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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salad vegetarian VRAI Magazine

Blueberry and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts

Blueberry Spinach Salad with Goats Cheese and Toasted Walnuts

There are loads of fun and exciting things happening at VRAI Magazine, besides this delish recipe of course.

VRAI Magazine is designing our first ever digital issue for the holiday season.  We are so excited about all the fabulous stories, recipes, travel, DIY, Fashion and lifestyle articles all surrounding the holiday season.  We’ve launched a Kickstarter video and we’d love your support!  Click  HERE and check out the video.  You’ll get to see and hear from all of us.  Including a snippet from Moi. 🙂

VRAI Magazine is also where you’ll find this lovely and seasonal salad recipe.  Click HERE for the recipe.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Halibut Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

Blueberry Ginger Salsa with Roasted Dover Sole


Blueberry Ginger Salsa over Halibut // Karista's Kitchen


I wrote this post in 2013. It seemed cooking was just as therapeutic then as it is now. To preface this Blueberry Ginger Salsa recipe… 

This Blueberry Ginger Salsa is a result of my love for fish and fruit (and an overflowing mint plant).  I’ve always felt fish and fruit were two fresh ingredients made for each other. The salty essence of the seafood combined with the fresh sweetness of the fruit is complimentary in flavor and intoxicating to the palate.

Just like seafood, grilled chicken also pairs well with most fruit and it pairs especially well this Blueberry Ginger Salsa.  On occasion, I’ll whip up this salsa and serve it as a starter with seasoned pita chips and creamy goat cheese.  However, most of the time you’ll find yourself eating this Blueberry Ginger Salsa with spoon.  It’s that good!


Funny how sometimes life rolls in a direction never anticipated.  Catching us by surprise, with both trepidation and promise.

It’s been an eventful year for my family.  My first-born conquering a long and tedious health challenge, my youngest discovering the heartbreak and joy of her first year in high school.   A brilliant year of cooking classes filled with the most wonderful home chef’s I’ve ever met.  New clients, new colleagues, new recipes and articles created and new friends made.   And we’re only half way through the year!

Change happens.  It’s inevitable.  I’ve had a lifetime of change.  I thought I’d become familiar with the word, until I realized the memories I will soon leave behind.  Yes, we’re moving down the road a bit, to a darling little town in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Still the beautiful Pacific Northwest that I know and love.

It’s bittersweet.  I have the best friends here.  Friends who bring our grieving family delicious baked goods, flowers and cards when our sweet old Airedale, Elwood, passed.  Friends who cooked meals for a week when my sweet oldest Sassy Gal came home from surgery.  Beautiful flowers arriving daily, cards that expressed love and sympathy, happy thoughts and prayers.

Karista's Kitchen

Friends that have loved and continue to love my children like their own.  I love that.  I’ve always felt it takes a village to raise a child.

I know my friends and I will remain close.  After all,  this is the era of social media and I’ll only be a few hours down the road.  But I will miss them.

Brilliant, strong, independent, artistic, supportive, beautiful women who have made a huge impact on my life.  I would list you all, but I’m afraid I might miss someone!  You know who you are.  I love you!

So, in a few weeks, Karista’s Kitchen will have a new home on the world-wide web.   And, Karista Bennett (and the Bennett Crew) will make their new home in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.

I proceed with trepidation, but also promise.  Promise of new discoveries, new challenges, new ideas, new farms to visit, new places for Ranger Craig and I to fly :), new recipes to share and new friends to be made.

It may take me a few weeks until I post next.  I’d like to say I’m a good multi-tasker, but unfortunately, that will never be included in my list of talents.

So until next time, I wish you happy trails, lots of summer sunshine, good health and loads of love!

Delicious Wishes,


Savory Blueberry Ginger Salsa

Savory Blueberry Ginger Salsa


  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small - medium shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint (extra for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl, gently toss together the blueberries, shallot, fresh ginger, chopped mint, olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let it sit room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. This will allow all those delicious flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • I love to serve this salsa with grilled chicken or fish. Or, for a starter, serve with seasoned pita chips and creamy goat cheese.
  • Notes

    I’ve paired this salsa with fresh Dover Sole that I seasoned, rolled and then pan seared in a skillet with a tablespoon or two of ghee. Dover sole is such a delicate fish, sometimes it’s easier to prepare when it’s rolled and cooked. You can also place these Dover sole rolls in a greased baking dish and then pop it in a pre-heated oven at 350F. Brush the fish with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and cook just until done. A good rule of thumb for cooking fish is to cook 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

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    Halibut Seafood

    Blueberry Ginger Salsa with Grilled Fresh Halibut

    Blueberry Ginger Salsa with Fresh Mint

    I discovered something about myself this weekend.  I really love to talk ( I should know this, my two sassy gals tell me often).

    I like talking much more than writing.  Sometimes when I’m writing I try to imagine you sitting in my living room chatting over a steamy cup of fresh hot coffee and snacking on slightly sweet and buttery scones. The kind with those little crunchy sugar sprinkles on top. 🙂

    Blueberry Ginger Salsa with Fresh Mint

    I adore meeting new people.  Learning about what they do and what they might be passionate about.  I love it when I’m deeply touched by their story or intrigued by their special talents.  I met many of those people this weekend at the BlogHer Food Conference here in Seattle.

    All attending for the collective love of food.  But all different in life stories and experiences.  Unique and fascinating.  I was pleasantly overwhelmed.  And somewhat disappointed.  All at the same time.

    Blueberry Ginger Salsa with Grilled Fresh Opah

    Overwhelmed with the feeling of being blessed with new friendships, acquaintances and delicious memories.  Disappointed with how much I thought I knew, but really don’t know.  I gained a mountain of insight, information and a good dose of reality.

    What delights me most is how many new friends I’ve gained.  How many deliciously wonderful professional women (and one man!) I had the pleasure of meeting.

    I’d love to share them with you.  All lovely, deeply passionate, professional, knowledgeable individuals who have now made my life much richer.

    Kelley at

    Kayln at

    Heidi at

    Irvin at

    Veronica and Yvette at

    Melanie  at

    Erina at

    Janelle at

    Emmy at

    Keren at

    Thank you for being SO PATIENT.  It’s been a while since I posted a recipe and certainly an unintentional hiatus.  Just know that if you don’t get a new recipe in your inbox on a regular basis, I’m teaching fun and exciting cooking classes, or cooking for my fabulous clients, family and friends.  Or maybe I was at a food conference.  🙂

    Loads of Love,


    Blueberry Ginger Salsa with Grilled Fresh Halibut

    I love this salsa served with grilled white fish.  My favorite pairing is with halibut, but black cod, opah and grilled scallops are equally divine.   Delicious Wishes!

    Serves 4


    1 pint fresh blueberries

    1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped shallots

    ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (cilantro would also be a delish substitute!)

    Squeeze of Lemon (about a tablespoon)

    Dash of Olive oil (a few teaspoons)

    Teaspoon or two of honey

    Salt and pepper


    Half the blueberries if you can, or lightly chop.

    Toss together the blueberries, shallots, ginger, and mint.  In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and honey.

    Toss the lemon oil with the blueberries and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    This is definitely one of those recipes you can prepare to taste.  A little more ginger, a little less mint or maybe a little more honey.  Whatever you decide, it’ll be delicious!

    I love this fresh and flavorful salsa over grilled white fish; halibut, black cod, Hawaiian opah and grilled scallops.

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets

    Max’s Five Ingredient Blueberry Cobbler

    Easy five ingredient blueberry cobbler // Karista's Kitchen

    I love it when children get excited about cooking.  When they realize they can take a few simple fresh ingredients and transform them into something delicious to eat.  The dazzled little expressions on their precious faces says it all.

    We have several “little Chef’s” in our extended family.  Our two tweens, Max and Amelia, definitely get motivated about good food.  Not that our teenagers and young adult members don’t cook, but I have to tell you, when Max and Amelia get cookin’ in the kitchen it’s usually a delicious masterpiece of a meal.

    Easy Five Ingredient Blueberry Cobbler // Karista's Kitchen

    This yummy blueberry cobbler recipe is compliments of our Chef Max.  While visiting my sister one summer, Max whipped this up in a snap and I fell into blueberry heaven!  It was so simple, so fresh and so delightful.

    The cobbler is incredible when prepared exactly as written.  However, I played around with the recipe a bit and added a few different flavors that compliment blueberries.  The first cobbler I added fresh ground cardamom, another I added a pinch of cinnamon and the last cobbler I added lemon zest and dried lavender buds.  They were all astoundingly delicious!

    However you decide to prepare this blueberry cobbler, you won’t be disappointed.   A great big special thanks goes out to our Chef Max for sharing this delectable dish!

    Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Max’s Fresh Blueberry Cobbler

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Max’s Fresh Blueberry Cobbler


    • 1 cup self rising flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
    • 3 cups fresh blueberries
    • Zest of one lemon (optional)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Melt the butter and add it to the bottom of an 8x11 glass baking dish or baking pan.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar and milk. Pour it on top of the butter.
  • Toss the lemon zest with the blueberries and then sprinkle the blueberries over the top of the flour mixture.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cobbler is golden brown on top.
  • Serve with Vanilla Bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
  • Notes

    For a variation you can add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom or ground ginger to the blueberries. Or try adding 1/4 teaspoon of dried lavender buds.

    To make your own self rising flour: for each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix together. You can store this in a sealed container.

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    Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes Sweets vegetarian

    Pineapple, Mango and Blueberry Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime

    This is the perfect time of year to break out all your favorite fruit salad recipes.  I have so many versions of fruit salad I don’t think I could ever blog them all. 

    You might be thinking a fruit salad is just that, a fruit salad.  But not according to the Bennett crew.  Ranger Craig could consume his weight in blueberries, Tink, my oldest gal never met a pineapple she didn’t like, and Suzie Q, my youngest, will eat pints of fresh raspberries until she turns pink, which she’d love as that is most certainly her favorite color.  So, I decided to blog one of my most requested fruit salads but also include several different versions that just might suit your fancy.

    Tropical fruits, stone fruits, berries, citrus, ginger and fresh herbs blend beautifully into delicious and taste bud tingling side dishes or entrée’s.  Mango and papaya are especially delicious over fresh greens that have been tossed with a light basic vinaigrette and then topped with grilled meats or fish. 

    If I’m serving one of my fruit salads for adults only brunch or evening barbeque, sometimes I’ll spike the fruit with a bit of white wine or French brandy and serve it up in beautiful wine or martini glasses.  This makes a fun and festive appetizer for dinner or brunch guests (and gets the party rolling!).

    Pineapple, Mango and Blueberry Fruit Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime


    1 pineapple, diced into bite sized pieces

    2 mangos, diced

    1 pint fresh summer blueberries

    2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint

    1 lime zested and juiced

    Toasted coconut for garnish (optional)


    Mix together the fruit, mint and lime juice and zest.  Let the fruit sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes prior to serving. If the fruit salad needs a little extra sweetness add a few tablespoons of honey and toss.

    Asian Fruit Salad with Fresh Ginger, Lime and Honey


    1-2 Asian pears, diced

    2 mangos, diced

    2 kiwi, sliced

    1 papaya, diced

    1-2 pints fresh raspberries

    1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

    1 large lime juiced and zested

    2 tablespoons honey

    Fresh mint for garnish


    Mix together the grated ginger, lime juice, zest and honey.  In a large bowl, gently toss together the pear, mango, kiwi, papaya and raspberries with the lime, ginger and honey mixture.  Garnish with fresh chopped mint or cilantro.

