Chuck Siegel, owner and chief chocolatier of Charles Chocolates, shows Bay Area Bites readers how to make their own easy and outrageously delicious chocolate truffles. Stephanie Rosenbaum tries out his technique at home.
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 San Francisco with her husband and their toddler, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.
Kim Laidlaw's Latest Posts
Buttermilk Pie? What? It sounds weird, but apparently it has a cult-like following in the longhorn state. It’s essentially a simple buttermilk and brown sugar custard pie, often flavored with a bit of vanilla and sometimes citrus zest. Kim Laidlaw decided to take it upon herself to come up with the ultimate version for the holidays.
Kim Laidlaw shares her elevated version of classic stuffing baked alongside the bird with the addition of creamy chestnuts, fresh sage, a leek and some sherry.
Here’s a basic recipe for greens that includes a lot of ideas for embellishments. You can change it each and every time depending on your tastes, what you have on hand, or how crazy you want to get.
Kim Laidlaw shares her special holiday version of braised red cabbage which is great alongside turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, providing the perfect sweet-tart counterpoint.
Generally, I make my gravy at the last minute, using drippings from the turkey along with the turkey stock I’ve bubbled away for hours and the shredded meat from the neck. But I thought I’d switch it up and offer a new option: wild mushroom gravy. This is a simple but chunky gravy, full of the deep richness of mushrooms.
Perhaps it is unthinkable to sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner without the ceremony of bringing a whole golden brown bird to the table and carving it to applause. But if it’s succulent flavor you are after, you really can’t go wrong with this version.
One evening I decided to teach my two American roommates how to make a Spanish tortilla (one of my top egg-and-potato standards, and one of my ultimate comfort foods). If you’ve never had it, a Spanish tortilla is nothing like a Mexican tortilla, but more like a frittata. Made from only a handful of ingredients–eggs, potatoes, olive oil, and salt–it is not only very cheap to make, but you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. I would consider it the national dish of Spain, and you can find it in various forms throughout the country.
This Sunday marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns, a night beloved in the hearts of the Scots, but relatively unknown to most Americans. For those of you uninitiated in Burns Night, it is a celebration in honor of good ol’ Rabbie Burns, and, in true Scottish style, it is bathed in whisky and delicious haggis, neeps, and tatties.
So there we were, at the bar and in need of a cocktail. After a few libations piqued my interest, and I found myself being indecisive, I asked the bartender what he’d suggest. “Oh, definitely the Celeraic, it’s really good and interesting.” Hrm. But what about the egg white? I’m not so sure of that. Is it slimy? I could just imagine it slithering down my throat. Blech. He assured me it wasn’t like that. Based on their reputation, I decided to trust him. Every eye at the bar was on him when he was making my Celeraic, a bit of gin, some lemon, pineapple juice, the suspicious egg white, all topped off and finished with a spritz of bitters…
I’ve finally gone and done it. I killed my sourdough starter. It had a very well-meaning life, and when it was good, it was really superb (in my pizza dough). It was strong, at least in it’s youth. But the other morning, when I was clearing out the refrigerator in preparation for Christmas, I came across it, pushed into the back of the fridge, forlorn and forgotten. How could I?
My brother planted way too much butternut squash this year. He has so much butternut squash that he doesn’t know what to do with all of it. He has so much butternut squash that he laid down the law that it must play a starring role in our annual over-the-top, overly decadent, planned-for-months-in-advance, Christmas feast.
So, being the loving and caring sister that I am, I’ve been on a quest for lip-smacking, mouth-watering, not-your-run-of-the-mill recipes that contain butternut squash. Beyond the obvious (yet delicious) array of butternut squash soups and pureed or roasted butternut side dishes, I’ve discovered butternut gnocchi, a world of curries containing the squash (particularly Thai red beef curry or green pork curry, and an amazing Indian curry with chickpeas), roasted squash salads both warm and cold, and an array of pasta dishes. One of my favorite pasta discoveries was a lasagna recipe by Jamie Oliver, which in turn, inspired this recipe.
My dog Luna eats better than I do. It’s not to say that I don’t eat well, but she eats Superfood.
Once upon a time, not very long ago, she ate high-quality kibble. She hated it. Mealtime was spent coaxing, pleading, and trying any means necessary to get her to eat. It was a battle of wills, a struggle of stubbornness, and she usually won. Winning meant a scoop of cottage cheese or a bit of chicken mixed into her kibble. She’s really not a stupid dog, and knew if she held out, we’d eventually give in. Even so, she’d still poke around and begrudgingly eat it.
So by now, you’ve gone shopping, gathered your wares, and hopefully if you are reading this, you are well along in the cooking process (if not, get off the computer and get busy!). But what do you do if it all goes horribly wrong…?
Ok, I’m not trying to be doom and gloom here. And I’m not talking about familial relations, you are on your own there. But in the food and feast arena, it is nice to be armed with a few helpful hints when you are juggling a minimum of six different dishes in the kitchen. Something is bound to not be perfect. So what do you do?