour until smooth and add to the roasting pan, along with the garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer the pan to the oven.

Roast for about 2 hours. Add the carrots and celery and continue to roast for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, or until meat is fork-tender.

Stir the basil into the sauce.

Cut roast into thick slices or large chunks, depending on your preference, and serve with the sauce drizzled over it.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

 

Posted by Kathy on February 18th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Amazon, Books to Cook, KOMO Radio, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes

Holiday Desserts We Love

We all have our dessert traditions: those sweet treats that have been passed down the generations, shared from friends and family.

Maybe its Mom’s Ice Box Sugar Cookies, rolled out with love and cut from Great-Great Grandma’s cutters. You know: the reindeer, Christmas tree, festive snowman, and star. Then decorated with lots of icing, silver balls, and sprinkles. Or boxes of homemade fudge wrapped in wax paper and delivered in that special holiday tin.

How cool that these days you can just hop online and see what other’s sweet traditions are. Blogs, newsletters, Facebook pages, Pinterest, and Instagram – all bring us new and d’lish inspiration these days. It’s like having a recipe file at your fingertips!

And there is something to be said of that. Mom’s tattered and stained recipe card, with hand-written notes has that special love on it that is sure to come through in the final dish. So it’s important that these holiday traditions be passed on. Here’s a link to my Mom’s Gumdrop Cookies that I grew up with!

I like to preserve these well-worn recipes. Why not create a little digital book with your most cherished family and friends recipes to pass to those you love this holiday season.

Kathy Casey's "Over 21" Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker's Mark
Who wants a slice of my Over 21 “Real Fruit” Cakes made with Maker’s Mark?

My Grandma always baked amazing fruitcake – I took her recipe and have now given it my own spin by soaking dried fruits in Maker’s Mark bourbon, then mixing it with spiced batter and lots of toasted nuts. You can get my Over 21 “Real Fruit” Cakes while supplies last (available online or at my Food Studios in Ballard).

My tradition is to have a slice toasted on Christmas morning with a big cup of coffee! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on December 17th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Gluten-Free Wish List-the perfect gift for those on your Nice List!

My dear friend, genius gluten-free guru Jeanne Sauvage, has released an inspiring new cookbook – the Gluten-Free Wish List, filled with delicious and craveable sweet and savory dishes for celiacs and the health conscious alike.

Living a gluten-free lifestyle can sometimes lead to feeling like you’re missing out on your favorite comfort foods, but Jeanne, who is gluten-intolerant herself, refuses to let this notion dictate her life and her diet. Jeanne’s book will fulfill all your cravings! After much trial and error, she has built a delicious and diverse collection of recipes that even I, as a non-celiac, have been drooling over.

From Challah to crispy Fried Chicken to chewy Bagels, Jeanne has managed to transform seemingly unattainable wheat staples into scrumptious celiac-friendly treats. Standout recipes include Potato Gnocchi with Tomato-Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Chicken and Dumpling Soup, Old-Fashioned Doughnuts, and her helpful and informative instructions for Laminated Doughs – hello Croissants! And if the idea of Pop Tarts brings back fond memories from your childhood, then check out her sophisticated and delightful take on Toaster Tarts.

Personally, I can’t resist a good tiramisu and her version is as luscious and satisfying as any recipe out there. It’s safe to say that the recipes in Gluten-Free Wish List don’t just ‘taste good for gluten-free’, they taste d’lish period!

Gluten-Free Wish List
Jeanne’s book is available locally in Seattle at Book Larder – stop on by to support Small Independent Book Stores.

Posted by Kathy on December 2nd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, Recent Posts, Recipes

Get Saucy

Often the trick to a d’lish dish is the sauce, but sometimes making one can be a bit daunting.

Seattle author Susan Volland’s new book Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors will help take the mystery out of making a great sauce. So you can easily splash, slather, drizzle or douse!

Susan Volland - Mastering Sauces

From basic recipes for stock (the building block of sauces) to creative and unique takes on classic recipes, this book has sauces covered from A to Z.

From quick and easy Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce to her recipe for a Vegan Corn “Hollandaise” – there are a lot of ideas to finish off your favorite dish.

