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Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup

Food is the element that brings us to the table, where life is lived and memories are made.

This is a sentence that popped into my ever-wandering brain while recipe testing several months ago. I couldn’t find a piece of paper, or my phone so I wrote it down on the inside of a plastic wrap box that was sitting on the counter.  I have pens and paper all over the house and yet, at that moment I was paperless.  This is so me.

I’ve always felt life was lived at the table.  A place to breathe and dream, share thoughts and opinions (always opinions around the Bennett table), to connect and inspire.  I know it sounds cliché, but the table where we dine, truly brings us together.

My family is typically all about dinner.  Breakfast has always been optional for some reason.  If my oldest gal is home she grabs a banana and my youngest has a handful of granola. I prefer a few cups of coffee and maybe an oatmeal cookie or a slice of gluten-free toast with grass-fed butter and local honey.  But when I do make breakfast, I go big.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup // Karista's Kitchen

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup.  I said I go big. 🙂

I make ricotta pancakes on occasion, usually laced with the typical citrus flavors and then topped with berries and cream or jam.  However, my sister was in NYC recently and came back raving about Lemon Ricotta Pancakes topped with Lemon Curd and drizzled with Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup and, well, I couldn’t stop thinking about Lemon Ricotta Pancakes so I had to make them.

This is my tasty version of Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.  I make my own lemon curd but you can certainly purchase it to save time.  I was wondering if I’d enjoy the vanilla bean maple syrup combined with all the lemon… I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to flavors, but these two flavors paired deliciously.  Just in case the vanilla bean maple syrup wasn’t a hit with the fam, I also served a wild blueberry syrup which was also complimentary.

If you love this recipe, or other recipes that you prepare from Karista’s Kitchen, join me on Instagram @karistaskitchen and tag your photos #lifearoundmytable and @karistaskitchen.  I’d love to see what you’ve prepared! I’m totally a nosy person and I love to know what other people are cooking.  Just ask my friend Heidi.  I can’t email her without asking what she’s cooked that week.

Thank you all for sharing this website and its social media.  I deeply appreciate your follow and support!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


PS: for those of you who follow me on social media, you’ll note I decided to use an out take photo… even though I didn’t see the black nail polish until editing.  Thank you all for your comments!!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd

Serving Size: 16-20 pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd


  • 1 15oz tub whole milk ricotta (or scant two cups)
  • 1 large lemon zested and juiced
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    For the Lemon Curd
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    For the Vanilla Maple Syrup
  • 1 -2 vanilla beans, sliced in half and beans scraped out (we're using the beans so don't toss)
  • 1 cup real maple syrup


To make the Classic Lemon Curd
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
  • In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don't let the mixture boil.
  • Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.
  • To make the Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup
  • Heat the maple syrup in a small pan until warm and then stir in the vanilla beans. Let the syrup simmer slightly for a few minutes, take the pan off the heat and let it sit for about 30 minutes while you prepare the pancakes.
  • To make the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
  • In a large bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, eggs and sugar until well combined. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and then stir it into the ricotta mixture. Last stir in the lemon juice and zest. The batter should be thickish but easily dolloped on a griddle.
  • Heat a non-stick ceramic pan or a cast iron griddle over medium heat and add a little butter. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add 1/4 - 1/3 cup sized dollops of batter to the pan. Spread the batter a bit for thinner pancakes. Cook the pancakes for about 2-3 minutes or until you see the underside is golden brown and the top is bubbling. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes longer until the pancakes are cooked through. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
  • Place the pancakes on plates, top with lemon curd, fresh berries and vanilla bean maple syrup. Serve immediately.
  • Notes

    I've prepared a lot of lemon curd recipes and I have to say I like this one the best. It's from Elinor Klivans, Fine Cooking Magazine Issue 26

    Thanks to my sis, Kristin Bryan, for this exquisite recipe idea! Love you!

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    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets

    Julia’s Banana Bread

    Julia's Banana Bread

    You know when you stumble onto food that stays in your food memories forever?  That is this banana bread.

