Edible Flowers: A Tasty Garden Adventure!

Food and flowers are wonderful side-by-side, but also can mix together. I was recently introduced to BloomNation (the online flower delivery company- connecting customers with area local florists) and reminded of how flowers on the table not only sets the tone for a meal, but many flowers you love are also be part of the meal.

From tiny cute Johnny Jump Up’s and frilly dianthus or carnations to lovely robin blue borage flowers – there is a world of tasty, beautiful, edible flowers awaiting you in the garden!

You can add edible flowers to salads, or to top a dish or cocktail. Freezing edible flowers into ice cubes will definitely snazz up your favorite cocktail.

Flower Cubes

I love them in my recipe for Sparkling Lemon Gin Punch.
St Germain liquor elderflower liquor is added for a lovely floral note.

Flower Cubes 2

Here is a quick Overview of how to make Floral Ice Cubes:
1. Pour distilled water into a large square silicone ice mold 1/4 full and freeze for 2 hours

Cube Tray

2. Place edible flowers into ice molds, drizzle with a little water, and return to freezer for 15 -20 minutes

Flowers in Tray

3. Fill the ice molds up to completely cover flowers in water and return to freezer and freeze overnight

Frozen Flowers

Move on to eating flowers: some of our favorite veggies and greens have tasty blossoms as well. For instance arugula blossoms are beautiful small flowers with a peppery flavor much like the leaves! For larger flowers I like to pull off the flower petals before adding to a dish.

Edible flower petals are fabulous to roll things in. For an amazing appetizer idea mix soft goat cheese with roasted garlic and some fresh herbs then form into a log in plastic wrap. Pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until very firm, then unwrap and roll in edible flower petals. Present on a cheese board or slice into beautiful rounds and serve on crostini – yum!

For a beautiful brunch dish top your favorite French toast or pancakes with Flower Petal Berry-Butter – it’s a show stopper! The butter is whipped with raspberry jam, sour cream and powdered sugar then rolled into a log. Chilled then pressed with edible flower petals. Just slice and serve.

Edible flowers are available at farmers markets and also right from you yard! But please remember not all flowers are edible, so double-check before you go into your yard and start munching away—also be sure they are pesticide-free. -Kathy

Sparkling Lemon Gin Punch
A delicious and sophisticated punch for any grand get together. For the ultimate presentation, serve over large format ice cubes studded with edible flower petals made in square silicone ice molds.
Makes about 11 1/2 cups, serves 16 – 18

1 cup clover or wildflower honey
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed Sunkist Meyer Lemon juice or
3 cups gin (1 750 ml bottle)
1 cup elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain
1 bottle (750 ml) brut Champagne or Prosecco
Garnish: Sunkist Lemon peel twists

In a large pitcher, combine the honey and warm water; stir until well dissolved. Then add the lemon juice, gin and elderflower liqueur. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for service up to 3 days in advance). When ready to serve, pour the chilled mixture into a punch bowl or large drink pitcher (You could split it between 2 pitchers and add half a bottle of champagne to each.) Serve over ice and garnish with lemon twists.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® for Sunkist

Flower Petal Berry-Butter
Borage, Johnny-jump-ups, calendula and rose petals make a pretty combination for this recipe.

Makes 3/4 cup (6 oz. wt.)

1/4 pound lightly salted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbsps. seedless berry jam
2 Tbsps. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. sifted powdered sugar
Dash of ground cinnamon
3 Tbsps. lightly chopped, unsprayed edible, mild flavored, flower petals

Whip all the ingredients except flower petals in a blender, food processor or mixer until well blended. Fold in the flower petals. (Or I like to roll the butter into a log in plastic wrap then chill a bit then roll into the flower petals to coat. Wrap and chill – then slice for serving!)

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® –

Posted by Kathy on September 11th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

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!

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


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).


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 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® –

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® –

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

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.

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.


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

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

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.


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.


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.


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).


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® –

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 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.


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

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