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 March 23rd, 2012  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert

Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

Farewell 2011, here’s to a zesty 2012!

Another year has come and gone by so quickly! Last year was filled with exciting travels and delicious experiences. As we welcome in 2012, I hope you enjoy reading about my fun foodie adventures this year and all the new things we are up to and have on the horizon. — Kathy

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Tasty Travels

Spring travels in 2011 took my crew and me to Ocean Shores where I hosted the 5th Annual Razor Clam Fest — and ate a LOT of chowder! Then it was off to New York to present at the  with Charlotte Voisey and Jamie Boudreau as well as Small Screen Network for our seminar, Three Mixologists — Three Cocktails — Three Ways.

Team_Kathy
My crew and me on our way back from the Razor Clam Fest at Ocean Shores!

Then I was off to Austin for the annual IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Conference where I presented a seminar on bitters. This annual event brings in a slew of professional culinarians from all over the world. In our downtime I zipped around the city with chef pals to check out the Austin Food Trailer scene — cool stuff!

bitters
A flight of bitters for our presentation at IACP

Summer travels started off in New Orleans where I presented a hit seminar on H2O Cocktails with Tony Abou- Ganim at Tales of the Cocktail. Our seminar was picked as one of the top by our peers! H2O cocktails were so well received that there was a slew of press and blogs featuring them. Check out Difford’s Guide and Camper English’s blog Alcademics and my guest article for Liquor.com. (I’m excited to start planning for 2012’s Tales of the Cocktail — it will be their 10th anniversary — but in the meantime check out Tales of the Cocktail on Tour: Vancouver this Feb in Vancouver B.C., Canada.)

TotC

Then it was off to Newport Beach, California for the Flavor Experience Conference where my team and I presented a seminar on Creativity and Creating New Cocktails and cooked up lots of great ideas with our client Monin, including our Soda Jerk Station! Here’s what we served:

Flash Carbonated Vodka and Sour Cherry & Lime Soda
soda

Red Velvet Milk Shake
Dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream and bites of red velvet fudge cake
topped with a cream cheese frosting whip

Pineapple Split Milk Shake
Roasted pineapple and banana mingle with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate
topped with marshmallow whip, nuts and a cherry

Berrylicious Chocolate Chip Shortcake Bites
Bite-sized chocolate chip shortcakes smothered with summer berries
crowned with a dollop of double berry whipped cream
shakes

soda_jerks
Cameo, Me and Heather dressed up as soda jerks during the Flavor Experience!

Fall travels took me to back to California, this time to Napa Valley to present at the Culinary Institute of America’s Worlds of Flavor conference with Paramount Citrus. Heather and Travis shook up over 4,000 cocktails that week including my Pacifica, made with fresh pressed pineapple, kaffir lime leaves, freshly squeezed Paramount lime juice, agave nectar, silver tequila and mandarin-infused vodka, then all topped with coconut foam!

Fall and Winter travels took me all-over North America from San Francisco to Dallas to Chicago to Toronto to Miami — but the highlight was my trip to France with Cointreau. But to backtrack a little bit, I was a mentor again for the annual Cointreau Bar-Star Mix-Off Competition at last year’s Tales of the Cocktail. Four finalists are challenged to create a cocktail on the fly from a table of fresh ingredients in front a panel of judges. With the help of their mixologist mentor, the finalists go at it for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to France! New York’s Luigi Tarantino chose me as his mentor and we were off. After much discussion, he created the winning cocktail (recipe below)! Not only did he win a trip to France but as a mentor, I won a trip to France too!

kathy_luigi
Luigi and me after they announced the winners!

winning_cocktail
The Winning Cointreau Cocktail by Luigi Tarantino

Cointreau’ling Kamikazes
Created by Luigi Tarantino (Now on the menu at Tosca Café, Bronx, NY)

1 thyme sprig
5 raspberries
3/4 oz Cointreau®
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz yuzu juice
1 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon
1/2 oz simple syrup
Garnish: Sprig of thyme, raspberry

In a mixing glass, muddle thyme and raspberries, add remaining cocktail ingredients. Fill with ice, cap and shake, Strain into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish.

citrus_peels
Citrus peels used in the making of Cointreau

Visiting Cointreau headquarters just outside of Angers in the Loire Valley was super amazing — I can still smell the beautiful orange peels as I write this!

