Dining with the Bloggers, February 28th., 2007

Well HELLO! The woman just won an Oscar! If that isn't reason to celebrate and do a little DwB with the person on the recieving end, I don't know what is!

You know her - I know her - EVERYBODY knows her (and if for some odd, odd reason you don't, I'm not sure you're actually entitled to call yourself a foodblogger ;-)). Sam Breach of Becks & Posh and Food Blog S'cool fame not only busies herself with reviews of restaurants in San Francisco (or Las Vegas or England or wherever she may be at any given time) teaching us new things, promoting great purveyors, bay area bloggers and goodwill events - she also makes food. Real food, from scratch. Yes, siree. Not only that - she writes with an honesty and straightforwardness that I love. I may not be able to get the ingredients she mentions or go to the restaurants, but her writing makes reading about them plenty worth my browsing-minutes nonetheless.

She makes lots, lots and lots of food (this one had me scratching my head at first, though - then I got wiser). I don't know why it has taken me so long to make one of her recipes. So when I finally did, I tried three at the same time. Don't say I don't do things all the way when I finally decide to do them.

I had a tea party of sorts, for the girlfriends this past Sunday (and therefore, pardon the photos - or enjoy the "in-the-middle-of-it-actually-happening feel of them"). And seeing Sam is British, who better to turn to for suggestions?

A loooong, loooong time ago, she posted about Town Hall Scones with Ham and Chili Jam (that rhymes, doesn't it?) and in that post even graciously linked back to my recipe for sweet chili sauce - so naturally I had to try those. With Serrano ham and homemade chili sauce, and a dollop of thick créme fraîche underneith (sorry Sam, I know you want butter with your scones - but his is a really nice, almost buttery créme fraîche!) - they rocked. Solidly. I'd never have thought of the combo myself, but the dried ham and sweet-strong chili sauce, mellowed by créme fraîche and a crumbly, buttery scone played really well together. Sam said her recipe made 20 scones - I only got 10 out of the recipe, but seeing I cut them in half, they made for 20 "canapés" - which fitted my purpose perfectly.

Next up, I made Sam's modified version of Jamie Oliver's Bakewell Tart. Yes please. Now, I haven't tried the original recipe, but Sam's version worked a charm. I got enough topping for 16 small tarts out of the portion - and next time I want to try the muffin cup thing, 'cause they look absolutely adorable! Do make sure you use a generous amount of jam - you want to be able to taste that it's there.

Last, but definetly not least, I tried Digestives & Potted Cheese - instead of the mulled port wine jelly, I made a membrillo/quince bread ('cause I had some quinces lying around and you know I'm not about to throw anything out these days!) The Digestive recipe made about 40 (5 cm. diameter) and keeps really well (I still have some in a canister - great for the munchies) I really like the idea of the potted cheese, but please, please, use a decent cheese. Mine was only half way in that category and there's no doubt in my mind it would have been plain fantastic had I sourced a more interesting cheese. The sherry and nutmeg does come through, but that's no excuse to mask an inferior product - besides, Sam is all about the good ingredients, so it really wouldn't be in her spirit! Crumbly goodness with cheese on top - yum!

Now I just have to find a way to visit all of the restaurants she reviews!:-)


Monika Korngut said…
That sounds like a busy day in the kitchen but very delicious!!

Take care,

Anonymous said…
Great post! Beautiful pics!
Eva said…
That looks adorable! Unfortunately, tea parties seem to be out of fashion nowadays - I've never been invited to anything like this... Maybe I should take yours as inspiration and organize one myself!
Anonymous said…
love your dining with the blogger posts... thanks for the potted cheese link...yummo
Sam said…
I am so sorry I missed this when you posted it. I am blushing - it is such a charming ode, I am flattered almost to the point of speechless.

Thank you Zarah Maria


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