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Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table vegetarian

Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

My oldest daughter is holding this lovely tray of Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers.

It had been a year since her brain tumor surgery and she was working hard to get back on her feet and back to college. I think that’s why I love this photo so much. She was beginning to feel better and she was quite determined that day to help me shoot my food photos.

I love that about my kids. They are strong, brave and determined young women who have a heart for helping others. Although when it comes to helping mom in the kitchen… not so much. 😉

I’ve been planning my Thanksgiving menu and these delicious little nibbles will be on the appetizer table. Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers are simple to make, a little spicy, a little sweet and the creamy goat cheese brings all the unique flavors together. Honestly I could eat my weight in these peppers. 

If goat cheese isn’t your preference, these are just as tasty with feta cheese combined with mascarpone cheese or garlic and herbs laced cream cheese. On occasion I’ve even added a little bleu cheese to mascarpone and piped it into these little red beauties.

Top them with chopped toasted nuts, a Marcona almond or a pistachio for a little festive flair. Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers make such a bright and cheerful presentation and pair deliciously with cocktails. I’ve also been known to make them my dinner.

Wishing you all a warm, joyous and delicious Thanksgiving holiday. May your hearts and home be full of love and laughter!

Karista

Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Serving Size: 3 peppers per person

Ingredients

  • 2-3 jars of Peppadew peppers (I allow three peppers per person)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (try to find a nice cream goat cheese that will be easy to pipe into the peppers)
  • 2 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (optional)
  • Chopped toasted nuts or Marcona almonds for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Mix together the goat cheese and mascarpone (if using). The mascarpone or cream cheese will make the goat cheese easier to pipe into the peppers. Although, I've found a brand of creamy goat cheese that works well on it's own.
  • Place the peppers on a tray. Fill a pastry bag with the cheese and pipe the cheese into each pepper. Garnish if desired and serve. You can make these a few hours in advance and leave them in the fridge before serving. Just remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to serving. I think the peppers and cheese taste best at room temperature.
  • Notes

    This recipe was first published in Home by Design Magazine 2014.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake

    Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake

    I couldn’t stop sneaking bites of this Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake while I was shooting the photos!

    This lush and tasty recipe was created by my friend and colleague, Leigh Anne Wilkes, founder of Your Homebased Mom. She’s just published a brand new cookbook called Holiday Slow Cooker, 100 incredible and festive recipes for every celebration.

    Leigh Anne kindly sent me a copy of her new book and I have to tell you I dog-eared at least 20 recipes in the first 10 minutes of browsing. This Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake was one of them.  I followed the recipe for the most part, except for the pecans, which I didn’t have stocked in my pantry (I know, I couldn’t believe it either).

    Once the cake was done, I served it up with butterscotch chips and a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. Holy Moly it was good! Decadent, gooey, creamy and the scent of spices lingering in the air as I shoveled big spoonfuls of this cake into my mouth.

    Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake

    The slow cooker is a handy piece of kitchen equipment, especially during a busy holiday season. Leigh Ann Wilkes cookbook, Holiday Slow Cooker, is filled with achievable and tasty recipes that are designed to make your holidays simple and satisfying.

    Would you like to win a copy of Holiday Slow Cooker? Yep, in honor of the holiday season I’m giving away another cookbook. 

    All you have to do is click HERE to enter. It’s that easy!  The contest begins on Tuesday, November 7th and ends on Tuesday, November 14th. Best of luck everyone!

    I’ve included the recipe to the Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake below… but I know you’re going to want a copy of the entire book of recipes. If you can’t wait to own you’re very own copy, you can find the book to purchase HERE.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Spiced Pumpkin Pudding Cake

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, divided
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 tablespoons oil or melted butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 tablespoons hot water
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

    Instructions

  • Spray the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, sour cream, oil, vanilla and hot water.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (it should be like thick cookie dough). Spread it evenly onto the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Mix 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon together with the pecans. Sprinkle it over the top of the batter. Gently pour the boiling water over the top.
  • Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours. Use a toothpick to check the cake; it should come out clean. The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the slow cooker.
  • Spoon into individual bowls, add the sauce that formed on the bottom of the slow cooker and ice cream or whipped cream.
  • Notes

    I ran out of ground cloves so rather than use the individual spices called for, I used two heaping teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. I did use the cinnamon to mix with the brown sugar.

