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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!

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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

 

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

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons // Karista's Kitchen

Can you believe I never liked tomato soup when I was a kid? I mean, really, who doesn’t love tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches? Well, I didn’t.

I’m not sure why I didn’t like tomato soup; honestly I didn’t like any kind of soup.  My mom prepared all sorts of crazy grilled cheese sandwiches just to get me to eat soup. Which I ate. That is, I ate the grilled cheese sandwiches and usually left a nearly full bowl of soup at the table.

However, somewhere along the years and with a more developed palate, I became obsessed with tomato soup.  So much that I serve tomato soup often in my kitchen and today, both my daughters love a bowl of tomato soup, tomato bisque, or just a chunky tomato stew.

For me, it was the creamy texture of tomato bisque that first caught my attention.  I was working in Boston and there was a little Italian deli down the street from where I worked that served the most lush, creamy and cheesy soup.  In a word, it was divine.  The highly entertaining and charismatic deli owner, Giovanni, served it with crusty Italian bread and butter which paired perfectly with the creamy tomato concoction.

I walked to that deli every day for my beloved tomato bisque, when finally, I realized I was developing a bit of an allergy to tomatoes.  I seriously had to back off the soup for a while. Thankfully at that time, spring was making an appearance and my soup days would hopefully be limited with the warmer weather.

Of course, I continue to eat tomato soup – just not every day. I enjoy it the most when the weather is cool and rainy outdoors and when the soup is paired with my friend, Sheri’s, version of grilled cheese with apple butter.  For me, its food heaven.

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons // Karista's Kitchen

When my client asked for a classic tomato soup recipe for a retro food article, I was thrilled.  I knew I wanted to include grilled cheese somehow, so I made little mini’s and called them grilled cheese croutons.  However, there are times when I really want a hearty grilled cheese and apple butter sandwich with my tomato soup, so feel free to indulge.

This is totally off topic but notice the sweet table-cloth printed with apricots? Yep, it’s my mom’s tablecloth from the 1950’s and it was so perfect for this shoot.  😉

Wishing you warm and cozy days all curled up with this Classic Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Classic Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 28-32 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 8 slices good quality white bread
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese

Instructions

In a large pot over medium heat, add the ghee or olive oil and onions. Sauté the onions until wilted and then add the garlic and cook one minute longer.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, dried basil, pinch of crushed red pepper, vegetable broth and sugar. Bring to a slow boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the croutons. Pre-heat the oven to broil. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place them buttered side down on a baking sheet. Add the cheese slices to the bread and then top with the remaining bread buttered side up. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and toast. Flip the sandwiches and toast the other side.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Slice them into small square croutons.

When the soup is done either transfer to a blender and blend until smooth or using an emersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then stir in the heavy cream.

Serve the warm soup in bowls topped with the grilled cheese croutons.

Notes

This recipe first appeared in Home By Design Magazine Fall 2016

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

Creamed Swiss Chard

Creamed Swiss Chard // Karista's Kitchen

Creamed Swiss Chard is always a welcomed side dish on my dinner table. It never fails to bring a smile to my hungry family’s faces.  But really, who could ever resist creamy, cheesy, leafy green goodness?! 

This gorgeous leafy green is a staple in my kitchen and I use it in all kinds of recipes.  Swiss chard finds its way into our weeknight sautés, salads, rice bowls, weekend egg dishes, pastas and even my savory bread pudding.  Although I do love kale, mustard greens, spinach and collard greens, lately Swiss chard has been my “go to” green.   Mostly because it grows so voraciously in my garden and I typically get a good 7-8 months worth of chard each year.  It’s the leafy green that just keeps on giving!

Swiss chard is a tall leafy green that belongs to the same family as beets and spinach.  It tastes similar to spinach, which makes Swiss chard an excellent substitute in cooked dishes.  It doesn’t cook down quite as much as spinach and it omits less water – making it a meatier option for sautés and gratins.  Honestly, sometimes I prefer it to spinach because it holds up a little better when cooked. Not quite as hearty as kale, but not quite as delicate as spinach.

Creamed Swiss Chard // Karista's Kitchen

This gorgeous Creamed Swiss Chard makes a delightful side dish to any meal.  It’s especially complimentary to grilled or roasted meat or poultry or prepared in individual dishes for a light lunch or brunch.  For a one dish meal, I add diced ham to this recipe and serve with a warm crusty baguette and a glass of wine. Ahh… my kind of meal.