    A few years ago Ranger Craig and I were exploring the more remote parts of Maui and stumbled onto a banana bread hut.  After driving miles of winding roads, up and down sloping and sometimes steep hillsides, between the greenest and lush valley’s, we found a place called Kahakuloa.  And we found banana bread.  Not just an ordinary banana bread.  This was hands down the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted.  Moist, the perfect amount of sweetness and the purest banana flavor with the most intense banana fragrance.  I’m not sure if it was because we were on vacation and I had just finished a harrowing scuba diving lesson but banana bread has never tasted so good.

    I’ve tried recreating this banana bread at least a dozen times.  I’ve come close but for some reason I could never achieve the same taste and texture as the banana bread in Maui.  I knew I was most likely over thinking the ingredient list. So, I decided to hit the web and do a little research.  It seems I’m not the only one smitten by this banana bread recipe.

    Julia's Banana Bread

    I found it on Bon Appetit  out of the kitchen section.  Julia’s Banana Bread.  There it was in black and white with a snapshot of the lush bread.  As I read the ingredient list I giggled.  So simple, so pure, no wonder this bread is so delicious.

    Now I pass it along to you! Just a few simple ingredients that most of us already have stocked.  It doesn’t take but a few minutes to whip up, pop it in the oven for about an hour and you will have the most delicious and pure tasting banana bread.  I baked it exactly as the recipe reads with the exception of using coconut palm sugar instead of granulated sugar (because that’s what I had in my pantry).  The second time I made this bread, I subbed the veggie oil with my favorite extra virgin olive oil.  It was perfection.

    Cheers to Fall and all the lush comforting foods that accompany the season!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Julia’s Banana Bread

    Serving Size: Makes one 9x3x5 loaf pan

    Julia’s Banana Bread


    • Oil or butter for greasing the pan
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup mashed *ripe bananas (about 2 large)
    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I use either coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil)


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x5x3” loaf pan with oil or butter.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
  • Bake until a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, 60–70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes.
  • Run a knife around inside of pan to release the bread. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely before slicing.
  • *For more intense ripe banana flavor I set my two peeled bananas in a glass bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Whisk the liquid that has accumulated with the banana pulp and use. This will help ripen a "less ripe" banana and intensify the banana flavors.
  • This bread can be prepared up to three days in advance and store in an airtight container. Which makes this a lovely food gift for the holidays.
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    Recipe by Julia’s Banana Bread Treehouse in Kahakuloa, HI




    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets vegetarian

    Lavender Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Ganache

    Lavender Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Ganache

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.

    I’m still talking about Tuscany – the food, photographs, memories.  All in constant re-play.  And although I visited this enchanting location last fall, Tuscany will forever remain in my heart.

    DaVinci wine is created in a magical place. Tuscany is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. The air smells of sweet, sun ripened grapes and fresh herbs, muddled with the earthy scent of mineral rich soil.

    The beauty of the Tuscan region mirrors the beauty of its people and its food.  A culture rich with history and laced with passion – a passion that transcends all boundaries and flows effortlessly onto the family table.

    lavender panna cotta with dark chocolate ganache from Karista's Kitchen

    Among all the plates of gloriously delicious food, It seems only fitting to include a dessert laced with an herb that grows freely in Tuscany.  Lavender bushes dot the landscape and scent the air with its sweet and earthy fragrance.

    It happens to be one of my favorite herbs to incorporate into a sweet.  So, a lavender laced panna cotta with dark chocolate ganache felt the perfect dessert to end this storyteller’s meal.  And… a perfect beginning to spring.

