Spiked Summer Punches

The hot summer weather has finally hit the Northwest, which means entertaining is at an all-time high. When your backyard becomes the weekend hotspot for fun, punches are the perfect cocktail for a crowd!


Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

So what is a punch, anyways? Well it was created around the 17th century and is typically a concoction of four to five ingredients, with rum as the base. I chat more about this in my Liquid Kitchen episode with Charlotte Voisey and her Port of Mischief Punch – which is a delicious take on a classic punch.

But if you want to do your own punch twist – simply choose your favorite liquor and add in some seasonal fruits, tea, or fresh infused syrups. If you like bubbles, add some sparkle to your punchbowl with champagne or prosecco – or step out of the box by splashing in a light, refreshing pale ale- like in my recipe for Hoppy Melon Rita Punch! (recipe follows)

Combining punch and beer might seem unusual, but the pair makes for a perfect summery sip – and Seattle native Fremont Brewing Company’s Summer Solstice Ale does the trick. Ultra-light and fragrant with citrusy notes of tangerine and hints of spice- this ale is the perfect co-star.

Serve it up in tall glasses garnished with a juicy wedge of watermelon, and you’re on your way to beating the heat in delicious style. So bust out that retro punch bowl and start mixing!

For more punchy goodness, visit my blog, DishingWithKathyCasey.com. And for d’lish cocktail inspiration, check out Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen.

Hoppy Melon Rita Punch
Makes 16 – 20 servings

zest of 2 limes (zest before squeezing for juice)
1 cup sugar
1 bottle (750 ml) silver tequila (about 3 cups)
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 cup Ruby Grapefruit Juice Cocktail
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups diced fresh watermelon
2 (12 ounce) bottles ale such as Fremont Summer Solstice Ale
Garnish: fresh watermelon wedges

In a large punch bowl (or large container such as a stock pot or pitcher) combine the lime zest, sugar, tequila, juices, and watermelon. Stir to combine well and dissolve the sugar. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for service up to 3 days in advance) Present in a large punch bowl. Add ale right before serving. Serve over ice in punch cups, or fun margarita glasses.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Posted by Kathy on August 3rd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Refreshing Fruit Salsa

Tomato salsa, Pico de Gallo, thick and chunky Picante Sauce- salsa is by far the most popular condiment in the US. Whether you like it sweet and mild or spicy and hot- it’s the perfect way to add big flavor to your meal. But hey, why not mix up your salsa rut and get sassy with summer fruit!

If you ask me, there are no rules when it comes to making a delicious fresh- fruit salsa. So get creative and just wing it! Use whatever chopped seasonal fruits you have and add a little onion, fresh lime, chopped cilantro, diced jalapeños or hot sauce, and a dash of salt.

I like to use cherries, melons, or peaches in the summer. In the winter, I choose more citrus based fruits like juicy California oranges and grapefruits. I also love to add a tropical twist with pineapple and mango. Fruit salsa is great over grilled fish, chicken, with crunchy chips – or really anything!


Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey

Bought a giant watermelon and looking for other ways to eat it up? Try my recipe for Spicy Mexy Melon Salsa, served with a big bowl of tortilla chips and a margarita or fresh limeade – yum!
-Kathy

Spicy Mexy Melon Salsa
Add a few dashes of Chipotle Tabasco for added smokey heat!
Makes 4 cups

2 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup finely diced sweet white onion
4 cups chopped seeded watermelon – about 1/4” pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh jalapeño, seeds removed (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon coriander seed, lightly toasted in a pan and then crushed

Make this salsa up to 1 hour in advance – but not any earlier to keep the ingredients crispy and fresh.
Dissolve the sugar in the lime juice. Toss together remaining ingredients, and dress with sugar-lime juice mixture. Season with salt to taste.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on July 27th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts

Unicorn Trend – It’s a Rainbow Kind of Feeling

We all know the Northwest is known for its rain, but when the sun finally comes out, so do the rainbows! Legend has it there’s a pot of gold at the end…but I think there’s something else hiding under there. Unicorns!

It’s no secret that the wild unicorn trend has taken the country by storm. Restaurants all over the place are serving up unicorn inspired lattes, cakes, bagels, and more. The colorful creations are truly a sight to see.


Unicorn Sushi Photo from Chaarg


Unicorn Bagels Photo from Kirbie’s Cravings

So what does it take to be a unicorn food, you ask? Glitter, sprinkles, shimmer, and bright colors of course! The crazier, the better.