I’ve paired this Creamed Swiss Chard with leeks, however shallots work just as well.  And on occasion when I’m out of both leeks and shallots, a yellow onion will do the job just fine.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Creamed Swiss Chard

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 leeks, trimmed just as the light green turns to dark green, cut in half lengthwise, rinse and dice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard or about 2lbs, stems removed (I save the stems for stock or soup), leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Mix together the panko bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.

In a large oven safe sauté pan or skillet, add the butter and olive oil to the pan and place the pan over medium high heat.

Once the butter is melted and oil is hot, add the chopped leeks and chopped fresh Italian parsley and sauté until wilted and slightly golden. Then stir in the minced garlic and sauté for one minute longer.

With tongs, add the chopped Swiss chard in batches to the pan and toss with the leeks, continuing to toss the greens and leeks gently, until all the greens are in the pan and wilted. Sprinkle with the grated nutmeg and season with ½ - 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

Pour the heavy cream into the pan and gently toss with the greens. Sprinkle the panko parmesan mixture over the top of the creamed Swiss chard and then place the pan in the oven.

Let the creamed Swiss chard bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the sides are bubbly and the cream has thickened. To toast the panko parmesan mixture, set the pan under the broiler for just a few minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the creamed Swiss chard sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

I originally created this recipe for Hobby Farms Magazine Spring 2016

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

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes // Karista's Kitchen

It seems I anguish over Thanksgiving side dishes every year.  

The question being, should I prepare the same sides as last year and make everyone completely happy or should I venture out of our “safe” side dish zone and create a few new dishes that will hopefully catch on and become new favorites? Ah the side dish dilemma.

I always try to set a selection of colorful and appetizing sides on the Thanksgiving table as well as sides that complement our roasted or grilled turkey.  One of my daughters insists on some sort of potato dish, preferably a mashed potato, and my other daughter would never let me hear the end of it if we didn’t serve apple and sausage stuffing.  Ranger Craig is big on veggies, so there is always a hearty vegetable dish of some sort along with my favorite roasted cranberry and mandarin salad.  Dare I forget the gravy and on occasion I’ll throw in a sweet potato spoon bread for good measure.

As my youngest daughter once said, “I come to the Thanksgiving table excited for all the side dishes”. 🙂

So in honor of the well-loved and obligatory side dish, I thought I’d share a collection of side dishes that just might tickle your taste buds and inspire a few new Thanksgiving side dish traditions in your home.

Maple Roasted Carrots and Parsnips from Alaska From Scratch

Maple Roasted Parsnips and Carrots from Alaska From Scratch

I think what I love most about these Maple Roasted Carrots and Parsnips from Alaska From Scratch and Perfect Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci’s Morsels is that they make a colorful and delectable addition to the Thanksgiving table as well as they are relatively fuss-free – which is a good thing during the holidays.

Perfectly Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci’s Morsels

Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci's Morsels

These stuffed acorn squash make a lovely alternative to Thanksgiving side dishes and can serve as a vegetarian entrée option for your guests.

Cranberry, Wild Rice and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cranberry, Wild Rice and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash // Karista's Kitchen

Oh who can resist the lush elegance of Gorgonzola mashed potatoes?!  This is always the first of the side dishes to be passed around my table.

Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes 

Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes // Karista's Kitchen

Add a little light, fresh and sweet to the meal with this gorgeous mixed greens salad with mandarin oranges. A tasteful compliment to the heavier Thanksgiving side dishes.

 

Mixed Greens and Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Nuts 

Mixed Greens with Mandarin Oranges, Candied Nuts and Parsley Vinaigrette // Karista's Kitchen

I’ve finished this round-up with one of my favorite sweet potato dishes, Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Gingersnap Crumbles – you’ll find the recipe below.  This captivating dish often serves as my dessert!

Wishing you all the most delicious of holiday seasons.  If you have any questions, comments or need a different recipe for your Thanksgiving table, please leave a comment below or feel free to email me.

Loads of Love!

Karista

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Serving Size: 4-6

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Sweet potatoes are delicious on their own, but add maple syrup, spices and ginger snaps and this bright orange side dish tastes like a celebration

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes or yams (I prefer yams due to the rich color and smooth texture)
  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • ½ cup real maple syrup, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled ginger snaps

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Wrap each sweet potato or yam loosely in foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. When they are cool, take them out of the foil and remove the skins. The skins should easily peel away. Discard the skin and place the sweet potato in the bowl of an electric mixer.