    You can find this lovely dessert on the DaVinci Wine Facebook pageClick here.  Also check out the other three multi-talented Storytellers: Jim O’Donnell, Kristina Laurendi Havens and Leela Cyd.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Lavender Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Ganache


    Makes 8 – 10 servings

    2 cups whole milk

    2 cups heavy cream

    2 teaspoons crushed dried culinary lavender buds (found in the spice area of your market)

    ½ cup plus two tablespoons sugar

    4 teaspoons powdered gelatin

    6 tablespoons cold water

    For the Ganache

    8 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate

    1 cup heavy cream

    Heat the chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Let cool and then ladle over the panna cotta.


    Heat the milk, heavy cream, sugar and crushed dried lavender buds in a sauce pan.  Stirring, let the milk heat and sugar dissolve.  However, don’t bring it to a boil or it could scald.

    Let the milk and cream mixture sit for about 30 minutes to allow the lavender to infuse the milk.

    Place the 6 tablespoons of cold water in the bottom of a large bowl.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it stand for about 5 minutes.

    Strain the warm milk mixture to remove the lavender.  Then pour the milk mixture over the gelatin and whisk until the gelatin is dissolved.

    Ladle the panna cotta into small serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but will be firmer if  refrigerated longer.

    Before serving prepare the dark chocolate ganache and top each panna cotta with the warm chocolate.

    Garnish with fresh mint leaves or candied cherries.




    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets

    Hooligan Squash Oatmeal Muffins

    Hooligan Squash Oatmeal Muffins

    Do you ever walk through your market and wonder what all those beautiful different types of winter squash are called?  Every time I see a new squash I go home and look it up.  So I have to tell you, I was feeling pretty darn smug about my squash knowledge… until last week.

    As I was power walking through my local co-op market, I spotted two cute little pumpkin like squash I thought would be delish for these muffins.  I was sure they were Sweet Lightening Squash but when I got home I kept thinking they were a little small for Sweet Lightening.  I was right.  These little darlings are called Hooligans.  What a name, right?

    winter squash muffins with oatmeal brown sugar topping

    The name alone would make me buy these again.  But the taste is the real reason for purchasing these lovelies.  Sweet like a Delicata but the texture less starchy.  So lip-smacking good,  I was eating pieces of the roasted squash right off the baking sheet.

    These little Hooligans made for a sweet, moist muffin.  I also think they’d make the most divine squash soup or a roasted squash side dish, sprinkled with my favorite Five Spice Powder or a little curry powder.  Hooligans are a nice little surprise during this very stormy and cold winter – and just enough to keep me going until spring.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Hooligan Squash Oatmeal Muffins

    Makes about 12


    1 cup all-purpose flour

    1 cup rolled oats

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    1 ½ cups squash puree (recipe below) (from about 2-3 Hooligan squash, depending on size)  on occasion I sub with sweet potato puree

    ¼ cup coconut oil or healthy vegetable oil

    2 eggs

    ½ cup coconut palm sugar or  brown sugar, packed

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Optional: 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger added to the squash puree

    Topping: (optional)

    3 tablespoons rolled oats

    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

    3 tablespoons brown sugar

    3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter


    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine squash, vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Divide muffins among 12 prepared muffin cups.

    Combine oats, sugar and oil in a small bowl. Divide mixture among the tops of muffin batter. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

    Let them cool before removing from tin. Because they are so moist, it’s best to store them in the fridge.

    Roasting Squash for Puree

    Preheat the oven to 400F.  Slice the stem section off the squash first and then slice the squash in half, from top to bottom.  Scoop out the seeds.

    Brush the cut sides of the squash with a little olive oil. Lay the squash halves cut side down in a glass baking dish and add a little water to the pan.   Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and skins are golden brown and toasty.  Remove from the oven and  when the squash has cooled, remove the meat of the squash and place it in a medium mixing bowl, mashing it as much as possible.  Set aside.



