Food Friends Podcast

By Kari Lauritzen & Sonya Sanford

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A podcast about home cooking from the friends that cook it!

Episode Date
Episode 12: Friends who help friends love tofu

frying, encourages you to freeze your tofu (who knew!), and describes several ways that silken tofu can be delicious in both savory and sweet dishes.


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Sweet and Crunchy Tofu (made with potato starch) from Maangchi

(Frozen) Tofu Braised in Soy Sauce from Chichi Wang of Serious Eats, and How to freeze Tofu by Jessie Yuchen of Bon Appetit

Tofu Guide from Serious Eats

Silken Tofu with green onion from Garlic Delight

Vegan Mapo Tofu from David Tanis via the New York Times

Hetty McKinnon’s Creamy Vegan Tofu Noodles for the New York Times

Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ Tofu Balls and Tofu Short Ribs

Tofu Chocolate Mousse from Martha Stewart)

We love hearing from you — follow us on Instagram @foodfriendspod, or drop us a line at!

Jan 31, 2023
Episode 11: Personal Chef Stories — How We Started

After fifteen years of friendship and collaboration, we’re finally asking each other the question: how did you get your first job as a private chef? This conversation traces each of our own unique culinary paths back to their humble beginnings cooking in homes across Los Angeles. We have no idea what took us so long to have this conversation, but are excited to discover so many unexpected similarities, including one that might be as surprising to you as it is to us! We’re also sharing some of the dishes that our clients asked us to make again and again, which we’re STILL cooking for our families and friends. This conversation really shows us that no matter how long you’ve known a friend, there’s always more to discover.


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Blueberry Pudding Cake from Gourmet Magazine

Nobu’s Miso-Marinated Black Cod via Kathryn Hill at TheKitchn 

Mark Bittman’s Vegetable Soup 

Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Mushroom Soup

Ruth Reichl’s memoirs: Tender at the Bone and Garlic and Sapphires

One of Tyler Florence’s Flourless Chocolate Cake  recipes

Sonya’s Turkey Chili! (yes, she sent it to Kari as promised :)

Jan 24, 2023
Episode 10: We love veggies: our favorite meatless meals!

This week we’re exploring our favorite meatless meals that are flavorful, easy, and exciting. These veggie-centric dishes include several one-pot meals, a deconstructed lasagna, and the “casserole” we both can’t stop making. We’ll also share a few surprising ways to use up that cauliflower! While we’re both fans of starting our week with a vegetarian dinner, we also don’t have any hard and fast rules about what day or time it needs to happen. This conversation inspired us both to get back into the kitchen and cook up all our favorite vegetable mains!


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Our favorite Farro + Cauliflower Parmesan, by Sarah Digregorio for The New York Times 

Bon Appetit’s Whole Eggplant Parmesan by Dawn Perry

Priya Krishna and Ritu Krishna’s Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar for The New York Times 

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Baked Rice via The Kitchn

Anna Thomas’ Love Soup cookbook, and her “beans + greens” recipe

Smitten Kitchen’s  Pizza Beans 

Heidi Swanson’s Baked Quinoa Patties 

Fly by Jing and Hot Mama Smoky Coffee Chili Oil 

Sonya’s Plov, while not meatless, you can modify it by omitting the meat or substituting it with your favorite vegetable or legume

Jan 17, 2023
Episode 09: Three memorable dishes of 2022!

From intimate dinners to huge potlucks, this week we reflect on our favorite dishes of 2022. These stand-out food moments made the cut, not because of their ingredients, but because of the special FOOD FRIENDS we shared them with and where we ate them. We are inspired by our friends’ beautiful cooking, insightful questions, and courageous projects that continue to expand the ways that we eat, cook, and talk about food.  

We’re so glad you’ve joined us here this year; we love sharing these conversations with you, and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received from your reflections.  Thank you! We are going to take a break for a couple of weeks, and can’t wait to restart the conversation in 2023.  Happy holidays and happy new year!


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Diane Yen’s “Self Care Carbonara” reel on IG inspired Kari

Simply Recipes’ Braised Leeks

Sonya’s Apple & Honey Ruffle Milk Pie recipe

@ramenasayswow’s Crinkle Cake

Dec 20, 2022
Episode 08: Holiday cookies with Shannon Sarna!

