Lifestyle

Quick Pickles and Amazing Flavors

Who doesn’t love homemade pickles? But sometimes the idea of making them seems daunting. Quick pickle recipes to the rescue – easy to make and store refrigerated! This method is perfect for home pickling beginners.

My recipe for Quick Summer Garden Pickles is fast and easy. Clean quart jars, then pack with a mixture of vegetables (think baby cukes, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower), garlic, chili pods and some fresh flowering dill too if you have it. Boil up a sweet and tart brine and quickly pour into the veggie-packed jars. Quickly screw on the lid, and cool to room temperature for about 45 minutes, then pop into the refrigerator! In just two days, you’ll have delicious pickles to bring to a picnic or enjoy at a backyard BBQ.

And pickling isn’t just for veggies. For something a little different, try one of my favorites, Blushing Pickled Peaches! Peaches, fresh ginger, and garlic are covered with a brine of red wine, white vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds and crushed red pepper. They will keep for a month in the refrigerator. Perfectly d’lish to serve up with your favorite cheeses or grilled meats!

Preserves
Who’s ready for tangy Blushing Pickled Peaches?

Here’s to quick pickles! –Kathy

Blushing Pickled Peaches
Be sure to use a freestone variety of peach for this recipe such as Elberta or Hale. Great with grilled ham, steaks and poultry, and especially fantastic with thinly sliced prosciutto, crusty French bread and a glass of Northwest Pinot Gris.

Makes 1 quart

5 – 6 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered, about 2 – 2 1/4 lbs.
2 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into 1/4-inch slices (2 oz wt.)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt or uniodized salt
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredients

Tightly pack the peach halves, alternating with the ginger and garlic, into 2 clean 1/2-quart jars. (or you can do one 1-quart jar).

Layering

Meanwhile, in a small, non-reactive saucepan bring the remaining ingredients to a quick boil over high heat. Immediately remove from heat and ladle over the peaches, making sure to cover them and transferring all the spices to the peaches.

Brine

Brine 2Finished

Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Immediately after cooling, refrigerate peaches. Chill the pickled peaches for 2 – 3 days before using them. They’ll keep 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

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

Quick Summer Garden Pickles
Makes 4 quarts

Vegetable Mixture:
7 cups (about 2 lb.) 3/4″-sliced pickling cucumbers
2 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″-thick-slant-cut carrots
2 medium jalapeño peppers, cut in half, or 1 large, quartered
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks yellow or white onion
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks red onion
2 cups (8 oz wt) 1″ chunks red bell peppers (substitute some hot peppers or some of your other favorite summer peppers if desired)
2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″- to 3/4″-sliced yellow zucchini or yellow squash

Pickling Brine:
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. pickling spice
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss together to mix colors. Divide vegetables among four clean, regular mouth 1-quart canning jars, packing vegetables in tight. Set jars on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and then immediately ladle pickling brine into filled jars, filling to 1/2″ from the top and being sure to cover the vegetables and distribute spices evenly. Immediately cover jar with lid and tighten. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least 2 days before eating. Pickles will last refrigerated up to 1 month.

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

Posted by Kathy on August 14th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

KUOW – 94.9 FM

Seattle’s KUOW – 94.9 FM is airing segments on farmers markets. Check out this segment on the Ballard Farmers Market and my tips on how to pick fresh peaches, including my Honey Lavender Peach Fizz recipe!

And for a demo on how to make Fresh Peach Puree, check out www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

Posted by Kathy on August 11th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Fruit, Lifestyle, Press, Recent Posts, Recipes, videos

Celebrate Summer Peaches

It’s that time of summer when juicy stone fruits come to market: nectarines, plums, apricots and my favorite, PEACHES!

But isn’t it a bummer when you get a peach and it’s not bursting with that sweet flavor you remember? Well, peach evangelist Jon Rowley has worked to fix that.

Peaches
Jon says that when you cut the peach and its super shiny
that will mean that its gonna be sweet!

Every year he collaborates with Pence Orchards in Wapato and the organic Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood, California for Peach-O-Rama, celebrated at Met Markets.

Peach-o-rama

Each of these peaches must meet a minimum of 13 Brix (that is the measure of the % of sugar in the peach).

So what to do with all these juicy peaches? Well, eating peaches out of hand is amazingly delicious, but I also love them sliced and tossed in an arugula salad dotted with goat cheese and a sprinkle of toasted northwest hazelnuts.

And if you love sweetness, there is nothing better than a delicious homemade peach pie. And one of my favorites is with stone fruits: peaches, cherries and apricots. But you can make it with all peaches, too!

