All Posts By

Karista

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Summer Ratatouille

Summer Ratatouille // Karista's Kitchen

 

I posted this decadent Summer Ratatouille photo on my Instagram page last week. I also thought I had posted the recipe here.

Maybe I had thought about posting it but I never followed through. I usually have excellent follow through but this delicious recipe definitely slipped through the cracks. I can only blame my busy schedule and although I have the best of intentions, sometimes I miss a few things. My apologies if you searched for this recipe and couldn’t find it!

This photo got a lot of love on my Instagram page and for good reason. It’s a beautiful dish, easy to prepare and completely delicious. I made this Summer Ratatouille at least 20 times last summer.

Because I was late getting my seeds started last summer, I went to my local farm and found loads of beautiful new starts. I wanted to plant a lot of cucumbers so I could use them in salads, do a bit of canning and then make some pickles. So I purchased 6 cucumber plants and 1 zucchini plant. That should be enough. Because zucchini plants can quadruple in size and produce a mountain of zucchini, I only bought one plant. Or so I thought.

Zucchini starts look almost identical to cucumber starts. Apparently, someone also thought the same and put all the zucchini starts with the cucumbers. I ended up with 5 zucchini and 2 cucumber starts. So by the end of summer I had way more zucchini than I could use and started giving them out to the neighbors and friends, freezing zucchini noodles and shredded zucchini, I canned a few and the rest went into various zucchini recipes like this Summer Ratatouille.

I certainly didn’t mind making this ratatouille. It’s truly one of my favorite ways to enjoy summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant. The combination of flavors combined with aromatics and fresh herbs makes this dish light and lush all at the same time. 

It makes a lovely presentation and pairs beautifully with grilled meats, fish and poultry or doubles as a delicious vegetarian entrée. I could eat this alone with a glass of white wine and be completely happy. 🙂

Cheers to a delicious summer!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Summer Ratatouille

Serving Size: 6-8

Summer Ratatouille

This lovely vegetable dish is beautifully flavored with herbs and aromatics and looks impressive when placed on the dining table.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 zucchini, sliced thin, but not paper thin
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Japanese eggplant, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup crème fraiche for garnish
  • 9 or 10 - inch baking dish, either round, oval, square or rectangular

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onion and sauté until soft and wilted. Then add the garlic and sauté for one minute longer. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the tomato sauce, wine, chives, parsley and smoked paprika.
  • Pour the tomato mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Beginning at one side of the baking dish, alternate slices of zucchini, yellow squash, roma tomato and eggplant until the baking dish is filled. I usually get about 3-4 rows of vegetables in my baking dish.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then the grated parmesan.
  • Cover loosely with foil and place the baking dish in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. If you’d like the top a little toasted, I let the ratatouille sit under the broiler for a few minutes before I take it out of the oven.
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with dollops of crème fraiche and extra grated parmesan.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/07/08/summer-ratatouille/

     

    Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad vegetarian

    10 Easy 4th of July Recipe Ideas

    Grilled Watermelon and Feta Skewers with a Balsamic Drizzle // Karista's Kitchen

    When I’m cooking for a crowd I want it to be fuss-free with loads of deliciousness. You might think that’s a lot to ask, however, it couldn’t be easier. I use a few fresh ingredients and then combine them with some amazing flavors. The end result is a delicious menu that makes everyone smile, including me.

    These 10 easy 4th of July recipe ideas are meant to compliment your menu and help make an enjoyable day for the cook. I’ve totally got your back here. 😉

    First up is an easy starter or dessert, Grilled Watermelon and Feta Skewers. They’re fantastic simply grilled, but sometimes I like a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over the top.

     

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote) // Karista's Kitchen

    How could corn on the cob be more fun or even more delicious? This Elote recipe says it all. Elote is Mexican grilled corn that has been slathered in a lime laced mayonnaise and then rolled in cotija and sprinkled with the Mexican seasoning called Tajin. This will definitely be the star of the meal.

     

    Bacon Wrapped Peaches // Karista's Kitchen

    When I made these Bacon Wrapped Peaches for my family the first time the rave reviews were never-ending. Consequently, I keep these lovelies on my “quick and easy” appetizer list. You won’t regret it!

    Hugos Texas Barbecue Shrimp with Bleu Cheese Slaw // Karista's Kitchen

    Hugo’s Texas BBQ Shrimp is divine. I’m not kidding when I tell you I could easily sip the sauce. But I’ll refrain and let others do the sipping. 🙂

    Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza from Karista's Kitchen

    Not only is this Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza perfect for a starter, but it’s also divine for a light lunch or dinner. This can be prepared on the grill, making 4th of July easy and delicious.