With the whip attachment, begin to whip the potatoes on medium speed. Add the melted butter, cinnamon, all-spice and ¼ cup of the maple syrup and whip until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and top with the remaining ¼ cup of maple syrup and sprinkle with crumbled ginger snaps. Serve warm.

Notes

Created for Home By Design Magazine Retro Buffett Issue 2016

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Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy

Deliciously simple Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy // Karista's Kitchen

 

There’s nothing that says simple delicious goodness like an Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy.

Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy was a regular dish on our family table and it was truly loved by my bright-eyed, character of a grandfather. Grandpa was born in the Southwest in 1901 and he loved to tell tall tales of how he’d been a cowboy in his younger days. Of course, grandpa had never been a cowboy, however, when he was very young, his family drove a covered meat wagon through Arizona and Southern California. My grandfather and his family hunted the wild game and then cleaned, packaged and sold it from their covered wagon.

My grandfather was a meat and veggie kind of guy and nothing made him happier than my grandmother’s pan-fried ground beef patties with beef broth gravy. Grandma would mix ground beef with onion, garlic and herbs and then form patties to pan fry and then serve them with a simple pan gravy. Sitting on the table alongside those ground beef patties were several large bowls of assorted vegetables. Green beans with bacon, creamed corn, honeyed carrots and always lima beans. When the food was done, the table was set and everyone was seated, my grandfather, with a knowing smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, would give thanks for his delicious “steak and gravy”.

Today I’ve re-created that steak and gravy dinner with my version of an old-fashioned Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy. 

I decided the creamed corn needed a little revision so it became a decadent Corn Gratin and who am I to disturb good ole Southern green beans and bacon so I left those just as grandma made them.  The honeyed carrots get a splash of spice and brown butter and the lima beans typically don’t make it to the table.  Sadly, I’m not a fan. Of course, now that we’re all grown-ups, there is nothing like following up grandpa’s cowboy meal with a “yippee-yo-ki-yay” Cowboy Bourbon Sour.

So, giddy on up to the table and chow down on this delicious meal and celebrate a season of food, flavor and of course, twinkly-eyed grandfathers. 😉

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Salisbury Steak with Beef Broth Gravy

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

    Salisbury Steak
  • 1lb ground beef 
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs, or your favorite brand of bread crumbs (skip the bread crumbs for wheat free or use GF bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil, beef tallow or ghee
  • Beef Broth Gravy
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup organic beef broth
  • Dash of red wine (optional)
  • ½ cup sliced sautéed mushrooms (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine the bread crumbs and warm milk.  If you are preparing a wheat free meal, skip this step.

Mix together the ground beef, onion, garlic, bread crumb mixture, Worcestershire, egg, fresh Italian parsley, salt and pepper. 

Form the ground beef mixture into 4-6 round patties, pressing slightly thinner in the center of each patty for even plumping during cooking. 

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Place the patties in the skillet and pan fry on each side until the beef is done to your preference. 

Transfer the patties to a platter.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter to the skillet.  Just as the butter melts whisk in the tablespoon of flour. 

Add the beef broth and a dash of red wine if desired.  I like about ¼ cup red wine.  Continue to whisk the gravy, pulling up all the yummy brown bits (called fond) off the bottom of the pan.

Once the gravy has thickened slightly, taste for salt and pepper.  If using mushrooms, add them to the sauce.  If the gravy is too thick add additional beef broth until it’s the desired consistency. For more sauce, the recipe is easily doubled. 

Pour the gravy over the patties and garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve with corn gratin, garlic mashed potatoes and fresh green salad, or roasted veggies.

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Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili perfect for the Autumn table // Karista's Kitchen

This spiced pumpkin and ground beef chili didn’t last long in my house. It was gone by the second day and of course, that’s when I think chili tastes best.

This chili is slightly spiced with cinnamon and smoked paprika, flavored with fresh aromatics, vegetables, grass-fed ground beef and of course, a good beer. It’s rich in flavor and hearty in texture and it tastes like Autumn in a bowl!

Adding pumpkin or squash to chili during the fall season adds a festive quality to this dish.  Each year I experiment using different spices in my pumpkin and ground beef chili and I have to say my favorite combination is a bit of Korinje cinnamon and smoked paprika – along with my traditional chili spice blend.

