Kara Dykert of Kara Elise, has mastered the art of hosting, and is now moving to master the art of … toasting? This dinner party pro is the author of TOAST — an upcoming cookbook all about our fave culinary blank canvas, featuring simple, craveable recipes that work breakfast through dinner. The project is still in the works on Kickstarter, find out what it looks like to get involved here. Until then, we’re sharing a brunch-worthy whole-foods beauty below…

Food for me has always been a vehicle for my greatest love: hosting. I began cooking when I was young, using the kitchen as a space to process, be tactile and practice creativity. When I started working in food professionally in Los Angeles, I found my greatest joy came from creating experiences for people around a table. To invite someone in, and allow them to be seen and known.

For years I’ve been hosting dinner parties and creating experiences around food. To me, the beauty of a meal is that it is an amazing vehicle for connection. It creates a space for people to come together in an authentic and genuine way that feeds both their bodies and their souls.

But so often, hosting can be incredibly intimidating. The thought of making a meal for someone can cause unnecessary panic and stress. TOAST is all about teaching freedom in the kitchen and empowering you to imaginatively use the ingredients all around you – no matter what kind of mess it makes.

Below is one of my favorite go-to brunch recipes that is great for hosting a group of friends on a lazy Sunday morning. These toasts are fine to make ahead of time! They don’t need to be warm. I love making them an hour or so before I have guests over so they’re ready to go when my friends walk in the door!

Pomegranate + Lox Toast
Makes 8 slices


4 eggs, soft boiled
8 Tbsp cream cheese
8 slices of good rye bread
1/2 red onion
2 radishes
1 Persian cucumber
4 oz quality smoked salmon
4 sprigs of dill
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds


Preheat your oven to 375.

Arrange slices of rye on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until toasty.

While your toasts are in the oven, thinly slice your onion, radish, and cucumber.

Remove from the oven and spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of cream cheese.

Arrange your salmon evenly among the 8 toasts.

Evenly distribute your onion, radish and cucumber among the toasts.

Slice your soft-boiled eggs in half, then top each toast with half an egg.

Lastly, sprinkle each toast with pomegranate seeds and small sprigs of dill!

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