Lifestyle

Taco Party

DIY hands-on dinner parties are always fun, interactive and convenient when it comes to dietary restrictions and preferences. It’s also a great way to answer that age old party question, “What can I do to help?”

One of my fave kinds of food parties is a taco fiesta! You can offer a variety of meat and vegetarian options, such as slow cooked chili-pork to ginger-lime marinated chicken and cumin grilled squash. Or go coastal and grill up some shrimp or Alaska cod filets! For your veggie friends, be sure to have slow simmered garlicky black beans or cilantro studded quinoa.

Set out a variety of cheeses like queso fresco, feta, or goat cheese and lots of fresh salsas from red to green to tropical (think diced mango & pineapples, etc.). Offer up soft flour tortillas and corn tortillas for the gluten free gang.

Pickly or crunchy add ins like my Red Onion Escabeche Veggies or shaved green cabbage are a must and are great to top my Chili & Lime Slow Cooked Pork tacos.

And don’t forget to serve it all up with a cool pitcher of margaritas, chilled beers and Sparkling Limeade!

So get your fiesta on with friends and make your next get together a DIY taco party! –Kathy

KC tacos

Yum!
Photo from
Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Chili & Lime Slow-Cooked Pork with Red Onion Escabeche and Warm Tortillas
Makes 6 hearty servings

Pork
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
1 tablespoon salt
1 boneless pork butt (shoulder), about 3 pounds, cut into 2 pieces
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Escabeche
2 large carrots, julienned
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons corn or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
1 teaspoon salt

Accompaniments
Warm corn tortillas
Sour cream
Salsa or freshly made pico de gallo
Queso fresco (Mexican-style fresh cheese)
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges

To prepare the pork, mix the chili powder, coriander seed, and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Roll the pork in the mixture, taking up all the seasoning.

Put the pork in a slow-cooker, add the remaining ingredients, and set the cooker on high. Let cook for 8 hours—or up to 10 hours if you’re still at work!

When ready to serve, mix the escabeche ingredients well, then place in a serving dish. Shred the pork and place in a large serving bowl with some of the cooking liquid.

Serve the pork with the escabeche and accompaniments. Diners build their own “soft tacos,” then squeeze lime juice over the filling before folding.

Chef’s Note: To heat tortillas, place them, one by one, on a dry skillet over medium-high heat and turn frequently. As they are heated, slip them between the folds of a clean dish towel or cloth napkin. Wrap the towel in foil (or put into a small casserole dish and cover) to steam in their own heat and moisture. Or, microwave the tortillas very briefly and put into a napkin as above. Or, wrap several tortillas in a foil packet and steam them in a steamer until just heated through; use directly from the foil or wrap in a towel as described above.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Sparkling Limeade

Sparkling Limeade

3 Tbsp. finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
——————————————————
1 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 cups chilled sparkling water
Garnish: long fresh lemon and lime zest twists

Combine the zest, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and let cool.

In a large pitcher combine the cooled sugar syrup, lime juice and the sparkling water.
Serve over ice and garnish with citrus twists.

Photo and recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 2nd, 2019  |  Comments Off on Taco Party |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Juicing for Joy

As you walk the isle of the grocery store these days, you’ll soon notice the rows and rows of new juices readily available. What is all this juicy business? Well for starters, it’s an easy and d’lish way to get your recommended daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, and not to mention lots of vitamins and nutrients.

So what to do? Got the bucks to buy a bottle? It is pretty convenient to pop into a shop and pick up your favorite blend but over time it can be more expensive than your daily cup of joe.

How about buying a home juicer? Making juice from home can be an investment in time and money up front but with a little planning it truly is the best way to enjoy a juice filled lifestyle and the fresher the juice, the better the health benefits too!

Here’s a favorite blend of mine that you can play with the proportions to fit your pallet. I suggest doing 3 parts veggie or root juice to 1 part fruit juice and any salty, spicy or sour juices should be added to taste.