Here are some of my favorite tips from her book:

  • How to fancy up a white sauce: think sweet curry or caramelized onion and roasted garlic
  • Not your everyday cheese sauce: with cheddar and ale or tomato and goat cheese
  • Even chocolate gets a tasty saucy twist with ancho chili and fresh mint
  • Susan is an amazing chef and has wanted to write this book for years. It is one of the most comprehensive sauce books of all times and destined to become an eternal classic. Her recipes are always well written and precision tested.

    So crack open a copy of Mastering Sauces and get saucy!

    P.S. – And It’s never too early to think about holiday gifts for your favorite foodie. –Kathy

    Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce
    Susan says: “This sauce is nutty, sweet, and slightly exotic, and, it can be whipped up in less time than the quick-cooking dishes I like to dunk in it: grilled chicken skewers, Vietnamese spring rolls, or pot stickers. Double or triple the recipe, and you can use it to simmer chicken or as a sauce for chewy stir-fried noodles. It keeps well.”

    Yield: 1/2 cup

    1/4 cup hoisin sauce
    1/4 cup water, coconut water, or Really Good Chicken Stock
    2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
    1 Tbsp. fish sauce (or substitute 2 tsp. light soy sauce or tamari)
    2 tsp. sambal oelek or Sriracha, or to taste
    1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, Tamarind Water, or rice vinegar

    Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the sauce at room temperature or lightly warmed.

    If storing, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Vegan Corn “Hollandaise”

    Susan says: “The friends and I have introduced this sauce to—even die-hard carnivores and butter lovers—claim to prefer this vegan version to classic hollandaise. The creamy yellow sauce mimics the texture of hollandaise without relying on eggs and butter. It is not as cloying, it’s heat stable, it’s tasty enough to be slurped up by the spoonful, and there is little or no guilt afterward. You will need a few specialty ingredients: miso, nutritional yeast flakes, and arrowroot. These are available at some supermarkets and at natural foods markets. Arrowroot is added for stability and gentle thickening; kudzu root (available at health foods markets) can also be used.”

    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

    1 1/2 cups water, Corn Stock, or Corncob Mock Stock
    1 cup fresh or thawed frozen yellow corn kernels
    1/3 cup whole raw cashews
    1 Tbsp. white (shiro) miso
    1 tsp. nutritional yeast flakes
    1/2 tsp arrowroot
    1 – 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    Pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of Tabasco

    Combine the water, corn kernels, and cashews in a saucepan, cover, and simmer until the cashews are tender and the corn is very soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

    Transfer the cashew mixture to a blender, add the miso, yeast, and arrowroot, and puree until very smooth. Strain back into the saucepan, pressing the solids against the sides of the strainer to extract as much smooth pupl and liquid as possible. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is just simmering and has thickened. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Serve warm.

    Unlike hollandaise, this sauce can be refrigerated and reheated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Posted by Kathy on November 12th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

    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  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

    Potato Salads

    Potato Salad is the go-to summer side dish. It’s perfect when cozied up with grilled chicken, or a plate of BBQ goodness.

    Everyone seems to love their Mom or Grandma’s versions. Is yours creamy, eggy, pickley? A lot of times it’s what you grew up with that becomes your gold standard.

    But why not mix it up a little with some creative takes on this perennial favorite. Greek or Asian potato salad? Why not? My Greek Potato Salad incorporates red potatoes with fresh oregano, calamata olives, bell peppers and cucumbers with a d’lish Feta Vinaigrette.

    And one of my new faves is Wasabi Potato Salad. Still warm steamed potatoes are tossed with soy and seasoned rice wine vinegar – cooled then mixed with a wasabi spiked mayo, celery and green onions. Yum!


    Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios.
    Or whip up a batch of All-American Potato Salad Deviled Eggs from my book D’Lish Deviled Eggs

    So whatever potato salad you’re setting your table with this weekend I know it will be D’Lish! – Kathy

    Greek Potato Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
    Makes 8 cups

    2 lbs red potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
    2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/2 cup halved pitted calamata olives
    1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
    1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
    1 small green pepper, diced
    1/2 cup tiny-diced red onion
    4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup crumbled cheese)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

    Steam potatoes until very tender, about 12 – 14 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, oregano, salt and pepper.

    When potatoes are still warm, toss them with the dressing and set aside until cool, then stir in the remaining ingredients.

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

    Posted by Kathy on July 9th, 2015  |  Comments Off on Potato Salads |  Posted in Books to Cook, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides
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