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VRAI Magazine

Book Reviews Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

Our First Digital Food Magazine!

Sweet Potato and Apple Tarte Tatin // Karista's Kitchen // A View to Delicious Magazine digital food magazine

Friends, we’ve launched our first digital food magazine called A View to Delicious.

I’m so excited to share this beautiful and mouth-watering food issue with you. It’s been a fun, challenging and adventurous project all rolled up into a magazine that I hope you’ll enjoy. We’ve filled the magazine with new seasonally inspired recipes, stunning visuals, stories about the pacific northwest life as well as healthy living tips and cooking advice.

And we’ve got our first review!

 “I just want to cook today. Make it all. Love the question and answer page! Things I’ve wondered answered. All the recipes simply put and so understandable. Gentle. Like you are wanting people to succeed not overpower them with your knowledge” ~Marni Zarr 

Along with VRAI Magazine Editor, Danny de la Cruz and Creative Designer Mary Jo Cadiz, we’ve created this premiere digital food magazine to celebrate the season and of course all things food, farm and healthy living.

My editor also talked me into a little “getting to know” section about me and how in the world I ended up in this most delicious profession of culinary arts. You don’t want to miss all the fun  –  cooking tips and techniques, cooking questions answered, new recipes, holiday recipe round-up and loads of cute farm animals. 🙂

Just click HERE  to purchase your downloadable copy!

A View to Delicious Magazine digital food magazine // Fall 2016 // Karista's Kitchen

Thank you friends for following along this delicious journey. I’d so appreciate if you’d share this post with friends and family or check out my Facebook page or Instagram page and share on our social media sites.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!




Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes Sweets Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

Our Premiere Digital Food Issue

A View to Delicious // Karista's Kitchen and VRAI Magazine premiere food issue Fall 2016

I’ve partnered with VRAI Magazine and we wrote our very first digital food issue, A View to Delicious! 

We’ve been working hard to craft a beautifully photographed food and lifestyle digital food issue featuring the freshest farm-to-table recipes, healthy lifestyle tips, articles on unique destinations that dot the landscape of this scenic region and more cooking inspiration, tips and advice from my years in the culinary profession.

A View to Delicious is a little taste of what I create at home in my kitchen.  This digital food issue is a glimpse into where I live and why I adore my region of the world.  It’s also a little insight into how I feel about healthy and happy living and inspiration for creating life the table.  It also contains lovely verse and poetry by a few of my friends and lots of farm animals. Did I mention the farm animals?

A View to Delicious // Karista's Kitchen

Our premiere digital food issue, A View to Delicious, is available for pre-order now and until the 25th of September.  You can snag it HERE. The magazine will launch on Monday, September 26th!

As I’m writing this, I’m filled with over the moon excitement.  I can’t wait to share with you the delicious new recipes and a peek into my crazy delicious world. 🙂

I hope you’ll pre-order A View to Delicious and then tell me what you think when you read it. I always love hearing from my readers!

Wishing you a very happy and healthy fall season.

Loads of Love,



Appetizers Breakfast Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pasta Salad vegetarian

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes on an egg and biscuit // Karista's Kitchen

These days, my kitchen counter looks more like a market produce bin.  Which is why I’ve got these lush jammy roasted tomatoes incorporated into almost every meal this season.  I honestly thought I was a bit modest in planning my summer garden this year – it appears I may have over estimated yet again.

I’m sure my exuberance was due to the long winter and my yearning for fresh tomatoes and zucchini.  I certainly got my wish.

Every morning Tank and I walk out to the garden boxes and pick produce, pull weeds, water the plants and then stand around and lovingly admire all the work. I never fail to walk back into the house with a smile on my face and usually a small cherry tomato in Tank’s mouth.

Tank the Terrier and the tomato bowl // Karista's Kitchen

This summer, I’ve prepared every fresh tomato recipe my family likes to eat as well as every zucchini and poblano recipe I can think of making.  One of my favorite ways to use the fresh zucchini and tomatoes is to small dice the zucchini and combine them with diced tomatoes, summer corn, torn basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  This is one of my family’s favorite summer salads… it’s a bit like this salad, only with the addition of diced zucchini.

These jammy roasted tomatoes are my attempt to do something different with all the summer tomatoes other than make a salad, sandwiches or tomato pie.  I adore the sweetness of roasted tomatoes and I love to toss them into pastas, wilted greens, smear onto sandwiches or breakfast biscuits.  I like to add them to summer soups and stews, homemade pizza and of course spread them over goat cheese crostini.  I’ve canned these jammy roasted tomatoes but I also like to freeze small packages for use this winter in my sauces and stews.

