Chicken Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and The Writing Process Tour

Pineapple Juice, soy sauce marinated and grilled chicken // karista's Kitchen

Recently my friend and colleague, Wendy of Chez Chloe the food blog (and also by the same name – a gorgeous Home and Kitchen store on Orcas Island, Washington) asked if I would participate in an online writing process tour.

Because I am completely nosy and curious about how other writers pen their poetic or educational prose, and because often, I stalk my favorite writers and then proceed to ask lots of writing related questions – I thought it would be fun to participate.

What are you working on? 

Hmmm… I think the best question would be, what am I not working on?  My work takes me in many different directions.  Which feeds my generous love for diversity in my daily schedule.

Currently, I’m writing and testing recipes for a winter/holiday magazine issue for one of my lovely clients; writing and testing wine-pairing recipes for two more fantastic clients; writing and testing recipes for future issues of VRAI Magazine; writing food related content for an online e-commerce fashion and home accessories website; desperately trying to finish a small e-cookbook on salmon (to be released soon) and posting my personal recipes and musings on my website.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I learned a long time ago I’m not a traditional food blogger.  I tried. But I soon realized I arrived late to the party, as usual, and I’m not fiercely competitive.  I am however, passionate. Passionate about culinary arts, culinary education and quality, clean, local food.  I am passionate about the local farmer and how we can help each and every one of them sustain their farms. I am passionate about food products that use only the best, cleanest ingredients to help keep our bodies healthy.  In a sentence… I want my work to reflect my passion.

I don’t typically write personal posts, going on and on about my day or how I’m feeling at the moment.  I don’t mind reading blogs that share more personal information, sometimes I rather enjoy them. But I feel my job and professional strengths are to inform, educate, inspire and sometimes amuse.  I love to laugh and I love to hear laughter.

On occasion though, I might write about my sweet pup, Tank, who amuses me terribly. Or my two sassy gals – who make my life worth living.  Or my adventurous husband who always seems to take adventure to a new level.  He most definitely feeds my generous love of daily diversity!

Karista's Kitchen

The Bennett Five

I believe my work only differs in that it reflects me.  It reflects my deep and profound love for what I do.  The passion, the art, the education and all the deliciousness that’s infused into every recipe and post I write.  I write to share. That’s how it all began.

Why do you write what you do?

I think I answered that in the paragraph above.  I’m famous for not directly answering a question.  Ask my husband.  He get’s half a novel with each question he asks.

How does your writing process work?

This too differs daily.  I develop recipes, write content about the recipe and photograph the recipe. Each portion is equally important, which is why I give lots of thought and research to every recipe I develop.

Writing the related content about the recipe depends on my clients specifications.  Much of what I write is written specifically for the publication and their demographic.  I tailor the content as beautifully as I can, weaving in non-fiction stories if warranted, or poetic verse about the season.

When I write, it’s usually always while sitting at my small, rather rustic, painted black desk in front of a window that faces east… with morning light.  Sometimes I play a little Josh Bell or cello music.  Vivaldi is my preferred music to write by, but on occasion some Wailin Jenny’s or Allison Krause will do the job.  I like the house to be quiet when I write. Which is why I write in the morning.  I never, ever answer my phone while I’m writing.  In fact, I turn it off.  This annoys my children.

There are times when I’m testing a recipe – cooking, plating, photographing – when verse will come to mind and I’ll stop and jot it down.  I keep pens and notepaper all over the house and in my handbag.  I never know when something inspirational will pop into my head and I’ll need to write it down.

Often my husband and I will be out and about or having dinner somewhere and I’ll grab my phone and start making notes.  It’s amazing how so many things around me can inspire me.  A beautifully plated creation at a new restaurant, a farmer’s market brimming with brilliantly colored produce,  dark and ominous storm clouds rolling past, threatening to unleash at any moment; an older couple strolling the sidewalk holding hands or a songbird singing his best song outside my window.  Little things that provoke or awaken and inspire.

pineapple and tamari marinated grilled chicken // Karista's Kitchen

Today, I’m sharing a recipe as well. This, a consolation for reading my very wordy post.

