Browsing Category

Karista’s Kitchen

Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

Chocolate, Almond Butter and Oatmeal Balls. Just the perfect amount of sweet. Find these at Karista's Kitchen

I had a whim today and I made these. Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls.

It’s Monday and I had a little bit of a craving for almond butter and then I thought some chocolate with that almond butter would be tasty.  As I was attempting to stir some organic unsweetened cocoa into my almond butter, I thought, why not add some oatmeal and honey and I’ll make some quick treats.

These kinds of recipes have been swimming around the web for quite some time now.  Some people call them energy balls, some people call them peanut butter oatmeal balls because they use peanut butter rather than almond butter.  But I call them treats. Anything with a smidge of sugar, sweetener or honey fall in the “treat” category for me.

Chocolate, Almond Butter and Oatmeal Balls // Karista's Kitchen

I’m not much of sweets eater as you know, but now and again I do like a little something that tastes a wee bit indulgent.  These chocolate, almond butter oatmeal balls speak to my indulgence cravings but also adds a little of the good stuff to my diet.  Not only do I use organic unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe but I also add sunflower seeds and then I roll the balls in hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds are definitely one of the super foods. It’s rich in antioxidants, fights bad cholesterol, contains the perfect balance of essential fatty acids, reduces inflammation and helps balance hormones among many other things.  I add it to salads, soups, pancakes, baked goods, sprinkle it over rice and now I roll my chocolate, almond butter oatmeal balls in hemp seeds.

You can certainly roll these fun treats in whatever you like, but the hemp seeds are small enough they stick well to the balls and add just a little texture to the outside.

And the good news? No baking required.

Enjoy these chocolate, almond butter oatmeal balls for a quick breakfast, snacks or as an after dinner treat. Or just whenever you walk by the fridge and you need a little something sweet. 😉

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

about 18-20 balls

Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of oatmeal (I used GF)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds

Instructions

  • In a food processor add the oatmeal, sunflower seeds, almond butter, unsweetened cocoa and honey. Pulse until the mixture begins to come together. It won't feel like a dough and could still be crumbly but it should stick together when forming a ball.
  • I used a small cookie scoop for uniform sized balls. Scoop out balls and gently pat to form a smooth ball. Roll each ball in the hemp seeds and then place them in an airtight container.
  • I keep these treats in the fridge and bring them out and set on the kitchen counter for a quick breakfast or snack.
  • Notes

    You can substitute with your favorite nut butter.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/01/23/chocolate-almond-butter-oatmeal-balls/

     

    Beef Chicken Duck Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork

    Cassoulet

    Cassoulet from Karista's Kitchen // A slow cooked French stew

    Classic Cassoulet is a hearty slow-cooked dish originating in the south of France.  It’s often referred to as the “unofficial” national dish of France.

    Traditionally, cassoulet includes what my Grandmother would refer to as “everything except the kitchen sink”.  Meaning that almost any meat, poultry, skin, gizzards, beans and whatever was available went into this succulent dish.

    I’ve had a few truly authentic and amazing cassoulet’s in the past. All filled with decadent duck confit, pork skin, pork belly, mutton, sausages, fava beans and white beans. A meal so rich and lush, it’s everything you’d expect from a slow cooked French dish.

    My cassoulet however is slightly less time-consuming, and not to worry, it doesn’t contain duck confit, mutton or pork belly. Although those ingredients are delicious in a cassoulet, I wanted to create this recipe to be simple, yet flavorful.

    I also wanted this slow cooked stew to reflect the bounty of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  We’re so lucky to have an abundance of small farms and ranches nearby that raise grass-fed and pastured pigs, cattle and chickens. Not to mention all the gorgeous produce and fresh herbs.

    I’ve included locally raised meat and poultry (chicken thighs, pork shoulder, sausages), white beans and lots of fresh herbs and aromatics.  You could also substitute with beef chuck roast, lamb or pork belly – and any type of sausages that you love.

