Posts from February, 2013

For the Coffee Lovers

Ahh, coffee! That first cup o’ joe usually sets the tone for the rest of the day. And certainly the Pacific Northwest is known as the mecca for coffee drinkers and connoisseurs alike. Some think of us as coffee snobs…maybe some of us are!

After all, we do love our coffee, as much as we cherish our wines. Many independent coffee shops and cafes (frequented by the true coffee geeks) often hold coffee “cuppings” – picture a wine tasting, but for coffee!

Coffee beans
I love the scent of fresh roasted coffee beans!

(Photo courtesy of Fontee Coffee)

While dark chocolate and coffee are a match made in heaven, it pairs well with other flavors and other applications too. Add ground espresso to spice rubs for a flavor pop – excellent on steak or Alaskan salmon. Brewed coffee is great in baked beans, hearty stews and in d’lish in my Red Eye BBQ Sauce – try slathering over grilled chicken or ribs…yum!

On the sweeter side of things, try adding a little ground espresso to chocolate cupcake batter for a mocha-licious treat. For a zippy twist on zucchini cake, work in a little strong brewed coffee for a Northwest take on this perennial favorite.

So put a little pick-me-up into your next dish. -Kathy

Red Eye Barbecue Sauce
Makes 2 1/4 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup 1/4-inch-chopped yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brewed coffee
5 tablespoons Worcestershire
3 tablespoons molasses
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sprinkle the black pepper and other dry spices on top. Stir and sauté until the onions are glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté about 1 more minute.

When the onions are translucent, whisk in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. If not using the sauce right away, cool and store, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 28th, 2013  |  Comments Off on For the Coffee Lovers |  Posted in Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes

2013’s Seattle Food and Wine Experience

Seattle has always been on the cutting edge of culinary and drink trends – and we sure love to celebrate it! There’s almost always a festival or event going on. Take for example the Seattle Food and Wine Experience, which will be this Sunday (February 24th) at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall from 12pm – 5pm – it’s definitely one of my faves!

Held annually, this year’s event is going to be as exciting as ever. Its jam packed with tons of chefs, demos, expert speakers, and lots of wine to taste (featuring cellars from Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and more!). Don’t forget to make room for all the available gourmet bites as well as Pacific Northwest distilled spirits, coffees, and brews, too. Yum!

Tons of exhibitors will be selling their wares, so keep your eyes out for any gifts you may need to buy, or even take something home for yourself! Make sure to buy  your tickets soon.

So raise a glass and toast to the Seattle Food and Wine event! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 21st, 2013  |  Comments Off on 2013’s Seattle Food and Wine Experience |  Posted in Cocktails, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Vinum’s Monthly Cocktail Competition

The beginning of 2013 marked the start of Vinum Importing’s monthly cocktail competitions and for March, the theme is anise. Native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia, anise-flavored spirits have already made appearances in plenty of cocktails, but Vinum’s competition challenges bartenders to put anise in the spotlight. If you’re a fan of anise then this is the event for you!

(Photo Courtesy of World Spice Merchants)

The competition will take place at Vessel on March 4th at 6:30pm. The guest judges include Imbibe Magazine’s Jen Boelts, 5th generation distiller Matteo Meletti, and Cocktail Chronicles’ Paul Clarke.

For more information on the Vinum Cocktail Competitions and the schedule, check out the competition website.

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 21st, 2013  |  Comments Off on Vinum’s Monthly Cocktail Competition |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

The Connection of Botany and Booze

Do you ever stop to think about the garnishes, liqueurs and syrups you put in your favorite cocktails? Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, definitely has! She has uncovered some seriously cool history on some common, and some not-so-common cocktail ingredients

I heard Amy speak this last summer at Tales of the Cocktail – it was one of my favorite seminars of all times. Not only was the content interesting but Amy is a fun and engaging speaker. If you love booze and you love geeky stuff – you will love her book!

From oak trees to lemon verbena, Amy gives a detailed and intriguing account of the various herbal ingredients we use in cocktails and liqueurs. With over 50 recipes, chemistry of over 150 plants, and growing tips for gardeners, this is the perfect gift for those with a green thumb and love to imbibe.

Drunken Botanist cover

Amy is an award winning author of 6 books detailing the delights and dangers of Mother Nature. Living in sunny California, her backyard is one big herbal experiment, and the bookstore she and her husband own is a veritable maze of fascinating finds.

The Drunken Botanist: “The plants that create the world’s great drinks”, by Amy Stewart is coming this March. Available for pre-order now at and on Amazon. Make sure you check out her funny promotion video!

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 20th, 2013  |  Comments Off on The Connection of Botany and Booze |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

10 Chocolate Dessert Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Looking to create some chocolatey goodness for your sweety? Check out the Pool & Spa Outdoor blog featuring the 10 Chocolate Dessert Recipes for Valentine’s Day – including my recipe for  Chocolate Covered Cherry Jumbles!

(Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for the National Cherry Foundation)

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 11th, 2013  |  Comments Off on 10 Chocolate Dessert Recipes for Valentine’s Day |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Healthy Snack: Yogurt!

Yogurt is one of my definite go-to, easy snacks. It’s healthy; individually packaged; and come in a wide variety of flavors! From Boston Cream Pie to Passion Fruit, to Orange Creamsicle to Boysenberry.

And these days, people just can get enough of Greek Yogurt! It’s creamy and smooth and the low-fat varieties taste so luscious!

Greek yogurt is packed with muscle-building and appetite suppressing proteins, and fat-free versions are low in calories and sugar, making this treat a total win-win in my books. For added flavor, top it with freshly chopped fruits, crunchy granola, a drizzle of honey, or… shaved dark chocolate! The options are endless!