The recipe incorporates my favorite fruit pie tip: put down a thin rolled out layer of almond paste on the bottom crust before filling the pie it adds a delicious flavor and keeps the crust from getting soggy.

So here’s to the juicy peach! –Kathy

Pie Holes
Peaches combine with other Stone Fruits in this delicious pie!

Summer Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Paste & Amaretto Cream
You can use all peaches in the pie if you like or a variety of other stone fruits to mix in with the peaches.

Makes 19-inch pie

Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
6 Tbsp. shortening or lard
6 Tbsp. cold butter
2 to 3 Tbsp. ice water

Filling
1/4 cup (2 ounces) marzipan (almond paste)
3 cups pitted, 1/4-inch-sliced peaches, peeled
1 cup pitted cherries, (I like to use tart cherries if you can find them, you can also use frozen ones without sugar)
2 cups pitted, 1/4-inch sliced apricots
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. flour

Egg Wash Glaze
1 egg
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. coarse sanding sugar (or substitute granulated sugar), optional

Amaretto Cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. amaretto

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and nutmeg. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing gently with a fork until dough comes together in a ball.

Dough

Divide into 2 even pieces. Do not over handle the dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before rolling.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first piece of dough to a bit bigger than your 9-inch pie pan. Brush excess flour off crust, and then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges. Roll out the remaining piece of dough to fit top of pan, but slightly bigger. Cover with plastic and move on to making the filling.

Crust

To fill the pie: Roll marzipan into a ball, then press out into a disk on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll out to fit the bottom crust, place it in the freezer if it’s too soft.

Flattened

Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, then turn it into the curst using plastic wrap as a guide, fit marzipan into the bottom crust. (Remove the plastic wrap).

Covered

Place the peaches, cherries and apricots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together sugars and flour, and then sprinkle over the fruit. Toss to coat the fruit well. Place fruit filling into lined pie pan.

Place remaining dough round on top of pie, trimming off any excess dough. Then crimp bottom and top crusts together with your fingers to seal well and make a pretty edge.

Mix together egg and milk, and lightly brush on top with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Make several slits in the top (or cut fun shapes) to allow steam to escape. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until crust is golden and filling is cooked through and bubbling. Cool pie on a rack.

To make Almond Cream: When ready to serve, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients and whip until stiff. Serve dolloped on pieces of pie.

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

Posted by Kathy on August 7th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, events, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes

Cheers Magazine

Cheers Magazine shared some of the #SippingSocial beverage trends that I’ve seen posted on social media and that I presented at this year’s NRA conference’s BAR event. Check out www.LiquidKitchen.com for a link to my presentation and don’t forget to tag #SippingSocial for all the cool drink ideas that you see.

Posted by Kathy on June 26th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Conferences, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

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  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, Snacks, videos

Fresh Herbs Anytime You Want!

If you have even a tiny strip of garden space, planters or pots, you can grow your own fresh herbs. Having a “green thumb” is not required.

The most popular and easy herbs to grow, in my experience, are rosemary, thyme, and of course mint. All of which will wow you with how quickly they will fill your garden! But be careful with mint – it can easily take over.

However, it’s not only these common herbs that flourish in the northwest! Some of my favorite plants are the unusual varieties such as; lemon verbena, pineapple sage, lemongrass, lemon balm and then all the cool varieties of sage and thyme- I could keep going on and on!

Now what to do with your bounty once you harvest? Of course add them fresh to all your favorite dishes! But you can also try drying some herbs. Think thyme, sage, oregano, dill, marjoram and rosemary. Tie them in bundles and hang them for a week or so in a cool dry spot.

When totally dry, crumble and put into jars. Or you can chop fresh herbs, lay out on a sheet pan in the freezer for a quick freeze — then store frozen in little zip lock bags. Take out and add a pinch to any of your favorite dishes later in the year.

And herbs are fun for infusing spirits too. I love lemon verbena-infused gin or vodka in summer cocktails. Place 2 cups of vodka or gin in a mason jar, add 4-6 lemon verbena leaves. Cover and shake. Let sit for about 5 days then remove and discard the verbena. Mix in your favorite cocktails or just enjoy with a splash of soda.

Herbs

Visit your farmers market or garden center early to get the more unique varieties to plant. And then enjoy an herb-alicious summer! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 21st, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

New Day Northwest

I had a great time on New Day Northwest‘s set talking about MOHAI’s latest exhibit, shaking up some Prohibition-style cocktails, and my upcoming lecture Women of Temperance and Tenacity on Thursday, May 28th. For the Clover Club and Old Fashioned cocktail recipes, make sure to visit www.LiquidKitchen.com.

Posted by Kathy on May 7th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle

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.

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