    Grilled Romaine Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing // Karista's Kitchen

    During the summer months we grill everything. Even the salad. I adore Grilled Romaine and I especially love this salad when it’s topped with my favorite festive sweet and spicy dressing.

    Grilled Summer Peaches with Butter Rum Sauce // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m not a huge fan of dessert but I love fruit and I love ice cream. And I love caramel sauce. I’ve added a fun and festive butter rum spiked caramel sauce to these grilled peaches and I must say I could eat that entire tray.Summer Fruit Cocktail laced with wine or your favorite liquer

    Speaking of “spiking”… I love to spike my fruit. Which is why I literally call this recipe my boozy “fruit cocktail“. Just a hint of white wine and brandy or even some rum and a delicious dessert is ready for serving.

    Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Garlic Lemon & Thyme Butter // Karista's Kitchen

    Along with grilling my salad I love to skewer. I skewer just about everything during the summer. I especially like skewered veggies paired with skewered pineapple and mango and then served over coconut rice. It makes a lovely vegetarian option for you or your guests.

    Hawaiian Macaroni Salad // Karista's Kitchen

    Last but not least is the playful Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. This pairs with literally everything. I serve it with grilled ribs, chicken, steak, burgers, pork chops and veggies. Fun, delicious and so completely festive.

    10 easy 4th of July recipes to make your holiday enjoyable and delicious. 

    Wishing you all a very delicious and safe holiday!

    Loads of love,

    Karista

     

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table vegetarian

    Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza

    Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza from Karista's Kitchen

    Summer for me is all about easy, seasonal meals that delight the senses and tame the hunger like my Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza.

    I call this playful food; because it combines such fun ingredients that play so well together. I have to admit, fruit and cheese are like long-lost lovers meant to be together. Whether they’re used in a sweet or savory recipe, they always happily compliment each other.

    I like my pizza simply topped with just a few fresh ingredients. During the summer months I like to dress pizza with fresh made pesto from basil, arugula or spinach. If I’ve got a plethora of Swiss chard, kale and collard greens in the garden, I’ll often toss those into the pesto as well.  Then I top it with fresh summer fruit and either feta, brie or goat cheese.

    The end result is a light but flavorful Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza that enchants my palate. Not to mention, it brings many happy faces to my table.

    Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza from Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve got a delicious pizza crust recipe included however, because I’ve got a gluten intolerant kiddo, I often make a low-carb pizza crust instead. It uses almond flour and mozzarella cheese as the base and I must say it’s divine. A little work to prepare but the end result is worth it. You can find the recipe here. There are several versions of this low-carb crust, however, I like this recipe and the website gives step by step instructions which makes it much easier when preparing the crust for the first time.

    Cheers to the summer and all the summer deliciousness ahead!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza

    Serving Size: 4

    Apricot, Basil and Goat Cheese Pizza

    Ingredients

    • 1-2 12-inch pizza crusts or pre-made pizza crusts, flatbread, Naan or pita bread rounds
    • 1/2 – 1 cup traditional basil pesto or your own homemade pesto
    • 4 apricots, pitted and sliced
    • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
    • 1 bunch basil, whole leaves only
      Easy Pizza Dough
    • ¾ cups (6 ounces) lukewarm water
    • 1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
    • 2 cups (10 ounces) bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar

    Instructions

    To Make the Pizza Crust
  • Heat the oven to 500° F. If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the middle of the oven.
  • Mixing the pizza dough - Measure the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and let it dissolve, about 30 seconds. Stir the water to dissolve the yeast.
  • Add the flour, salt and sugar to the water and mix with a wooden spoon or bowl scraper until the dough starts to come together.
  • Lightly dust the counter or board with flour and move the dough to the floured space. With floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Resting the pizza dough - With a bench knife, divide the dough into 2 pieces. Round each piece of dough and place the dough rounds on a lightly floured counter to rest for 30 minutes. (While the dough is resting, prepare your toppings.)
  • After 30 minutes, fold the dough by stretching each side and folding it into the middle of the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and let it rest again for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Shaping the pizza dough - Handling one piece of dough at a time, gently stretch the dough with floured hands. You can also use a rolling pin, but I prefer using my hands. Once the dough is about ¼ - ½ inch thick, lay it on a piece of very lightly floured parchment. You can adjust the shape at this point, but don’t worry about it being perfectly round. Shape the second piece of dough.
  • Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
  • To Assemble the Pizza
  • If using homemade pizza dough, spread ¼ cup or more of basil pesto on the pizza dough. Top with crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices and basil leaves.
  • Bake the pizza on the parchment in a 450°F oven either on the heated pizza stone or on a cookie sheet. The pizza is done baking when the crust is brown and crisp on the edge and bottom. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven, garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about five minutes, then cut and serve.
  • If using a pre-made pizza crust, Naan, flatbread or Pita round
  • Reduce the oven heat to 400F and place them on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  • Top the crusts with ¼ cup or more of basil pesto, crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices and basil leaves. Bake in the oven for about 5-8 minutes or just until the goat cheese looks soft and slightly melted and the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about five minutes then cut slices and serve.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/06/18/apricot-basil-and-goat-cheese-pizza/