    Summer Fruit Salad with Fresh Lime and Toasted Coconut


    1 pineapple, diced

    2 mangos, diced

    1 quart strawberries, sliced

    1 pint fresh blueberries

    1 pint fresh raspberries

    2 cups fresh red grapes

    Optional: sliced fresh kiwi, star fruit, citrus, or papaya

    1 cup toasted coconut

    2 limes juiced and zested


    In a large bowl gently toss all ingredients together.  Serve in one large glass bowl or large wine or martini glasses. 

    Just for fun:  If serving these fruit salads to adults, spike the salad with about 1/4 – 1/2  cup white wine or your favorite aperitif such as a lovely French Brandy or Sherry.  Serve in martini glasses and toast to summer! 

    Grilling Halibut Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Grilled Halibut with Fresh Blueberries and Lemon

    This is one of those recipes that truly came together last-minute.  I had a pint of fresh organic blueberries starting to shrivel in my frig and I really needed to use them.  I was thinking I’d make muffins or possibly pancakes, but then I thought why not use them for dinner?  I had a beautiful fillet of fresh halibut in the frig and the blueberries would make a delightful sweet but savory topping.   

    The key to this recipe had to be simplicity.  I wanted the true fresh flavors of the blueberries to shine through, but I also wanted the lemon, shallot, garlic and white wine to compliment the sweetness of the blueberries, making it a delightful combination when paired with Halibut.  And… if I am to be completely honest, Ranger Craig hadn’t eaten all afternoon and was famished!  Dinner needed to be simple and quick.

    It never ceases to amaze me how beautifully fresh summer fruit compliments most meats and fish.  Even in their whole and raw state, just a handful of blueberries mixed with a few fresh herbs tossed over a warm halibut fillet would be delicious. 

    So, the next time you see fruit going south in your frig, think about using it over grilled meats or fish, or a delicious roast of beef or pork.  You just never know what fabulous combination you’ll come up with.  Happy Cooking!

    Check out Peter Cottontail!  For some reason he’s decided to take up residence in my garden.  Thankfully he doesn’t enjoy my Italian parsley or chives.

    Serves 4


    1 ½ lbs Halibut

    Olive oil

    Salt and pepper

    3 tablespoons butter

    2 tablespoons chopped shallots

    1 clove garlic, finely chopped

    1 tablespoon Fresh chopped herbs (Thyme, Parsley, Oregano)

    1 lemon, zested and juiced

    ½ cup white wine (or substitute with 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons blueberry preserves)

    1 cup fresh blueberries


    Grill, pan sear or roast the halibut. 

    To grill, brush the halibut with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Preheat the grill to 350F.  Grill the halibut on each side for 3-5 minutes depending on thickness, or until cooked through. 

    To pan sear, heat a high heat oil such as sunflower or safflower oil on medium heat in a large skillet.  When the oil is hot, season the halibut with salt and pepper and pan sear on each side until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes on each side depending on thickness. 

    To roast, brush the halibut with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  To keep the halibut from drying out, drizzle about ½ cup white wine over the halibut.  Roast in a 375F preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the halibut is cooked through.

    In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  

    When the butter oil is melted and frothy, add the shallots.  Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the shallots are wilted and aromatic. 

    Next add the garlic and sauté just a minute or two longer, careful not to brown the garlic. 

    Add the fresh chopped herbs, lemon zest and wine.  Give the sauce a good stir and then add the blueberries. 

    Let the sauce come to a lively simmer and then turn the heat down to low and let the blueberries heat through for 4-5 minutes.  Allow the blueberries to heat through and soften but not fall apart. 

    Take the sauce off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter.  Taste the sauce and add additional salt and pepper if needed. 

    To serve, squeeze a little fresh lemon over each halibut fillet or steak.  Place the halibut on a platter or individual plates and top with the blueberries.  Garnish with additional fresh chopped herbs.