Lifestyle

Holiday Gift Ideas

The holidays are right around the corner! And I have a few d’lish ideas for your favorite foodie. Try making a local themed basket filled with handcrafted NW goods!

First a Sweet Basket: local chocolate bars, honey, salted caramel and unique preserves, and cute little spoons to serve them up with. Don’t forget to tuck in one of my “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark – bourbon-soaked fruits and toasted nuts bound in a spice batter and topped with a brown sugar-bourbon glaze – yowza!

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A great basket or stocking stuffer – my “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark!
Available for purchase online or bought at the Food Studios (Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM)

Next a Savory basket: local cheeses, cool pickles from the market, herbed flat bread, and dried fruits, add some fun cheese identification markers and a cool little wooden cutting board and it’ll be a hit!

For a Boozy Basket: package up a bottle of local spirit like one of our Washington herbaceous gins or Glass Honey Vodka (one of my faves), tuck in a couple of cool cocktail glasses, and a bottle of unique local bitters.

For more inspiration, make sure to check out KnackShops.com a local based custom gift side for even more creative basket ideas.

Don’t fret – get creative! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy on December 1st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Back for the Holidays: “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes

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It’s been over 10 years now that we have been baking up our signature “Over 21” Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark! Garnering cult like status these delicious beauties are chock full of Maker’s Mark-soaked dried fruits, including apricots, cranberries, tart cherries and golden raisins as well as lots of tasty toasted nuts from hazelnuts to rich pecans – all bound with our signature spiced batter. Baked until golden then brushed hot out of the oven with a Maker’s Mark brown sugar glaze.

“This is not your grandmother’s fruitcake, and is sure to convert any fruitcake naysayers. With all that delicious bourbon, fruit and nuts in it, this fruit cake certainly won’t end up re-gifted! Some loyal fans have said they ate the whole thing themselves,” commented Kathy Casey, “I personally love to toast a slice for Christmas morning breakfast.”

Quantities are limited and sell out fast. So here’s how to order or pick-up:

  • -Starting November 28th Real Fruit Cakes can be picked up at Kathy Casey Food Studios, located in Ballard – Monday thru Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm (call 206-784-7840 to check on availability).

    -Order from our website starting November 28th while supplies last.

    -Priced at $11.95 this holiday season.

Kathy Casey Food Studios is located at 5130 Ballard Ave. NW and is open Monday through Friday
from 9 AM to 5 PM. (We suggest calling ahead to be sure that cakes are available).

For more information, contact: call (206) 784-7840, email dishing@kathycasey.com or check out our website www.kathycasey.com.

Posted by Kathy on November 11th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, Kathy Casey, Lifestyle, Press, Recent Posts, Snacks

Falling for Chili

When the days grow shorter and the weather begins to cool off, I start thinking about making some chili. It’s a protein-packed, warm and filling dish – especially good for those weekend game days. The key to a good chili is in the spices and sautéing your chili spices ahead of time really helps bring out the flavors.

simplyrecipes-chili
This Yummy Chili Photo is from SimplyRecipes.

October is also National Chili Month (who knew?) and as you can imagine, there are a ton of chili recipes out there to choose from because it is a great base to add a signature spin or secret ingredient. From white bean and chicken, to a 4 bean bonanza, some with meat, some without, mild spiced or smokin’ hot, the sky is the limit.

I love making batches of my Stadium Apple Chili during this time of year. It starts with chunks of tender pork, lots of spices, onions, a bottle of NW brew, tomatoes and kidney beans. I then add in a chopped apple for a touch of sweetness and let that slowly simmer on the stovetop or in a crockpot until it is ready to serve. I am always sure to make a lot because YOU KNOW it’s always better the next day.

You can definitely serve it with lots of tasty toppings too. My top choices are always sour cream, grated Northwest cheeses like Tillamook Cheddar, crisp white onions, and spicy jalapeños. I also like to crush up corn chips to add some crunch too!

So don’t let the chilly weather get you down – warm up with some chili! –Kathy

Stadium Apple Chili

Fuji apples are incredible. Not only do they have a wonderfully clean, sweet flavor, but their cooked texture is amazingly firm. A great shape-holder! You’ll be a true Fuji fan when you try this recipe!

Makes 7 cups.

2 Fuji apples or other firm cooking apple
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz wt. (1/2 lb) coarse ground beef (chili grind)
4 oz wt. (1/4 lb) hot pork sausage
12 oz wt. boneless pork butt, cut in 3/4″ – 1″ cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dry whole oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup beer
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in puree
2 cans (15 oz ea.) pinto beans, drained
1 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste

Chili Toppers
grated apple
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream
thinly sliced green onion

Peel, core and dice the apples into 1/2″ cubes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add the meats, stir occasionally and cook till meats are browned and no juice remains.

Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder and spices. Stir in well, and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to scorch chili powder.

Add beef broth, beer and tomatoes. Combine well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Add apples and beans and return to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until meat and apples are tender. Season with salt to taste.

(Note: If chili gets too thick, add water as needed during cooking.)

Serve with Chili Toppers of your choice.

