KOMO Radio

Recipes and tips as heard on KOMO Radio

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

Coleslaw with Everything!

The sun is shining and that means picnics. And no outdoor meal is complete without coleslaw!

There are a lot of different varieties of slaw, and you can certainly switch up the cabbages. Try your next slaw with green, red, savoy, or nappa. But it’s the dressing that really gives slaw that tasty, zippy zing.

There are vinaigrette types, which range from tart and tangy. Then there are creamy or spicy styles, which are my faves.

I love a cooked thickened dressing – why? Well you know sometimes when you dress your slaw it gets kind of weepy and then bland. Well a cooked and thickened dressing takes care of that as it stays coated to the cabbage. Just thicken a simmering vinegar and sugar mixture with a little cornstarch, cool, and then add into mayo with your seasonings.

My recipe for Poppy Seed Pineapple Slaw is a great example of a cooked thickened dressing and is perfect to serve with barbecue-slathered ribs and fresh grilled corn! –Kathy


Poppy Seed & Pineapple Coleslaw
Makes 6 cups

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 tsp. salt
tiny pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger (optional)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 (1 lb. ) bag coleslaw greens or 8 cups of mixed shredded green and red cabbage
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 cup light or regular mayonnaise

In a small saucepan combine the crushed pineapple with juice, salt, red pepper flakes, ginger, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch. Whisk together well until the cornstarch is dissolved. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil while constantly stirring; cook until dressing is thickened. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place coleslaw greens, green onion, carrot and poppy seeds in a large bowl. Stir mayonnaise into cooled pineapple mixture, then mix into coleslaw, coating salad well.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on May 28th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Fresh Herbs Anytime You Want!

If you have even a tiny strip of garden space, planters or pots, you can grow your own fresh herbs. Having a “green thumb” is not required.

The most popular and easy herbs to grow, in my experience, are rosemary, thyme, and of course mint. All of which will wow you with how quickly they will fill your garden! But be careful with mint – it can easily take over.

However, it’s not only these common herbs that flourish in the northwest! Some of my favorite plants are the unusual varieties such as; lemon verbena, pineapple sage, lemongrass, lemon balm and then all the cool varieties of sage and thyme- I could keep going on and on!

Now what to do with your bounty once you harvest? Of course add them fresh to all your favorite dishes! But you can also try drying some herbs. Think thyme, sage, oregano, dill, marjoram and rosemary. Tie them in bundles and hang them for a week or so in a cool dry spot.

When totally dry, crumble and put into jars. Or you can chop fresh herbs, lay out on a sheet pan in the freezer for a quick freeze — then store frozen in little zip lock bags. Take out and add a pinch to any of your favorite dishes later in the year.

And herbs are fun for infusing spirits too. I love lemon verbena-infused gin or vodka in summer cocktails. Place 2 cups of vodka or gin in a mason jar, add 4-6 lemon verbena leaves. Cover and shake. Let sit for about 5 days then remove and discard the verbena. Mix in your favorite cocktails or just enjoy with a splash of soda.


Visit your farmers market or garden center early to get the more unique varieties to plant. And then enjoy an herb-alicious summer! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 21st, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Add New Life to Weekday Dinner With Modern Sides!

The side dishes of today should bring variety and spice to our meals. Baked potatoes and rice are still great go-to’s. But with so many interesting new options, it’s time to get creative!

How about trying some different varieties of rice? Try fragrant basmati so tasty jazzed up with chili paste, fresh ginger, chopped roasted peanuts, and a sprinkle of scallions. Or try jasmine rice simply steamed with lemongrass, ginger and garlic.

Couscous is super-fast and easy to make, as is bulgur wheat. Add in fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, dried fruits and some toasted nuts, then finished with a dash of ground coriander.

In the veggie category, glazed carrots and steamed asparagus are giving way to more complex dishes like Roasted Baby Eggplants with Spicy Peanut Soy Dressing, which I developed for Sunset – yes, please!

Roasted Baby Eggplants with Spicy Peanut Soy Dressing
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios for Sunset Produce

Roasting root vegetables intensifies their sweetness. I love to pair Roasted Beets with an easy Orange Cumin Glaze. Now that’s not boring, right?

So get out of your side dish rut and try something new. You never know, you may invent the next beloved “green bean casserole.” –Kathy

Roasted Beets with Orange Cumin Glaze
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.

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 1/4-inch slices.

In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, cumin, vinegar , honey and cornstarch. 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.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on May 14th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Strawberry Days

Strawberries really signal the beginning of summer. I can’t wait for the first big, juicy red berry of the season.

Probably the most popular way to enjoy strawberries (other than eaten from hand) is strawberry shortcake. Here’s a quick tip for my favorite take on the classic: Start with Fisher Fair Scone Mix, add in some chocolate chips, form them, and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake and serve with sliced fresh strawberries tossed with a touch of local honey, and a dollop of whip cream. For a truly decadent experience, add a splash of local berry liqueur to the whip cream! Yum!

On the non-dessert side, too, strawberries have multiple possibilities. In my Strawberry & Spinach Salad, I like to top them with thin slivers of sweet Walla Walla onion and glazed almonds, then dressed it all with a Lowfat Poppy Seed–Ginger Vinaigrette thickened with pureed strawberries – a light and refreshing summer salad.

If you don’t have strawberries of your own to pick, there are many choices around the Northwest for “U-Pick” strawberries. And if you have had a big day of picking but still haven’t eaten your fill while in the field, sit down and relax with a big, glistening bowl of just-picked juicy berries. -Kathy

Strawberry & Spinach Salad
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Sweet Onions and Poppy Seed–Ginger Vinaigrette
You can substitute toasted hazelnuts for the almonds. This salad is also excellent as an entrée salad, topped with grilled chicken cut into strips.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup light olive oil or other salad oil
2 teaspoons poppy seed

3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered, or another local berry, such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
2 bunches spinach, stemmed, washed well, and spun dry (8 to 10 cups)
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet white onion, such as a Walla Walla Sweet
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, ginger, mustard, honey, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Stir in the poppy seed. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To make the salad, toss the berries, spinach, and onion with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with almonds.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.

Posted by Kathy on May 11th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Books to Cook, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

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.

Spirited Women

Spirts, wine, and beer are a major industry in the Northwest, but not as often as we should, do we celebrate the spirited women of this industry.

As part of Seattle Beer Week (May 7th – 17th), The Pike Brewing Company will be hosting the 4th annual Women in Beer event on May 11th. This event celebrates the historic role women have had in the beer industry and their influence on the current craft beer movement.

Did you know? Historically women were the ones who brewed and sold beer. In fact in the Middle Ages, it was often nuns!

And there’s more! The Museum of History & Industry’s (MOHAI) current exhibition American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is featuring a cool lecture series (aptly titled History on the Rocks), includes a Women of Temperance and Tenacity seminar that I am co-presenting on Thursday, May 28th from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

I’ll be sharing a Liquid Kitchen signature cocktail for the seminar, which highlights Washington women’s roles in the alcohol industry pre- and post-prohibition. Make sure to get your tickets soon!

So cheers to celebrating the spirited ladies of the Northwest. -Kathy

Posted by Kathy on April 16th, 2015  |  Add Comment |  Posted in events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts