Lifestyle

Check Out Craftsy!

If you are a crafty person and love to make things with your hands whether it’s quilts, jewelry, cake decorating, etc., do I have the website for you! Check out Craftsy, a fantastic online learning center for all sorts of crafts!

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My friend Cynthia Nims is teaching a cooking series all about French Home Cooking: The Essential Techniques! Her class is already one of the top sellers today, which is very cool. Cynthia’s classes tie into her cooking school roots at La Varenne cooking school in France. She shares many of those basic core French cooking techniques in her lessons, which are great building blocks for you to learn and become creative with! Lessons include vinaigrette and salade verte, beef & mushroom stew, fish chowder, cheese soufflé, a couple potato dishes and homemade rich vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!

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She’s even shared a link for 25% off her class price. Her entire lesson covers over 2 1/2 hours of instruction with  lifetime access!

Cynthia has so much wonderful and delicious knowledge to share. I hope you will sign up for her classes!

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 11th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, videos

Fall into New Beginnings

Guest blogger and Food Studio Associate Chef Cameon Orel shares her fondest of memories about fall and watching her Nana cook up wonderful meals.

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I love this time of year. The long days of summer have now faded, and the bbq is no longer the main source of cooking equipment. Fall is crisp filled with the promise of a new year. Kids dressed for the school bus, trees turning to the jeweled colors of autumn and I am magically transported to my Grandmother’s kitchen.  My Grandmother, let’s call her Nana, any other name would not be right. She had the ability to transform the simplest of foods in to a feast.

During this time of year I would find her surrounded by the harvest of the garden. She was a year round gardener. Her garden supplied our family and many other families in the neighborhood with a year round basket of magic. She would mindfully fill baskets with kale, chard, winter lettuces, squashes, zucchini, radishes, and the late round of beans-CSA before it was cool. I always enjoyed watching her out my bedroom window with her apron held up to hold the three types of apples soon to be turned in to a crisp for our dinner that night. Often she would sit with various cookbooks and clippings planning the next few weeks’ meals. As I write about this I am mesmerized by how effortless she made it all seem. At any given moment she could have a cake in the oven, cow’s tongue on the stove, cucumbers pickling to be put up, dark chocolate and vanilla pudding setting for a snack and my favorite cookies in the freezer ready to bake.

My most memorable meals in her home involved very few ingredients; a Hubbard squash that she made in to a curry spiced soup, green apple and winter kale salad with dried fruits and nuts, braised Ox-tail served with homemade pork sausage and braised small heads of romaine, potatoes still musky from the dirt slowly roasted with hand churn butter. These foods may not sound like a young girls dream but it was what I knew, I grew up smelling the simmering pots, the steaming vapor’s of a freshly opened oven. I held the jars as my Nana pickled and stewed pumpkin for her famous pumpkin apple spice cake.

KC blog & recipes
Nana’s cookbook and notes – perfect for inspiring fall meals.

So as the trees begin to change, the light dims, and the sun glistens on the dew filled spider webs. I am blissfully happy to know that it is time to pull out my Nana’s cookbooks, filled with her notes of lower the salt, great with a touch of nutmeg, great recipe and must make this for Aunt Betty, exchanged recipes from dear friends.  I thumb through these ear marked and yellowed pages I am inspired to fall in love again with the cycle of cooking. I am reminded of a woman who many years ago knew that the best food comes from the earth.

– Cameon Orel

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 10th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Dim Sum Finds!

I LOVE Dim Sum! A traditional Chinese way of preparing food, dim sum items are usually bite or individual-sized portions and typically enjoyed for breakfast or lunch.

Going for dim sum with friends or family is a great outing. If you’re not familiar with this style of food, dim sum dishes are typically wheeled around on carts within the restaurant. Diners can then pick and choose what they would like to try. The portions are small so you can be adventurous!


Tasty dim sum offerings!
(Photo from Seattle Magazine.)

I usually go for the steamed stuff like Shumai: small dumplings filled with pork and shrimp in a thin wheat flour wrapper. My faves are Har Gow shrimp dumplings and Char Sui Bao, which are fluffy steamed buns filled with BBQ pork filling. And then there is the Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce and Salt and Pepper Squid –yum! Oh and there’s also chicken feet – not so much for me, but there is something for all taste adventurers.

Seattle’s International District has a lot of places to choose from. One of my favorites is Sun Ya. On the east side, check out Bellevue’s Noble Court. And for a fun day trip, head north over the border to Richmond, BC, which has an amazing array of places – Sun Sui Wah is a MUST!

Go with friends and have fun at dim sum. And don’t forget to tell me some of your fave places to try. – Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 19th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Go Veggie!

This time of year vegetables are piled high and looking beautiful at the farmers market – perfect to get cooking with for Vegetarian Awareness Week!

Going meatless once a week may help reduce your risk of health problems like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save on precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuels.
Local cookbook author and food writer Kim O’Donnel is known as a champion of the Meatless Mondays movement. Her books “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook” and “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations” feature a ton of great recipes for vegetarians and carnivores alike!