Vegetarian option: Substitute 1 pound peeled, 1″ cubed winter squash (such as Hubbard or pumpkin) for meats and an apple juice and vegetable broth mixture for beef broth.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on October 21st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, meats, pork, Recent Posts, Recipes, soups

Carrot Craze

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Burbee.com Carrot Varieties 
 

Who would have thought that carrots would be the next “it” veggie?

Nowadays, the quintessential orange carrot we have come to love has close competition with some unexpectedly colorful varieties. Typically found at your local farmer’s market, these beautiful heirlooms come in wonderful shades of purple, ruby, yellow and white.

 

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Harissa Roasted Carrots
 

I like to pick-up a bundle of fresh heirloom carrots, rub them with some olive oil and flavorful seasoning like Duqqa; an aromatic Egyptian mixture of toasted nuts and seeds like hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin, or Harissa then roast them in a hot oven and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a scattering of fresh cilantro. The roasting brings out the sweetness and the spices really compliment the carrot flavor. Oh and don’t be afraid to char the carrots a little – they can handle it – yum!

Of course we all enjoy carrots as the perfect snack too, sweet and satisfyingly crunchy – they are filled with antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, minerals, fiber and so much more yet are still a low calorie treat. For a great appetizer, try roasting and pureeing carrots with garlic and lemon for a simple carrot hummus or blending them into a gingery salad dressing!

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Honey Mint Carrot Collins
The fresh pressed carrot juice makes the color of this cocktail amazing!
 

Besides baking into a sweet carrot cake, or roasting with warm spices, I also love drinking carrot juice too! Because of their bright color and sweet flavor, I love adding fresh carrot juice to citrusy drinks like lemon – or limeades, sparkling water, and of course, cocktails.

Whether you are roasting, baking, juicing, or snacking – carrots are one veggie that won’t ever let you down. – Kathy

 

Harissa Roasted Carrots

Serves 4

12 heirloom carrots peeled and split in half, leaving about an inch of stem.
3 – 4 Tbsp Moroccan Harissa Paste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil plus more for drizzling
6 – 8 oz of Greek Yogurt
Finishing Salt to taste

 

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Combine the Harissa paste with the olive oil in a small bowl and mix together until well combined. Toss the carrots in the harissa mixture until nicely coated then add to a roasting pan, being sure carrots are evenly separated and not overlapping. Roast the carrots for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender and have a nice char to your liking.

Once you are ready to serve, plate the carrots and dollop with Greek yogurt. I like serving this with warm couscous, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of finishing salt.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

Honey Mint Carrot Collins

Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce Honey Mint Syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce fresh pressed carrot juice
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
————————————
1 ounce chilled Perrier
Garnish: Fresh Origins Micro Carrot and Micro Mint

Measure gin, Honey Mint Syrup and juices into a mixing glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake vigorously. Pour drink into a Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish.

Honey Mint Syrup
Makes about 10 ounces
8 sprigs fresh mint
3/4 cup clover honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while siring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 45 minutes. Strain and store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Kathy on October 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, vegetables

Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant

Most people have had hand at cooking spaghetti squash, and there are a lot of ways to prepare this tasty vegetable.

This winter squash starts getting popular at the farmers market and grocery store in early fall. The cooked stringy flesh is delicious, but there are a few cooking tricks to know.

(Photo from Elizabeth Norris’ blog)

Cut the squash in half length-wise. Make sure to use a good knife and a little muscle – this is a sturdy squash! Once you have the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp the same way you would with any other winter squash.

Turn the halves cut-side down in a baking dish. Add a little water and roast in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when a fork slides in and out of the flesh easily. If you’re in a hurry you can quick cook it the same way in the microwave in a glass dish – just blast on high until fork tender.

Now to get those noodle-like strands out of the shell. Turn the squash up and gently scrape the flesh with a fork along the grain and loosen it up. Then scoop the squash into a bowl and finish how you like.

It’s a great low-calorie and gluten-free option to traditional pasta for topping with marinara. Or toss it with maple syrup or honey, a little butter or olive oil, some minced fresh herbs and some sea salt for a great side dish to any entrée. –Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 29th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Huckleberries – A taste of Late Summer

It’s time to talk about huckleberries. This native Pacific Northwest berry is delicious in drinks, desserts, incorporated into dinners, or straight off the bush!

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Photo from The Daily Apple

There are lots of places you can pick huckleberries and often you can get some great hiking in, too. Find a trail in the mountains that takes you roughly above 2,000 feet; huckleberries grow fine at sea-level, but really go wild in higher elevations. Look for bushes in meadows or along lakes. The Washington Trails Association has a great list of “huckleberry hikes.”

Just remember these 2 key pointers:

  1. Lots of berries grow in our neck of the woods, and not all of them are edible. Make sure to take a guidebook along to make sure you’re picking the right ones.
  2. Keep your eyes open for roaming animals. Our wildlife loves huckleberries as much as we do; you might even spot a bear so be careful!

And they’re not just for pie although I love them studded into an apple pie like in my Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust.

One of my favorites is a savory Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce. Or how about roasted with slices of sweet potato – yum!