    This meal is perfect a la carte with a glass of French Burgundy or a Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s also quite lovely paired with a Salad Lyonnaise or Ratatouille, which I’ll get around to posting soon.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Cassoulet

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Ingredients

    • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 tablespoon corn starch or all-purpose flour
    • 2lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
    • 2-3 pork or beef sausages (I used my favorite German pork sausages)
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 2 3-inch sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 2-4 cups chicken broth, enough to just cover the meat
    • 2-3 15ounce cans white beans, drained (cannellini beans work best)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

    Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then add them to the pot and brown on both sides. Transfer to a bowl or platter.
  • Next season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and then toss with the tablespoon of corn starch or flour. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pot and brown the pork. You may need to brown the pork in batches, otherwise the pork won’t brown if the pot is over crowded. When the pork is browned, transfer to the bowl or platter with the chicken.
  • Next brown the sausages, adding additional oil if needed. Once the sausages are brown, transfer them to the bowl or platter with the chicken and pork.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and then stir in the onions. Saute the onions until wilted and fragrant and then add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.
  • Stir in the ½ cup of white wine, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom. Add the fresh thyme sprigs and dried herbs. Place the chicken thighs, pork cubes and sausages back into the pot and then add the chicken broth. Enough to cover the meat.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let the meat simmer in the broth and veggies for about 30-45 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
  • Remove the lid and then stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. The longer this stew sits the more flavor it will develop. I like to make this the day before I’m serving it, however, if I make it the same day I’m going to serve it, I’ll make it several hours prior and then let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove top before serving. If you feel the flavors need a little boost, sometimes a teaspoon of white wine vinegar will bring all the flavors together.
  • Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley and a basket of crusty French bread.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/01/19/cassoulet/

     

     

     

    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Chicken Veronique

    Chicken Veronique // One of the easiest and most delicious weeknight meals // Karista's Kitchen

    Chicken Veronique sounds fancy but it’s truly one of the easiest weeknight meals I prepare.

    Typically, I make this dish in the summer with halibut, sole (which is traditional) or another seasonal white fish.  However, this recipe works just as beautifully with chicken.

    The traditional recipe calls for poaching the sole in white wine and then topping it with a white sauce and garnishing with fresh grapes.  Although I do love a wine poached fish, I prefer to pan sear my fish and chicken for this recipe.

    Because the chicken takes a bit longer to cook, I finish it in the oven.  Once it’s done, I transfer the chicken to a platter and then make the sauce in the same pan.  Using any juices that have collected in the pan makes for a deeper flavored sauce.  Chicken Veronique is one of the easiest and most delicious weeknight meals! // Karista's Kitchen

    Fresh tarragon makes this Chicken Veronique sing! I’ve used dried tarragon and it just doesn’t taste the same, although if you can’t find fresh, dried tarragon will do.  I adore the combination of fresh grapes with fresh tarragon and they both pair well with white fish and chicken.  I do typically use chicken breasts that I’ve butterflied and cut in half so they’re more of a “cutlet” size. This also makes them easier to cook stove top.

    However, you can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if it strikes your fancy. 😉

    A little prep, a bit of dancing about at the kitchen stove and in 25-30 minutes you’ll have a delightful one dish meal.  Because the sauce is quite lush, I serve Chicken Veronique with herbed farro, quinoa, rice pilaf or cauliflower rice and a steamed or roasted, seasonal veggie.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chicken Veronique

    3-4

    Ingredients

    • 2 chicken breasts, butterflied and then halved, making 4 "cutlets"
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (optional but it does give a nice bit of crisp to the chicken)
    • 2-4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1 medium to large shallot, diced
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 cup halved seedless grapes (red or green)
    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

    Instructions

  • Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. In a large bowl, mix together the one tablespoon fresh tarragon and the all-purpose flour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In a large oven proof skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons ghee. While the ghee is heating, lightly dust the chicken with the tarragon and flour mixture.
  • When the ghee is hot, add the four chicken cutlets to the ghee and brown, about 5 minutes. Then turn each chicken breast over and then place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, about 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. The chicken breast should reach at least 160F internal temperature.
  • When the chicken is done, carefully remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a platter.
  • Over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee to the same pan. When the ghee is melted, add the shallots to the pan and stir, pulling up those lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the shallots are wilted and translucent, stir in the wine and then the heavy cream.
  • Let the liquid come to a boil and then simmer on low until it begins to reduce and thicken slightly. The sauce should coat the back of spoon.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and then stir in the tablespoon of fresh tarragon and the grapes. Let the grapes warm in the sauce for a few minutes.
  • Place the chicken either back in the pan, nestled in the sauce or place the chicken on a platter and ladle with the sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve.
  • Notes

    This recipe serves 3-4 and can be doubled.

    If you'd like a smooth sauce, strain the sauce prior to adding the fresh tarragon and grapes. Then add the sauce back to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper and then add the fresh tarragon and grapes.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/01/17/chicken-veronique/

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Shredded Beef Machaca // Karista's Kitchen

    If I’m being totally honest, I’m not a huge fan of leftovers.  Unless its pot roast, roasted or fried chicken and maybe my Tuscan lasagna; which is always better the second day.  Often, a recipe can lose some of the fresh flavor and texture during the process of re-heating and then I promptly lose interest.  I sound like a food snob.  I promise I’m not a food snob, just a little picky about the flavor and texture of my food.

    The beauty of leftover pot roast are the many ways it can be re-invented into another recipe.  I adore pot roast sandwiches smothered with caramelized onions and Havarti cheese, a simple pot roast soup with pearled barley and porcini mushrooms and of course this gorgeous shredded beef machaca.

    You can certainly prepare a pot roast specifically for this recipe, but it tastes just as delicious with leftovers.

    As a child, this dish was a staple in our home.  Although we call it machaca, it’s not a traditional Mexican machaca. Mexican machaca is actually a dried, marinated beef (much like our beef jerky).  However, because we include scrambled eggs in the shredded beef, it was dubbed “machaca” in my house. Sort of a riff on the very popular machaca con huevos, a Mexican beef and egg scramble.

    Shredded beef machaca was served as a celebration meal, a meal for dinner guests and on occasion a Sunday supper.  My parents used to make it into burritos with the usual assortment of delicious Mexican condiments.  I serve this machaca with warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, cotija cheese, avocado slices, red chili sauce or my brothers delicious salsa recipe.

    When I prepare this for my family I like to make dinner a casual event and place the shredded beef machaca and layering ingredients in the center of the table. Then everyone can assemble their own taco or burrito with their favorite condiments.

    The result is loads of easy conversation, laughter, smiling faces and very happy bellies. Which always makes me happy.

    Shredded beef machaca makes a delightful meal and can be served a la carte or with salad greens, black beans and a little cerveza to top it off!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Serving Size: 6

    Shredded Beef Machaca

    Ingredients

      For the pot roast (or use your favorite basic pot roast recipe)
    • 3-4lbs beef chuck roast, halved
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 bay leaf
      For the Machaca
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or high heat oil
    • 1 cup diced white onion
    • 2-3 cloves garlic
    • 1-2 poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and diced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 cup red chile sauce or your favorite salsa
    • 2-3 large eggs, whisked
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lime juice
    • Dash of hot sauce, optional
    • Crumbled cotija cheese
    • Avocado slices
    • Warm corn tortillas
    • Mexican crema or sour cream
    • Fresh chopped cilantro
    • Salsa

    Instructions

    To make the pot roast
  • Pre-heat the slow cooker on low. Season both halves of the beef chuck with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the ghee over medium high heat and brown all sides of the chuck roast. Transfer the chuck roast pieces to the slow cooker and add the beef broth, bay leaf, onions and garlic. I don't add too much liquid when preparing a pot roast in my slow cooker as I want the pot roast to slowly cook in as much of it's own juices as possible. This will make for a very tasty pot roast. Adding too much liquid will cause the roast to boil which will give it a bland and chewy texture.
  • Let the pot roast cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
  • When the pot roast is done, shred the beef and set aside.
  • To prepare the Machaca
  • Heat a large skillet and add another two tablespoons of ghee or high heat oil. Sauté the diced onions until soft and slightly caramelized and then add the garlic. Sauté for one minute longer. Stir in the diced poblano peppers, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika.
  • Add the shredded beef and chile sauce and toss to combine.
  • In another small pan, add a little butter to the pan and cook the eggs, scrambled style. When the eggs are done, fold them into the machaca.
  • Add a squeeze of lime and season to taste with salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce.
  • Serve with crumbled cotija, avocado slices, warm tortillas, sour cream, fresh cilantro and additional salsa.
  • Notes

    I like to cook the eggs in a separate pan rather than in the machaca directly, to keep the texture from being soggy.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/01/09/shredded-beef-machaca/

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

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup // Dairy Free // Karista's Kitchen

    This gorgeous Carrot Ginger Coconut soup is a revised version of my original carrot soup recipe.  As time passes, and the more I prepare a recipe, chances are it’s going to get a few makeovers now and again.

    Although I do love my original recipe, I’ve created this version with coconut milk to appease my nagging dairy allergy and to create a different flavor twist to the soup.

