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Book Reviews Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

Our First Digital Food Magazine!

Sweet Potato and Apple Tarte Tatin // Karista's Kitchen // A View to Delicious Magazine digital food magazine

Friends, we’ve launched our first digital food magazine called A View to Delicious.

I’m so excited to share this beautiful and mouth-watering food issue with you. It’s been a fun, challenging and adventurous project all rolled up into a magazine that I hope you’ll enjoy. We’ve filled the magazine with new seasonally inspired recipes, stunning visuals, stories about the pacific northwest life as well as healthy living tips and cooking advice.

And we’ve got our first review!

 “I just want to cook today. Make it all. Love the question and answer page! Things I’ve wondered answered. All the recipes simply put and so understandable. Gentle. Like you are wanting people to succeed not overpower them with your knowledge” ~Marni Zarr 

Along with VRAI Magazine Editor, Danny de la Cruz and Creative Designer Mary Jo Cadiz, we’ve created this premiere digital food magazine to celebrate the season and of course all things food, farm and healthy living.

My editor also talked me into a little “getting to know” section about me and how in the world I ended up in this most delicious profession of culinary arts. You don’t want to miss all the fun  –  cooking tips and techniques, cooking questions answered, new recipes, holiday recipe round-up and loads of cute farm animals. 🙂

Just click HERE  to purchase your downloadable copy!

A View to Delicious Magazine digital food magazine // Fall 2016 // Karista's Kitchen

Thank you friends for following along this delicious journey. I’d so appreciate if you’d share this post with friends and family or check out my Facebook page or Instagram page and share on our social media sites.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

 

 

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

 

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Tips and Techniques

Holiday Gift Guide from Karista’s Kitchen

Holiday Appetizers from Karista's Kitchen

I’ve got some special gifts I’d love to share with you, including links to these delightful appetizer recipes which you’ll find at the end of this post. 🙂

This Holiday Gift Guide is filled with products from very special companies and artists that I completely adore – companies and artisans with integrity in their products and their mission.  

Maybe you’re looking for that special gift for that special someone or for family members that seem to stump the gift giving every year.  I’m certain you’ll love one or more of these unique gift ideas that won’t break the bank but will warm the loved one’s heart.

I don’t know about you but I love Little Lace Box delivery day.  The excitement that wells up inside of me when I see that red little box on my door step is literally overwhelming.

A fruit spoon from Little Lace Box

My fruit spoon from Little Lace Box

Little lace box is dedicated to seeking out only the most talented and creative up-and-coming designers, whose products might not have even hit the market yet.  This year you can choose to “gift” your box to whoever you choose at any time during the year. This creates an easy and fun way to remember birthdays, holidays, special occasions or just because moments.

Not only can you subscribe to the gift box but Little Lace Box also hosts my Karista’s Kitchen store. We carry a gorgeous line of products on the website that are carefully curated for our customers from new designers and artisans. Truly the unique and special gift for that special someone.  

For the food lover or home chef in your life, I have two food companies that provide the perfect food gifts to give.

smoked salmon from Two If By Seafoods

Smoked Salmon from Two if By Seafoods and Barn2Door

Barn2Door is a marketplace to help consumers purchase clean, sustainable, local and regional food. This is a company near and dear to my heart. As a culinary professional with time spent in nutrition, I can’t advocate enough for local, clean, healthy food.

Barn2Door makes it easier to find local growers and food from your area, or specialty foods from other regions that ship directly to you, the consumer.  It’s truly a win-win for everyone – supporting our local farmers and food artisans and preparing healthy food for our family.

I’ve been a fan of Jovial foods for many years now. I bake with Einkorn flour and I use many of their pasta products in my recipes. Jovial has created this lovely Einkorn baking gift set that is the perfect gift for the home chef in your life. If you’d like to read more about the Einkorn cookbook and flour, check out my book review here.

Einkorn - Recipes for Nature's Original Wheat Fudgey Chocolate Brownies

Fudgey Brownie Recipe from the Einkorn Cookbook

If fine art is what you’re looking for, look no further.  A dear friend, who happens to be one of the most talented artists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, has an Etsy shop filled with her gorgeous prints.  Krystyna has an impressive resume and has sold her paintings and commissioned work all over the world.  I feel so lucky to own four of her prints, proudly displayed in my home.