These wild fall berries are delicious in almost anything! –Kathy

Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Crust
2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp round nutmeg
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
12 Tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
6 Tbsps ice water

Filling
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbsps flour
2 Tbsps cornstarch
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced, peeled and cored apples (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup fresh wild huckleberries
milk and sugar for topping (optional)

To make the crust:In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and graham cracker crumbs and mix evenly. Cut in butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into 2 disks and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces and press gently into disks. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, cornstarch, apples and huckleberries. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into 2 rounds, each about 12 inches in diameter. Brush excess flour from one crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit bottom crust into pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2″.

Mound the fruit mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Brush edges of bottom crust lightly with water and then cover pie with top crust. Trim top crust overhang to 1 inch, then fold overhanging top-crust dough under edge of bottom crust overhang and tuck excess dough under, even with edge of pan. Seal and flute edges with fingertips to make a pretty crimp. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top, brush top crust lightly with milk then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more, or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce
Makes 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp clarified butter or olive oil plus more if needed
1 shallot, minced
2 large fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup port
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup crumbled Oregon blue cheese or other full-flavored blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh wild huckleberries

Garnishes:
fresh sage leaves
crumbled blue cheese
fresh wild huckleberries

Read through the entire recipe before beginning, and have all ingredients ready within reach of the range.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken liberally on each side with salt and pepper. (If chicken breasts are really large, then lightly pound out a bit between sheets of plastic wrap.)

In a large, heavy, ovenproof nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over high heat until hot. Sear the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the chicken for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until juices run clear. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

Place the chicken-cooking pan over high heat and add the shallot and sage leaves to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in the port and mustard and scrape up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan to get all that good flavor into the sauce. Continuing cooking on high heat to reduce the port to 1/4 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream, and reduce until saucy and almost glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the cheese and whisk in for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove the sauce from heat and stir in the huckleberries.

Discard the sage leaves. Whisk in any accumulated juices from the resting chicken breasts, taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, plate the chicken breasts on dinner plates and drizzle with the sauce, dividing evenly. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and a sprinkling of cheese and huckleberries.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 21st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes

Chia Seeds

Cha-cha-cha-CHIA! Yes, that’s what we think of when we say chia. Those funny terra cotta heads sprouting green hair… until now! Chia seeds are everywhere these days and sweeping the nation as an up-and-coming nutritional ingredient and super food.

Chock full of fiber and omega-3’s, these little seeds can be added to juices, baked into muffins or even toasted and sprinkled on your salad. Soaked in liquid they get a gel-like coating. Endurance athletes love them in beverages for their super hydrating power.

I have also used them plumped then blended in a low fat dressing – they work as a natural thickener so you can use less oil, and who doesn’t love that?

My current favorite is to make a breakfast chia pudding! Assemble the night before with chia seeds, gluten-free oats, coconut milk, and a touch of honey. Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator while the plumping begins. The next morning, you can top it with fresh fruits – yum!

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I love this photo and the recipes from Wellness Mama – She has a great blog on Chia!

And there are a ton of cool chia dessert puddings recipes online too. So try something new and get your cha-cha-cha-chia on! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on September 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Cider Sipping

It was not long ago that ciders were far and few between, but now, ciders are popping up everywhere across the country. From dry, tiny bubble-style (like a fine French Champagne) to spiced, and fruit-forward (think pear or raspberry, and even chai). There’s something for everyone’s taste.


A Rhuby Rum Cider Cocktail featuring dark rum,
grapefruit and pomegranate juices, and chai cider!
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Cider is also fantastic as a mixer for cocktails too! Cider cocktails are a growing trend in bars and restaurants, and I have had so much fun creating new cider twists. For instance, have you ever had a mojito with a splash of crisp dry cider instead of the usual soda water? Or how about a whiskey sour topped with a blackberry cider.

Ciders are just the thing for sunny weather sipping. Friends and family gather for picnics, and patio parties – all of which call for cocktails batched for a crowd. One of my favorites is sangria, like in my Pear & Blackberry Sangria! It is so delicious to make this time of year with all the great fruit that is coming to their peak. Grab a local cider at the farmers market, add in a little light rum, and then sliced seasonal fruits. If it needs a bit of sweetness add a touch of local honey. Let it sit overnight to infuse in the refrigerator, then fill up a big pitcher and bring it out on the deck for leisurely sipping in style!

Cheers to summer with some sunny ciders. And for more inspired sipping, make sure to check out my Spiked column in CIDERCRAFT Magazine! –Kathy

Pear & Blackberry Sangria
Blackberries can be switched out for raspberries or strawberries depending upon what’s peak of season at your local market.

Makes about 4-6 servings

1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup blackberries
—————————
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp. blackberry honey
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. brandy or cognac
—————————
1 (22 oz) bottles Crispin Natural Hard Pear Cider Lion Belge
Garnish: fresh blackberries and sliced pear

In a blender cup combine the water, lemon juice and blackberries. Process until smooth. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. Add the honey, orange juice and brandy and stir until honey is dissolved. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

When ready to serve combine the blackberry mixture with the chilled cider in a large container. Add the berries and pear. Serve over ice

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® – www.LiquidKitchen.com

Posted by Kathy on June 2nd, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes
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