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes // Karista's Kitchen

I also adore these jammy roasted tomatoes dolloped into the center of cheesy polenta or served as a sort of sauce for grilled or pan seared fish, chicken or pork.  They’re so good,  sometimes I snag a spoonful out of the jar for a snack.

Besides thinking of new ways to prepare my plethora of produce, I’ve been busy working on a fun project that I know you’re going to love!  A View to Delicious is the autumn food issue that is written by me and published by VRAI Magazine.  It’ll include new seasonal recipes, stories and photos of the Pacific Northwest, reader questions, cooking tips and techniques and more.  I’ve put my heart into this issue and I hope you’ll read it and love it as much as I do.  It’ll launch September 26th! So stay tuned.

In between work and gardening, family vacation and getting my sassy gal ready for college, I also took a little time to visit the parents. My youngest gal and I went to the local farmers market with pop, had a lovely crepe prepared by Chef Tarek for breakfast and shopped for the weekly produce under the warm summer sun.

Chef Tarek making crepes at the Temecula farmers market // Karista's Kitchen

It was a quick visit but it was fun for the grandparents to visit with their granddaughter and see her witty but somewhat eccentric style.  Yep, as you can see, this one always thought she was a mermaid.  While touring an art museum she found a mermaid chair and claimed it as her throne.

Amelia and her Mermaid Chair // Karista's Kitchen
Today I’m back in the office (kitchen) working on new, exciting and of course, delicious, recipes for the fall and winter seasons.  The kiddos are back to school and soon the weather will carry a chill in the air and it’ll be time to put a simmering pot of soup on the stove again.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


Jammy Roasted Tomatoes

Jammy Roasted Tomatoes


  • About 5-6 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes, drained as much as possible (enough to spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and then toss the chopped tomatoes with the brown sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian herbs and olive oil.
  • Spread them in a single layer on the lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove them from the oven and let them cool before using, canning or freezing.
  • Notes

    I make two or three batches of these jammy roasted tomatoes. One batch stays in the fridge, one goes in the freezer and the other one is used for dinner. Delicious!

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen VRAI Magazine

    Small Bites for Winter Weddings


    Greek Lamb Burgers with Cucumber and Spiced Yogurt Sauce

    May is shaping up to be a busy work and family filled month and I’m looking forward to every moment.  My youngest sassy gal will be graduating high school soon and then off to college in the fall.  Family is visiting and there will be loads of fun dinners to prepare – some of which I’ll try to share here.  🙂  I have a bistro steak coming soon!

    Until then, I want to share this link with you… because I think you’d love these recipes and this magazine.  VRAI Magazine asked me to write about small bites for winter weddings – to be published in their first winter wedding guide.  I was honored, mostly because I admire the editor of this magazine, Danny de la Cruz, and his impressive professional background.  Not to mention he’s a dream to work with.

    Puff Pastry Crostini with Goat Cheese and Strawberry Pepper Jelly // Karista's Kitchen

    Can I just say I’m so pleased with the final result?! This Winter Wedding Guide is gorgeous and filled with quality information every winter bride-to-be needs.  It also contains a bit of deliciousness (by moi)  in the form of small bites for winter weddings and a guide to chocolate fondue by the fabulous Ksenia Skvortsova from the blog Saffron and Honey.   Flowers, decor, planning tips and advice, gorgeous gowns and more.  I know you’ll love it!

    Click here to sign up for your free copy and be sure to snag my small bites recipes. You won’t want to miss my Greek Lamb Sliders with Cucumber and Spiced Yogurt Sauce, Crab Stuffed Mini Peppers and Goat Cheese and Strawberry Pepper Jelly in Puff Pastry Crostini!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,



    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Pasta vegetarian

    Raviolo al Uovo with Brown Butter

    Raviolo al Uovo with Brown Butter // Karista's Kitchen

    You know that feeling you get when you bite into a fork full of food so lush, so decadent, it causes a sort of euphoria? And for a moment, you’re senses are transported to another place – relishing the taste, the textures and aroma.  That’s Raviolo al Uovo with Brown Butter.

