breakfast

BFD: Breakfast for Dinner!

Eggs are the classic breakfast food, but these days eggs are showing up in every meal.

Stratas are a great dish to get ready the night before so weeknight dinners won’t feel like such a hassle. Bread, eggs and cheese are mixed with other goodies. Let it soak overnight then bake it up when you get home. Poof! Dinner will be ready in no time! I developed a Sweet Pepper & Sausage Breakfast Strata using Sunset Peppers – it’s a great base recipe to get creative with. Want to spice it up a bit? Try subbing chorizo for the sausage and pepper jack for the Italian cheese blend – Yum!


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Have you ever had eggs on a pizza – it’s so good! Just break a raw egg in the center of your pizza right before you bake it and be amazed. I love it with roasted peppers, Italian sausage and spinach. If you like that idea and burgers, put an egg on it! Top your fave burger with a sunnyside up egg for a richer taste.

How about trying ‘shirred’ eggs? Bake a whole raw egg over tomato sauce, veggies and topped with cheese. Serve it with crusty bread for an easy and d’lish dinner.

And of course I can’t forget Deviled Eggs because I wrote a whole book on them – D’Lish Deviled Eggs! I could just eat them for dinner!

What an ‘egg-celent’ way to start and end the day. It’s the perfect time to try out a new egg dish because January is National Egg Month! -Kathy

Sweet Pepper & Sausage Breakfast Strata
Strata makes for a lovely mid-day dinner, brunch or breakfast dish for a crowd. You can prep it the day or evening before your party and then just pop the strata in the oven 45 minutes before your guests arrive.

Makes about 6 – 8 servings

3 Sunset Red, Yellow or Orange Sweet Bell Peppers, or a combination
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
8 eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups 1-inch-diced French or Italian rustic bread, such as a baguette
2 cups (8 oz) grated Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Seed the peppers, dice them into 1/2″ pieces and set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add sausage and cook until half done, about 3 minutes. Add onion and reserved peppers, and sauté for about 8 –10 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp. Stir in garlic. Remove from the heat and set aside.

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

Transfer mixture to an 11×13″ baking pan and lightly press into pan to fill evenly. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and let sit, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight, so that bread soaks up egg mixture.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F and bake strata for about 45 – 50 minutes or until puffy and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chef’s Notes: 1 baguette averages about 8 cups diced bread. Be sure to use a somewhat hearty bread for making this dish. Strata is also excellent as a simple supper dish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunset Produce.

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 9th, 2014  |  Comments Off on BFD: Breakfast for Dinner! |  Posted in Books to Cook, breakfast, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

New Year Resolution Foods

The holiday feast is over, and the New Year’s resolutions have begun!  For those who vow every year to eat healthy – the trick to keeping those promises is to make it easy and delicious. Don’t worry; I have some great tips to keep you going!

Eating breakfast gets your metabolism boosted so start the day off right with a healthful smoothie. Try incorporating a few power packed ingredients like Greek yogurt, chia seeds, almond butter, kale or even goji berries!

Next, quinoa is a fantastic food! It’s high in protein, amino acids, and fiber. I love it sprinkled over salads or served as a side dish. This gluten free seed is a powerhouse! Try my recipe for Big Protein Quinoa Salad – perfect to pack and take to work.


And if you’re traveling from Sea-Tac Airport,
my Dish D’Lish has a great new, healthy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad in to-go cups!

Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Another great motto for healthy eating is “eat with the rainbow”. The vividness of the plant pigments is a good guide to the nutritional value of fruits and veggies. Bright orange sweet potatoes, deep purple wild blueberries and, dark kale and chard are all loaded with vitamins and antioxidants!

And my best tip is to stock your fridge with healthful foods. When you come home from work you won’t be tempted to order out! –Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits or fresh fruits
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey for another all natural sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 tsp flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 fresh kale leaf (optional)

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
I like to make this salad with all organic produce and also add in a cup of chopped fresh raw kale for extra fiber!

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced organic cucumber
1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2cup organic golden raisins
1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 2nd, 2014  |  Comments Off on New Year Resolution Foods |  Posted in breakfast, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Easy Smoothies!

