Browsing Category

Life Around My Table

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table vegetarian

Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

I have made these Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Aioli almost weekly for the last month. It might be my need for an early spring or maybe it’s because I could never resist artichokes. 

Small spring artichokes taste best to me. Not that I’d turn down one of those gorgeous large artichokes. However, the spring chokes have more tender leaves and although there is less “meat” on the smaller spring chokes, sorting through three or four of these with a good portion of lemon aioli makes the perfect light meal or starter.

Occasionally on a Friday evening, I’ll roast 8-10 spring artichokes and serve them with a bottle of our favorite white wine. Then Ranger Craig and I will sit down at our large family sized wood dining table that takes up most of the dining area and dig in. Just the two of us (and Gus of course), our giant platter of roasted artichokes and lemon aioli, loads of napkins and a bottle of wine. My kind of Friday night.

I can promise you there are never leftovers.

These lip-smacking, finger-licking artichokes are also great for casual entertaining, especially during the summer months. I love to make these as a starter for an afternoon meal on the patio with loads of salads, burgers and Oregon craft beer. They’re fun, messy and absolutely worth the little bit of effort to prepare.

Because the spring artichokes are smaller, they’re a little easier to trim up and roast. However, if all you can find are the larger chokes, go for it! You won’t be disappointed.

As we head into spring, even though it’s snowing at the moment, this lovely dish makes a tasty spring treat and a lovely presentation on a spring table.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love to ya!

Karista

Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

Serving Size: 4-6

Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

These roasted artichokes couldn’t be easier to prepare. I’ve created a no-fuss recipe that will have these little beauties in the oven in no time and ready to eat in less than 2 hours. Artichokes don’t have to be trimmed down to half their size or the fuzzy choke pulled out prior to roasting. When using the smaller artichokes, simply trimming the tops and stems and then slicing in half works just as well. Roast and cool and then serve them with this easy lemon aioli. They make a lovely appetizer or evening nibble.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 small to medium artichokes
  • Water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of good quality mayonnaise
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425F.
With a very sharp knife, trim the tops of the artichokes about ¼ - ½ inch, just to snip the jagged edges at the tops, and then slice the artichoke in half through the stem. You can trim up the stem end if you like.
Place the artichokes in a baking dish and add enough water to the baking dish to barely cover the bottom of the baking dish. Just enough to help the artichokes steam. Then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Last, season well with salt and pepper.
Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and then place it in the oven and roast for about 1 - 1 ½ hours. Check at 1 hour to see if they are soft. You want the leaves to fall off easily and the center to be fork tender.
Once the artichokes are done, remove them from the oven and take the foil off the baking sheet. Let them cool.
While the artichokes are cooling, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove some of the “well done” outer leaves to reveal the more supple and softer leaves. Then place the artichokes on a platter or individual plates and serve with lemon aioli for dipping.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://karistaskitchen.com/2018/02/20/roasted-artichokes-with-lemon-aioli/

 

 

Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Seafood Soup

Easy Crawfish Gumbo

Easy Crawfish Gumbo

I made a super Easy Crawfish Gumbo yesterday for Sunday supper.  My youngest gal was home from college and requested a southern style meal.

This totally made me smile because although I was raised in the south, I left after college. I did the wanderlust thing and moved all over the United States, married Ranger Craig and one day about 16 years ago, we settled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

My youngest has been completely enamored with the south since she was a wee one. Hearing me tell stories of my childhood and adolescence and realizing how unique the food and culture is in the south. She never had an opportunity to visit a southern state until a few years ago when I took her to Savannah, Georgia. Yep, I asked her where she wanted to go for her senior trip before college and she announced she’d love to see Savannah, Georgia.

Amelia in Savannah GA

I felt Savannah would be a good start to exploring the south. The history is thought-provoking, often heart-wrenching and one I never want to see repeated. I’ve often wrestled with the idea of my southern roots. And although I was actually born in California, I spent most of my formative years in the south. As a child, I saw injustice and intolerance that tore at my young heart and made me wonder how some people can be inhumane and ignorant. Those memories firmly planted in my mind forever made me even more determined to bring love and light into this world; to show kindness and tolerance to everyone who crossed my path.

