Upside Down Cakes

Sometimes things are just better upside down. Bust out the baking dish – I’m talking about delicious Upside Down Cakes!

Light and fluffy cake batter encased by a sugary-butter topping and jeweled with chopped fruits – baked until ooey gooey and caramelized. What could be better than that?

So versatile and decadent – these cakes are a total crowd pleaser and often seen during the holidays. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is by far the most popular – but there are plenty of variations that are just as scrumptious! Apples, peaches, cherries, or plums – it’s the perfect vehicle for your favorite fruit.

This d’lish dessert is sometimes considered a little retro – but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try. Throw in some chopped nuts or layer on a boozy caramel glaze for a fun twist. Or throw that rule book out the window and try my Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake for breakfast!

You can even make mini versions using your trusty cupcake tin as the baking vessel!

Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Apple layer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray, and set aside.

Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the pecans, and pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 15th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Fruit, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Snacks


Bananas, the ultimate all-natural portable snack! Perfect for throwing into your purse or bag when you’re on the go.

Besides being deliciously handy, bananas are a great source of potassium and are low in sodium. They are a good source of Vitamin B as well as Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Plus they are naturally fat free!

If you’re thinking of a late-season campfire, then consider this s’mores alternative:

Take an unpeeled banana and make a split lengthwise – just not all the way through. Carve a trough from end to end, keeping the peel. Munch on the removed banana to tie you over, while filling the trough with bits of marshmallow and chocolate and sprinkle with crumbled graham crackers. Wrap the whole thing in tin foil and stick it in the embers like a potato, or over a hot grill. After a few minutes, take it out and carefully unwrap. Yum!

And believe it or not, bananas are delicious in savory dishes too. My recipe for Banana Pineapple Chutney is flavored with warm spices like ginger and allspice. It’s a fantastic way to spice up a grilled chicken breast or pork chop.

So let’s face it – any way you slice them (or even if you don’t), bananas are d’lish!

Banana Pineapple Chutney
Great served with basmati rice and vegetable curries as well as grilled scallops, chicken, pork chops or ham.

Makes 3 cups

1/3 cup 1/4-inch-diced red onion
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced red bell pepper
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. currants
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced ripe fresh pineapple
2 cups (about 2 large) firm underripe bananas, peeled, cut in half lengthwise then in 1/2-inch chunks

In a heavy, wide, shallow, nonreactive pot, place all ingredients except the fruit. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for about 4 minutes until mixture is syrupy and slightly reduced.

Add currants and pineapple, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 1 minute. Gently fold in bananas and cook until just thickened, about 2 minutes more. Occasionally stir the mixture gently; do not stir roughly—you want to keep the fruit pieces’ integrity. Chutney should be thickened but still slightly juicy. If too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate if not serving right away. Chutney should be slightly warm for serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 8th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, sides

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons – a culinary favorite of mine with its deep yellow hue and fragrant flavor. Rumored to be a cross between a lemon and an orange, this zesty citrus is typically available December through April.

So what makes these cuties different from a standard lemon? Meyer’s have pretty “thin skin”, are highly aromatic, and have a sweeter taste than standard lemons. Their delicate flavor works great in cocktails, desserts, and savory dishes too!

I like to thinly slice them and roast alongside chicken or pork. The slices are so tasty when eaten with the dish – like in my recipe for Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port.

The zest of their peel is fragrant and delicious too – especially when added to shortbread cookies or an Herbed Orzo Salad.

So wake up your taste buds with this citrusy delight – and hurry before they’re gone!

Spiced Chicken with Meyer Lemon, Pears & Port
This is a great entrée for a dinner party. I also love it sprinkled with blue cheese right before serving for a delicious twist.

Makes 6 servings

3 firm ripe fresh pears
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 unpeeled Meyer lemon, sliced (about 9 slices)
1 cup port wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnishing

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pears in half and core. Cut each half in half and then in half again—to make large chunks. Reserve.

In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet or piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and sprinkle each piece liberally on both sides with the spice mixture.

In a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Sauté half of the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin is deep golden brown and crispy. As the pieces are browned, place them, skin side up, in a 10-by-15-inch baking pan or small roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Pour off any excess oil, then sauté the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon for about 1 minute. Add the port and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring just to a boil, and then add the hot mixture, with all the goodies, to the roasting pan, pouring it around, not over, the chicken to keep the browned crust intact.

Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout and nicely browned on the outside, with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (chicken will gain another 5 degrees on standing).

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon, retrieve the pears, shallots, garlic, and lemon slices from the sauce and distribute them over the chicken. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat and cook to reduce the sauce to about 3/4 cup. (If you like your sauce to have a bit more body, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth and whisk into the reducing sauce. Cook till lightly thickened.) Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjust if needed, then drizzle the sauce over the chicken and goodies. Scatter with parsley leaves for garnish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios ®

Herbed Meyer Lemon Orzo
Makes 6 servings

12 ounces dry orzo pasta (2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, salted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallots
1/2 cup very coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced Meyer lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and cook for approximately 6 – 7 minutes, stirring often, until just al dente or per package instructions. Immediately drain well, then place orzo in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in butter, olive oil, shallots and herbs to coat well. Then stir in lemon juice, zest, seasonings and cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 22nd, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, chicken, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, herbs, meats, salads, seafood, sides, Snacks

Smooth Sipping Chocolate

When I think of my childhood favorite after school treat, hot chocolate always comes to mind. But cocoa isn’t just for kids – that’s right adults! Jazz up the flavors with savory and spice add in’s – like infusing cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks into the base. You can even add in a chili pod for some heat!

You can switch it up in other ways too – for those avoiding dairy, there are lots of options these days. Coconut or almond milk make great alternatives.

Turn your cocoa into a cozy night-cap by stirring in a little honey whiskey or your favorite liqueur. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you’ve got to try my luscious Red Wine Sipping Chocolate.

This rich and creamy version combines sultry dark chocolate, a bold lush red wine and a touch of honey for sweetness. For even more decadence, top it off with a big fat toasted gourmet marshmallow (get the blow torch out!) and finish it with a sprinkle of red wine salt. That’s not your mama’s cocoa!

Now get to sipping! -Kathy

Red Wine Honey Sipping Chocolate
This hot chocolate combines three beloved ingredients: honey, chocolate and red wine – yes wine! It’s rich, delicious and meant to be sipped and savored. For even more decadence, top with toasted hand-made Honey Marshmallows, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with red wine salt.

Makes about 4 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons Wildflower Blossom Honey
Garnish: 4 Honey Marshmallows (see recipe) or substitute gourmet purchased marshmallows, red wine salt*, honey for drizzling

Combine the chocolate and wine in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until the chocolate is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the milk and honey, increase heat to med-low and continue to heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and pour into small cups for serving. Garnish with toasted marshmallows sprinkled lightly with red wine salt if desired.

*Red wine salt is available online.

Recipe and Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for the National Honey Board

Posted by Kathy on February 15th, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in chocolate, cocoa nibs, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Snacks

Hearty Root Vegetables

The cold weather months naturally make us crave heartier foods…so thank goodness for root vegetables! They are versatile in flavor, texture and application – as well as budget-friendly and a great source of complex-carbohydrates.

Rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, turnips and beets are all part of this delicious group.

Roasted Beets are so tasty, especially when finished with my Orange Cumin Glaze. Just pop whole beets in a 375 degree oven tented in foil and roast until fork tender – when cooled, the skins will slip off easily. I love them tossed in a salad with arugula, blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette.

The often overlooked parsnip is also a fave – roast them whole with a chicken alongside a few of those beautiful rainbow carrots we see in the markets these days. My Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup paired with chevre and walnut croutons is so delicious you won’t even notice that you’re eating a bowl full of vegetables! Pour yourself a glass of Washington wine and you’re all set for a cozy meal.

Parsnips and carrots can also be enjoyed simply steamed and mashed with seasoning, butter, olive oil or sour cream. It’s the perfect tasty side dish alternative to traditional potatoes.

Embrace these cold days by filling up with some hearty root veggies!

Roasted Beets with Orange Cumin Glaze
Makes about 6 servings.

5 large beets (about 2 lb.)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsps butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 Tbsp finely chopped orange zest
2 Tbsps chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash the beets and leave root untrimmed. Place beets on a large sheet of foil and seal like a package. Place foil packet on a baking pan and roast in preheated oven until very tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Poke beets to make sure they are tender.

As soon as beets are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off and slice into ¼-inch slices.

In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, cumin, vinegar , honey and corn starch. Stir until cornstarch is well incorporated.

Place liquid mixture in a large, non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking – while adding the butter and salt. Bring to a boil and add the sliced beets. Cook, turning beets as necessary, until they are hot and nicely glazed. Place on a serving platter or in large, shallow bowl.

Mix together the walnuts, orange zest and parsley and sprinkle over the beets.

Chef’s Notes:
You can prepare this recipe part way in advance: Just roast, peel and slice the beets ahead of time. This can be done up to 3 days in advance. Then finish the rest of the recipe procedure per instructions.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Creamy Roasted Parsnip Soup with Chevre & Walnut Crostini
Makes 6 servings

4 cups 1/2-inch-sliced peeled parsnips (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsps butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth (I used packaged organic broth)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

6 1/4-inch-thick slices baguette or French bread
Olive oil
3 ounces chevre (goat cheese)
3 Tbsps chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Garnish: thinly sliced fresh chives and/or celery leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

First, toast the bread for the croutons: Lay the bread on a baking sheet, brush slices lightly with oil, and toast in the preheated oven for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until just lightly golden. Remove and let cool. (You can do this the day before and keep croutons in a tightly closed container after they cool.)

Toss parsnips and olive oil together in a bowl to coat evenly. Spread out on a baking sheet (you can reuse the one used for the bread), and roast till golden and totally tender, about 30 minutes.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots and celery until very tender, about 3 minutes; do not brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds more. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken broth, cream and roasted parsnips and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium or low, to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add salt and cayenne. In small batches, puree mixture in a blender. (Be careful; it’s hot!)

Return soup to pan and adjust seasoning if needed. Cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

To serve the soup and finish the crostini:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the cheese on the croutons, then top each one with a half-tablespoon of nuts. Press in slightly and bake for about 4 minutes or until cheese is warmed.
Meanwhile, heat the soup, stirring often, over medium heat till hot, making sure it does not stick on the bottom. Serve the hot soup in warm bowls. Top with chives or celery leaf and serve a warm goat cheese crouton on the side.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Go Nuts for Almonds!

Hail the mighty almond! The crunchy nut that’s packed with flavor and healthy goodness.

Available in many forms – raw, slivered, flour, milk, butter, and oil – this nutty ingredient can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

And talk about versatile! It’s so easy to integrate them into your diet. That’s a good thing too – because this superfood is SUPER healthy! Packed with Vitamin E and rich in dietary fiber and healthy fats. Plus they are a super protein source and easy to have a little snack baggie around for when you’re feeling hangry!

Chopped up and added to salads, grain bowls, or your morning yogurt, they’ll keep you feeling full and keep your body’s metabolism on track. My Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw is the perfect healthy snack or side dish.

So go nuts! Nuts for Almonds, that is.

Cranberry Almond Crunch Slaw
Makes about 8 servings

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Sriracha
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (about 1 large head)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sour cream, salt and Sriracha. Add green onions, cabbage, cranberries and cilantro and toss until well coated.

The salad should sit for 30 minutes before serving. If making way ahead, refrigerate dressing and salad ingredients separately, then toss together 30 minutes before ready to serve. Toss the almonds into the salad right before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 1st, 2018  |  Add Comment |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, salads, Snacks

Slow Cooker Comfort

After a busy winter day there is nothing better than coming home to a delicious, ready-to-eat meal. Yes! It’s time to dust off the crock pot!

When gloomy weather has you feeling a little down, a warm and hearty meal can be so comforting. You can do all the prep in the morning, and dinner can be ready right when you walk in the door! Simply “Set It and Forget It”!

Slow Cookers are wonderful way to utilize tougher cuts of big-flavored meat. Think juicy brisket, flavorful chili, spicy pork, or a delicious lamb curry. My recipe for Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt is a household favorite – it’s bursting with flavor!

And crock pots aren’t just for entrees either – I also love to slow cook up a batch of overnight oats with brown sugar, orange zest and dried fruits. Top it with some Greek yogurt, or coconut milk – it’s the perfect way to start off a lazy Sunday morning!

And the best part about these cozy meals? They make incredible leftovers! So turn on your crock pot and let d’liciousness simmer away!

Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup dried black currants or raisins
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut in 6 wedges each
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch dice
Fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint, very coarsely chopped or torn
Steamed rice or potatoes as an accompaniment

1. In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, cornstarch and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the curry powder, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, sugar and yogurt.
2. Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the slow cooker and add in the following order: onion, celery, currants or raisins, apples and bell pepper. Cover, set cooker to high and cook for about 7 to 8 hours.
3. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey Food Studios


Now that the cold weather is here, starting your day with a hearty breakfast is essential. And my favorite – is with good old fashion oatmeal! Not only is it d’lish- it contains soluble fiber that helps you feel fuller, longer.

Oatmeal comes in several varieties- so let me break it down for you. Steel-cut oats are the whole-oat-grain and bran, chopped up with steel blades. Rolled oats are de-hulled then steamed and flattened between two rollers. Instant oats are steamed longer and completely cooked before being dried. The less processed the oats are, the more fiber they contain, which means more healthy goodness!

My favorite new breakfast is Golden Honey Oat Cup – made with gluten free rolled oats, fresh ginger, turmeric, honey, cardamom and unsweetened coconut milk. Make a big batch and portion into half-pint canning jars.

Let it do its magic overnight in the refrigerator. Then grab-and-go and top with toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds -and some dried cherries or cranberries. You can give it a little heat in the microwave if you like it warm.

And don’t forget about baking with oatmeal! The nutty flavor is the perfect canvas for pairing alongside fruit- like in my Orange Upside Down Oat Cake. This dessert can be served as a sweet finish to a meal- or even as a rich breakfast cake topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Yum! -Kathy

Orange Upside-Down Oat Cake
Read all the way through recipe before starting. It is important to use a nonstick pan and to turn the cake out of the pan 5 minutes after removing from the oven.

Makes 1 (9-inch) round cake, serving 8 to 10

2/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. Sunkist Orange zest
3/4 cup boiling water

Orange Layer
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 large Sunkist Navel Orange, peel on, ends cut off and sliced into 8 to 10 thin slices

2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the pan and orange layer: put the butter in a 9-inch nonstick round cake pan and place in the oven until the butter is just melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and then lay out the orange slices in a pretty pattern.

To make the batter: In a mixer (or large bowl), combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, soda and salt, and then add this mixture to the sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and pecans, and mix until well combined.

Without disturbing the orange layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until cake is golden and tests done.

Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from oven. Loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate. Let cool before serving.

Chef Notes:
-Try adding 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom to the oat mixture for a different spice-flavor profile.
-Great to serve for brunch; this cake is very moist, so you can make it a couple of days ahead.

Photo and Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on October 26th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes