In a perfect world I would have hours and hours of free time to spend reading food blogs. I love discovering a beautiful blog, getting inspired by the recipes and images, and finding out a little bit more about the author. I first came across Pomegranate Days a few months ago, around about the time I started Cupcakes and Couscous. I was immediately drawn in by the friendly tone of the writing, the stunning images and the mouth-watering recipes. I knew I had found a gem!
Sam Taylor is the talented lady behind Pomegranate Days, which recently celebrated its first birthday. (I believe this is called a “blogiversary”, fun fact!) Her writing style is both personal and entertaining, and discovering beautiful blogs that also make you chuckle is an absolute bonus! I have gotten to know Sam a little better over the past few months as we were both contestants in the Pick ‘n Pay Freshly Blogged competition. Week after week Sam displayed her culinary skills and creative talents which, in the end, earned her the title of S.A.’s Top Blogger. And deservedly so!
Today this fabulous food blogger from Paarl tells us a bit more about her cooking and inspirations, and shares one of her sumptuous recipes with us. Do pop over to Sam’s lovely blog, you can also follow her on Twitter.
Sam, I have to ask first of all – what inspired the name “Pomegranate Days”?
In Song of Songs our emotions are depicted by the beautiful pomegranate fruit. I often find it hard to detangle the food I love and want to eat at any given time with the emotions I may be feeling at that point. Food feeds the body but how much can a lovingly prepared meal feed the soul? Calling the blog Pomegranate Days is a small reminder to myself to be true.
Congratulations on winning the Freshly Blogged competition – a huge achievement! Tell us about the dishes you made during the final cook-off.
I love a good steak sandwich and the baguette in the mystery basket was too fresh to resist so with it I made a seared steak bruschetta with caramelised onions, pea sprouts and a red wine reduction. I needed something to set my bruschetta apart and I think the sauce was just the thing. I do have a sweet tooth so it is really no surprise that I made a dessert which was a pear and chocolate spring roll, dusted with cinnamon sugar which I served with a caramel sauce.
What was it like cooking in front of the cameras and a live audience? Tell us about your experience.
It was nerve wracking. I think I aged at least ten years due to stress. Once my pots and pans were on the go I hit my cooking stride, forgot about the cameras and all the people, and just tried to get some dishes up in thirty minutes. It was over in a second.
Why did you decide to start Pomegranate Days in 2012?
There are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of food blogs out there. What do you look for in a good food blog and how do you pick your favourites?
What is your favourite dish to make or eat at the moment?
And finally, if you could have dinner with any celebrity chef in the world, who would it be?
SAM TAYLOR'S DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
- 370g butter
- 370g dark chocolate, broken
- 6 large eggs
- 750ml sugar
- 320ml flour
- 250ml cocoa
- 300g white chocolate, chopped
- 100g dried cranberries
1.) Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Line and grease a 26cm x 36cm roasting pan.
2.) Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a saucepan over a very low heat. Gently whisk and cool.
3.) Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled melted chocolate mixture.
4.) Sift the flour and cocoa over the into the bowl, then fold in by hand. Fold in the white chocolate and cranberries.
5.) Scrape the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until set. The brownies should have a crisp crust and moist centre. Keep an eye on them towards the end of the baking time so as not to over bake them! Cool and cut into squares.
Sam’s serving suggestion: Warm the brownies slightly and serve with home made vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce for a dinner party dessert.