Posts from December, 2010

New Year’s Celebration!

It’s time to ring in the New Year! This year was filled with lots of foodie and libacious adventures, but now it’s time to ring in 2011 with all the added fun.

This week on Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen, I twist the traditional recipe of a French 75 cocktail into the Citrus 75! I add in citrus elements by using a Cuties Clementine and homemade limoncello and round out the flavor with honey syrup.

Here’s to having a faboo and safe New Year’s! – Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 31st, 2010  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Cocktails

The new “Spirit of Washington”

I’m off shaking up drinks in Malaysia (fun travel stories to come!) so this week’s blog is by Executive Chef Cameo McRoberts, Account Manager Heather Jones and Sous Chef/Multimedia Designer Travis Childers! It’s  all about Washington handcrafted spirits. It’s so exciting to see how many amazing distilleries keep popping up.  I missed this fun and libacious tour – but hope you will enjoy reading about it as much as I did.

Happy Holidays! – Kathy

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If you haven’t heard, Prohibition is over. So why has it taken nearly 80 years for local gin to get out of the bathtub and into the bottle? Following the success of Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane as well as accommodating to a rapidly growing industry, Washington state has expanded legislation to allow greater production of locally distilled spirits. Dry Fly is Washington’s first distillery since Prohibition and a great local success story, selling to over a dozen states as well as Canada. Now, roughly ten distilleries have been licensed and at least 18 are in the application process. The major difference between a distillery and a craft distillery is that ‘craft’ distilleries use Washington grown products in up to fifty percent of its ingredients. Either way as any distiller will tell you, making great spirits takes more than a bathtub and a lot of time. The Kathy Casey Food Studios – Liquid Kitchen crew took the opportunity to spend a chilly but beautiful Sunday afternoon in late November, tasting a few.

Before embarking on an all-day, straight spirit tasting adventure, there was a little planning involved. To insure that our finely tuned palates wouldn’t be sullied by an accidental afternoon sloshing, dim sum from Bamboo Gardens laid the necessary foundation for warding off public drunkenness.

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Sound Spirits’ distillation apparatus!

The first stop on our spirited adventure was Sound Spirits, Seattle’s first distillery since prohibition. Their Ebb and Flow Vodka is made from 100% barley mash and produced one tiny batch at a time in their octopus-themed space off 15th Ave West, between Queen Anne and Magnolia. Set to release a gin and an aquavit later this year we were excited to try master distiller Steven Stone’s shiny unmarked bottles.

Ebb and Flow is what you’d call a complex-character vodka.  To put it simply, it HAS flavor. Each time you distill a spirit you remove the inherent flavor notes of its base ingredients. Multiple distilled vodkas taste crisp because they cease to have any flavor left. Sound Spirits vodka offers a creamy barley hint while also giving it a sweet note and a smooth texture. Sipping this vodka straight does not evoke memories of a high school dare but suggests a flavor profile inherent of barley and crisp clean cascade water. One benefit of being licensed a ‘craft’ distillery is that you can sell your product on site, so unlike most places you can in fact walk away with a bottle of vodka.

Still stuffed but whistles sufficiently wetted, we turned northeast to Woodinville where a pocket of distilleries are popping up alongside wineries and tasting rooms ready to educate you and yours on the exciting craft of making hooch.

Pacific Distillery, producers of Voyager Gin and Pasifique Absinthe are one of the largest in the local market, but you wouldn’t know it entering the distillery. I see Voyager on the shelves of most liquor stores and around these parts it’s a pretty common spirit, so I guess I expected a Wonka-esque type scene with steam and copper pots, a bottling machine spinning labels and filling bottles. This is not the case, and shame on me, nor should it be.

Pacific actually holds bottling parties when a batch is ready, so keep an eye out maybe you can lend a hand.

labeler Hand-hammered copper alembic pot still commissioned from Portugal

A hand-cranked bottle labler on the left and on the right, a hand-hammered copper alembic pot still commissioned from Portugal!