    As well, I didn't have pecans. So I mixed the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkled it over the top and when the pudding cake was done and I scooped it into serving dishes, I sprinkled butterscotch chips over the top and served with a small scoop of salted caramel ice cream. Delicious!

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

    Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

    Lentils with Sausage and Spinach // Karista's Kitchen

    The simplest meals are often my favorite. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach comes together without too much fuss and fulfills the need for healthy comfort food.

    This dish usually happens when dinner inspiration has gone missing. Or when I didn’t make it to the market as planned. Which happens all too often.

    I’ve sort of been in a Fall slump lately and I think it might be because my kids are away at college and there are no little ones to share the beginning of the holiday season. When my kids were little, we would spend an entire weekend decorating the house for fall and for Halloween. Then I’d let the girls choose one Halloween movie to watch each weekend. We’d usually make pizza or their favorite pasta and always Tamale Pie on Halloween night.  Weekend mornings I’d make bat and ghost shaped pancakes for breakfast and then we’d launch into Halloween cookie baking.

    The only kids at home now are my two fur babies. Tank really doesn’t care about fall festivities unless there is a comfy sofa and tasty bone involved. Gus however, is very happy to accommodate my need to be outside in the falling leaves and brisk cool air.

    While I was feeling less than festive last week I whipped up this little dish of comfort. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach seem to always make the day a bit more cozy and delicious. Although I added ground sausage to this dish for a bit more hearty texture, you can certainly keep it vegetarian and add a mix of greens to the dish.

    Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

    I’ve found the key to making lentils soar with flavor is to add aromatics and herbs while cooking them. This creates the loveliest lentils and a delicious base in which to add additional ingredients.

    On occasion I’ll add diced pancetta or cooked bacon rather than sausage. And sometimes I load it up with extra veggies and skip the meat. However you prepare this dish, it’ll warm the heart as well as the belly.

    Wishing you a festive and delicious fall season!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 large carrot, diced
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried chives
    • 2 cups lentils (I like the French green lentils but any kind will work)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2-4 cups of vegetable broth (enough to cover the lentils)
    • 1/2 lb cooked ground sausage (optional) You can also use ground chicken or turkey sausage
    • 3 handfuls of baby spinach or assorted greens such as kale, chard and mustard greens (about 1 5-ounce package)
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Shaved Pecorino or Parmesan to garnish

    Instructions

  • In a medium to large pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium to medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, oregano, thyme and chives. Saute the vegetables just until soft and then stir in the lentils.
  • Add the bay leaf and enough vegetable broth to cover the lentils. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and continue to simmer five more minutes to allow some of the liquid to reduce. If you don't have much liquid left you won't need to drain the lentils. However, if you have more than a cup of liquid still in the lentils, you may want to drain at least half. I like a bit of liquid still in the lentils as they will absorb the liquid as they sit.
  • Next, take the pot off the heat and stir in the sausage and then the spinach. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and then give it another drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. I like to serve this dish with freshly shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese.
  • Notes

    This dish also makes a great side without the sausage. I pair it with hearty roasts or a whole roasted chicken.

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    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Cheddar Zucchini Drop Scones and a Giveaway!

    Cheddar Zucchini Drop Scones

    I love these Cheddar Zucchini Drop Scones so much I’ve made them three times in two weeks!

    My friend Carolyn Ketchum, who writes the blog All Day I Dream About Food, wrote this delicious book called The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen. Not only will you find the recipe for these divine almond flour scones but you’ll also find many more low-carb recipes in this cookbook. 150 low-carb recipes to be exact!

    Carolyn makes it possible to enjoy baked goods again. Which is a huge “hallelujah” in my house. My youngest is gluten intolerant and hasn’t been able to enjoy many baked goods since the age of 9. Of course, like most kids/teens she indulged occasionally anyway but always paid the price with nagging, uncomfortable, sometimes painful symptoms of gluten intolerance.

    The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen Cookbook includes recipes for everyone. Whether your watching your carbs for health reasons, dieting, eating gluten-free or just trying your best to stay healthy, this is your guide to delightful dining.

    I left my last batch of these scones in the fridge while we were away last weekend. My daughter came home from college to babysit Tank and found them. Yep, you guessed it, she ate all my scones.

    Cheddar Zucchini Drop Scones // Karista's Kitchen

    When I got home she told me those were the best savory scones and asked me how did I made them. Guess what she’s getting for Christmas. 🙂

    Along with this luscious scone recipe, Carolyn wrote her heart, her knowledge and experience in this book has now given us a new lease on mealtime.