    I prepare carrot ginger soup almost year round.  My family completely adores this soup in the fall and winter months because of the soothing properties of ginger.  It’s also equally as loved in the spring and summer for the bold taste of earthy, sweet carrots and the tropical flavors of coconut milk.

    Last week I topped the carrot ginger coconut soup with candied blood orange that my brother and sister-in-law sent me from Japan.  The simple touch of orange elevated the flavors yet again, creating the most delightful winter soup.

    I often make the soup on the weekend and store it in the fridge for quick weekday lunches or a light weeknight meal.  It also makes a delicious starter to Sunday dinner or a late night snack.

    And sometimes, I just find myself stopping by the fridge and snagging a spoonful of the silky, lush soup. It’s delicious room temp or warm and obviously, I eat it when it’s cold. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 12-15 medium carrots, chopped
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 4 cups vegetable broth or 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups carrot juice (enough liquid to cover the veggies in the soup pot)
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • Pinch of ground cloves
    • 1 cup canned organic coconut milk (not the light coconut milk)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and dried thyme. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until all the veggies have softened.
  • Add the 4 cups of vegetable broth or 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups carrot juice and sliced ginger. (enough liquid to cover all the vegetables in the pot) Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the ginger slices, or as many as you can.
  • Either using a hand blender or pour the soup into a blender, Vitamix or food processor and puree. You may need to do this in stages as all the soup may not fit in the blender/food processor all at once.
  • Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and stir in the allspice, pinch of cloves and coconut milk. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. If the soup feels too thick, stir in ¼ cup of vegetable broth at a time until the consistency feels right.
  • Serve immediately. You can keep it warm on the stove if needed. Just keep the heat on low. This soup can be refrigerated for about 3 days and reheated stove top, or microwave.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/01/06/carrot-ginger-coconut-soup/

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

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil // Karista's Kitchen

    A potato side dish can taste indulgent, comforting or even refreshing like this Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil.  

    Although I’m a huge fan of classically prepared potatoes such as mashed potatoes, I do have an affinity for a simply roasted potato dish.  Roasting new potatoes or fingerlings gives a crisp outside and soft, creamy inside which pairs well with all sorts of lovely ingredients.

    Often I use chopped fresh rosemary, garlic and lemon and finish with sea salt.  But this recipe uses the combination of lemon and basil, which I think are two ingredients that were made for each other.

    Sometimes I’ll gently warm a bit of sliced garlic in extra virgin olive oil and then when the potatoes are done, I’ll toss the potatoes with the garlic infused oil and top with the lemon and basil.  And sometimes I skip the garlic and simply finish roasted new or fingerling potatoes with a sprinkling of lemon zest and basil chiffonade.

    Or you can do what my youngest gal does… slather these potatoes with some sour cream, Irish cheddar cheese and dig in. 😉

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil // Karista's Kitchen

    When I’ve had my fill of potatoes dauphinoise, gratin, scalloped or mashed potatoes, this lovely side dish is a most refreshing change and a delicious compliment to a meat or poultry entrée.

    This potato dish is also fabulous in the spring paired with roast lamb or whatever you might serve for Easter or Mother’s Day Dinner.

    This will be my last post until after the Christmas holiday, but until then, you can follow all my food finds and kitchen chaos on Instagram and Facebook.

    Thank you for your continual support and for sharing Karista’s Kitchen with your friends and family.

    Wishing you loads of love, true joy and the most delicious food!

    Karista

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Ingredients

    • 1lb red new potatoes or fingerlings, scrubbed clean
    • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced
    • Zest of one lemon
    • 1 bunch basil, sliced chiffonade or chopped
    • Sea salt to finish

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F
  • Toss the potatoes in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and then season with some salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and place them in the oven.
  • Roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until toasty brown on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • When the potatoes are done remove them from the oven and let them cool for five minutes.
  • While the potatoes are cooling, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over low heat and then add the sliced garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, remove the garlic from the oil.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and toss with the garlic oil, lemon zest and basil chiffonade. Season to taste with sea salt and then transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Serve warm.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/12/18/roasted-new-red-potatoes-with-lemon-and-basil/

     

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme // Karista's Kitchen

    These happy little peppermint chocolate pots de créme combine two of my family’s favorite flavors. It seems that peppermint and chocolate are the Ying and Yang of dessert flavors around here. 

    If I make a trip to the chocolate shop they ask me to bring them chocolate covered peppermint patties.  If I make chocolate cake, my family asks me to add peppermint chips to the frosting.  And when we have homemade hot cocoa, they love to add a peppermint stick or peppermint schnapps.

    So naturally when I was making chocolate pots de créme this week, I had to include peppermint.

    I love to serve pots de créme for dessert.  I’m not a huge fan of sweets, I’m more of a salty kind of gal, but I do love all things creamy and chocolate. Which is why if I serve a dessert, it’s usually a creme brûlée, pudding, custard, mousse or pots de créme.  And what could be more seasonal than peppermint chocolate pots de creme.
    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme // Karista's Kitchen

    I have to admit, this festive dessert made me smile. They look so happy and cheerful and full of everything delicious this holiday season.  So rather than place them in the fridge to serve with dinner, I proceeded to pull out the equipment and photograph the little lovelies.

    What I captured certainly mimics my current holiday mood.  These peppermint chocolate pots de créme look like little snow-capped mountain peaks, laced with the flavors of holiday celebrations.  Although deliciously perfect for the holiday dessert table, they will be just as refreshing for a summertime treat.

    Wishing you a tranquil yet festive holiday season of good cheer, warm hugs and delicious food!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Makes 4, 4ounce cups

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 2 tablespoons Peppermint Schnapps (optional) or 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
      For the Whipped Cream
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)

    Instructions

  • Combine the chocolate chips, heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or use a double boiler over simmering water.
  • Heat the chocolate mixture over medium heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture has come to a simmer. Take it off the heat.
  • Put the egg yolks in a heat proof bowl and whisk smooth. While whisking the eggs, carefully drizzle a tablespoon of warm chocolate mixture into the eggs. Continue to do this three or four times until the eggs have been tempered and are slightly warm.
  • Whisk in the remaining chocolate and then add the peppermint schnapps.
  • Return the mixture back to the pan and heat while stirring until the liquid is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  • If you have any lumps, pass the mixture through a sieve. Pour the chocolate into small jelly jars, ramekins or pots de créme cups and place them in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
  • Before serving make the whipped cream.
  • Whisk together the heavy cream, powdered sugar and peppermint extract until soft peaks form. Dollop or pipe the heavy cream onto the pots de creme and garnish with peppermint chips, chopped candy canes or just dig in and enjoy!
  • Notes

    This recipe is easily doubled.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/12/15/peppermint-chocolate-pots-de-creme/

    Beef Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table

    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

     

    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Cream Polenta // Karista's Kitchen

     

    When I dream about sitting down to the perfect meal, paired with the perfect wine, this Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta and a glass of Yao Ming 2013 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon rings my dinner bell to the core. 

    There is something so completely indulgent about sitting down to a plate of beef short ribs.  It’s on my Sunday supper menu at least once a month during the fall and winter months and for good reason.  Typically it’s a simple meal to prepare and it pairs deliciously with creamy polenta, rice or gnocchi.  I’m a huge polenta fan, so if I’m cooking, the side dish is creamy polenta. 🙂 Although this recipe is exquisite in flavor as well as presentation, it can be served as fancy or as casually as you like.

    I created this dish with Five Spice Powder along with traditional aromatics and dry red wine because I felt the flavors could definitely live up to the bold notes of the gorgeous Yao Ming 2013 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (and I adore Five Spice Powder). “The 2013 vintage will prove to be one of the most outstanding in Napa history, and this wine is one of the most artful expressions of the vintage. 96% Cabernet, 100% new French oak for 24 months. An absolute classic in the making”.

    Five Spice Braised Beef Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta // Karista's Kitchen

    I am completely in love with this wine.  Yes, they sent me a bottle to “taste test” for this recipe, and I was oh so happy to do that taste testing. Pure heaven. Ranger Craig and I sipped and savored every last drop of this wine.  So impressive and unlike any Cabernet Sauvignon my palate has ever had the pleasure of tasting. If you’re looking for that special gift for that special someone in your life or you want to add to your fabulous wine collection, this is the wine to purchase.

    I hope your holidays have been joyous!  I wish you loads of love, delicious food and everything warm and cozy in life.

    Karista

    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

    Serving Size: 4

    Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

    Ingredients

    • 8-10 beef short ribs (I serve 2-3 short ribs per person)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • ¼ cup of corn starch
    • 2-4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
    • 1 large yellow onion, diced
    • 1 medium carrot, diced
    • 1 rib celery, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
    • 2 small bay leaves
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 bottle of dry red wine
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • Chopped fresh cilantro or microgreens for garnish
      For the Creamy Polenta
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • ½ -1 cup quick cook polenta (or according to package directions)
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and then dust them with the corn starch. Place a Dutch oven over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons ghee or oil. When the ghee/oil is hot but not smoking, brown the short ribs. You will need to do this in batches as placing too many short ribs into the pot at once will lower the temperature on the bottom of the pot and the short ribs won’t brown.
  • Transfer the browned short ribs to a platter and then add additional ghee/oil if needed to the pot. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are wilted. Then stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  • Stir in the Chinese Five Spice Powder, bay leaves, tomato paste and bottle of wine, about 4 cups of wine. Add the browned short ribs back to the pot and liquid and then add enough beef broth to cover the short ribs completely.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and place it into the oven and braise for about 2 hours. After 2 hours check the beef to see if it is fork tender. If not, place it back in the oven for another 30 minutes and then check again.
  • Once the short ribs are done, remove them from the pot and strain the liquid. Put the liquid into the pot and then add the short ribs back into the liquid. Keep the short ribs warm over low heat while you prepare the polenta.
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the three cups of milk and two tablespoons butter, stirring occasionally until the milk comes to a boil. Then add the ½- 1 cup of quick cook polenta, depending on the package instructions. Cook the polenta for 3-5 minutes and then take it off the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, pour the polenta onto a platter and place the short ribs over the polenta and then drizzle the sauce over the short ribs, or serve the sauce on the side. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or micro greens.
  • Notes

    Braised beef short ribs are never short on flavor and remain one of the most sumptuous beef dishes one could serve. This recipe uses a fragrant Chinese Five Spice Powder along with traditional aromatics and dry red wine which lives up to the bold notes of this gorgeous cabernet sauvignon. The braised beef ribs are served over creamy polenta which balances flavor and texture for a lush and enticing meal.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/12/14/five-spice-braised-short-ribs-with-creamy-polenta/

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Holiday Cheese Board

    Holiday Cheese Board with Nibbles // Karista's Kitchen

     

    If there is one moment during the year that no one will ever question how long you (I) linger around the hors d’oeuvre table, it’s during the holidays when the table is loaded with glorious amounts of creamy, lush cheese.  After all, what can be more fun than nibbling on new types of cheese or an excuse to indulge in your favorite cheese?

    Putting together a holiday cheese board couldn’t be simpler.  I like to include at least five kinds of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard from different regions of the US or International.  You could always create a “local” cheese board with cheese made only from your region.  This would be a delicious way to support not only your local cheese makers but introduce your guests to the cheese produced in your area.

    I also like to assemble an international cheese board, sort of “around the world in cheese”.  This is delectable fun and creates interesting conversation around the food table.  It’s also a great way to introduce guests to new cheese!

    Holiday Cheese Board with Nibbles // Karista's Kitchen

    I like to label the cheese on the holiday cheese board and if there is room on the label, give a short tasting description.  You can find tasting descriptions online or simply ask your local cheese specialist.  They love to talk cheese. 😉 I should know, I worked as a cheese specialist once upon a time – and I still like to talk about cheese.

    When putting together your holiday cheese board be sure to add in a few extra nibbles either on the board or on platters around the board.  I recently found these lovely parmesan cheese crisp crackers that are divine when paired with cheese.  I also love an interesting selection of charcuterie paired with the cheese, possibly from your local charcuterie shop or butcher.  Assorted oil cured or stuffed olives (I adore lemon rind stuffed green olives), candied or truffle laced nuts, peppers or peppadew peppers, grapes, apple or pear slices dipped in chocolate.  A small assortment of fresh bread, crostini or crackers rounds out this lovely holiday cheese board.

    A holiday cheese board makes a perfect first course for all your dinner parties or celebrations, but it can also make a fabulous last course with cocktails or aperitif.

    Wishing you all a most delicious and happy holiday season!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Holiday Cheese Board

    Holiday Cheese Board

    Ingredients

    • Five types of cheese ranging from soft, semi-soft, semi-hard to soft
    • Oil cured or stuffed olives
    • Charcuterie, assorted (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, pancetta, etc)
    • Fresh fruit such as grapes, pear or apple slices
    • Peppers or Peppadew Peppers (goat cheese stuffed peppadews are divine!)
    • Candied, smoked, herbed or truffled nuts
    • Assorted crackers, crostini, fresh bread, slices of pumpkin or banana bread is always fun

    Instructions

  • On a large platter, platters or wood board, place your cheese around the board/platter, spacing it out and cutting a few slices of each to get the slicing started.
  • In between the cheese place bits of grapes/fruit, tiny bowls of nuts, peppers and olives, roll or stack the charcuterie and then wedge the crackers in if there is space. If not, serve the crackers, crostini, bread pieces, etc in small bowls or platters.
  • Label the cheese and serve. Simple and delicious!
  • Notes

    This Holiday Cheese Board was created for Western Horse & Gun Magazine 2016 Holiday Issue.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/12/08/holiday-cheese-board/

     

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

    Socca (chickpea flatbread)

    Socca (Chickpea Flatbread) // Karista's Kitchen

    Sometimes I feel this humble blog is my somewhat ignored child.  I think about this blog all the time and I’m constantly planning a million things to post here.  But alas, paid work must come first and sometimes that work takes up most of my time… which is a good thing is it not?

    You should see my list of recipes I’ve got going.  Every season I make this long list of recipes to prepare, photograph and post here for you to completely revel in and enjoy.   However, half of those recipes never make it onto the blog. The really delicious recipes that I feel you MUST have come rain or shine or snowstorm or vacation actually get posted.  Other recipes sort of hang around season after season until before I know it, it’s been a full year and the recipe is still on my “to post” list.

    This Socca (chickpea flatbread) is one such recipe.  I can’t say for certain why it’s taken me so long to post this other than it often disappears before I can snap a few photos.

    Socca (Chickpea Flatbread) // Karista's Kitchen

    Socca is such a simple, fragrant, tasty little recipe that I prepare at least two or three times a week.  Sometimes I’ll make Socca on the weekends and we nibble on it with cheese and wine for a light dinner or snack.  My sassy gals love socca with fresh herbs and garlic as a compliment to a dinner salad or soup.

    Socca is so versatile I use it for pizza crust on occasion or serve it for breakfast with fried eggs and wilted greens.

    Socca, also referred to as Farinata, originated in Italy.  It’s a simple flatbread made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and typically rosemary.  Although, many versions of socca can be found all over the world.  Some recipes call for resting the batter for several hours prior to baking.  I’ve tried it both ways. Whisking the batter and baking it off within minutes of preparation. Or letting the batter sit for several hours before popping it in the oven before dinner.  Personally, I love the end result when the batter has had time to rest and flavors meld and allow all the delicious magic to happen.  But if you’re in a hurry and just need to get it in the oven, it will still taste delicious.

    I’ve listed a basic socca recipe but feel free to add your favorite fresh chopped herbs, garlic, sautéed onions, shallots or garlic.  I love it simply with rosemary, salt and pepper and eaten right out of the pan.  Which is how I finally managed to photograph the socca.  I suppose I could have fancied up the photo but socca is simple goodness and truly needs nothing fancy added.  Maybe just hungry family members. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Socca (chickpea flatbread)

    Serving Size: Makes 8 slices

    Socca (chickpea flatbread)

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup chickpea flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
    • 3/4 cup - 1 cup lukewarm water
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or a mixture of fresh herbs or chives)
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

    Instructions

  • Whisk together the chickpea flour, 3/4 cup water (adding more for a thinner flatbread), salt, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes or covered in the fridge for about 2-3 hours or overnight if you're preparing for breakfast.
  • When you are ready to bake the socca, pre-heat the oven to 425F. Place a 10 inch cast iron or iron skillet in the oven and let it pre-heat with the oven.
  • When the oven is ready, carefully remove the pre-heated skillet and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan. Pour in the socca batter.
  • Carefully place the skillet back in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until it's golden brown and a little cracked on top.
  • Remove it from the oven and slice into 8 wedges and serve immediately. Enjoy!
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/12/02/socca-chickpea-flatbread/

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Salad vegetarian

    Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad

    Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad for the win! // Karista's Kitchen

     

    Sometimes the simplest ingredients come together easily like this Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad.  

    I adore warm salads during the cooler months, which is why I probably make a warm salad almost every night for dinner. I like to serve warm salads with roast beef, pork and chicken as well as  fish or shellfish.  Warm salads also make a fabulous one-dish meal.

