Browsing Tag

new year

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Soup vegetarian

Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado

spicy black bean soup with lime crema and avocado

I have selected two words for 2014.  I think I’m only supposed to choose one but I couldn’t make a decision between these two words.

Maybe my new word for the year should be decisive.

Someone once told me I had a talent for connecting.  Ok, never thought I’d hear that described as one of my talents.  But I’ll take it.

A bright young professional, a former business acquaintance, visionary; someone that waltzed through my life but for a season.  Although much younger and less life experience, this astute and intuitive young professional was correct.  Without ever paying attention to that little habit of mine, I realized, I like to connect people.  Of course, if it’s a love connection I’m even more delighted.  But I don’t think I’ll be changing my career path to match maker anytime soon.

Shortly after that thought provoking moment, one of my dearest friends told me her Mom once said “one of the most important things in life is our relationships”.  That too struck me and I’ve never forgotten. (Thank you Kristen… and Lola)

My friends Mom was correct. Relationships, connections, for a lifetime or for a season, help shape us, make us who we are and who were meant to be;  often helping us and others find a solid path.

A New Year's Weekend at the Beach

So, I started this year thinking my word for 2014 would be connect.  However, I’m also quite fond of the word listen.  If I hadn’t been listening I would never have “heard” both my business acquaintance or my friend.  Two words that allowed me to pause and reflect, and then proceed with open ears and an open heart.

I admit, it’s not always easy to actively listen. I have so much swimming around in my head most of the time.  I’d like to tell you I often contemplate super cool subjects like why stars split or why some years we have La Nina or El Nino. And, although the weather and astronomy interest me, my head is usually swimming with a list of seasonal ingredients and how I might pull them deliciously together in a new recipe.  Among other things of course, like being a Mom.

And how will I segue into this lush little recipe?  Well… I’ve been listening to my readers and I’m now connecting you with this delightful, seasonal and delicious recipe that simmers warm and cozy for the winter months. (apparently, I also like adjectives)

It’s a new year with new recipes and hopefully a few new food projects. I love hearing from my readers.  If you have recipe ideas or questions, meal ideas or meal idea questions feel free to email me at  I’ll answer as quickly as I can.  I promise I will listen and hopefully connect you with the information you need.

Loads of Love and Delicious Wishes,


Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado

I know the ingredient list looks long.  But I promise you’ll probably have most the ingredients on hand and I’ve broken down the ingredient list in order of use.  Sectioning ingredients always helps me when I’m preparing a new recipe.  So I thought it might be helpful for you as well.  Enjoy!!

Serves 4-6


The Veggies:

Tablespoon or two of olive oil

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 poblano pepper, roasted, skinned, seeded and diced

The Spices:

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

The Base of the Soup:

1 14 ounce can organic diced tomatoes with juice

4 cups vegetable broth

6-8 cups cooked black beans OR 4 14 ounce cans organic black beans

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lime, squeezed

The Garnish:

1 lime sliced

Sliced green onions

Hand torn cilantro

Sliced avocado

½ cup sour cream mixed with a squeeze of lime juice


Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the oil.  When the oil is hot add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent.  Then stir in the garlic and roasted poblano pepper and stir for a minute longer.

Next stir in all the spices, the tomatoes, vegetable broth and *black beans *reserving  two cups or 1 can of black beans. This is a semi pureed soup.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Let the soup simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add a squeeze or two of lime juice, about a tablespoon, and then take it off the heat.  Puree the soup with either a hand blender or carefully transfer the soup in batches to a vitamix or blender and puree.

Add the soup back to the soup pot and stir in the last two cups of black beans or last can of black beans.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and extra lime juice if needed.

Serve the soup in small bowls and garnish with sliced green onions, torn cilantro leaves, sliced avocado, a slice of lime and dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Karista's Kitchen Seafood vegetarian

A Delicious New Year!

One of my favorite things to do, is share the love of good food.  Being in the culinary business, I’m constantly surrounded by fabulous foodies, inspiring chef’s, passionate farmer’s, rancher’s and food artisans and in general, really great people.  I feel so blessed!

This first post of 2013 is a sharing post, a thank you post, and a delicious food post.  A three for one.

I am quite tardy in saying Thank You.  My apologies to these fabulous five bloggers who have so graciously and thoughtfully awarded me these special honors.  I am deeply honored to be recognized by my blogging peers.

Danny at 1227 Foster is relatively new on the food scene but you’d think Danny has been present for years.  I’ve never seen a lifestyle blogger transform their blog so quickly, so beautifully and so deliciously as Danny.  Armed with a fierce passion for delicious food, eye-catching décor, exciting travel destinations and most definitely a talent for all things beautiful.  I adore Danny, admire his passion and definitely recommend subscribing to his blog.  Thank you Danny for awarding me your 2012 Blog of the Year, Reality Blog Award and the Sensual Blogging Award.  I love to think my food could be labeled as sensual. 🙂

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

Cara at This Little Light is one of my most favorite writers.  She has a talent for beautiful words, thought-provoking subjects, and heartwarming stories.  I feel as if I’ve known her all my life.  If we lived closer we’d be best of friends I’m sure.  A lovely and captivating young woman who exudes passion for her craft and will no doubt be a bestselling author soon.  You must absolutely check out both her blogs: This Little Light and her newest project Awakening Foster Kelley ( a novel!) .  Thank you Cara for nominating me for 2012 Blog of the Year Award.  Hugs to you and I wish you huge success!!

I completely adore Emma at Sweet Mabel.  A fun, crafty, delicious, beautiful blog that makes me stay and browse a while when I’m there.  Her warm and charming personality shines through every post.  Her love of vintage matches mine and I’m mesmerized by all her vintage finds.  Truly one of my favorite blogs to visit.  I just wish we were closer so we could sit and chat over a cup of tea. 🙂  Thank you Emma for the Inspiring Blog Award!