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili perfect for the Autumn table // Karista's Kitchen

In addition to my lovely Karista’s Kitchen spices, which you can currently find in the Karista’s Kitchen store, I love adding beer to my chili. A flavorful pilsner, which is what I use, light red ale or cream stout are excellent beer choices for chili.

Using beer in chili adds another layer of flavor and compliments the vegetables and spices as well as the ground beef. I don’t recommend using beer that is high in IBU (International Bitterness Units), like an IPA, because it’ll make your chili taste bitter. I adore sipping IPA’s but I don’t recommend using an IPA in chili.

I also prepare a vegetarian version of this chili using only the roasted pumpkin and beans. Although my crew enjoys the ground beef version, they also adore this cozy vegetarian version as well. 

Must I wrestle the pumpkin you might ask? No need. I cut the sugar pie pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, rub with a little oil and place flesh side down in a baking dish. Then I fill the baking dish with about an inch of water and roast at 350F. until just slightly under cooked. Once the pumpkin has cooled, the skin is easily removed and you can dice the pumpkin for the chili. Don’t worry about uniform diced pumpkin, just dice it up however you like and once it’s in the chili it’ll look fabulous.

This pumpkin and ground beef chili is flavorful and satisfying and I know it will add a flair of festivity to your fall and holiday season.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Pumpkin Love!

Karista

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Serving Size: 4-6

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4lb sugar pie pumpkin(you will need 2 cups cubed cooked pumpkin)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup corn flour or 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Karista's Kitchen Korinje Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Karista's Kitchen Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of pilsner beer (or red ale/cream stout)
  • 1-2 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can of kidney beans or chili beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onions and cheddar cheese

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Cut the sugar pie pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil and then place the pumpkin halves flesh side down in a baking dish. Add about 1 inch of water in the baking dish and then place it in the oven. You want to slightly under bake the pumpkin so that you can cube it for the chili. Bake the pumpkin for about 20 minutes and then check for tenderness. If it's still a bit hard, bake the pumpkin for another 10 minutes or until it's tender but still firm. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

In a large pot over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté just until it's tender. Then add the garlic and the ground beef. While you're cooking the ground beef, mix in the 1/4 cup of corn flour or corn starch. Stir in the cinnamon, smoked paprika, chili powder, coriander, cumin, brown sugar and pinch of cayenne.

Once the ground beef is mostly cooked, don't over cook, add the tomato paste and beer. Stir until incorporated. Then add the 2 cans of beans, dried bay leaf and at least one cup of broth. Reserve the second cup of broth and use it as needed.

Let the chili simmer on low for about 30 minutes to develop all the lush flavors.

While your simmering the chili, peel and cube the cooled pumpkin.

Gently stir the 2 cups pumpkin cubes into the chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add additional broth if needed.

Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, green onion and cheddar cheese if desired. This chili will keep for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. But I honestly don't think it'll be there in three days 🙂 .

Notes

Ack! I completely forgot the brown sugar in the recipe so I've just updated.

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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce // Karista's Kitchen

It’s the weekend and I think we need something sweet like these adorable Pumpkin and Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce! 

It’s that time of year when I jump into all things pumpkin and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’m whipping up a pumpkin chili, pumpkin cornbread to go with that chili, these tasty pumpkin coconut tarts with caramel sauce and Sunday I’ve planned pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon maple syrup – or maybe some pumpkin crepes with cinnamon cream.  Ok, I’ve gone totally pumpkin overboard.

When there’s a chill in the air and the leaves begin to turn their brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow, I find myself pulling out my fall sweaters and setting out my cozy sofa blanket.  And of course creating all things pumpkin and Autumn and delicious.  All I need now is my chai tea and I’ll be set.

This is my favorite time of the year.  Although the summer months were filled with fun and frolic and food from the grill, this new season seems to invigorate me and inspire a new collection of recipes as well as a seasonal change in how I frolic and fun. 😉

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Ricotta, Shrimp and Pasta // Karista's Kitchen and A View to Delicious Magazine

Speaking of a new collection of recipes… (you know I had to mention the magazine) I’ve created several new recipes for our first digital food magazine, A View to Delicious.  Butternut Squash Gratin, Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with Ricotta, Pasta and Shrimp (and a drizzle of truffle oil just for fun), Roasted Chicken with Brandy Butter and more! So if you’re looking for Fall recipe inspiration be sure to click here and download your copy.

Back to dessert… these Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce are the perfect small portion size with just enough sweetness that is slightly spiced, rich and creamy.  They make the loveliest after dinner nibble or perfect with a mid-morning cup of coffee.

However you serve these pumpkin coconut tarts with caramel sauce, I’m certain once they’re gone, you’ll be asked for more. 

Cheers to the new season, cozy blankets, hot spiced tea and delicious desserts!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

Serving Size: Makes 8-10 tarts

Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

These little tarts make the most delicious ending to a delicious meal. They also make fun and tasty after school treats and on occasion, a quick nibble with morning coffee, sans the caramel sauce. However you enjoy them, they will delight the palate and enchant the sweet tooth.

Ingredients

    Pie Dough (Pate Brisee):
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour or pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ice water
  • Pumpkin Coconut Filling
  • 1 15 ounce can organic canned pumpkin puree (you can also substitute with sweet potato puree)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup organic canned coconut milk (do not use “lite” coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of vanilla or brandy

Instructions

For the Pate Brisee

If you don’t have pastry flour on hand, combine 2 parts all purpose flour with 1 part cake flour. (I keep this combination handy in a separate container, so I always have some ready to use.)

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.

Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse a few more times until the butter and flour resemble coarse pea sized pieces or a coarse meal.

As you pulse the food processer add the egg and water and pulse only until the dough is holding together in one piece.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead just a few times forming the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so, or overnight. Often I’ll make several batches of pate brisee and then keep them wrapped in the freezer, pulling them out when I know I’ll need them.

Remove the chilled disk from the refrigerator and roll it out with a wooden rolling pin. With a biscuit cutter or mouth of a drinking glass, cut out discs large enough to press into the mini tart pans. Fill all the mini tart pans and then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill them with the pumpkin filling.

Pumpkin Coconut Filling

In an electric mixer or blender, combine all the ingredients until well blended.

Caramel Sauce

In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat mix together the sugar, butter, heavy cream and pinch of salt. Add a dash of vanilla if you like, or a dash of brandy.

Whisk the ingredients until it comes to a boil and then let it simmer for about 5-8 minutes or until it thickens.

Let it cool slightly and serve over the Pumpkin Coconut Tarts or Vanilla ice cream.

Finishing up

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Place all the mini tart pans on a baking sheet and fill each mini tart pan with pumpkin coconut filling.

Place the baking sheet of tarts in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the filling is nicely firm and crusts are golden.

While the tarts are baking prepare the caramel sauce.

Once the tarts are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Remove each tart and place onto a small dessert plate. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Toasted coconut makes a love garnish but is optional.

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Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi

Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi // Karista's Kitchen

I adore a a simple and flavorful meal that comes together easily like my family’s favorite Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi.

This rustic and uncomplicated recipe uses fresh ingredients with a few pantry staples to make dinner nearly fuss-free and satisfying.

This Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi uses ground sausage or ground chicken sausage but you can use whatever you like, or keep it vegetarian.  We have a fabulous sausage house in our little town that makes the most incredible and creative sausages from locally sourced ingredients. So it’s a treat for me to scoot-on-down (my Southernism for the day) to the sausage house and pick up some unique sausages for this recipe.

I’ve used the traditional Italian sausage, Swedish potato, andouille, cheddar and jalapeño, sun-dried tomato and feta and probably a few more. It’s ridiculously difficult for me to make a decision when I visit our local sausage house – and it doesn’t help if I’m hungry when I’m shopping for the sausages.

This recipe is paired with one of my favorite types of pastas, Cavatappi. Cavatappi, meaning corkscrew in Italian, feels heartier and a little fancier than macaroni but with a delightful texture that holds up to broccoli, cauliflower, ground meats and sauces.  When I can’t find broccolini or what some call broccoli rabe, I use the garden variety of broccoli.

I’ve been known to throw other veggies into the pot as well, especially if I have vegetables that are on their last days of shelf life.  I’ve used collard greens, mushrooms, Swiss chard, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant; leftover cooked veggies that easily pair with this cozy recipe.

Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi works beautifully as a quick weeknight meal but it’s also ideal for a cozy fall or winter weekend meal paired with a glass of Chianti.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi

Serving Size: 4-6

Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1-2 lbs Broccolini (broccoli rabe), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 lb ground sweet or spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 cup of prepared basil pesto
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated parmesan

Instructions

Fill a pasta pot with water and heat over high heat. When the water boils, salt the water with one tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. About five minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccolini to the pasta. Continue to cook and when the pasta is done, the broccolini should be done as well.