     

     

    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish with Halibut and Herbed Coucous

    Roasted Green Olive and Kumquat Relish with Pan Cooked Halibut and Herbed Couscous

    One can never have enough of a good thing, especially when that “good thing” is olives.

    I came home from the California Ripe Olive Event in St. Helena, California a few weeks ago and after testing several recipes that included olives, I couldn’t decide which recipe to post.

    So, I’m posting two olive recipes! Because I’ve made both recipes three times in three weeks. They really are that good. My family has requested the Olive and Rosemary Chicken Salad remain a staple in the fridge for snacking, lunching and whenever “tasting”.

    This current post, a gorgeous Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish with Halibut and Herbed Couscous, has transitioned between a seafood dish, a pork dish and a grilled chicken dish. I’m not kidding when I tell you I’ve used this relish three times for three separate dinner meals.

    Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish transitions beautifully between seafood, meat and poultry and pairs delightfully with either a herbed couscous or an indulgent goat cheese polenta. Always in the mix is roasted or grilled asparagus.

    Roasted Green Olives and Kumquats // Karista's Kitchen

    When my “team” and I were creating this recipe at the California Ripe Olive Experience, I knew this Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish was tasty but I never imagined I’d be preparing it so often at home.

    Heather (Heather Likes Food), Leigh-Anne (Your Home-Based Mom) and Kelley (The Suburban Soapbox) were my teammates and between the four of us we created a stellar recipe.

    The original recipe we created in the Culinary Institute of America kitchen in St. Helena, California, paired the relish with pan seared pork tenderloin medallions, a white wine and butter pan sauce over goat cheese polenta and pan cooked asparagus spears. In a word, divine.

    Honestly, I found myself sneaking bites of the pork tenderloin with Kelley’s pan sauce, nibbling on spoonful’s of Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish and secretly wanting to shovel the goat cheese polenta into my mouth. Polenta just does that to me.

    The buttery and slightly salty flavor of the roasted green olives blended perfectly with the tart citrus flavor of the sliced kumquats. We added a splash of garlic, ginger, Italian parsley and honey to the relish which resulted in a mellow but flavorful relish.

    California Ripe Olive Experience St. Helena 7

    When I prepared the relish again at home I used it to top fresh roasted halibut to change things up a bit. I also paired the relish with grilled chicken. All of which was delicious.

    I love it when a recipe can be used with more than one specific ingredient. I suppose that’s simply what olives do best. They pair deliciously with most savory and even sweet ingredients, elevating flavor and texture and making a meal completely delightful.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    *This post was sponsored by California Olive Committee

    Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish with Halibut and Herbed Coucous

    Serving Size: 4

    Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish with Halibut and Herbed Coucous

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup sliced green olives, or more if you like
    • 1/2 cup sliced kumquats
    • 1 clove garlic, smashed
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch of pepper
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
    • 1-2 tablespoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1- 1 1/2 lbs. halibut cut into 4 pieces
    • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Toasted pine nuts for garnish
    • Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Place the sliced olives, kumquats and smashed garlic in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of cracked black pepper.
  • Transfer the olives and kumquats to a lined baking sheet and roast them in the pre-heat oven for about 10 minutes. If you like a little color on the olives, place them under the broiler for a minute or two.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the olives and kumquats cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and remove the smashed garlic.
  • Toss the olive and kumquats with parsley, oregano, ginger, sliced garlic, lemon zest and one tablespoon of honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add additional honey if needed.
  • To make the halibut, heat a fish proof skillet over medium heat and add the ghee. While the ghee is heating, season the halibut with salt and pepper.
  • When the ghee is hot, add the halibut flesh side down and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Then flip to the skin side down and cook another 3-5 minutes. Fish should be cooked about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.
  • Once the fish is done transfer to a platter and hold. With the skillet on the stove but the heat turned off, add the white wine and scrape the fond off the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat back on and whisk while adding the butter. Once the sauce has reduced by 1/4-1/2, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place the halibut over prepared couscous and then top the halibut with the pan sauce. Garnish the halibut with the relish and then garnish with additional chopped fresh Italian parsley and toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.
  • Notes

    This lovely relish is perfect over roasted pork, pan seared pork tenderloin medallions and grilled chicken.

