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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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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/11/06/spiced-pumpkin-pudding-cake/

    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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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/08/29/peach-upside-down-ginger-cake/

     

     

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

    Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And the good news? No baking required.

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

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

    about 18-20 balls

    Chocolate, Almond Butter Oatmeal Balls

    Ingredients

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

    Instructions

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

    You can substitute with your favorite nut butter.

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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/01/23/chocolate-almond-butter-oatmeal-balls/

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme // Karista's Kitchen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Makes 4, 4ounce cups

    Peppermint Chocolate Pots de Créme

    Ingredients

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

    Instructions

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

    This recipe is easily doubled.

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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/12/15/peppermint-chocolate-pots-de-creme/

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

    Serving Size: Makes 8-10 tarts

    Pumpkin Coconut Tarts with Caramel Sauce

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

    Ingredients

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

    Instructions

    For the Pate Brisee
  • If you don’t have pastry flour on hand, combine 2 parts all purpose flour with 1 part cake flour. (I keep this combination handy in a separate container, so I always have some ready to use.)
  • Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
  • Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse a few more times until the butter and flour resemble coarse pea sized pieces or a coarse meal.
  • As you pulse the food processer add the egg and water and pulse only until the dough is holding together in one piece.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead just a few times forming the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so, or overnight. Often I’ll make several batches of pate brisee and then keep them wrapped in the freezer, pulling them out when I know I’ll need them.
  • Remove the chilled disk from the refrigerator and roll it out with a wooden rolling pin. With a biscuit cutter or mouth of a drinking glass, cut out discs large enough to press into the mini tart pans. Fill all the mini tart pans and then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill them with the pumpkin filling.
  • Pumpkin Coconut Filling
  • In an electric mixer or blender, combine all the ingredients until well blended.
  • Caramel Sauce
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat mix together the sugar, butter, heavy cream and pinch of salt. Add a dash of vanilla if you like, or a dash of brandy.
  • Whisk the ingredients until it comes to a boil and then let it simmer for about 5-8 minutes or until it thickens.
  • Let it cool slightly and serve over the Pumpkin Coconut Tarts or Vanilla ice cream.
  • Finishing up
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Place all the mini tart pans on a baking sheet and fill each mini tart pan with pumpkin coconut filling.
  • Place the baking sheet of tarts in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the filling is nicely firm and crusts are golden.
  • While the tarts are baking prepare the caramel sauce.
  • Once the tarts are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Remove each tart and place onto a small dessert plate. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Toasted coconut makes a love garnish but is optional.
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    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes Sweets Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

    Our Premiere Digital Food Issue

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

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

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

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

    A View to Delicious // Karista's Kitchen

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

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

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

    Wishing you a very happy and healthy fall season.

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

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

    Holly Bower’s Zucchini Bread

    Holly Bower's Zucchini Bread // Karista's Kitchen

    Anyone else have exploding zucchini plants?  I’ve made at least half a dozen loaves of my favorite zucchini bread over the past month and this particular batch may not be the last.  This is because I purchased what I thought were cucumber starters and later found out I’d planted zucchini.  :/

    Not that I don’t like zucchini, I adore zucchini!  I sauté it with garlic and shallots, I roast it with parmesan and olive oil, I stuff it with sausage and then slather it with homemade tomato sauce, I make zucchini cakes, zucchini fritters, ratatouille, grill it, dice it fresh and then toss it into an Italian chopped salad and obviously, I make zucchini bread.  The only thing I haven’t done is make zucchini noodles – which is on the list for the next batch of zucchini.

    But I’d really had my heart set on those cucumbers. I was going to make pickles all summer long!

    Now, I realized my mistake just as the starters began to grow because zucchini grows up and cucumbers grow out.  I feel like a failed farm girl wannabe.  Hence the wannabe part.

    So now I have all this zucchini that I’ve been passing out to neighbors, along with zucchini bread, making an assortment of recipes with my abundance of zucchini and including it in every meal.  I’m not kidding.  If I tell my family the side dish is zucchini one more evening, I may have a revolt on my hands.

    The upside to all this zucchini are the array of delicious recipes to be prepared.  I adore them all but one of my favorites is this lovely zucchini bread recipe.