    The book is so much more than just recipes, Carolyn also shares a sample ketogenic diet using her recipes, how to stock your pantry, kitchen equipment, low-carb baking tips and tricks, step by step instructions with full color photos and her best advice for living a successful ketogenic lifestyle.

    the everyday ketogenic kitchen

    Would you love to have this book? I’m giving one of these books away and the raffle begins on 10/19/17 and ends on 10/26/17. Just click HERE to enter.

    If you don’t want to wait to find out if you won, you can find The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen on Amazon.com HERE.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Cheddar Zucchini Drop Scones and a Giveaway!

    10 scones

    Cheddar Zucchini Drop Scones and a Giveaway!

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium-small zucchini)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups blanched almond flour
    • 1/4 cup coconut flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces), divided
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted but not hot

    Instructions

  • Place the zucchini in a large sieve in the sink and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat and let drain for 1 hour, then wrap in a tea towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and two-thirds of the cheese. Stir in the zucchini, eggs and melted butter until the dough comes together.
  • Using about 1/4 cup at a time, form the dough into balls and then press down to about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle each scone with some of the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the scones are golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • Let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week. Rewarm in the microwave or toaster oven,
  • Notes

    Be sure to let the zucchini drain for one hour. The first time I made these I let them drain for about 30 minutes because I was in a hurry to make them. Although I did squeeze the zucchini fairly well, I should have waited the full hour. The scones were still fabulous but the second batch was even better. It pays to be patient, which is why I'm not a baker. 🙂

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Soup

    Bacon and Beer Cheese Soup

    Bacon and Beer Cheese Soup // Karista's Kitchen

    Just the three words bacon, beer and cheese ignite a fire in my belly and my tastebuds.  Who couldn’t love a Bacon and Beer Cheese Soup?

    Unfortunately for me I love all three of those ingredients way too much.

    I live in Oregon which is home to over 260 craft breweries. I had never been much of a beer connoisseur until I moved to the Pacific Northwest 16 years ago. After trying several craft beers in Washington state and then moving to Oregon and “sampling” many of the craft beer here, I can truly say I’m a huge fan.

    It was a tasty job “testing” the beer for this recipe. I concluded however, that a lager or pilsner work best in this recipe. Using a beer that’s higher in IBU’s will create a bitter taste in the soup. So for this recipe, keep the beer on the “mellow” side and maybe the stronger stuff for sipping with the soup.

    And speaking of beer… one of my favorite people, Lori Rice, has just written a book Food on Tap: Cooking with Craft Beer. Lori has created recipes with craft beer along with craft beer pairings that are divine. Her book is beautifully photographed, inspiring and drool-worthy. I cannot wait to dive in and make some of her recipes. If you love beer, you’ll love this book.

    Cheers to food and beer and all things warm and cozy this beautiful fall season.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Bacon and Beer Cheese Soup

    Serving Size: 4

    Bacon and Beer Cheese Soup

    This is a smooth, creamy soup that is also quite hearty. It’s a tasty first course for any meal or perfectly suited as a light meal or lunch with crusty bread and a pint of beer.

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 rib of celery, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    • 8 ounces of beer, a lager or a pilsner
    • 1 cup vegetable broth
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ cups whole milk, warm
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • Salt and pepper

    Instructions

  • Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon to the soup pot and cook until the bacon is crisp and cooked through. Remove the bacon and reserve. Remove all but two tablespoons of bacon fat from the soup pot.
  • Add the diced onion and celery to the bacon fat in the soup pot over medium heat. Cook until the onion and celery are wilted and translucent. Then stir in the garlic and thyme and cook one minute longer.
  • Next, stir the flour into the vegetables and cook for a minute or two. Then whisk in the beer, vegetable broth and warm milk.
  • Let the soup simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, half the bacon pieces and shredded cheese. Once the cheese is incorporated, season to taste with salt and pepper. If the soup feels too thick, thin it with ½ cup of vegetable broth at a time.
  • Garnish with additional bacon pieces and serve warm.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad vegetarian

    Spring Roll Bowl

    Spring Roll Bowl from Karista's Kitchen

    Last week, I made this Spring Roll Bowl for at least the fifth time in the past month. It’s nothing fancy but it makes the tastiest and most satisfying lunch.

