Posts from December, 2014

Holiday Hangover Cures

The year is coming to a close and the biggest party of the year is still to come – New Year’s Eve! It’s time to celebrate the old and ring in the new. And… let’s just say this usually involves at least a cocktail or two.

I have some great ways to give you a good start for the New Year, even if you do over-indulge a bit the night before.

My go-to cure is my Hangover Helper. Just empty a packet of Emergen-C (I like orange or raspberry) into a juice glass and add a little vodka – or gin, a dash of bitters, and soda water then top with a few drops of olive oil. Yep, that’s right – drink up!

New Year’s Day entertaining? A Bloody Mary Bar for brunch will definitely help with that headache – with a little hair of the dog!

Blood Scandi
The Bloody Scandi I created for Sip Northwest Magazine
made with Aquavit, Demitri’s and Local Pickled Beets

Set up a DIY station and let your guests mix up their own concoctions.

Put out a selection of different spirits:

  • -Vodkas
  • -Gin
  • -Aquavit
  • -Tequila
  • -Whiskey

Bloody Mary Mixers:

Condiments to Spice & Flavor Things Up:

  • -Tobasco
  • -Sriracha
  • -Green Hot Sauce
  • -Fresh Lemon Wedges
  • -Fresh Lime Wedges
  • -Horseradish

And Lots of Garnishes for your Guests to Skewer up!:

  • Chunks Cheese

  • Pickled Veggies(pickled beets, asparagus and beans)

  • Cooked Prawns

  • Beef Jerky

  • Sliced Salami

  • Stuffed Cherry Peppers

  • Selection of Olives

  • Hard Smoked Salmon or Pickled Herring (yes that’s right – I’m Scandinavian!)

And don’t forget to eat! Boosting your metabolism will make you feel better faster than anything. And for some reason, a bacon sandwich sometimes can be THE magic cure. You’ll feel better in no time!

Happy New Years! – Kathy

Posted by Kathy on December 24th, 2014  |  Comments Off on Holiday Hangover Cures |  Posted in Uncategorized

The Modern Crock Pot

It’s time for some hearty cooking so dig deep into your pantry and dust off your trusty crock pot!

The wonderful thing about a crock pot is you can do all the prep early in the day, and be ready to serve dinner right when you walk in the door from work! The “Set It and Forget It” aspect is great for a busy schedule.

Today’s crock pot recipes have gotten more modern with delicious twists like in my recipe for Crock Pot Fragrant Soy & Ginger Beef, cooked until succulent with green onions, shitake mushrooms, and cabbage. Marinate the beef overnight with a garlicy, spicy soy marinade, then layer into the slow cooker with onions, mushrooms, and wedges of cabbage. Pour the marinade over the whole thing and set to cook. After 8 or 9 hours, you’ll have a rich, super-flavorful sauce with delicious meat and tender veggies. Perfect to serve with steamed rice. PS – you may want to put the cooker under your stove hood (turned on) as it can be quite “fragrant” with the cabbage.

Another fork tender recipe is my Orange Chili Slow-Cooked Pork made with chili spice rubbed pork butt, fresh squeezed Sunkist Orange juice, coriander seed, tomato paste and garlic. Super flavorful!! Great to serve in DIY soft tacos.

And there are a ton of great crock pot cookbooks out there from everything from soups and chilis to even cakes!

Have a favorite oven-braising recipe? These can be easily adapted for crock pot cooking. Just remember to add your vegetables on top of the meat or poultry – this way they won’t get overcooked. –Kathy

Crock Pot Fragrant Soy & Ginger Beef with Green Onions & Cabbage
Makes about 6 servings

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds beef brisket roast
2 slices fresh ginger root
3 cloves of garlic
1 star anise pod
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in 6 wedges
1 very small head green cabbage, cut in 6 wedges
1 bunch green onions, ends trimmed off, cut in 2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Place beef into pan, fat side down, and brown the first side. Turn over and brown the other side. Transfer beef to a non-corrosive bowl or baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ginger root, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, brown sugar, soy, vinegar, and chili flakes and pour over the meat, turning the meat to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Then next day, remove the meat from the dish and place in the bottom of the slow cooker (reserve marinade). Next, layer in the onion wedges, then the cabbage and green onions. You may need to push down the cabbage a bit to make it fit.

Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved marinade until blended, then pour over the top. Cover tightly with the lid and set to cook on high. Cook undisturbed for about 8 – 9 hours.

To serve, remove the cabbage and onions to a platter and the meat to a cutting board. Slice the meat against the grain and place on the platter. Spoon the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Orange Chili Slow-Cooked Pork
Orange Chili Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos – Yum!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Orange Chili Slow-Cooked Pork
This full flavored pork is great to get cooking before heading off to work. Serve over rice, as a pulled pork sandwich or in tacos.

