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Kasey Rogers

Kasey Rogers has 9 articles published.

Kasey Rogers spent much of her career life in New York City's commercial film industry. After running “The 2Beans Café” in Alexandria, Ontario for several years, Kasey continues to pursue her love of cooking and passion for writing. Granting both a huge part of her life, she has been cooking and writing and writing about cooking ever since returning to the States.

Kasey à la mode: Frittatas

The Frittata is a versatile dish that's just what you want when you don't want an omelette exactly. Maybe because it's lunch or dinner and you're ready for a creamy, cheesy meal that's not ashamed to put eggs front and center in the entree; photo by Kasey Rogers.
The Frittata is a versatile dish that's just what you want when you don't want an omelette exactly. Maybe because it's lunch or dinner and you're ready for a creamy, cheesy meal that's not ashamed to put eggs front and center in the entree; photo by Kasey Rogers.

When I woke up early this morning, I was starving. After making a pot of coffee, I began hunting around in the fridge. I knew my twins wouldn’t be ready for breakfast for hours. I certainly didn’t want to wait that long! I wasn’t about to chastise them for sleeping in a while because they’re on spring break from college. But I also didn’t want to be in the kitchen all day either. The spring weather was calling me outdoors, and I wanted to head out as soon as I could. 

I found some sautéed mushrooms, a bit of baby spinach and a few pieces of cooked bacon. Soon I was cracking some eggs to make a frittata. It’s a great way to use leftovers for a quick meal for any time of day. The list of things that can be used in a frittata is long and varied. One of my favorites is asparagus, but I never have any left over. I sometimes cook specific ingredients to make this dish, but that’s rare. This dish is my “throw whatever I have available that will taste good together” kind of meal. I like that about a Frittata. 

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Shakshouka? What’s that?

My twins turned twenty-one this week. It’s been an amazing journey guiding them to adulthood. As a single mother, I often thought the day would never come. When we lost their dad to cancer years ago, I wasn’t sure how we’d ever get this far. And yet, they’re still alive and doing quite well despite some overwhelming obstacles. 

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Kasey à la mode: Fish Wish

Salmon cakes can act as an appetizer, side item, or main course, depending on your appetite!; photo by Kasey Rogers.

The other day I was chatting with my sister Donna on the phone. Somehow we started talking about the foods of our childhood. One of the things my mom made was a dish called Salmon and Peas. The chunks of salmon were prepared in a white sauce accompanied by fresh, frozen, or canned peas that were added to the creamy concoction. She served it over mashed potatoes but I’ve served it over pasta, and it’s equally delicious. I always thought it was a Portuguese dish, but none of my Portuguese friends have heard of it. That part of our recollection must have been a bit of family folklore.

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Kasey à la mode: I love lavash

Kasey's Spinach and Feta Lavash Pizza; photo by Kasey Rogers.

When I ran my 2Beans Café, my building was right across the street from the Alexandria Pizzeria. They served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and their menu included everything from pizza to Chinese food. I couldn’t imagine trying to prepare the large variety of foods they served every day. At that time, they had been in business for over forty years.  Trying to figure out how to compete with this well-established food business was intimidating.

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A Magic Ingredient

If I were to name one ingredient that influenced me the most, it would have to be balsamic vinegar. If the key to good cooking is to add flavor to ingredients, this ingredient can perform magic.

I have a vivid recollection of the first time I was introduced to it. My friends took me out for my birthday to a restaurant in Cherry Valley, near my home in Stroudsburg, PA. I had an appetizer of portobella mushrooms in a balsamic reduction. It was heaven on a plate.

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What’s in it?

Stracciatella satisfies and nourishes with surprisingly little fuss, photo by Kasey Rogers.
Stracciatella satisfies and nourishes with surprisingly little fuss, photo by Kasey Rogers.

We all seem to have these pivotal moments in our lives. Moments that have come to define us. They’re not necessarily big moments. They’re moments that we easily recall. Moments that influences the way we approach life, for better or worse.

I had this type of moment as a teenager. My mother decided to use food can labels to wallpaper the bottom half of the wall in our kitchen. Don’t ask where she got the idea, but she started collecting labels from friends and family. When she had enough, she trimmed them and I helped her as she used wallpaper paste to stick them to the wall. Soon the lower half of the kitchen wall had a colorful array of labels. Whenever we sat at the kitchen table, it was hard not to read them.

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Kasey à la mode: A little Valentine’s Day Sweetness

Kasey's New York Style Cheesecake; photo by Kasey Rogers.
Kasey's New York Style Cheesecake; photo by Kasey Rogers.

My husband Paul was born on Valentine’s Day. He once told me his mother wanted to name him Valentino. I’m so glad she changed her mind!

The first time I made dinner for him was to celebrate this double occasion. I wanted it to be extra special so weeks before his birthday, I started planning.  First, I consulted my Aunt Lil. She was an excellent cook with an extensive collection of cookbooks. She suggested I come over and she would help me comb through some of her recipes. 

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Our daily bread

The rewards of homemade bread really do outweigh the work; photo by Kasey Rogers.
The rewards of homemade bread really do outweigh the work; photo by Kasey Rogers.

I’ve been thinking a lot about bread lately. As a child, I use to pester my neighbor Mrs. Swanson for bread and butter. Somehow, hers always tasted better than my mom’s. She coated each piece with a thick layer of butter. It was heaven to me.

My love affair with bread never ended. No matter how many loaves I bake, there’s still an excitement when I take a loaf out of the oven. I can almost hear the steam that escapes when it’s sliced. The long, cold nights in the Berkshires where I live might be one reason I have bread on my mind. Is there anything better than dunking a piece of chunky buttered bread into the bowl of soup? It’s so much better than using a spoon to get the last of the liquid.

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“Kasey à la mode,” a column of flavorful phrases, debuts

2Beans Café & Tearoom, the former bistro owned and run by Kasey Rogers, author of "Kasey à la mode."

Ah, food! Is there anything more delightful than eating a home-cooked meal? Yes! Preparing one! As a child, I picked wild blueberries in the woods behind our house. Then I’d help my mother roll out a pie crust. I remember eating cucumbers straight from the vegetable garden in our backyard. Cooking was a creative outlet and an expression of love. Was it Cesar Chavez who said, “the people who give you their food give you their heart?”

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