One of my favorite hearty recipes teeming with veggies is Roasted Eggplant Caponata – so great to incorporate all those late summer veggies. Made with roasted eggplant, peppers and squash in a garlicky tomato sauce. Serve it with crusty French bread, cous cous or tossed in with whole wheat pasta. I love it scattered with torn basil and goat cheese if you’re so inclined!

So grab those fresh veggies and make your next meal meatless! – Kathy

Roasted Eggplant Caponata
This can be made up to three days ahead: reheat or bring to room temperature right before serving.

Makes 6 cups and serves 10 – 15.

1 medium eggplant (about 14 oz.), trimmed and sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse (Kosher) salt
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
5 medium white mushrooms, diced 1/4-inch
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped, liquid reserved
1 large tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely diced roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 tablespoons minced Calamata olives or black olives
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Spread the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and drizzle or brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then chop and set aside.

Meanwhile, slice the yellow squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the squash seed pulp and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch dice. Repeat with the zucchini. Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over moderately high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms, onions, diced yellow squash and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown lightly, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Stir in the red wine, vinegar and artichoke liquid. Add the tomato, crushed red pepper, black pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring until the tomato softens, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Stir in the artichoke hearts, tomato sauce, roasted red pepper, capers, olives, basil, parsley and the reserved eggplant. Reduce heat to moderately low and cook for 3 minutes or until thickened. Serve warm.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 5th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Pineapple Mezcal Cooler

This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, I shake up Pineapple Mezcal Coolers! This cocktail uses my Fresh Pineapple Agave mix, made with fresh pineapple chunks and organic agave nectar then blended until nice and smooth – I love using my Vitamix The Quiet One blender! Add this to unaged mezcal (or silver tequila), fresh lime juice, earthy sage, and a splash of soda water for a late summer sipper. The Fresh Pineapple Agave also works as a tasty non-alcoholic beverage as well – just add soda water.

Enjoy! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 27th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Small Screen Network, videos

Giant Zucchini!

Zucchini are a favorite summer squash and gardeners (and neighbors of gardeners) know they can grow to at least three feet – impressive!

An incredibly versatile vegetable, zucchini flowers are edible too!  They are wonderful sautéed in a lovely summer pasta dish or stuffed with cheese, lightly battered and fried.

Zucchini is the perfect star on the grill. Try my Cumin-Marinated Grilled Zucchini topped with Tomato and Corn Summer Salsa. Just cut medium-sized zucchini in half lengthwise, rub with a little olive oil, sea salt and cumin, then pop on the grill! Top with a great quick-to-make salsa – sweet corn, diced tomatoes, some jalapeño for spice and a touch of lime. Super easy and so delicious!

Have a giant zucchinis? Get sweet with it and grate it into my Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  The zucchini keeps the cake moist and delicious. Top it off with a Chocolate Espresso Glaze – YUM!

And if you just can’t eat them all, then put on some costume wings and become the “zucchini fairy!” Share the zucchini bounty and leave one on your neighbors doorstep – your neighbors will thank you!

My intern, Emily told me her dad used to unload his over-sized zucchini on unsuspecting house guests and neighbors by leaving them on the backseat of their cars for them to find on the drive home – pretty sneaky! Emily grew a pretty decent sized one herself this year, too!

Emily's Zucchini
Emily with her Giant Zucchini !

Whether in the garden or on the grill, zucchinis really are a fantastic vegetable for the summertime! – Kathy

Cumin Grilled Zucchini With Tomato Corn Summer Salsa
Makes 6 servings.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (about 1 1/4 lb.)

Salsa
3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced ripe tomatoes
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (about 1 medium ear of corn)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsps olive oil
2 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Garnish
regular or non-fat sour cream

Pre-heat grill to hot — you want to grill the zucchini over hot coals.

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Add zucchini and rub oil mixture all over the zucchini, making sure they are covered well. Set aside.

To make salsa: In a large bowl mix together all the salsa ingredients well. Adjust jalapeños as needed for spiciness desired.

To grill zucchini: Place zucchini over very hot coals and grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side to mark zucchini nicely and cook until just done.

Serve zucchini topped with salsa and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Espresso Glaze
Serves 12.

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 Tbsps 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®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 22nd, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert, sides

Sparkling Tradewinds Punch

This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, I make a crowd pleasing Sparkling Tradewinds Punch! Gold rum, brandy (cognac works too!), fresh fruit juices, a touch of Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur, and Bitter Truth Creole Bitters all mingle together for this party drink. I even add in a bottle of brut champagne for bubbles and the Cherry Bitter Ice Balls add another d’lish layer of flavor!

Salud! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 13th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Lifestyle, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Seattle Magazine

Seattle Magazine just posted my special piece covering this year’s Tales of the Cocktail. Check out my guest blog, Mixing It Up at Tales Of The Cocktail 2013!

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 30th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Conferences, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Tasty Travels
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