Browsing Tag


Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork Salmon Seafood Sweets

Superbowl Sunday Recipe Ideas

Superbowl Sunday Recipe Ideas // Karista's Kitchen

Have you planned your Superbowl menu yet?  I should have done that weeks ago but I finally narrowed it down to a few selections.

Slow Oven Baked Ribs // Karista's Kitchen

I’m definitely serving Ranger Craig’s fave Slow Oven Baked Ribs.  These are moist, succulent and full of delicious flavor.  Not to mention, so easy to prepare!

Asian Marinated Pork Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Mustard // Karista's Kitchen

Superbowl Sliders

My youngest gal and her teenage friends loves sliders, so I’m making the teen crew Asian Marinated Pork Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Mustard.  The marinated pork is so perfect for sliders but I often make this dish without buns and serve it over rice and steamed Bok Choy.

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema and Cilantro Slaw

My oldest gal and I are huge taco fans so I’m making my Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Cilantro Slaw.

Will I be cooking all day?  Probably.  But as my daughter once said to her friends “my Mom loves to feed people. It makes her happy.”  And so it does. 🙂

Peanut Butter Brownies // Karista's Kitchen

My crew also loves to indulge in a little something sweet now and again; especially at Superbowl Sunday.  So I’m making these lovely little Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies for a quick sweet that doesn’t require a lot of fuss.

Below is a list of these delicious recipes.  Click on the recipe title and it will take you to the recipe.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


Smoked Salmon Wonton Tacos

Lemon Cilantro Hummus

Bleu Cheese Baked Potato Chips

Southern Style Pork BBQ Sliders and Fennel Apple Slaw

Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos 

Retro Ham and Olive Bites

Rogue Spruce Gin & Tonic


    For one serving
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 - 3 ounces Rogue Spruce Gin
  • 4 - 5 ounces Tonic Water
  • Squeeze of fresh lime


  • Add crushed ice to an tumbler
  • Pour the Rogue Spruce gin over the ice
  • Next pour the tonic water over the ice
  • Give it a quick stir and squeeze of lime. Enjoy!
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin



    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork Salad Sassy Side dishes

    Chianti at Home for the Holidays with Southern Style Barbecue

    DaVinci Chianti at Home for the Holidays // Karista's Kitchen Southern Style Barbecue

    There are a few things I’m terribly traditional about.  A birthday dinner of choice on one’s actual birthday, ghost shaped pancakes on Halloween morning, pan seared beef tenderloin medallions with a Madeira wine sauce on Valentine’s Day and a Southern style barbecue around the holidays.

    Barbecue might seem a little out of place during the holidays, but at my house it’s a yearly tradition.  Mostly because my family loves barbecue and could dine on it year round.  The cooler holiday months also seem like the perfect time to capture a bit of summer whimsy within these festive dishes.

    Chianti at Home for the Holidays with Southern Style Barbecue // Karista's Kitchen

    Succulent and bursting with flavor, I pair a Southern style pulled pork with my DaVinci Chianti BBQ Sauce.  A slightly sweet and tangy sauce laced with my favorite Chianti wine.  With aromas of ripe plum and cherry accented by peppery notes, DaVinci Chianti is a medium bodied and well balanced wine; blending beautifully into a most lush and silky sauce.  It’s so delicious, my family will wrangle for the last drop of sauce.  You just might be tempted to lick your plate!

    Chianti at Home for the Holidays with Southern Style Barbecue // Karista's Kitchen

    Although I like a traditional coleslaw, for this meal I serve an elevated slaw of Apple, Fennel and Napa Cabbage, which is lightly tossed in a sweet dressing.  Along with the Southern style pulled pork, lush Chianti barbecue sauce and Apple Fennel Slaw, I also serve a delicious dish of homemade Baked Beans to round out the meal. After all, it’s not a barbecue without the beans.

    To celebrate our holiday barbecue, the table is set with holiday china while the music of the season fills the room. Our guests are seated, the Chianti is poured and our Southern style barbecue is served.

    Chianti at Home for the Holidays with Southern Style Barbecue // Karista's Kitchen

    It’s a festive occasion that feels special, and yet, warm and inviting with the enticing scent of earthy and rich flavors filling the house.  I love to hear the clink of glasses filled with the deep ruby colored DaVinci Chianti which pairs so perfectly with this holiday meal.

    When the dishes are empty and the last of the Chianti has been poured, it’s almost difficult to leave the table, lingering over conversation and a celebration of all that is most precious to us.

    Chianti at Home for the Holidays with Southern Style Barbecue // Karista's Kitchen

    This is a festive meal to serve for any holiday celebration. The recipes can be doubled to accommodate a large crowd and are fairly fuss free to prepare.  The baked beans can be prepped a day or two in advance and slider rolls or large barbecue buns can be served with the pulled pork, making for a lovely casual dining atmosphere or a sit down dinner.

    Cheers! to a most delicious and happy holiday season.

    Bon Appetito!


    Southern Style Pulled Pork with Chianti Barbecue Sauce

    Serves 6-8


    4-5lbs boneless pork shoulder, halved


    ¼ cup dark brown sugar

    1 teaspoon onion powder

    ½ teaspoon garlic powder

    ½  teaspoon black pepper

    1 teaspoon ground allspice

    ½ cup apple cider vinegar

    Slow cooker


    Pre-heat a slow cooker on high.

    Mix together the brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and allspice.

    Season the two pork shoulder pieces with salt and then brown on all sides.  Transfer the pork pieces to the slow cooker and season with the brown sugar mixture. Making sure to cover both pieces of pork.  Pour the apple cider vinegar over the pork pieces, cover with the lid and turn the heat to low.  Cook on low for about 7-8 hours or until the pork pieces are fork tender.

    Tip: When using a slow cooker to prepare a pork shoulder or beef chuck, it isn’t necessary to have a lot of liquid as the slow cooker allows these cuts of meat to cook in their own juices.

    Once the pork shoulder is done, shred with two forks and keep moist with juices from the slow cooker.

    Option: If you’d like, add a ¼ – ½ cup of the Chianti BBQ sauce to the pulled pork and serve with additional sauce on the side.

    Serve with barbecue buns or slider buns, Apple Fennel Slaw and Homemade Baked Beans. And don’t forget the Chianti!


    Chianti Barbecue Sauce

    Serves 6


    2 cups organic ketchup

    1 cup DaVinci Chianti wine

    3 teaspoons dry English mustard

    ¼ cup dark brown sugar

    ¼ cup unsulphured molasses

    3 tablespoons Worcestershire

    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


    In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat stir together the ketchup, wine, mustard, brown sugar, molasses and Worcestershire. Bring it to a simmer, turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes.  Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar.

    Because I like to use this sauce in my Homemade Baked Beans recipe, I usually double the recipe. It’s a travesty when I run out of sauce!   However, feel free to use a barbecue sauce of your choice in the Homemade Baked Beans recipe.

    Serve the Chianti Barbecue Sauce with Southern Style Pulled Pork, Apple Fennel Slaw and Homemade Baked Beans. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week. 


    Apple Fennel Slaw

    Serves 6 -8


    One medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shredded and fronds saved

    1 head of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded

    2 cups shredded apples, or thinly sliced apples and spritzed with a little lemon juice

    1 cup mayonnaise

    ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

    ¼ cup sugar

    Dash of hot sauce, optional

    Salt and pepper to taste


    Whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and sugar until well combined.  Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Set aside until ready to serve.

    Gently toss together the fennel, cabbage and apples.  Chop the fennel fronds and toss them on top of the slaw.

    Dress the slaw with half the dressing, using more if needed, just before serving.

    Serve with Southern style pulled pork and baked beans. 


    Homemade Baked Beans

    Serves 6-8


    4 ounces bacon, diced

    1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    3 15ounce cans navy beans, drained

    1/2 cup Chianti Barbecue Sauce, or a barbecue sauce of your choice

    1 small onion, finely diced

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 tablespoon Worcestershire

    ¼ cup molasses

    ¼ cup brown sugar

    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    Medium to large baking dish


    Heat the oven to 350F.

    Heat a large skillet and cook the diced bacon.  Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a dish and set aside.  Add a little olive oil if needed and sauté the onion.  When the onion is golden and soft, add the garlic and sauté another minute longer.  Add the bacon back into the skillet and stir in the beans.

    Stir in the one cup of barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, molasses, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.

    Pour the beans into a baking dish and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the beans are hot and bubbly.

    Chicken Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and The Writing Process Tour

    Pineapple Juice, soy sauce marinated and grilled chicken // karista's Kitchen

    Recently my friend and colleague, Wendy of Chez Chloe the food blog (and also by the same name – a gorgeous Home and Kitchen store on Orcas Island, Washington) asked if I would participate in an online writing process tour.

    Because I am completely nosy and curious about how other writers pen their poetic or educational prose, and because often, I stalk my favorite writers and then proceed to ask lots of writing related questions – I thought it would be fun to participate.

    What are you working on? 

    Hmmm… I think the best question would be, what am I not working on?  My work takes me in many different directions.  Which feeds my generous love for diversity in my daily schedule.

    Currently, I’m writing and testing recipes for a winter/holiday magazine issue for one of my lovely clients; writing and testing wine-pairing recipes for two more fantastic clients; writing and testing recipes for future issues of VRAI Magazine; writing food related content for an online e-commerce fashion and home accessories website; desperately trying to finish a small e-cookbook on salmon (to be released soon) and posting my personal recipes and musings on my website.