    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

    Bacon Apple Cheddar Quiche


    bacon apple cheddar quiche

    Bacon, Apple, Cheddar Quiche


    Bacon Apple Cheddar Quiche… sound delicious?  I’m guest posting this boldly flavorful and savory tart over at my good friend’s blog, Pink Patisserie.  Read a sample of the post below and click on the link to snag the recipe.  While you’re there, stay a while and poke around.  Maria creates some of the most lush and beautiful recipes that will tantalize your taste buds and keep you coming back for more.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    quiche collage

    Winter greetings Pink Patisserie readers!  I’m Karista and I publish the recipe website Karista’s Kitchen.   Big love and thanks to Maria (Pink Patisserie) for asking me to guest post today! I’ve known Maria for many years now and I feel so blessed to call her friend.   A gracious, beautiful and talented lady who has an artistic eye for the naturally beautiful art of food and baking.  I love how Maria embraces the flavors of sweet and savory in her recipes.  Which is why I’ve chosen to guest post this tasty and satisfying Bacon, Apple, Cheddar Quiche.



    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly vegetarian

    Frittata Florentine

    Frittata prepared with fresh spinach and pomodor sauce

    Frittata Florentine

    ~By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed~

    Every morning in Vinci, Italy  I was greeted with lush beauty for the eyes, tranquility for the soul and exquisite food for the taste buds.   Food lovingly prepared by our Chef Ana.

    In the sweet quiet of the early morning,  I would hear Chef Ana arrive, softly making her way through the villa to the well stocked kitchen – to begin preparing our morning meal.

    My eyes would snap open and I’d lounge in my cozy bed unable to sleep; thinking about all the deliciousness I’d find on the breakfast table.

    After meandering around my 14th century room with modern amenities, peeking out the windows, snapping pictures of my breathtaking views, splattering my enthusiasm all over social media, I eventually found my way downstairs.  Following the heavenly scents to a delicious assortment of eggs prepared poached or over easy, frittatas laced with fresh baby zucchini and decadent pomodoro, pastry, cured meats and cheese.  And of course, perfectly brewed fresh coffee served with milk Chef Ana had taken the time to warm.

    Casale Leonardo da Vinci in Vinci Italy

    Chef Ana and Franco/Morning at the Villa

    This lovely Frittata Florentine is an adaption of the delicious frittatas Chef Ana served each morning.  And although this is quite an enticing version, nothing can compare to a frittata Chef Ana creates.

    Find this recipe as well as my other seven recipes inspired by this glorious adventure to Tuscany on the DaVinci Wine Facebook Page. You will be able to save and print a copy from their page.  Buon Appetito!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Frittata Florentine

    Serves 4-6


    6-8 large eggs (for a 10-12 inch non-stick oven proof skillet)

    1 tablespoon water

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Two or three handfuls of fresh baby spinach or chopped spinach from your garden

    2-3 tablespoon tomato sauce (I used my leftover Vinci sauce)

    ½ cup shredded or thinly shaved Pecorino

    Pinch or two of dried Oregano, crushed with fingers

    Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon black pepper

    Optional add ins: torn prosciutto, pancetta or coppa, diced bacon and fresh basil leaves


    Pre-heat the oven to 375F.

    Whisk together the eggs and water.  Heat a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the skillet over medium heat.

    When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the eggs and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, crushed oregano and crushed red pepper.  Allow the eggs to slightly set.

    Once you see a crust forming on the bottom of the eggs, top the eggs with as much baby spinach as you like.  Then dot with tomato sauce and top with the cheese.

    Place the skillet in the pre-heated oven and let it finish cooking for another 5-10 minutes or until the eggs are just set and cooked through.  I like my eggs “wet” so I tend to pull the skillet out a little before the full 10 minutes.

    Let the frittata cool slightly then slide it onto a platter, slice and serve.






    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Sweets

    Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal

    baked oatmeal with apples and spices

    Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal

    Tractors humming in the distance, the scent of coffee in the air, the word “mom” can be heard chiming down the hallway and then I see Tank’s little furry face and big brown eyes peaking over the side of my bed.

    I’m home.

    I admit, it feels good to be home.  Although the last two weeks have been more magical than I ever imagined.

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.  Thank you.


    Cantine Leonardo DaVinci Chef Ana

    Me and Chef Ana

    I have many beautiful stories to share, mouthwatering recipes to unveil, and delightful new friends to introduce.

    In the beginning, I felt so lucky to be chosen the 2013 DaVinci Wine Culinary Arts Storyteller.  Now, I feel blessed.

    DaVinci Wine

    An enchanting week of food, wine and friends.

    More to come.  Until then, here’s a new recipe to start your Autumn morning, or maybe, end your Autumn day.

    Loads of Love and Delicious Wishes,


    Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal

    Serves 4-6

    4-6 small ramekins or one 8-inch baking dish, buttered


    About 2 cups chopped apple (1-2 apples depending on size) I used our local honeycrisp apple but you can use whatever you have on hand.

    2 cups organic rolled oats (if you choose to use steel cut oats be sure to soak them overnight before preparing)

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon cinnamon (and a little more for dusting apples)

    ½ teaspoon ground ginger

    ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

    ½ cup dark brown sugar (or ¾ cup coconut palm sugar)

    2 eggs, slightly whisked

    1 cup milk

    ¼ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil (I used Everyday Fresh)


    Pre-heat the oven to 375F.

    Whisk together the oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and brown sugar.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and olive oil.

    Dust the apples with a little cinnamon.  Cinnamon is a excellent spice for lowering blood sugar.

    Combine the oat mixture with the egg mixture and then fold in the apples.

    Ladle into buttered ramekins or baking dish.  Add a small pat of butter on top of each filled ramekin or a few pats of butter on top of the oatmeal in the baking dish.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the baked oatmeal is mostly firm to the touch.

    Serve warm… and if you like, drizzle a little maple syrup over the top.

    Happy Harvest!

    Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes Sweets vegetarian

    Lavender Biscuits

    Lavender Biscuits

    I remember the first day of my ninth grade Home Economics Class.  A class filled to the brim with giggling, and not so serious, ninth grade girls. Half listening to our Teacher talk about the foundation of Southern cuisine. The biscuit.

    Bet you thought I was going to say Fried Catfish or Grits.  Which can be quite delicious, especially if my Mother-in-law is preparing the dish.

    However, on that first day of ninth grade Home Economics, the Southern biscuit ruled.  It was the very first pastry I learned to bake on my own.

    I ended that class with huge pride for my biscuit baking talent.  I baked biscuits for my family, for my friends, for my extended family and for my Grandparents when I went to stay with them for the summer.  Even the “not so soft” biscuits were consumed by my darling Grandfather.  He said they were good for his teeth.   I had become a biscuit baking machine.

    And that… is the extent of my baking career.

    I really do love a good pastry.  When I have time, it’s fun to hang out in the kitchen testing a new scone recipe or test my not so evident baking skills with a homemade cake or pie.  But if I had to choose something to bake, it will always be a biscuit.

    I love rising early in the morning while the rest of the family sleeps.  Tank with his sleepy eyes half watching me cut in the cold butter and then roll out the dough, hoping something will fall to the floor so he can be helpful and “clean it up”.  Yes, this is why Tank is sometimes affectionately known as Pork Chop.  My sweeper of crumbs.  My little piglet.

    And when my nose is greeted with the cheerful aroma of baking biscuits that permeates the house, my soul feels comforted.  Pulling out the perfectly golden medallions from the oven and serving them in a linen lined basket with homemade preserves and fresh salted butter; makes me feel like every weekend morning was made for biscuits.

    Lavender Biscuits

    These little lovelies are filled with the essence of lavender.  You can add most anything to your biscuits, but living here in the Pacific Northwest where lavender grows abundantly, it seemed the perfect aromatic herb to include in my cherished biscuits.

    If you live in the Pacific Northwest, one of our largest Lavender Festivals happens every July in Sequim, Washington.  We used to fly over to Sequim every year to sample all the lavender wares and of course eat our fill of culinary treats filled with lavender.

