This past weekend I was up in San Francisco, attending the Blogher Food ’10 Conference.  I did not go last year, yet I was told that it was something that could not be missed.  I anticipated this weekend for months.  I booked my flight, I made my hotel reservation and I planned my eating itinerary. I packed thoughtfully (however, next year I need to bring another suit case to cart back all the “swag”) and I remembered all my computer cables and charged my camera battery!  I was set to go.

I was looking forward to spending face time with some of my posse (Gaby, Brooke, Carrie, Jenn, Marla) and I was really looking forward to meeting new people.  I took my camera with an extra memory card, anticipating taking tons of pictures.  Well, I got caught up in the moment and didn’t snap as much as I had hoped.  Maybe I was a little “star struck”, or just plain overwhelmed.  I am kind of mad at myself for not being the shutter bug that I can annoyingly be, yet with that said, I LOVED my weekend.  I was inspired, I learned, I ate, I laughed, and I even cried.

The highlight of my weekend was meeting Dorie Greenspan.  For years, I have admired her from a far, have been reading her columns in magazines, studying and cooking from her various books, reading her posts on facebook and of course, following her blog.  Dorie is lovely, approachable, humorous and humble.  I revere Dorie as my mentor  as my inspiration and now, my friend.

In celebration of a fabulous weekend, I have made the savory cheese and chive bread from Dorie’s new book; around my french table.  As I eat this bread and share it with my family, I will savor the memories of meeting lots and lots of amazingly wonderful people, becoming closer with those that I already know and love, recount how Penny de los Santos inspired me and brought me to tears, and embrace how this silly little blog has brought me to a place in my life that fulfills me in ways that I never could have imagined!

savory cheese + chive bread
adapted from around my french table
yield: 1 loaf (I doubled it and made 2)

1 3/4 cups all purpose
1 Tbls. baking powder
1/2- 1tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 generous cup grated Gruyere
2 oz. English white cheddar, cut into cubes
1/2 cup minced fresh chives
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

• center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350*
• generously butter an 8″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan
• whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and white pepper together in a large bowl
• put the eggs in a large bowl and mix for about a minute, whisk in milk and olive oil.
• pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  using a sturdy spatula, gently mix until the dough comes together.
• stir in the cheeses, herbs, and walnuts.  this is a thick dough
• spread into the prepared pan and even out with a spatula.
• bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the bread is golden and a slender knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
• remove and set on a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes.  then run a knife around the edges and then turn the loaf over onto the rack.  invert and cool, right side up.