This dairy darling has many d’lish applications. I love mixing it into mashed potatoes or adding a dollop on top of my morning oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup. For healthy app, dip rice crackers or baked chips into plain Greek yogurt topped with salsa and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro – delicioso!

Greek yogurt is the perfect addition to any morning routine. It’s great when blended into my Fiber Packed Breakfast Smoothie! Blended with a whole-peeled orange, a spoonful of local honey, ice and a few flax seeds–you’ll have the energy you need to start your day right.

Yogurt has definitely lost its “plain vanilla” reputation and I’m glad! –Kathy

Fiber Packed Breakfast Smoothie
The great thing about smoothies are that you can customize to your personal taste. Add a tablespoon of protein powder, or toss in some fresh or frozen berries.

Using a whole orange adds not only great taste, but extra fiber too. And if you want to jack up the fiber even more add a few torn leaves of fresh kale.

And if you really love smoothies- be sure to get yourself a fantastic blender. I love my Vitamix it makes smoothies in a flash!

Makes 2 servings

1 large orange
1 ripe banana, cut in chunks
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
1 – 2 Tbsp local honey, agave nectar (or sub a packet of no-cal sweetener)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon flax seed (the more seeds – the more “texture”)
1 cup ice

Cut the peel off the oranges, trim away any white pith, cut the fruit into chunks, removing any seeds.

Place the orange, banana, yogurt, honey, flax seeds and ice in a blender cup and blend on high speed until smooth. Divide between two glasses and serve immediately .

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on February 8th, 2013  |  Comments Off on Healthy Snack: Yogurt! |  Posted in appetizers, breakfast, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, Snacks

Speed Rack Comes to Seattle!

Speed Rack comes to Seattle! So mark your calendars for Sunday, February 10th from 3:00pm – 7:00pm at Century Ballroom and make sure to buy your tickets soon!

Founded by Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix, this national cocktail competition/fundraiser features top regional female bartenders in a head-to-head round robin style timed and judged challenge. Winner of the upcoming Seattle event will then get the opportunity to compete in the finals and where the winner will be crowned Miss Speed Rack USA! All the proceeds raised will go to breast cancer research, prevention and education.

I’m looking forward to judging the Seattle event and seeing all our top Washington shakers shine! Make sure to buy your tickets in advanced and visit for more info.


Posted by Kathy Casey on February 5th, 2013  |  Comments Off on Speed Rack Comes to Seattle! |  Posted in Cocktails, events, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Get Your Munch on with Pistachios

“Get Crackin’” has become a familiar tagline in TV commercials for the wonderful pistachio – but this little nut is more than just a pop culture phenomenon. Listed as a super food, nuts, and pistachios in particular, have a wide range of health benefits to top off their delicious flavor. From heart-healthy fats to high protein content, pistachios are the perfect snack or as a lovely accent to many d’lish dishes!

Sprinkle pistachios over Greek yogurt with dried cherries for a nutritious treat. Mix them in with dark chocolate, mini pretzels and dried cranberries for an indulgent trail mix. Or use them to finish off my Roasted Beets with Orange Honey Vinaigrette and Pistachios for tasty texture.

One of my favorite recipes featuring pistachios is my Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. Baked right in little mason jars and topped with a pouf of orange cream, these mini cakes are so cute and perfect for weekend entertaining!

So get crackin’ on some new ways to enjoy this healthful and flavorful nut! -Kathy

Roasted Beets with Orange Honey Vinaigrette and Pistachios
You can prepare this recipe part way in advance: After roasting beets, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, drain beets again if necessary, and proceed with the recipe, sauteing beets in the syrupy vinaigrette until heated through.

Makes about 6 servings

6 large beets (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, undiluted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel beets and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a 9- x 13-inch baking pan, then cover pan with foil. Roast beets in preheated oven about 40 minutes, then remove foil and continue roasting about 15 – 20 minutes more until beets are tender. Remove beets from oven and drain off any excess liquid.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan, whisk together remaining olive oil, OJ concentrate, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, and place over medium-high heat. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until syrupy. Add beets and saute to coat evenly.

Sprinkle nuts on top to garnish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes “in a Jar” with Orange Cream
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes “in a Jar” with Orange Cream
You can also make the cake batter up the day before, then just assemble in the jars, bake and serve warm! If baking ahead, you can chill down the baked cakes and just give a quick reheat in a hot oven or microwave to warm them.

Makes 6 cakes

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fine fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Mariner liqueur
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Orange Cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate

Garnish: fine fresh orange zest

To make the cake batter: In a double boiler or medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter and chocolate are just barely melted. Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, zest, flour, orange juice concentrate and liqueur. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and the pistachios. Refrigerate batter for 2 hours or up to overnight.

To bake the cakes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir the batter to distribute the nuts. Divide the batter evenly, scooping 1/2 cup batter into each of 6 half-pint, wide-mouth canning jars (or you can substitute glass custard cups). Place the jars on a baking sheet and bake for about 22 to 28 minutes, or until the cakes are set but the centers are still very, very soft. (See chef’s note.) Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes and serve warm.

To make the orange cream: While the cakes are cooking, whisk the cream and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl until lightly peaking. Add the sour cream and orange juice concentrate. Whisk in until nicely peaking.

Top each cake with a dollop of cream and sprinkle with orange zest.

Chef’s note: Ovens differ, so bake the cakes for about 22 minutes for very soft center or 24 to 28 minutes for somewhat firmer centers. When removed from the oven, the centers of the cakes should still be gooey. If using cold batter from the refrigerator the cakes will take longer to cook.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 1st, 2013  |  Comments Off on Get Your Munch on with Pistachios |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, Snacks