Lazy Friday Night Pulled Pork

Normally we have pizza on Friday nights, but we’ve yet to find a place that will deliver to Redwood Shores (minus Roundtable which is always a half hour late or more). So tonight, I was a lazy gourmet.

I started with one can of diced tomatoes in a large saucepan, with three cloves of garlic, brought to a boil. Next I added 3/4 bottle of old chardonnay (hey, why not it’s Friday after all).

In went the pork, and I covered and simmered it on medium for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile I cooked the rice in the rice cooker. When the pork was done. I shredded it with forks and returned it to it’s sauce.

Serving the pork in bowls over rice with plenty of broth added lots of juiciness and a decent amount of flavor. Et voila.

Speaking of Heirloom Tomatoes: Tasting this weekend!

Last year we attended a charming heirloom tomato tasting in the oak tree-shaded garden of a picturesque farmhouse at Picchetti Winery in Cupertino. It was a picture-perfect Indian summer afternoon, with the added bonus of tasting a rainbow of delicious, organic heirloom tomatoes, olive oil and inspired appetizers.

TomatoBash is back this Saturday, September 24 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. – registration details here.

It doesn’t hurt that you can pick up a bottle of wine in the tasting room and bring it over to the garden – just keep an eye out for wandering peacocks on the property!

Zin-ful Pork Tenderloin

We had an abundance of zinfandel following our weekend away, so I decided to put it to work in the kitchen by braising pork tenderloin in one of the leftover zins. I made sure to pull it out of the bubbling liquid while still pink, and left it to rest for a few minutes. That final move made it nice and tender, plus the purple-stained skin created an interested marble effect.

I served it over rice, but mashed potatoes would be a more decadent option if you’re feeling zin-ful. Pretty simple!

Wok + Wine with FoodSpotting

I had the pleasure of gorging on shrimp at FoodSpotting’s Wok + Wine event last week. Part networking, part slurping, sucking and biting – it was a delightful way to change up the weeknight routine and rub shoulders with some fellow FoodSpotting geeks.

Here’s proof in a photo of me slurping and/or looking for splatters on my silk shirt. (Not the best thing to wear, but alas.)


Check out this neat time lapse video – and keep your eyes peeled for the short blond ponytail rotating around the room. That’s me. 😉

Carmel Crawl

Cozy B&Bs + equal ratio of dogs to people + Mediterranean eats = Carmel-by-the-sea. Given its sleepy atmosphere, we decided to shake things up for our Saturday night in Carmel by doing a foodie crawl of sorts through the quaint beach town.

First we stopped for a wine flight at Southern Latitudes Wines, where we enjoyed watching the resident beagle puppies nap in the window seat and play with their chew toys.

Out of the gentle Australian and Chilean wines we tasted, our clear favorites were the D’Arenberg Hermit Crab Marsanne/Viognier and NV Yalumba Antique Tawny Port. The viognier was buttery but light, and smooth on the tongue without the burning sensation of too much alcohol. The tawny port tasted like a swirl of brown sugar, and didn’t have the heavy syrup quality that can weigh down others. We picked up one of each for the road!

Next up, oysters and bubbly at Flaherty’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill (translation: sparkling wine for me, and beer for David). We chose to split our half shell dozen between the Chesapeake and British Columbia selections but in the end the Chesapeake oysters were much larger and flavorful.

Since the dominant cuisines in Carmel are Italian, French and seafood, we opted for Carmel Bistro Giovanni to replicate the “steakhouse” experience, as recommended by our friendly host at Briarwood Inn. We tried Giovanni’s own Zinfandel, and fought over my crab ravioli with scallops and champagne cream sauce. David’s choice didn’t meet his expectations, but fortunately I was too stuffed to finish my entree – leaving room for the surprise chocolate cake they treated us to. 😉

But the star of the show turned out to be the “Giovanni Insalatina Greca” (greek salad). Beyond the typical flavors of a greek salad (cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives), Giovanni adds dried cranberries (or dates, as listed on the menu). The combination of flavors – in complete balance since all ingredients are chopped to a similar size – was a surprising treat that would be very easy to replicate at home.

All in all, there are plenty of cozy, fireside restaurants to try. In fact, we had brunch at the Cottage Restaurant earlier in the day (they’re open all day for breakfast fanatics) and an afternoon coffee at Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company (the name speaks for itself). And if you have a friendly dog, they will be welcomed with open arms.

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