But you don’t have to go out to enjoy this whimsical trend- get creative and try it at home. Jazz up your next party with cupcakes covered in edible glitter. Or how about a glitter rimmed cocktail- now we’re talkin’!

And you don’t have to stop there – top an ice cream sundae with a heaping handful of cotton candy. Sprinkle some luster dust on fresh fruit for a fun twist. If you’re feeling extra crafty, use food coloring to make unicorn butter or whipped cream! Top it on waffles, pancakes, or muffins for a wacky breakfast treat.


Unicorn Milkshake Photo from BethCakes

And if you really want to get your Unicorn DIY on, check out the fun step by step instructions on how to make a Unicorn Bark Milkshake on BethCakes blog – if anything it will make you smile!

So whether you have kids of your own- or you’re just a big kid at heart- the unicorn food trend is the perfect way to bring a little magic to your day.

-Kathy

Posted by Kathy on July 20th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, chocolate, dessert

Tales of the Cocktail

Calling all cocktail enthusiasts! What do you get when you combine thousands of mixologists, spirit industry professionals, bar enthusiasts, and a lot of libations together? Tales of the Cocktail, of course!


Photo from Kathy Casey Food Studios

Think of it as a five day summer camp for the best and brightest in the spirits industry. Held annually in New Orleans, the week features seminars, parties, and cocktailing galore in this boozy 24-hour playground. It can be a liver workout – trust me!

Mixologists from all over the country (including local NW bartenders!) put their skills to the test by participating in crazy cool competitions. And when you need a break from all the booze- there are tons of unique bookstores and gift shops to explore.

Not only is the festival SO much fun, it’s the best way to find out the latest and greatest trends in the spirits industry. And good news- tickets are open to the public! So if you’re looking for a reason to expand your liquor knowledge and visit NOLA- Tales of the Cocktail is the perfect excuse.

Can’t make it this year? No problem! You can still get in the spirit by making my d’lish Maple Ramos Fizz cocktail at home.

For ticketing information, visit their website.

And follow along with me on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef – I’ll be tweeting everything Tales direct from New Orleans next week!

-Kathy

Maple Ramos Fizz
Makes 2 cocktails

Maple adds another layer of flavor to this classic brunch cocktail. Try Sipsmith Gin with a splash of maple syrup over ice as a sipping alternative. For a whimsical garnish, purchase sugared waffle crisps cut into small wedges and skewer onto long bamboo skewers.

3 oz Sipsmith Gin
1/2 cup Maple Ramos Pre-Mix
————————————-
soda water for topping, chilled
Garnish: lemon peel twist

Measure the gin and Maple Ramos Pre-Mix into a mixing glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake vigorously to really froth the drink. Divide drink between 2 tall (Collins style) glasses, and top with a splash of soda water to fizz (about 1 ounce for each drink). Twist lemon over drink to express oils and garnish.

Maple Ramos Pre-Mix
Makes about 4 cups, or 8 servings

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup pasteurized or organic egg whites
3/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup simple syrup*
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp orange flower water

Combine all ingredients together in a pitcher and whisk vigorously to combine, being sure egg whites are mixed in. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir well before using.

*To make simple syrup: combine 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan, bring to a quick boil then remove from heat. Cool. Store refrigerated for up to 10 days. Makes about 3 cups.

Recipe from Kathy Casey Food Studios® and Published in Sip NW Magazine.

Posted by Kathy on July 13th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, Foodie News, Tasty Travels, Kathy Casey, Press

Quick Pickles

Who doesn’t love homemade pickles? I certainly do! The briny, bold flavor is the perfect addition to any summer meal- but who says you have to buy them? Making your own may seem daunting- but I’m here to set the record straight. Pickling your Summer garden veggies is fast, easy, and so much fun.

All you need is my Refrigerated Quick Pickle recipe! First clean a quart-sized jar, then pack it full with a mixture of vegetables. Baby cucumbers, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower- have fun with it! Next boil up a sweet and tart brine and quickly pour into the veggie-packed jar. Screw on the lid, and cool to room temperature for about an hour- then pop in the refrigerator! In just two days you’ll have delicious pickled vegetables to bring to a picnic or enjoy at a backyard BBQ.

And pickling isn’t just for veggies – for something a little different, try one of my favorites –pickled peaches! Awesome to serve with your favorite cheeses, charcuterie platter or grilled meats.

