Spinach Crepes with Maple-Stewed Blueberries | Simple Bites #breakfast #brunch #recipe

Raising Healthy Eaters: notes and observations

“If my life were a movie, mealtime in our home would be the gory part…” I wrote over eight years ago in an emotional post my hobby blog, Under the High Chair.

I had a toddler and a baby, and was devastated to report that the disaster we called ‘family dinner’ was a real let-down. “Things will get better” I was told by many people, and of course they did eventually. But at the time, when everything I made ended up on the floor and I struggled to eat everything one-handed, I wondered nightly “What is the point?”

The truth is, the family table is a wonderfully intimate yet ever so imperfect gathering place.

During the good times, it’s the best spot on earth – and when things get ugly, we have to will ourselves to stay in our seats and endure. If you’re enduring, I’m here to tell you what other parents told me – things will get better, in their own time and in their own way. In the meantime here are a few things to remember about feeding kids that helped me over the past decade.

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Honey-Drizzled Raspberry Brie Brûlée || Simple Bites

Honey-Drizzled Raspberry Brie Brûlée

The first time I met our elderly neighbour, Oskar, he was leaning on his shovel on the edge of his sprawling corner plot of land.

I can’t remember who nodded hello first, but we hit it off at once in a discussion about his garden. It was a beautiful, well-maintained plot, surrounded by a low rock wall, which my three children scrambled up in mere moments. He didn’t bat an eye at their antics, as they skipped up and down the ledge, probably because his children used to do the very same thing.

Over the years, and many visits across the rock wall, I came to learn that Oskar was a true homesteader. His wife had passed away shortly after delivering his sixth child, and Oskar raised the family himself. He had an impressive garden – the raspberry patch itself could supply his large family with berries galore. But alas, they had all grown up and moved away, save for one.

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Simple bites garden produce

Weekend links and photos

Happy weekend, friends. It’s going to be a productive one for us; after all, there must be some balance to all the pool parties and backyard barbecues of late.

Our July has officially reached cruising altitude and will continue to fly by until we decent into St. Johns, Newfoundland in a little less than two weeks time. There, amid the remote costal villages and scenic seascape hikes, we intent to unplug and connect with nature as a family.

If by chance there is anyone from Newfoundland and Labrador reading this blog, please drop me a note with your best suggestions for good eats, strong coffee…..and best views. I’m simply longing for an ocean view.

Until then, I’ve got cookbook edits to finish, a dozen errands to run and and family to pack up.  I simply must do something with all the basil in my garden before I go. Oh, and I should probably kick this poison ivy rash to the curb. Begone! Does anyone have a good natural remedy to share? Because Benadryl is currently slowing me way down during the day.

Poison ivy, to-do lists and packing aside, I’ve had a beautiful week. Here’s what I loved reading around the web. And below that, a few of my favourite photos for your dinner inspiration.

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Grilled Green Onion & Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chèvre | Simple Bites

Grilled Green Onion & Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chèvre

If you haven’t hit your grilling stride yet this summer, today’s recipe will be the incentive you need to fire up the coals.

Let’s see, I’ve prepare it two…three…four times already and each time I delight in the smoky sweet potato, charred green onions and the tangy goat cheese that finishes off the dish. A hint of maple syrup in the mustard dressing brings balance to the salad and a few zesty grilled garlic scapes add a touch of excitement.

Every summer I tend to get stuck on a particular grilled salad – last year it was with strawberries and asparagus, before that it was green beans and cherry tomatoes. This grilled green onion & sweet potato salad with warm chèvre is definitely my 2016 summer salad obsession.

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Strawberry rhubarb pie header

Weekend links and photos

I know it’s been a sobering week for my readers in the United States and I feel deeply for you all, I really do.

The blog stayed quiet as I couldn’t bring myself to add more noise to your email inbox and social media feeds. Today, the children and I unplugged completely, and took a long, long walk by a river. They chased ducks, hunted for snakes and skipped up and down the river bank, while I attempted to find some peace under the grey skies.

It helped, a little. Later we returned home and made pizza together, covering the kitchen in flour and bits of cheese. Life goes on, despite the state of the world and mankind. Sometime I think my biggest contribution is raising three little people to love others, no matter their race, religion or whatever. It’s a daily responsibility and privilege.

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