After touring around the French countryside and eating and drinking way too much, we headed back to Paris where I was able to meet up with my Twitter friend @52Martinis for cocktails. If you’re headed to Paris in the future, be sure to check out her blog for all the best places to drink in the city.

alfred_cointreau
Alfred Countreau leads us on a tour of the distillery

Then it was back to reality and the frenzy of setting up for our Annual Holiday Extravaganza & Open House at the Food Studios. Once a year we open our doors and invite everyone to come and enjoy some sips and apps and offer our “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark, housemade preserves, and Dish D’Lish® and Liquid Kitchen™ retail items as well as candies and baked goods. Whew — we had a huge turn out and it was so great to see so many friends and end the year with a bang!

mango_chutneuy
One of the many d’lish goods we made for my annual Holiday Extravaganza

Fruitcake
“Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark

For the new year, I’ll have to pack extra warm…
because I will be heading next month to Kiev, Ukraine to help open the brand new Fairmont Grand Hotel! Make sure you follow me on Twitter (@KathyCaseyChef) where I’ll make sure to keep you all updated with fun news and tasty pics from Kiev!

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Serious Sippin’ with the Liquid Kitchen

kclk

I’m excited to announce that we’ll be filming the 3rd Season soon! I covered lots of libatious drinks during the 2ndSeason, including a Zen Garden, a Platinum Sparkle (which was also feature in Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 in which I wrote the Vodka Chapter) a Spirited Chocolate Covered Cherry Milkshake and a crowd pleasing Spiked Iced Tea Punch. Guest episodes include a spot with Tim Master of Frederick Wildman & Sons to educate us on mezcal and share his Maguey Harvest cocktail.

And if you’ve ever wondered how maraschino cherries were made — follow me on an episode that takes you from Orchard to Jar. Stay tuned to Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, for a new episode every Tuesday!

tim_kathy
Tim Master and me getting ready to make a tasty Maguey Harvest cocktail

Want to make a cocktail at home just like the pros do, but can never find the right restaurant/bar quality tools? Look no further than my Liquid Kitchen Cocktail Kit! It’s all the equipment that I use. It comes with a Liquid Kitchen logo’ed Boston tin shaker and pint glass, a channel knife, a metal two sided jigger, Hawthorn strainer and a julep strainer. All you need is the booze, ice and you’re on your way to a faboo drink!

And to help get you started with a great winter cocktail recipe, I penned this guest article for Liquor.com. I write all about winter citrus and share my recipes for a Citrus 75 and Grapefruit Negroni.

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Libatious Reads

If you’re inclined to cozy up to a good read about cocktails, read up on my good friend Jim Meehan’s new book The PDT (Please Don’t Tell) Cocktail Book. Fashioned around the famed NY bar, it’s filled with over 300 cocktail recipes and a few behind the scenes moments of his bar.

PDT

Another couple of must have cocktail books are the “new” Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide. Mixologist Jonathan Pogash updated this bar classic and added new recipes from a wide variety of other mixologists and bartenders, including my recipe for a Rosemary Clementine Sparkle.

For those of you that geek out over ingredients and like to get down to the specifics, bitters enthusiasts will love Brad Thomas Parsons’ book BITTERS and if you’ve just always wanted to know everything about vermouth then Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown’s The Mixellany Guide to Vermouth and Other Apertifs is the book for you. I got some ink in with my Tuscan Martini that has a grappa & lemon-infused dry vermouth in it.

SIP

If you’re looking for spirited news about the Pacific Northwest, then be sure to check out Sip Northwest magazine. Covering all things from new distilleries and spirits to the latest and the hottest craft cocktail bars, Sip Northwest is a new must read quarterly magazine. Make sure you check out my feature column Shake, Swizzle & Stir — this issue I shake it up with Aviation Gin and Woodinville Headlong White Dog Whiskey, and visit Liberty Bar in Seattle and Clyde Common in Portland.