Our food friend and cookbook author, Shannon Sarna, reveals all the details of her holiday cookie boxes and shares the recipes she must include each year, as well as some of the cookies she makes sure to leave out. She has us drooling over her cranberry streusel bars made with homemade cranberry jam (YUM!), as well as her legendary rainbow cookies from her new cookbook, Modern Jewish Comfort Food

We are thrilled to share this conversation and hope it gets you in the baking mood as much as it does for both of us. Tune in to hear why baking cookie boxes can be more than the alchemy of butter, sugar, and sprinkles… this special holiday tradition can communicate love, connect us to our past, and bring joy to our community.

This week’s episode leaves us asking: how do we get on Shannon’s holiday cookie list next year?


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Shannon’s new book Modern Jewish Comfort Food (it makes an amazing Hanukkah gift!)

Cranberry Crumble Bars from Baked From Scratch

Shannon’s favorite Whole Foods’ Chai Spiced Cookies, and Sonya’s favorite Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

Shannon's Black & White Cookies on The Nosher

Kari’s favorite Spoon Cookies

Sue Li’s Orange, Pistachio, Chocolate Shortbread for the NY Times

Erik Kim’s Gojuchang Caramel Cookies for the NY Times

Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies From Tutti Dolci and

Classic Buckeyes!

Dec 13, 2022
Episode 07: Classic Latkes & Country Ham

“Classic Latkes & Country Ham” might not be an obvious holiday food pairing, but these two iconic dishes hold special places in our FOOD FRIENDShip.  

Sonya collected several key insights that led her to the latke of her dreams: crispy golden edges with a tender center. Surprisingly, one of those insights came from a catering experience with Kari, which helped Sonya to rethink the way she prepared latkes for a crowd. The conversation takes an unexpected turn to Christmas ham, a dish that has been shared for several generations by Kari’s family AND played a key part in Sonya’s life. 

The stories in this episode hint at several universal truths: crispy potatoes are good in any form, our friends are often our best teachers, and love can be expressed in many ways… even with a ham sandwich. 


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Sonya’s daikon and potato latkes with ponzu dipping sauce

A ham “recipe” that’s similar to Kurt Lauritzen’s, aka Kari’s dad

Michael Solomonov’s potato leek latkes

Kari’s favorite recipe for cheesy potatoes from Jessica Merchant (it’s the closest to her mom’s version)

Our favorite shaved veggie salads from Food and Wine and the NYTimes

You too can order Linda’s Latkes!

Dec 06, 2022
Episode 06: Party snacks make us happy!

The buttery, crunchy Chex mix Kari ate throughout her life is the traditional version that comes from the recipe found on the cereal box. Recently, Kari discovered an updated version of Chex mix that inspired us to talk all about our favorite party snacks, including muddy buddies and ranch fun dip! These snacks are equally fun at a party as they are in a lunchbox, or on a long car ride.

Along with talking about our favorite childhood treats, in this episode we embrace our pasts and respective backgrounds, finding a deeper love and respect for the memorable foods that we may have once taken for granted.


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Furikake Chex Mix Snack from Hana Asbrink at Food 52 (It’s become our new favorite!)

Sohla El-Waylly’s Miso Party Mix

Classic Muddy Buddies! You can replace the peanut butter with tahini, or almond butter

Ranch Fun Dip from Sohla El-Waylly at Bon Appetit

French Onion Labne Dip from Romel Bruno at Food52

Nov 29, 2022
Episode 05: Thanksgiving with Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller Rogen!

Welcome to our first guests! Lauren Miller Rogen and Seth Rogen have been hosting Thanksgiving together for close to twenty years. In this episode, they share stories about how they host and cook massive Thanksgiving gatherings, their favorite and not-so-favorite recipes, and how they’ve merged their different backgrounds (and tastes) to create new traditions with their friends and family.

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of laughter as we debate the merits of cranberry JELL-O salad, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, deep-fried turkey, and more!


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Slow Cooker Mac n’ Cheese

Traditional Cranberry JELL-O Salad (Lauren likes to add mandarin oranges)

The recent NY Times take on Cranberry JELL-O Salad

Serious Eats’ on How to smoke a Turkey

The Best Way to Fry a Turkey (but also, maybe don’t?)

Nov 22, 2022
Episode 04: What do you bring to a potluck?

This week we break down the elements for hosting a successful potluck meal, whether it’s for Thanksgiving or any time of year. We’ll share our favorite dishes, as well as tips for both hosting or attending potlucks.

As always, Kari and Sonya will share their unique culinary experiences like Kari’s favorite Midwestern “salads” that her family makes at Thanksgiving, both of which include Cool Whip. And Sonya shares a couple of different approaches to potato salad, including a classic Soviet potato salad that includes canned peas… and Kari’s not so sure about it.

For us, Thanksgiving and potlucks are a time to throw out the playbook and do what feels right to you. All traditions and food memories are welcome, even when they include Cool Whip and canned peas.


Links to recipes from this week’s show:

Kari’s favorite farro salad: Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad by Melissa Clark

Sonya’s favorite Spinach and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Chickpeas, also by Melissa Clark

Kari’s family’s jello salad recipes

Sonya’s Salad Olivier recipe, a Soviet-style potato salad

Dorie Greenspan’s Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

Nov 15, 2022
Episode 03: Can a frittata change your life?

Sonya tells Kari all about the life-changing frittata made by her chef friend, Lauren Chandler. Who knew this simple egg dish could be so delicious with a few key, unexpected, ingredients?

Frittatas and egg casseroles are the perfect dishes to feed a crowd during the holiday season, or really any time of year. Kari and Sonya also talk about Kari’s breakfast egg casseroles, and the benefits of having a dish you can make the night before, and easily pop into the oven in the morning.


Links to Lauren Chandler’s reference recipes + her notes about the frittata:

Bon Appetit’s - How to Master Frittata for a Crowd, as was as their How to Make a Perfect Frittata: Rules to Follow and Mistakes to Avoid

Lauren adds: “This was the jumping-off point. They say any dairy, but I used 1/2-cup of heavy cream per dozen eggs. The creaminess was definitely also due to the heavily caramelized onions. Also, I added 3/4=cup shredded Tillamook cheddar per dozen eggs, as well as herbs.”

Links to our favorite related recipes:

Just a Taste’s Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole is perfect for fall

Melissa Clark’s Green Strata with Goat Cheese and Herbs

Susan Spungen’s Sausage Egg and Kale Casserole

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Recipe

The kind of quiche Sonya grew up with, from Peas Love & Carrots

Nov 08, 2022
Episode 02: Don’t send flowers, send soup!

Kari is known for bringing jars of delicious, nourishing soups and broths to her friends’ doorsteps. Homemade broths and soups can be the best gift you can give someone, especially if they’re under the weather or going through a rough patch. In this episode, we talk about all the ways we like to make bone broth, mineral broth, and vegetable broth, and how we turn those broths into soup.

Links to some of our favorite related recipes:

Rebecca Katz’ Mineral Broth, and her book The Cancer Fighting Kitchen

Serious Eats collection of stock and broth recipes

Ina Garten’s chicken noodle soup recipe

Sonya’s chicken pelmeni recipe

Nov 01, 2022
Episode 01: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sonya’s quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie led her on a 10-year journey of tasting, testing, and asking hundreds of questions all in the name of creating her ideal version of America’s most iconic cookie. In this episode, we examine the ingredients that make a great chocolate chip cookie, delving into specifics about butter, chocolate, and more. Sonya reveals details about the many chocolate chip cookies that she loved before creating her ultimate recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Kari confesses that she prefers to eat her cookies frozen and that her freezer is stocked with cookies of all kinds, including the colorful boxes sold by enthusiastic young girl scouts. Our conversation explores a spectrum of cookie making and eating that’s sure to leave you with a serious craving for your perfect version of a chocolate chip cookie!  

Links to some of our favorite recipes:

Bon Appetit’s Brown Butter and Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christina Tosi’s (of Milk Bar) famous chocolate chip cookie with non-fat milk powder

America’s Test Kitchen self-proclaimed, perfect chocolate chip cookie

Sonya’s Chocolate Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookie

Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

Oct 23, 2022