Posts from April, 2013

Refreshing Mint

Mmmmm — fresh mint the fragrance is just so uplifting. Over the years, we’ve loved it in libations from classic mint juleps in frosted silver cups to the ever popular mojito. Nothing says refreshing quite like mint, whether it’s shaken, hand-pressed or added in some way or another to a great cocktail.

Mint
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

I like to get creative with mint and experiment with new and exciting combinations like in my Sake Refresh. This cocktail is made with cucumber, mint, vodka, sake and lime – super-refreshing and not-so-sweet. It’s perfectly paired with Asian foods and sushi.

Love mojitos? I know that I do! Lots of mint in your garden and don’t know what to do with it – try making an easy to make mint syrup – sugar, water, mint – boil – steep then strain…. and refrigerate for the next time you mix up that mojito!

In honor of the upcoming Kentucky Derby, I’ve twisted it up a bit with my Apricot Julep. It’s a tasty fruit spin on the classic — enlivened with plumped apricots, bourbon and mint of course, a splash of apricot brandy and a dash of bitters.

For more cocktail inspiration and ideas, make sure to check out my cocktail show at www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

So cheers to shaking it up with fresh mint in your next cocktail! –Kathy

Sake Refresh
Makes 1 drink

1 sprig fresh mint
4 slices fresh cucumber
3/4 oz simple syrup*
1 1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz sake
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
Garnish: thin cucumber slice

Tear mint sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Add cucumber slices and simple syrup. Mash ingredients together with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Add vodka, sake, and lime juice. Fill shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

*Simple Syrup: combine 2 cups sugar with 2 cups water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then immediately remove from heat. Cool and store refrigerated.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Apricot Julep
Makes 1 drink

6 large mint leaves
1 Tbsp Plumped Apricots with syrup (recipe follows)
1 oz bourbon
1/4 oz apricot brandy
dash of Angostura bitters

In a cocktail shaker, combine mint leaves and apricots with their syrup. Hand-press with a muddler. Add bourbon, brandy and bitters. Fill shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Pour entire drink into a rocks glass.

Plumped Apricots
Makes about 1 1/2 cups, enough for about 20 drinks

1 cup chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup super-fine sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a heatproof container. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Cover loosely and let sit for at least 8 hours or overnight at room temperature before using. Store refrigerated until needed.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 27th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Cocktails, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Decadent Chocolate

Do you love chocolate? Have you admitted to being a “chocoholic?” I know there are a ton of you out there, including me! I can’t get enough of Seattle’s fabulous local chocolates!

Fran’s Chocolate is a Seattle institution when it comes to sweets. Internationally recognized, Fran Bigelow is truly the Mother of Chocolate in Seattle. From hand-dipped truffles, to sea salt caramels, everyone has their favorite treat. My personal guilty pleasure is the famous Gold Bar – gooey buttery caramel studded with almonds and covered with dark chocolate – yum! It’s definitely one of my go-to’s.

Theo Chocolate is another top dog in Seattle, famous for their delicious bars. Theo’s is also dedicated to addressing social issues, something we love to support! Theo is the only Organic, Fair Trade, Fair for Life certified Bean-to-Bar chocolate factory in North America. In fairly recent news, they have teamed up with Ben Affleck to help Congolese farmers.

Theo Chocolate
Theo Chocolate in Seattle’s Fremont Neighborhood!

You can visit the Theo’s shop in Fremont and browse all of their delectable chocolates, and even take a tour! Watch as their artisans hand-place garnishes, learn about their chocolate-making process, and even get a little sample! What a yummy excursion!

Hot chocolate more your style for a good chocolate fix? Be sure to check out Chocopolis in Queen Anne! Chocopolis can make any of their artisanal chocolate bars sippable! They also host Chocolate Happy Hours on Thursday evenings and tasting classes.

