Ask Aimee

*Thank you for all your great questions, both via email and here in the comments. The opportunity for questioning is now over. Look for my answers very soon!*

Let’s have a bit of fun, shall we? Since I’m probably never going to be a guest on a late night talk show, and content here on the blog revolves exclusively around food, I’m going to give you an opportunity to ask me about anything. Sure, you can stick to kitchen-related questions, but feel free to expand if you like.

Ask me about blogging, the family, my background, Montreal, – whatever! Just ask. Do you want to know my favorite summer shoe of choice? Curious to know if I really grew up without electricity or telephone? Ever wonder how I got started blogging? My ideal vacation spot? What’s always in my fridge?

Ask away!

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The Best Party Trick Ever: How to Make Thirty Minute Mozzarella

The following is a guest post from Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules. Welcome, Andrew!

A couple of years ago at a Fourth of July party, I pulled off one of my best party tricks ever.

Showing up with a gallon of milk in hand, I asked my friends if I could borrow their kitchen. Spying the other items in my bag — a bunch of fresh basil and cherry tomatoes — they knew I had something good in store. They eagerly let me take over.

Half an hour later, I emerged victorious from the kitchen with a platter of fresh caprese, made with still-warm mozzarella.

I’ve been using this “30-minute Mozzarella” recipe, from Ricki Carroll’s book, Home Cheese Making, for a few years now.  I’ll admit, it comes out slightly different each time (the type of milk, how quickly you heat it, and how much you stretch it will affect both the flavor and texture), but it’s always been a big hit. [Read more…]

How to Cook Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oats in a Slow-Cooker

This week I wholeheartedly embraced the slow-cooker challenge along with dozens of other bloggers. I stewed beans all day, simmered a vegetable stock, and combined ginger, coconut and chicken into a fragrant dinner.

I even used my slow-cooker for breakfast, something I’m going to be doing a whole lot more of, thanks to an ingenious technique discovered via Food 52 for overnight steel-cut oats.

As you’ve read, oatmeal in all its forms is one of my pantry essentials. We use rolled oats in our Overnight Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, stir steel-cut oats for Brown Butter-Toasted Oatmeal with Roasted Pears, and often cook a pot of quick oats on those hurried Monday mornings.

Of all the varieties of oatmeal, my affections lie with steel-cut oats. However, I am less fond of the 30 or so minutes of cooking time that they require in the morning to reach the perfect creamy, yet toothsome texture. I had tried a few overnight versions, but found that, although convenient, they left the oats with a gummy consistency.

Fortunately, I have come across a completely new method that has – yes, I dare to say it – revolutionized our breakfasts. [Read more…]

Cooking School: How to Make Perfect Yorkshire Pudding

Contrary to what many people think, there is no actual ‘pudding’ in true Yorkshire Pudding.

I’m speaking of those delightful, airy baked morsels, know to some as ‘Popovers’, that are traditionally British and served up with a classic roast beef dinner. They originated in Yorkshire, England, but for me, surfaced during my childhood years at the frequent request of my British father.

My mother could never make enough ‘Yorkshire pudd’, as we shortened it to, and now as a mother myself, I’m often in the same dilemma. Roast beef, new potatoes, and vegetable sides all take a back seat when there’s a basket of Yorkshire pudding on the table. Noah can polish off five or six on his own.

Once, at age four, he produced giggles from our guests when he sat stationed with a Yorkshire pudding in each hand, took a bite of their softness and, with a heavenly glance, moaned “Thank you, Lord”.

Sufficiently to say, we’re keeping with British tradition in our house – well those of a puffy nature, anyway. [Read more…]

Help Me Help You: Sharing the Cooking Load

Written by Danny.

This post was birthed a few weekends ago when Aimée was gone to BSP in Pennsylvania.  I had the kids for an extended weekend – on holidays – and it was both wonderful for the bonding and closeness I got with my boys and terrible as I realized that I rely on Aimée for so much.

You see, we both rely on each other for so many things: I believe that Aimée has filled the car with gas exactly twice in the 9 years that we have been married.  Each time comes with a story of exasperation and woe that I listen to with a bemused smile. Why? It’s just no big deal for me. For her, however, it is unfamiliar territory.

If I were to coordinate a Thanksgiving dinner, though?  The shoe would be on the other foot (and the pre-dinner snacks would be whole, raw apples).  I may be able to contribute to one of the side dishes, desserts or appetizers (I’ve improved since the apples), but to orchestrate an entire meal?

In my defense, I usually get our standard breakfast offering  ready for the family: coffees, APPLE juice (no other kinds tolerated, apparently) and some kind of cereal – oatmeal, cornmeal, flakes-from-a-box. But a cohesive, timely, organized lunch or supper? That’s different from day to day? Her territory.

You see, even though she wrote an awesome list of what to eat and when (mostly for the kids, of course) for the weekend she was gone, I nevertheless felt a bit out of place in the kitchen, and I realize that I have a basic skill set that I need to hone: cooking.

Perhaps you have a partner like me? Here’s what we need to be able to help share the cooking load effectively on a regular basis or in an emergency situation. [Read more…]