Cocktails

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

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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, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

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.

 

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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
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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 October 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, vegetables

Huckleberries – A taste of Late Summer

It’s time to talk about huckleberries. This native Pacific Northwest berry is delicious in drinks, desserts, incorporated into dinners, or straight off the bush!

huckleberries
Photo from The Daily Apple

There are lots of places you can pick huckleberries and often you can get some great hiking in, too. Find a trail in the mountains that takes you roughly above 2,000 feet; huckleberries grow fine at sea-level, but really go wild in higher elevations. Look for bushes in meadows or along lakes. The Washington Trails Association has a great list of “huckleberry hikes.”

Just remember these 2 key pointers:

  1. Lots of berries grow in our neck of the woods, and not all of them are edible. Make sure to take a guidebook along to make sure you’re picking the right ones.
  2. Keep your eyes open for roaming animals. Our wildlife loves huckleberries as much as we do; you might even spot a bear so be careful!

And they’re not just for pie although I love them studded into an apple pie like in my Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust.

One of my favorites is a savory Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce. Or how about roasted with slices of sweet potato – yum!

These wild fall berries are delicious in almost anything! –Kathy

Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Crust
2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp round nutmeg
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
12 Tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
6 Tbsps ice water

Filling
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbsps flour
2 Tbsps cornstarch
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced, peeled and cored apples (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup fresh wild huckleberries
milk and sugar for topping (optional)

To make the crust:In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and graham cracker crumbs and mix evenly. Cut in butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into 2 disks and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces and press gently into disks. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, cornstarch, apples and huckleberries. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into 2 rounds, each about 12 inches in diameter. Brush excess flour from one crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit bottom crust into pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2″.

Mound the fruit mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Brush edges of bottom crust lightly with water and then cover pie with top crust. Trim top crust overhang to 1 inch, then fold overhanging top-crust dough under edge of bottom crust overhang and tuck excess dough under, even with edge of pan. Seal and flute edges with fingertips to make a pretty crimp. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top, brush top crust lightly with milk then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more, or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce
Makes 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp clarified butter or olive oil plus more if needed
1 shallot, minced
2 large fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup port
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup crumbled Oregon blue cheese or other full-flavored blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh wild huckleberries

Garnishes:
fresh sage leaves
crumbled blue cheese
fresh wild huckleberries

Read through the entire recipe before beginning, and have all ingredients ready within reach of the range.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken liberally on each side with salt and pepper. (If chicken breasts are really large, then lightly pound out a bit between sheets of plastic wrap.)

In a large, heavy, ovenproof nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over high heat until hot. Sear the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the chicken for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until juices run clear. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

Place the chicken-cooking pan over high heat and add the shallot and sage leaves to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in the port and mustard and scrape up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan to get all that good flavor into the sauce. Continuing cooking on high heat to reduce the port to 1/4 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream, and reduce until saucy and almost glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the cheese and whisk in for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove the sauce from heat and stir in the huckleberries.

Discard the sage leaves. Whisk in any accumulated juices from the resting chicken breasts, taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, plate the chicken breasts on dinner plates and drizzle with the sauce, dividing evenly. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and a sprinkling of cheese and huckleberries.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 21st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes

Summer Blackberries

Ahh blackberries… the glorious summer berry growing in backyards, parks, and all along our northwest trails. These delicious juicy little fruits are definitely worth the fight with the prickly bushes that they grow on – and your patience will be rewarded!

Not only are blackberries delicious, but they’re good for you! With one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit – these berries are also a wonderful source of vitamins C and K as well as fiber.

Truth be told, I think blackberries really are a taste of summer, which is why they’re the perfect addition to a refreshing summer cocktail. Add them into a shaker tin with some fresh mint, lime juice, simple syrup and rum, and you have a wonderful (and easy to make) Blackberry Mojito!

Gone blackberry picking and now have a big bowl in the fridge? Throw some in your pancake batter and start the morning off with some d’lish Blackberry Pancakes topped with Citrusy Syrup.


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Or how about a summer salad tossed with Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette – a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts and fresh goat cheese – a great start to any summer meal.

Enjoy the last days of summer with a fresh bowl of blackberries! –Kathy

Blackberry Honey Vinaigrette
Toss with summer garden greens, and fat blackberries. Scatter with toasted hazelnuts and a crumbling of blue cheese or chevre. Dressing recipe can easily be doubled.

Makes about 1 generous cup of dressing.

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) blackberries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Liquid Kitchen® No. 5130 honey or local honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 8th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, Cocktails, Foodie News, Fruit, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Marvelous Melons

A few summers ago, I whipped up a party-size batch of Watermelon Sangria. It was a hit and really made my croquet game better than ever! And summer is the time to enjoy juicy, sweet melons – the markets are brimming with them.

With their crisp, cool and refreshing qualities, melons evoke the essence of the summer season. We enjoy them in a multitude of ways. From simple chilled watermelon wedges with a sprinkling of chili lime salt to colorful melon-ball skewers of honeydew and cantaloupe intertwined with thinly sliced prosciutto for utensil-free outdoor snacking!

WatermelonTap
And have you ever seen those “watermelon taps?” They’re super cool to add in a watermelon drink and have it ready to pour.

But one of my favorite watermelon cocktails is the “Smitten:” tequila, fresh watermelon chunks, lime, a little simple syrup, a few sprigs of cilantro and a dash of hot sauce – it’s something a little different and d’lish!

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Check out www.LiquidKitchen.tv to get the recipe and watch a video on how to make the Smitten!

So be sure to enjoy them while you can; there’s nothing like summer’s fresh melons to cool you off on a hot day. –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on August 11th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts

Summer Cherries

From Bings to Queen Annes, cherries are one of the Northwest’s most famed exports, and also one of our most valuable crops. Needless to say, they’re luscious, sweet & tart, and decadent.

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Cherry Mojito photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Eaten out of hand is always tasty but I love them crushed in fresh lemonade or in one of my favorite summer cocktails, Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd! Just combine pitted cherries, light rum, fresh squeezed lime juice, and simple syrup. Let this sit for an hour or so, and then add a big splash of soda water and ice. Now, you’re ready for summer sippin’!

Have you ever made cherry salsa? Make my Sassy Bing Cherry Salsa just like you would tomato salsa, but sub out fresh chopped cherries for the tomatoes. Toss with some fresh lime juice, fresh minced jalapeno, a little red onion and some cilantro–great on grilled chicken or salmon.

Or hey, how about just a big bowl of cherries for dinner? Why not! So head out to the market and pick of a big bag of fresh local cherries and taste the season! –Kathy

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Makes about 10 servings

3 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 1/2 cups sprigs)
3 cups silver rum
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh lime juice
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10-ounce bottles soda water, chilled
Loads of ice for serving

For Garnishing: fresh mint, fresh cherries

In a large nonreactive container, such as a glass pitcher, lightly crush the cherries with a potato masher. Then add the mint, rum, sugar and lime juice. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours – or overnight. (You can remove the mint before serving if you like and then garnish with fresh ones.)

For serving: add the soda water to the pitcher of drinks. Add ice and serve immediately.

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

Posted by Kathy on June 24th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Fruit, Recipes

Cider Sipping

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 spiced, and fruit-forward (think pear or raspberry, and even chai). There’s something for everyone’s taste.


A Rhuby Rum Cider Cocktail featuring dark rum,
grapefruit and pomegranate juices, and chai cider!
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Cider is also fantastic as a mixer for cocktails too! Cider cocktails are a growing trend in bars and restaurants, and I have had so much fun creating new cider twists. For instance, have you ever had a mojito with a splash of crisp dry cider instead of the usual soda water? Or how about a whiskey sour topped with a blackberry cider.

Ciders are just the thing for sunny weather sipping. Friends and family gather for picnics, and patio parties – all of which call for cocktails batched for a crowd. One of my favorites is sangria, like in my Pear & Blackberry Sangria! It is so delicious to make this time of year with all the great fruit that is coming to their peak. Grab a local cider at the farmers market, add in a little light rum, and then sliced seasonal fruits. If it needs a bit of sweetness add a touch of local honey. Let it sit overnight to infuse in the refrigerator, then fill up a big pitcher and bring it out on the deck for leisurely sipping in style!

Cheers to summer with some sunny ciders. And for more inspired sipping, make sure to check out my Spiked column in CIDERCRAFT Magazine! –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
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1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp. 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 June 2nd, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recipes

Margaritas

Everyone loves a great margarita! It’s been popular in the U.S. since the early 50’s, and there are a lot of opinions on what makes a great margarita.

Margarita
Poppy’s Margarita from my book Sips & Apps that features a housemade Spicy Chipotle-Lime Sour

A classic ‘rita is typically made with tequila, fresh lime, a touch of simple syrup or agave nectar, and triple sec or orange liqueur. Let’s review our options.

The Tequila choices are vast:

    Silver is ideal for a fresh, bright margarita or made with fresh fruits.
    Reposado is aged a minimum of 2 months – 12 months in wooden casks. This light aging process rounds out a few of the rough edges found in many unaged tequilas.
    Añejo is aged more than 1 year and wonderfully smooth. It’s best for sipping on their own, but use it in a margarita if you like or add it as a float for depth of flavor.

Margarita MUSTS include starting with a good tequila, using FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice, orange liqueur (triple sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau) or a squeeze of orange works great too. Now sweeten to taste with a touch simple syrup or agave nectar.

Some like salt rims; some do not. I’m 50/50 and like a half rim of salt (my preference being kosher). Or there are tasty salt rimmers:check out my video for Sweet Citrus Salt. And of course, there are the “add-ins,” a splash of cranberry juice, pomegranate, fresh berries … the possibilities are endless!

Here is a basic margarita recipe you can get creative with:

Basic Margarita Recipe

Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 – 2 oz tequila of your choice
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 oz simple syrup or agave nectar (thinned out a bit)
1/4 oz orange liqueur (triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier)

Build drink in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cap and shake.
Pour into a glass, garnish with a lime wheel, and enjoy!

So starting shaking and cheers to a great margarita! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 13th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Recipes
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