Get Saucy

Often the trick to a d’lish dish is the sauce, but sometimes making one can be a bit daunting.

Seattle author Susan Volland’s new book Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors will help take the mystery out of making a great sauce. So you can easily splash, slather, drizzle or douse!

Susan Volland - Mastering Sauces

From basic recipes for stock (the building block of sauces) to creative and unique takes on classic recipes, this book has sauces covered from A to Z.

From quick and easy Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce to her recipe for a Vegan Corn “Hollandaise” – there are a lot of ideas to finish off your favorite dish.

Here are some of my favorite tips from her book:

  • How to fancy up a white sauce: think sweet curry or caramelized onion and roasted garlic
  • Not your everyday cheese sauce: with cheddar and ale or tomato and goat cheese
  • Even chocolate gets a tasty saucy twist with ancho chili and fresh mint
  • Susan is an amazing chef and has wanted to write this book for years. It is one of the most comprehensive sauce books of all times and destined to become an eternal classic. Her recipes are always well written and precision tested.

    So crack open a copy of Mastering Sauces and get saucy!

    P.S. – And It’s never too early to think about holiday gifts for your favorite foodie. –Kathy

    Stir-Together Peanut Butter-Hoisin Dipping Sauce
    Susan says: “This sauce is nutty, sweet, and slightly exotic, and, it can be whipped up in less time than the quick-cooking dishes I like to dunk in it: grilled chicken skewers, Vietnamese spring rolls, or pot stickers. Double or triple the recipe, and you can use it to simmer chicken or as a sauce for chewy stir-fried noodles. It keeps well.”

    Yield: 1/2 cup

    1/4 cup hoisin sauce
    1/4 cup water, coconut water, or Really Good Chicken Stock
    2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
    1 Tbsp. fish sauce (or substitute 2 tsp. light soy sauce or tamari)
    2 tsp. sambal oelek or Sriracha, or to taste
    1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, Tamarind Water, or rice vinegar

    Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the sauce at room temperature or lightly warmed.

    If storing, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Vegan Corn “Hollandaise”

    Susan says: “The friends and I have introduced this sauce to—even die-hard carnivores and butter lovers—claim to prefer this vegan version to classic hollandaise. The creamy yellow sauce mimics the texture of hollandaise without relying on eggs and butter. It is not as cloying, it’s heat stable, it’s tasty enough to be slurped up by the spoonful, and there is little or no guilt afterward. You will need a few specialty ingredients: miso, nutritional yeast flakes, and arrowroot. These are available at some supermarkets and at natural foods markets. Arrowroot is added for stability and gentle thickening; kudzu root (available at health foods markets) can also be used.”

    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

    1 1/2 cups water, Corn Stock, or Corncob Mock Stock
    1 cup fresh or thawed frozen yellow corn kernels
    1/3 cup whole raw cashews
    1 Tbsp. white (shiro) miso
    1 tsp. nutritional yeast flakes
    1/2 tsp arrowroot
    1 – 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    Pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of Tabasco

    Combine the water, corn kernels, and cashews in a saucepan, cover, and simmer until the cashews are tender and the corn is very soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

    Transfer the cashew mixture to a blender, add the miso, yeast, and arrowroot, and puree until very smooth. Strain back into the saucepan, pressing the solids against the sides of the strainer to extract as much smooth pupl and liquid as possible. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is just simmering and has thickened. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Serve warm.

    Unlike hollandaise, this sauce can be refrigerated and reheated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    Recipe from Susan Volland’s Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors, W. W. Norton & Co.

    Posted by Kathy on November 12th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

    Fairmont’s Global Cocktail Menu and Liquid Kitchen in Cheers Magazine

    Earlier this summer the Fairmont Global mixology team visited Liquid Kitchen for a drink development workshop to create a new global cocktail menu – launching later this November. Check out Cheers Magazine for full coverage of the R&D session the Classics, Perfected menu, meet the Fairmont Tastemakers, and recipes for the Right Word and Pomegranate Paloma.

    Posted by Kathy on November 11th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Press, Recent Posts

    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 October 29th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

    Chia Seeds: the SUPER Food

    Cha-cha-cha-CHIA! Yes, that is 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 have been sweeping the nation as an up-and-coming nutritional ingredient.

    Who remembers these commercials?

    Chock full of fiber and omega-3’s, these little seeds can be added to almost anything from juices, baked into muffins or even toasted and sprinkled on a salad! They digest quickly, hydrate your body better than sports drinks, and provide long-lasting energy. Athletes love them!

    When soaked in a liquid, they become gel-like and are virtually tasteless. In Mexico, they are added in a drink called Chia Fresca made with fruit juice and chia seeds which have been plumped in water – sounds so refreshing!  I love a plumped spoonful spooned over a margarita for fun texture!

    I have also used them plumped then blended in a low-fat salad dressing – they work as a natural thickener so you can use less oil, and who doesn’t love that!? If you’re looking to add chia seeds to your diet, check out stores like Whole Foods, PCC, and in the “Natural Foods section” of most grocers to buy them or try them in a fun chia beverage.

    And check out this chia seed post from Wellness Mama for more tricks and tips on what to do with them, including her recipe for healthy homemade pudding.

    So try something new and get your Cha-cha-cha-CHIA on! – Kathy

    To plump chia seeds: Soak 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds with 1 1/2 cups HOT water. Let sit for 1 hour then store refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on October 22nd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

    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