Thursday, January 19, 2006

Retro Blog Party

On the Jukebox: To Sir With Love

On the menu: Classic Champagne Cocktails, devilled eggs and stuffed olives.

photograph picture Sam's sixties retro blog cocktail party

The stars aligned themselves, last weekend, before I joined Weightwatchers, in order for me to be able to take part in my very ever first Blog Party, hosted by the stylish Stephanie. My mother had just mailed me an old cocktail book that she thought a) belonged to me anyway and b) might be useful for my blog. She was correct on one count, my blog needed some retro cocktails. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

photograph picture Sam's sixties retro blog cocktail party - classic champagne cocktail recipe

As it happens, I didn't actually end up using a recipe from this old, undated book, the inside covers of which had been glued with seemingly ancient, browned magazine cuttings of further cocktail recipes. I flicked through the book and immediately found a classic favourite of mine, decided I prefer my own way of making them, and set to it. I still had the beautifully retro-looking Angostura Bitters bottle in my cupboard from the last time I made them (several years ago).

Classic Champagne Cocktails
Chilled, Dry French Champagne
Angostura Bitters
Sugar lumps
Twists of lemon rind

-Pop a sugar lump in the bottom of a Champagne glass.
-Add a few drips of the Angostura Bitters until the sugar starts to stain brown.
-Pour brandy into the glass to a level that covers the sugar lump
-Top with ice-cold Champagne
-Squeeze in a twist of lemon zest and then discard.
-Be careful, these cocktails are extremely intoxicating

Weightwatchers Note: This cocktail is 5 points a serving. (Oops I had two)
A glass of champagne the same size would only be 2.5 points.

Did you notice the very retro-looking label on the bottle of Champagne I picked up for the party at K&L Wine Merchants? The Michel Dervin Brut, made out of 95% estate fruit from small plots, is described by the staff at K&L's San Francisco store, as being like everyone's perennial favourite, Veuve Cliquot. Had they not recommended it as a staff pick, I would never have dreamt of purchasing such a tacky-looking wine.

photograph picture Sam's sixties retro blog cocktail party recipe / how to make devilled eggs and mayonnaise

Homemade Mayonnaise and Devilled Eggs

For the Mayonnaise:

1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup Canola oil
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon Mustard.
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste

-Put the eggs, mustard and 1/2 tsp salt in a blender
-Pulse until blended
-Blend the oils together in a jug with a spout for pouring
-With the blender switched on, very slowly pour the oil into the blender
-Start with an extremely thin dribble
-As the mayonnaise thickens you can start pouring a more steady stream
-Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Weightwatchers Note: Homemade mayonnaise is a massive 3 points per tablespoon. Aargh! No wonder it tastes so good.

For the Devilled Eggs:

Simply hard boil some eggs then carefully remove the yolks. Blend them together with whatever takes your fancy from the following list: mustard, paprika, green onions, mayonnaise, horseradish, etc. On this occasion I was too heavy-handed with the mayonnaise and the Dijon and the mixture became to runny to pipe back into the egg whites properly. But with the homemade mayo, a generous dollop of spicy French mustard and a sprinkling of smoked paprika, they tasted just perfect.

Weightwatchers Note: One boiled egg is only 2 weightwatchers points. If you skipped the mayonnaise and simply blended the yolk with mustard, and maybe some minced green onions, or other 0 point condiment, you could indulge quite safely in this retro cocktail snack without feeling too guilty.

photograph picture Sam's sixties retro blog cocktail party recipe / how to make devilled eggs and mayonnaise

Links, Resources and Further Reading

Bay Area Resources:
Helpful wine merchants in SF | K&L
Eggs from | Petaluma Farms
Lemons from | Hamada Farms
The Best Brandy Made in America? | Germain Robin

Other Resources:
By Appointment to the Queen | Angostura Bitters
A favourite retro movie | To Sir With Love
From the Days when I couldn't | Make Mayonnaise
Thanks for teaching me how to do it | Tante Marie
How long to Boil that Egg? | I always turn to Delia Smith.

Daily weight loss, weightwatchers and diet notes:
My first day on Weightwatchers went very well. I elected to go for the Flex Plan, rather than the Core Plan. On the Flex Plan, foods have certain point values. I am allowed to eat 22 points a day. Yesterday I managed to devour a lot of satisfying food and still only use 21 points total. Who would have thought greek yoghurt with jam for breakfast, a seared tuna salad with avocado, oranges, mixed leaves and fennel for lunch, a snack of a fresh pear mid-afternoon followed by a dinner of baked potato with pancetta, creme fraiche, parmigiano and a side salad of roasted beets with freshly grated horseradish could possibly called a diet??

The number of supportive comments I received on yesterday's post literally overwhelmed me. I was just about in tears. I can't thank everyone enough for piping up with words of encouragement. It makes me feel a whole lot better to realise I am not the only one grappling with this issues. (I was beginning to think I was!)

Archive Alert! On this date in 2005: Never understimate the power of cake!

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Retro Blog Party


  • At 19/1/06 07:25, Blogger Stephanie said…

    Sam, it's just wonderful, and so perfectly retro.

    I'm beyond thrilled to have such a revered food blogger join our little party...thanks so much for coming!

  • At 19/1/06 09:57, Blogger Anne said…

    Best of luck on your WW diet. I could stand to lose a few (ok, more than a few) pounds myself and just need to get motivated. It's a constant battle for me- give up my passion for cooking/eating/restaurants and be thin, or say screw it and be slightly heavier than average and enjoy it all. I wish it was an easy decision but it's one I've been struggling with forever it seems. I know that healthy food can be delicious- that isn't really the problem. I guess I just overindulge, especially in wine (1 point per ounce, basically)! Anyway, thanks for being so frank. You've inspired me.

  • At 19/1/06 10:41, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, I love devilled eggs! Thanks for the recipe. Miam miam!

  • At 19/1/06 11:28, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ooh, I love deviled eggs (back when I could eat them...) My sister is a hard core addict.

  • At 19/1/06 15:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam -- Thanks for the memories! I recall a wonderful Champagne cocktail occasion, a wedding brunch at the ancient Sweet's on Manhattan's tip, because it was legendary and because it was near City Hall were my friends were married. We had the most delicious bay scallops that day. And thanks for the suggestion from you (and KL) for less expensive bubbly.

    Are you going to WW meetings or doing this on your own with their guide? Either way you sound dedicated and curious enough to find delicacies that fit the point system. I remember trying to figure out if I could get away with using giant antique Tarot sets for the "deck of cards" sercving size. I'm never a happy dieter but you're giving me inspiration.

  • At 19/1/06 16:57, Blogger Mona said…

    Every thing looks perfectly scrumptious. I've never heard of that champagne cocktail -sounds awesome. Though I must say champagne alone is toxic enough for me:) I can't imagine what would happen if I threw in some brandy, maybe I'd drink less of it-ha!
    And those deviled eggs and olives? Yummy, perfect for a party!

  • At 19/1/06 21:04, Blogger Gerald San Jose said…

    I'm a sucker for deviled eggs, I can eat them all night. BTW - Good luck with WW Sam! Living around great restaurants in SF and being a food blogger definitely are gonna be tough obstacles to overcome!

    Also, when I first saw your picture, I thought to myself "is that a cube of Spam in the champagne bottle?? - GROSS, but it probably goes well with the olives and eggs".... then I realized it was a sugar cube after seeing the recipe - Ooops! Hahaha.

  • At 19/1/06 21:42, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Very swank.

  • At 19/1/06 22:53, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How fortunate for me! I've been looking for a devilled egg recipe ... thanks, Sam!

    Keep up the good work!

  • At 20/1/06 07:50, Blogger Sam said…

    Cheers Stephanie, thanks for inviting me to be one of the guests!

    Tokyoastrogirl - thannks for the encouragement, motiviation is the hardest part, especially with the exercise part for me. I actually find WW quite interesting, which keeps my mind off indulging for a while.

    Bea - leass recipe - more idea to play with.

    Catherine - too bad you can't eat them anymore :(

    Kudzu - your story sounds like a good one. Now i am itching to know more. I am doing the online WW. Last time i went to the meetings because then we had a group at work, but now we don't the online method is more up my alley. It's quite fascinating actually.

    Mona - yes champagne is enough by itself - i had to have a snooze after two glasses of this - they knocked me out.

    Gerald - yes I am not sure how i am going to cope with the dining out. We will see.

    Cookie - it takes swank to know swank

    Ivonne - thank you!

  • At 21/1/06 01:45, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    glad the book proved useful even if it was only to enhance the photo

  • At 21/1/06 07:46, Blogger Admin said…

    Linked you ..

  • At 22/1/06 05:37, Blogger Nupur said…

    Oh devilled eggs...those look so good!

  • At 8/5/07 06:08, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ok, I dont love devilled eggs - in fact I can't stand them.

    Somehow this looks very goooood!

    Not gonna eat the deviled eggs though.

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  • At 10/9/07 13:47, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 10/9/07 13:48, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 24/11/09 17:25, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just ran across this and tried the homemade mayo... quick question... how long will this keep? I know store bought has a locked in Ph and cannot spoil.


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