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 June 6th, 2019  |  Comments Off on Spring in to Summer Gardening |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, vegetables

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

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!

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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

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

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
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