I also encountered many who walked a life of love and compassion. During my family’s hard times, neighbors would bring over fresh eggs and cow’s milk. Some would bring by home-baked pastries like chocolate fried pies, which were my favorite (because who could ever resist a chocolate fried pie!). They’d bring chicken soup when we were sick or extra produce from their gardens. I learned what it was to be truly thoughtful – to think of our neighbors or community members, especially when they were in need.

As I think back to all of my life’s turbulence, when I merely existed in reality rather than lived in it, I see where my love of food and life around the table began. Our humble community showed us love and compassion through food when our family needed it most. They showed me by example what it was to be human and to love and support everyone in a community.

Easy Crawfish Gumbo

I know this has nothing to do with my Easy Crawfish Gumbo but all that gumbo sort of dug up memories of growing up in the south.

Back to the story… on a sunny September morning, my gal and I hopped on a plane headed to Savannah. I knew she was in huge anticipation of experiencing her mom’s southern roots. Savannah was not disappointing in the least. A beautiful and architecturally stunning city that is filled with stories and legends and a bit of history that seems to come alive when walking down the cobblestone streets. I remember my daughter telling me how gracious and kind she found people to be in Savannah. She adored the southern hospitality that was given by everyone she encountered, regardless of race or gender. And she completely relished every bite of southern food. We dined on some of the best fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, shrimp po’ boys, beignets, etouffe and gumbo. And we weren’t even in Louisiana!

Me and my sassy gal

Not only was our visit to Savannah completely delicious but it was an absolute dream for me to spend time with my youngest child before she launched into the “almost” adult world. Since that time she’s become obsessed with southern cuisine. Often when she comes home, I make her a dish or two – to celebrate the beautiful memory. Which is why I made my Easy Crawfish Gumbo this past weekend.

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and honestly, I thought I’d missed it! Ha! So I suppose this Easy Crawfish Gumbo is posted just in time. I wish you all delicious food memories and a most delicious life around the table.

Loads of Love,

Karista

 

Easy Crawfish Gumbo

20 minutes

2 hours

2 hours, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8

Easy Crawfish Gumbo

Ingredients

    For the roux
  • 1 cup oil (I used a medium-high heat safe unflavored coconut oil for a healthyish gumbo)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    For the veggies
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
    For the liquid and spices
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Squeeze of half a lemon
  • Dash or two of tabasco sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, or to taste. Check to be sure it's not super spicy as some of them are pretty darn spicy. Unless you like super spicy of course.
    Seafood
  • One 12-ounce pouch crawfish tails with fat (I find this frozen at my local market or seafood market)
  • 1 lb shrimp meat or bay shrimp
  • 1 10-ounce can clams, with liquid
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Garnishes
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Serve with white or brown rice or al la carte

Instructions

To make the roux
  • Begin with a heavy bottom pot, large cast iron pot or Dutch oven and place it over medium low heat. Add the oil and then whisk in the flour a little at a time. Be very careful making the roux, it's hot oil and flour and it'll burn if it splashes. I know this to be true firsthand.
  • The roux should come to a nice simmer and begin to turn from white to beige. The roux can take up to 45 minutes to make so be patient and have a cocktail ready to sip. Continue stirring as the roux continues to darken from beige to tan to a dark peanut butter color. If the color turns too quickly turn the heat down a bit lower. The ultimate color looks like dark chocolate. Be careful not to go beyond that or you'll burn the roux and have to start over.
  • To make the gumbo
  • Once the roux is a nice dark chocolate color, take the pot off the heat and add the veggies. Be careful when you pour in the diced veggies that you don't splatter yourself with the hot roux. Yep, I've done this before as well. Then put the pot back over low heat. The cool veggies should allow the roux to cool and to stop cooking. Continue stirring the vegetables for about five minutes and then add the liquid and spices.
  • Carefully stir in the stock, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, squeeze of half a lemon and a dash or two of tabasco. Then stir in your Cajun seasoning. Less is more at this point and you can always add additional seasoning at the end of cooking.
  • Keep the pot over low heat and let the gumbo simmer stovetop un covered for about an hour. This helps all those lovely flavors deepen and make the gumbo beautifully rich.
  • Next add the seafood to the gumbo and bring it back to a simmer. Simmer slowly for another 15 minutes and then season with salt and pepper to taste. This is also the time to tweak the seasoning. Adding a little more Cajun seasoning or tabasco or even another squeeze of lemon will lend well to the overall flavor of the gumbo. A pinch of Cayenne will increase the heat if you like it spicy.
  • Add about half the sliced onions to the gumbo and stir. Serve the gumbo warm over white or brown rice and garnish with additional green onions.
  • Notes

