Lifestyle

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 April 20th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

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

Edible City Month!

How well do YOU know Seattle’s food history? Find out at the Museum of History & Industry (aka MOHAI) with their most recent exhibit, Edible City: A Delicious Journey! This is a must visit exhibit for anyone who loves food and wants to learn more of our city’s tasty history!

See how foodie frontrunners have shaped Seattle from the early days of Pike Place Market truck farmers to the origins of the Rainier cherry. Meet the man behind Seattle’s first sushi bar and discuss/debate Seattle’s signature dishes. From farmers and fishers to celebrity chefs, it’s all there – even a photo of me at 25!

And for the month of April, MOHAI has gathered some of the region’s top restaurants for “dine in for Edible City Month!” a tasty tie-in to Seattle Restaurant Week.

So Dine in For Edible City Month and then check out the MOHAI exhibit to taste the city! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on March 30th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

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 23rd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Hearts a Flame Valentine Dessert

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I thought I’d share a super fun dessert idea!


Sweethearts for your sweetie!

Whether you’re headed out or eating in, try wow’ing your sweetheart at home with an AMAZING dessert, made with all your burning love – a Flaming Chocolate Cherry Heart!

This can be made up to one day ahead and then finished off right before serving. Cut a chocolate cake layer (yes you can buy it!) into a heart, top it with a dome of chocolate cherry ice cream and then cover in a fluffy meringue (special tip: you can freeze ahead at this point).

When ready to serve, give the meringue a quick golden toasting in the oven. Once out of the oven, ladle over the entire cake with rum and carefully light it. Be sure to pay careful attention to the safety details here AND don’t get too carried away with the flame. It’s gonna be impressive!

So here’s to a d’lish Valentine’s Day! –Kathy

Flaming Chocolate Cherry Heart
This actually makes enough for four, so when serving for two, just freeze any leftovers for later nibbling. Also, cut cake into a heart or another cute design if desired.

1 8-inch high-quality Devil’s Food chocolate cake layer trimmed to a 5-inch heart (reserve cake trimmings for later snacks)
1 pint cherry ice cream (I like Tillamook Oregon Dark Cherry or Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia)
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. 151 rum
High-quality chocolate sauce (optional)

Place trimmed cake on a large freezer-to-oven plate, pie pan turned upside down, or other metal bakeable tray or plate.

Soften ice cream slightly and cut away the container. Turn out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Drape the ice cream with another large piece of plastic wrap and mold the ice cream into a dome shape, 5 inches in diameter at the base. Place ice cream on the trimmed cake and immediately place in freezer while making the meringue. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 1 week in advance. Thoroughly wrap the cake and ice cream with plastic and keep frozen.)

To make the meringue: In a grease-free mixer bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until just barely getting peaky. Then beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy.

Remove the cake from the freezer, remove the plastic and place on baking tray. With clean hands, pile the meringue on the frozen cake, covering all surfaces and swirling and making cute peaks in the meringue with your fingertips. Immediately place the cake back in the freezer, uncovered, and keep frozen until ready to serve. (This step can be done up to 1 day in advance.)

Note: Be sure the cake is frozen for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.

Serve and flame the bomb: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Place cake in the oven for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until meringue is nicely browned all over and meringue tips are golden browned.

Bring to the table immediately and place on a trivet. Flame immediately: place 151 rum in a metal ladle or large spoon and warm it over a candle. Then light the rum and carefully pour it over the cake. (Be careful not to dribble any 151; it is on fire!) When the flames go out, cut the cake in wedges and serve on plates drizzled or decorated with chocolate sauce.

Chef’s Note: The trick is to keep the whole thing really well frozen before baking the meringue in the oven. Leftover cake can be re-frozen. For serving 4 people, use the entire 8-inch cake layer and double the ice cream and meringue amounts.

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

Posted by Kathy on February 9th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, dessert

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 6th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

Holiday Party Planning – Cocktails For A Crowd

Holiday party planning in the works? Need some cocktails for a crowd? I’m here to help with some great drink ideas, so you won’t have to be tied to the bar and have lots of time to be merry with your guests.

