Lifestyle

Spring in to Summer Gardening

The days are longer and the sun is shining. It’s time to think about a summer vegetable garden and what to plant. So what grows best here in the Pacific Northwest?

Well, now is the time to plant those pole beans. Have you ever made a pole bean tee pee? It’s a great way to keep the growing beans contained. Be sure to plant in full sun for optimal harvesting and pick them when they are small and tender! And if you have some picky kiddos then try planting bushing “purple beans” that magically turn green when you cook them – that’s pretty fun!


Learn to make a great pole bean tent and more from Garden Therapy!

Next on my best of list is zucchini – it’s easy to grow! My mom used to make these tasty little zucchini cakes topped with a fresh tomato sauce and a dollop of sour cream. Or these days try it with Greek yogurt. Have you ever had a Chocolate Zucchini Cake? I’ve got a recipe for you!

Next on the must to-plant list are sweet 100 tomatoes – this variety loves our NW weather. And there is nothing like going out to the garden and popping them right of the vine into your mouth. I also love them skewered, rubbed with olive oil, seasoned and then grilled till lightly charred and served as a side dish or served atop a grilled steak.

My last bit of advice is to be sure plant to a few greens. Arugula is a great addition to any garden. And rainbow chard, in hues of pink, yellow, red and white will grow bountifully, keep trimming it to the base and it grows all season!

So time to get down and dirty in the garden! –Kathy

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Makes 1 bunt cake – about 10 – 12 servings

Cake
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)

Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, zucchini and chocolate chips.

Butter and flour a large (10-cup) Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and place cake on a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a small pan heat the chocolate, cream and coffee over low heat till smooth and just melted. Pour over cake. Let set 15 minutes before serving.

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

Posted by Kathy on May 20th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, vegetables

Veggie Mash-Up

With the surging popularity of kale, brussel sprouts and even rutabagas, what’s old has become new again, especially in the veggie world! In years past, moms everywhere couldn’t bribe their kids to eat these veggies, but today, being green is now fun and good for you!

A great example of an old but “new” veggie is the gorgeous Lacinato Kale (aka black kale). It’s a beloved veggie in Italy and traditionally slow cooked into soups. It is branded at most stores now as “dinosaur kale”, which makes it fun for kids and just one way of getting them to eat it too.

 

kale

Lacinato Kale or “Dinosaur” Kale

 

Also new on the veggie hipster horizon are vegetable mash-ups! Take for example kalettes, which are a cross between brussel sprouts and kale or broccolini; a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan (aka Chinese broccoli).

 

And don’t forget the gorgeous Romanesco aka broccoflower! A lime green vegetable that takes the best of broccoli and cauliflower and marries them together in a blissful union. So delicious steamed and tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and lemon zest!

Don’t have time to get to the market, then checkout Barn2Door. Founded by 2 Washingtonians. This “un-grocery” store gives you 24/7 access and a direct line of communication between you and the growers, plus access to an ever changing fresh sheet of local products. You can even message the farmers directly! How cool is that?

I have been a veggie lover since I was a kid, so it’s great to see so many people eating their greens these days. With spring on its way, our local markets will be brimming with amazing options in no time. So get your veggie on and try something new! –Kathy

 

Posted by Kathy on April 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, salads, vegetables

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

Snackable Videos

Have you seen all the crazy food videos on Facebook from Tasty, Tastemade, and Buzzfeed Food? These are Snack Sized Videos featuring recipes that are not only visually appealing, but are quick to make and delicious to eat. I like to call this “Speed Scratch Cooking” and they are blowing up right now on social media, offering creative twists on classic comfort foods.

We are all busy these days, running from one appointment to the next. When you throw in a few kids, a dog, and let’s not forget the friends and family, who has time for a home cooked meal? These videos offer lots of variety and endless ideas so there is something for everyone.

For example – have you seen all the fun things you can put on a waffle iron? This Waffle Iron Mac & Cheese from Hungry takes waffles to the next level with chilled Mac & Cheese, bacon, green onions, and MORE CHEESE, pressed into a waffle iron until crispy and delicious then topped with all kinds of fun toppings. Who can say no to that? Yum!

 

MacnCheeseWaffles
 

Buzzfeed also has its share of waffle iron goodies like these All Day Breakfast BurgersCinnamon Roll Waffles with Nutella, or Ham and Cheese Waffles, and more.

Beyond the quick fixes, these videos also have unique and crafty ways to use up left overs or re-imagine a kitchen staple in new and exciting ways. Like this Ice Cream Bread! Start with melted vanilla ice cream, mix in flour, and all kinds of colorful sprinkles and jimmies, bake it, and voila! Super colorful and tasty dessert bread that will have everyone asking for more.

Ice Cream Bread on Cosmopolitan.com
 

The best thing about many of these recipe videos is they only have 3 or 4 ingredients that you may already have in your pantry which is great for a last minute meal or appetizer, just type in your ingredients and see what pops up! –Kathy

Hop To It – Easter is on its way!

Easter Sunday is coming up, so what will you do with all that leftover booty? You know – the eggs, the candies, the marshmallowy Peeps?