    This is my version of a crawfish gumbo. Most gumbo has a bit of andouille sausage or bacon in the mix but I like a simple gumbo without the meat. But feel free to add about 1/2 lb. of andouille sausage when adding the seafood. Do not add the cajun spices until after you've added the sausage as the andouille sausage can be salty, highly flavored and spicy. If you like your gumbo thicker, mix together 1 tablespoon corn starch with about 2 tablespoons cold water. Then stir it into the gumbo and bring it back to a lively simmer. This will help thicken the gumbo. If you like your Gumbo on the thinner side, add about 1/2 cup of water or as needed to the gumbo.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2018/02/12/easy-crawfish-gumbo/

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Irish Coffee Brownies

    Irish Coffee Brownies from Karista's Kitchen

    These Irish Coffee Brownies should come with a warning label! They’re rich in flavor and moist in texture and it’s hard to stop at just one.

    I remembered this brownie recipe this past week as I was thumbing through dessert recipes. I had an unshakable urge for a sweet and decided it was time to bake. Although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, when it does show up, I want something decadent and indulgent. These Irish Coffee Brownies met both my requirements.

    Baking is very much a science and takes a lot more patience than I’m used to. However, for me there is something quite therapeutic about baking. I turn up the music, usually Vivaldi when the clouds are low and it’s a cold rain outside, light some candles around the house to set the mood and then bask in the solace of the kitchen.

    Irish Coffee Brownies from Karista's Kitchen

    Although I love to sample my baking project, I don’t always need to eat them. Just the mere exercise of taking the time to bake something delicious feeds my hungry soul.

    Irish Coffee Brownies are a delicious way to make the winter weekend just a little sweeter.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love to ya!

    Karista

    Irish Coffee Brownies

    16 Brownies

    Irish Coffee Brownies

    Ingredients

    • 2 sticks butter
    • 1 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
    • 1 ½ tablespoons instant espresso
    • 4 tablespoons Irish Whiskey
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 cups flour
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 -2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Place the butter, dark cocoa powder and instant espresso in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat. When the butter begins to melt, whisk until the ingredients are smooth and incorporated. Take it off the heat and whisk in the Irish whiskey.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Then add the butter and cocoa mixture to the egg mixture to combine.
  • Next, in a small bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Then stir the flour mixture into the liquid mixture. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Butter a 13x9 baking pan and pour the brownie batter into the baking pan, smoothing out the top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the center is mostly firm.
  • Remove the baking pan from the oven and while the brownies are cooling prepare the icing. In a small bowl mix together the powdered sugar and the Bailey’s Irish Cream. Once the brownies are cool, slice and place them on a platter and then drizzle with the icing.
  • Notes

    Using a good quality cocoa powder is key to making these brownies, as some cocoa powders can have a bitter taste.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2018/01/26/irish-coffee-brownies/

     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

    Avocado Deviled Eggs

    Avocado Deviled Eggs

     

    Can I just say that Avocado Deviled Eggs are addicting? I’ll snack on a deviled egg anytime I find them or make them, however, the addition of avocado pushes the texture and flavor right over the edge. 

    I developed and photographed this recipe last year for one of my favorite clients. The article was about tea time and recipes I might pair with tea.  I know most of us think of sweets when we think of tea but I adore savory just as much.