Nancy Creative is a fun, creative, delicious and crafty blog.  I run short on crafty so I’m always looking to these lovely blogs for inspiration.  Nancy at Nancy Creative is a writer and designer and you can see these passions come through in her beautiful blog.  A lovely lady who shines with warmth and inspiration. Thank you Nancy for the One Lovely Blog Award!

Chef Mimi and I are newly acquainted through blogging. She’s a lovely lady who has devoted her life to the love of food and cooking.  An impressive career, Chef Mimi’s passion for great food shines through each and every recipe.  Thank you so much Chef Mimi for the Sunshine Award!

According to the rules for most of these awards I’m to tell you 7 things about myself that you don’t already know. Hmmm… that may be difficult, I feel like an open book most the time. 🙂

  1. When I was young I had three pigs named Josephine, Charlotte and Lester.  Lester was a little tyrant.  While I was climbing over the pig fence (age 7), Lester decided he didn’t like me and bit me smack dab in the butt.  Still sporting the scar. 🙁   I still love pigs.
  2. I once sang professionally.  No, you won’t find me on iTunes but you will find my fabulous cousins, The Univited and Fish Ranch Road. Love my guys!
  3. Mystery books and old cookbooks are my weakness.
  4. I much prefer savory over sweet.  Which is why my “sweets” recipe section is lacking.
  5. The one thing I can cook with my eyes closed.  Pan seared salmon.  My chef instructor once made me pan sear several pieces of salmon during a class because I kept cooking it all the way through (which is how I like it).  I practiced so many times at home, I can prepare it in my sleep.
  6. I am passionate about nutrition.   Food not genetically modified, food raised without pesticides and raising awareness about purchasing power.  Making better food choices will allow future generations greater health.  My little soapbox speech for the day.
  7. Autumn has always been my most favorite time of the year.

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

I nominate the following WordPress blog 2012 Blog of the Year:  Just a Smidgen 

Smidge (as I call her), is a poet, writer, artist and food blogger.  She encompasses all that is beautiful in this world.  Her writing has brought tears to my eyes, made me howl with laughter and given my heart peace.  Her food is always delicious and beautifully photographed.  And she’s crafty too! A beautiful and multi-talented lady who I adore and admire.

Wishing you all a most delicious, successful and happy new year!

Loads of Love,


Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

Proscuitto Wrapped Scallops with a Raspberry Chipotle Glaze

I’m basking in the quiet this morning.  A rare moment.  The day will get busier and by the end, I’ll wonder where time went.

With a full daily schedule, I constantly remind myself “be present in the moment”.  Sage advice from my lovely yoga Instructor.  Advice that has allowed me to relish time, instead of passing through it at mach speed.

I walk around mumbling these words.  So often that I found myself reciting this phrase in the market yesterday.  To my embarrassment, a fellow shopper thought I was talking to her.  No, just talking to myself.

I realized how much I miss in life when I’m not present in the moment.  Little things my daughters say, a hidden smile from my husband, sadness in a friend’s voice or joy in my niece’s email telling me she got into the college of her choice.

Even the pained look on Tank’s face when I’ve forgotten to feed him.  Although he usually won’t let anyone forget to feed him.  Even though he’s sporting a little extra “husky” these days and could use a tiny reduction in his food consumption.

Being present in the moment has become more important to me as of late. The tragedy in Newtown is devastating.  I cannot imagine.

Like many, I’ve shed a thousand tears. My heart continues to grieve for those who lost their precious children and loved ones.  My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them.

I wish you all true joy, much love and peace this holiday season!

Loads of Love,


Proscuitto Wrapped Scallops with a Raspberry Chipotle Glaze

I love this dish as an entree with Mexican Diver Scallops or as an appetizer with smaller scallops U 20-30.   The Raspberry Chipotle Glaze is even fabulous on grilled salmon, chicken and shrimp.  A lovely and versatile sauce. 🙂


Serves 2-3

10 large dry packed scallops (for appetizer use smaller dry packed scallops U 20-30, but not Bay Scallops)

5-8 slices prosciutto (sliced in half lengthwise)

10 rosemary stalks for skewers (or pretty party picks that can withstand heat)

Salt and Pepper

2-4 tablespoons clarified butter or high heat oil

1 cup raspberry preserves (with or without seeds, although I prefer without seeds.  If you can’t find without seed, just strain the glaze before using)

1/4 – 1/3 cup white wine or port

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce

Pinch of black pepper


To make the sauce,  in a blender or food processor, pulse the preserves, chipotle chili and wine.  Just until nicely combined.  Transfer to a small pot and heat on low.  Stir in a pinch of black pepper.  The heat thin the sauce a bit.  The sauce thickens as it cools.

To make the scallops, wrap one strip of prosciutto around the scallop and secure with a rosemary skewer.  Continue to do this with the remaining scallops.

Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon or two of clarified butter or high heat oil.  Season the scallops lightly with salt and pepper.  When the butter is hot, brown the scallops on both sides.  About 1-2 minutes on each side depending on size of the scallop.  You may need to adjust your heat and turn it down to medium if your pan gets too hot.  You want the scallops to have a nice golden brown crust on each side.  Click on this link for a visual tutorial on how to perfectly pan sear scallops.

Drizzle sauce on plates or a platter and then place the cooked scallops on top of the sauce and serve immediately.  As well, you can plate the scallops and then drizzle the sauce on top.  Either way, it’ll taste fantastic!

Recipe inspired by my favorite fishmonger, Jim at Gemini Fish Market 🙂