Food with Karli

Welcome Food with Karli to the blogosphere! Karli and I got to know each other when working with the US Potato Board about six years ago. We were lucky enough to share many foodie adventures together across the country, and she even contributed the first guest post, Karli’s Shrimp Marinade, to Dinner with David last year.

Be sure to check out http://foodwithkarli.blogspot.com. In the meantime, here’s a sampling of some of my “Food with Karli” memories in Philly and Boston…

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Eggs in Heaven

Inspiration from @epicurious iPad app + @farmfreshtoyou vegetables = heavenly potato, egg, veggie casserole. For tonight’s dinner, I had 8 eggs to use up and figured some sort of potato casserole would be a good route to explore. I came across “Eggs in Purgatory with Artichoke Hearts, Potatoes and Capers” through an Epicurious recipe search, but the tomato-artichoke sauce sounded a little like heartburn hell (plus I didn’t have all the ingredients). So instead, I improvised with fresh zucchini and carrots from Farm Fresh to You, and whipping cream for what I like to call, “Eggs in Heaven.”

The result was a deliciously creamy potato, egg, and vegetable casserole. Divine!

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Lighten Up

Fresh zucchini and asparagus from @farmfreshtoyou + @everydayfood recipe for Linguini with Spring Vegetables = tonight’s healthy dinner.

Spring is in full bloom and today’s warm & sunny temps called for something light. Click on the link above for the recipe. (I used two small zucchini in place of snap peas, and topped the finished pasta with fresh parmesan since I didn’t have fresh tarragon – basil would be good too!

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Restau-rant

I can’t stop thinking about the Cappellini Pomodoro I had last night at Ristorante Bella Vita. Perhaps it left an impression because I was surrounded by good company and perfect weather. But the pasta had a perfectly even coating of fresh tomatoes and olive oil. It was flawless.

New Things

Inaugural iPad post = celebration of new things. Sometimes the surprises in life can bring more happiness than long awaited goals or dreams. Without sounding too philosophical, I’d like to take the opportunity to recap some unexpected foodie pleasures of late. (And I also just wanted to test out my new toy.)

Last weekend David and I went to The Steakhouse inside Agua Caliente Resort and Casino. We couldn’t decide which filet to order, so we ended up giving the Filet Chateaubriand a whirl. It was freshly carved tableside and pleasantly tender. Plus, it was served with a copper gratin full of fresh veggies, which were refreshing next to the rich, buttery steak.

Also this week, we found ourselves landing practically free tickets to the Paso Robles Grand Wine Tasting in Menlo Park on my birthday, which was a nice treat. My favorite was the Adobe White from Clayhouse Wines, but in general I didn’t know I liked Paso Robles wines so much.

Lastly, David surprised me with an iPad for my birthday and I’m excited that both WordPress and Epicurious released first gen iPad apps. So I can cook and blog using my new toy!

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Playing with Chards

Red chard and spring onions from @FarmFreshtoYou + @Epicurious risotto recipe = easy, healthy Sunday dinner. Tonight I made a quick Red Chard Risotto recipe from Epicurious (originally submitted to @BonAppetitMag by Sandra Rudloff of neighboring Los Altos in 1996). I’m still not an overwhelming fan of Swiss chard, but the buttery flavor and texture of the risotto neutralized the somewhat bitter red chard leaves, and also resulted in a curious pink color. Combined with a spinach salad, we filled up on vitamin and mineral-packed veggies, after a gluttonous weekend of steakhouse dinners and poolside drinks. (More to come on that!)

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What about Kabob?

Spring weather + BBQ = kabobs for all seasons. This weekend started out sunny, making it the ideal climate for BBQ and coincidentally we had two such invitations from friends. I thought I’d pass along their savvy skewer ideas…

My brother-in-law Tim and sister-in-law Laura christened their newly purchased grill with a rainbow of kabob ingredients: steak, chicken, pineapple, red onions and bell peppers. Delicious!

Next up, my friend Monica assembled a very impressive feast which included an appetizer kabob: fresh green grapes, mozzarella, and prosciutto. No grilling necessary, but equally attractive and tasty.

I look forward to sharing more BBQ ideas when summer officially kicks off. For now, we get to enjoy “spring showers” (and/or downpours).

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5 Minute Pesto

Pre-washed spinach + walnuts + olive oil = 5 minute pesto. I had a stash of leftover spinach and a sudden inspiration to make pesto. If you have a blender or food processor, it literally takes 5 minutes to whip together homemade pesto. First, I blended the spinach leaves, then added walnuts, then olive oil, salt and two crushed cloves of garlic. One batch for the fridge, and one for the freezer. Fresh, easy, and will be delicious with a variety of pasta dishes.

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Killer Meatloaf

Turkey + Gruyere + apples + spinach = killer meatloaf, with a side of mashed potatoes.  Back in December, I thought I had made the “Best Meatloaf Ever” with manchego, apples and leeks. Well, turns out Gruyere is the secret weapon to making a killer meatloaf.

Same principles apply: ground turkey, shredded apples for moisture and a little sweetness, plus a dose of green (chopped spinach in this case). But the smoky flavor of the Gruyere leaves a memorable taste that will forever be hard to beat in meatloaf experimentation. Creamy mashed potatoes are an ideal side too – and last night I learned that a fork works better for fluffiness, than a potato masher.

Enjoy!

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BLTAP

BLT + sauteed apples + provolone = BLTAP. Some consider the classic BLT to be the perfect formula. But in my kitchen, there’s always room for a little creative license. So tonight, I introduced apples into the equation – apples cooked in bacon fat. I’ll admit the flavor wasn’t totally apparent in the sandwich, but it was a good way to reduce the acidity of the apples and make up for a shortage of tomato slices. Plus, who doesn’t love a little extra bacon flavor?!

Verdict – David preferred the BLTP; while I enjoyed the full BLTAP. What other ingredients have you added to the BLT?

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