    These avocado deviled eggs are so easy to make. I think the most difficult part is peeling the shell from the boiled egg. I’ve tried every trick in the book and the best thing I can say is just purchase high quality fresh eggs. Add a little vinegar to the boiling water and then gently peel. Some come right out of the shell and others look mangled once their peeled. I save those and eat them with a pinch of truffle salt.

    Avocado Deviled Eggs

    I typically boil eggs at the beginning of the week and the eggs that don’t get eaten after a few days are made into avocado deviled eggs. They make a delightful snack and healthy breakfast. They also make an excellent midnight nibble… for those of us who might need to raid the fridge after dinner. 😉

    Glorious avocado deviled eggs feeds the hungry soul in me. They’re healthy, deliciousness and pleasure all rolled into one. Enjoy!

    Delicious wishes and loads of love,

    Karista

    Avocado Deviled Eggs

    Makes 24

    Avocado Deviled Eggs

    Ingredients

    • 1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half and egg yolks removed
    • 1 medium avocado, diced
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/3 - ½ cup good quality mayonnaise
    • ½ teaspoon cumin
    • ½ teaspoon coriander
    • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
    • Fresh chopped chive for garnish

    Instructions

  • In a bowl, add the egg yolks, avocado and lemon juice. Mix to combine. Then add the mayonnaise, cumin and coriander and mix until the egg and avocado are smooth. You can do this in a food processor as well.
  • Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. (You can make the mixture up to this point and refrigerate both the egg white halves and the filling if needed. Then when you’re ready to serve, fill the egg halves and serve)
  • Using either a pastry bag or Ziploc bag, fill with the egg and avocado mixture. If using a Ziploc bag, cut a small piece off the corner of the bag.
  • Place the egg white halves on a platter and then pipe the egg and avocado mixture into each egg half. Garnish with fresh chive and serve.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2018/01/12/avocado-deviled-eggs/

     

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

    Tomato Bisque with Grilled Pesto and Provolone Croutons

    Tomato Bisque with Grilled Pesto and Provolone Croutons

    Tomato Bisque with Grilled Pesto and Provolone Croutons hit the comfort food spot this week.

    I’ve been a bit under the weather so this silky bisque seemed to be a perfect recipe for my current state of being.

    Am I the only one that is glad the holidays are over? I do love the holidays but by the end, I feel as if I’ve run short on energy. December was busy as I’m sure you can tell. I was hardly present on this blog!

    Truthfully, I’m one of those people who doesn’t multi-task very well. I always thought I was a good multi-tasker until one day I decided to give up that rouse and acknowledge my need for perfection – which gets in the way of multi-tasking.

    But you know, I’m sort of ok with that. Many years ago when my youngest daughter was standing in front of my desk, as I was typing away on my computer, and said to me “mom, mom, mom, I’m talking, look at me!”. Well if that didn’t stop me in my tracks.

    Tomato Bisque with Grilled Pesto and Provolone Croutons

    It dawned on me that day that I was a terrible multi-tasker and my kiddos deserved my undivided attention. Since then I’ve tried to be present in each moment; and that even means when I’m not feeling well.

    Which led me to posting this Tomato Bisque with Pesto and Provolone Croutons! If you don’t feel up to making those adorable croutons, just make the sandwich. It’ll all taste just as delicious and feels like one giant food hug.

    Happiest of New Years and many more delicious wishes!

    Karista

    Tomato Bisque with Grilled Pesto and Provolone Croutons

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Tomato Bisque with Grilled Pesto and Provolone Croutons

    Ingredients

      For the soup
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
    • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons white rice (jasmine or basmati)
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
    • ½ cup heavy cream
      For the croutons
    • 2-3 tablespoons butter
    • 8 slices thick white or sourdough bread
    • ¼-1/3 cup basil pesto
    • 4-8 slices provolone or smoked provolone