    Why do I love this little bowl of goodness so much? Well, the veggies for one, but I also love the dressing. Or maybe it’s a sauce. Whatever it is I could sip it. And it makes this bowl of veggies and baby shrimp sing with flavor and make my taste buds smile.

    Spring Roll Bowl from Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve listed the “recipe” below but it’s really just a guideline for whatever Spring Roll Bowl you’d like to make. Most days I add whatever is leftover in my fridge. But for photos I thought I’d be a bit more traditional. I do love shredded carrots, bean sprouts, cucumber, avocado, edamame, fresh chopped mint, green onion and rice noodles. These are the ingredients I try to cram into my bowl most days – if I can make it all fit.

    This lovely little Spring Roll Bowl can also be filled with Oregon bay shrimp, which we have a lot of here.  Sometimes I load it with leftover roasted chicken, salmon or shredded pork. But most of the time it’s just filled with veggies.

    The dressing (or sauce) is simply peanut butter or almond butter, honey or Thai chili sauce, Hoisin, soy sauce and water. Whisked together to my desired consistency and then drizzled over my bowl. And sometimes, just for kicks, I’ll throw a little Sriracha Mayo over the top.

    However you like your Spring Roll Bowl, I know it’ll make your lunch hour a delicious one.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Spring Roll Bowl

    Spring Roll Bowl

    Ingredients

      Choose a handful of five or six ingredients to fill your bowl
    • Shredded carrots
    • Shredded cucumber
    • Edamame
    • Bean sprouts
    • Sliced green onion
    • Fresh chopped mint
    • Fresh chopped basil
    • Rice noodles
    • Avocado slices
    • Bay shrimp
    • Poached shrimp
    • Diced chicken
    • Diced or shredded pork
    • Leftover cooked salmon
      For the dressing/sauce (you can double or triple these amounts)
    • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
    • 1-2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Thai Chili Sauce or honey
    • Dash of soy sauce (to taste)
    • Water to desired consistency

    Instructions

  • Layer the five or six ingredients in a bowl. I can tell you that including at least one fresh herb really makes this salad sing. Either mint or basil is best. To assemble the salad you can either layer ingredients beside each other like I did in my bowl or layer them on top of each other beginning with the rice noodles. Rice noodles or something of the sort is important in this bowl.
  • Whisk together the peanut or almond butter, Hoisin sauce, Thai chili sauce or honey, dash of soy sauce and a dash of water to begin. As you mix the sauce add more water as desired. Season to taste with the soy sauce or additional Hoisin, peanut butter or honey. This is clearly a sauce to your tastes. I make it different every time.
  • Drizzle the dressing/sauce over the spring roll bowl and enjoy!
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots // Karista's Kitchen

    Vegetables are one of my favorite foods to eat. I know, that might sound weird but I’d rather eat veggies than a big slice of meat. Not that I don’t love a good ole piece of pork belly, but I just feel better when I eat veggies. And there are so many different ways to prepare them that make them ridiculously delicious.

    This Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots recipe has won over even the pickiest of vegetable eaters.

    The green beans are blanched, cooled, dried and then pan fried in extra virgin olive oil. If that’s not enough to get me to eat a green bean, then they’re smothered with crispy fried shallots and a pinch of salt. Tender yet crisp and slightly charred and topped with fried onions. I think I could eat an entire four servings.

    Although I’ve been making this recipe for my clients and family for years, I’ve never posted it until now. It’s the perfect fall and winter side dish and compliments hearty pork or beef roasts, roast chicken and even a gorgeous piece of salmon.

    Or, if you’re like me, sitting down to a big plate of skillet green beans with crispy shallots as the entree makes me completely happy. With a glass of crisp but slightly fruity Sauvignon Blanc of course. 🙂

    It’s shaping up to be a busy Fall here at Karista’s Kitchen. I have a mountain of recipes I want to post here and although I have good intentions, sometimes my schedule doesn’t allow it. But I’ll try my best! Follow along on my Instagram and Facebook for all the latest food fun and maybe a few photos of what I’ve been up to. As well as some snaps of our newest little family member, Gus. He’s gotten so big!