    When I make a warm salad, I use every kind of green that’s available this time of year – or any leftover leafy greens that might be growing in my fall garden. Kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, spinach and arugula are all perfectly delicious slightly warm and dressed in a sweet or spicy vinaigrette.

    Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad for the win! // Karista's Kitchen

    Kale and collard greens hold up best to the slight heat and vinaigrette – and they hold really well on the dinner table.  If I’m using Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens or arugula, I heat the vinaigrette first, add the delicate greens and then take the pan off the heat, tossing the greens in the warm vinaigrette.

    I especially adore the flavor combination of this warm kale, Delicata squash and quinoa salad.  The slight peppery flavor of kale, sweetness of the Delicata, and nutty flavor of quinoa pair so deliciously together.  I use thinly sliced red onions for the aromatics and roasting the squash with maple syrup adds another beautiful layer of flavor.  I toss the salad in a sweet and spicy mustard vinaigrette and I like to finish this salad with pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds or dried cherries.

    For me, the weeknight meal is all about taking fresh, seasonal ingredients and pairing them with a few pantry staples.  This makes dinner delicious, healthy and achievable.  Achievable is good, right? 

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad

    Serving Size: 4

    Warm Kale, Delicata Squash and Quinoa Salad

    Ingredients

    • 1 Delicata Squash, halved, seeded and chopped into bite size pieces
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
    • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
    • 1 bunch purple or green kale, stemmed and chopped
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
    • 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries (optional)
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
      For the Vinaigrette
    • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2-3 tablespoons stone ground mustard
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
    • Dash of water
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • Toss the bite sized Delicata squash with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Place the squash in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and roast for about 15-20 minutes or until the squash is slightly soft and golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  • Whisk together the 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes and dash of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To assemble the salad
  • In a skillet over medium heat, add about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and heat. When it's hot add the sliced red onion and sauté just until slightly soft. Then stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer. Fold in the chopped kale and tossing it with the onion and garlic. When the kale is warm and slightly wilted, remove the skillet from the heat and season the kale with salt and pepper. Toss the kale with the squash and quinoa, adding more vinaigrette as needed.
  • Transfer the warm salad to a platter or individual bowls and garnish with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cherries or cranberries. Serve.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/11/15/warm-kale-delicata-squash-and-quinoa-salad/

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad VRAI Magazine

    Autumn Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

    Autumn Harvest Salad from A View to Delicious Magazine // Karista's Kitchen

    I know I’m blasting your inbox with posts today and I’m hoping you don’t mind an extra post.  I wanted to mention that this gorgeous Autumn Harvest Salad recipe is included in our first digital food magazine, A View to Delicious!

    We published A View to Delicious to highlight the bounty of the season and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  This magazine is our first issue and it won’t be our last.  We’re working on a second issue that is going to be jam-packed with even more recipes, stories, photos, tips and techniques that you won’t want to miss.  I’ll announce more about it later. 😉

    Until then, A View to Delicious is on sale!  Click HERE  (and enter code “delicious 50” for 50% off ) to download your copy today and don’t miss all the delectable recipes that are so perfect for this time of year.  And so perfect for your holiday table!

    As well, we have a new kitchen shop that is filled with the most unique and fun kitchen finds and so perfect for your holiday shopping.  You’ll find the link at the top of the front page under “Shop Karista’s Kitchen Store”.  Check out the new Karista’s Kitchen Fall Baking and Spice box. I love this little box for gift giving.

    This beautifully curated box is perfect for the FOODIE and home chef!  The Karista’s Kitchen Fall Spice & Baking Box contains hand selected, high-quality spices that are perfect for all seasons but especially wonderful for Fall Baking! Included in the box are two packages each of fragrant smoked paprika and Korinje cinnamon and a delightful matcha green tea salt.  I completely adore the Matcha Green Tea Salt as a finishing salt for the Autumn Harvest Salad.

    Also in the box are four Kilner square spice jars, crafted in the U.K., three recipes from Karista’s Kitchen and a gorgeous tea towel from Claudia Pearson or Belle & Union. Purchase the box as a hostess gift, birthday gift or gift to yourself.  Be sure to use the coupon code for 25% off this box! Coupon Code is: kkbox25

    Karista's Kitchen Spice and Baking Box from the Karista's Kitchen Shop

     

    Loads of love and gratitude to you all for reading and supporting Karista’s Kitchen!

    Delicious Wishes,

    Karista