    This isn’t just another lovely dish, it’s a dish to be savored, served with the best wine and the best company.  It’s a perfect “date night in” recipe, or something you’d serve to a few close friends.  When you prepare this dish, give your self plenty of time in the kitchen.  You know the old saying, the one your mom probably said a thousand times, “stop taking your sweet time and get a move on it”?  Well this is the time to ignore that saying.   Although it’s not a difficult recipe to prepare it does take a gentle hand and a little “sweet” time.

    Raviolo al Uovo with Brown Butter // Karista's Kitchen

    When I was thinking about what I’d write for VRAI Magazine’s December issue, I knew I wanted it to be special.  I’d planned a roasted Tri-Tip that turned out sumptuous in every way – but it just didn’t feel right for the season.  It had to be Raviolo al Uovo.

    Raviolo al Uovo with Brown Butter // Karista's Kitchen

    I know you’ll love this recipe and you can find it at VRAI Magazine.   If you make it,  I’d love to know how it turned out.  And of course, you can always email me with questions.

    Wishing you all a beautiful and very delicious Holiday Season!

    Loads of Love,



    Appetizers Breakfast Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian VRAI Magazine

    Avocado and Watercress Salad with Edible Flowers

    Avocado Watercress Salad with Edible Flowers // Karista's Kitchen

    There is nothing quite like a beautiful salad. The color, the scent of fresh greens and produce, all collectively creating edible art on a plate.

     Not only is this Avocado and Watercress Salad impressive in presentation, but it’s mouth-watering delicious in taste.  

    Fresh avocado and watercress tossed with a light lemon vinaigrette, gently stacked and then topped with brilliantly colored edible flowers.


    Spring Vegetable Strata // Karista's Kitchen and VRAI Magazine

    The Avocado and Watercress Salad is simple to prepare – either with round food rings or you can layer the salad on a platter or on individual plates.   This salad is so delicious served with either a quiche or this lovely Spring Vegetable Strata I created for VRAI Magazine.  The fresh flavors of the avocado and peppery watercress pair beautifully with eggs dishes or even a spring lamb chop or roasted rack of lamb would be lovely.

    A gorgeous table of food for Mother’s Day brunch or any casual weekend entertaining.  I often serve the strata for Sunday breakfast and fancy it up with the salad if I’m serving it for brunch.  However you decide to serve these dishes, your guests will be completely delighted. Especially if there is a Mimosa sitting next to the plate!

    Wishing you all a beautiful and delicious week!

    Loads of Love,


    Avocado and Watercress Salad with Edible Flowers

    Serving Size: 4

    Avocado and Watercress Salad with Edible Flowers


    • 1 large bunch watercress, thin stems and leaves only
    • 2-3 large firm but ripe avocados, diced
    • ½ to 1 cup edible flowers (usually purchased in the fresh herb section of a market)
    • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • Juice of one lemon, about 3 tablespoons
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 3-4 inch round food molds, if desired (optional). If you don’t have food molds, a washed and dried tuna with both ends removed will also work.


  • Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl, gently toss the diced avocados with a splash of the lemon vinaigrette. In a seperate bowl, gently toss the watercress with a splash of lemon vinaigrette. The watercress will wilt quickly once it’s dressed with vinaigrette so don’t dress the watercress until right before serving. The avocado should be dressed with vinaigrette as soon as it’s been diced.
  • If using food molds (or tuna cans), brush the inside with a little olive oil. Set each mold on a plate. Divide the avocado among the plates. Press the avocado firmly into the mold. Next, press the watercress into each mold. Gently remove the molds. It’s ok if the watercress falls, it will still look beautiful. Drizzle a little more vinaigrette over each salad if desired and once last pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Garnish each salad with edible flowers and serve.
  • If you’d like to make the salad without molds, layer the avocado on plates, top with watercress and then the edible flowers.
  • Notes

    If you can't find edible flowers, not to worry. Garnish with fresh chopped chives and some grated fresh carrot and beet or spiralized carrot and beet for some color.

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen vegetarian

    Truffle Pesto and Asparagus Flatbread with Goat Cheese Crumbles and Dressed Arugula

    Truffle Pesto Asparagus Flatbread with Goat Cheese and Dressed Arugula // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been a little tardy with recipes recently.  It’s certainly not intentional, just a hefty dose of life and work; and reminding myself that balance is key to keeping my healthy and happiness wells filled.