    Delicious Fall Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb. fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or ghee, divided
    • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
    • ½ lemon, squeezed
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating to a boil, prepare a large bowl of ice water. This will help stop the green beans from cooking after they’ve been blanched in the hot water.
  • Once the water is boiling, gently add the green beans and then let them cook for about 2 minutes. Then gently transfer them to the ice water with a slotted spoon or mesh spoon. Once the beans have cooled, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the shallots and sauté until brown and slightly crispy. Season with little salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
  • In the same pan, add two more tablespoons of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the blanched green beans and let the beans cook for another 2-3 minutes until the beans are slightly browned or seared.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Top the beans with the crispy shallots and serve warm.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes

    Classic English Pea Salad

     

    Classic English Pea Salad // Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve been eating this Classic English Pea Salad all summer long and I can’t stop. 

    I make this salad every weekend and then I keep it in the fridge for a quick-lunch or an easy side salad for dinner. I’ve also been known to walk by the fridge and snag a few spoonfuls for a snack.

    This is the kind of pea salad I used to find sitting on the potluck table when I was a kid. I didn’t think much of pea salad back then. I usually skipped those bowls and moved on to the tapioca pudding or spoon bread. However, these days, I am all about this Classic English Pea Salad.

    Of course, this is my version of Classic English Pea Salad. I’ve tried several versions over the years but for me, this salad must include peas, bacon and cheese. I use shredded cheese rather than cube the cheese. I like cheese, I just don’t like cubes of cheese in this salad. It feels to heavy. Using shredded cheese keeps the textures in the salad a bit more consistent. Other ingredients may vary but the essential three are crucial to this tasty salad.

    Along with the peas, bacon and cheese I like to add two kinds of onion. Red onion and green onion. I think layering the onion flavor gives the salad a little more sass and compliments the salty bacon and sharp cheddar.

    When I’m feeling lazy (I have my moments) I toss this with our favorite organic ranch dressing. Otherwise, when I’ve got all the ingredients on hand, I make my own dressing which is super easy.

    Although fall is headed this way, this is a salad I usually make year round. You’re going to love this Classic English Pea Salad so much you just might end up making it every week too! 

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Classic English Pea Salad

    Serving Size: 6

    Classic English Pea Salad

    Ingredients

      For the salad
    • 2 cups or 16 ounces of peas (I use fresh or frozen that have been steamed and cooled)
    • 1/2 cup diced or thinly sliced red onion
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
    • 1/2 cup diced cooked bacon (or more to taste. I love bacon!)
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
      For the dressing
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons dried chives
    • Dash of Worcestershire sauce (or two)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lemon

    Instructions

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, dried chives and dash of Worcestershire. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the peas, red onion, green onion, bacon and cheddar cheese. Toss with as much dressing as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • This salad holds well in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • Notes

    When I'm feeling lazy (it happens) I skip making the dressing and use my favorite ranch dressing instead. Although this dressing recipe is super easy and super delicious.

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    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Vintage Sourdough Biscuits

    Vintage Sourdough Biscuits // Karista's Kitchen

    What could be more comforting or more satisfying than a big ole Vintage Sourdough Biscuit? Biscuits are total comfort food for me.

    Not only are biscuits comforting but they have the most wonderful and inviting texture that makes my taste buds happy.

    I created this particular photo and recipe for a fun food article all about wild west chuckwagon dinners. Back in the old west days, sourdough biscuits were considered a special treat when dining at the Chuckwagon.  The Chuckwagon cook would make a sourdough starter and keep it on the wagon in a dark ceramic crock and use it for biscuits, breads and sweets.

    When I was growing up in the south, my sweet neighbor, who we called Aunt Nancy, used to make all sorts of baked goods. One of those baked goods was sourdough biscuits. I remember being amazed by her culinary prowess and how she’d whip up those vintage sourdough biscuits so easily; and just in time for the evening meal.

    You can find several recipes online to make your own sourdough starter, which takes about 3-4 weeks.  Or, you can order sourdough starters online and then keep them going in your kitchen for these biscuits, breads and special treats throughout the year. I especially like having this starter on hand for holiday biscuit baking. Which is when most of my biscuit making seems to happen.

    It’s still hot here and vintage sourdough biscuits don’t seem quite appropriate for the weather. But it is September and I say, let the baking begin! 

