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Back to School Sausage Rolls

Cuisinart Back to School Sausage Rolls 5

“After school is my favorite part of the day Mom”. This is what my youngest daughter used to tell me when she was little.  I once asked why it was her favorite part of the day and she replied “because when I open the front door it smells like home”.   Tell me that wouldn’t melt your heart into a giant puddle?!

After melting into that giant puddle I asked “what smells like home?”  My daughter said “it smells like delicious food”.

I didn’t always work from home so on those days I’d try to have something tasty (and mostly healthy) in the fridge to warm up or on the counter in the treat bin.  Because after that heart melting statement, how could I not have an after school snack for my little gal who obviously cherished that one moment every day?

Back to School Sausage Rolls with your favorite sausage, cheese and puff pastry // Karista's Kitchen

Making these sausage rolls is a snap. I first learned of these tasty little treats from my friend Suzie, who is from the UK.  

She used to bring them to elementary school for events or teacher appreciation day.  I must have been the one adult to eat my weight in these delectable bite sized nibbles.  So when Cuisinart sent me the Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven to review, I thought these savory baked sausage rolls would be a perfect first recipe to prepare and test out this fabulous piece of kitchen equipment.

Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven // Karista's Kitchen

I’m not one to load my kitchen with lots of equipment but I have to tell you this toaster oven has gotten a lot of use since it’s arrival.  During the hot summer I cooked everything in it.  From salmon filets and burgers to flatbread pizza, blueberry crisp and brownies.  It was so hot this summer I didn’t want to turn on my oven and grilling outside often seemed way too much effort in the scorching heat.

The Cuisinart convection feature is perfect for quickly cooking and searing in juices of fish, poultry, pork and meat and it cooked salmon burgers and stuffed portabella mushrooms perfectly.  My family thoroughly enjoys the toaster oven feature. It makes preparing flatbread or pizza and warming up leftover macaroni and cheese simple and quick.  It’s also easy to clean and just the right size so it doesn’t take up too much counter space.

These tasty sausage rolls keep well in the fridge and can be warmed up in the toaster oven as well.  But I have to admit, they are pretty darn delicious right out of the oven.

Wishing you a happy and safe school year and a most fabulous Autumn season!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Back to School Sausage Rolls

6-12 depending on the size of the sausages

Back to School Sausage Rolls


  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 9-12 small sausages or hot dogs, if using sausages gently cut the casing and slide the sausage out of the casing. (I used chicken apple breakfast sausages)
  • 3-4 slices cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
  • Yellow Mustard, Honey Mustard or Maple Syrup for dipping
  • Serve with assorted cut or sliced veggies for a delicious and healthy snack


  • This recipe makes 6-12 sausage rolls depending on the size of your sausages. I used smaller chicken apple breakfast sausages, removed from the casing and then cut in half.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F and place a piece of parchment on the baking tray.
  • Roll out the puff pastry and cut three even strips.
  • Depending on the size of your sausages, divide each strip of puff pastry into thirds or half. Cut the cheese slices into halves or thirds.
  • Whisk the egg with the water for the egg wash.
  • At one end of a square of puff pastry, brush with a little egg wash and then place a strip of cheese and then a piece of sausage on the end of the pastry square. Roll up the pastry to enclose the sausage, pinching the seam a bit to keep the pastry closed and then place it seam side down on the baking tray. Repeat the process for each piece of pastry.
  • Once the rolls are done, score the top of each sausage roll with a knife and then brush with the remaining egg wash.
  • Place them in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown and the sausages look done.
  • Let them cool for about 5 minutes before serving. The sausage will be very hot! I like to serve these with honey mustard, yellow mustard or maple syrup for dipping.
  • Store in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Notes

    To serve these for a party, I also like to serve them with tomato jam or chutney.

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Pork

    Stuffed Olive and Sausage Bites

    stuffed olive and sausage bites

    Stuffed Olive and Sausage Bites

    There is no doubt the holidays are always a busy time of year.  However, the last few years it’s become a reason to put the brakes on.  Or at least slow down long enough to savor the season.

    I find myself turning off my computer earlier in the evening, leaving the iPad on my desk, losing my phone (ok… I do this year round), and hanging out by the fire watching old holiday films, sipping my new fave wine and enjoying the company of my beautiful family.

    It’s amazing how something as simple as a Christmas movie and a good cup of cocoa can bring everyone into the family room.For me, the holidays are also a time of reflection.  Reflection on the unexpected blessings, the mountainous hurdles that have been jumped and long winding roads that were crossed.

    The joy of being a mom of two beautiful and sassy gals, the ever present love, laughter and hilarious adventure with a man who is my best friend. Reflection on the love of family and friends, and new friendships.

