About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

Pesto & Ricotta-filled Asparagus and Radish Tarts

Spring is very much in the air. I can feel it, even if the garden still sleeps under a foot of snow.

The ice on the river near our place is breaking up and the tops of the trees in the yard have started to bud. Soon the sap will be flowing in the maples and we can tap their trunks for a new sugaring off season.

I’m anticipating the spring thaw as eagerly as my children awaiting their first batch of maple taffy on snow. It can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, Clara built another snowman on the first day of spring.

I warmed one of these tarts for my lunch while watching her play – they are like a promise of good things to come: our own baby radishes, local asparagus and the warm winds of spring.
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Kids who Cook: an update from our kitchen

The whole idea of “spring break” is rather laughable when it’s too cold to go outside and winter storms batter the house from all angles.

Still, the children had five days off of school last week, so we had the “break” – just without any of the spring. Regrettably, all three of the kids were suffering from coughs and colds, so we laid low, watched movies, built pillow forts and ate a lot of homemade soup.

We also cooked up plenty of fun in the kitchen, with each child taking a turn to prepare various meals and snacks for the family. It was really lovely to have ample time to cook – and teach – instead of the frequent rush that is our daily life with 3 kids and 2 jobs.

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Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake with Candied Lemons

At the prompting of a few friends and one sister, we’re watching The Kindness Diaries on Netflix as a family right now. One of our family ‘mottos’ is “Above all, be kind.” so the series dovetails nicely with how we are endeavoring to live out our lives.

For me, showing kindness nearly always translates into food for others, whether it be a meal delivered, dinner around my table or, more recently, hunger relief. Today’s recipe for Meyer lemon bundt cake is exactly the type of cake to bake for a friend and leave it, wrapped in a tea towel, on their front porch.

Equally worthwhile is to invite a friend over to join you for afternoon tea and cake. As long as cake is shared  – between friends or strangers – the world will continue to become a better place. I’m pretty sure I read that on a t-shirt somewhere.

I was going to save this recipe for Easter, but Meyer lemons are available right now and this cake needs to be on your baking list long before April.

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How to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking (recipe round-up)

I get asked so often how to use preserved lemons in cooking and baking, that I decided to expand my usual response into a post.

From what I have noticed, home cooks tend to purchase a jar of preserved lemons for a specific recipe – and then stuff the remainder in the back of the fridge for a year or two. Others get fired up over a DIY recipe, like my Spiced Preserved Lemons, but then don’t know what on earth to do with them afterward.

I use preserved lemons in practically everything. I should state from the beginning that I am a longtime devotee to preserved lemons and always have a jar or two in my refrigerator. Hopefully by the end of this post you are both inspired to stock your pantry permanently with preserved lemons and feel confident adding them to your cooking and baking.

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Weekend links and photos

It’s a small miracle: the house is still quiet at eight-o-clock in the morning on this beautiful sunny Sunday.

We’re all recovering from yesterday’s birthday festivities and all the excitement that entailed. The birthday boy, Mateo, had set his alarm for 5:15am, and woke up instantly revved up for the day.

He ended up going for a four kilometer run with his father just to burn off some steam while I prepped his birthday breakfast. Nine is so adorable. My, they are all growing up so fast.

So here I am with my coffee; reflecting on the fact that February is nearly over. You’ve all been so kind to stick around while things are fairly quiet on the blog. I’ve been juggling exciting new projects with my cookbook edits in addition to the usual work that comes with raising three children, and well, blogging occasionally falls through the cracks.

That said, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite links from the web – recipes, articles and kitchen inspiration – for your reading pleasure…

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