Beets ( In addition to being sweet and oh so pretty, they are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits)
Celery (It has a touch of natural saltiness, bright flavor, and it’s a natural diuretic)
Slice of fresh ginger
Apple
Lemon Juice

Want a powerful punch of antioxidants? How about whipping up a delicious Green Juice like this one from Sunkist.

 


Photo from Sunkist.com
 

Made with fresh squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, fresh pressed cider , ginger, and kale juice.  Yum!

Oh and did I mention that fresh veggie juices are great  as a mixer for cocktails too! That’s right. The juicing trend is moving into Happy Hour. Here is one of my favorite cocktails for spring: Make it with your favorite gin!

Carrot Collins
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
 

The carrot juice adds a subtle sweetness and a beautiful color, while playing well with the botanicals of the gin. Find this recipe and more at www.liquidkitchen.com

Happy Juicing!  –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on April 25th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Juicing for Joy |  Posted in breakfast, citrus, Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, orange, Recent Posts, root vegetables, vegetables

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.

 

harrisa-carrot
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!

carrot-collins2
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 March 7th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Carrot Craze |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, vegetables

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts – who ever thought that these mini-cabbages would become the uber- popular vegetable! From bar menus to bacon & bourbon lathered side dishes, they are definitely on just about every menu these days.

Hipster yes, but good for you, too! These veggies are chock full of vitamins K and C, as well as iron, fiber and vitamin A.

There are lots of great ways to prepare Brussels sprouts at home from quick sautéed to oven roasted… even shaved and raw in a slaw or salad. Try them roasted with a Bacon Citrus Toss – d’lish!

You can also separate the “leaves” and give those a quick toss in a hot pan for a d’lish topping for mac and cheese or grilled pork. To do this, cut the core of the Brussels sprout out with a small paring knife, Then you can “peel” all the leaves off easily.

Cook them in a hot pan with a smidge of olive oil or butter until they are bright green but not too wilted. Finish it off with a squeeze of lemon. YUM! –Kathy


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Citrus Toss
Brussels sprouts are the “it” vegetable of the dinner table these days. The tangy citrus toss plays well with the rich bacon in the dressing, making for a delicious side-dish. Or try serving as an appetizer or as a warm salad over greens.

Makes between 4-6 servings

6 cups trimmed Brussels sprouts, halved if large (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 strips bacon, cut into thin slices
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Sunkist® Meyer Lemon, zested and juiced, zest reserved separately
1 Sunkist Minneola Tangelo Orange, zested and juiced, zest reserved separately

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender and showing good color, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and both citrus juices. Increase heat to high and let mixture reduce by half. Take care not to burn.

When Brussels sprouts are done, place them in a large serving bowl or platter, drizzle with the warm bacon-citrus mixture, and toss together with reserved zests. Serve immediately.

Recipe by: Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist.

Posted by Kathy on February 21st, 2019  |  Comments Off on Brussels Sprouts |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Staying Toasty with a Hot Toddy!

Winter warmers are the best. They can be the remedy for those aches and pains that come along with the dreaded winter cold or flu OR they can warm your bones after a long day out on the slopes.

One of my favorites is the Hot Toddy. For decades people have used the hot toddy as a natural remedy for easing that tickle in the throat. Think of it like chicken soup, but with a bit more kick!

The reason it works is that the whiskey eases our congestion and helps you fall asleep.

Now let’s make one:

  • -Combine your favorite whiskey (about 1 1/2 ounces) with spiced herbal tea OR just hot water.
    -Drizzle in local honey.
    -Add squeeze of fresh lemon.
    -Don’t forget the cinnamon stick for stirring!

By the time you finish the drink, hopefully that cough will have calmed down a bit. And you’re feeling a bit sleepy so you can get some much needed rest.

Toddy

Check out these 6 inspired recipes on Wine Enthusiast

Be sure not to over-indulge as more than one may actually have the reverse effect on your symptoms. So stick to one and you should be good to go.

Cheers! –Kathy

 

Posted by Kathy on February 14th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Staying Toasty with a Hot Toddy! |  Posted in Cocktails, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Dip In!

From party staples like gooey, cheese fondue to classic French onion or 7-layer fiesta dip, we all have our favorites.

These days dips are getting lighter and healthier. We’re whipping up our favorites not with full fat sour cream and mayo but with Greek yogurt as well as lite sour creams and mayos. Even this party staple can’t escape the better-for-you revolution!

Hummus is all the rage lately – made with protein-rich garbanzo beans. It’s quick-and-easy to make from scratch, but also available in a wide variety of flavors like roasted pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Cruise the hummus isle these days and you’ll find brilliant beet hummus and emerald green edamame varieties!


D’lish hummus!
(Photo from Epicurious)

Creamy white bean dips are also popular and fall into the better-for-you category, too. It’s tasty paired with bold flavors like in my Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade.

Now, we all love our dips with potato and tortilla chips but you can also lighten up your dippables. Try something new, like pita chips and rice crackers, OR go the veggie route with endive leaves, slices of crunchy fennel, or colorful bell pepper.

So whatever the occasion, get out of your DIP RUT, lighten up –and try something new! –Kathy

Tuscan White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade
I love to make the tapenade with those brilliant green Castelvetrano olives available at olive bars. If you want to take some extra time and pit them rather than buying pitted jarred olives, it is worth it! I like to serve this dip with pita chips or rustic crackers.

Makes 3 cups, or about 8 to 10 servings

Dip
1 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. very finely minced lemon zest
1 tsp. very finely minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tapenade
1 1/2 cups pitted manzanilla or other green olives, drained
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. very finely minced lemon zest
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or oil from sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained

Garnish: extra-virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary sprig

To make the dip: In a food processor, combine the drained beans, cheese, if using, and garlic, and process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. Store the dip, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

To make the tapenade: In a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and oil, and pulse till the ingredients are thoroughly chopped, but still have some coarseness to them. Add the parsley and sundried tomatoes and pulse until just integrated. The tapenade can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

To serve: Put the dip in a pretty bowl, smooth out the surface, then layer the tapenade on top. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, and garnish with the rosemary.

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

Posted by Kathy on January 24th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Dip In! |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Healthy Eating

Now that we’re into the New Year, it’s time to get on track with healthy eating and stick to a New Year’s Resolution!

Sometimes with busy schedules lunch gets skipped or something less than healthy gets ordered in. Well consider taking a few hours on the weekend and building some great meals in jars to pack to work.

Just pick up some pint and 1/2 pint canning jars with screw on lids. Then prepare some good-for-you components like quinoa, brown rice, roasted veggies, roasted chicken breast, and some cut up fresh veggies.

Pack these up in jars, but make sure to plan your layers. For instance layer up some quinoa, roasted veggies, chicken – all deliciously topped with some healthy hummus or low-fat Greek yogurt. These will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days and are easy to pack to work.

Try this idea for breakfast-on-the-go, too. Fresh fruits, a little healthy cereal for the crunch factor, and yogurt. Or try cooked oatmeal with diced apples, dried cranberries and some toasted nuts.

Check out this great recipe for Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits from Iowa Girl Eats blog using Chobani yogurt (my fave!), gluten-free oats, chia seeds, and fruits. Her post is really inspiring!

Healthy, handmade meals on the go – Yum! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on January 3rd, 2019  |  Comments Off on Healthy Eating |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Cider Craze

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 bold and sassy, spiced (chai cider – yes please) and fruit-forward (think pear and raspberry). There’s something for everyone’s tastes.

Here in the northwest, we love our ciders! From restaurant menus to pubs to the shelves lined at your favorite grocer, ciders are everywhere!


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

And with Thanksgiving coming, why not consider serving a hard cider with your holiday bird. Think a dryer style apple cider; it’s a great alternative to white wine.

Hosting a party? Mix up a batch of my Pear & Blackberry Sangria – sure to be a crowd favorite! Or how about putting together a cider tasting! Ask your guests to each bring a different cider. Put a brown bag over each one and tie at the top. Then give each guest 3 ribbons to hang around the top of their favorites, taste, unveil, and crown the cider winners. How fun is that!

So cheers to sipping some ciders! –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 tablespoons 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 November 8th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Cider Craze |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes
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