Of course there will be egg salad sandwiches for days BUT let’s get creative with it! How about adding in chopped bacon or some sassy curry. Try mixing salsa in your favorite egg salad recipe then rolling it up with some avocados in tortillas for a quick breakfast on the go.

D'Lish Deviled Eggs
And you know how much I love deviled eggs!

For a beautiful spring presentation, you can do a quick beet pickle. Soak shelled-hard cooked eggs in a sweet & tart beet juice marinade. Then cut and fill. Beautiful and d’lish!

beeteggs
Beet’ing Heart Deviled Eggs!

Now, what do you do with that candy after the hunt? Well I’ve got you covered with my recipe for Jelly-Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps – a fun and festive twist on the beloved rice crispy treats. And yes you can garnish with the peep heads…

Tweeps
Save the Peep Heads for Garnish

And for the adults, steal a few of the kids chocolate bunnies and stir yourself up some Bunny’Licious Boozy Chocolate Sauce using a splash of your favorite liqueur (take out the liqueur for a kid friendly version, but hey, they have already had their treats!). Serve it over ice cream with a few peeps for garnish!

So hop to it and have a Happy Easter! –Kathy

Jelly Bean Rice Crispy Tweeps
Makes 30 treats

3 Tbsp. butter
6 packages yellow Peeps® – 30 peeps (you can use bunnies too for pink treats)
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup small jellybeans

Pull 30 of the peeps heads off and set aside for garnish.

peeps

In a large sauce pan heat butter over low heat until melted. Then add peeps and stir over low heat until melted. Then stir in cereal and jellybeans until cereal is well coated and jellybeans are distributed.

Place mixture in a greased 8″x8″ baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to compact the crispy treats. Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. To serve cut (5×6) into 30 squares.

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

Bunny’licious Boozy Chocolate Sauce
Makes 4 servings

6 oz of left-over chocolate bunnies
1/4 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1 Tbsp. liquor such as: Grand Marnier, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur (optional)

For drizzling over or dipping in: fresh fruit for dipping cut into chunks, such as: pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, apple wedges and oranges, pound cake chunks, holiday cookies, small chocolate chip cookies, other candy such as Peeps®

Break up or cut bunnies in small pieces (chocolate chip size) into a glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot coffee over them. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If coffee is not hot enough to melt chocolate, then microwave for 10 seconds. Stir in liqueur if desired.

Transfer mixture to a fondue pot or pretty bowl and serve warm with long forks and lots of goodies for dipping.

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

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 25th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Seattle Food & Wine Experience

Seattle Wine & Food Experience has been THE epicurean weekend to sample the best food and wine the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Back for its 8th year (February 20th and 21st), this year’s event is bigger and better than ever.

SeattleWine&FoodExperience
 

Saturday evening kicks off with Pop! Bubbles & Seafood experience located at the elegant McCaw Hall. Pop! features the bounty of the Pacific Northwest’s seafood paired with sparkling wines and Champagne. This is sure to be a sparkling evening!

POPLogo_seattlemagazine_color-rgb-1024x924 (1)
 

At Sunday’s Wine & Food Experience get ready to sip and taste your way through an amazing event line up!

Some favorites and must check outs are:

  • ‘Brews and Ewes‘ – where select breweries are paired with top chefs’ lamb creations! Yum!
  • -“Riesling Challenge” at the Ste. Michelle’s booth – you can and determine which wine pleases your palate – Dry, Off Dry or Sweet.

No matter which day you decide to attend (or maybe make a weekend of it!), you’ll have the opportunity to try hundreds of wines, beers, ciders, and local chef dishes. Now, doesn’t that sound like fun? Visit event website for info on tickets and full line-up of exhibitors.

Cheers! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy on February 11th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, seafood

Speed Rack: Shaking it up at the Speed of Lighting!

In 1895, the US Federal Commissioner of Labor combed through the census to gather info on laborers. There were 55,000+ men behind the bar and only 147 women. That all changed after Pearl Harbor when Rosie the Riveter was matched by Bessie the Bartender!

Did you know that one of the most famous bartenders in history was a woman? London -1899, Ada Coleman created the Hanky Panky Cocktail and soon became the head bartender at the illustrious American Bar in The Savoy Hotel.

Ada Coleman
Ada making her Hanky Panky cocktail at The Savoy

Back to today: on January 31st (mark your calendars) some serious stirring and shaking is about to happen in Seattle, thanks to the return of Speed Rack. This all-female speed-bartending competition raises money for breast cancer education, prevention, and research.

SR_Postcard_Seattle_FRONT

Women bartenders from Seattle and Portland will go head to head in round robin mix-offs, while the crowd sips and cheers their favorite contenders on! This is defiantly a spirited event – in all ways.

The Winner of the upcoming Seattle event will then get the opportunity to compete in the Grand Finals, where the champion will be crowned Miss Speed Rack USA!

I’m looking forward to judging and seeing all our NW ladies shine! Make sure to get your tickets! -Kathy

Hanky Panky Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz red vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca
Garnish: orange peel twist

Measure the gin, red vermouth, and Fernet Branca into a mixing glass. Fill with ice then stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel twist.

Posted by Kathy on January 21st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Contests, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes
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