So when you get the craving to bite into something a little sweet, head to one of Seattle’s wonderful chocolatiers!  Or if you want to get your chocolate fix in your own kitchen try whipping up on of my fave recipes: Chocolate- Cherry Pound Cake a la mode with Drunken Tart Cherries made with dried tart cherries from the Chukar Cherry Company, who’s been producing all natural dried cherries in the Northwest since 1988! – Kathy

Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake à la mode with Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 8 servings

Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (regular, not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

Glaze
1/2 cup (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate cherry ice cream or other ice cream of your choice
Drunken Tart Cherries (recipe follows)

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 5-by-9 1/4-inch nonstick loaf pan and set aside.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until very fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Beat in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, in three parts, to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until well combined; do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, filling evenly. Rap the pan sharply on a counter several times to release any air bubbles, then smooth the surface of the batter.

Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 30 minutes of baking.

Unmold the cake and turn it right side up. Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan or in a microwave oven, gently heat the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is just melting. Remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool to almost room temperature but still liquid. Pour over the cooled cake. Let the glaze set for 15 minutes before serving.
To serve, slice the cake into 16 slices and serve 2 slices, shingled, per serving. Top with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of cherries with their syrup.

Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 1 cup

1 cup pitted dried tart cherries
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup boiling water

Mix the cherries, amaretto, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cherries and stir well. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours before using. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 18th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Amazon, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Dishcrawl is headed to Kirkland

Dishcrawl heads to downtown Kirkland! On April 30th starting at 7:00pm, food lovers will have a chance of going on a tasting tour of 4 Kirkland restaurants, meet the chefs & owners and get to know other neighborhood food lovers! Tickets are on sale now, so make sure you buy yours today!

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 15th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in events, Foodie News, Lifestyle

Quinoa: the Gold of the Incas!

There’s been a lot of buzz about “wonder foods” and quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is certainly one of them! Nicknamed “gold of the Incas”, quinoa is an ancient grain getting a lot of recognition. It is showing up on menus all over! From quinoa eggs Benedict to hearty supper side dishes, this little seed is gaining high acclaim in the food world.

There are so many benefits to quinoa. It is high in fiber, a complete protein, and contains no gluten, making it perfect for vegans and those with gluten sensitivities.


Red Quinoa!
(Photo courtesy of FitSugar)

Quinoa is easy to cook and highly adaptable. This little seed gets light and fluffy after cooking and has a subtle nutty taste that pairs well with other flavors. My favorite cooking technique is to lightly toast the seeds in a dry pan before cooking them to bring out that delicious nutty flavor.

This wonder food is great as a side dish and fantastic in salads like in my Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad, which is studded with cucumber, garbanzo beans, hazelnuts and golden raisins – yum! Perfect as a side dish or easy to make and pack for a healthy fulfilling lunch.

Give this mighty seed a try: it’s great for you and its d’lish… what a fantastic combo! –Kathy

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
I like to make this salad with all organic produce and also add in a cup of chopped fresh raw kale for extra fiber!

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced organic cucumber
1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2cup organic golden raisins
1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

*Available at PCC Markets and Whole Foods.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 11th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides

Driscoll’s Berries

I’m just back from a day with Driscoll’s Berries and had a berry-licious day eating and learning all about berries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Blueberries. OH MY! With all this tasty inspiration, I wanted to share my favorite Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake and Strawberry Shag recipes. Stay tuned for more blogging about my trip and other berry-inspired ideas – make sure to follow me on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef for more berry pictures!

Strawberries2Strawberries1
Berries for the pickin’ and munchin’!

For other fun berry-ful recipes, make sure to check out the Driscoll’s berry blog, too! -Kathy

Billowing Strawberry Poppy Seed Layer Cake
Bakeries often freeze their cake layers before filling and frosting them, as doing so is easier when the cake is really firm. Generally, by the time you have finished frosting the cake, it has defrosted and is ready to eat.

