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Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes // Karista's Kitchen

It seems I anguish over Thanksgiving side dishes every year.  

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

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

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

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

Maple Roasted Carrots and Parsnips from Alaska From Scratch

Maple Roasted Parsnips and Carrots from Alaska From Scratch

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

Perfectly Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci’s Morsels

Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Luci's Morsels

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

Cranberry, Wild Rice and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

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

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

Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes 

Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes // Karista's Kitchen

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

 

Mixed Greens and Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Nuts 

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

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

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

Loads of Love!

Karista

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Serving Size: 4-6

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

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

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

Notes

Created for Home By Design Magazine Retro Buffett Issue 2016

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Grilling Halibut Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Seafood Uncategorized

Papaya Red Pepper Salsa with Grilled Halibut

Papaya Red Pepper Salsa with Grilled Halibut // Karista's Kitchen

It’s the little things that make me smile.  When a cool, gentle breeze on a warm day catches me by surprise, unexpectedly finding a bright red tomato while I’m watering my garden, a random hello text from a friend, finding old photos of my sassy gals that remind me how sassy they were (and still are!) and walking the docks in Newport to find the prettiest seasonal halibut.

Just ask Ranger Craig, that halibut made me smile for at least an hour.

Buying Halibut right off the boat in Newport, Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

 

Fish boat on the docks in Newport, Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

I daydreamed all the way home how I was going to prepare that 13lb. halibut.  Yesterday it was Baja-style tacos with a chipotle crema and pineapple cilantro slaw and tonight it’s a Papaya Red Pepper Salsa with Grilled Halibut.  I could eat the Papaya Red Pepper Salsa with a spoon!

The docks in Newport, Oregon // Karista's Kitchen

The combination of fruit and fish has to be one of my favorite flavor combinations.  It seems the sweet from the fruit combined with spice from aromatics like onion and peppers pair so perfectly with the salty, briny and savory flavors of fish.  Whether it’s salmon, halibut, cod, snapper or sea bass, fruit seems to make most fish festive and a bit more intriguing.

Papaya Red Pepper Salsa with Grilled Halibut just might be your new favorite.  It’s certainly my new favorite of the season. 🙂

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Papaya Red Pepper Salsa with Grilled Halibut

Serving Size: 4

Papaya Red Pepper Salsa with Grilled Halibut

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced papaya (about 1 medium papaya)
  • 1 medium to large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, finely minced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chile powder
  • Squeeze of lime to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2lbs fresh halibut cut into four pieces
  • lime wedges for garnish

Instructions

Pre-heat the grill to 400F.

To prepare the salsa, combine the red pepper, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, ground chile powder and lime juice. Gently fold in the papaya and then season to taste with salt and pepper and give it just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

If you'd rather grill your halibut on a piece of foil or in a fish basket that works well. I have an electric grill with small grill grates so I typically brush my halibut with oil, season with salt, pepper and a little cumin or smoked paprika, or even my fave fish seasoning and then place it flesh side down on the grill. Halibut will stick however, so oiling the grill and your fish is key to success. If you are using foil, place the seasoned and oiled halibut on the foil and then place the foil on the grill. If you're using the fish basket, well you're already a pro!

Halibut will cook 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. Don't overcook the fish or it can become dry.

Once the halibut is done, place salsa on the bottom of plates and top with the grilled halibut. Serve with lime wedges and lots of white wine!

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