While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the sausage. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the onion until wilted and then add the Italian sausage and cook until done.

When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and broccolini and place it back into the pasta pot. Toss the pasta and broccolini with the pesto and then fold in the sausage and onions. Stir in the squeeze of fresh lemon and then season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Pour the pasta into a serving dish or individual dishes and garnish with grated parmesan and serve.

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Our Premiere Digital Food Issue

A View to Delicious // Karista's Kitchen and VRAI Magazine premiere food issue Fall 2016

I’ve partnered with VRAI Magazine and we wrote our very first digital food issue, A View to Delicious! 

We’ve been working hard to craft a beautifully photographed food and lifestyle digital food issue featuring the freshest farm-to-table recipes, healthy lifestyle tips, articles on unique destinations that dot the landscape of this scenic region and more cooking inspiration, tips and advice from my years in the culinary profession.

A View to Delicious is a little taste of what I create at home in my kitchen.  This digital food issue is a glimpse into where I live and why I adore my region of the world.  It’s also a little insight into how I feel about healthy and happy living and inspiration for creating life the table.  It also contains lovely verse and poetry by a few of my friends and lots of farm animals. Did I mention the farm animals?

A View to Delicious // Karista's Kitchen

Our premiere digital food issue, A View to Delicious, is available for pre-order now and until the 25th of September.  You can snag it HERE. The magazine will launch on Monday, September 26th!

As I’m writing this, I’m filled with over the moon excitement.  I can’t wait to share with you the delicious new recipes and a peek into my crazy delicious world. 🙂

I hope you’ll pre-order A View to Delicious and then tell me what you think when you read it. I always love hearing from my readers!

Wishing you a very happy and healthy fall season.

Loads of Love,

Karista

 

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Jammy Roasted Tomatoes

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes on an egg and biscuit // Karista's Kitchen

These days, my kitchen counter looks more like a market produce bin.  Which is why I’ve got these lush jammy roasted tomatoes incorporated into almost every meal this season.  I honestly thought I was a bit modest in planning my summer garden this year – it appears I may have over estimated yet again.

I’m sure my exuberance was due to the long winter and my yearning for fresh tomatoes and zucchini.  I certainly got my wish.

Every morning Tank and I walk out to the garden boxes and pick produce, pull weeds, water the plants and then stand around and lovingly admire all the work. I never fail to walk back into the house with a smile on my face and usually a small cherry tomato in Tank’s mouth.

Tank the Terrier and the tomato bowl // Karista's Kitchen

This summer, I’ve prepared every fresh tomato recipe my family likes to eat as well as every zucchini and poblano recipe I can think of making.  One of my favorite ways to use the fresh zucchini and tomatoes is to small dice the zucchini and combine them with diced tomatoes, summer corn, torn basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  This is one of my family’s favorite summer salads… it’s a bit like this salad, only with the addition of diced zucchini.

These jammy roasted tomatoes are my attempt to do something different with all the summer tomatoes other than make a salad, sandwiches or tomato pie.  I adore the sweetness of roasted tomatoes and I love to toss them into pastas, wilted greens, smear onto sandwiches or breakfast biscuits.  I like to add them to summer soups and stews, homemade pizza and of course spread them over goat cheese crostini.  I’ve canned these jammy roasted tomatoes but I also like to freeze small packages for use this winter in my sauces and stews.

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes // Karista's Kitchen

I also adore these jammy roasted tomatoes dolloped into the center of cheesy polenta or served as a sort of sauce for grilled or pan seared fish, chicken or pork.  They’re so good,  sometimes I snag a spoonful out of the jar for a snack.

Besides thinking of new ways to prepare my plethora of produce, I’ve been busy working on a fun project that I know you’re going to love!  A View to Delicious is the autumn food issue that is written by me and published by VRAI Magazine.  It’ll include new seasonal recipes, stories and photos of the Pacific Northwest, reader questions, cooking tips and techniques and more.  I’ve put my heart into this issue and I hope you’ll read it and love it as much as I do.  It’ll launch September 26th! So stay tuned.

In between work and gardening, family vacation and getting my sassy gal ready for college, I also took a little time to visit the parents. My youngest gal and I went to the local farmers market with pop, had a lovely crepe prepared by Chef Tarek for breakfast and shopped for the weekly produce under the warm summer sun.