    *When roasting the kumquats, be sure not to roast them too long as they can become a tiny bit bitter.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/06/09/roasted-olive-and-kumquat-relish-with-halibut-and-herbed-coucous/

     

    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad

    Olive and Rosemary Chicken Salad

     

    Olive and Rosemary Chicken Salad // Karista's Kitchen

    OLIVE AND ROSEMARY CHICKEN SALAD

    It’s not unusual for me to open a can of California Ripe Olives with the intent of using them in a recipe and then a few minutes later half the can of olives is missing.  My family and I just cannot keep our hands out of the olive can.

    Olives have always been a staple in my house. I often reach for a can of California Ripe Olives when I want a quick snack or when I want to add a little extra flavor to a recipe. Olives make my meals seem a bit more special, while adding color and texture to my recipes.

    As if being an olive fanatic isn’t enough, a few weeks ago I was asked to attend the California Ripe Olive Experience in St. Helena, California – I jumped at the opportunity. An event completely devoted to olives? I had to be there and sample all the olive goodness.

    California Ripe Olive Experience St. Helena_

    A ROOM WITH A VIEW

     

    California Ripe Olive Experience in St. Helena, California

    ST. HELENA, CALIFORNIA

     

    Culinary Institute of America // Karista's Kitchen

    GREYSTONE CAMPUS CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA

    The California Ripe Olive Experience was held at the Greystone campus of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in St. Helena, California. Now, I’m a total culinary school junkie and I’d be a forever culinary student if it were possible.  So, a visit to the Greystone CIA to mingle with olive growers, and canners, cook with olives, eat olives and olive inspired recipes seemed like a little slice of olive and culinary heaven to me.

    Meeting the growers, canners and the many professionals involved with California Ripe Olives was an absolute pleasure. “The California Ripe Olive community is composed of two canneries and about 700 family farmers, who raise olives on about 27,000 acres of orchards that crisscross the warm inland valleys of California.”

    I knew California grew a large percentage of the olive crops in the United States but I had no idea that California produces 95% of all the olives grown here in the U.S.

    Many of the California Ripe Olive family farms are multi-generational groves and they’re powered by hardworking farmers and their families. Some of the olive groves are over 100 years old and today, most of the olives are still harvested by hand. In recent years, development of mechanical harvesting has emerged but many of the older groves have trees that are dense in size so harvesting remains by hand.

     

    California Ripe Olive Experience St. Helena 5

    CHEF PAUL IRVING

     

    Chef Paul Irving and Me // California Ripe Olive Experience

    ME AND CHEF PAUL IRVING AT THE CIA KITCHEN

     

    California Ripe Olive Experience St. Helena 6

    THE TALTENTED ELISE BAUER, FOUNDER OF SIMPLY RECIPES

     

    California Ripe Olive Experience St. Helena 7

    CALIFORNIA RIPE OLIVES

    In addition to meeting the lovely members of the Culinary Olive Committee I had the pleasure of meeting CIA Chef Paul Irving, Elise Bauer, founder of Simply Recipes and many more wonderful culinary and blogging professionals.

    One of the evening meals was developed by Elise Bauer, founder of Simply Recipes. A gorgeous Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Figs & Olives. In a word, divine. I’ve included the link to the recipe HERE. You will absolutely want to make this lovely dish.

    We also experimented a bit with olives and taste tested Chef Paul Irving’s olive creations. From smoked olives to candied olives and everything in between, we sampled the many ways an olive can be used in a recipe. Chef Paul Irving also created a gorgeous and mouth-watering lunch at the end of the event. He used smoked olives in a Pasta Puttanesca that was outstanding. The smoked olives added an additional element of flavor that complimented the spicy sauce.

     

    California Ripe Olive Experience St. Helena 8

    OUR TEAM RECIPE: ROASTED OLIVE AND KUMQUAT RELISH WITH PORK TENDERLOIN AND GOAT CHEESE POLENTA

     

    California Ripe Olive Experience // My Culinary Teammates // Karista's Kitchen

    MY LOVELY TEAMMATES

    During the event, I also had the opportunity to get into the CIA kitchen and create a mouth-watering recipe with three lovely new food-blogging friends, Leigh-Anne from Your Home Based Mom, Kelly from The Suburban Soapbox and Heather from Heather Likes Food.

    Although every recipe was completely delicious, I thought my team rocked. We created a Roasted Olive and Kumquat Relish and paired it with a pan cooked Pork Tenderloin with a pan sauce and then layered the pork and the relish over goat cheese polenta. Topped off with toasted pine nuts and served with asparagus.