As we’ve all heard, eating a healthy breakfast is important. It’s the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting your metabolism revved up for the day.  But some of us just don’t have time to get it together in the mornings (especially without that first cup of joe!). Now, this is where smoothies come in!

Dust off your blender (I love my Vitamix!) then add in either fat-free yogurt or protein powder, some of your favorite fruits either fresh or frozen and filtered water. But don’t stop there!

Try new additions like matcha powder, flax seeds, goji berries, and even trusty peanut butter; these all are great smoothie boosters.

“Green” smoothies are ever popular these days, but don’t let the color fool you. They’re super healthy! I like to make mine with organic “green” juice, some protein powder, half a ripe banana to add natural sweetness, then blend it all up with half a peeled orange and add in more greens with handful of kale! Yes, it looks like Shrek made it – but it’s a great way to start your day and you’ll feel green goodness coursing through you!

For other smoothie-inspired recipes, check out my blogging friend Healthy Blender Recipes‘ recipe for VEGA Vegan Banana Vanilla Chai Green Protein Smoothie – wowza! -Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits or fresh fruits
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey for another all natural sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 tsp flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 fresh kale leaf (optional)

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 30th, 2013  |  Comments Off on Easy Smoothies! |  Posted in breakfast, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

D’lish Deviled Eggs on New Day Northwest!

I had a blast with King 5’s Margaret Larson on New Day Northwest earlier this morning talking all about my latest book, D’Lish Deviled Eggs! With over 50 classic and creative recipes, there’s definitely an egg for everyone and every occasion.

Beet'ing Heart
Beet’ing Heart Deviled Eggs! Love the color!

(Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs, Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Want to know my tips and secrets for how to make the perfect deviled egg? Start by making sure to hard-cook (not boil!) your eggs with my tip below. Then dress your deviled with my tasty variations: Goat Cheese and Peppadew, “California Roll,” and Beet’ing Heart deviled eggs.

California Roll egg

Creative way of incorporating sushi into an egg app: “California Roll” Deviled Eggs topped with
Alaska King Crab, cucumber, furikake and tobiko.
(Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs, Andrews McMeel Publishing)

For another fun deviled egg recipe, try my Emerald Asparagus & Sweet Onion Deviled Eggs found in the Seattle Time’s Pacific NW Magazine! Here’s to a wonderful spring season and Easter holiday! -Kathy

Goat Cheese and Peppadew Eggs
Creamy goat cheese and tangy sweet Peppadew peppers tango with a hit of Tabasco heat in this sexy deviled egg combo. Topped with a Spanish Marcona almond for a touch of salty crunch, these zippy bites are sure to please everyone’s palate.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
3 to 4 ounces chèvre-style goat cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
8 Peppadew peppers, drained well and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

Topping
24 Marcona almonds
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the goat cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the peppers.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill eggs with a spoon, dividing filling evenly.

Top each egg half with a Marcona almond and a sprinkle of parsley.

Hard-Cooked Eggs

1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

“California Roll” Deviled Eggs
Part of the allure of sushi is the beautiful presentation, and these California-roll-inspired eggs are dressed to impress. The wasabi and avocado filling whips up in no time, so you can spend a little longer making them look like the work of art they are!

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs

Filling
1/2 ripe avocado
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon purchased wasabi paste (or 1 tablespoon wasabi powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping
2 ounces Alaska King Crab meat (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
24 small cucumber fans (see tip)
Nori komi furikake (sesame seed–seaweed sprinkle)
2 tablespoons tobiko (flying fish roe)

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a small bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

In a mixing bowl, mash the avocado well with a fork, then add the yolks and mash to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, wasabi paste, and salt, and mix until smooth.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

Top each egg half with a little crabmeat, a cucumber fan, a sprinkle of furikake, and about 1/4 teaspoon tobiko.