Chef Tarek making crepes at the Temecula farmers market // Karista's Kitchen

It was a quick visit but it was fun for the grandparents to visit with their granddaughter and see her witty but somewhat eccentric style.  Yep, as you can see, this one always thought she was a mermaid.  While touring an art museum she found a mermaid chair and claimed it as her throne.

Amelia and her Mermaid Chair // Karista's Kitchen
Today I’m back in the office (kitchen) working on new, exciting and of course, delicious, recipes for the fall and winter seasons.  The kiddos are back to school and soon the weather will carry a chill in the air and it’ll be time to put a simmering pot of soup on the stove again.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • About 5-6 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes, drained as much as possible (enough to spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and then toss the chopped tomatoes with the brown sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian herbs and olive oil.

Spread them in a single layer on the lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before using, canning or freezing.

Notes

I make two or three batches of these jammy roasted tomatoes. One batch stays in the fridge, one goes in the freezer and the other one is used for dinner. Delicious!

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Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca

Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca with Red Wine Pan Sauce

Oh the love and compliments I received when I served this Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca. I felt like a James Beard Award winning chef after my family finished thoroughly praising me and my saltimbocca.  And such praise doesn’t always happen. Nope, not at my house.

I have to admit, my palate was dancing with complete bliss after one bite of this Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca with Red Wine Pan Sauce.  I smiled to myself and felt utterly vindicated as dinner the night before was a total disaster.  My recipe testing didn’t go as planned. Which is what happens on occasion and which is why we call it recipe “testing” – as I so humbly told my family while they were making funny faces and critiquing my meal.  Even chef’s have dinner disasters.

Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca with Red Wine Pan Sauce // Karista's Kitchen

Typically prepared with veal, this saltimbocca is just as decadent when prepared with the most tender cut of beef – the tenderloin.  Medallions of tenderloin are pounded thin, layered with fresh sage leaves and pancetta, quickly pan seared and then finished with a sensuous red wine and butter pan sauce.

What made this gorgeous Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca even more perfect was the wine I paired with it – 2013 Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon.  This sumptuous wine is from one of the most celebrated vintages in the history of the Napa Valley.  “It displays a level of balance, elegance, structure and ageability”.  Silky and lush, the 2013 Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon pairs elegantly with the saltimbocca, allowing the uncomplicated and bright flavors of the dish to shine while complimenting the beauty of the wine.

Although this exquisite dish might seem fancy, it’s perfectly simple to prepare.  I love to serve this with a seasonal green and vegetable salad with a light vinaigrette such as a lemon Dijon or balsamic or roasted zucchini, broccoli or braised bitter greens.  If you’re looking for a little more substance to add to the meal, good old-fashioned mashed potatoes pair nicely. 😉

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

*Although I’ve been a huge fan of Yao Ming Family Wines for a while now, I was fortunately gifted with a bottle for this recipe.

Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca

Serving Size: 4-6

Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca

Ingredients

  • 2lbs beef tenderloin, cut into 8-10 medallions
  • 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
  • 8-10 slices pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine (any wine that you would drink)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
  • Toothpicks

Instructions

On parchment paper or a cutting board, pound out each medallion to about ½ inch thick. Season each medallion with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place a sage leaf on each medallion and then layer with a slice of pancetta. You can use a toothpick to secure the sage and pancetta to the beef or you can try placing them in the pan completely assembled.

In a large skillet, add the two tablespoons of ghee or olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Once the ghee/oil is hot but not smoking, add the medallions to the pan, pancetta side down. You may need to pan sear in batches so that you don’t over crowd your skillet.

Cook each medallion for about 2 minutes on each side or until the beef is done to your liking. Transfer the beef to a platter when done. Cover lightly with a piece of foil to keep warm.

When all the beef has been cooked, turn the heat down to medium and add the red wine, scraping all the fond (brown bits) off the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time and bring the sauce to a lively simmer. Let the sauce simmer until it’s been reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the pan sauce on the bottom of a serving dish and then place the Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca over the pan sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley and serve with Roasted fingerling potatoes or mashed potatoes and roasted or steamed seasonal vegetable.

Notes

The fragrant and earthy flavors in this gorgeous beef dish pair exquisitely with the Mao Ying 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Sip, savor and enjoy.

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