    When we lived in Washington state we visited the San Juan Islands often.  Ranger Craig is a private pilot and he’d fly us over to the islands for the day or a long weekend.  Our girls grew up exploring the islands every other weekend during the summers and I absolutely cherish those sweet memories.  One summer we rented a home on Lopez Island and biked, hiked, explored, ate loads of yummy food and visited the local bakery, Holly B’s.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this bakery visit was the highlight of the day.  Holly B’s bakery is well known around the islands and for good reason.  Her baked goods, pastries, sandwiches and soups are some of the most delicious in the area.   Everything is prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients and as Holly says “with lots of butter and a warm heart”.  This is why her cookbook is called “With Love & Butter“.

    I’ve dogeared almost every page and there are stains, butter and batter splotches all over the book.  Well used and loved.  Holly B’s zucchini bread recipe is simple to make, fresh tasting with just a touch of clove and cinnamon and moist and lush and everything a perfect zucchini bread should be.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love (and Happy Baking!)

    Karista

     

    Holly Bower’s Zucchini Bread

    1 medium loaf

    Holly Bower’s Zucchini Bread

    Ingredients

    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup mild tasting oil
    • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 1/3 cups coarsely grated unpeeled, firm zucchini, packed
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
    • 2/3 cup walnut halves (optional)

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F with the rack in the middle position.
  • This bread is very tender and baking parchment really helps keep the loaf together during removal from the pan. So, butter the loaf pan well, then line with 2 strips of baking parchment as follows: Fit one strip lengthwise covering the bottom and ends of the pan, and the second crosswise on top of the first to cover the bottom and sides. Don't worry about small spaces of pan showing through. Now butter the paper.
  • Mix together the eggs,oil brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Fold in the grated zucchini. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices and walnuts if using. Stir thoroughly into the wet ingredients, making sure no flour lumps remain. The batter will be quite thin, so lumps can be a problem.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake another 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan 30 minutes, then turn out, remove the papers and set on a rack. Cool completely before slicing.
  • Notes

    Use a 4x8 inch loaf pan I've doubled this recipe for two loaves and it turns out great. I have also subbed the flour with Jovial Gluten Free pastry flour and it was delicious. Just keep the bake time to about 45 minutes versus 60 minutes.

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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/07/28/holly-bowers-zucchini-bread/

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Summer Plum and Goat Cheese Tart

    Summer Plum and Goat Cheese Tart // Karista's Kitchen

    It’s that time of year when I have to exercise balance, moderation and sometimes restraint when I’m browsing the farm markets and roadside farm stands.  I tell myself every year I don’t need flats and flats of fresh fruit, but then my mind starts racing with recipe ideas and I once again become completely irrational and over-estimate my time for recipe testing.

    It’s fresh berry and stone fruit season here in Oregon and can you tell?  I am completely giddy with excitement.  Which is why this Summer Plum and Goat Cheese Tart happened.

    Bowls of fresh berries and summer stone fruit grace my kitchen counter most of the summer.  We eat the sweet, juicy and flavorful fruit right out of the bowl, add them to smoothies, make ice cream, bake quick desserts (because you know I don’t do fancy unless I have to) and I adore grilling stone fruit to pair with fish, poultry, pork and lamb as well as adding berries to savory salsas.

    If you’re like me and cook mostly seasonal, the plethora of fresh summer fruit is a lovely change for the palate and arrives just before recipe boredom takes over in the kitchen.

    Summer Plum and Goat Cheese Tart // Karista's Kitchen

    Because I always have puff pastry in the freezer, homemade jam and mascarpone or goat cheese in the fridge, I often make this fruit and cheese tart for a quick and not too sweet dessert.

    I adore using a mild creamy goat cheese with most berries and fruit but if you’re not a fan of goat cheese, mascarpone works just as well.  I don’t use any additional sugar, just a lovely glaze of jam over the fruit which allows the natural fruit flavors to shine.   The end result is a slightly crunchy, flaky pastry filled with fruit and cheese.  I love snacking on this Summer Plum and Goat Cheese Tart with a pinot noir port or a chilled Italian moscato.  The perfect ending to a perfect summer meal.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Summer Plum and Goat Cheese Tart

    Summer Plum and Goat Cheese Tart

    This is one of those desserts you can whip together last minute. It doesn't take a lot of effort and can be as "rustic" or as "fancy" as you like.

    Ingredients

    • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
    • 2 ounces creamy, mild goat cheese or mascarpone cheese
    • 4-5 plums, pitted and sliced, leaving the skins on
    • 1/4 - 1/3 cup plum or blackberry jam
    • 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
    • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional) for the top of the pastry

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Place your puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. When you open the puff pastry it will be divided into thirds, having been folded in thirds. Down the center third spread the cheese. Then place the plum slices evenly over the cheese.
  • Brush the plums with the jam. Then make 6 diagonal slices on each of the outer third pieces (I call them the wings) of pastry. This will create strips that you will use to "braid" over the cheese and plums, just like you would make an apple strudel. Once you've made the strips on each side, start with one side at one end and lay the strip of pastry over the fruit, then do the same on the other side, as if you were sort of braiding and continue until all the strips of pastry have been folded over the tart. The pastry will overlap each other a bit which is fine.
  • Once you've folded the pastry strips over the fruit, brush the egg wash over the entire pastry and then sprinkle with sugar if desired. Place it in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
  • Remove the baking pan from the oven and let the pastry cool before serving. You can substitute with sliced peaches, apricots, or fresh berries.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Orange Ricotta Cake with Whipped Sweet Mascarpone

    Orange Ricotta Cake with Whipped Sweet Mascarpone // Karista's Kitchen // Perfectly creamy, dreamy and slightly sweet

    It seems I’m on a ricotta roll and quite possibly a citrus kick.

    Last week I posted these lovely Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup and this week I’m all about zesty orange and ricotta cheese with this divine little Orange and Ricotta Cake.

    What can I say except it’s February.  The time of year I reach for all things citrus because “tis the season” for citrus and a little something dreamy and creamy to get me through the end of winter.

    Orange Ricotta Cake with Whipped Sweet Mascarpone // Karista's Kitchen // Perfectly creamy, dreamy and slightly sweet with a burst of Orange!

    Italian desserts aren’t terribly sweet in flavor, which makes them just as lovely to serve for breakfast as it is for dessert.

    This fragrant Orange Ricotta Cake is slightly dense like a cheesecake but lighter in texture and pairs deliciously with the sweet whipped mascarpone – tasting a bit like summer sunshine, teasing the palate with bright, happy flavors of zesty orange.

    A fun new feature I’ve added to the recipe print function is the BUY INGREDIENTS tab right under the recipe ingredients.  I’ve added this handy new tool from Chicory to help make purchasing ingredients and cooking just a little simpler.  Chicory helps you find the best food delivery service should you be in a pinch and need items for a last-minute dinner party, brunch or even a cupcake party at your children’s school. Or maybe you’re just too busy to stop at the market on the way home.

    Chicory automatically detects your zip code when you click, and will recommend the grocer that’s best for your area.  In some areas, up to three grocers are available, currently.  As for products, they make the best product match possible based on the name of the ingredient listed.  If there are two “oatmeals,” say, that match well, then they default to the most cost-effective option. You have the option to swap out products using the “Change” feature.

    Just a little added convenience for creating delicious and healthy food for you and your family.  🙂  Let me know if you try it and how you like it. Thanks!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Orange Ricotta Cake with Whipped Sweet Mascarpone

    Serving Size: 8

    Orange Ricotta Cake with Whipped Sweet Mascarpone

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 4 eggs
    • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed and heaping
    • 2 cups whole milk ricotta
    • 2 large oranges, zested
    • ½ teaspoon orange extract
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¾ cup of whole milk
    • 1 8-ounce container of mascarpone cheese
    • ¼ - 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F .
  • Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Shake out the excess flour and set aside.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and brown sugar until light and creamy. Then whisk in the ricotta cheese, oil, orange zest, orange extract and milk until blended.
  • Next, mix in the flour and baking powder mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and firm to the touch.
  • Let the cake cool for about 5-10 minutes, then turn it onto a cake plate.
  • While the cake is baking, whisk together the mascarpone, heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  • When the cake has cooled completely, spread the sweet mascarpone on top of the cake and serve. Garnish with additional powdered sugar if desired. This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Notes

    I originally created this for Home By Design Magazine's Dec/Jan 2015 Issue.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sweets

    Chocolate Brownie Trifle with Salted Caramel Sauce

    Chocolate Brownie Trifle with Salted Caramel Sauce

    The mere sight of a salted caramel sauce makes me swoon. Creamy, indulgent, with a deep golden color and sweet, salty flavor that completes this chocolate brownie trifle.

    I woke up this morning, sipped my coffee while Tank not so gracefully plopped in the center of my lap (his name is Tank for a reason) and caught up on Sunday morning news, when I realized it was my running day.  The weather outside is so horrific I decided to pass on a run and thought I’d move on to yoga this morning.  As you can tell I am not doing yoga right now.  Instead, I’m sharing this over the top decadent dessert because I’ve had this lovely little sweet on my brain the last few days.

    I adore trifle.  Any kind of trifle.  I think it’s the creamy texture of the pudding combined with cake or cookies or English biscuits, ladyfingers or even brownies.  

    It also carries a little sentimental value. My Grandmother used to make me her version of trifle.  She’d make pudding and then layer it with her English biscuits.  She’d bring it to the table for tea time and we’d share a dish while chatting about good manners and table etiquette and learning how to properly sip tea.  A moment suspended in time, in my memories, creating my love for life around the table.

    Chocolate Brownie Trifle with Salted Caramel Sauce

    As I was thinking about this Chocolate Brownie Trifle the past few days, I thought it would make a delicious addition to the Christmas dessert table.  Served either in one large trifle bowl or in smaller individual glasses or dishes – which is how I serve trifle most often.  I find this dessert so tempting, so audacious, that one needs to claim their own container of this Chocolate Brownie Trifle… not to be shared with anyone.

    Now that I’ve shared, I’m off to practice yoga while Tank sits at the end of my mat staring me down because we haven’t gone for our walk.  Enjoy your Sunday and take a little time for some indulgence today. 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chocolate Brownie Trifle with Salted Caramel Sauce

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Chocolate Brownie Trifle with Salted Caramel Sauce

    Ingredients

    • 4 -5 cups 1-inch chocolate brownie squares
    • 4 cups prepared custard or vanilla pudding
      For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
    • 1 stick of butter, 8 teaspoons
    • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
    • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon of fleur de sel (sea salt)
      For the Whipped Cream:
    • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar

    Instructions

  • To prepare the caramel sauce:
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the brown sugar until combined.
  • Add the cream and then bring it to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce to a low simmer and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the vanilla and sea salt until combined. The mixture will thicken as it cools so you will want to warm it slightly before using.
  • To prepare the whipped cream:
  • In an electric mixer, add the heavy cream and whisk on medium speed. While mixing add the powdered sugar and then mix on high until the whipped cream is stiff and dollops nicely.
  • To assemble:
  • Using four to six shallow glasses, wine glasses or martini glasses place a layer of brownies at the bottom of each glass. Top with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, then a layer of custard. Repeat with another layer of brownies, sauce and custard.
  • Top with a dollop of whipped cream and then drizzle salted caramel sauce over the top and serve.
  • Notes

    I created this yummy little dessert for the good folks over at Home By Design Magazine. 🙂

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets

    Pear and Cardamom Crisp

    Pear and Cardamom Crisp with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

    Have you ever tasted an ingredient that made your taste buds fall instantly in love? Cardamom is my instant love ingredient and it couldn’t pair more beautifully than in this Pear and Cardamom Crisp. 

    I know, I often associate emotions with ingredients.  It can’t be helped.  So I will regale you with yet another tale of my childhood. (can you see me smiling?)

    It started when I was little and I could smell Grandpa’s coffee brewing in the wee hours of the morning.  Grandpa got up before the sun and always spent a quiet hour sipping his coffee while deep in thought and ponder. I’d sneak out of the guest room and walk down the long hall that led to the kitchen and where I would be greeted with a toothy grandpa grin.  He’d ask me if I’d like to join him for a cup of joe, that it would make me tough and grow up faster.  Then he’d laugh and smile again.  He was a crusty old soul but a sweet pile of marshmallows with his grandchildren.

    Scent, taste, touch and often sight, all play a large roll in how we perceive food and if it feels worthy of our taste buds.  This Pear and Cardamom Crisp meet all those requirements and can be visually enticing. Which is perfect when you’re serving this for a dinner party.

    The soft, silky texture of baked pear and the floral citrus scent of cardamom makes this Pear and Cardamom Crisp perfect for any occasion.

      I thought I’d dress it up even more and top it with a Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream.  Because who doesn’t love whipped cream?

     

    Pear and Cardamom Crisp ready to given as edible gifts

     I do love a large baking dish of fruit crisp, often making gift size dishes to give to friends and neighbors.  For a festive celebration or dinner party, this Pear and Cardamom Crisp is gorgeous in individual ramekins and then topped with edible flowers or even a few lavender buds or sprinkle of vanilla sugar.

    Although it’s a simple preparation, this is a beautiful and delightful dessert.  Sweet, yet fragrantly spiced – and it would work well for a brunch or a holiday dessert.  Sometimes I make a large baking dish of Pear and Cardamom Crisp on the weekend and then my family nibbles on it throughout the week.  Occasionally having a scoop for breakfast ( I see the fork marks in the pan but no one admits to it) and always a little dish at night after dinner. A special seasonal treat that always makes my family smile (and apparently sneaky).

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Pear and Cardamom Crisp

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Pear and Cardamom Crisp

    If you love cardamom this just might be your new favorite spring dessert. Simple to prepare and a delight to the senses. Sweet and fragrant and a perfect way to end a spring meal. It can be prepared in an 8x8 or 9x11 pan or individual ramekins.

    Ingredients

    • 3 – 3 ½ lbs ripe pears, cored and sliced
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • ½ cup all purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • Pinch of salt
    • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the baking dish/dishes
    • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
    • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F
  • Grease one 8” or 9” baking dish with butter or 6 – 8 oven safe ramekins. If using ramekins or small oven proof dishes, place them on a baking sheet.
  • Mix together the 3 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cardamom. Toss the cardamom sugar with the sliced pears. Place the sliced pears in the baking dish or divide among ramekins.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the rolled oats, flour, dark brown sugar and pinch of salt. Then mix in the butter. I like to mix this with my hands to make a well infused buttery crumble. You should end up with pea sized crumbles.
  • Spread the crumble mixture over the pears. Place the baking dish or baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the pears are bubbly on the sides and crisp topping is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let them rest while you make the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream.
  • In a kitchen aid mixer or with a hand held mixer, whisk together the whipping cream, vanilla bean seeds and powdered sugar until thick and fluffy.
  • Once the crisp has cooled slightly, serve the crisp with the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream.
  • Notes

    I originally created this recipe for the lovely folks over at Home By Design Magazine.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets vegetarian

    Chocolate Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Fresh Papaya

    Chocolate Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Fresh Papaya // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m a little late on that promise!  I promised to post this decadent little recipe yesterday and I got completely side-tracked with other projects. I think my brain is mush these days.  I try not to multi-task and that’s the problem.  I like to focus.  Focus generates quality.  And I like quality; especially if it’s got my name on it.

    I found that my thoughts on this subject have been researched and I most recently came across this study conducted at Stanford University which states “Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully”.   I feel so validated.

    Yes, there are moments I am forced to multi-task.  But as I tell my children… it’s not my favorite.  These are the words I often say when one of them is standing in front of my desk talking and all I see are lips moving because I’m so focused.  This does not make my people happy – but I know they will completely understand one day.

    Until then, let’s eat chocolate!

    I created this lovely recipe this past spring for the fabulous folks at Home By Design Magazine.  However, I’ve been making this Mexican Chocolate Sauce for years.  The one thing I love about chocolate?  It’s not seasonal!  Which is great news because I have to admit, I keep a chocolate drawer in the kitchen.  And I have a little piece each day.  Unless I indulge in a slice of this cake, slathered with the chocolate sauce and topped with fresh papaya.

    If you’re not keen on baking a cake during this hot summer season, just buy one.  But definitely make the sauce and find a fresh papaya.

    Perfect for a weeknight, weekend dinner guests or a weekend barbecue.  And I’ve been known to have a slice for breakfast.  🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Chocolate Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Fresh Papaya

    Serving Size: 8

    Chocolate Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Fresh Papaya

    Ingredients

      For The Cake
    • ¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
    • ½ cup boiling water
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • Papaya slices
    • Sprigs of fresh mint (optional)
      For the Sauce
    • 8 ounces dark chocolate, crumbled
    • ½ cup heavy cream
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 6 drops almond or coffee extract
    • Pinch of cayenne

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease a standard 5 x 9 loaf pan.
  • Whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or electric mixer, mix together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time while mixing and then mix in the unsweetened cocoa mixture until all ingredients are blended.
  • Add the flour to the batter and mix gently or on low speed until the batter is smooth and combined.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and place it into the oven. Bake the cake for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool 10 minutes before slicing.
  • To prepare the Mexican Chocolate Sauce, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave.
  • In a medium saucepan add the cream and water over medium low heat. Once the cream and water are heated through, whisk in the melted chocolate and cinnamon. Take the sauce off the heat and whisk in the extract and pinch of cayenne.
  • This sauce can be refrigerated up to one week. Re-heat as necessary.
  • To serve, top each slice with fresh Mexican chocolate sauce and papaya slices. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint if desired.
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