Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks

It’s not often that over 50 food bloggers get together. Crowded under a shady bay laurel tree, hiding from the hot Lafayette sun, Bay Area foodies sampled each others best at the 2nd Annual SF Food Blogger’s picnic. Dishes like spicy steak salad, smoked pork, pate de campagne, local cheeses, thai noodles, quinoa-mango salad, nectarine-blueberry cobbler, little almond cakes, and so much more were gobbled up.

Pate de campagne made by Derrick of An Obsession with Food

Pim! Who made addictive little crispy rice cakes topped with a Thai pork and shrimp delight. Chez Pim

Succulent almond and jam cake-tart made by Sam of Becks & Posh

Cheesy deliciousness.

Spicy Steak Salad made by the lovely Davina Baum, of CHOW fame.
*recipe from Chow.com, which is rolling out it’s beta site this week!

For the tomato vinaigrette
1 cup cherry or pear-shaped tomatoes
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 medium clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley or chives

Grilled flank steak, cut into cubes
Yellow, red, and green bell pepper, seeded and cut into slivers
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cobb
Italian parsley, for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil in a small fry pan over high Heat until hot. Add the tomatoes and sear until the skins pucker and begin to color, about 2 minutes. (Be careful: when the tomatoes get hot, some might burst.) Add the garlic and shallot and cook until slightly softened, about 1 minute more.

Transfer to a small, deep mixing bowl, add the vinegar, and purée with an immersion blender. Slowly add the remaining grapeseed and olive oils in a thin, steady stream, blending constantly with the immersion blender, until smooth. Season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and add the herbs.

Add the grilled flank steak, yellow, red, and green peppers, and corn. Stir to combine. Garnish with parsley leaves and serve.

Nectarine-Blueberry CrackClafoutisCobbler
*adapted from Nancy Silverton’s delicious “everyone’s mother’s berry cobber”

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole plain yogurt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups blueberries
3 cups nectarines, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons demerara sugar

Preheat oven to 375F. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of the knife to scrape out the vanilla bean seeds. Add the pod and the seeds to the butter. Cook the butter over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Pour into a large 9×13-inch baking dish.

Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar with a whisk. Add the buttermilk, yogurt, and vanilla extract and stir just until combined. Spread the batter in the pan on top of the browned butter. Scatter the fruit over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the cake is cooked through when checked with a toothpick, about 1 hour. Eat.

Thanks Wendy for taking all the pictures!

Scenes from the 2nd Annual SF Food Blogger’s picnic 27 August,2006Kim Laidlaw

  • shuna fish lydon

    WOW! And to think the picnic was still going on when this post went up! Speed-blogging indeed!

    The almond tart from Sam was actually a traditional British treat called Bakewell Tart. Here is a link to one of her posts about bringing back the tradition of making them from scratch:


  • Mary Ladd

    It was all divine! Beautiful setting, interesting folks, good food and wine. …Did you try those chocolate tartlets? My fave.

  • sam

    thanks for spreading the Bakewell love. Us Brits are trying to save them from extinction so the more fans they gain along the way, the better.

  • cucina testa rossa

    that claufoutis was indeed crack! thanks for including the recipe!!!


Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.

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