Tip: To make tiny cucumber fans, quarter a 4-inch piece of English cucumber lengthwise. Then cut each quarter into 18 thin slices—the goal is to get 3 tiny slices per “fan.” See photo for reference.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Beet’ing Heart Deviled Eggs
I’m all for an appetizer that doubles as a fun craft project, and these eggs certainly fit the bill. Pickled beet juice turns the whites a deep pink color and makes these perfect for serving up on Valentine’s Day or Easter. Kids will love helping turn their eggs pink.

Makes 24

1 (15-ounce) can sliced pickled beets
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 dozen hard-cooked eggs

Filling
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh-cracked black pepper

Topping
1/4 cup reserved tiny-diced pickled beets, drained well
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

To pickle the eggs, drain the beet liquid into a deep medium container and reserve the beets separately. Add the red wine vinegar and sugar to the beet liquid and stir to dissolve the sugar. Peel the hard-cooked eggs and add to the mixture, being sure they are submerged. Cover and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight, refrigerated. Stir often to color evenly.

Drain the eggs well, pat dry on paper towels, and discard the beet liquid. Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

To finish the eggs, with a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, red onion, sugar, and salt, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Add black pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

Top each egg half with 1/2 teaspoon of pickled beets and a sprinkle of green onion.

Tip: For a “polka dot” effect, firmly pack the eggs into a narrow container so that they are all touching, and do not stir them. The eggs will be lighter pink or white where they touch, lending a fun polka dot pattern.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

D’lish Deviled Eggs

Anyone who knows me knows that I love deviled eggs. Whenever I show up to a party with a full party platter of them, they are the first thing to fly off the table!

How much do I love them? Well, I wrote a whole book about them – my new book D’Lish Deviled Eggs features more than 50 classic and creative variations!

dde cover

Everyone has their favorite way of making them. I know that grandma’s classic recipe is always a go-to for most people, but these one-bite (maybe two-bite!) apps are the perfect platform to get inspired with!

From California Roll Deviled Eggs with a filling made with avocado and wasabi topped with crab and cucumber – to sassy Chipotle Eggs to Cheddar and Bacon—there are tons of different takes on the classic and some fun and kitschy variations too. What better way to use up all those hard-boiled eggs after Easter?

D’lish Deviled Eggs is available in books stores, online and digital. Just think, you’ll have over 50 new ideas for your next party appetizer!

Web: www.dlishdeviledeggs.com for more fun deviled egg tips and recipes.

Tweet Tweet: @chickytweets on Twitter!

So get crackin’ and enjoy some d’lish deviled eggs! –Kathy

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Chipotle Deviled Eggs—yum!
(Photo © Kathy Casey Food Studios from D’Lish Deviled Eggs)

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

I’ve been making these for years and they have become a cocktail-party staple. The spicy tomato topping adds textural and visual pizzazz. Serve these with your favorite margarita for a perfect pairing.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (recipe follows)

Filling
3 Tbsps mayonnaise
3 Tbsps regular or low-fat sour cream
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 to 2 Tbsps chipotle chile purée (see tip)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsps thinly sliced green onion

Topping
1/2 cup small-diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp minced white onion
2 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 tsps chipotle chile purée (see tip)

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, chipotle purée, garlic, and salt, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the green onion.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and chipotle purée. Top each egg half with about 1 tsp of the topping.

Tip: To make chipotle chile purée, place canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, with the sauce, in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Freeze any extra purée for another use.

Hard-Cooked Eggs

1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe from D’Lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 21st, 2013  |  Comments Off on D’lish Deviled Eggs |  Posted in Amazon, appetizers, Books to Cook, breakfast, dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood, sides, Snacks

Healthy Snack: Yogurt!

Yogurt is one of my definite go-to, easy snacks. It’s healthy; individually packaged; and come in a wide variety of flavors! From Boston Cream Pie to Passion Fruit, to Orange Creamsicle to Boysenberry.

And these days, people just can get enough of Greek Yogurt! It’s creamy and smooth and the low-fat varieties taste so luscious!

Greek yogurt is packed with muscle-building and appetite suppressing proteins, and fat-free versions are low in calories and sugar, making this treat a total win-win in my books. For added flavor, top it with freshly chopped fruits, crunchy granola, a drizzle of honey, or… shaved dark chocolate! The options are endless!