Each batch of Voyager’s London Dry-style American Gin is made in a single, beautiful, copper alembic still. Where most commercial gin is really vodka with botanicals infused into it after distillation, Mark Bernhard, Pacific ‘s founder, selects a blend of juniper, coriander, angelica, cardamom and other herbs, carefully distills together to create a more balanced and unique gin. The same still and the same level of passion are used to create their Pasifique Absinthe; a true absinthe made with a combination of carefully sourced herbs, a large part grown by Mark himself.

Master Distiller and Proprietor Marc Bernhard with a glass of Pacifique Absinthe Verte Supérieure

Master Distiller and Proprietor Marc Bernhard with a glass of Pacifique Absinthe Verte Supérieure

The best part about discovering absinthe is discovering what absinthe is not, and Mark will tell you in great detail why absinthe deserves a second chance. Absinthe’s sorted history and its mythical accounts as a aphrodisiac and hysteria make it as much a conversation piece as an acquired taste. The distillery may be modest in size but that little copper pot produces a queen’s ransom in gin and absinthe.

Over the river and through the woods was Soft Tail Spirits and our next adventure spot. They are the makers of Soft Tail Vodka and Soft Tail Grappas. Soft Tail Vodka is made with Washington apples, now this is not to say that it is an apple brandy or an apple ‘flavored’ vodka. Since vodka can be made with any sugar bearing material, apples are a perfect, sustainable commodity for a uniquely local product.

Soft Tail Spirits

Soft Tails three types of Grappa: Grappa Blanco, Grappo Gallo & Grappa Reserve!

Named for the Soft Tail Harley and what the distiller quipped as the finish on each of the Soft Tail Spirits, the distillers have a great sense of humor and passion for their product. Grappa is traditionally made from distilling the pressings of wine grapes, given that Soft Tail is tucked in amongst a whole barrel full of local wineries, squeezing every little bit of extra firepower out of what might become oenological compost is also a mighty sustainable approach to spirits. They offer three types of grappa. Grappa Blanco is a fine tasting product, crisp and fragrant. Grappa Giallo is aged in oak barrels and has wonderfully complex earthiness that will appeal to those who fancy whiskeys, and tequila. The Grappa Reserve will challenge your pallate but has a great after taste.

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On the right, Woodinville Whiskey Company’s column still and a batch of Headlong whiskey on the left!

Our last stop was Woodinville Whiskey Company,  the newest of the local distilleries. Since the distillery movement is  still in its infantile state, offering whiskey when the doors open is unthinkable. Whiskey, bourbon and rye are the culmination of a master distillers mash bill (the blend of grains chosen) and time. Most of what we enjoy happens once the distillate has aged in oak barrels. Woodinville Whiskey has the years of experience brought by former Maker’s Mark master distiller David Pickerell, a state of the art column still and a whole heap of new oak barrels. So while we wait for the birth of Washington whiskey we are sufficed with an un-aged ‘white dog’ whiskey named Headlong. White Dog is the term for the untamed, un-aged flavor that comes from a whiskey that hasn’t yet seen the inside of an oaky barrel. It’s a little like firewater but an interesting insight into how flavor changes through aging and maturation. Woodinville Whiskey also offers a 100% certified organic Washington wheat vodka named Peabody Jones.

column still

By then the sun had set and the temperature dropped about twenty degrees, but we barely noticed for all the handcrafted goodness warming our bellies. However, the booze had finally burned its way through dim sum and was demanding a second helping of something warm and preferably carbo-loaded. So with Woodinville in our rear view we headed home for a lot of water and a couple slices of pizza and by 10:30 pm we were fast asleep. A good day indeed.

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-Heather, Cameo & Travis

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 17th, 2010  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Recent Posts

ALASKA FISH TACO TRUCK CONTEST!

