Lifestyle

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

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 18th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Falling for Chili |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, meats, pork, Recent Posts, Recipes, soups

Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant

 

Most people have had a 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.

 

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 4th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Spaghetti Squash Is More Than Just A Pasta Plant |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Tales of the Cocktail 2018 Spirited Awards!

Tales of the Cocktail sample drinks

Calling all cocktail enthusiasts! What do you get when you combine thousands of mixologists, spirit industry professionals, bar enthusiasts, and lots of libations all in one week? Tales of the Cocktail, of course! This week, I’m heading south to New Orleans, the birthplace of the cocktail as we know it today, for a spirited gathering of industry elite from around the world!


TOTC 2018 Cocktail Competition Winner, Spiced Nashi by Willy Estrada

Held annually, the week features seminars, parties, and cocktailing galore in this boozy 24-hour playground. It can be a liver workout – trust me! And every year they hold a cocktail completion around a classic libation – this year it was the best twist on a French 75, one of my all-time favorite cocktails.

But the big event of the week is the Spirited Awards. Since their debut in 2007, the Spirited Awards have recognized the best and brightest in the cocktail and spirits industries, from bartenders and brand ambassadors to bars and writers. It has become one of the most coveted honors an industry professional can receive! Each year, a panel of over 140 industry experts (including yours truly!), take part in a month-long voting process to choose their picks for Awards finalists. Check out the full listing of this years Top 4 Nominees in Each Category Here!

“These finalists are representative of the best and brightest in our industry and it’s incredible to see their accomplishments recognized,” says Neal Bodenheimer, Board Member of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “We look forward to welcoming them to New Orleans and celebrating their contributions to the industry.”

Not only is the festival SO much fun, it’s a great place to see and taste the latest and greatest trends and new spirits. And good news- tickets are open to the public. So if you’re looking for a reason to expand your liquor knowledge and visit NOLA- Tales of the Cocktail is the perfect excuse.

Can’t make it this year? No problem! You can still get in the spirit by making a New Orleans Classic Cocktail like the Sazerac! (Recipe below)

So, wherever you might be this week, raise a glass with me to magical New Orleans, and all my friends at Tales of the Cocktail! -Kathy


Photo by Nan Palermo.

Sazerac
The Sazerac Coffeehouse where this cocktail earned its name, made the switch from the original brandy to rye and gained a dash of absinthe. The rest, as they say, is history!

Makes 1 cocktail
1/4 oz Ricard or absinthe
2 oz rye
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Garnish: Wide lemon disk

Rinse a chilled Old Fashioned glass with Ricard or absinthe; set aside. In a mixing glass, measure in the rye, syrup and bitters. Fill mixing glass 3/4 full with ice and stir swiftly for 20 seconds. Strain into liqueur-rinsed glass without ice. Squeeze lemon disk over top of drink then drop in.

Posted by Kathy on July 12th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Tales of the Cocktail 2018 Spirited Awards! |  Posted in Conferences, events, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes, Tasty Travels

Burgers

When summer time finally hits the Pacific Northwest, burgers are the first thing on my mind. To me, the smell of a burger sizzling on an outdoor grill is simply intoxicating.

I’ll always love a classic beef patty piled high with condiments and spreads, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up. Burgers are a blank canvas to get creative and try new combinations. Your local farmers market is a great place to find inspiration.


Photo from Clean Eating

Outdoor BBQ in your weekend plans? Create a burger bar and make it interactive with a DIY set-up! Simply pre-heat your grill and have it hot and ready. Pick up some artisan buns and set out a variety of cheeses and spreadables like spicy sriracha mayo, fun mustards, local pickles, and grilled sweet onions. Offer unique patty options to please the whole crowd- like local grass fed beef, veggie black bean burgers, or seasoned turkey patties.

Or why not try my Barbequed Salmon Burgers on Lemon Dill Buns! The smoky grilled salmon patty paired with fresh condiments like lettuce, cucumbers, or a tangy vegetable slaw is knock-your-socks-off delicious. If baking your own buns seems daunting, not to worry! Just pick up your favorite from a local bakery and get to grillin’.

Make sure to have your guests bring some tasty sides, ice cold brews, and wine. And while the grill is still hot – throw on a few bananas for making up some grilled banana splits for a sweet ending – yum!
-Kathy

Barbequed Salmon Burgers
Makes 4 servings

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed (ask your fishmonger to do this)
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs minced onion
1 Tbs fresh dill
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS dried bread crumbs
¾ tsp kosher salt

Lemon Dill Buns, or local bakery bun
Mayonnaise or Tartar Sauce
Any combination of burger goodies you like, such as tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumbers, vegetable slaw, etc.