This dairy darling has many d’lish applications. I love mixing it into mashed potatoes or adding a dollop on top of my morning oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup. For healthy app, dip rice crackers or baked chips into plain Greek yogurt topped with salsa and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro – delicioso!

Greek yogurt is the perfect addition to any morning routine. It’s great when blended into my Fiber Packed Breakfast Smoothie! Blended with a whole-peeled orange, a spoonful of local honey, ice and a few flax seeds–you’ll have the energy you need to start your day right.

Yogurt has definitely lost its “plain vanilla” reputation and I’m glad! –Kathy

Fiber Packed Breakfast Smoothie
The great thing about smoothies are that you can customize to your personal taste. Add a tablespoon of protein powder, or toss in some fresh or frozen berries.

Using a whole orange adds not only great taste, but extra fiber too. And if you want to jack up the fiber even more add a few torn leaves of fresh kale.

And if you really love smoothies- be sure to get yourself a fantastic blender. I love my Vitamix it makes smoothies in a flash!

Makes 2 servings

1 large orange
1 ripe banana, cut in chunks
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
1 – 2 Tbsp local honey, agave nectar (or sub a packet of no-cal sweetener)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 cup ice

Cut the peel off the oranges, trim away any white pith, cut the fruit into chunks, removing any seeds.

Place the orange, banana, yogurt, honey, flax seeds and ice in a blender cup and blend on high speed until smooth. Divide between two glasses and serve immediately .

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 8th, 2013  |  Comments Off on Healthy Snack: Yogurt! |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, Snacks

New Year’s Healthy Start

It’s the New Year, but I have a feeling that your mind is probably remembering those New Year’s resolutions. Trust me, you’re not alone! The promise to be in shape and eat healthy is two of the most common resolutions people make!

Do you remember your parents telling you that, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?” Guess what, it’s totally true! Getting your metabolism revved as soon as you wake up does help with weight loss management. I love to start my day with Kashi GO Lean Cereal – which has 13 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber! – mixed with a little fruit and non-fat yogurt. This combo will get anyone off to a good start!

If quick and easy smoothies are your thing, try My Jump-Start Smoothie – it combines low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit and agave and can be customized however you like for the perfect A.M. pick-me-up!

berry-smoothie-sl-1017338-l

A d’lish smoothie to start your mornings!
(Photo courtesy of MyRecipes.com)

At lunch time, my Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad is just the thing to keep you full and well fueled during the mid-day crunch. You can make a big batch early in the week and pack yourself small lunch portions.  For extra fiber, add in some chopped kale or hearty greens.

For dinner, I like to pick up some chicken pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) at my favorite local noodle joint – then add a heaping helping of steamed veggies back at home.

So start out the New Year right with some healthy goodness! -Kathy

Kathy’s Jump-Start Smoothie
There are lots of things you can get creative with. Add a tablespoon of protein powder, a banana, change up the frozen fruits, add a dash of OJ or fat-free milk if you like your smoothie less thick or if you have a “challenged blender.” And if you love smoothies- be sure to get yourself a good blender. I love my Vita Mix!

Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup frozen fruits – such as Trader Joe’s Tropical Fruit Trio
1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or sub honey or a packet of no-cal sweetener)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 – 1 teaspoon flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)

Place ingredients in the order above and blend until smooth. Enjoy your healthy start to a great day!

Recipe © Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
I like to make this salad with all organic produce and also add in a cup of chopped fresh raw kale for extra fiber!

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red quinoa*
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced organic cucumber
1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2cup organic golden raisins
1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

*Available at PCC Markets

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 6th, 2012  |  Comments Off on New Year’s Healthy Start |  Posted in breakfast, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides

Pretty in Pink – Rhubarb is here just in time for Memorial Day Weekend Patio Parties!

Spring has sprung and summer is on its way! Vibrant stalks of rhubarb have begun to poke their heads out of the ground and are starting to make their first appearances at local markets. This fruit pie favorite, which is actually a vegetable, ranges in color from pale green with pink speckles to fully pink as well as rich, dark red. The color is a result of the variety of plant and is not an indicator of quality or sourness – popular myth at work! Hothouse rhubarb is first to hit grocery stores, but its flavor pales in comparison to our local farmers’ crop or those grown in backyards. Never fear – those delicious specimens will be ready to grace your favorite dish soon, with rhubarb’s peak season upon us!

Rhubarb is almost always sweetened and cooked in some form, as it is tart tart tart!  It bears the nickname “pie plant” because of its most common use in desserts.

Every spring and early summer, my grandmother had a pan of tart-and-sweet rhubarb stewing. We used to have it for breakfast to top our oatmeal or spoon up on our toast. My recipe inspired by Grandma Mimi is a heavenly Roasted Rhubarb Honey Mousse! Sliced rhubarb is tossed with sugar and then slow-roasted to a syrupy goodness. Then it’s chilled and folded with honey-sweetened whipped cream. (You can roast the rhubarb the day ahead and finish off the mousse the day of serving.)

But rhubarb isn’t just for dessert it makes a wonderful addition to cocktails, too!  Why not try my Rhubarb Collins, the perfect refreshing crowd-pleaser for your next backyard party! (Make the Rhubarb syrup up to 4-days in advance). You can also leave out the vodka and add more soda water for a tasty DIY soda and non-alcoholic sipper.

IMG_2351 - hj edit
A tasty Rhubarb Collins

So invite over some friend this holiday weekend – plan a potluck so everyone can share in the work, or grill up something local and easy.

While the sun goes down—spoon dreamy Roasted Rhubarb Honey Mousse slowly on to your tongue, or sip a cool snazzy Rhubarb Collins —and you may just think you live in the best place on earth. – Kathy

Roasted Rhubarb Honey Mousse

Makes 6 servings

1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 small package (3 ounces) cream cheese
5 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Garnishes: Whipped cream, edible flowers

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Toss the rhubarb and sugar together in a large bowl, then spread in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Roast, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft and the syrup is slightly caramelized. Stir thoroughly and carefully after the first 20 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. (You can do this up to one day ahead- just keep refrigerated.)

Whip the cream cheese with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the honey in a mixer until very fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the chilled rhubarb mixture. Whip the cream with the remaining 1 tablespoon of honey until firmly peaked. Stir about one third of the whipped cream into the rhubarb mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Dish up into 6 pretty glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then top, if desired, with a little plain whipped cream and an edible spring flower, such as a pansy, or petals of apple, pear, or plum blossoms.

Chef’s Note: If selecting edible flowers from your yard, be sure that they are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals. Rinse all blossoms thoroughly.

Recipe ©Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Rhubarb Collins

Makes 1 cocktail

For a non-alcoholic cooler delete the vodka and just add more soda water.
This drink is also delicious with a dash of fresh strawberry puree. I also like to garnish it with a small sprig of thyme and a lemon wedge.

1 1/2 ounces Organic Vodka, such as Moon Mountain
1 1/2 ounce Rhubarb Syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces soda water, chilled

Measure the vodka, Rhubarb Syrup and lemon into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake vigorously.

Pour into a tall Collins glass. Add soda water and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and thyme if desired.

Rhubarb Syrup

Makes 2 1/2 cups – or about 12 servings

2 cups sliced rhubarb
2 cups water
————————–
2 cups sugar

Combine rhubarb and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Then add sugar and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing all juices out well. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe ©Kathy Casey Food Studios® – Liquid Kitchen™

Kathy Casey is a celebrity chef, mixologist and entertaining expert. She is known as a pioneer in the bar-chef movement.  Catch Kathy on Twitter (@KathyCaseyChef), Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog www.kathycasey.com/blog, on Small Screen Network or find Sips & Apps on Facebook.

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 26th, 2011  |  Comments Off on Pretty in Pink – Rhubarb is here just in time for Memorial Day Weekend Patio Parties! |  Posted in breakfast, Cocktails, dessert, Recent Posts
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