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Vintage Sourdough Biscuits

    Serving Size: 8 biscuits

    Vintage Sourdough Biscuits

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
    • 1 cup unfed sourdough starter

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  • Whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and then using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles little crumbles.
  • Stir in the sourdough starter and mix until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough into a small disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. This isn’t absolutely necessary; however, I find that cooling the dough keeps the butter from getting too soft and yields a flakier biscuit.
  • To make the biscuits, add a little flour to the top of the disc and then roll out the dough to about ¾ of an inch thick. Cut biscuits with a 2 or 3-inch biscuit cutter and then place them in a buttered cast iron skillet, round cake pan or pie plate.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes or when the biscuits are golden on top. Remove the biscuits from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Serve with jam, honey and butter or slices of ham and cheese.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Peach Upside Down Ginger Cake

    Peach Upside Down Ginger Cake // Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve made this classic Peach Upside Down Ginger Cake for years. It’s a throwback to my Mom’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake that always seemed to have a permanent place on the kitchen counter when I was a kid.

    Before I proceed… as you can tell, we got a new baby! Meet Angus the Blue Heeler. Although we’re now calling him Gus. Gus and my youngest sassy gal decided to photo bomb my cake picture.

    Gus arrived a few weeks ago and we are totally in love. I’ve posted him all over Instagram and Facebook and decided I had to post about him here too. Tank mostly likes his new little brother. Tank is a senior dog and likes his quiet time on the sofa so all the puppy shenanigans sometimes annoy him. 🙂 I’m sure he will be used to it in no time.

    Me and my Blue Heeler Gus // Karista's Kitchen

    The photo above was snapped just a few hours after we arrived home from our very long car ride. We found our boy in Southern Central Oregon on a cattle farm. I have no cattle at my house but we do have a portly terrier named Tank; who is often referred to as pork chop and our little golden nugget of love. Yep, my girls love nicknames. I also anticipate loads of hiking and running with this little guy once he gets old enough.

    Gus and his girl // Karista's Kitchen

    My oldest gal did a bit of Gus sitting for me the other day. She managed to capture this adorable snap. GAH! melted my heart.

    Mia and Gus Gus // Karista's Kitchen

    This is my youngest gal who was snuggling with Gus a few days after he came home. He’s growing so fast!

    Ok, now back to a most important subject, cake! The classic upside down cake is simple and easy to mix together, assemble and bake. Making it the perfect snack cake or easy dessert. I’ve used several different recipes for upside down cake and I believe I like this one the best. It’s similar to my Mom and Grandmother’s recipe but I’ve also tweaked the measurements a bit to give the cake a lighter texture.

    I also add ground ginger to the cake mix rather than the peaches. This gives a slightly spiced taste to the cake and allows the sweet flavor of summer peaches to shine.

    Recently, I made this cake on my food segment over at the morning show, AM Northwest in Portland with the lovely host, Helen Raptis. Can I just tell you how much fun I have doing these food segments? I am a bundle of nerves 5 seconds before the camera goes on and then I realize, I’m teaching a recipe that I love! You can view the food segment HERE!

    Peach Upside Down Ginger Cake // Karista's Kitchen

    This is the quintessential summer cake that is lush and light and filled with the taste of summer.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Peach Upside Down Ginger Cake

    Serving Size: 8

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons melted butter
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
    • 4-5 cups sliced peaches (about 4-5 medium-large fresh peaches. You can also use frozen peaches)
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger (can substitute 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon)
    • ½ cup butter melted or room temperature
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk you can easily make it with one cup whole milk minus one tablespoon and then add one tablespoon white vinegar. Stir and let sit for about five minutes)

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  • Place the 2 tablespoons of melted butter into the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan or a 9x11 baking dish. Then sprinkle with the brown sugar and drizzle with the maple syrup.
  • Place the peach slices in a circular pattern on top of the butter and sugar.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger. In an electric mixer or another bowl, mix together the ½ cup of butter and ¾ cup sugar until nicely combined. Then stir in the egg until the mixture looks creamy.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and buttermilk. Then mix in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until it’s well combined.
  • Pour the batter over the peaches and then place the baking pan in the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch or a knife comes out clean.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes. Then flip the cake onto a cake platter or cake plate. If any peaches fall off while flipping just place them back onto the cake.
  • Serve this gorgeous summer cake with fresh whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.
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    Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    The Best Tamale Pie

    The Best Tamale Pie // Karista's Kitchen

     

    Sometimes all we need is good ole comfort food like Tamale Pie. I often made tamale pie for my girls when they were little. It was a sure method for getting everyone to the table. 

    I loved hearing my girls squeals of happiness when they came into the kitchen and I announced we were having tamale pie for dinner.  My tamale pie is filled with tender ground beef, savory aromatics, fresh corn, black beans and loads of flavorful spices. Then it’s topped with a corn and cheddar laced cornbread that is slightly sweet. I serve it with sour cream, sliced avocados and a tossed green salad for good measure.

    So, I have to admit, I kind of liked tamale pie night myself. It’s such a great way to use ground beef and the cornbread topping makes it feel a bit playful. Back in the day when I was making this dish often, it was a delicious way to serve a gluten-free meal for my gluten sensitive daughter. I also had a freezer full of grass-fed ground beef and needed inventive ways to prepare it.

    The Best Tamale Pie // Karista's Kitchen

    Today, my girls still love this Tamale Pie. They continue to crack me up as they are mostly grown up now and yet, still little kids at heart. They both love ground beef recipes, especially when it’s Tamale Pie.

    I made this last week and both my daughters were completely delighted. Then the oldest daughter decided to take home the leftovers – for her lunch the next day. Much to the disappointment of my youngest daughter who I found rummaging through the refrigerator looking for it. 🙂 I guess I’ll be making another batch next week.

    This is an easy recipe to pull together and pop in the oven. It just screams happiness and everything that makes dinner delicious. 

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    The Best Tamale Pie

    Serving Size: 4-6

    The Best Tamale Pie

    Ingredients

      For the cornbread topping
    • 1 1/2 cups Masa Harina (I use Bob's Red Mill)
    • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup shredded cheese
    • 1/2 cup corn (either fresh or frozen)
      For the filling
    • 1 tablespoon ghee, extra virgin olive oil or flavorless coconut oil
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
    • 1 10.75 ounce can of tomato puree
    • 1 can black beans
    • 1 cup of corn, fresh or frozen
    • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lime juice

    Instructions

    Prepare the cornbread topping
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  • Whisk together the masa marina, melted butter, sugar, salt, baking powder and water. When the consistency feels good, like a cornbread batter, fold in the cheddar cheese and the corn. Set aside.
  • Prepare the filling
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a little oil to the pan. When the oil is hot add the onions and saute just until wilted. Then stir in the ground beef. When the ground beef is almost cooked through, add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, coriander and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute longer and then take the skillet off the heat.
  • Gently stir in the tomato puree, the corn, black beans and fresh cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the filling into an 8x8 square baking dish or an 8x10 rectangular baking pan. You can use a large baking pan but you may need to use 1 1/2lbs of ground beef if using a larger pan. You will have plenty of cornbread topping for the larger pan.
  • Once you've add the filling to the bottom of the baking pan, spread the cornbread filling over the top. Place it in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the cornbread is done and the sides are bubbly.
  • When the tamale pie is done, take it out of the oven and let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with sliced avocado, sour cream, extra cheese, diced tomatoes, salsa and anything else you think would be delicious.
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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Pan Cooked Chicken Breasts with Sweet Mini Pepper Relish

    pan cooked chicken with sweet mini pepper relish from Karista's Kitchen

    A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend a most delicious afternoon with the O Organics® team from Albertsons and Safeway, including their RD Annessa Chumbley.

    Shortly after arriving to my home, the team began unpacking several bags of beautiful produce, meat and chicken and Annessa chatted with me about the O Organics® line of products – available exclusively at Albertsons and Safeway stores here in Salem, Oregon.

    While we were busy talking all things food, Annessa began prepping ingredients to make a delicious recipe – Pineapple Burger Stacks with Avocado Salsa.

    I must admit, I couldn’t stop eating them. The Pineapple Burger Stack included the tender and juicy O Organics® grass-fed ground beef, grilled fresh pineapple rings, grilled red onion, O Organics® butter lettuce and of course the avocado salsa to top it off was divine. The combination of flavors was amazing and the burger was visually enticing.

    Pineapple Burger Stacks from Albertsons and Safeway O Organics brand of products

    I know you want that burger so you can find the recipe HERE.

    What could be more fun or more delicious than lovely people and beautiful food? It was a delightful afternoon hosting the Albertsons and Safeway O Organics® team – and they left me with a kitchen full of O Organics® products. So of course, I couldn’t wait to do some cooking.

    It’s not the first time I’ve used Albertsons and Safeway O Organics® products. I discovered the products years ago and started stocking them in my pantry and refrigerator. I began using them for specific family health issues, but I continued to purchase them because they are affordable. It didn’t break my food budget to purchase the O Organics® brand of products.

