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Beef Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly VRAI Magazine

Grilled Rib-Eye with Tomato & Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

Grilled Rib-Eye With Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette Karista's Kitchen

We’ve just launched the 4th fabulous issue of VRAI Magazine and I’m thrilled to be a part of this exciting and new online magazine!  Filled with food, travel, DIY, Gardening and more.

VRAI Magazine is made up of real bloggers, with varying backgrounds, expertise and unique perspectives, who are passionate about sharing stories. In these stories, you’ll also find wonderful ideas, inspirations and information for everyday living, as well as topics of interest that are designed to spark genuine conversations. “Life is filled with stories both big and small. They can be found in big events and milestones throughout life or even in the most mundane acts of each day — there is always a story worth telling.  Through VRAI Magazine, we hope to capture and share some of them with you.”

In this issue of VRAI Magazine I talk GRILLING!  Here’s a sneak peek:

I get positively giddy this time of year.  With the longer days and warmer temperatures, grilling once again becomes my preferred method of cooking.  Gone are the cooler days and Pacific Northwest winter weather that requires rain gear while grilling. 

Although I enjoy most methods of cooking, there is something about grilling that feels just a bit festive, carefree and whimsical. Maybe it’s the feeling of warm summer months when life is slower and less scheduled.  Fresh produce arriving with color and intense ripened flavors just aching to be tossed into some delicious concoction to share.

Grilling steak couldn’t be easier, but there are a few simple steps that will make your steak taste like perfection. 

  1. Quality is key –  Purchasing a quality cut of beef is key to a delicious and flavorful steak.  I prefer purchasing local beef that has been grazing in a nice open pasture and preferably grass-fed only. (I know, I sound like the television show Portlandia) Truly, fresh is best for optimum flavor.  Not only does buying local mean your steak will be fresh, you will be supporting your local economy.  If  you don’t have access to a  local beef rancher, try to purchase beef from your region.  Most local markets purchase regionally,  or ask your local butcher.

For the Grilled Rib-eye with Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette and a Grilled Romaine Recipe head on over to VRAI Magazine…  Click Here!

Stay Tuned – Coming up this week, I will be posting a most delicious and special pastry recipe from Italy.   Buon Appetito!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!



Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Winter Roasted Beet Salad

roasted beet salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts

Winter Roasted Beet Salad

You may be surprised to learn that beets haven’t always topped my favorite veggie list.  It wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve completely embraced this lush red or golden root veggie.  My favorite method of consumption?  Roasted.  Roasting brings out the sweetness in most vegetables but especially root vegetables like carrots, parsnips and beets.

Often I’ll bring home 2 or 3 bunches of local beets, clean them, roast them and store them in the frig.  When I need a quick side or salad, voila!

roasted beet salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts

This salad is easy to prepare with ingredients that can be prepped in advance.  Not only is it delicious, it looks like art on a platter.  Which makes this the perfect holiday or winter salad.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet today.  Tank hasn’t had his morning run and he’s sitting at my feet staring at me with his “please take me for a walk” look.  And really, who could resist those terrier eyes.

Wishing you all things merry and bright this holiday season!

Loads of Love,


Winter Roasted Beet Salad

Serves about 6-8


About 6 medium size red or gold beets (or a mixture of both)

1 – 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 – 1 cup good quality crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (Rogue Creamery and Salemville have nice mid-range rice options that are quite delicious)

1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts (found in most markets, especially during the holidays.  However, I’ve given a quick recipe below)

Good quality Balsamic Vinegar (this is the time to break out the good stuff)

Good quality Olive oil, about 1/4 cup (I used California Olive Ranch Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive oil.  One word, divine!)


Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Wash the beets and trim just a bit.  Place in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap, tenting it a little.  Roast for about 45 minutes or until the beets can be pierced with a fork or knife.  I like my beets slightly undercooked, otherwise the texture tends to be a bit mushy.  So check them at 35 – 40 minutes.  Let the beets cool and then peel off the skins.  This is a colorful and messy job but well worth the effort.  If you are roasting the beets in advance, place the roasted whole beets in a Ziploc bag and pop them in the frig until they are ready to use.