This grilled chicken dish is one my husband and I have been making for at least the last 20 years. Prior to culinary school the marinade was extremely simple.  Teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice.  Recently I jazzed it up a bit adding garlic and honey and using gluten free Tamari instead of a Teriyaki sauce.

Flavorful, moist and juicy grilled chicken that will have you licking your lips.  I serve this dish with my Carrot Cilantro Salad or my Mother in laws Macaroni Salad.  Perfect for the casual summer barbecue.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

This is one of my simplest chicken recipes.  So easy, so delicious and perfect for a casual summer meal.

Serves 4-6


4-5lbs bone-in, skin on, chicken pieces (breast, legs, thighs)

3 cups pineapple juice (not sweetened)

10 ounces Tamari (soy sauce)

1/4 cup honey

4-5 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup sliced green onions for garnish


Whisk together the pineapple juice, Tamari, honey and garlic.  Place the chicken pieces in a large non-reactive dish or bowl and pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.  On occasion, I’ll prepare it first thing in the morning and it’s ready to grill by dinner time.

Heat the grill to at least 400F.  Brush the grill grates with oil.  The chicken will stick at first, but should turn easily after a few minutes.  Watch the flame as the marinade can burn.  Turn the chicken a few times while grilling and in between turns, keep the grill lid down so the chicken will cook evenly.  Adjust the heat as needed.

The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165F.  Depending on the type of grill you use it will take about 20-30 minutes.  Place the chicken on a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with grilled corn on the cob and my Carrot Cilantro Salad or Macaroni Salad.  A perfect summer meal!




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  • Reply
    June 23, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I love getting that insight into your working days, Karista!

    Similarly to you, I tend to write more “to the point” posts though in regular life interactions, I am quite the talker haha 🙂

    Those grill marks! What an exciting take on chicken.

    • Reply
      June 23, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Lol! Thanks Ksenia. Yep, super chatty in person but on paper I’m more to the point. Besides, I always think to myself, who would want to hear about my day? Now, you are one interesting chef and I’d love to hear more about your travels! Fun, fun!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Great interview post!

    • Reply
      June 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Thanks so much YummyChunklet!! Happy Summer 🙂

  • Reply
    June 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I love this Karista. I’ve been asked me to participate by a couple of people also but I haven’t had time to sit down and think as yet. Your eloquent answers to the questions are a joy to read… so nice to see some snaps of your gorgeous family, too! As for the chicken? YUM. You are brilliant at blogging, whether traditional or not. I always love being able to sit down and read your warm, beautifully photographed and deliciously appealing posts xx

    • Reply
      June 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you Laura for your sweet words! You are too kind! I enjoy stopping by and reading your posts as well and I’d love to read about your writing process. I did mention I’m quite nosy! Lol! Have a lovely week. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    It’s so lovely getting to know a little more about you Karista, along with your zeal for the culinary arts. Being able to read about your beautiful family, little tank and those chicks! From reading about your first date/hiking expedition with Ranger Craig in pink heels, through to the tougher times (when your youngest) was in hospital.

    Loved the recipes and the woman behind it all. xo

    • Reply
      June 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Alli that is one of the nicest comments I’ve received. Made me tear up a bit! Thank you.
      Although we’ve never met in person I so enjoy our camaraderie and friendship. I so admire your work, your ambition and your talent! Truly inspirational. I’ve got to visit Sydney some day. The nicest people live there! xo

  • Reply
    July 2, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Oh dear… thought I left a comment last week. Thanks so much Karista for participating in this- really love reading about your own process. I’ve always enjoyed your balance of bringing in personal life with your amazing recipes. Always full of creativity and flavors but never intimidating. You are such a talent.
    Thank you! xx wendy

    • Reply
      July 7, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Thank you Wendy for your kind and thoughtful words!! My goal has always been to ease the task of cooking; making it an achievable and healthy daily activity that is enjoyable and delicious. Not always easy as you know. 🙂 I hope all is well and summer is off to a grand start on the island! xo

  • Reply
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