    Honestly, I wish I could post something delicious for you every day.  I have a never ending list of recipes and recipe ideas that I keep in one of the many journals that float around my house.  Some get posted here, some go to clients, some get tossed into the garbage (never to see the light of day) and some get filed away for next year because the season is gone and I ran out of time.

    Truffle Pesto and Asparagus Flatbread with Goat Cheese and Dressed Arugula // Karista's Kitchen

    However, you are in luck today.  This little beauty happened one winter day after Little Lace Box sent me a jar of La Favorita Pesto Genovese (Italian Truffle Pesto) to sample for the Karista’s Kitchen Store.  One dip of the finger and I was hooked.  I had to find a spoon and take a bigger sample… and another sample… and another.   Same thing happened when I sampled a Buttered Salted Caramel sauce only I think I “sampled” half the jar.

    Truffle Pesto and Asparagus Flatbread with Goat Cheese and Dressed Arugula // Karista's Kitchen

    The Italian Truffle Pesto is a clean and fresh tasting basil pesto laced with Italian truffle and perfectly suited for a variety of recipes.  Our weather is warming a bit here, the days are longer and dinner seems to become lighter fare.  We dine later in the evening year round but it seems during the spring and summer months dinner is typically after sunset, so a quick and tasty Flatbread often shows up to the table.

    Because it’s spring, asparagus had to make an appearance – along with crumbled goat cheese and the exploding arugula from my garden, lightly dressed in a lemon vinaigrette; making this a gorgeous and delicious flatbread for brunch, lunch or supper.

    You can certainly prepare this tasty flatbread with your favorite basil pesto (jarred or homemade) but if you’d love a chance to win a jar, I’m giving away one jar for two fabulous readers over at VRAI Magazine.  Feel free to jump on over and enter to win! Or, you can head on over to my kitchen store, Karista’s Kitchen, hosted on the fun and fabulous (and re-designed) Little Lace Box website and purchase a jar (or two!).  While you’re there, stay a while and browse our delicious selection of gourmet and artisan food products.  With more products being added soon!

    Wishing you all a most delicious spring!


    Truffle Pesto and Asparagus Flatbread with Goat Cheese Crumbles and Dressed Arugula

    1-2 servings depending on the size of your flatbread

    Truffle Pesto and Asparagus Flatbread with Goat Cheese Crumbles and Dressed Arugula


    • 1 prepared or store bought flatbread
    • 1 jar La Favorita Pesto Genovese or your favorite basil pesto
    • 1/2 - 1 lb spring (thin spears) asparagus spears, trimmed
    • 2-4 ounces goat cheese
    • 1-2 handfuls fresh baby arugula
    • 1 lemon
    • Dash of extra virgin olive oil
    • Fleur de sel or sea salt for garnish


  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  • Place the flatbread on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Spread a few tablespoons of the pesto onto the flatbread (enough to cover the surface) leaving about a 1 inch edge around the flatbread.
  • Place the asparagus spears onto the flatbread in a single layer. I like to place them "head to toe" so I can fill the flatbread completely with the asparagus.
  • Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and pepper and then layer with goat cheese crumbles.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the flatbread are nice and golden brown and the goat cheese is soft and golden on top.
  • Remove the flatbread from the oven to cool.
  • While the flatbread is cooling, toss a few handfuls of baby arugula with a squeeze of lemon and dash of olive oil.
  • Place a mound of dressed arugula onto the center of the flatbread and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel or sea salt. Slice and serve.
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    Appetizers Giveaways Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly VRAI Magazine

    Rosemary and Irish Cheddar Gougeres and Giveaways!

    Rosemary and Irish Cheddar Gougeres // Karista's Kitchen and VRAI Magazine

    This month, VRAI Magazine will celebrate it’s first anniversary.  To celebrate this momentous occasion I created these lovely and delicious Rosemary and Irish Cheddar Gougeres.   Gougeres are a light and airy pastry that pair deliciously with wine, cocktails or even a Mother’s Day tea.