Place the thinly sliced shallots in a small bowl and toss with a drizzle or two of balsamic vinegar.  I love the shallots marinated in the balsamic vinegar. Cuts the harshness of the shallot and adds extra balsamic flavor to the salad.  Let the sliced shallots hang out in the vinegar while you prepare the salad.

Slice the beets, not too thick, and layer them on a platter.  Dust lightly with a little sea salt.

Next, toss the marinated shallots over the beets.  Then sprinkle the beets and shallots with Gorgonzola and garnish with the chopped candied walnuts.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.  Serve immediately.

Option:  During the summer months, I add sliced or coarsely chopped cucumber to the salad for a little fresh, clean, crisp flavor.

Quick candied nuts

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Pinch of salt

In a heavy bottom pan over medium heat add the sugar.  Let the sugar melt.  Once melted, sprinkle the chopped nuts into the sugar and give it a stir.  Once the nuts look well coated pour them out onto wax paper to cool.  Sprinkle lightly with a pinch of salt.  Break with a knife or by hand.





Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table

Roasted Chicken and Sweet Peaches

Roasted Chicken and Sweet Peaches // Karista's Kitchen

This roasted chicken and sweet peaches recipe is from the archives and as I read through this old post I’m almost in tears with laughter. I completely remember writing this and all the remodeling chaos that ensued. Although my DIY days are long gone, this recipe is still just as enchanting today as it was back then. Enjoy!


The last few months I’ve been reading dozens of informative and sometimes funny DIY remodeling blog posts.  Mostly because I needed to read about other people’s headaches and successes with home remodeling and renovation.

I thought it might make me feel better about the visual chaos that ensues my house right now.

Sadly, it did not.  I’ve decided I’m much better at handling schedule chaos.  Visual chaos drives me nutty.

Orange Home Depot buckets filled with tools and tile pieces, nails and pipe fittings casually sit in various corners of the house.

Old doors leaving and new doors coming in.  A giant bathroom vanity in the garage waiting to be installed along with new paint and tile flooring.  And an enormous gray and blue commercial heavy duty vacuum cleaner sitting in the middle of my den.  My oldest gal calls this monstrosity “R2D2”.

Yep, Ranger Craig and I are Do It Yourselfers.   A few years ago (when I was younger) I proudly stated that fact.

Now I find myself cruising the web for various home remodeling contractors… hoping someday soon Ranger Craig will tire of the DIY projects.  🙂

Until then, schedules are filling and its back to school for the two Sassy Bennett gals.  Dinner becomes a little more challenging to achieve, but I’ve always got a quick recipe in my back pocket.  You’re going to love this one!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


Roasted Chicken and Sweet Peaches

Serving Size: 4-6

Roasted Chicken and Peaches with Tangy Red Onion and a sprinkling of Bleu Cheese. A most delicious combination of flavors that savor the last of our summer season.


  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (this can also be done with bone-in chicken pieces, it’ll just need to cook longer)
  • 4-5 medium to large peaches, pitted and thick sliced (no need to peel)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thick sliced
  • ¼ -1/3 cup crumbled Bleu cheese or Gorgonzola (I love Rogue Creamery Smokey Bleu with this recipe!)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or ghee
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh chopped basil as a garnish (optional)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the chicken breasts on both sides and then transfer the browned chicken to a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken and peaches.
  • Browning the chicken breasts first before finishing in the oven allows a nice color/flavor to develop while keeping the inside of the chicken breast moist.
  • Toss the peaches and red onion with a drizzle of oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Pour them in the baking dish arranging them around the chicken.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven and finish cooking until the chicken reaches 160-165F internal temperature or about an additional 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Be sure not to overcook the chicken as it will make them tough and chewy.
  • If roasting chicken pieces, follow the same browning instructions but don’t add the peaches and red onion until about 10-15 minutes prior to the bone in chicken being done.
  • Once the chicken is done transfer the chicken to a platter, scattering the peaches and onion over top and sprinkle with the bleu cheese. Serve immediately.
  • I love this dish served with a simple salad of fresh greens and a balsamic or French vinaigrette, or roasted green beans with toasted almonds and brown butter.
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