    The roasted olive and kumquat relish is so delicious I’ve paired it with not only pork tenderloin but with spring halibut over a herbed couscous. I’ll post these additional olive recipes soon.

     

    Olive and Rosemary Chicken Salad // Karista's Kitchen

    After the event, I promptly came home and added olives to everything I cooked. One of my favorite recipes, that honestly, I didn’t think would be my favorite, is an Olive and Rosemary Chicken Salad.

    The chicken is poached in chicken broth with fresh rosemary, then diced and combined with additional fresh chopped rosemary, sliced green olives, red onion, green onions, mayonnaise, shredded cheddar cheese and a splash of lemon. My family cannot seem to get enough of this chicken salad and I find myself making a batch weekly.

    Thank you California Ripe Olives for an amazing experience and for sharing with me your love and passion for California Ripe Olives. For more recipes and all things olives check out California Ripe Olives on Facebook.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    *This post has been sponsored by California Olive Committee 

    Olive and Rosemary Chicken Salad

    Serving Size: 6

    Olive and Rosemary Chicken Salad

    Ingredients

    • 1lb. chicken breasts or chicken breasts and thighs
    • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 3 cloves smashed garlic
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 4-5 peppercorns
    • 3-4 cups chicken broth
    • 1/2-2/3 cup good quality mayonnaise
    • 1-1 1/2 cups sliced California Ripe Black Olives
    • 1-2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
    • 1 rib celery, diced
    • 1/2 cup diced red onion
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • Squeeze of lemon juice
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Chopped fresh chives for garnish

    Instructions

  • Add chicken, rosemary sprigs, garlic and bay leaf to a pot. Fill it with chicken broth just until it covers the chicken. Heat the broth over medium heat until it just barely simmers. Let the broth simmer slowly for about 15 minutes or until the chicken breasts have reached 165F. internal temperature. Take the pot off the heat and transfer the chicken to a platter and let them cool.
  • Once the chicken is cool, dice or shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and then place it in a large bowl.
  • Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper and then toss with the mayonnaise, celery, onion, scallions, fresh rosemary and cheddar cheese. Add a squeeze of lemon and then fold in the olives. Adjust salt and pepper to your tastes.
  • Transfer to a platter lined with butter lettuce leaves and serve with toast points, crostini or as tea sandwiches. Or you can just eat it out of a bowl like my family. 🙂
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/06/07/olive-and-rosemary-chicken-salad/

     

     

     

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Bacon Wrapped Peaches

    Bacon Wrapped Peaches // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m here to tell you that Bacon Wrapped Peaches are addictive. I have to limit how many I make, otherwise I end up eating half the tray before it makes it to the table. 

    These little lovelies can be baked in the oven or grilled outdoors. Although, I typically bake them in the oven while Ranger Craig is outdoors grilling the entrée.

    During the summer I adore using ripe, fresh peaches.  During the winter months, when I want to make these for football season or the holidays, I use local frozen peaches. Both work beautifully.

    If I want the bacon extra crispy, I’ll pre-bake the bacon in my oven, just until it renders some of the fat and begins to cook.  Just before it gets crispy, I wrap the bacon around the peaches and then finish in the oven.  However, if I’m using a thin sliced bacon, I typically wrap and bake all at one time.

    I adore a smokey, sweet combination of flavors and these Bacon Wrapped Peaches completely deliver.  I love that I can use my locally raised bacon with my locally raised peaches for a locally prepared recipe. 😉

    I also make this dish with pineapple spears. Yep, bacon wrapped pineapple. Also amazing!

    I’m off to the races this week. Not actually the “races”, but I’m racing time and my schedule so this post is short and sweet. Literally!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Bacon Wrapped Peaches

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Bacon Wrapped Peaches

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2-3 summer peaches, halved, pitted and each peach sliced into 6 wedges
    • 8 ounces thin sliced bacon, each slice halved
    • Toothpicks or party picks for serving

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Brush a parchment lined baking sheet with the one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Wrap a halved bacon slice around each slice of peach and place on the baking sheet seam side down.
  • Bake the peaches for about 10-12 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Then carefully transfer the bacon wrapped peaches to a serving platter. Serve with toothpicks or party picks.
  • Notes

    On occasion when I want to make these delicious treats but I can’t find fresh peaches or peaches are not in season, I’ll use good quality frozen peaches. Method of cooking is the same using the frozen peach. Don’t thaw the peaches prior to baking.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/06/05/bacon-wrapped-peaches/

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Seafood

    Baked Oysters Mornay

    Baked Oysters Mornay // Karista's Kitchen

    If there is one shellfish I had to learn to love, it’s oysters. But when I finally decided that I truly loved oysters, I became a wee bit obsessed. Thus began my fascination with cooking and baking with oysters. Which is how this lovely Oysters Mornay happened.

    Actually, I was testing several different recipes for Oysters Rockefeller a few years ago and I’ve decided I really love my baked oysters covered with a sauce and maybe some cheese and a little something crunchy for added texture.

    In the beginning I made a boozy béchamel to use on my baked oysters but then I decided it needed more than just a boozy béchamel. It needed a Mornay. Mornay sauce is much like a boozy béchamel but with cheese. Gruyère to be specific.

    I also love the spinach included in Oysters Rockefeller so why not just merge the two recipes and call it grand! To complete this opulent little shellfish recipe, I top the Oysters Mornay with a Panko and grated parmesan and bake.

    The result is a spinach laden baked oyster topped with boozy cheese sauce and crunchy Panko. Who’s hungry now?

    Baked Oysters Mornay // Karista's Kitchen

    These Baked Oysters Mornay are so fun (and sort of messy) to make and even more fun to eat. They work well for a light dinner with a glass of white wine or as a starter for dinner guests.

    Now you’re probably thinking, I’m not shucking all those oysters only to bake them in boozy cheese sauce.  Me neither. However there are two methods to securing oysters for your Baked Oysters Mornay. Often times you can find them in jars in the seafood area of your market. They will come in size small, medium or large. You want to purchase the small or medium oysters. They’re sweeter and tastier. As well, some seafood markets sell shucked oysters just like they sell shelled crab or shrimp.

    I know you’re wondering how to find oyster shells. I found stainless steel oyster shells online here. They work beautifully for this recipe.  Or, I ask my fishmonger if they’ve got fresh oyster shells they can give me. The fresh oyster shells only last one or two recipes but they look great on the platter. However, the stainless are just as easy and also create a lovely presentation.

    This is such a festive recipe for the summer and I promise it’s easy to prepare and it’ll impress your guests.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Baked Oysters Mornay

    Makes 12

    Ingredients

    • One dozen shelled oysters
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warm
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 cup shredded Gruyere or aged Swiss
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 cup cooked and squeezed spinach
    • 1 lemon
    • Dash of tabasco
    • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 375F.
  • Place the oyster tins (or shells) on a baking sheet and place one oyster in each tin.
  • Mix together the parmesan and Panko bread crumbs. Set aside.
  • In a sauce pan over medium heat add the butter. When the butter is melted stir in the flour. Let the flour and butter cook for a minute or two and then slowly whisk in the warm milk. Just as the sauce thickens add the 1/4 cup white wine. Then stir in the pinch of nutmeg and shredded cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly salt and pepper the cooked spinach and place a little on each oyster. Then drizzle a tablespoon or two of Mornay sauce over the spinach and then top with the parmesan and Panko bread crumbs mixture.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until bubbly and the tops are golden brown. Often times the tops don't brown well enough for me, so I place the baking sheet under the broiler for a minute to get the color I like.
  • Remove the oysters from the oven and give them a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately with Tabasco.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/06/02/baked-oysters-mornay/

     

    Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Seafood Shrimp

    Hugo’s Barbecue Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Slaw

    Hugo's Texas Barbecue Shrimp with Bleu Cheese Slaw // Karista's Kitchen

    There is nothing quite like Hugo’s barbecue shrimp with bleu cheese slaw. This is an impressive and simple barbecue shrimp recipe that’ll absolutely become a family favorite. 

    The first time I made this recipe I swear I could have sipped the barbecue sauce. It’s that delicious!

    I first heard about this now famous recipe many years ago when I was working as a private chef and culinary instructor.  I was scheduled to cook for a holiday party for my good friend, Michele, and her husband Ron. When we discussed the menu, they asked me to include their favorite barbecue shrimp recipe, Hugo’s Barbecue Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Slaw.

    The sauce is much simpler than I would have guessed but it works. Although, I backed off on the lemon juice because I felt the amount listed was a bit too intense for my palate. Otherwise, I followed the recipe for the sauce as written.

    I also deviated from the recipe a bit by seasoning the shrimp with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. It happened to be a cold and rainy December during that time so I decided to pan sear the shrimp in ghee which gave them a deep, creamy flavor along with a hint of smokey flavor from the smoked paprika.

