Books to Cook

Garden to Glass Cocktails

If you are like me you have a plethora of herbs filling your summer garden.

Of course, we all know that you can cook with them, but have you thought about sipping with them too? I am not just talking about the mint that grows like a weed and spreads across your garden. There are other herbs and even edible flowers that are super delicious and beautiful to add to your cocktail creations. Fresh sage for instance is amazing paired with tequila; try it in my Sunset Sage Margarita recipe.

Summertime is the perfect time to sip on a Collins. Combine vodka, fresh lemon and local honey syrup with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Shake it up and finish with a splash of soda. If your backyard is brimming with berries, shake in a few of those too!

And I’m a big fan of fresh rosemary in cocktails. For an herbal gin & tonic, add in a sprig of rosemary with a squeeze of orange.

Another fun idea is freezing herbs and edible flowers in ice cubes! Pick up some silicone large-format ice cube trays. Fill them half way with water and then pop in the freezer for 45 minutes to “lightly set”.

Flowers in Ice

Now, add in all kinds of herbs and edible flowers. I personally love to put thyme with my pansies, or sage with rose petals, then fill with water and freeze again. Great to add to any summer style cocktail.

Here’s to summer sipping with garden cocktails! Cheers! –Kathy

Sunset Sage Margarita
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Sunset Sage Margarita
Makes 1 drink

1 fresh sage leaf
1 1/2 oz reposado tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup*
1/2 – 3/4 oz fresh lime juice (depending upon the sweetness you prefer)
Garnish: fresh sage leaf

Tear the sage leaf and drop into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, then measure in the remaining ingredients. Cap and shake vigorously until very cold.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or serve over ice. Garnish with a sage leaf.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Posted by Kathy on August 5th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, herbs, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, margarita, Recent Posts, Recipes

D’Lish Ice Cream

From big bowls of creamy ice cream and refreshing fruity sorbets to gelatos and all-American ice cream sandwiches, frozen treats have long been a favorite for kids of all ages. And making homemade ice cream couldn’t be easier these days. Ice cream makers are super affordable and it’s a fun activity for everyone.

The best part? You can literally go wild with custom flavors. Love a ginger and pineapple flavor combo – then go for it! Want a dairy-free alternative? Try making it with coconut or almond milks! With my basic recipe for a Sour Cream Ice Cream Base, you can add in any of your backyard bounty from fruits to herbs. Get creative!

If the mint in your yard is taking over the garden like mine is, then whip up a batch of Homemade Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream with easy to make lush chocolate inclusions to fold in – yum! So pretty and tasty served in little frozen glasses topped with a fresh mint sprig!

But maybe making ice cream is just too much. Well never fear! Head to the freezer isle of your local grocery store and try out some of these speed scratch ideas.

Just soften ice cream and stir in the goodies then re-freeze:

    Chocolate Pretzel Swirl – chocolate ice cream, crushed pretzels, chopped chocolate bars and toasted walnuts.
    All-American Pie Mash-Up – vanilla ice cream, cherry pie (crust and all)

So get that ice cream maker churning and celebrate summer the old fashioned way – Yum! –Kathy

Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

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 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsp. 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.

Sour Cream Ice Cream Base
This recipe is a great base to incorporate in any fresh summer fruit.

Makes about 5 1/2 cups.

1 1/2 cups, fresh fruit (such as peaches, berries, cherries)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup half & half
1 cup cream
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (or other nuts – optional)

Place fruit, spices, sugar and half & half in a blender. Process until fruit is broken down but some chunks still remain.

Place fruit mixture in a large bowl. Whisk in cream and sour cream until smooth. Chill mixture for at least 30 minutes.

Place cream mixture in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. When mixture is frozen, fold in the walnuts if using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on July 7th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, dessert, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Summer Cherries

From Bings to Queen Annes, cherries are one of the Northwest’s most famed exports, and also one of our most valuable crops. Needless to say, they’re luscious, sweet & tart, and decadent.

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Cherry Mojito photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Eaten out of hand is always tasty but I love them crushed in fresh lemonade or in one of my favorite summer cocktails, Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd! Just combine pitted cherries, light rum, fresh squeezed lime juice, and simple syrup. Let this sit for an hour or so, and then add a big splash of soda water and ice. Now, you’re ready for summer sippin’!

Have you ever made cherry salsa? Make my Sassy Bing Cherry Salsa just like you would tomato salsa, but sub out fresh chopped cherries for the tomatoes. Toss with some fresh lime juice, fresh minced jalapeno, a little red onion and some cilantro–great on grilled chicken or salmon.

Or hey, how about just a big bowl of cherries for dinner? Why not! So head out to the market and pick of a big bag of fresh local cherries and taste the season! –Kathy

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Makes about 10 servings

3 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 1/2 cups sprigs)
3 cups silver rum
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh lime juice
10-ounce bottles soda water, chilled
Loads of ice for serving

For Garnishing: fresh mint, fresh cherries

In a large nonreactive container, such as a glass pitcher, lightly crush the cherries with a potato masher. Then add the mint, rum, sugar and lime juice. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours – or overnight. (You can remove the mint before serving if you like and then garnish with fresh ones.)

For serving: add the soda water to the pitcher of drinks. Add ice and serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® –

Posted by Kathy on June 24th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, Recipes

Chef Trevis at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Congratulations to chef friend and author Trevis Gleason for winning the Prestige Award by the International Jury at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards! Held in China last month, this is the world’s only international culinary publishing awards ceremony. Trevis’ award winning book Chef Interrupted shares stories about living with multiple sclerosis, some of his favorite recipes, and his travel adventures in moving to Ireland. Yay Trevis!


Posted by Kathy on June 23rd, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News

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

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

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.


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

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  |  Comments Off on Holiday Desserts We Love |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts