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Wild Fennel

Did you know fennel grows like a weed in the Pacific Northwest? Especially in Ballard. I see it growing along the road on my commute to work every morning and it grows beautifully in my urban parking lot garden! It’s basically a weed – a delicious, anise-flavored weed.

Fennel 1
Fennel growing in my urban garden!

If you want to try planting it, find some growing wild and then harvest the seeds in the fall. Sprinkle the seeds around your garden, but be careful. It likes to grow and spread everywhere.

If you happen to have wild fennel in your neighborhood or garden you can use the whole plant. Early tender fennel fronds chopped and added to a salad. Even the coveted fennel pollen picked from the flowers are great in dishes – so elegant and trendy to sprinkle over almost anything.

Fennel 2
Harvested fennel seeds

Here is a link to my Liquid Kitchen video on Small Screen Network to see how to make Fennel-Roasted Walnuts – a great nibble to serve with your favorite cocktail.

Later in the year, I love to harvest the seeds, dry them and enjoy all year long! -Kathy

Fennel-Roasted Walnuts
This recipe is from my book Sips & Apps and is one of my favorites. Perfect to take to a party, or even bag up for little gifts.

Makes 5 cups

2 tablespoons fennel seed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white
1 pound (about 4 cups) walnut halves

Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, or lightly oil it.

Grind the fennel seed in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until finely ground. In a large bowl, mix the ground fennel with the sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the nuts and toss to coat evenly. Using a fine-mesh strainer, drain off excess egg white. Add the drained nuts to the spice mixture and stir to coat evenly.

Spread the nuts on the pan; they will be a little thicker than a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir, and roast for 20 minutes more, until the nuts are golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir the nuts on the baking sheet but do not remove them. Be sure to let the nuts cool completely and become crisp. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If necessary, recrisp them in a 350 degree F oven for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

Posted by Kathy on June 4th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, Snacks, videos

Bubbly Cocktails for Mom

Mother’s Day is coming up next weekend. I KNOW I don’t need to remind you (wink, wink). This year, how about treating Mom like the queen she is by making her a specialty bubbly cocktail to toast the day!

Mimosas are a spirited way to start the day, made with fresh squeezed orange juice. Get creative and try them with lightly sweetened fresh raspberry or mango puree topped with sparkling wine or prosecco.

Guys listen up, you’ll get extra points for this one for sure! For a super, special presentation, freeze edible flowers in ice cubes then place a couple in a large wine glass. Shake up a jigger of vodka with a splash of Grand Marnier or Chambord, and pour over the ice then top with a big splash of sparkling pink Moscato. Fun and fabulous!


My Platinum Sparkle will make Mom smile!

And it’s always great to go Northwest. I love Washington’s own Michelle sparkling wine and Argyle, one of my faves from Oregon.

So toast Mom with some delicious bubbles – it’s her day after all! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on April 30th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, videos

Minty Mint

Don’t you just love the smell of fresh mint? Whether it’s in a cocktail, mixed into a fruit salsa, or growing in the garden, that fresh scent and taste hits the spot.

Have you ever tried growing mint in your garden? If you have, you know it is amazingly easy and actually will take over if you’re not careful, but what’s better than a fresh handful of mint leaves whenever you want?

And there are so many varieties to choose from. Peppermint leaves are wonderful dried and steeped in hot water to make a simple, d’lish tea. And there are so many tasty varieties – Chocolate Mint, Pineapple Mint, Lemon Mint, Orange Mint… even Lime Mint that is perfect when muddled into mojitos!

Also, for you cat lovers out there, remember catnip is a mint too. So careful planting mint, unless you want to attract every kitty in a quarter mile!

As the weather gets warmer, cool off with my Fresh Mint Ice Cream. Nothing beats nibbling on fresh made ice cream under a shady tree!

Mint Ice cream
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

With the Kentucky Derby coming up mint juleps are on the horizon… oh yea! If you plan on hosting a Derby party, try making a batch of my Spiked Iced Tea Punch. Fresh mint pairs well with white whiskey, black tea, fresh juices, and brown sugar.

So get minty with it in your garden this year! –Kathy

Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint Candies
I like to serve this garnished with a bit more chopped mint candy and a fresh sprig of mint.

Makes about 4 cups

4 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups packed mint sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
6 egg yolks
1 cup coarsely chopped Chocolate Mint Candies (recipe follows) or Frango Mint candies

Combine the cream and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Tear the mint sprigs (to bruise them) and add to the cream mixture. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the cream. Whisking constantly, bring to a bare simmer and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk frequently to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Strain the mixture and discard the mint leaves. Stir in the chopped mint, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before the ice cream is finished, stir in the chopped candies. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze until ready to serve.

Chocolate Mint Candies
Makes 24 nice-sized pieces, or enough for 1 recipe of ice cream plus 12 extra pieces of candy

12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsps. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter, salt, and extract together over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the confectioners’ sugar, then stir to combine well. Spread the mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan.

Let cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or refrigerate to harden faster.

To remove the candy from the pan, invert the pan onto a piece of plastic wrap or a cutting board, lay a hot towel over the pan bottom for about 1 minute, then tap the bottom of the pan. Loosen the candy with a spatula if needed. Cut the candy into 24 pieces to serve as candy, or coarsely chop to use in ice cream. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Spiked Iced Tea Punch
Punch is the perfect party cocktail! For a more-spiked interpretation, let guests add a little more whiskey to their individual drinks. For summertime sipping add in a few slices of fresh peach or nectarine. For a demo on how to make this, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

Makes about 8 cups, enough for 10 to 12 servings

20 cloves
1 orange
6 very large sprigs fresh mint
3 tea bags black tea
3 cups boiling water
1 cup ice water
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups Woodinville Headlong White Dog Whiskey

Poke the cloves into the orange, then cut it into 3 slices. Put the orange slices, mint, and tea bags in a heatproof pitcher or bowl. Add the boiling water, let steep for 1 hour, then remove the tea bags.

Add the ice water, juices, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, add the whisky, and chill until ready to serve. Serve in ice-filled glasses. Garnish as desired.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps.

Pummelo: The Big Brother of the Citrus Family

Have you seen ginormous citrus fruits that look like monster grapefruits? They’re called pummelos – and are the biggest variety of citrus!

If you are a citrus fanatic like me, you will love pummelos. Pick one out that feels heavy for its size and is more green than yellow – in this case, green is good! These big babies pack a wallop of vitamins, and have a wonderful flavor, very similar to a grapefruit, but sweeter and in my opinion a little floral.

The biggest hurdle is getting through the peel, but once you know how, it’s really quite simple. First cut off the top and bottom – just enough so you can see the flesh of the fruit peeking through.

Next, score the peel on four sides. Just deep enough to get through the whole peel. Then, with your fingers, pull the pieces of the peel off and break the sections of the fruit apart. Remove the membrane from the segments, and then you’re ready to enjoy the fruit. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it is SO WORTH IT!


Here’s a video of demo-ing how to peel one!

Great on its own as a snack, or try adding it to a favorite dish. The team and I developed a bunch of new recipes for Sunkist such as Pummelo Tabbouleh! So branch out and try pummelo – its D’Lish!–Kathy

Pummelo_Tabouleh
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Pummelo Tabbouleh
Pummelo adds a beautiful color and tangy sweet flavor to this classic dish-up salad. Different brands/varieties of cracked wheat cook differently. More rustic types tend to be slower to absorb the water.

Makes 6 – 8 cups depending upon the style of cracked wheat used

1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups cracked wheat (bulgur wheat)
——————————–
1 Sunkist® Pummelo
1/4 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 roma tomatoes, diced 1/2 inch
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Place bulgur wheat and the 1 teaspoon of salt in a heat-proof large glass bowl or plastic container. Measure boiling water carefully and pour over the bulgur. Cover quickly with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour or until all the water has been absorbed. Uncover and let cool. (See headnote on cooking varieties of bulgur.)

To finish the salad: Peel the pummelo and tear the citrus flesh of each segment into pieces (discarding the white pith), set aside. (See how to open a pummelo.)

In a large bowl mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, remaining teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add the cooked bulgur and stir to combine. Then add the pummelo, tomatoes, parsley, and green onions and stir gently until coated with dressing.

Sunkist Twists:

  • Add in 1 cup chopped fresh kale.
  • For a protein punch add 1 can of drained garbanzo beans.
  • Try adding 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.
  • Recipe developed for Sunkist by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Posted by Kathy on January 22nd, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, videos

    Holiday Hangover Cures

    The year is coming to a close and the biggest party of the year is still to come – New Year’s Eve! It’s time to celebrate the old and ring in the new. And… let’s just say this usually involves at least a cocktail or two.

    I have some great ways to give you a good start for the New Year, even if you do over-indulge a bit the night before.

    My go-to cure is my Hangover Helper. Just empty a packet of Emergen-C (I like orange or raspberry) into a juice glass and add a little vodka – or gin, a dash of bitters, and soda water then top with a few drops of olive oil. Yep, that’s right – drink up!

    New Year’s Day entertaining? A Bloody Mary Bar for brunch will definitely help with that headache – with a little hair of the dog!

    Blood Scandi
    The Bloody Scandi I created for Sip Northwest Magazine
    made with Aquavit, Demitri’s and Local Pickled Beets

    Set up a DIY station and let your guests mix up their own concoctions.

    Put out a selection of different spirits:

    • -Vodkas
    • -Gin
    • -Aquavit
    • -Tequila
    • -Whiskey

    Bloody Mary Mixers:

    Condiments to Spice & Flavor Things Up:

    • -Tobasco
    • -Sriracha
    • -Green Hot Sauce
    • -Fresh Lemon Wedges
    • -Fresh Lime Wedges
    • -Horseradish

    And Lots of Garnishes for your Guests to Skewer up!:

    • Chunks Cheese
    • Pickled Veggies(pickled beets, asparagus and beans)
    • Cooked Prawns
    • Beef Jerky
    • Sliced Salami
    • Stuffed Cherry Peppers
    • Selection of Olives
    • Hard Smoked Salmon or Pickled Herring (yes that’s right – I’m Scandinavian!)

    And don’t forget to eat! Boosting your metabolism will make you feel better faster than anything. And for some reason, a bacon sandwich sometimes can be THE magic cure. You’ll feel better in no time!

    Happy New Years! – Kathy

    Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2014  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

    Summertime Peach Favorites

    When fresh, juicy peaches appear at the local markets, you know summer has finally arrived. Eat them raw, blend them in a cocktail, chop them up for salsa; any way to eat a peach is fine by me.

    Swirl them into yogurt or chop them up and add them to a bright summer salad – or slice them thin and serve atop crostini spread with herbed goat cheese.

    Blushing Pickled Peaches are easy to make and so tasty served alongside grilled pork chops.

    But – have you ever had Grilled Peaches? If not, they should go on your need-to-try list! Just cut them in half, remove the pit, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Then grill on each side until nicely marked and just tender – yum! A great combination of sweet and smokey – perfect to cozy up with a juicy chicken breast or d’lish over vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of salted caramel.

    And of course…peaches are perfect to shake in a summer cocktail like in my Peachy Mojito with fresh garden mint! –Kathy


    My Blended Peach Whiskey Sour!
    For the recipe and more summer sipping ideas, check out
    www.LiquidKitchen.tv

    Blushing Pickled Peaches
    Be sure to use a freestone variety of peach for this recipe such as Elberta or Hale. Great with grilled ham steaks and poultry, and especially fantastic with thinly sliced prosciutto, crusty French bread and a glass of Northwest Pinot Gris.

    Makes 1 quart

    5 – 6 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and halved, about 2 – 2 1/4 lbs.
    2 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into 1/4-inch slices (2 oz wt.)
    3 cloves of garlic, peeled
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 Tbsp kosher salt or uniodized salt
    1/2 tsp coriander seeds
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

    Tightly pack the peach halves, alternating with the ginger and garlic, into a clean quart jar.

    Meanwhile, in a small, non-reactive saucepan bring the remaining ingredients to a quick boil over high heat. Immediately remove from heat and ladle over the peaches, making sure to cover them and transferring all the spices to the peaches.

    Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Immediately after cooling, refrigerate peaches. Chill the pickled peaches for 2 – 3 days before using them. They’ll keep 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

    Peachy Mojito
    Makes 1 cocktail

    2 sprigs of fresh mint
    2 oz silver rum
    1 oz lime juice
    1 oz Simple Syrup*
    1/2 oz peach puree
    ——————–
    1 oz soda water
    Garnish: lime wedge on cocktail pick

    Tear mint sprigs and drop into a pint mixing glass. Measure in rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and peach puree. Fill glass full with ice, then cap and shake vigorously. Uncap then add a dash of soda water to the tin. Pour drink into a tall glass. Garnish with a lime wedge on a pick.

    *To make Simple Syrup: bring equal parts water and sugar to a quick boil, immediately remove from heat. Cool and store at room temp for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on July 17th, 2014  |  Comments Off on Summertime Peach Favorites |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

    Cinco de Mayo – Celebrate with Inspired Margaritas and Beer Cocktails

    Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and margaritas are most likely on the menu. If you’re looking for some fun new ideas check out my Liquid Kitchen video on how to make a Black and Blue Cadillac Margarita with Grand Marnier foam.


    My Black and Blue Cadillac Margarita!

    Beer cocktails are defiantly all the rage these days and especially d’lish when made with our amazing local craft beers. If you’re hosting a fiesta, a beer based punch is a great option to make bartending a breeze! Try my recipe for Hoppy Melon Rita PunchFremont Summer Solstice Ale, fresh citrus, diced watermelon, and tequila – Yum!

    And if you’re looking for an alternative to the classic margarita, how about a chelada! Originating over 75 years ago, this classic is now a drink staple. Made with Mexican beer, the juice of one lime, and served over ice in a salt rimmed glass. Refreshing!

    Michelada is another variation with added spices, sauces, and peppers. Some people also make it with a splash of tomato juice, too.

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! –Kathy

    Hoppy Melon sm
    Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

    Hoppy Melon Rita Punch
    Makes 16 – 20 servings

    zest of 2 limes (zest before squeezing for juice)
    1 cup sugar
    1 bottle (750 ml) silver tequila
    1 cup fresh lime juice
    1 cup Ruby Grapefruit Juice Cocktail
    1 cup fresh orange juice
    2 cups diced fresh watermelon
    2 (12 ounce) bottles Fremont Summer Solstice Ale
    Garnish: fresh watermelon wedges

    In a large punch bowl (or large container such as a stock pot or pitcher) combine the lime zest, sugar, tequila, juices, and watermelon. Stir to combine well. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for service up to 3 days in advance). Present in a large punch bowl. Add ale right before serving. Serve over ice in punch cups, or fun margarita glasses.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on May 1st, 2014  |  Comments Off on Cinco de Mayo – Celebrate with Inspired Margaritas and Beer Cocktails |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, My Seattle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

    Women Stars of Food & Wine

    Make sure to mark your calendars and buy your tickets for this hot event on Sunday, February 9th from 2:00pm – 5:00pm in Seattle’s Columbia Tower Club – featuring the Northwest’s best tastemakers: chefs, winemakers, and sommeliers! Proceeds of this event will go on to support the Women’s Funding Alliance.

    I’m looking forward to shaking up the signature cocktail for the event…my libacious Rosemary Mandarin Sparkle! Hope to see you there! -Kathy

    Rosemary Mandarin Sparkle
    Fresh rosemary adds an herbal note to this festive cocktail. You can also make a cocktail pre-mix with the vodka, lemon and Honey Syrup then just shake 3 oz with the rosemary and mandarin, strain and top with champagne bubbles. For a demo on how to make this drink and more imbibing recipes and ideas, check out this episode of Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen!

    Makes 1 drink

    1 sprig fresh rosemary
    1/2 – 1/4 mandarin or clementine depending upon size
    1 1/2 oz Crater Lake Vodka
    1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
    1/2 oz Honey Syrup*
    ————————————
    1 oz Michelle Brut Champagne
    Garnish: small sprig of rosemary

    Bend rosemary sprig and drop into mixer glass. Squeeze and drop in Mandarin.
    Measure in the vodka, lemon and honey syrup. Fill with ice, then cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a splash of champagne. Garnish with rosemary.

    *To make Honey Syrup: combine 3/4 cup local honey with 1/2 cup hot water. Stir to dissolve. Store refrigerated.

    Sparkling Cocktail Pre-Mix
    Makes 20 ounces or about 6 – 7 cocktails

    1 1/2 cups vodka
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup Honey Syrup*

    Combine and store refrigerated until needed.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®.

    Posted by Kathy Casey on February 7th, 2014  |  Comments Off on Women Stars of Food & Wine |  Posted in Cocktails, events, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Small Screen Network, videos
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