    Hugos Texas Barbecue Shrimp with Bleu Cheese Slaw // Karista's Kitchen

    As if that isn’t enough, I plated them along with the bleu cheese slaw and I promise I heard angels singing the hallelujah chorus. 🙂

    The sauce holds for at least three days so when I serve it for dinner guests I’ll prepare the sauce a day in advance.  Then all I need to do is grill, pan cook or bake the shrimp and assemble the slaw.

    I also like to serve this with warm garlic crostini or a crusty baguette for dipping into the extra sauce.

    If you make this recipe let me know what you think. You’re going to love it!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Hugo’s Barbecue Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Slaw

    Serving Size: 6

    Ingredients

      For the barbecue sauce
    • 5 ounces Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
    • 5 ounces soy sauce
    • Strained juice from half a lemon (I used 1/2-1 tablespoon lemon juice)
    • 5 ounces tomato purée
    • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 1 cup heavy cream
      For the slaw
    • 1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) Maytag blue cheese (I used Rogue Creamery's Smokey Bleu Cheese)
    • 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
    • Lemon juice, to taste
    • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
    • 2 scallions, sliced thin
    • Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste
      For the shrimp
    • 36 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I leave the tail on for easy eating)
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 cup peanut oil (I use olive oil or coconut oil for grilling and ghee for pan cooking)
    • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (see recipe above)
    • 1 to 2 scallions sliced, to garnish
    • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, to garnish

    Instructions

  • To make the barbecue sauce base, combine all the ingredients except the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, in another pot, bring the cream to a boil. Simmer until the cream has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Gradually stir the barbecue base into the heavy cream, stopping when you like the flavor. Bring the combined mixture back to a boil, then simmer until it coats the back of a spoon. The shrimp cook quickly, so have your sauce ready before you begin to cook them.
  • To make the slaw, combine the blue cheese, mayonnaise, and lemon juice, to taste. Right before cooking the shrimp, toss the cabbage with just enough mayonnaise to coat. Add the scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well.
  • Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil or ghee until smoking. Add the shrimp, being careful not to crowd. Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • To serve, place a mound of the slaw in the middle of each plate and lean six shrimp against it. Drizzle the shrimp with the barbecue sauce. Sprinkle with scallion slices and blue cheese.
  • Notes

    When the shrimp are done I usually take half the sauce and add it to the shrimp, allowing the shrimp to soak up all the flavor. Then when I plate, the shrimp are already sauced and I serve extra sauce with the platter.

    This is fun set up on a platter for an appetizer or even shared entree.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/05/23/hugos-barbecue-shrimp-and-bleu-cheese-slaw/

     

    Giveaways Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table

    Kitchen Aid Mini Food Processor Giveaway!

    Yellow Kitchen Aid Mini Food Processor for our Spring Giveaway at Karista's Kitchen

    Who wants an adorable yellow Kitchen Aid mini food processor?  Me!

    I saw these adorable mini food processors the other day and just had to have one. But I bought two! They’re so cute I thought I’d give one away.

    I adore both the green and yellow but I decided to keep the green and give away the yellow one. This handy little kitchen appliance is constantly in use in my kitchen. Easy to use and easy to clean. And it stores like a pretty piece of art right on my countertop. 🙂

    So what do you have to do to snag this cutie? Just click a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Be sure to subscribe to this blog for more giveaways this summer. I’ve got some fun items to giveaway and you don’t want to miss out. 

    Thank you for following Karista’s Kitchen and don’t forget to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love to you!

    This is not a sponsored post. Just me, giving away a fun kitchen appliance because I adore ya! 

    Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote)

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote) // Karista's Kitchen

    If there is one food I could eat every day of summer, it’s Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob or what is referred to as Elote.  

    This popular Mexican street food can be found prepared a variety of different ways.  However, it’s typically highly seasoned, grilled and then served on a stick for easy eating.

    What sets Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob apart from a typical summer grilled corn are all the delicious ingredients that can be found covering this very humble vegetable. Some of the recipes I found include chile powder, smoked paprika, garlic, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, lime juice and of course mayonnaise.

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote) // Karista's Kitchen

    For my recipe, I’ve slathered the corn cob in a lime juice laced mayonnaise and then rolled it in the salty Mexican cheese called Cotija.  Then I dust it lightly in the Mexican seasoning Tajin, which is a little sweet but also a little spicy. The result is so delicious I can’t stop at just one!

    I adore making Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob for Cinco de Mayo, but I also like to serve it at all my summer barbecues. Grilled corn on the cob is always a good thing but Mexican grilled corn on the cob makes my taste buds sing.