Love fish? Love tacos? Then this is the contest for you! The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and the Too Hot Tamales chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill have joined forces to bring you the 1st Ever Wild Alaska Fish Taco Recipe Contest! From November 3rd through January 31st, applicants can submit their best fish taco recipes featuring wild and sustainable Alaska seafood, including Alaska salmon, crab, Alaska pollock, halibut, and black cod.

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If supporting wild sustainable fishing and the sheer fun of it aren’t enough, the winner gets some serious grand prize swag – they’ll be serving their fish tacos out of the Border Grill Truck with Mary Sue and Susan on their all-expense-paid trip to L.A.! Not to mention the three-night stay at the luxurious Oceanfront Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, a $500 Visa gift card, the VIP experience at Universal Studios, dinner at Border Grill and an Olympus PEN® E-PL1 camera and HD video camera!

For more details on how to enter, visit www.alaskafishtaco.com! What are you waiting for?!

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 13th, 2010  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Recent Posts

Kathy Casey Holiday Extravaganza: Samples to Try, Gifts to Buy!

It’s almost here! Remember to mark your calendars for the annual Kathy Casey Food Studios Holiday Extravaganza and Open House on Saturday, December 11th, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.

I’ll will be signing copies of my book Sips & Apps and you’ll have a chance to sample some tasty tidbits from Sips & Apps like Bacon, Blue Cheese & Pecan Cocktail Cookies, Lamb “Sliders” on Homemade Rosemary Buns, and Parmesan Poppy Seed Puffs!

Guest author Cynthia Nims will be signing her latest cookbook Gourmet Game night from 1:00 – 3:00 pm while author and chef Lisa Dupar will be signing her new cookbook Fried Chicken & Champagne from 3:00 – 5:00pm.

Saturday December 11th 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
5130 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

206-784-7840

I hope to see you for some Holiday Cheer! – Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 9th, 2010  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Recent Posts

Kathy Casey’s Non-Alcoholic Holiday Cocktails

The holidays always mean fun and lots of spirited parties and events. But many people don’t imbibe and that shouldn’t mean that they get stuck with a plain sparkling water or a glass of juice! They need to have something special to sip, too – and that is not sticky-sweet or boring. So I have created a couple of sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks for the holidays.

The first one, Rosemary Pom Holiday Sparkle, incorporates fresh rosemary with the sweetness of clementine and the tanginess of pomegranate juice. Sparkling apple cider tops off the drink for a bit of bubbly. You can serve it on the rocks or strained into a champagne flute for a more elegant presentation.

The next drink combines the crisp flavor of fresh cucumber with a ginger jasmine lime syrup that you can make ahead. The Cucumber Ginger Jasmine Fizz is shaken, then lightened with a splash of sparkling water and served up in a martini glass.

So whether they just don’t drink alcohol or are the designated drivers, no one will feel left out of the party when served either of these drinks. I hope you or your guests will enjoy serving or sipping on my Non-Alcoholic Holiday Cocktails.

- Happy Holidays, Kathy

Here’s the link of me shaking up some fun on KING 5’s New Day Northwest!

Rosemary Pom Holiday Sparkle
Fresh rosemary’s herbal essence complements the tangy flavor of the clementine and the sweetness of the sparkling cider.

Note: 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
(I like to use Cuties as they have no seeds)
1 1/2 ounces pomegranate juice
3 ounces sparkling apple cider
Garnish: Fresh rosemary sprig

Bend 1 rosemary sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Squeeze in the tangerine 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.)

© 2010 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®-Liquid Kitchen™ – www.kathycasey.com

Cucumber Ginger Jasmine Fizz

Makes 1 drink

3–4 slices fresh cucumber
1 1/2 ounces Ginger Jasmine Lime Syrup (recipe follows)
3 ounces sparkling water or club soda
Garnish: Candied ginger and cucumber slice on a pick, or a lime wedge

Drop the cucumber into a cocktail shaker and muddle well to release the juices. Measure in the Ginger Jasmine Lime Syrup. Fill shaker with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Add sparkling water to shaker and then strain drink into a martini glass. Garnish as desired.

