Karen Rankin
Karen Rankin

Karen Rankin

Title: Tester, Developer and Food Stylist

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Education: B.S. in Marketing and Advertising, University of Alabama; Certificate, Culinary Arts/Chef Training, New York Restaurant School

Expertise: Developing recipes that are nutritionally and visually brand-specific

- Produces Tips from the Test Kitchen for Southern Living
- Owned and operated Snowbird Mountain Lodge

Experience

Karen Rankin is a recipe tester, developer and food stylist. She is also a writer whose work has appeared in EatingWell, Southern Living, MyRecipes, Cooking Light, Real Simple and Food & Wine. She has served as a food stylist for many of those same brands and produces a series of videos for Southern Living called Tips from the Test Kitchen.

As a recipe developer, she brings a sense of creativity and beauty to her work, always focusing on both how the food will taste and how it will look when the diner first views a plate. She finds it important to feed all the senses during a dining experience.

Although she had an interest in cooking at an early age, she pursued a culinary career only after attending college and earning a B.S. degree in advertising and marketing, which was not ultimately the satisfying career choice she had hoped it would be. 

After a career in sales and advertising, Karen began to wonder what else could feed her creative brain. She took a certificate course in culinary arts from the New York Restaurant School in Greenwich Village, New York, and later went to work for Frank Stitt, a beloved and renowned chef back home in Birmingham, Alabama, at Highlands Bar and Grill.

Later she and her then business partner opened and operated an inn in the western North Carolina mountains, Snowbird Mountain Lodge, where she spent 13 years delighting guests with her culinary creations.

Karen fine-tuned her culinary talent during 13 years of running a restaurant of her own, using locally grown products to delight the guests at her lodge. Cooking from the heart for people she loves is her favorite thing to do.

Life brought Karen back to Birmingham in 2010, where she began working with Oxmoor House, testing and developing recipes for numerous books and publications.