Makes 1 (3-layer) cake, serving 12 to 14

Strawberry Cake
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cake
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups cream

Filling
1/2 cup high-quality strawberry jam
1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer or other large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the softened butter. Using an electric mixer, mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add half of the milk and mix for 2 minutes more to cream the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the remaining milk, eggs, and vanilla. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 more minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake layer and turn it out onto a rack to cool thoroughly.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn the speed to high and mix for 1 minute. Stop the mixer, add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Repeat twice, until all the powdered sugar has been added, then increase the mixer speed to high and whip for 3 minutes.

In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff, then fold it gently into the cream cheese mixture until just incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to frost the cake.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, stir the strawberry jam until smooth, then gently fold in the strawberries. Set aside until ready to fill the cake.

To assemble and frost the cake: On a large cake plate, place 1 layer of the cake. Spoon one-half of the strawberry filling in the center, then spread it out to 3/4 inch from the edge. Top with 1 cup of the frosting and spread the frosting to 3/4 inch from the edge. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat. Place the final layer of cake on top, then press down gently on the cake layers to stabilize them.

With a large rubber or cake spatula, mound half of the remaining frosting on the top of the cake. Spread the other half around the sides of the cake, covering up all cake and swirling the frosting decoratively. Smooth out the frosting on the top of the cake. Let the frosting dry a little before garnishing the cake.

Stem the garnish berries, and cut in half lengthwise. Place, cut sides down, around the top edge of the cake. Arrange any extra strawberries in a small pattern in the middle of cake. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Strawberry Shag
Fresh basil lends a fun flavor note to the classic combination of strawberries and lemonade. Soda water introduces a lively sparkle. For other libatious inspiration, make sure to check out Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen!

Makes 1 drink

1 to 2 large sprigs fresh basil
1/4 cup Sugared Strawberries with juice
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 ounces chilled soda water

For garnishing
Fresh Driscoll’s strawberry
Small basil leaf

In a cocktail shaker, press the basil and strawberries together with a muddler to release the basil’s flavor. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka and lemon juice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a large glass, top with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.

Sugared Strawberries
Makes enough for about 6 drinks

1 pint fresh Driscoll’s strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before using.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books

Picnic Fave: Coleslaw!

It goes without a doubt that coleslaw is a picnic staple! From sweet and tangy varieties to rich and creamy, everyone has a favorite style to make… and devour.

Coleslaw complements a multitude of dishes like cozied next to classic fried chicken or riding shotgun next to Sticky BBQ Ribs. It has also been tucked into tacos and adds crunch to savory pulled pork sandwiches.

Today’s wide variety of cabbages are giving coleslaw a colorful pick-me-up, from brilliant red hues to vibrant purple shades. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, and eating different types of cabbage boosts your intake of Vitamin C and fiber, amongst many other health benefits.

Changing up your ‘slaw ingredients is great a great way to add versatility. Try Nappa cabbage mixed with a sweet and tangy vinegar-based dressing, toasted sesame seeds and green onions. These ingredients give coleslaw an Asian flair that will liven up your side dish.

If you’d like to stick with a creamy base, try spiking a traditional mayo-based slaw dressing with a touch of zingy horseradish and toss in some dried cranberries for a sweet counterpart.

Or go old school and try a cooked style dressing like in my Tangy Poppy Seed & Pineapple Coleslaw.  I tend to like this style dressing as it is high flavor and is fairly thick – so as your dressing starts to break down the cabbage, it dilutes but still coats the cabbage without getting watery.

Switch up the standard ‘slaw and try some new twists on an old favorite! –Kathy


Tangy Poppy Seed & Pineapple Coleslaw
Makes 6 cups

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
tiny pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger (optional)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon 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 teaspoons 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®

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 4th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Recent Posts

‘Q for Care!

My good friend Lisa Dupar and the chefs of Pomegranate Bistro are hosting a kickin’ Southern BBQ to raise funds for their own Chef Chet’s uncompensated cancer care; take a peek at the details below!
Great ‘Q, d’lish treats, and a fantastic cause – what better way to spend a Sunday!

qforcare

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 2nd, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Recent Posts
Untitled