    How does your work differ from others of its genre?

    I learned a long time ago I’m not a traditional food blogger.  I tried. But I soon realized I arrived late to the party, as usual, and I’m not fiercely competitive.  I am however, passionate. Passionate about culinary arts, culinary education and quality, clean, local food.  I am passionate about the local farmer and how we can help each and every one of them sustain their farms. I am passionate about food products that use only the best, cleanest ingredients to help keep our bodies healthy.  In a sentence… I want my work to reflect my passion.

    I don’t typically write personal posts, going on and on about my day or how I’m feeling at the moment.  I don’t mind reading blogs that share more personal information, sometimes I rather enjoy them. But I feel my job and professional strengths are to inform, educate, inspire and sometimes amuse.  I love to laugh and I love to hear laughter.

    On occasion though, I might write about my sweet pup, Tank, who amuses me terribly. Or my two sassy gals – who make my life worth living.  Or my adventurous husband who always seems to take adventure to a new level.  He most definitely feeds my generous love of daily diversity!

    Karista's Kitchen

    The Bennett Five

    I believe my work only differs in that it reflects me.  It reflects my deep and profound love for what I do.  The passion, the art, the education and all the deliciousness that’s infused into every recipe and post I write.  I write to share. That’s how it all began.

    Why do you write what you do?

    I think I answered that in the paragraph above.  I’m famous for not directly answering a question.  Ask my husband.  He get’s half a novel with each question he asks.

    How does your writing process work?

    This too differs daily.  I develop recipes, write content about the recipe and photograph the recipe. Each portion is equally important, which is why I give lots of thought and research to every recipe I develop.

    Writing the related content about the recipe depends on my clients specifications.  Much of what I write is written specifically for the publication and their demographic.  I tailor the content as beautifully as I can, weaving in non-fiction stories if warranted, or poetic verse about the season.

    When I write, it’s usually always while sitting at my small, rather rustic, painted black desk in front of a window that faces east… with morning light.  Sometimes I play a little Josh Bell or cello music.  Vivaldi is my preferred music to write by, but on occasion some Wailin Jenny’s or Allison Krause will do the job.  I like the house to be quiet when I write. Which is why I write in the morning.  I never, ever answer my phone while I’m writing.  In fact, I turn it off.  This annoys my children.

    There are times when I’m testing a recipe – cooking, plating, photographing – when verse will come to mind and I’ll stop and jot it down.  I keep pens and notepaper all over the house and in my handbag.  I never know when something inspirational will pop into my head and I’ll need to write it down.

    Often my husband and I will be out and about or having dinner somewhere and I’ll grab my phone and start making notes.  It’s amazing how so many things around me can inspire me.  A beautifully plated creation at a new restaurant, a farmer’s market brimming with brilliantly colored produce,  dark and ominous storm clouds rolling past, threatening to unleash at any moment; an older couple strolling the sidewalk holding hands or a songbird singing his best song outside my window.  Little things that provoke or awaken and inspire.

    pineapple and tamari marinated grilled chicken // Karista's Kitchen

    Today, I’m sharing a recipe as well. This, a consolation for reading my very wordy post.

    This grilled chicken dish is one my husband and I have been making for at least the last 20 years. Prior to culinary school the marinade was extremely simple.  Teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice.  Recently I jazzed it up a bit adding garlic and honey and using gluten free Tamari instead of a Teriyaki sauce.

    Flavorful, moist and juicy grilled chicken that will have you licking your lips.  I serve this dish with my Carrot Cilantro Salad or my Mother in laws Macaroni Salad.  Perfect for the casual summer barbecue.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

    This is one of my simplest chicken recipes.  So easy, so delicious and perfect for a casual summer meal.

    Serves 4-6


    4-5lbs bone-in, skin on, chicken pieces (breast, legs, thighs)

    3 cups pineapple juice (not sweetened)

    10 ounces Tamari (soy sauce)

    1/4 cup honey

    4-5 garlic cloves, smashed

    1/4 cup sliced green onions for garnish


    Whisk together the pineapple juice, Tamari, honey and garlic.  Place the chicken pieces in a large non-reactive dish or bowl and pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.  On occasion, I’ll prepare it first thing in the morning and it’s ready to grill by dinner time.

    Heat the grill to at least 400F.  Brush the grill grates with oil.  The chicken will stick at first, but should turn easily after a few minutes.  Watch the flame as the marinade can burn.  Turn the chicken a few times while grilling and in between turns, keep the grill lid down so the chicken will cook evenly.  Adjust the heat as needed.

    The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165F.  Depending on the type of grill you use it will take about 20-30 minutes.  Place the chicken on a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with grilled corn on the cob and my Carrot Cilantro Salad or Macaroni Salad.  A perfect summer meal!




    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs

    oven baked baby back ribs from

    If there is one thing the Bennett Crew loves, it’s a barbecue.  The deck table filled with Grandma Eilene’s Macaroni Salad, Chipotle Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob, Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes and this weekends highlight, Slow Oven Baked Ribs.

    Once the weather turns lovely, we dine outside every evening.  A tradition since the two sassy gals were little ones.  Running around the house with bare feet, sliding across the wood floors, onto the earthy wood boards of the outside deck.  Clean fresh breezes with the scent of pine and fresh turned garden dirt – all ceremoniously accompanied by the melodies of returning songbirds.

    After a few glorious minutes savoring the beautiful and fragrant evening, I can always count on a scruffy little terrier patiently sitting by my chair hoping a crumb will drop.  Life around my table is filled with continuous laughter, bright and cheerful eyes gleaming and sweet souls comforted by the connection of family and the love of good food like these favorite Slow Oven Baked Ribs.

    Ranger Craig’s grilled baby back ribs are a must at every barbecue. As well as his secret spice grilled chicken and bleu cheese burgers.  But this weekend I decided to make these slow oven baked ribs and then finish them off on the gas grill.  Perfectly seasoned and perfectly “fall of the bone” tender with just a little crisp on the outside.  You’ll want to make extra because everyone will want seconds.

    This gorgeous meal is complete when served with my favorite DaVinci Chianti and a sunset filled sky that is gracefully announcing the return of summer.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Slow Oven Baked Ribs

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs


    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 slabs baby back ribs
      For the Barbecue Sauce
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or homemade preserves
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • Dash of cayenne


  • Line a baking sheet with foil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, onion powder, ground cumin, ground chili powder, smoked paprika and cayenne.
  • Rub the spice blend over both slabs of ribs. Let the ribs sit while you preheat the oven to 300F.
  • When the oven has reached temperature, place the baking sheet in the oven and let them bake for about 1 ½ - 2 hours, or a little longer should they be meaty ribs. The meat should be tender and easily separate from the bone when the ribs are done.
  • Once the ribs are done, brush with your favorite barbecue sauce, or use the sauce recipe below. If you like a crisp outside texture, fire up your gas grill and let the ribs crisp a bit over the grill. Or place directly under the broiler until you achieve the desired amount of crisping.
  • Slice up the ribs and place them on a platter. Serve immediately. These are also delicious re-heated the second or third day… if they last that long.
  • To make the barbecue sauce, mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust sweet and spicy according to taste.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin




    Grilling Salad vegetarian

    Grilled Romaine with Sweet and Tangy Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

    Grillin and chillin, that’s the way the Bennett Crew does summer.  We love our grill,  I guess I should say Ranger Craig loves our grill.  He’s the grill master around here and I’m ever so happy to relinquish that task.

    Suzie Q often requests her favorite grilled burgers and Tink’s favorite is definitely the slow grilled barbecue chicken that is so moist and delicious it falls off the bone.  What do I love most?  Everything!

    One of the yummiest compliments to all these delectable dishes is grilled romaine.  Top that crisp tender grilled romaine with my sisters fabulous sweet and spicy bleu cheese vinaigrette and the summer is complete.

    Rogue Creamery Smoky Blue... fabulous in this recipe!

    I love this vinaigrette over fresh chopped romaine or mixed greens.  And it’s “lick your plate” delicious over a grilled steak.  A big shout out to my twin sis, Kristin, for generously sharing her secret vinaigrette (not a secret anymore!) recipe that is now a staple in my house.

    My twin sis, Kristin, and inventor of this vinaigrette!

    Serves 6


    3 romaine hearts, halved vertically

    Olive oil

    Salt and Pepper

    1 clove garlic, minced

    1 tablespoon grated onion

    1 tablespoon ketchup

    1 teaspoon yellow mustard

    1 tablespoon sugar

    3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

    ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

    2 tablespoons water

    3-4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled (or more if you love bleu cheese)


    Pre-heat the grill to 350F, or heat a grill pan on medium high.  Brush the halved romaine hearts with olive oil on both sides and then season with salt and pepper.

    While the grill is heating, whisk together the garlic, onion, ketchup, mustard, sugar, vinegar, olive oil and water.  The dressing should be slightly pink.  Add just a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

    When the grill is hot place the halved romaine hearts cut side down on the grill.

    Let the romaine halves grill for about 1 – 2 minutes and then turn the halves over and grill the other side of the romaine for another 1 – 2 minutes.

    I like my romaine hearts just a little wilted with a bit of crisp still left in the romaine.  Ranger Craig however, likes his romaine hearts a little more grilled and wilted.  Feel free to grill them to your tastes.

    Take the romaine off the grill and place on a platter.  Sprinkle with crumbled bleu cheese and then drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Serve immediately.