    Instructions

    For the soup
  • Heat the ghee or olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. When the ghee/oil is hot, add the diced onions and celery and saute until the vegetables are soft, about five minutes. Then stir in the garlic, smoked paprika, dried oregano and pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for one minute longer.
  • Then stir in the vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and then stir in the rice. Cover and simmer the soup on low for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is soft.
  • Once the rice is soft, puree the soup with an immersion blender or place the soup in a blender and puree. If using a blender, let the soup cool just a bit before adding it to the blender.
  • Once the soup has been pureed, place the soup pot back over low heat and stir in the teaspoon of sugar and red wine vinegar. Then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Last, take the soup off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. If you feel the soup is too thick it can be thinned with a little vegetable broth.
  • Serve with Grilled Pesto and Provolone Croutons.
  • For the croutons
  • Spread butter on the outside of each slice of bread. Spread pesto on the inside of each slice of bread. Place a slice or two of provolone on four slices of bread. Top with the pesto smeared bread and then place the sandwiches in the skillet and brown on both sides.
  • Let the sandwiches cool for about 5 minutes before cutting them into small squares like croutons. I like to skewer two or three croutons and then serve them with my soup.
  • Notes

    I adore these croutons prepared with sliced sourdough bread, but they can be prepared with traditional white bread or your favorite multi grain bread. On occasion, I’ll substitute sliced smoked provolone for the regular provolone - for a grown-up twist of flavor.

    Recipe first published in Home by Design Magazine December 2017 Issue

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2018/01/10/tomato-bisque-with-grilled-pesto-and-provolone-croutons/

    Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Salad vegetarian

    Salad Lyonnaise

    Salad Lyonnaise from Karista's Kitchen

    Warm soups and stews are typically what I like to serve during the colder months. However, this Salad Lyonnaise also makes a lovely addition to my seasonal menu.

    Traditional French cuisine is earthy, fresh, flavorful and fairly simple to prepare.  Classic French food can also be quite hearty – pleasing a table of very hungry diners. This Salad Lyonnaise is both hearty enough for an entrée and light enough to pair with a soup or stew.

    Salad Lyonnaise has been tempting taste buds for years and there is a good reason why – crispy bacon and a poached egg set atop fresh greens all tossed in a lovely vinaigrette.  

    I’ve given my Salad Lyonnaise a bit of a contemporary twist by adding in some baby spinach. As always, the poached egg sits atop the salad, just waiting for the pierce of a fork.

    This is a salad I serve year round. But I must say it feels the most special during the holiday season. The simplicity of ingredients is fitting for such an indulgent time of year. It almost feels like a light wool shawl encompassing chilled shoulders.

    ‘Tis a busy time of year and this year is no different. Although I’m not here often enough, I think of you every time I create something new and tasty. I’ve got quite a list of recipes to share in the new year; now to find the time to sit and write!

    My sassy gals are home for the holidays and my kitchen is in full work mode. The tree has been trimmed and all the decorations set up and the house smells of oranges and cloves and fresh pine from the Christmas tree. These are the moments I relish. Moments I reflect on throughout the new year and give thanks for all the love and good health in my life. I’m so very grateful for my friends and family – and for each of you that follow this life around my table.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Salad Lyonnaise

    Serving Size: 4

    Salad Lyonnaise

    Ingredients

      For the salad:
    • 8 ounces thick sliced bacon, chopped into smaller pieces
    • 1 head frisee lettuce, washed, shaken and lightly chopped
    • 1-2 packed cups of baby spinach
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
      For the poached eggs:
    • 4 eggs
    • 2-4 quarts of water, or as needed
    • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
      For the vinaigrette:
    • ¼ cup white wine or champagne vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 small-medium shallot, finely minced
    • ¾ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • To prepare the vinaigrette, add the vinegar, mustard, shallot and olive oil to a small bowl and whisk vigorously until smooth and emulsified. You can also add the ingredients to a jar, seal with a lid and shake until the vinaigrette is smooth and blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the bacon to the warm skillet and cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon fat and reserve the bacon pieces.
  • Toss the frisse with the baby spinach and divide among four plates. Top each plate of greens with the bacon pieces, chopped Italian parsley and chopped chives.
  • In a deep pan over medium heat, add 2-4 quarts of water, the distilled vinegar and salt and then bring the water to a gentle simmer. The water should be about 3 inches in depth. Break each egg into a small cup and then gently slide each egg into the simmering water. Cook until the egg whites are opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Top each salad with a poached egg and then drizzle with the French Vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/12/12/salad-lyonnaise/

     

     

     

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

    Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder

    Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder

    The taste is familiar yet somehow completely new. This gorgeous Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder is everything you want a chowder to be. It’s slightly creamy, infused with aromatics, potatoes, spices and smoked salmon.

