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
When it’s pouring raining, grim and blustery, cold and dark, and frankly dreadful outside, my idea of the perfect day is one where I’m home, warm and happy. The windows are all steamed up, I put on some good music, and I start baking. And cooking. In fact, I’m happiest if I have about 4 different things going at once.
This summer I made a vow to get over to the farmers’ market—any farmers’ market—once a week. For the most part I’ve managed to do it. And for the past 3 or 4 months I’ve purchased a bag of fresh ripe tomatoes each week. Ever since they hit the market, I’ve been obsessed. And now I’m in a downright panic, as they are on their way out.
Having just recently returned from the UK, I am currently obsessed with a dessert that is considered, by many of my British friends and family, “nursery food.” I am speaking of bread and butter pudding. At its best, bread and butter pudding is both crispy and creamy, sweet and salty, simple and comforting, with just the right amount of butter, enough custard to soak through the layers of bread, a few sprinkles of raisins, and a toasty golden brown top. (At its worst it’s a soggy, insipid, flavorless blob with too many raisins, but we don’t have to go there.)
It’s that time of year again…when the leaves start to turn, a chill wind blows through the air…
Wait. No. Not here. It’s still summer (or at least it feels like it)! But even though we live in a warm little bubble here in the Bay Area at this time of year, technically autumn has arrived. And with it, an event that I always look forward to: WhiskyFest!
Every year, I look forward to the real fig season–figs have two seasons: the first, in early summer, is fleeting and generally unremarkable; the second one takes place late in the summer. And yes, folks, it’s that time of year again. Late summer. My favorite moment in food time, when tomatoes and basil and zucchini and cucumbers and peppers and stone fruit and even berries are still prolific in the farmers’ market, and each week, there are more shell beans and succulent delicious figs on display. But it’s the figs that send me into squeals of joy, and when I bite into a perfectly ripe fig, perfect bliss.
This post’s recipe is for a zucchini tart, because I can’t seem to stop loading up on them each week at the market. But to make this an any-kind-of-vegetable tart, replace the zucchini with about 1/2 cup sautéed leeks; blanched asparagus, green beans or chopped broccoli or cauliflower; freshly cooked chopped spinach or other greens; fresh, chopped tomatoes; fresh corn kernels; or a mixture of any of these. You can also add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, like basil, marjoram, oregano, chives, or swap out the cheeses for your favorite.
Summer’s bounty is upon us in full force, demanding our attention, and there is nothing I like more than a simple farmers’ market supper — as fresh as you can get, barely cooked, with very little fuss.
I’ve compiled some of my favorite market meals of late here. These are not so much recipe as they are ideas, so there may or may not be exact measurements because frankly, when you are doing something this simple, you really don’t need a recipe. Don’t be intimidated by cooking like this, just keep tasting as you go…
Sigh. Mammoth. I’ve been hearing about the wonders of this little tucked away part of California for probably 10 years. And for the past 6 years I’ve had an annual invitation to join a group of friends on their yearly trek to The Cabins. But for this reason or that, I’ve never managed to make […]
Every summer I spend way too much money on cranberry beans. If you know me, you might also know that they are my hands-down, number one, absolute favorite bean. I would even go a step further and extend that statement to the entire legume family. What are cranberry beans you ask? Well, they are not […]
I grew up in the 1970s in Dallas, Texas, at a time when processed food was the hot new thing (think Funyuns, Cap’n Crunch and Velveeta, and the list goes on…). So you can imagine what I must have been surrounded by foodwise. Fortunately, my mom was a foodie at heart—she baked loaves of bread, […]
In late spring when the first cherries would appear at the Dallas farmers’ market, my mom would sing her little cherry ditty: “Cherries are ripe…” Granted, it doesn’t sound like much—it’s only a 3-word phrase—and she did sing it much more often than as an annual welcome to the little stone fruit, but I can’t […]
You know when you take a bite of something and you realize that this is a taste you are going to crave? Like salted caramel ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery. It’s usually something you can’t get just anywhere. For me it often happens when I’m traveling somewhere and I won’t easily find that taste again […]
I stupidly made our reservation for 7:15pm, not even considering the fact that we might have wanted to see the magnificent Big Sur sunset from our perch at Nepenthe. (Sunset is currently at 7:27pm). I know, I know, kind of a cliché Big Sur “thing to do” but it was my husband’s very first trip […]