Archive for July, 2012
The beautiful part about summer is all the gorgeous, blooming flowers everywhere! But did you know that some flowers are edible, too? From tiny cute Johnny Jump Up’s and frilly dianthus or carnations to lovely robin blue borage flowers – there is a world of tasty, beautiful, edible flowers awaiting you in the garden!
A tasty carnation!
(Photo courtesy of Types-of-Flowers.org)
Please note: Edible flowers are available at farmers markets, some grocery stores or in your own garden. Not all are, so double-check before you go into your yard and start munching away—also be sure they are pesticide free or organic.
One of my favorite edible varieties is nasturtiums. These lovely flowers have a pleasantly peppery note and are tasty torn over grilled shrimp, veggies or fish. Great way to add a little color too!
Toss some brilliant yellow marigold petals into an arugula salad with goat cheese and sunflower seeds. They have a subtle citrus flavour and can add a new dimension to an everyday meal. Or how about the vibrant colored petals of tuberous begonias – so tangy tasty – and great torn over grilled fish!
Another easy way to incorporate flowers into your next meal is to chop them up and whip them up into tasty Petal Butter. In my Radish Sandwiches, fresh chopped petals are folded in with softened butter and sour cream along with dill for this perfect tea-time appetizer. My Stuffed French Toast is a great twist on the traditional breakfast and is topped off with a Wild Flower-Berry Butter. Yum!
And guys, I’ll let you in a on a secret: making a meal using edible flowers is a great way to impress the ladies.
So a rose may be a rose by any other name, but I’ll call it d’lish! By the way, roses are edible too! They are fun and tasty sprinkled on desserts or served as a garnish for a cocktail. Try it in my easy to make Fragrant Rose Sugar, which is perfect on fresh berries or used in a shortbread cookie recipe.
So enjoy the colorful flowers around you and remember, some of them are edible too! -Kathy
Radish Sandwiches with Petal Butter
Borage, Johnny-Jump-Ups, calendula, and rose petals make a pretty petal combination for this recipe. It is always very important to know that the petals you are using are in fact edible and have not been sprayed with pesticides. Gourmet grocers or farmers markets usually carry edible petals in the spring and summer. Pick out fun local radishes at the market or try making with fresh garden cucumbers.
Makes about 24 – 26 sandwiches
1 tablespoon sour cream
4 tablespoons lightly salted butter, softened (use local farmers market butter if available)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon lightly chopped, edible, mild flavored, wild flower petals*
about 1/2 a long French baguette
1 bunch local radishes (about 10 – 12 each)
extra edible flowers for garnish if desired
coarse sea salt
To make the Petal Butter:
Whip together the softened butter and sour cream in a small bowl until well incorporated and fluffy. Then fold in the dill and chopped, edible flower petals.
To assemble sandwiches:
Thinly slice radishes with a sharp knife or a Japanese mandoline. With a serrated knife slice the baguette into thin, 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices. (You should have about 24 – 26 slices. Use extra bread if any for another use.)
Spread each slice with Petal Butter, then top with slices of radish. Place sandwiches on a platter and sprinkle a few edible flower petals over sandwiches and tiny sprinkle of sea salt if desired.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Stuffed French Toast with Wild Flower-Berry Butter
A Northwest twist on a breakfast favorite. Change the topping with the seasons, like juicy ripe peach slices dusted with powdered sugar for a sunny summer brunch.
2 1/4 cups half & half
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
8 oz (wt.) cream cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons Liquid Kitchen™ 5130 Honey or local honey
8 slices hearty Sourdough Raisin bread or French bread
4 tablespoons butter
Wild Flower-Berry Butter, (recipe follows)
maple or berry syrup, warm
powdered sugar (optional)
fresh seasonal berries (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the egg batter ingredients. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling together until blended. Spread the filling evenly over 4 bread slices to 1/2 inch from the edges. Place the remaining bread slices on top and press together slightly. Place the sandwiched bread in the egg mixture on both sides for about 1 minute, or until both sides are thoroughly soaked.
Heat the butter in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the soaked bread in the hot skillet and brown on one side for 2-3 minutes, then turn and cook 2-3 minutes longer.
Place the skillet in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until toasts are puffy and lightly browned.
Place the toasts on warm plates and top with dollops of Wild Flower-Berry Butter. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired, and lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with warm maple or berry syrup.
Wild Flower Berry Butter
Borage, Johnny-jump-ups, calendula and rose petals make a pretty combination for this recipe. Check with a specialty produce department for the availability of edible flowers. Some hot-house varieties are available out of season.
Makes 3/4 cup (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 pound lightly salted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons seedless berry jam
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
Dash of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lightly chopped, unsprayed edible, mild flavored, flower petals (optional)
Whip all the ingredients except flower petals in a blender, food processor or mixer until well blended. Fold in the flower petals. (Or I like to roll the butter into a log in plastic wrap then chill a bit then roll into the flower petals to coat. Wrap and chill – then slice for serving!)
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Fragrant Rose Sugar
Old-fashioned and heirloom roses produce very fragrant roses which will perfume the sugar best. This sugar is delicious sprinkled on fresh berries, or used in shortbread cookies that call for powdered sugar. It is also terrific in homemade lemonade.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup tightly packed UNSPRAYED fragrant rose petals
1 1/2 cups sugar
In a glass or stainless bowl mix together the sugar and rose petals. Cover bowl half-way with plastic wrap. Let sit for 2 days in a dry place, stirring every day. Then toss, cover completely with plastic wrap, and let sit about 4 – 5 more days or until petals and sugar are dry, stirring every day or so. If sugar has stuck to bottom of bowl, gently tap bowl on counter to loosen.
In a blender or very clean-of-smells coffee grinder, process petals and sugar in small batches till sugar is powdered and no bits or lumps remain. (If using a blender, process the sugar in about 3 batches. If sugar has a hard time getting going in blender, shake blender cup with lid on and blend on high. You may need to shake it a couple of times before it gets going.)
Place sugar in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep in a cool dry place for up to about 9 months.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
July 26th, 2012
UrbanSpoon.com just launched Urbanspoon Guides, a new feature that allows diners to create personal lists of dining favorites. Even some of the country’s top chefs have created their own Guides to let Urbanspoon users know where they like to eat on their nights off.
Make sure to check out my favorite spots around the country! Whether you’re partying in New Orleans, soaking up the sun in Los Angeles, visiting Washington, D.C., or checking out Portland and Seattle, check out all my d’lish picks for foods and drinks!
July 25th, 2012
One of my fave things about summer is the abundance of sweet, juicy local stone fruits (fruits with a pit). Peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines and apricots… oh my! I always look forward to that first succulent bite of a perfectly ripe peach! And of course cherries!!
For some, the stone fruit harvest brings up nostalgic memories of home canning projects… making rows upon rows of canned peaches. For others, they were the treat to enjoy under a cool, shady tree with friends. Fresh-picked, sliced in a salad, baked in a pie, or shaken in a cocktail… the possibilities are endless. For canning tips and recipes, check out www.CanningAcrossAmerica.com and join the Can-volution!
For something light, try a big scoop of Ginger Peach Sorbet! It’s easy to make, and is just the thing to cap off a delicious dinner or a mid-day snack.
My Summertime White Sangria made with a Washington StoneCap Chardonnay!
Having some friends over this weekend? Serve up my Summertime White Sangria! Washington white wine is stirred up with local honey then married with a variety of stone fruits for a truly refreshing patio libation.
Grab some local stone fruit and take a juicy bite into summer! -Kathy
Ginger Peach Sorbet
Homemade ice creams, sorbets & granités are best eaten soon after being made. Their fresh flavor starts to dissipate after a couple of days.
Makes about 4 cups.
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup water
about 2 lb. fresh peaches (or enough to make 3 cups of puree)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Place sugar, ginger and water in a small sauce pan, stir and bring to a boil. Let cook about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, peel and pit peaches. If peaches don’t peel easily, then plunge them into a pot of rapidly boiling water for about 30 seconds and then into cold water to loosen skins before peeling.
Place peaches and lime juice in blender and puree until smooth. Combine peach puree with cooled ginger mixture. Chill mixture at least 30 minutes.
Place mixture in an ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Summertime White Sangria
Makes about 6 servings
1 bottle (750 ml) local white wine
1/4 cup liqueur, such as Tuaca, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or St. Germain
2 – 3 tablespoons 5130 Liquid Kitchen™ Honey or local honey
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup cut up local fruit, such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums
In a large pitcher, stir the wine, liqueur and honey together until honey is dissolved. Add the fruits and stir, crushing some of the fruit. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, to let the flavors marry. Serve over ice, including some of the fruit in each serving.
Recipe created by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™
July 20th, 2012
We’re already nearly halfway through July, and that always means one thing to me – it’s almost Tales of the Cocktail time again! I’m getting ready to head down to steamy New Orleans at the end of the month for the premier spirit and cocktail event of the year, and looking forward to an exceptionally exciting time this year, because Tales is celebrating its 10th birthday – proof positive that some things only get better with age! There will be tons of fab events (including a birthday/kickoff party with cake and, of course, cocktails), seminars, demos and tastings to attend, and of course it is always a fantastic chance to network, meet new people, and catch all the latest buzz in the cocktail world. There are even excursions to go on, like swamp tours, bike and garden tours, and even a pig-butchering demo – oh my!
Continue reading at Amazon’s Al Dente blog!
July 18th, 2012
Fantastic interview and article in Wanderlust & Lipstick! Seattle summers are gorgeous when the warm sun is out and with friends all around… with great foods and drinks! Check out my Seattle summer hot spots and my recipes for Summer Sangria, Veggie & Grilled Pita Greek Salad, and Grilled Alaskan Salmon with Garlic & Herbs
They say that summer in Seattle arrives on July 5—leaving us waiting and waiting until the Fourth of July holiday, and then treating us to its lovely sunny days for at least a couple of months. This year I’m not so sure that it’s actually officially arrived. Sure, we’ve had sunshine and some pleasant temperatures, but we’ve also had our share of overcast skies and thunderstorms. Still, however, it’s worth being ready to take advantage of sunny days each and every time they come.
To continue reading and for the recipes, click here.
July 18th, 2012
Great post for Motivational Mondays on ThirstyGirl.com with my Sake Sangria recipe and video from Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen! Spike your Mondays with this easy, Asian-inspired sangria recipe. For more cocktail inspiration, make sure to visit www.LiquidKitchen.tv!
July 16th, 2012
Many people think of lavender as scenting soaps, spa treatments and perfumes. This flower is well-known for its calming and relaxing properties, but lavender has also enjoyed a long history in the culinary world. In fact, it is experiencing quite resurgence lately. Chefs, bakers and mixologists alike are using this member of the mint family to spruce up savory dishes, sweets, and cocktails.
Lavender is best used sparingly to let its fragrant flavour subtly shine – and not to overpower. When added to an herbaceous seasoning mix like Herbs De Provence, it gives a unique note to grilled proteins like chicken or pork.
Close-up of lavender growing in my urban garden!
A sprinkle of lavender into your favorite sugar cookie recipe adds a delicious floral note, like in my Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies.
For a super-refreshing drink, whip up my Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler – drink it over ice or with a splash of gin, vodka or silver rum for summertime sipping perfection!
If you appreciate lavender as much as I do, be sure to check out the Sequim Lavender Festival. It’s a lavender-lover’s dream with tours of the local lavender fields, delicious lavender-infused foods and drinks as well as tons of sweet-scented goods and wares. It runs from July 20th to the 22nd – don’t miss this fun festival!
Here’s to lavender! -Kathy
Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies
A wonderful not-too-sweet cookie with big flavor.
Makes 12 cookies
1 stick butter, softened
2 tsp fresh lavender
1 Tbsp. lemon zest, finely minced
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. local honey
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter, lavender, lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and mix until just combined. Add the honey and then mix until dough just comes together.
With lightly floured hands roll dough into a 2” round cylinder and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled.
When ready to bake preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice dough into 12 even slices with a sharp knife and place on a baking sheet pan.
Bake shortbread in middle of oven approx. 10 minutes or until bottom of cookies are pale golden. Remove from oven and remove cookies to a cooling rack.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Lavender-Mint Lime Cooler
Zesty lime syrup with fresh lavender and mint make for a refreshing drink, perfect for any patio party or sunny afternoon.
Makes 7 cups – serves 8 to 10
3 Tbsp. finely minced lime zest (with no white pith)*
8 – 10 large sprigs fresh lavender
8 large sprigs fresh mint
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed Paramount Citrus Lime juice
3 cups water (or substitute soda water if serving right away)
Garnish: lime wheels and fresh lavender sprigs
Combine the zest, lavender, mint, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the mint to steep and the syrup to cool.
Remove and discard mint from syrup. In a large pitcher, combine the cooled syrup, lime juice, and water. Serve over ice in a tall glass garnished with lime wheels and mint. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
* Zest is the outer peel of the fruit – with no white pith attached. You can remove the zest from the fruit with a fine zesting tool that makes long, very thin, pretty strands, or you can peel off the zest with an ordinary potato peeler, being careful not to get any white pith, and then finely mince it.
Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™
July 12th, 2012
Seattle foodies! Looking for a tasty event this weekend? Make sure to stop by the International District for the first ever Chow-Down in Chinatown this Saturday and Sunday (July 14-15)!
There’ll be a $2 Food Walk with lots of participating neighborhood restaurants as well as 10 Food Trucks around and an old school Japanese beer garden! Check out the participating restaurants below:
For more info, check out their Facebook page.
July 11th, 2012