-Kathy

Refrigerated Quick Pickles
Makes about 4 quarts

The following is a mixture of veggies that I like to use, but feel free to switch it up with what’s fresh from your garden or the market.

Vegetable Mixture:
7 cups (about 2 lb.) 3/4″-sliced pickling cucumbers
2 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″-thick-slant-cut carrots
2 medium jalapeño peppers, cut in half, or 1 large, quartered
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks yellow or white onion
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks red onion
2 cups (8 oz wt) 1″ chunks red bell peppers (substitute some hot peppers or some of your other favorite summer peppers if desired)
2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″- to 3/4″-sliced yellow zucchini or yellow squash

Pickling Brine:
2 cups white distilled white vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. pickling spice
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss together to mix colors. Divide vegetables among four clean, regular mouth 1-quart canning jars, packing vegetables in tight. Set jars on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and then immediately ladle pickling brine into filled jars, filling to 1/2″ from the top and being sure to cover the vegetables and distribute spices evenly. Immediately cover jar with lid and tighten. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least 2 days before eating. Pickles will last refrigerated up to 1 month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on July 6th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, Snacks, appetizers, seasonings, sides, spices, vegetables

Cherries Spell Summer!

Luscious, sweet cherries just scream summer to me. Cherry pie, cherry cocktails, cherry shortcake, boozy cherries over ice cream – is there anything better? Fresh cherries are also so tasty in a cocktail like in my recipe for Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd (recipe follows) – perfect for patio sipping with friends.


Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table Cookbook

I love cherries eaten out of hand, or in desserts, but they are also delicious incorporated into savory dishes too. Like in my Sassy Spicy Cherry Salsa – perfect for serving on a little goat cheese crostini or as a side kick to grilled chicken or salmon.

Simply half or quarter pitted cherries, toss with a little fine diced sweet onion, minced fresh ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of honey, and a little sriracha or chili paste. Then add in chopped cilantro or fresh snipped chives, season with sea salt, and voila! A crowd-pleasing salsa delicious on almost anything.

Don’t have a cherry pitter? Not to worry! Dig out those disposable to-go chopsticks I’m sure you have piled up in the kitchen drawer, poke through the cherry, and out pops the seed. Super quick and easy!

-Kathy

Cherry Mojitos for a Crowd
Makes about 10 servings

1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 1/2 cups sprigs)
3 cups Bacardi Limon rum or silver rum
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh lime juice
1/4 cup clear cherry liqueur, such as Maraska maraschino
3 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Loads of ice for serving
Two 10-ounce bottles soda water
Garnishes:
Fresh mint sprigs
Fresh cherries on the stem

In a large nonreactive container, such as a glass pitcher, combine the mint, rum, sugar, lime juice, liqueur, and pitted cherries. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For each serving, fill a large rocks glass or tumbler with ice and measure in 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of the rum mixture, being sure to get some of the cherries into each glass. Top with 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of soda. Stir, then garnish with a mint sprig and a cherry.

Chefs Note: You can make the cherry-rum mixture up to 3 days in advance and keep it refrigerated= the flavors will just get better and better.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios

Posted by Kathy on June 29th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Kathy Casey

Picture Perfect Pies

My oh my, I LOVE pie! Whether you’re celebrating a holiday, enjoying a summer time BBQ, or having a casual family dinner- pie can be the perfect dessert for any occasion. Strawberry lavender rhubarb, meyer lemon meringue, salted caramel pecan…the flavor combinations are endless!

I love a fresh berry pie with grated lemon zest added to the filling. Warm from the oven and topped with a big scoop of classic vanilla ice cream- yum!

It’s no secret that apple is crowd favorite flavor too. Choose a new variety of apples from the farmers market to switch things up, and then try adding dried cranberries or currants to the mix. If you’re really in the mood to try something different, add Tillamook cheddar to the crust- one of my personal favorites.

And you don’t have to stop there! Get creative with your crust. I like to add goodies such as sliced almonds, fine chopped walnuts, or poppy seeds. The crunchy texture pairs perfectly with a flaky, buttery pie dough.

