It is finally here! My new book, Sips & Apps hit stores this week and I could not be more excited! I’ve always had a passion for cocktails and have been applying my culinary knowledge to the bar for years. Sips & Apps has been such a fun book to create from start to finish because it combines two of my deepest passions.
With more than 100 recipes (69 cocktail and 35 appetizer, plus an array of variations, sours, and purees), as well as more than 60 color photographs to guide and inspire, I created this book for all skill levels. For your next dinner party wow your guests with a Tuscan Rosemary Lemon Drop (recipe below) or a Cucumber Elderflower Fizz. Throw a vintage cocktail party and revisit the classics with a Peach 75 or a Dubious Manhattan. Serve an icy pitcher of Berrylicious Sangria at your next poolside barbecue. Tantalizing finger foods such as Croque Monsieur Puffs and Fennel-Roasted Walnuts, expertly paired with just the right cocktail, will make yours the happiest happy hour.
I’ve included a bar-basics section, insider tips and techniques, recipes for infused syrups, original garnishes, and fresh fruit purees, as well as some nifty extras (like a double ribbon marker labeled “sips” and “apps”) to create a great guide for both home cocktail “chefs” and bar professionals alike. I hope you enjoy my new book, Sips & Apps.
Sips & Apps can be purchased at the following locations, as well as signed copies through my website.
Barnes & Noble Seattle locations
Sur La Table
Tuscan Rosemary Lemon Drop
I created this cocktail for my dear friends Michelle and Don’s wedding reception in Tuscany. To this day, I can picture everyone standing on the villa lawn enjoying their drinks—heels kicked off, ties loosened, and laughter fading into the Tuscan sunset.
Makes 1 drink
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce limoncello
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
Fresh rosemary sprig
Rim a large martini glass with rosemary sugar, and set aside.
Bend 1 rosemary sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka, limoncello, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into the sugar-rimmed glass. Float a rosemary sprig in the drink for garnish.
Makes 1 cup
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup superfine or baker’s sugar
Mix the rosemary and sugar together, and spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet. Set in a warm dry place for about 4 days, until the rosemary is completely dried. Process in a food processor or spice grinder until finely ground. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to one month at room temperature.
This is a bar staple and the most commonly used sweetener. Though you can purchase simple syrup, it is ordinarily sweeter than I prefer, so I highly recommend making your own. Proportions vary but it is easy.
Makes 3 cups
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Mix the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil 1 minute then immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature before using. Store in a clean glass bottle or container, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks or, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.
Tip: If you don’t have limoncello, then increase the lemon juice and simple syrup to 3/4 ounce each.
Recipe from Sips & Apps, © 2009 by Kathy Casey, Photography by Angie Norwood Browne, reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books
May 7th, 2009
On Sunday, May 17, the Premier Chef’s Dinner, which features Northwest wines, hors d’oeuvres and six-course dinner prepared by the Northwest’s premier chefs is happening at the Grand Hyatt in Downtown Seattle. The featured chefs are: Greg Atkinson (Seattle Culinary Academy, West Coast Cooking), Maria Hines (Tilth), Brent Martin (Grand Hyatt and Hyatt at Olive 8), John Sarich (Chateau Ste. Michelle), Chef team Brian McCracken and Dana Toug (Spur), Jerry Traunfeld (Poppy), and Jennifer Volk (Crush). This event will benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and is a great opportunity to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime meal while supporting an amazing cause. For ticket information click here or call (206) 667-5189
May 6th, 2009
Cameo McRoberts –Guest Blogger and Associate Chef at Kathy Casey Food Studios gives us her take on Seattle’s Capital Hill hot spot – Barrio.
When I heard about Barrio, Capitol Hill’s new urban Mexican concept, I will admit I was skeptical. Living in Mexico and five years’ working for Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo have sharpened my senses as to what makes good Mexican food.
Upon my return to the Northwest my Mexican cravings can only be satiated by Seattle’s obsession with taco trucks. While I can’t resist a paper plate piled with greasy carnitas tacos and an ice-cold jarritos, I love, too, a well-dressed plate of food and a modern approach to Mexican flavors. So to Barrio I say, “Thank you.” Thank you for making your own tortillas from fresh masa and not dry maseca—you can taste the difference. Thank you for taking the time to season your salsas so the flavor of the chilies upstages their impetus for heat.
Thank you for nurturing your bartenders’ creative will to design a drink menu that rivals any in the city, not only by crafting such beautiful drinks but also by constructing a bar that makes you feel like you have box seats to a revue featuring a cross between a mixologist and mad scientist.
And to readers I say, forget the hour wait at your favorite weekend greasy spoon and treat yourself to brunch at Barrio. Its steel-framed windows will soon be cranked open to create patio dining for the whole place.
The restaurant opened for brunch in early April and you can get a table without a wait; you’ll not be disappointed. There isn’t chips-and-salsa on the table, nor will you sway to the beat of a tuba-driven ranchero band sipping blended margaritas; there is plenty of that elsewhere. This is bright and tangy scallop ceviche with a salsa of just-about-ripe mango shredded thin and served, at our waiter’s recommendation, with super-crispy yucca chips.
It is rich brothy pozole served with a perfectly poached egg, turning an already master hangover cure into a heavenly stew of “get back in the game.”
We also tried simple chicken taquitos. The fried tortilla shattered with each bite and the seasoned chicken was a great vehicle for the bright guajillo salsa that accompanied it. Their chilequiles selection changes daily. As necessity is often the mother of wonderful food, chilaquiles traditionally serves as an economical way of filling hungry bellies by stewing day-old tortillas with whatever sauce is at hand and stretching the little meat you might have to make a meal, Barrio’s blended braised beef and a spicy tomatillo salsa perfectly. We also enjoyed a more contemporary take on grilled shrimp with white corn grits with tomatillo gravy, that was rich and creamy but not overly heavy. We finished with housemade churros loaded with cinnamon and sugar and a bittersweet chocolate sauce.
As for cocktails, each one was distinct and well crafted. My only disappointment was my michelada. I like the version with a little Clamato, and theirs was a little heavy on the lime. Death in the Afternoon, Bee’s Knees and Sufferin’ Bastard, while all sounding like a local KEXP playlist, were the kind of cocktails that make you feel smart for ordering. Each one mingles familiar flavors with a few new tastes or liquors. Our server was all too happy to fill us in on a few oddities and share his notes on housemade falernum, and cachaça.
Barrio is more than a “wall of candles” or a Capitol Hill hotspot with a Bellevue/Belltown vibe. Barrio offers a luxurious alternative to taco-truck Mexican and delivers the integrity and commitment to flavor that is the heart and soul of Mexican cuisine. – Cameo McRoberts
Barrio is Located at
1420 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
May 4th, 2009