Another friend of mine, Jim O’Donnell, is an experienced and amazing travel photographer, writer and archeologist.  He also has a lovely collection of photography prints that makes me swoon every time I see them.  Jim writes a fabulous travel and photography blog Around the World in Eighty Years.  You won’t want to miss it!  Jim O’Donnell prints make a perfect gift for the photography enthusiast, or for someone who is a connoisseur of photographic art.

Now I’m hungry and I want to go shopping. 🙂

Happy gift giving!

Karista

To find the appetizer recipes click on the links below:

Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly with Rosemary White Bean Puree 

Asian Salmon Cake Sliders

Sausage Rolls

Baked Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates 

 

 

Beef Chicken Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood Tips and Techniques vegetarian

Three Compound Butter Recipes

Grilled Fresh Corn on the Cob with Compound Butter // Karista's Kitchen

Have you ever grilled a piece of fish or chicken and then wish you had a little something to dollop on top – just for a little extra flavor and fun?

Compound butter is perfect for grilled, pan seared or roasted meat, fish and veggies.  

Just make a few of these compound butters and keep them in the fridge.  They will hold for several months and when you’re ready to use them just slice a coin of  compound butter and dollop it on your “hot off the grill” fish, meat or veggies.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Garlic Lemon & Thyme Compound Butter // Karista's Kitchen

Compound butter is simply butter that has been mixed with a few ingredients of your choice; like garlic & herbs or anchovies and capers or lemon zest and cumin…  and most often used to enhance a simple pan seared or grilled fish, meat and veggies.   I typically make my compound butters savory, but during grilling season I also make a sweet compound butter spiked with spices and vanilla beans to use over grilled fruit or cake.

You’re going to love these three compound butter recipes but feel free to experiment and make your own.  It’s a great way to use up the excess fresh herbs from the herb garden or citrus that might have seen better days. I also like to use finely chopped toasted nuts or cheese in my compound butters.

Summer is in full swing and using compound butter to enhance the flavor of our grilled meals makes a delicious ending to a busy day.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Three Compound Butter Recipes

Each recipe makes 8 tablespoons

Three Compound Butter Recipes

Ingredients

    Chipotle Orange Butter
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
  • One canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • Garlic Lemon Thyme Butter
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
  • Cilantro Lime Butter
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted sweet cream butter, room temperature
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

Compound butter can either be mixed by hand or in a food processor. If mixing by hand, add the ingredients to a small bowl and mix with a fork until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

If you are using a food processor, add the ingredients to the food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface and spoon the butter onto the plastic wrap forming a log. Fold the plastic wrap over the butter and twist the ends. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Notes

I created this recipe originally for the beautiful Home By Design Magazine June/July 2015

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Karista's Kitchen Pork Tips and Techniques

Spanish Chili (Carcamusa) from the book Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain

Carcamusa a Spanish Style Chili with chorizo, pork loin, pork shoulder, jamon ham, tomato frito, piquillo peppers and peas // Karista's Kitchen

I’ve dog-eared almost every recipe in this book – Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain by Chef Jeffery Weiss.  It’s taken me almost two weeks to finish reading it; not due to lack of time but because every page is so fascinating I couldn’t skip a word.

When my friend Traca Savadogo asked if I’d like to review this book, I jumped at the chance.  I’ve heard some words of praise for this book but I haven’t had the chance to read it and it definitely piques my interest.  Chef Weiss has more than 15 years experience as a professional chef, working with some of the most well-known and celebrated chefs of our time.  Chef Weiss is one of a select few Americans to earn the prestigious ICEX Culinary scholarship that allowed him to live in Spain, learn its regional cuisines and cook in the kitchens of top Spanish chefs.

Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain by Chef Jeffery Weiss

When the book arrived in the mail, I got that butterfly in the stomach, thrill of excitement one feels when getting a new book.  I couldn’t finish my work fast enough so I could sit on my sofa with a cup of tea and dive in.  I am deeply enamored with culinary anthropology and where does this gorgeous book begin?   With Spanish gastronomy and culinary history, along with a foreward by the James Beard award-winning chef, Jose Andres .  I was in culinary book heaven.   Lavish and comprehensive, the cookbook describes the history and evolution of various forms of Spanish charcuterie, Spanish pork butchery, charcuterie basics with recipes and photos that will make you want to eat the page.

Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain by Jeffery Weiss

Charcuteria not only features 100 mouth-watering recipes, it gives a detailed, informative and educational look at the traditional meat-curing and butchering techniques from the Iberian Peninsula; a spellbinding read of this unique Spanish tradition.  I’m not kidding when I tell you, Spain will be on your bucket list after reading this book.  And Spanish cuisine and the art of charcuterie will be your new food love.

Although I can appreciate and enjoy every charcuterie and recipe in this book, some of the ingredients may not be easy to find depending where you live; and some of us may not have a taste for a particular ingredient.  Yes, I’m speaking of blood sausages.  I think the two things I have never had an affinity for are blood sausages and haggis. I can prepare them, I just don’t eat them.  I often wish I had the adventurous palate of Anthony Bourdain.

So which recipe to cook for this review?  That was the question of the week.  I couldn’t decide, so I prepared three.

Habas con Jamon – a fresh dish of fava beans, basic sofrito, jamon ham, spring onions and mint leaves.

Garbanzos con Butifarra Negra – a dish of chickpeas, onions, flat leaf parsley, mint leaves, garlic, Butifarra Negra sausages, toasted pine nuts and spinach leaves.

Carcamusa – a Spanish Chili prepared with pork loin, pork collar, chorizo, onions, jamon, garlic, piquillo confit peppers, tomato frito and peas. This gorgeous dish is served family style with fresh bread for dunking.

Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain by Chef Jeffery Weiss

The flavors abound in these dishes – dancing on your palate while making one want to turn on the Spanish music and daydream of dining in Spain.

These recipes are so fantastic, two of the dishes were devoured long before I could snap a photo. I managed to reign in my hungry crew to snap a few photos before they started on the Carcamusa, a Spanish chili of sorts.  It was such an impressive recipe my family has requested it several times.

Because I live in the Willamette Valley, rich in locally raised pork, I’m usually able to find most ingredients for sausage and charcuterie.  I haven’t prepared any of the charcuterie recipes yet, but I did locate an authentic Spanish Cantimpalos-style chorizo that is divine.  Spanish jamon is typically easy to find at most gourmet markets or your local butcher or sausage vendor.  Fresh piquillo peppers are not in season here as of yet, so I substituted with jarred roasted piquillo peppers.  In the Carcamusa recipe, I list the original version of the recipe with a few substitutions.

A very long list of recipes to prepare from this book remains on my desk.  If I can keep my crew from diving in before photos, hopefully I’ll share a few more recipes with you.  One lazy weekend in the near future I’ll be trying my hand at making chorizo – always one of my favorite charcuterie.   Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain has been an immense pleasure to read.  What a delightful culinary treasure to have in my library of books for generations to come.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Spanish Chili (Carcamusa) from the book Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain

Serving Size: 4-6

Spanish Chili (Carcamusa) from the book Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 18 ounces (500g) pork loin, cut into large dice
  • 18 ounces (500g) pork collar (I substituted with pork shoulder), cut into large dice
  • Kosher salt as needed
  • 4 Cantimpalos-style or Riojano-style Chorizo sausages, cut into small dice (I used 2 Cantimpalos style Chorizo, these are dry cured sausages not ground meat)
  • 5 ounces (150g) diced Jamon or Lacon Cocido
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh bay leaves (I used one dry bay leaf)
  • 4 Piquillo Confit Peppers, minced (recipe follows) or (I used 4-6 jarred roasted piquillo peppers instead of making confit as I couldn't find fresh piquillo peppers)
  • 1 quart (950ml) Tomato Frito (recipe follows)
  • 11 ounces frozen peas
  • For the Piquillo Confit Peppers
  • 2.2lbs (1kg) of medium fresh piquiilo peppers
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey, such as rosemary, thyme or orange blossom
  • 2/3 ounce (20g) kosher salt
  • 1 ounce (25g) sugar
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 10 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • For the Tomato Frito
  • 2.2 lbs (1kg) of fresh tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) good Spanish extra virgin olive lil, such as piqual
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into thin julienne
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Granulated sugar to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until rippling but not smoking.

Season the meats with salt and pepper and add it to the saucepan. Sear for 4-6 minutes, until the meat is browned. You may have to brown in batches. Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.

Add the sausages and jamon to the saucepan.

Sauté for 10 minutes, until the sausage's fat has rendered. Transfer the sausages and the jamon to the bowl containing the meats.

Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves to the saucepan and season with the salt. Sauté for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are very soft and starting to brown. Add the Piquillo Confit (or jarred roasted Piquillo peppers) and sauté 10 minutes, until their liquid has evaporated. (I left a little liquid)

Add the tomato frito and the reserved meats. Bring the Carcamusa to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes more (I simmered for about 30 minutes) until the meat is soft and cooked through. Add the peas and warm through, then remove the stew from the heat and serve warm with crusty bread pieces.

For the Piquillo Confit Peppers

In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade, combine 1/4 of the peppers, the oil the honey and the salt. Blend or process on high, scraping down the sides, until the confit mixture becomes liquid. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 250F (120C).

Arrange the remaining peppers in a baking dish. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Pour the confit liquid over the top. Cover with foil.

Bake the peppers for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature. Serve Warm.

For the Tomato Frito

Make a sofrito - In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil for 4 minutes, until just rippling but not smoking. Add the onions and garlic and season with the salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft but have not taken on color.

Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut up the tomatoes into rough pieces. If you are using fresh tomatoes, chop them roughly.

Raise the heat to high. Add the tomatoes and season them to taste with the sugar, salt and black pepper. Fry the tomatoes in the sofrito for 5-10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring frequently for 30-40 minutes until most the water has cooked out of the tomatoes. Remove from the heat.

Process the mixture through a food mill with a fine screen (if you don't have one you can use a chinois or other fine strainer) into a large mixing bowl. If necessary, repeat until the puree is smooth. Taste the sauce and re-season as necessary with salt and black pepper.

If using the Tomato Frito immediately, transfer to a large food safe container and set aside to cool at room temperature. Cover and chill the sauce overnight. The Tomato Frito can also be canned in sterilized containers.

Notes

The Piquillo Confit is delicious with grilled meats and poultry, should you find the fresh peppers and decide to prepare the confit.

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Karista's Kitchen Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

Glam Neutral Holiday Table – Guest Post from Two Purple Couches

It’s a guest post today from Emily at Two Purple Couches!  Thank you so much Emily for this lovely post on holiday table décor. I adore Emily’s lifestyle, home and DIY blog ,Two Purple Couches, so I asked her if she would write a holiday table décor post for Karista’s Kitchen.  She so graciously obliged. I know you will enjoy it as much as I have.

————————————————————————————————————-

First off, I would like to say hello and introduce myself! My name is Emily and I blog at Two Purple Couches. I’m a color-loving girl who married a neutral-loving guy. Together, we’re learning the ins and outs of decorating and DIY as we put our own stamp on our home.

I am so honored and excited that Karista invited me to guest post here today, and we’re doing something a little different! As you may have guessed by now, I am not here to share a recipe, but some holiday home decorating ideas! I will be showing you how to create a beautiful table setting to host your holiday dinners! And if you head over to my blog, Karista is sharing a few delicious appetizers, perfect for serving to your holiday guests!

Bright Neutrals Holiday Table

Today I’m sharing a holiday tablescape, a look that I am confident you can recreate your own way! When I begin decorating my table for any holiday, I always look for simple elements that will make a stunning impression. And one of my favorite ways to do this is by using what I like to call “flashy neutrals”, meaning whites, silvers and golds with lots of sparkle and shine. Flashy neutrals are especially perfect for this time of the year, because they can easily carry your decor from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve!

Let’s start with the base for my table decorations: the runner and placemats. For the table runner, I wanted something with great texture. A piece of faux fur from the fabric store was the perfect touch, and maybe a bit unexpected! I paired this furry runner with sparkly gold beaded chargers and simple white porcelain plates. The salad plates have a hint of silver and gold around the edges, perfect for tying in with the flashy neutrals in my tablescape!

Gold Plate Charger

Now I’ll share how I pulled the centerpiece together. I find that breaking the length of my table into thirds works best for me, so the center section is flanked on either side by decor that mirrors each other in some way.

Gilded Milk Glass Centerpiece

For the centerpiece of my table, I focused mostly on creating it with candles: candlesticks, pillar holders, votives, tea lights, etc, all in varieties of clear glass, gilded glass, mercury glass and milk glass.

Cake Stand Display Holiday Centerpiece

I began by propping two gilded milk glass vases and a collection of votives on top of a clear cake plate. I added the white scalloped ornament and polar bear for some extra sparkle.

Mercury-Glass-Tablescape

I anchored each end of the table with my ornament wreaths (if you’d like to learn how to DIY your own, see my tutorial post here), placed a silver pillar holder in the center of each one, and topped them with mercury glass votives.

When my candles were all arranged, I filled in the gaps with other glittery things: mercury glass ornaments, decor and accessories.

Mercury Glass Pinecone Accent

I hope you’ve enjoyed my holiday tablescape! And I hope you’ll join me over at Two Purple Couches for more holiday decorating and DIY ideas!

 

Karista's Kitchen Salmon Seafood Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

How To Pan Sear Fish with a Quick Pan Sauce

How to pan sear salmon with a quick pan sauce

One of the questions I hear most is “how do I pan sear fish and make a quick sauce?”.  Pan seared fish with a quick pan sauce is one of the easiest meals to make.  And, it can be on the table in less than 20 minutes.  There is a method to this quick dish, which is why I’ve created a pictorial with step by step instructions for my September food article at VRAI Magazine.

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to achieve the perfect pan seared fish head on over to VRAI Magazine to snag this delicious pictorial.  And while you’re there, don’t forget to browse the collection of deliciousness created by our Co-Founder Kristin Hoffman of Baker Bettie, Lifestyle Editor, Sheri Silver as well as our enchanting food contributors.  VRAI Magazine Food is the perfect resource for your Fall and Holiday recipes.

Coming soon to Karista’s Kitchen…  I’ll be posting a Peruvian Stir Fry called Lomo Saltado and an apple dessert you won’t want to miss!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

 

 

Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Tips and Techniques

Summer Grilling Ideas and Recipes Round-up

 

Nectarine Chutney with Grilled Halibut // Karista's Kitchen

For some reason I always feel as if summer begins the day after 4th of July.  The weather feels warmer and dryer – and most people seem to have vacation on the mind rather than work.  This would be me.

Grilling season is in full swing and even though life feels just a bit more relaxed during the summer, on occasion I still draw a blank when it comes to dinner.  So when the good people over at Personal Creations put together their summer grilling guide they asked if I’d like to contribute to the fun as well.  Here are a few of my recipes, ideas and tips for the summer season.

1. Keep the grilling simple and go big on the salad or sides  – I love to marinate chicken and pork chops in all kinds of vinaigrettes and marinades.  I usually whip up my own vinaigrettes but in a pinch I’ll purchase a simple olive oil based vinaigrette and use it for a marinade.  One of my store bought fave’s is Newman’s Own  Caesar vinaigrette.  It’s one of my old stand by’s for marinating chicken.  It’s quick, easy and allows you the time to create the “big” salad or side.

Another quick and easy option is to whisk together 1 part balsamic vinaigrette with 2 parts olive oil, dash of honey, squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper.  This also makes a lovely marinade for pork chops or chicken.  I recommend letting chicken marinate for at least 4-6 hours and the pork chops for at least 2 hours, refrigerated.

Here are several links to a few of my family’s favorite grilled meats, poultry and fish:

Pancetta and Radicchio Wrapped and Grilled Scallops

Grilled Salmon with a Savory Strawberry Sauce

Yogurt and Pesto Marinated Grilled Chicken

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Chile Lime Chicken Burgers with Fresh Guacamole

Cilantro Salmon

Colombian Chimichurri for Steaks or Seafood

Tuscan Grilled Rib-eye

Summer Grilling Recipes and Menu Ideas from Karista's Kitchen

2. Go Big and Bold with Summer Salads – Summer is the crown jewel of produce.  All the glorious fresh greens, veggies and fruit just beg to be combined into big and bold salads of the season.

Here are a few salads that will get your salad creativity jump started.  Use the recipe as written, or get a little wild and crazy and use the recipes as a guideline for your own creations.

Cucumber Greek Salad

Carrot Cilantro Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Ginger Peanut Dressing

Arugula and White Bean Salad with a Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad

Spicy Cabbage Salad

Summer Salads from Karista's Kitchen

3. Get a little Saucy! – If you’re not a fan of marinated meat, poultry or fish, or you forgot to marinate (that would be me)…  no worries, because there is always a sauce option.  Another great way to grill your fresh meat, fish, poultry and veggies simply – and then pair with a delicious sauce.

Check out my post on:

10 Sizzling Summer Sauces

And just for good measure… here are a few of my blogging friends summer creations!

Grilled Citrus and Chicken Skewers from Pink Patisserie

BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad from Alaska From Scratch

Berry Salsa from Taste, Love and Nourish

Plantain Chips with Chorizo, Guacamole and Pickled Jalapeno’s from Everyday Maven

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

Karista's Kitchen Tips and Techniques

Kitchen Love

Meyers Clean Day Lavender Dish Soap Karista's Kitchen

I’m often asked about favorite kitchen and cooking products, equipment, tools, tips and techniques.  Because I adore sharing what I’ve learned and discovered over the years, I’ve decided to post every month about my kitchen favorites.  Some months it will be products, tools or equipment and some months I’ll post a video of a specific cooking technique – like pan searing salmon.  My sister has begged me to post this one for years.

I’d love for you to join me!  If you have a pressing question about a kitchen or cooking product, equipment, tool, cooking technique and the like, I’d love to hear from you.  Just leave a comment below and I’ll answer it the next Karista’s Kitchen tips post.

Environmentally friendly cleaning products are a must for me.  I’m not keen on the overly scented and heavily colored dish soaps, but I do want a product that actually cleans well.  Because you know, I create a little disaster in my kitchen daily.  There are several natural brands of dish soap that I like, but Meyer’s dish soap in Lavender is my absolute favorite.  It’s delicately scented but cleans the heck out of a skillet.  Leaving my hands soft and lightly scented, and my kitchen smelling clean and fresh like a blooming lavender bush in summer.

Karista's Kitchen Tips, Techniques, Bits and Bobs

Several years ago my dear friend Heidi, gave me a beautiful little juice glass filled with a set of measuring spoons to keep on the countertop for quick and easy access.  I loved the idea and I’ve used it ever since.  Although, I managed to knock the beautiful little glass off the counter to its demise.  Now I keep them in one of my handy glass jam jars.

Speaking of glass jars… this is my favorite way to store dried herbs and spices.  It makes buying in bulk easy, cost-effective and keeps the herbs and spices fresh.  Be sure to rotate your herbs and spices every six months.  Which is why buying in bulk is so cost-effective.  You can buy as much or as little as you need.

I also store my fresh herbs in these lovely little jars.  It feels like a little herbal flower garden on my counter.  This works especially well if you are growing your own herbs and end up with an abundance of fresh herbs.  I fill my jam or food jars with cold water and then place the fresh herbs in the jar of water. I set them on my counter, on my window sill – or in the frig if it’s super hot outside.  This keeps them fresh for a longer period of time.  Once they start looking sad and wilted, I place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and set them out for a few days to dry.  Then pull the dried leaves off the stems and store them in one of those handy glass containers.

There are lots of natural produce cleaners on the market these days.  I just happen to have always used Biokleen.  It cleans well, leaves no residue and it’s made from grapefruit extract.  I can find it in most markets and keep several extra bottles on hand for all that fabulous summer produce.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

*This is not a sponsored post.  Just a few of my favorite things 🙂