    I couldn’t love the Albertsons and Safeway O Organics® motto more. It states, “organic for all.”  Albertsons and Safeway believe that high-quality organic food should be available for everyone. You can find a large selection of produce, meat, chicken, rice, snacks, cereals and even baby food in the O Organics® product line. Albertsons and Safeway make purchasing organic food achievable.

    After browsing my stash of O Organics® ingredients, I knew exactly what I was going to prepare.

    Because I am over the moon in love with mini peppers, I decided a Roasted Mini Pepper Relish would be tasty paired with O Organics® Chicken Breasts and a mushroom and herbed quick rice.

    making pan cooked chicken breasts with sweet mini pepper relish from Karista's Kitchen

    Roasting mini peppers is beyond simple and can elevate the humblest of chicken dishes.

    roasted sweet mini peppers from O Organics

    While the peppers were roasting in the oven, I sautéed the mushrooms with fresh herbs and garlic and then combined them with the cooked O Organics® Quick Rice.

    making pan cooked chicken breasts with sweet mini pepper relish and mushroom quick rice

    making pan cooked chicken breasts with sweet mini pepper relish from Karista's Kitchen

    Once the peppers were done and cooled, I gave them a quick dice and combined them with O Organics® fresh basil, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste – all of which are in the O Organics® line of products.

    With the relish and rice done, I pan seared the chicken breasts and then finished them off in the oven.

    pan cooked chicken breasts with sweet mini pepper relish from Karista's Kitchen

    To plate this easy chicken dish, I topped the chicken breasts with the roasted mini pepper relish, additional fresh basil and crumbled feta cheese. How simple and healthy is this?

    pan cooked chicken breasts with sweet mini pepper relish from Karista's Kitchen

    Huge thanks to the Albertsons and Safeway O Organics® Team for stopping by my home and sharing these quality products with me. I’m a huge fan of this brand. It’s been a staple in my home for many years and allowed me the opportunity to feed my family high-quality organic food without breaking my budget.

    Delicious Wishes!

    Karista

    ***“This post was sponsored by Albertsons and Safeway. Although I was compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own.”

    Pan Cooked Chicken Breasts with Sweet Mini Pepper Relish

    Serving Size: 4

    Pan Cooked Chicken Breasts with Sweet Mini Pepper Relish

    Ingredients

    • 1 - 16 ounce package O Organics Sweet Mini Peppers
    • 1-2 tablespoons – O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Pinch of sea salt and O Organics Black Pepper
    • ½ cup O Organics Balsamic Vinegar
    • 1 package of O Organics fresh basil, chopped chiffonade
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 cup O Organics Quick Cook Rice Blend, prepared according to package directions
    • 1 cup sliced O Organics Baby Bella Cremini Mushrooms
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon O Organics fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon chopped O Organics fresh chive
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 - O Organics Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts
    • 2-3 tablespoons - O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • ½ cup crumbles Feta cheese to garnish

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • Toss the mini peppers with 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil and then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and then place the baking sheet in the oven. Roast for about 10-15 minutes or until the peppers look toasty and slightly soft.
  • Once the peppers are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool. While the peppers are cooling, place the balsamic vinegar in a small pot and heat to a very low simmer. Reduce the vinegar by half. This will make the vinegar more of a syrup and slightly sweet to taste.
  • While the vinegar is reducing, chop the peppers and place them in a bowl with the minced garlic and basil chiffonade. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then drizzle with a little extra olive oil and a splash of the balsamic reduction. The rest of the balsamic reduction will go over the entire dish when it’s done.
  • To make the rice dish
  • Add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot sauté the mushroom slices until they are slightly golden and wilted. Add the garlic and fresh herbs to the mushrooms and sauté about 30 seconds longer just to allow the garlic and herbs to release their oils.
  • Mix the mushrooms and herbs with the cooked quick rice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To prepare the chicken
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  • Add olive oil to an oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and then add them to the skillet. Brown one side and then flip the chicken breasts. Take them off the heat and place them in the oven to finish cooking, about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
  • When the chicken is done, you can serve this dish right in the pan. Let the chicken rest in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. To serve, scatter the Roasted Mini Pepper Relish over the chicken and then drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Then garnish with the crumbled feta and additional basil leaves if desired. Serve this with the Mushroom and Herbed Quick Rice for a complete and delicious meal.
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