Browsing Tag


Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets

Confetti Muffins (Zucchini, Carrot and Pineapple Muffins)

Zucchini, Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

There comes a moment in time when Mother’s must do what must be done.  Tell a fiblet.

Not a fib or a lie or even a white lie.  A fiblet.  My youngest gal’s favorite word for a “slight truth”.  You might think me a completely terrible parent for telling a fiblet.  But alas, it’s been necessary a time or two.

Especially when my youngest gal announced she no longer ate vegetables. I was horrified. How could my child not eat her vegetables?  I’m a chef for Pete’s sake. Aren’t my children supposed to have advanced palates and eat absolutely anything I cook?  Apparently not.

Confetti Muffins

So,  I did what any good Mother would do.  I hid veggies in the food.   Mashed potatoes included mashed cauliflower, steamed and finely diced broccoli went into the meatballs and roasted zucchini went into our favorite grilled hamburgers.

I was on a role.  I was feeling so proud of my ingenuity and cleverness.  And not once did I have to tell a fiblet.  Until the muffins.

Zucchini, carrot and pineapple muffins.  Yep, I thought to myself, this was going to be great. I’d get my little gal eating veggies for breakfast and dinner.

As soon as the muffins came out of the oven my little gal was sitting at the counter, ready and waiting for her muffin.  She kept telling me how delicious they smelled, and that these were absolutely going to be her favorite muffins ever!

My Little Suzie Q

Then she broke one open and adamantly stated  “What’s all this stuff in my muffin?”  And here’s where that fiblet flew right out of my mouth.  “It’s called a confetti muffin”.  “You know, like those yummy confetti sprinkles we put on cupcakes”.

Ok, so I know what you’re thinking.  If she’d ask me what the “confetti” was made of I would have come clean and told her. I promise.  But she never asked. (Phew!)

My little Suzie Q… almost grown up.


Wishing all you Mom’s loads of love, lots of laughs and giggles, quiet time for yourselves, and true joy.


Confetti Muffins (Zucchini, Carrot and Pineapple Muffins)

When I created these muffins I wanted them to be as delicious and health friendly as possible.  So I made lots of substitutions that I believe are all in good health.  Most of the ingredients can now be found at any major grocery store chain.  However, if you have a local natural market or a Whole Foods close by, you’ll definitely find a good selection of these ingredients.  I’ve also included a gluten-free recipe following the whole grain recipe.  Happy Baking!

Makes 12 muffins


½ cup coconut oil (softened) or grapeseed oil

½ cup brown sugar or Agave syrup

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup grated fresh zucchini

½ cup grated fresh carrot

½ cup diced pineapple (fresh or organic canned with no added sugars)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I like King Aruthur)

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt


Pre heat the oven to 350F.

Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

Whisk together the softened coconut oil and brown sugar until nicely combined.  Add one egg at a time and whisk until creamy.  Then mix in the vanilla.

Fold in the zucchini, carrot and pineapple.

In a separate bowl mix together the wheat and all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and try (really hard) not to over mix. (I’ve been known to over mix a time or two)  All you want is for both mixtures to be nicely combined.

Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are firm to the touch.

Let the muffins cool on a wire rack before serving.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Confetti Muffins

If you are looking for a simple gluten-free muffin mix, I love Pamela’s gluten-free baking mix.  Follow the basic muffin recipe,  adding in the same amount of veggies and pineapple as the recipe above.  If the muffin batter seems too thin, add a bit more of the gluten-free baking mix.  Bake as directed.

I prepare these muffins with Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour.  I get a lot of my almond flour recipes from the brilliant gluten-free and paleo blogger, Elana’s Pantry.  She has a delicious selection of gluten-free and paleo friendly recipes on her site.  Here are some blanched almond flour confetti muffins I whipped up… adapted from Elana’s Pantry.


Makes about 8-10 muffins

2 cups Honeyville blanched almond flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup agave syrup

1/2 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup diced pineapple


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Line a muffin tin with 8-10 muffin cups.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Then whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Fold in the veggies and pineapple.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and firm to the touch.  Enjoy!

Chicken Grilling Pork Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

Pineapple Mango Chutney

Ok everyone, hold on to your seats, this is one of my new favorite sauces.  I’m over the moon excited about this flavorful, fresh and gloriously pretty chutney.  It looks like sunshine and tastes like heaven.

It beautifully complimented my roasted salmon, allowing the rich flavors of the salmon to mellow under the tangy sweetness of the fruit.  Oh, and just a little zip from the roasted chili sauce.  Mmmm.

Bright, beautiful and spicy sweet I was so thrilled with this recipe I talked about it all through dinner; until I saw my gals eyes rolling to the back of their heads.

My little gal, who is quite animated, pretended to fall asleep over her plate.  I think that was my hint to change the subject.

I can see Suzie Q’s daily journal headline… My crazy Mother’s obsession with food.  🙂

Pineapple Mango Chutney


1 small fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped

3 mango’s, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup white wine or water

1-2 teaspoons roasted red chili paste (Thai Kitchen)


Combine all the ingredients except the chili sauce in a medium saucepan.

Heat over medium heat and keep at a slow simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes or until the ingredients become soft and a bit saucy.

If the chutney becomes dry add a little more water or wine to the mixture.

When the chutney is done fold in the chili sauce.

Keep in the frig for up to one week.

Great over grilled pork, chicken and fish, especially salmon!  Sam Choy serves his chutney with wok stir fried shrimp over rice.  Yum!

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!