    I have to admit, this chowder is a tasty change to the chowder I usually prepare. Although many of the ingredients are similar, Scandinavian cuisine includes an abundance  of fresh dill and allspice in their recipes.

    Scandinavian cuisine has always intrigued me. Ever since my dear friend, Maria, gave me her Aunt Dagmar’s Swedish Meatballs recipe, I’ve been hooked. Those tender and tasty gravy drenched meatballs are on a regular menu rotation in my house during the fall and winter months.

    When I planned to make my smoked salmon chowder for dinner this week I remembered reading about the Finnish Salmon Chowder called “Lohikeitto”, pronounced LOWHEE – KAY – TOE. A dish commonly found in Nordic countries but often varying in ingredients. Some say milk should be used rather than cream. But I’m a cream kind of gal so I used cream. 🙂

    Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder // Karista's Kitchen

    Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder is so simple to prepare and can be ready in about 30 minutes. I used 1 large leek and included one garlic clove minced for a smidgen of extra flavor. After sautéing the leeks and garlic, I added the cubed yellow potatoes and one carrot that I sliced into rounds.

    Instead of fish or seafood stock, which is traditional, I used vegetable broth. Traditional recipes typically use a quick homemade fish or seafood stock. But since I didn’t have any shellfish shells or fish bones, rather than buy fish stock I just used what I had on hand.

    I adore vegetable broth in the place of seafood stock. I do this often as some store-bought seafood stock is too fishy for me. You’d think I wouldn’t mind a fishy seafood stock if I’m eating a seafood stew or soup. But somehow when the broth is too fishy, it overpowers the actual fish in the soup or stew. Leaving me with fish flavors on my palate instead of all the beautiful ingredients combined. However, vegetable broth isn’t terribly overpowering in flavor and works well with most seafood soup and stew recipes. I’m not saying don’t use seafood stock. But if you can’t make your own and you don’t like a packaged brand, use vegetable broth as a tasty alternative.

    Once the potatoes and carrots were soft I added the cream, chopped fresh dill, allspice and smoked salmon. I let the soup come to a slow boil and then I let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes. After seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, I ladled it into our bowls and topped it with more fresh chopped dill.

    This Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder is such a treat to the taste buds. We loved it so much I’m making it again next week. 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder

    Serving Size: 4

    Scandinavian Style Smoked Salmon Chowder

    Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 large leek (or 2 small leeks) finely diced (white and light green parts only)
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3/4-1lb potatoes, cut into bite size cubes
    • 1 large carrot sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch rounds
    • Enough vegetable broth to cover the potatoes (about 3 cups)
    • 1 bay leaf (optional)
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • 10-12 ounces smoked salmon, shredded or diced (not the lox)
    • 1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
    • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • In a soup pot over medium heat add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the leeks. Cook the leeks until they are soft and wilted.
  • Then add the garlic and cook one minute longer.
  • Stir in the potatoes, carrot slices, bay leaf and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer and let it cook until the potatoes and carrots are soft. About 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the potatoes are soft, stir in the heavy cream, allspice, smoked salmon and about 3/4 of the chopped dill.
  • Let the chowder simmer for another 5-10 minutes. The starch from the potatoes combined with the heavy cream will allow the broth to thicken. It's not a super thick broth but it will be creamy.
  • Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Serve with sprigs of dill for a garnish and some warm crusty bread for dunking.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/11/30/scandinavian-style-smoked-salmon-chowder/

     

     

     

    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.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/11/14/goat-cheese-stuffed-peppadews/

     

    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!

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/11/06/spiced-pumpkin-pudding-cake/

    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.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/10/25/lentils-with-sausage-and-spinach/

    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. 🙂

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/10/19/cheddar-zucchini-drop-scones-and-a-giveaway/

     

    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.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/10/11/bacon-and-beer-cheese-soup/