    Stuffed olives and sausage rolled in panko and baked

    One evening at a food blogging event this past summer,  I found myself standing alone at a tall table in the corner of a large barn like building.  I was trying to look casual holding my cocktail and putting my pride in check after a disappointing moment.  I’m typically eager to meet new people and make new friends.  However, sometimes I forget others are not so eager.

    So with my pride somewhat bruised and mentally giving myself a good lecture, I stood there watching the crowd as if I were on the outside looking in.

    I checked the time on my phone and only half an hour had passed.  Oh well, I thought. It’s time to pack it in, go home, put on the pajamas and read a good book.  There were also three Bennett’s at home that would give me no shortage of conversation.

    Just as I was fishing around my handbag for my keys, a lovely lady with a bright as a Christmas tree smile introduced herself.  I probably looked stunned.  I’m sure it took me a minute but I soon realized she was speaking to me and I should probably speak back.

    Melanie is genuine. She presented me with a kindness I will never forget.  Along with a few more lovely women from the event, Melanie became a new friend.

    Melanie is the author of the blog Melanie in the Middle and now her newest project, A Beautiful Bite, Where Passion and Plate Collide. Fresh, fun, beautiful and mouthwatering recipes.  And she has the best giveaways!

    So, in honor of A Beautiful Bite, I thought I’d share these lovely little Stuffed Olive and Sausage Bites.  Perfect starters for your holiday table.

    Or if you’re like me… you eat them for lunch. 😉

    Happy Holidays and Loads of Love,


    Stuffed Olive and Sausage Bites

    Makes about 18-20 depending on size of the olives


    1 jar (or about 20) feta or bleu cheese stuffed green olives.  Sometimes I can find orange peel stuffed olives and these are fabulous in this starter.

    About ½ – ¾ panko style bread crumbs

    1 pound sweet, mild or hot Italian sausage


    Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Make sure you lightly paper towel the olives so the sausage will stick.

    I usually place the olives in one bowl, the sausage in another and the bread crumbs in a third bowl.

    Flatten out a tablespoon sized portion of sausage in your palm. Place an olive in the center, then shape the sausage around it, enclosing the olive.

    Roll the sausage wrapped olive in the bread crumbs. Continue to shape it and pressing the bread crumbs into the sausage slightly.  As olives are prepared, space them apart on a baking sheet.

    Repeat with the remaining olives.

    The olives can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.  Cover tightly.

    At least 20 minutes before baking, remove them from the refrigerator and pre-heat the oven to 450F.  Bake the olives for about 12-14 minutes, until the sausage is cooked and lightly browned.

    Serve on a long olive tray or speared with fun picks.

    Recipe slightly adapted from the fabulous Chef Kathy Casey, Sips and Apps

    Kid Friendly Pasta Pork

    Weeknight Ragu over Jovial Brown Rice Pasta

    Weeknight Ragu over Jovial Brown Rice Pasta

    Yep, I did it again. Second time in a week I forgot to plan dinner.  I plan at least 3-4 meals at one time.  Always.  But it’s my busy season and I got sidetracked.

    It happens. Right? Thankfully my crew is easy to please (Mmmm… fairly easy).

    A few tasty ingredients for a simply delicious dish!

    So, I took stock of my frig and pantry and put together this lovely little dish.  So lovely I went back to the kitchen to take a picture and the entire dish of Weeknight Ragu was gone.

    Not to worry.  I did mention it was the second time in a week I forgot to plan dinner.  I know, this is tragic and I can’t believe it either.

    Wildly Delicious Dish!

    I prepared Weeknight Ragu again. This time I snapped pictures before my crew hit the table.  I sound like I have a hungry crew of 10 boys.

    Just my two sassy gals, Ranger Craig and my trusty sidekick, Tank.  I think they like my cooking. 🙂

    Weeknight Ragu

    Serves 4


    1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, or safflower, sunflower or coconut oil

    1 red onion, diced

    1 lb spicy or mild pork sausage (I also love this with chicken sausage)

    1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I love Muir Glen)

    1 15 oz can tomato sauce

    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

    1/2 cup water (if needed)

    Drizzle of olive oil

    Handful of fresh basil, chopped or chiffinade (tasty garnish)

    Cooked pasta of your choice. I love Jovial brand pastas, Einkorn and Brown Rice


    In a large saute pan heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onions until nicely wilted and translucent.  About 5 minutes.

    Next, add the sausage and cook through, crumbling the sausage as it’s cooking.

    Once the sausage is cooked through, stir in both tomato sauces, red wine vinegar and a pinch of red pepper flakes, being careful of splatter.  Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.  Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water if you’d like a thinner ragu.

    Season to taste with salt and pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

    Serve over your favorite pasta and garnish with fresh basil.  Enjoy!

    *This sauce also does well on a low simmer for about 30 minutes, for more intense flavor.