    Makes about 8-12 small biscuits


    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or regular sugar

    1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender buds

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    8 tablespoons butter, cubed

    3/4 cup whole milk, or more if needed


    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    In a small spice grinder, coffee mill or food processor combine the sugar and dried lavender.  Grind until the lavender is fine and nicely dispersed in the sugar.  Just enough so someone doesn’t’ get a woody piece of lavender in their biscuit.  You can also do this in a sturdy mortar and pestle.

    In a large bowl combine flour, lavender sugar, baking powder and salt together. Cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like course cornmeal.  Make sure you leave pea sized pieces in your flour mixture for light and fluffy biscuits.  There is an entire science behind this explained to me by my friend and Pastry Chef, Laurie Pfalzer.  Check out her incredible baking blog at

    Make a well in the flour mixture and slowly add milk into the middle. Knead dough with your fingers and add milk when necessary. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to desired thickness. Cut with a small biscuit cutter.

    Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Place biscuits on the parchment and then sprinkle with additional sugar or brush with heavy cream.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

    Serve with homemade preserves, Devonshire cream or make breakfast ham and egg sandwiches with Gruyere cheese. Delicious!

    I also make this biscuit dough to top my blueberry cobbler.  Making it a Blueberry Cobbler with Lavender Biscuits.  🙂  I’ll post the entire recipe someday soon!

    Appetizers Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Crab and Egg White Muffins

    crab and egg white muffins, gluten free

    Crab and Egg White Muffins

    There’s a whole lot of egg love goin’ on at The Bennett Camp.  Orange Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast and now these tasty little Crab and Egg White Muffins.

    It’s possible I’m a tiny bit over joyed with my chicken gals.

    They’ve been laying at least two eggs a day for a while now.  It’s feels like Christmas!   And while I was so elated with one egg,  you can only imagine my excitement when I started finding two.

    Egg related dishes have been pouring out of my kitchen and this tasty little Crab and Egg White Muffin is the latest.  Although, I’ve been making these for several years now, I realized yesterday, I have not shared.

    So I’m sharing today. 🙂

    crab and egg white muffins, brunch

    Crab and Egg White Muffins make the perfect Brunch!

    I love this egg muffin for everything that it is, and is not.  It’s not terribly heavy or over stuffed, it is enticingly simple.  Purest of flavors that mingle together like a soft breeze, light, fluffy and perfectly adaptable to my ingredient whims.

    Now, I completely adore the entire egg.  So you might be wondering why I’ve only used egg whites.

    Originally, I crafted this recipe for a client and the egg whites were included to maintain my clients nutrition and dietary guidelines.  However, the egg whites keep this muffin light, airy and less dense than using the whole egg.  Which suits the crab and herbs beautifully.  So save those egg yolks for a custard or lemon curd.  Which would make a lovely dessert following these muffins.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Crab and Egg White Muffins

    Makes 4-5 large muffins.  This recipe can be doubled.  I’ve also prepared these in the smaller 12 cup tin.  Just be very careful not to over fill.


    12-14 ounces crab meat (about 2/3 to 3/4 lbs)

    1 cup cottage cheese or 1/4 cup heavy cream

    8 ounces egg whites, I use a liquid measure for this or if I want to save my eggs, I purchase organic egg whites at my market

    2 rounded tablespoons chopped fresh chive (I’ve also subbed with finely chopped green onion)

    1 rounded tablespoon chopped fresh basil

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ¼ teaspoon pepper

    Dash of Tabasco if desired

    1 tablespoon flour or arrowroot powder (arrowroot powder is used as a gluten-free substitute for flour when flour is used as a thickener. I purchase it at PCC in the bulk section, or it can be found at whole foods or most natural markets)

    1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional) The Bennett Crew likes a creamy Swiss in these muffins.


    Heat the oven to 375F.

    Whip the egg whites until slightly foamy, they don’t need to be stiff.  Add in the arrowroot powder or flour if using.

    Fold in the crab meat, cottage cheese or heavy cream, herbs, salt and pepper, dash of tabasco if using.

    Spray a large six *muffin tin with spray oil, only 4 or 5 of the cups.  Then gently ladle the egg mixture evenly into 4 or 5 of the muffin cups.  About 2/3 full.  It will make about 5 slightly large muffins.  Then top with shredded cheese if using.

    Place the muffin tin on a cookie sheet as sometimes the mixture overflows and can drip onto the bottom of the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins bounce back when touched.  They will be slightly golden brown on top.

    Cool for several minutes before gently removing them from the muffin tin.

    *A student recommended the use of silicone muffin pans as the muffin tins can be challenging to clean after baking these muffins.   If using a regular muffin tin, be sure to coat the muffin tin liberally with oil.  I use a spray coconut oil and it works beautifully.

    Ingredient options:  cooked ground turkey or chicken sausage, fresh herbs from your garden,  or a handful of wilted cooked spinach or greens, but be careful to squeeze all the excess water from the greens.

    For a lovely brunch, serve these muffins with a salad of spring greens, fresh fruit and lavender shortbread 🙂

    Related Posts:

    Breakfast Sweets vegetarian

    Orange Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast

    orange, cinnamon, raisin baked french toast

    With sleepy eyes and mussed hair my youngest gal saunters into the kitchen for breakfast.  On the weekends my sassy gal of 14 is the last one to rise.

    I know she can smell whatever I’m cooking.  The lingering scent of food travels right to her bedroom.  It’s the best method for waking a teenage girl.

    The scent of sweet orange and warm cinnamon drifts through the house and it doesn’t take long before I have three hungry Bennett’s sitting at the counter.

    Plates set, napkins passed and cutlery ready.  Someone inevitably forgets to set out the syrup.  And the butter.  But everyone is sporting a smile.  Almost giddy.

    This makes my heart sing.  Hearing the happy morning chatter over Baked French Toast with fresh juice and hot coffee.  Laughter, conversation, smiles.

    Food Love.

    Orange Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast

    Serves 6-8


    1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread

    4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

    8 eggs

    Zest of one orange

    ¼ cup maple syrup

    ¼ cup Grand Marnier

    1 ½ cups half and half or heavy cream

    1 cup raisins


    With 1-2 tablespoons butter, grease the bottom of a 9×11 or 9×13 baking dish.  Lightly butter several slices of cinnamon raisin bread and then lay them on the bottom of the baking dish.

    Scatter some of the raisins on top and then layer with more buttered slices of bread.  Scatter more raisins and then topping with a final layer of buttered cinnamon raisin bread.

    Whisk together the eggs, half and half, orange zest, Grand Marnier and Maple syrup.  Pour the mixture over the bread and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes while pre-heating the oven.  Or, cover the baking dish and let it sit overnight.

    Pre-heat the oven to 350F and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the Baked French Toast golden brown on top and feels done to the touch.

    Let the Baked French Toast cool slightly before serving.  Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.  (I love it served with banana slices)

    Karista's Kitchen Salad vegetarian

    Mediterranean Couscous Salad

    Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad from Karista's Kitchen

    Last June I decided it was high time I got out-and-about my local area and begin meeting some of my fellow food bloggers and food writers.  After all, I can’t just hang out with my chicken girls all the time. 😉

    While attending various food and blogging events, I met Alyssa from Everyday Maven.  A lovely, creative and intelligent young woman who is as passionate about healthy and delicious food as I am.

    Today, I am honored to guest post at Everyday Maven.  This Mediterranean Couscous Salad is one of my favorite spring and summer salads, filled with pure deliciousness and enticing flavors.  Once you take a bite, you’ll hear spring and summer calling.

    Thank you Alyssa for the pleasure of guest posting at Everyday Maven.  Head on over and check out Everyday Maven for this recipe and many more mouth-watering nutritious and delectable dishes.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Chicken Kid Friendly Pasta

    Lemon, Fresh Basil and Chicken Fusilli Pasta

    Lemon Basil Chicken Pasta

    Lemon, Fresh Basil and Chicken Fusilli Pasta prepared with Jovial Brown Rice Fusilli

    I learned how to Instagram this weekend.  My 14 year old is an Instagram Whiz and she thought I needed to add it to my repertoire of social media.

    Oh Yay.  One more social media application to learn.

    Lemon Basil Chicken Fusilli Pasta

    Lemon, Fresh Basil and Chicken Fusilli Pasta

    I haven’t even mastered Twitter yet.  With all the hatch tags and word limitations, I fail miserably at Twitter.  And then I just feel silly when I put something out into Twitter land and no one responds.  Hmmmm….   Maybe I didn’t say anything clever.

    Jovial Brown Rice Fusilli

    Jovial Brown Rice Fusilli

    And don’t get me started with Pinterest.  That’s just pure addiction.

    Once upon a time I tried to “Stumble Upon”.  It didn’t stick.  Currently I’m trying to Google +, but I think that’s the most confusing of all.  And because I don’t Google + all that often, some of my Google + friends/followers are dropping me.  Well that’s just sad. 🙁


    Fresh Basil Chiffonade

    As you can tell I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  And although social media has been a positive change in this world of ours, if not kept in balance, it’s exhausting.

    So, maybe I won’t become a super social media Queen.  I’m ok with that.  I just ask that if you see me making not so clever comments out in Twitter land, please don’t leave me hanging. Maybe give me a shout out or something?  I thank you in advance. 🙂

    Jovial Pasta

    Jovial Einkorn Pasta

    Although my love affair with social media has been short lived, I continue my love affair with Jovial Brand pasta.  The brown rice pasta is a favorite of The Bennett Crew and I especially love the Einkorn Pasta.  It’s nutty rich flavor and silky texture lends itself well to any type of sauce or pasta dish.  And it boasts 9 grams of protein per serving!

    I prepared this fresh and vibrant tasting pasta dish with the Jovial Brown Rice Fusilli but it can be prepared with Jovial Einkorn Penne, Rigatoni or even the Spaghetti.  A fresh and fabulous summer dish that can be served warm or chilled. Paired with an Oregon Pinot Gris from A to Z Wineworks (one of my faves!) and dinner is complete.

    Happy Summer and Loads of Love to you all!


    Lemon, Fresh Basil and Chicken Pasta

    Serves 4


    ¼ cup lemon juice, plus 1 lemon

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (or basil olive oil if you can find it)

    Salt and pepper to taste (I like a little extra pepper in this vinaigrette)

    1 bunch fresh basil (about one cup packed)

    3 – 4 chicken breasts, roasted or grilled, and sliced or chopped

    1 package Jovial Brown Rice Fusilli Pasta, cooked according to directions

    1/3 cup crumbled feta ( I love Valbreso Sheep’s Milk Feta)

    Quartered marinated artichoke hearts (optional)


    Prepare the chicken and boil the pasta.

    Chiffonade the fresh basil leaves.  I’ve got pictures of this below so you can see how it’s done.  Or feel free to check out this tutorial.

    Whisk together the fresh lemon juice, minced garlic and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Toss the pasta with the lemon vinaigrette, fresh basil and diced or sliced chicken.  Squeeze half a lemon over the pasta and lightly toss.  Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

    Place the pasta in a serving bowl and garnish with the feta cheese.  Serve with extra lemon wedges and serve either warm or chilled.

    This is a great make ahead meal and lovely served as a brunch, lunch or summer dinner.  Sometimes just for kicks I add in some quartered marinated artichoke hearts.  I love the Napoleon brand grilled marinated artichoke hearts. 

    How to Chiffonade Basil

    Fresh Basil

    Stack a few basil leaves one on top of the other


    Roll the basil lengthwise


    Slice into ribbons

    basil chiffonade

    Your basil is now chiffonade. This can be done with any leafy herb or green.