Makes 6 hearty servings

1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. coriander seed, crushed
1 Tbsp. salt
1 boneless pork butt (shoulder), about 3 pounds, cut into 2 pieces
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh squeezed Sunkist Orange juice
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 large onion, sliced

To prepare the pork, mix the chili powder, coriander seed, and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Roll the pork in the mixture.

Put the pork in a slow-cooker. (Add in any extra seasoning that did not stick to the pork.) In a small bowl whisk together the tomato paste, orange juice, vinegar and garlic. Pour over the pork and then scatter with the onion. Cover set the cooker on high. Let cook for 8 hours or until very tender. Serve as desired.

Chef Notes:

  • The broth is super flavorful so be sure to save and mix in to pork after pulling it, you can also thicken the cooking juice with a little cornstarch.
  • If making tacos top with a little shredded cabbage, your favorite salsa or chopped tomato, sprigs of cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Add any leftovers into a chili or soup.
  • Recipe created by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for Sunkist®.

    Posted by Kathy on December 12th, 2014  |  Comments Off on The Modern Crock Pot |  Posted in Uncategorized

    It’s Time for Fruit Cakes!

    Fruit Cake (or fruitcake) sometimes gets a bad rap. Those doorstopper hard as rocks cakes with bright, florescent cherries that gets re-gifted every year passed around at every while elephant party…

    Fruit Cake Monster
    A Fruitcake monster!

    But there is great fruit cake, too! Like my holiday favorite “Over 21” Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark! I love a slice in the morning with a great cup of coffee.

    Fruit-Cake-3

    These REAL fruit cakes are fully loaded with Maker’s Mark-soaked dried fruits, including apricots, cranberries, tart cherries, and golden raisins, as well as loads of nuts from toasted hazelnuts to rich pecans – all bound with a signature spiced batter recipe. Baked till golden then brushed over and over with a bourbon-brown sugar glaze. Now this is fruitcake – a REAL FRUIT cake.

    So if you have a fruit cake fan on your Holiday Gift List or want to be a fruit cake convert, I have you covered. You can order them online for delivery or pick them up at the Food Studios in Ballard.

    Fruit-Cake-4

    Quantities are limited so be sure to place your orders soon because they sell out FAST!

    Wishing you all a real fruit cake filled holiday season! -Kathy

    “Over 21” Bourbon Fruit Cake
    Makes 6 mini-loaves

    1 cup chopped dried pineapple
    1 cup chopped dried apricots
    1 1/2 cups tart dried cherries
    1 cup golden raisins
    1/3 cup currants
    1 1/4 cups chopped dried mango
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened (very important!)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 tsp. orange zest
    2 tsp. lemon zest
    6 eggs
    1/4 cup bourbon
    1 3/4 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 cup chopped hazelnuts
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 cup whole almonds

    Bourbon Glaze
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup bourbon

    In a large bowl toss together the dried fruits then pour the boiling water over the fruit and toss again. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    In a mixing bowl whip the butter (be sure it’s super-softened!) on medium-high speed with the white and brown sugars for about 4 minutes or until fluffy. Add the molasses and then the vanilla and zests. On medium speed add 1 egg at a time, beating 1 minute between each addition. Mix in bourbon. Mixture should be whipped until it is smooth and silky.

    In a sifter combine flour and spices. Remove bowl from mixer and sift in dry ingredients, folding into egg mixture until well incorporated.

    Separately, in a very large bowl mix together plumped fruits and nuts. Add cake batter and fold into the fruit and nuts until well coated.

    Divide mixture (about 1 1/2 cups each) among 6 buttered, nonstick mini-loaf pans (6-inch x 3-inch x 2-inch) or disposable aluminum mini-loaf pans. Smooth out batter, then bang each pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.

    Place pans on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 – 55 minutes or until set and cooked through.

    Meanwhile make the Bourbon Glaze: In a very small saucepan combine the water and brown sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature. Then whisk in the bourbon.

    When cakes come out of the oven, remove from pan and place bottom up on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. With a pastry brush, brush the Bourbon Glaze liberally on the bottom and sides of cakes while still warm. Do this quite a few times. Then turn cakes top side up and brush with more of the glaze. Keep brushing with glaze on all surfaces every 20 minutes or so until all of the glaze is used up. Cover cakes with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.

    To wrap cakes: Wrap each cake individually with plastic wrap, then wrap in parchment paper. Seal with Christmas stickers and ribbon or raffia and baubles. If desired, write recipe name, baker and date on outside wrapper with a fine permanent marker or metallic pen.

    Store cake at room temperature until ready to give.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

    Posted by Kathy on December 5th, 2014  |  Comments Off on It’s Time for Fruit Cakes! |  Posted in Uncategorized
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