    Kid Friendly Pork Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Roasted Pear Salad with a Shallot Vinaigrette and Red Chard and Spicy Sausage Quiche

    Roasted Pear Salad

    A few weeks ago Full Circle Farm  contacted me and asked if I’d like to sample a month’s worth of their produce.  I’m a huge fan of local, CSA farms and I felt honored they asked me to give them a try.  So I signed up, cruised their user-friendly website and marked my calendar for our first delivery.

    I woke up to a delicious surprise Tuesday morning.  My Full Circle Farm produce box was waiting patiently for me on my front porch.  Exciting! Actually, I’m not sure who was more excited, me or Ranger Craig.  He loves his veggies.

    Organic Produce from Full Circle Farms

    Brilliantly colored Red Chard, bright green pears, pink firm apples, a perfect looking buttercup squash, fingerling potatoes, bright red radishes, crisp celery, sweet baby spinach, green leaf lettuce, organic Satsumas and a giant red beet.  I couldn’t wait to dig in.

    Roasted Pear Salad with Bleu Cheese and Toasted Walnuts

    The pears and the spinach were calling my name, so a roasted pear salad was on the menu last night for dinner.  Added a little of my fave bleu cheese, some toasted walnuts and a divine little shallot vinaigrette and the evening became blissfully delicious.

    Organic Red Chard

    I decided the Bennett Crew needed a little something more than just the salad, although I was completely satisfied with my big bowl of deliciousness.  Browsing my produce stash again, the brilliantly colored red chard caught my eye. A red chard and spicy sausage quiche would make a snappy little dish to go with my roasted pear salad.

    Red Chard and Spicy Sausage Quiche

    So it’s a two for one today! So much goodness I had to post these two recipes together.

    Thanks so much to Full Circle Farms for sharing a months worth of produce with the Bennett Crew.  I’m completely impressed with the produce, the user friendly website, options for ordering my produce, home delivery and pick up options, and a lovely little artisan grocery page for yummy extras.  Local, fresh, organic, high quality, seasonal and convenient.

    Full Circle Farms now delivers to much of the Northwest.  If you don’t live within their delivery area, I highly recommend exploring CSA farms in your local area.  It’s a great way to boost our local economies, help others in our communities and provide our families with healthy, high quality produce.  I even purchase my eggs farm fresh.  They’re less expensive than purchasing at the local market, not to mention delicious.

    If you have little ones, there are many CSA farms in the U.S. that give the option of harvesting your own produce.  We did this when my two sassy gals were little and it was a blast.  It was so much fun to show them how a farm works, how food grows and my little gal loved getting her hands dirty.  My oldest gal just wanted to play with the pigs.

    My Two Sassy Gals... Love

    Delicious Wishes to you all during this most beautiful holiday season!

    Loads of Love,


    Roasted Pear Salad with Baby Spinach, Bleu Cheese, Toasted Walnuts tossed in a Shallot Vinaigrette

    Serves 3-4

    For the Salad:

    5-6 ounces fresh baby spinach

    2 pears, sliced

    1 – 1/4 cups crumbled bleu cheese (I adore Rogue Creamery Bleu Cheese)

    1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

    Shallot Vinaigrette

    1 shallot, finely diced (about 2 tablespoons)

    1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and pepper to taste


    Whisk together all the shallot vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Toss the pears in a drizzle of oil (to keep them from sticking) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  I like them crisp tender, but if they are super ripe before baking they will be soft.  They will still taste yummy.

    When the pears are done, toss the vinaigrette with the spinach.

    Plate the spinach on individual plates or one large platter or bowl.  Top with the warm pears, bleu cheese and toasted chopped walnuts.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and serve.   Salad recipe adapted from multiple sources

    Red Chard and Spicy Sausage Quiche

    Serves 6


    1 bunch red, rainbow or Swiss chard, chopped (just leaves, save the hard stems for a soup or stock)

    1 onion, diced

    2 tablespoons grapeseed, coconut, safflower or sunflower oil

    1 lb spicy Italian sausage (I used spicy chicken sausage)

    4 eggs

    1 cup heavy cream

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    1/2 teaspoon dried basil

    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional, for extra zing!)

    1 cup Swiss or Emmental Cheese, shredded

    1 prepared deep dish pie crust (I use a gluten-free crust from Wheatless in Seattle. The pie crust isn’t deep enough so I take it out of the pie tin and put it in my deep dish pie plate.  It works great!)


    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

    Add a tablespoon of oil to a saute pan or skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onions until wilted and then add the chopped chard.  The chard will wilt like spinach.  Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and then transfer to a bowl.

    Add another tablespoon of oil to the saute pan or skillet over medium high heat and brown the sausage.  When the sausage is cooked through, drain the fat and place the crumbled sausage in the prepared pie crust.

    Top the crumbled sausage with the chard and onions, and then the shredded cheese.

    Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and basil.  Pour over the shredded cheese.

    Bake the quiche for about 45 minutes to one hour or until its done and the top is nicely browned.  Let the quiche cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.

    Recipe from Karista’s Kitchen