We’re headed to the Northwest region, Oregon to be exact, as we share our next holiday recipe roundup from the amazing Chef Karista Bennett of Karista’s Kitchen. We asked Karista to highlight some of her favorite holiday traditions and some of her special creations which are perfect for the season. From savory apps, an entree and side, to one delectable dessert, we know you’ll have plenty from which to choose.
VRAI Magazine: What was one of your favorite holiday traditions growing up?
Karista Bennett: I have always been enamored with holiday lights and music! Driving around the city neighborhoods, looking at all the bright lights that frame the homes on each street while listening to holiday music, was always a special treat. I still do this with my family today!
VRAI: Tell us about a holiday tradition that you celebrate today.
Karista: I know this sounds so cliché but we make an entire day out of going to get our Christmas tree. We begin with a special breakfast and then drive somewhere fun to choose or even cut down our tree. Then we bring it home and decorate it while watching the movie, Christmas Vacation. We usually end the day with something delicious to eat and maybe even some cookie baking.
VRAI: Is there a holiday dish that family and friends always request from you?
Karista: Always my Potatoes Dauphinoise. It shows up at every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinner. And sometimes for a special birthday dinner.
VRAI: Tell us about a dish that someone else (family member or friend) makes for the holidays that you love.
Karista: I adore my sister’s Apple, Sage, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing! I also adore my dear friend’s holiday sugar cookies which she makes every year and my Mom’s Pumpkin Pie.
VRAI: Best advice you can give someone when it comes to holiday cooking/baking/entertaining.
Karista: Keep it simple. We gather not only for the food but for love of our friends and family. I also ask for help — this is key. I give family members an assignment to complete so I’m not in charge of making/cooking everything. I like to spend most of my time on the entrée and sides. I keep all the starters, cocktails and desserts simple and sometimes I even purchase desserts from a bakery nearby. I prep several days in advance so I can enjoy the special occasion with my family and guests.