Celebrate summer with your next pie! Picking fresh fruit at a local you-pick-farm is such fun and a great way to get the whole family involved. And once the hard work is done, treat yourself by making my Free-Form Stone Fruit Hand Pies. Happy baking!
-Kathy

Free-Form Stone Fruit Hand Pies
Makes 8 pies

Almond Crust
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup shortening, cold
1 large egg, beaten
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons ice water

Stone Fruit Filling
2 1/2 pounds assorted stone fruit such as: sliced fresh peaches, (peeled) nectarines, apricots, plums, or pitted cherries (about 7 1/2 – 8 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup (4 ounces) marzipan or almond paste, optional
Sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

To make the Almond Crust: Mix the flour, almonds, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening and, with a pastry blender or clean hands, combine until mixture forms pea-sized particles.

In a small, separate bowl, mix together 2 TABLESPOONS of the beaten egg, the vinegar, and the ice water. (Reserve the remaining beaten egg for egg wash.) Stir this mixture into the dry mixture and mix until the liquid is just incorporated. (This dough should be fairly moist and pliable, not crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time.)

Form the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour before rolling out.

To make the Stone Fruit Filling: Place the fruit in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon together and reserve.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly spray 2 or 3 large baking sheets with nonstick vegetable spray and set aside.

After the dough has chilled, cut it into 8 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick circle. Keep the other pieces covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap while you work. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, keeping the rolled-out circles separate and covered.

Sprinkle the fruit with the reserved sugar mixture and toss very gently. Coat the fruit thoroughly; no dry mixture should be left in the bowl.

If using the marzipan or almond paste, divide it into 1/2-tablespoon pieces. Flatten out each piece and tear it into several pieces. Place pieces on tart shells.

Divide the Fruit Filling among the tart shells, placing about 3/4 heaping cup in the center of each. Gather up the crust edges around the filling, bringing about 1 1/2 inches of pastry all around over the fruit to make an open-faced, rustic-looking tart or hand pie.

With a spatula, carefully transfer each tart to a baking sheet. (You will be able to fit about 3 to 4 tarts on each sheet.)

Whisk 1 teaspoon of water into the reserved beaten egg and lightly brush the exposed dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle the tarts lightly with sugar, if desired.

Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Chef’s Tips:
It is very important to allow 1 hour for the Almond Crust to chill before rolling out.

The fruit and dry ingredients are mixed at the last minute to avoid drawing too much liquid from the pears, which could make the crust soggy.

Recipe © 2017 Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on June 22nd, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Fruit, Kathy Casey, citrus, dessert

Burgers

When summer time finally hits the Pacific Northwest, burgers are the first thing on my mind. To me, the smell of a burger sizzling on an outdoor grill is simply intoxicating.

I’ll always love a classic beef patty piled high with condiments and spreads, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up. Burgers are a blank canvas to get creative and try new combinations. Your local farmers market is a great place to find inspiration.


Photo from Clean Eating

Outdoor BBQ in your weekend plans? Create a burger bar and make it interactive with a DIY set-up! Simply pre-heat your grill and have it hot and ready. Pick up some artisan buns and set out a variety of cheeses and spreadables like spicy sriracha mayo, fun mustards, local pickles, and grilled sweet onions. Offer unique patty options to please the whole crowd- like local grass fed beef, veggie black bean burgers, or seasoned turkey patties.

Or why not try my Barbequed Salmon Burgers on Lemon Dill Buns! The smoky grilled salmon patty paired with fresh condiments like lettuce, cucumbers, or a tangy vegetable slaw is knock-your-socks-off delicious. If baking your own buns seems daunting, not to worry! Just pick up your favorite from a local bakery and get to grillin’.

Make sure to have your guests bring some tasty sides, ice cold brews, and wine. And while the grill is still hot – throw on a few bananas for making up some grilled banana splits for a sweet ending – yum!
-Kathy

Barbequed Salmon Burgers
Makes 4 servings

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed (ask your fishmonger to do this)
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs minced onion
1 Tbs fresh dill
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS dried bread crumbs
¾ tsp kosher salt

Lemon Dill Buns, or local bakery bun
Mayonnaise or Tartar Sauce
Any combination of burger goodies you like, such as tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumbers, vegetable slaw, etc.

To make the burgers, chop the salmon well. Mix it thoroughly with the remaining burger ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape into 4 ½-5 in diameter well-compacted round patties. Refrigerate the patties, tented, for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to firm.

Pre-heat a grill to high and oil. Carefully place patties on grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side.

Split buns in half and toast lightly. Spread mayonnaise or tartar sauce onto buns, add the cooked patties, and pile high with garnishes of your choice.

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

Posted by Kathy on June 16th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Kathy Casey, salmon
Untitled