It’s all about “pre-batching” and planning. First, write up your cocktail/beverage menu. Pick 1-2 signature cocktail recipes and supplement with red wine and champagne. Be sure to have something festive for the designated drivers as well.

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Who’s ready for my Festive Sparkling Rum Punch?

How about a Festive Sparkling Rum Punch – made with rum, brandy, fresh juices, and homemade spiced syrup. You can make this up to a week in advance and refrigerate. Then, whip out that punch bowl from the closet and serve over a fun ice ring and finish it with champagne. Yum!

For the non-imbiber, my Rosemary POM Holiday Sparkle is a cheery combination of fresh rosemary, tangerines, pomegranate juice and sparkling apple cider.

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For a demo on how to make the Hot Buttered Egg Nog Mix,
check out www.LiquidKitchen.com

Finish off the evening with a batch of my Hot Buttered Eggnog Mix. The secret ingredient… is vanilla ice cream! Just add rum and hot water. Great to sip on while sharing stories around the fireplace.

So don’t fret this holiday season – just make sure to plan ahead! –Kathy

Festive Sparkling Rum Punch
This punch is great to make ahead and then just add bubbles right before serving. Make a festive ice-ring to chill the punch, or serve over large ice balls – there are lots of molds available on line.

Makes about 16 – 20 servings

Spiced Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
12 each whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
2 cinnamon sticks, broken up

Punch
3 cups gold rum
1 cup brandy or cognac
1 cup guava or passion fruit nectar
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon Peychaud’s or Angostura bitters

——————————————————–

1 bottle brut sparkling wine or champagne, chilled

To make the syrup: combine syrup ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer slowly for about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature before proceeding with recipe. Or you can prepare the syrup up to a week in advance and store refrigerated.

To make the punch: in a large punch bowl (or large container such as a stock pot or pitcher) combine the Spiced Syrup, rum, brandy, juices and bitters. Stir to combine. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for up to 3 days in advance)

Present in a large punch bowl. Add sparkling wine/champagne right before serving. Serve punch in an old fashioned glass over ice or large ice balls.

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

Rosemary Pom Holiday Sparkle
Fresh rosemary’s herbal essence complements the tangy flavor of the clementine and the sweetness of the sparkling cider. When making this in the Middle East, I substituted sparkling date cider instead of the apple cider! It was fantastic!

Makes 1 drink

1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 or 1/2 of a clementine or mandarin, depending on size
1 1/2 oz pomegranate juice
3 oz sparkling apple cider
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig

Bend 1 rosemary sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Squeeze in the clementine then drop in. Measure in the pomegranate juice. Fill the shaker with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a tall glass. Top with the cider and stir. Garnish with a rosemary sprig. (Or, you can shake the drink in the cocktail shaker, then add the sparkling cider and strain the drink into a tall champagne flute for a more elegant look.)

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

Hot Buttered Egg Nog with Rum
Combining two holiday favorites! Add more or less to taste; rum and Spiced Eggnog Mix.
Makes 1 drink

3-4 Tbsp. Buttered Eggnog Mix (recipe follows)
1-1 1/2 oz spiced rum
4-5 oz boiling water
Garnish: fresh grated nutmeg, long piece of orange or Clementine

Place Eggnog Buttered Brandy Mix and rum in coffee glass or mug. Stir in boiling water until batter is dissolved. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top. Garnish with orange zest.

Buttered Eggnog Mix
Makes about 7 cups (about 30 – 36 servings)

1/2 pound salted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 Tbsp. finely minced orange zest
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 pint very high-quality vanilla ice cream
1 cup high-quality eggnog
1 Tbsp. real vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. rum extract

Be sure butter is softened. With an electric mixer; cream butter, orange zest and sugars together in a mixing bowl until totally smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

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

Posted by Kathy on December 9th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey

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!

fruit-cake-3
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, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey
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