Dishing with Kathy Casey – On-Air and Online

KOMO

Catch me throughout the weekend for Dishing with Kathy Casey on KOMO News Radio to hear about what’s in season, recipe tips as well as neighborhood hot spots and restaurant news. Link back to my blog Dishing with Kathy Casey for everything I dish up on the show, recipes, links and other helpful info.

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Cook Up Some Fun with Cuties Citrus!

salad
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios

Clementine Salad with Fennel, Feta and Honey Citrus Dressing
This salad is great as a starter, or as an entrée topped with grilled chicken or shrimp. When in season, a scattering of pomegranate seeds is a festive addition. Whole Cuties are blended in the dressing for a zesty twist!

Makes 4 entrée servings or 6-8 starter servings

1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed
Cuties Clementines
6 cups spring mixed greens (about 5 oz.)
Honey Citrus Dressing (recipe follows)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Finely shave fennel with a sharp knife or mandoline, and crisp in ice water for 10 minutes. Spin dry before using. Cut peel off Cuties, trim away all white pith, then cut fruit into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Set fruit aside.

Toss greens and fennel with 1/2 cup of dressing to coat nicely. Serve salad on a large platter or divide among individual plates. Top with sliced Cuties and sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with a little extra dressing if desired.

Honey Citrus Dressing
Quick and easy this dressing can be easily doubled or tripled. It’s a snap to make in a Vitamix blender.

Makes 2 cups

2 Cuties Clementines, peeled and torn into quarters
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt
2 Tbsps honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

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Where to Catch Kathy Next

Foodportunity: Monday, February 6th, 6:00pm — 9:00pm
Palace Ballroom – Seattle

Come join me for Frantic Foodie Keren Brown’s next Foodportunity event. I’ll be on a special panel alongside chef Lisa Dupar, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese’s Kurt Beecher Dammeier and CakeSpy’s Jessie Oleson. There will be lively conversation and lots of tasty bites offered by the Palace Ballroom, Rover’s and Luc, Local 360, The Coterie Room and so much more. Make sure you get your tickets soon and I hope to see you there!

Save the Date:
VIBE Conference – Las, Vegas, NV – March 13th & 14th
6th Annual Razor Clam Festival – Ocean Shores, WA – March 24th
Flavor Summit – Greystone, CA – April 19th – 21st

Cheers to a bright and flavorful 2012! — Kathy

Don’t forget to check my D’lish column with DList Magazine and my posts on Amazon’s Al Dente blog too!

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Follow on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef. Blogging: Dishing with Kathy Casey. Like on Facebook: Sips & Apps andKathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen. Watch: www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

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

Gather ‘Round – At the Kitchen Table with Chef Greg Atkinson!

Some writers have the uncanny ability to imbue their written words with their own voice. My good friend Greg Atkinson is one such writer. His words, penned or spoken, are thoughtful – measured and weighed as carefully as if he were crafting a recipe. And as the very best writers do, Greg’s words evoke powerful sense memories. His newest book, At the Kitchen Table: The Craft of Cooking at Home, is full of deeply personal stories that invite the reader to relate and connect with him. His essay on borscht calls to mind immediately my grandmother’s kitchen; I can smell the earthy beets and the simmering broth as if I were at her kitchen table awaiting a piping bowl.

Continue reading on Amazon’s Al Dente Blog.

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 18th, 2011  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Amazon, Books to Cook, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, meats, soups

It’s Mediterranean Mussel Season!

Northwest cuisine is full of iconic flavors, and mussels are an integral part of the profile. I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes to my love for these delicious bivalves, but I have a special soft spot for Puget Sound–grown Mediterranean mussels. This sweet plump variety is characterized by shiny black shells and easily removable beards. The mussels are super-quick to cook for an easy appetizer or dinner on the fly. Their season peaks in late summer to early fall—around the same time as tomatoes, says Jon Rowley, seafood guru to Taylor Shellfish.

Now, we know mussels are d’lish steamed in white wine, garlic and butter, but Mediterraneans in particular are extremely versatile. Showcase their big, bold flavor with a dish of Pale Ale Oven-Roasted Mussels. Toss them into a big cast-iron skillet with some local beer, garlic and rosemary, then pop the whole shebang in a very hot oven—instant one-bite apps with their own built-in spoons! Don’t forget some bread to soak up that tasty broth!