    A little side note, I have a new instagram handle @lifearoundmytable.  I’ve had one heck of a time trying to resolve my @karistaskitchen account and it seems hopeless. So onward and upward and meeting all sorts of new challenges this month like growing a second Instagram account. Which isn’t on the top of my fun things to do list. Ha! Me and social media have a love/hate relationship.  So if you’re on Instagram, I’d truly appreciate the follow and a few shares.  Thank you all for your support!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote)

    Serving Size: 8

    Ingredients

    • 8 ears of corn, husks pulled back or removed
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 1 lime juiced
    • 1 garlic, minced
    • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
    • Tajin Classic Mexican seasoning

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the grill or a grill pan to 350F.
  • Brush the ears of corn with vegetable oil and grill the corn for about 8-10 minutes or until the corn is nicely charred and soft. Watch the heat to be sure you don’t burn the corn.
  • Once the corn is done, transfer them to a platter. Mix together the mayonnaise, lime juice and garlic. Place the crumbled cotija in a plate. Brush each ear of corn with the mayonnaise mixture and then roll it in the crumbled cotija. Sprinkle with Tajin Classic Mexican Seasoning and serve immediately.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/04/30/mexican-grilled-corn-cob-elote/

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos

    Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m not sure winter got the memo that spring has arrived.  As I look out my window this Saturday morning I spy rain, wind, more rain and much cooler temperatures than yesterday.  We reached 70 degrees yesterday and it was almost heavenly! In light of winter hanging on to the very last-minute, I think we need some tacos. And maybe a beer.

    Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos with Cucumber Cilantro Slaw will definitely make the day warmer inside. The aroma of the slow cooked barbacoa is drifting through my house and it’s somehow comforting yet exciting. I’ve included smokey chipotle peppers and cinnamon in this recipe which adds an element of spice as well as fragrance.

    The unique flavors of Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos feel festive which is why I love serving this at dinner parties or for special occasions.  However, this delicious beef recipe is so easy to prepare it makes a perfect weekend or Sunday meal. 

    I like wrapping the barbacoa in warm stone ground corn tortillas and then topping them with a cucumber cilantro slaw – which by the way is delicious all by itself.  Garnish with avocado slices, cotija cheese and a squeeze of fresh lime and our Saturday just got sunnier.

    If I have leftover Barbacoa, I like to make my Shredded Beef Machaca with eggs for breakfast the next morning.  Slow cooked barbacoa is the meal that keeps on giving. 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Slow Cooked Barbacoa Tacos

    Ingredients

    • 3-4 lbs. Brisket
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 limes juiced
    • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
    • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 1 stick of cinnamon
    • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
    • ½ cup tomato sauce
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 bay leaf
      For the Slaw
    • 2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded
    • 1 cup cilantro leaves, lightly chopped
    • ½ cup diced cucumber
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 1 lime juiced
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Dash of hot sauce
      For the Garnish
    • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
    • 1 avocado, sliced
    • 8-12 Corn Tortillas, warmed
    • Lime Wedges

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat a slow cooker on high.
  • Season the brisket with salt and pepper. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, brown the brisket on both sides and then transfer to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker on low.
  • Add the lime juice, chipotle peppers, smashed garlic, sliced onion, cinnamon stick, fresh cilantro, tomato sauce, beef broth, vinegar and bay leaf to slow cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 6-7 hours or until the brisket is fork tender.
  • Once the brisket is done, shred the meat and place it back into the cooking liquid until ready to use.
  • To make the slaw, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, sugar and hot sauce. Toss together the shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves and diced cucumber and then toss the slaw with the lime dressing.
  • Place the slaw in warm corn tortillas and then top with the Barbacoa. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and a slice of avocado. Serve with lime wedges.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/04/22/slow-cooked-barbacoa-tacos/

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pasta vegetarian

    Food Segment on KATU Afternoon Live

    Food Segment with Tra'Renee Chambers of Afternoon Live and Karista Bennett

    I had so much fun yesterday! But I always have fun when I’m filming a food segment with Host Tra’Renee Chambers at Portland’s KATU Afternoon Live. 

    I’m sure you can tell I was having a good time by the many expressive faces I made during the 7 minute segment. 🙂 I’ve been told I speak with my eyes. Ha!

    Karista and Tra KATU 1 Karista and Tra KATU 2

    Yesterday we cooked up my famous Pasta Cortona which is one of my favorite spring and summer pasta dishes. Check out the video HERE for a step by step tutorial on how to bring this lovely dish together. Let me know what you think! 

    Sad news… someone has hacked my Instagram account. So if you follow me on Instagram, my account is down and I’m working hard to bring it back to life. We shall see. It’s not an easy fix apparently. 🙁 But you can still keep up with all the deliciousness on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And here on the blog of course.

    Wishing you a most delicious week!

    Karista