Ginger Jasmine Lime Syrup

Makes (12 oz) enough for about 8 drinks

1 tsp. minced ginger
1 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. loose jasmine tea

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the ginger, lime juice, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the tea. Steep for 5 minutes, then strain through a very fine strainer, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Refrigerate the syrup, for up to 7 days, until ready to use.

© 2010 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®-Liquid Kitchen™ – www.kathycasey.com
For more drink recipes check out Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen cocktail show!

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 8th, 2010  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Recent Posts

Introducing Guest Blogger Josie Plath aka Cakelover!

This week we have guest blogger Jocie Plath aka Cakelover!

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I’ve been in the wine and spirits industry my entire career, and have worked in several restaurants along the way.  A total foodie with a sweet tooth, I’ve enjoyed baking, entertaining and eating cake my whole life.  I love all kinds of cakes- chocolate cake, carrot cake, cupcakes, crab cakes, pancakes, and Scottish oat cakes.  It’s a good thing I like to exercise because I love cake.

My first birthday is marked with three classic photos of me- utter delight at first sight of my cake, frosting all over my face with fists full of cake, and then an empty plate and big smile on my round, pudgy cheeks.

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Enjoying my very first cake!

My mother was a classic homemaker, and I didn’t have a store-bought birthday cake until junior high.  Every year I got to choose my cake flavor, and every year I chose her Puddle Cake.  This is a rich chocolate cake made by drilling a “well” into the dry ingredients and making a “puddle” with the wet ingredients.  It’s frosted with chocolate butter cream and I love it to this day.  Her fine baking is where my passion comes from.  Each recipe has meaning and history, my collection is gathered from friends, family, and people who have either served me a great piece of cake, or showed me how to make one!

With the holidays upon us, my entertaining calendar is marked with three occasions I am hosting, and the cakes I’ll make for them.  I start with Thanksgiving, and will be making Carrot Cake.  This year I tasted one that I think is the ultimate and I will make that this year.  I’ve never met the author (Cindy Dzida) but I’ve been told she brings this to most get-togethers, including funerals.  It must be because it is very rich and comforting.  It barely fits into a 9×13 inch pan! It is incredibly moist and chock full of carrots, raisins, coconut and nuts. It’s glazed while warm and then frosted with a cream cheese frosting spiked with orange zest!  I think it’s the best carrot cake I have ever tasted so I’ll be making this one from now on.

For Christmas I love to serve a gorgeous Red Velvet Cake.  I use Paula Deen’s red velvet cake recipe, but frost it with my own cream cheese frosting.  While I consider myself a “Cake” lover, I’m really a FROSTING lover- that’s why I bake cakes!  I always cut my cakes horizontally so I can get extra layers of frosting in between- I think this why people love my cakes- they love the extra frosting just like me!  I like to decorate my Red Velvet Cake with red cake crumbs and tiny silver balls on top- just perfect for my holiday table.

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My Red Velvet Cake is ready for Christmas!

For New Year’s Eve we serve Moet Champagne, and design our night around that.  It is The Champagne Holiday of the year, so everything should revolve around it.  I love to serve my fabulous Coconut Cake.  It’s a beautiful white cake, and since it is so sinfully rich and fattening, December 31st is a good day to have it- come January 1st it’s back to dieting.  My coconut cake is a recipe I created from a couple of different sources.  I bake a Coco Loco based coconut cake, layer it with a pineapple macadamia nut filling and then frost it with a coconut cream cheese frosting.  I sprinkle flaked coconut on top for a snowy effect then watch as its demolished, minutes after serving.

From one cake enthusiast to others, here’s to serving a slice!
-Cakelover

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 2nd, 2010  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in Recent Posts
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