“Meds” are at their best right now. If you happen to be in Seattle, pick up some of these yummy Northwest favorites at Taylor Shellfish’s new store on Capitol Hill. Or plan a day trip and head out to beautiful Chuckanut Drive to their farm where they have a store on site and learn all there is to know about raising/harvesting mussels and other local treats straight from the Pacific.

Cook up some of these delicious mussels before their season is over! – Kathy

Pale Ale Oven-Roasted Mussels

Makes 4 servings as a shared appetizer, or 2 as a light entrée

2 pounds Mediterranean mussels, rinsed and debearded
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/8 to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 pieces
1/3 cup NW beer, such as a pale ale
2 Tbsp butter, cut into small chunks, or olive oil
1 large rosemary sprig (optional)

Preheat an oven to 500°F. Toss the mussels, garlic, pepper flakes, tomatoes, and minced rosemary in a large bowl. Transfer to a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet with an ovenproof handle. Squeeze the lemon pieces over the mussels, then drop the pieces into the pan. Pour the beer over the mussels and scatter with the butter. Place the rosemary sprig in the center.

Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mussels are all open. Remove from the oven, and stir gently with a large spoon. Discard any mussels that do not open. Serve in the skillet, set on a hot pad or trivet—being sure to wrap the skillet handle with a cloth napkin or pot holder.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 29th, 2011  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, KOMO Radio, Recipes, appetizers, seafood

Get Bitter!

From their long and storied history as snake oils and Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All
medical panacea to their modern-day indispensability  behind the bar of any good cocktail program, bitters have been there through the cocktail’s rise in popularity, fall during Prohibition and re-emergence as a key part of today’s thoughtfully-crafted cocktail. Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All by accomplished author Brad Thomas Parsons ushers the reader through the ups and downs of this flavorful favorite. This ultimate guide to the emerging, versatile world of bitters as a cocktail staple is sure to be an enduring resource for bartenders for years to come.

Continue reading on Amazon’s Al Dente Blog.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 27th, 2011  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Amazon, Books to Cook, Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Summer Newsletter

I’m shaking it up again — Season 2 of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen
I am so excited to have just completed shooting the second season of my cocktail show Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen with Small Screen Network! Keep your eye out for these tasty cocktail episodes, which air every Tuesday!

Envy

A sneak peek at my Envy cocktail!

If you’ve seen my recent tweets then you saw some of the inside scoop while in mid-filming. This season is full of great cocktail recipes from inspired classics to fun & inventive cocktails, including a DIY raspberry syrup that I use in a Clover Thyme Club as well as a Whole Fruit Strawberry Daiquiri and a Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Spirited Milkshake! To kick-off the first season, I invited world-renowned mixologist Charlotte Voisey to show us how to make her Port of Mischief Punch. Special episodes also include a fun trip to Eastern Washington and Oregon where I demystify the maraschino cherry and take you on a tour of how they’re made from orchard to jar. I hope you will tune in weekly for some Liquid Kitchen inspiration. Cheers!

Imbibing Books!
If you’re a cocktail enthusiast, then check out these must-have new books! Food & Wine just published their Food & Wine: Cocktails 2011 and is available now. I penned the vodka chapter which is loaded with recipes from myself as well as guest mixologists Anu Apte from the Seattle’s Rob Roy and H. Joseph Ehrmann of San Francisco’s Elixir.  Some of my faves for summer include my Tea’Thyme and Pineapple Pico cocktails.

Food_Wine

Spirit Industry icon Gary Regan recently published his Annual Manual for Bartenders, 2011. After careful research and testing, “Gaz” picked his top 101 mixologists recipes!  It’s an amazing book for any mixologist or budding bartender – I’m honored to have my Bollywood cocktail recipe included. If you love cocktails, make sure to sign up for Gaz’s Ardent Spirit newsletter – it’s one of my faves!

Annual_Manual

More Cocktails at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic
In May, I traveled to New York and imbibed with some of the best mixologists, bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic! Along with famed mixologists Charlotte Voisey and Jamie Boudreau, we led an informative and interesting seminar called “Three Mixologists, Three Cocktails, Three Ways or Cocktail Menage a Trois!” We each took three classic cocktails and put our special spin to them. You can see a video of our demonstrations on Small Screen Network.

IACP—International Association of  Culinary Professionals
This past June my Culinary Associate Heather Jones and I  traveled south to Austin, Texas for this annual conference. This is a worldwide industry event inviting culinary experts from all areas (chefs, restaurateurs, photographers, etc.) to come together, attend seminars and dish out tasty offerings. This year I led a specialty seminar called “Better to be Bitter.” People loved the hands-on a tasting and learning just what bitters are as well as how to use them… it really is better to be bitter!

The IACP cookbook awards are always a must attend event. I am so excited for chef pal Lisa Dupar whose cookbook Fried Chicken & Champagne won Best First Book – a great honor! Congrats Lisa!

After a week of seminars by legends like Shirley Corriher (making her famous lighter-than-air biscuits and teaching us all about baking science) to some fine Texas cuisine demos by luminary Chef Stephan Pyles, it was time to check out Austin’s food trailers (trucks) with chef gal friends Danielle Custer and Lisa Dupar.

Armadillo

My new friend, a Texas Armadillo!

Lisa_Danielle

Lisa Dupar and Danielle Custer checking out the East Side King Food during our Austin food trailer foray!

Local_Yolk

The Local Yolk food trailer … so cute!

The temperature was HOT for these NW gals … but we trekked on to taste quite a few of the city’s best street grub.

Gourdough’s was my fave — and the naughtiest! Giant doughnuts topped with crazy and oh-so-tasty things! Funky Monkey: grilled bananas and cream cheese icing. Porkey’s: Canadian bacon, cream cheese & jalapeño jelly. Mother Clucker: fried chicken and honey butter. Yes, quite a gut bomb, but oh-so-good!

Gourdough

Gourdough’s BIG FAT DONUTS!

Other food venders ranged from Korean barbecue to fish and chips with curry sauce to killer Texas-style BBQ. I’m full just thinking about it!

Tales of the Cocktail
Tales of the Cocktail is probably the biggest of the cocktail events this year. Every July, mixologists, spirit producers and enthusiasts from all over the world convene for a week of amazing parties, liquor tastings, spirited dinners and seminars. This year I did a seminar with internationally renowned Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim on H2O Cocktails. We discussed the how’s and why’s of water–based cocktails using flavor–infused waters with complex–character vodka. Master Distiller Thomas Kuuttanen from Purity Vodka joined us to answer all those geeky questions that we couldn’t. TOTC is open to the public so you don’t need to be a pro to party with the professionals. Stay tuned for my next newsletter to hear all the imbibing details. In the meantime, check out an episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen to see how to make a Purity Watermelon Habanero H2O Cocktail — so perfect for summer sippin’!

Tales

On-Air with Kathy Casey! Dishing with Kathy Casey on KOMO New Radio
I’m excited to announce that you can catch me on Seattle’s KOMO News Radio AM 1000/97.7 FM! Art Sanders will be Dishing it up with me every weekend. I’ll cover what’s hot in Seattle from seasonal treats (cherry mojitos, anyone?), new restaurants and festivals (check out this lavender lemon soda) to entertaining at home. Catch me throughout the day and evening every weekend on KOMO!

KOMO

Buzzin’ Around Town
As the summer months take over, I’m happy to announce that my bees are back with the addition of another hive! That’s right, I have two hives now! The bees love zooming around our urban garden and deliciously feed off the wild fennel blossoms and blooming edibles.  I can’t wait to taste this year’s batch of yummy honey. You too can have a taste for yourself and order yourself a jar of my special Liquid Kitchen 5130 Honey!

Don’t forget to check my column D’lish with DList Magazine, my posts on Amazon’s Al Dente blog and keep your eye out for my upcoming column in in the new Sip Northwest Magazine, where I’ll be covering the newest NW Spirits and Bars!

I’ll be headed out California soon for the Flavor Experience then off to Canada for the Canadian Club Whiskey distillery tour! Stay tuned with my tasty tweets.

Wishing you a wonderful and d’licious summer! – Kathy

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Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@KathyCaseyChef), Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog or find Sips & Apps on Facebook for all my tasty travel tidbits.

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

Lovely Lavender!

Lavender has been used in the culinary world for centuries and is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, with today’s creative chefs looking to this member of the mint family to spice up cocktails and savory dishes as well as add delicate elegance to sweeter offerings. You can dress up a summery pitcher of lemonade with lavender simple syrup – one part water, one part sugar and fresh lavender flowers brought to a boil and cooled. Pretty lavender flowers are also fantastic to freeze into ice cubes. Or how about making a super easy lavender sugar – deliciously sprinkled on fresh fruits or as an elegant gift dressed up in a jar. Just toss lavender flowers in sugar, let it dry out, then process in a CuisinArt! Don’t forget – lavender is a favorite for busy bees… plant some in a pot and help out our native pollinators!

If you love lavender as much as I do, be sure to check out The 15th Annual Sequim Lavender Festival, happening Friday, July 15th through Sunday, July 17th. Vendors will be serving up lots of lavender inspired eats such as crab cocktail with lavender spiked salsa, lavender wine, Little O’s Mini Donuts sprinkled with Lavender Sugar, lavender dessert crepes, hand-crafted funnel cakes with lavender infused honey and cream and  lavender cotton candy! There will be a street fair as well as lovely walking tours of seven different lavender farms! Sounds sweet to me!

There’s  so much you can do with this fragrant flower.  Have fun experimenting and I hope you will try out the recipes below for Lavender Lemon Soda from lavender queen Kathy Ghert and my recipe for Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender Infused Honey Syrup! –Kathy

Lavender_lemonade

Photo by Brian Smale, from Discover Cooking with Lavender

Lavender Lemon Soda
This recipe is from Kathy Gehrt’s book, Discover Cooking With Lavender, it’s great to make for a crowd and is excellent with a splash of vodka or gin for those that imbibe.

Makes 4-6 Servings

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp fresh lavender flowers

1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
25.3 fluid ounces sparkling mineral water
Ice cubes

Combine water, sugar and lavender in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over gentle heat. Remove pan from stove and let mixture steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain out flowers and chill the syrup until you are ready to use it.

Combine lavender syrup with lemon juice and pour 1/2 cup of this liquid into an ice-filled glass. Fill the glass with sparkling mineral water and stir. Serve immediately.

© Kathy Gehrt, Discover Cooking with Lavender, Florentia Press

Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup
A great way to use up that lavender from the big plant in your yard. This syrup is easy to make and is just the thing to give fresh fruit a special touch, Make extra lavender infused honey syrup to give as pretty gifts. Seal in small bottles and tie a fresh lavender flower to each bottle.

Makes about 6 servings

Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup
1/2 cup high-quality honey, preferably local
1/2 cup water
8 fresh lavender flowers, unsprayed, and rinsed (or use 1 tablespoon dried)

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About 4 cups assorted fresh, ripe stone fruits, prepared as follows before measuring:
Peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into wedge
Large apricots, pitted and cut into wedges
Plums, pitted and cut into wedges
Nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges
Dark or light sweet cherries, pitted

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh lavender flowers for garnish, optional

To make the Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup: In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the honey, water, and lavender flowers. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, being careful that the mixture does not foam up. Simmer slowly for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is like thin pancake syrup. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Strain into a glass jar, cover, and reserve. The syrup will keep, covered, at room temperature for 2 weeks.

To assemble and serve: In a large bowl, toss the fruit first with the lemon juice, then with the Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup. Serve in pretty glasses or fruit dishes, garnished with fresh lavender flowers if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 8th, 2011  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks, dessert

Stumped About Seafood?

Good_Fish_Cookbook Northwest chef Becky Selengut knows a thing or two about fish and in her new book GOOD FISH, she shares some of that wisdom with more than a little light-hearted humor and lots of insightful anecdotes. Selengut cares as much about the delicately balanced flavors in her recipes as she does about the denizens of the deep and being a thoughtful steward of them and their home. Addressing everything from seasonality, raising and harvesting methods to buying tips and questions buyers should ask their seafood seller, Selengut is handing the home cook the ultimate guide to sustainable seafood cooking.

Continue reading on Amazon’s Al Dente Blog.

Posted by Kathy Casey on June 30th, 2011  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Amazon, Books to Cook, seafood
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