About EatingWell

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This easy baked scallop recipe features a delightful balance of a crunchy, golden-brown topping and tender, sweet scallops. They feel decadent like scallops should, thanks to the tasty lemon-butter sauce. Look for uniform scallops; if they're particularly large, you might need to bake them for more than 10 minutes.
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In this chicken and asparagus bake recipe, we use one baking sheet to whip up dinner quickly, veggies included. Pounding the chicken thin helps it cook quickly alongside the carrots and potatoes, with asparagus rounding out the meal.
This creamy rotisserie chicken soup has a delicious chicken pot pie feel to it. We call for rotisserie chicken to streamline your prep time--look for a nice big one with lots of breast meat on it. Pair this comforting and easy soup recipe with a green salad, or, if you're really hungry, a grilled cheese sandwich.
This TikTok-trending, veggie-packed salsa gets inspiration from Texas caviar (aka cowboy caviar), a dish created in 1940 to ring in the New Year by Helen Corbitt, who was a chef at Neiman Marcus. Scoop it up with tortilla chips or try it as a topping for grilled meat or fish, or as a filling for a quick quesadilla. 
Grinder Salad Sandwich
Rating: Unrated
1
Inspired by the viral TikTok trend, we put our own spin on the grinder salad sandwich. We stick to one deli meat, in this case turkey, to cut back on sodium. For the salad topping, additions like bell pepper, red onion and tomato add color and crunch while also amping up the veggies. Whether you call it a grinder, hoagie or sub, you'll want to make this sandwich again and again.
Grilled Peach Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
This grilled peach salad is packed with bright flavors. Toasted pine nuts add a nice crunch and buttery flavor.
Pear Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
This pear salad has a lovely balance of sweet, savory, buttery and tangy flavors. There's plenty of sweetness from the Anjou pears that contrasts nicely with the peppery greens. The topping of Parmesan and nutty toasted pecans helps pull together a filling and delicious salad.
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Grilled Peaches
Rating: Unrated
New!
Learn how to grill peaches with this quick recipe. Grilled peaches are easy and offer a nice base for optional flavorings. Make them for an appetizer or salad topper, or serve them as a side to roasted or grilled meats.
Copycat Starbucks Pink Drink
Rating: Unrated
New!
Inspired by Starbucks' Pink Drink, we use fresh and frozen fruit to create a tangy, creamy beverage. The natural sweetness of the strawberries and passion fruit eliminates the need for added sugar. Coconut milk adds creaminess, while strawberries contribute to the gorgeous pink hue of this refreshing drink.
Pear Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
This pear salad has a lovely balance of sweet, savory, buttery and tangy flavors. There's plenty of sweetness from the Anjou pears that contrasts nicely with the peppery greens. The topping of Parmesan and nutty toasted pecans helps pull together a filling and delicious salad.
Grilled Peaches
Rating: Unrated
New!
Learn how to grill peaches with this quick recipe. Grilled peaches are easy and offer a nice base for optional flavorings. Make them for an appetizer or salad topper, or serve them as a side to roasted or grilled meats.
Copycat Starbucks Pink Drink
Rating: Unrated
New!
Inspired by Starbucks' Pink Drink, we use fresh and frozen fruit to create a tangy, creamy beverage. The natural sweetness of the strawberries and passion fruit eliminates the need for added sugar. Coconut milk adds creaminess, while strawberries contribute to the gorgeous pink hue of this refreshing drink.
Eggplant Meatballs
Rating: Unrated
1
These eggplant meatballs are a creative way to enjoy eggplant! They are packed with savory flavors that are sure to please just about everyone. Cooking the eggplant prior to forming the vegetarian meatballs is a quick way to release moisture to help hold them together.
Crab Bisque
Rating: Unrated
New!
This lighter version of crab bisque is still plenty rich and velvety thanks to lightly thickened half-and-half in place of the more traditional heavy cream. The crab topping with lemon and parsley makes this easy bisque company-worthy while helping to balance the flavors.
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Crab Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
This fresh and clean crab salad sits on top of crunchy romaine lettuce with extra crunch coming from bell pepper and celery. The sweet crab is laced with a creamy dressing (thanks to Greek-style yogurt and mayo) with just a hint of Old Bay seasoning. Lemon and herbs bring it all together and brighten everything up.
This easy and healthy cherry tomato pasta recipe takes just 20 minutes to prep, so it's a perfect weeknight dinner. Cooking garlic cloves whole and then mashing them into the sauce not only saves time, it creates a mellow garlic flavor that melds seamlessly into the silky burst cherry tomatoes.
Sautéed Arugula
Rating: Unrated
New!
Peppery sautéed arugula is dressed in a delicate buttery sauce with lemon, garlic and sherry vinegar. Pair this quick and easy side dish with roasted chicken or fish.
Arugula, Beet & Feta Salad
Rating: Unrated
New!
Peppery arugula and tender, sweet beets are balanced by a simple vinaigrette and briny bits of feta cheese in this arugula, beet and feta salad. Using cooked, peeled beets helps make prep a breeze.
This arugula pasta with lemon and Parmesan has a silky, light sauce seasoned with peppery arugula and lemony fresh undertones. The panko topping adds a crunchy, nutty layer to this easy vegetarian dinner.
These tender and cheesy asparagus-stuffed chicken breasts are perfect for spring when asparagus is at its best. Tarragon blends well with the creamy filling of herby cheese spread and melted havarti.
This sweet-and-salty quick pickled cabbage is great to have on hand for a topping for sandwiches, hot dogs or brats. Both green and red cabbage work well and maintain their crunch after marinating in the pickling liquid that imparts a subtle, spicy flavor thanks to chile peppers.
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Avocado Tuna Salad
Rating: Unrated
1
Jazz up a can of tuna with this easy avocado tuna salad recipe. Silky avocado adds creaminess that's cut with a hit of acidity from lemon and a briny punch from feta cheese. Romaine hearts and cucumber offer refreshing crunch.
Slow-Cooker Cabbage Roll Soup
Rating: Unrated
New!
This slow-cooker cabbage roll soup has all the essential flavors of a classic cabbage roll and simmers away to create bold, warming flavors. This savory soup has just a hint of sweetness plus heat from hot sauce. The tomatoes and caraway seeds help create depth but don't overshadow the rest of the flavors. The brown rice garnish rounds out the dish.
Air-Fryer Tuna Patties
Rating: Unrated
New!
These bright and savory air-fryer tuna patties won't disappoint for a quick lunch or dinner. They hold their shape nicely while cooking, with a tender middle and a crispy crust on the outside. Peppery arugula and a lemony mayonnaise sauce round out the meal.
Tuna Salad with Egg
Rating: Unrated
New!
This simple tuna salad with egg has a clean and balanced flavor. The capers and lemon bring acidity to help everything come together and chopped arugula adds a peppery kick. Enjoy it with greens or on a slice of your favorite whole-grain bread.
Simple Cabbage Salad
Rating: Unrated
6
Cabbage maintains a nice crunch when it's tossed with an easy dressing in this simple cabbage salad recipe. This easy salad is perfect for fall when cabbage is at its sweetest.
These chicken-stuffed peppers feature a delicious blend of savory ingredients that closely resemble the flavors of chicken fajitas. The chicken and bean filling fits neatly into a nice, sweet pepper with a cheesy topping. Packaged brown rice makes this dinner super easy, but leftover rice will work just as well!
Lemon-Shallot Dressing
Rating: Unrated
New!
This quick dressing features lemon juice and shallots for a simple, bright flavor. A touch of honey balances the acidity and tartness of the lemon. Use in a pasta salad or over leafy greens.