    Rosemary and Irish Cheddar Gougeres // Karista's Kitchen and VRAI Magazine

    You won’t want to miss all the giveaways this month! To celebrate VRAI Magazine’s first anniversary each editor and/or contributor is giving away a special gift or gifts.  I completely adore this Italian Truffle Pesto so I’m giving away one jar for two fabulous readers!  Head on over to VRAI Magazine and enter to win!  To enter, sign up for VRAI Magazine’s newsletter and give a “like” to Karista’s Kitchen Facebook page.  The more you share, the more chances of winning.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,



    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork VRAI Magazine

    Marinated Pork and Mango Skewers with Coconut Rice

    Pork and Mango Skewers with Coconut Rice // Karista's Kitchen for VRAI Magazine

    It’s starting to feel like spring and I am beyond elated! The high today is 67 here in the valley and it’s going to be a great day for prepping the new garden.  Ranger Craig is building the rest of the garden boxes while I prepare a quick meal for my friends over at Red Bird Acres.  We’re off to see baby chicks and piglets again!  Ok, I admit, I’m really excited about seeing the baby chicks and piglets this afternoon.

    Before I get my day started, I want to share with you my latest recipe and article for VRAI MagazineMarinated Pork and Mango Skewers with Coconut Rice. The blend of marinated pork with sweet mango, peppers and red onion make for the tastiest combination of flavors.  Perfect for a casual weekend with friends and family.  If it’s too cold to grill outdoors, these skewers can easily be prepared indoors on a grill pan.  Or stir fried and then ladled over the coconut rice.

    Enjoy your weekend!  Just in case you haven’t seen pictures from the last piglet visit, I’ve posted a few for you 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Red Bird Acres in Corvallis, Oregon


    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Chicken Gaston Gerard

    Chicken Gaston Gerard // French Chicken with Dijon, caramelized onions, paprika and creme fraiche // Karista's Kitchen for VRAI Magazine

    Chicken Gaston Gerard… I love to say these words. Makes me feel as if I’m sitting in a cafe in Paris dining on decadent cuisine and sipping French wine.

    Ahhh… but alas, I’m sitting in my upstairs office writing this little paragraph while sipping ginger tea that my sister in law sent me from Japan. Ha. Life’s crazy isn’t it?

    Chicken Gaston Gerard may be familiar to many of you. I posted this gorgeous recipe years ago and I received such positive feedback and comments over the years, I thought it would be fun to share this lovely recipe in the February issue of VRAI Magazine.

    If you haven’t made this recipe yet, head over to VRAI Magazine and snag it.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  In fact, I think you’ll love it so much it might just become a regular on your dinner menu rotation.  While you’re over at VRAI Magazine, feel free to stay a while and browse the new recipes from all the fantastic food contributors.  I spotted a pink cocktail that is calling my name. 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Karista's Kitchen Pork Soup VRAI Magazine

    Spanish White Bean Stew

    Spanish White Bean Stew 1 VRAI Magazine

    There is a new article and recipe over at VRAI Magazine today.  It’s all about the gorgeous Spanish White Bean Stew called Fabada.  January is all about reinvention at VRAI Magazine and my version of Fabada certainly qualifies as a reinvention.  I think that’s what I love most about world cuisine – finding beautiful and delicious recipes that can stand alone and please the palate or can be recreated to suit my family’s taste buds.

    As always, you will find a fantastic selection of recipes at VRAI Magazine as well as travel, DIY, lifestyle and fashion articles.  Not to be missed!

    Wishing you a most delicious Sunday!


    Beef Karista's Kitchen VRAI Magazine

    Perfect Prime Rib Roast for VRAI Magazine

    Roasting the perfect prime rib with Au Jus Gravy and Horseradish Sauce // Karista's Kitchen // VRAI Magazine

    Every holiday season I ask my family the same question… “what do you want for Christmas dinner”?   And every year I get the same answer.  “Prime Rib!”   I can’t blame them.  Prime Rib is such a grand cut of beef – so exquisite in flavor and texture.

    Perfect Prime Rib Roast tutorial from Karista's Kitchen // VRAI Magazine

    When VRAI Magazine asked me for a Holiday recipe, this was the first thing that came to mind.  If you ever wanted to prepare prime rib but felt too intimidated, this recipe is for you.  Tips, techniques and a simple recipe for preparing the perfect prime rib.

    Perfect Roasted Prime Rib with Au Jus Gravy and Horseradish Sauce // Karista's Kitchen // VRAI Magazine

    Along with this luscious prime rib recipe, I’ve included a quick Beef Broth Gravy and Homemade Horseradish Sauce.  You will also find the loveliest selection of holiday recipes from our VRAI Magazine Contributors as well as travel, lifestyle, fashion and DIY articles.

    So head on over to VRAI Magazine and treat yourself to a few holiday moments browsing and reading our Holiday issue!

    Wishing you a most magical and delicious holiday season!