To make the burgers, chop the salmon well. Mix it thoroughly with the remaining burger ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape into 4 ½-5 in diameter well-compacted round patties. Refrigerate the patties, tented, for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to firm.

Pre-heat a grill to high and oil. Carefully place patties on grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side.

Split buns in half and toast lightly. Spread mayonnaise or tartar sauce onto buns, add the cooked patties, and pile high with garnishes of your choice.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy on June 16th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Burgers |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, salmon

Garden Herbs

If you have a tiny strip of garden space, planters, or pots- you can grow fresh herbs. What’s not to love about fresh herbs anytime you want! The most popular and easy to grow herbs – in my experience – are rosemary, thyme, and mint. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they fill your garden.

But these aren’t the only common herbs that flourish in the NW. Some of my favorite plants are the unusual varieties like lemon verbena, pineapple sage, and the prolific lemon balm…the list goes on and on!

Now what to do with your bounty once you harvest? Add them to all of your favorite dishes, of course! You can also try drying heartier herbs such as thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary. Tie them in small bundles with twine and hang them upside down for about a week in a cool dry spot. Once they are fully dry, crumble the herbs and put into jars- a fun gift for foodies!

An alternative to hang drying is quick freezing your herbal bounty. To do this, chop the herbs and spread onto a sheet pan in the freezer for a quick freeze (5-10 minutes). Transfer to zip lock bags and store frozen until ready to use for a delicious, herbalicious add-in anytime of the year.

–Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 25th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Garden Herbs |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Brunch for Mom

It’s Mother’s Day weekend! And what better way to treat Mom than with a delicious brunch, complete with a bubbly cocktail.

Start the night before and whip up my Spring Wild Mushroom, Asparagus ‘n’ Sausage Strata – rustic bread, seasoned egg mixture, sautéed asparagus and mushrooms. Add in some turkey sausage or bacon, and grated cheese. Refrigerate overnight then pop in the oven first thing in the morning. Perfect served with some fresh fruit or a few tossed greens.

Mimosas are a spirited way to start the day especially while the strata bakes. Make it with fresh squeezed orange juice, or get creative and try adding a little fresh raspberry or mango puree.

And for “extra mom points” listen closely to this fun idea: freeze edible flowers in ice cubes. Place a couple flower cubes in a large wine glass, add in a jigger of vodka, with a splash of Grand Marnier or Chambord, pour over the ice and top with a big splash of sparkling pink champagne bubbles. Fun & fabulous!


“Flower Cubes”

Cheers to all the wonderful Moms out there! – Kathy

Spring Wild Mushroom, Asparagus ‘n’ Sausage Strata
Good bread is the foundation ingredient for any strata. With so many great breads available today, it isn’t a chore to find one to add to these breakfast bakes. The challenge now is in deciding which one to use — be it Como bread from Grand Central, a delicious La Brea Bakery loaf or any other sturdy, handcrafted bread.

And if the bread is just a little bit stale, that’s okay. In fact, breakfast bakes are a great way to use up day-old artisan breads. Fold in a cup of fresh baby spinach for added greenery.

Makes 6-8 servings

1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage or turkey sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups sliced wild or domestic mushrooms (morels, hedgehogs, cremini, portobello, button mushrooms, shiitake, chanterelles, reconstituted dried porcini, etc.)
2 cups 1/2 inch bias cut-sliced, fat, fresh asparagus pieces
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
8 eggs
3 cups half & half
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups 1-inch-diced hearty bread, such as a rustic sourdough
2 cups (8 ounces) coarsely grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large sauté pan heated over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until halfway cooked, about 3 minutes. Then add the onion and mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes. When veggies are tender, add asparagus and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper until well combined. Add the bread, Fontina cheese, half the Parmesan cheese and the cooked sausage mixture.

Place in an 11 x 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and let sit, refrigerated, at least 1 hour or preferably overnight, so that bread soaks up egg mixture.

When ready to serve, bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 45 – 50 minutes or until puffy and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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

Posted by Kathy on May 11th, 2017  |  Comments Off on Brunch for Mom |  Posted in breakfast, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes

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 6th, 2017  |  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
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