Secrets to the best mashed potatoes | Simple Bites #eatseasonalholiday

Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 9 to 11

“Do you have anything I can chop?” When my nine-year-old Noah joins me in the kitchen, this is a question I can expect him to ask every time.

He likes to work on his knife skills, and I require him do so only when I’m right by his side. This is one of the many understandings between us that has been established over years of teamwork. And I mean years.

Noah was my very first sous chef, starting around 15 months, on a chair next to me as I cooked and baked. At four he was making his own sandwiches. At five he was rolling doughnuts and doing most everything on this list of tasks for 3-5 year-olds.

He’s always been keen to learn in the kitchen, an in case you were wondering, he knows I’m writing this post and is okay with it. He’s all for inspiring other kids to get cooking, too.

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coffee cups

Weekend Links and 20 Canadian Instagramers Who Make Me Hungry

This week was rather extraordinary, in the very literal sense of the word; there were a handful of rare, and very special events.

On Sunday we met our newest nephew and there is nothing so wonderful as holding a seven-pound newborn bundle. Then Spring finally got her act together and bestowed us with a week of glorious warm weather which made the grass turn a pale shade of green and the wild ramps grow three inches in the back forest.

I even spotted rhubarb buds in the garden. It’s starting!

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Sugaring off on SimpleBites.net

Sugaring Off and Bacon-Wrapped, Maple-Glazed Roasted Carrots

I grew up as the younger sibling to both a brother and a sister and everything happened to them first: sleepovers, concerts, dating, driving lessons…

It was one of those things I had to make peace with, knowing that eventually I too would be able to wear make-up, get a summer job, or go overnight camping with just friends and no adults.

Watching spring come to our Southern neighbours in a splash of vibrant colour on Instagram while we are still sitting in slushy mud requires a similar resignation. I know it won’t be long before I too am snapping the ends off of bright green asparagus or roasting strawberries for an ice cream sundae, but for now, I have to be patient.

Fortunately, here in Eastern Canada we have a fifth season to tide us over until the blossoms bloom and the bulbs burst – the maple sap run. It’s an utterly magical few weeks when the towering maples, which already give so much in shade, oxygen and sheer beauty, offer up their sweet, sweet sap for the taking.

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drinks bar Easter

Weekend links and photos

This week was a range of ups and downs, including a wisdom tooth extraction for me which I’m still slowly recovering from.

On the bright side, warm rains melted nearly all of our snow, I found the first ramp on the forest floor, and we had sap running all week. I’ll be bringing you a short update on our small scale sugaring off operation later this week, but first, here’s what I’ve been loving around the web.

Hit the jump for a few of our Easter photos. Brunch, lunch, and more brunch.

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Rolling flour tortillas

Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 6 to 8

So you’ve survived cooking with pre-schoolers. Congratulations! I have good news for you: the next stage is really, really fun.

From rolling meatballs to chopping apples, watching the Yorkshire pudding rise or turning fruit into sauce, the kitchen is now a science lab, the heart of the home, and the best restaurant in town.

Around age six and continuing through seven, children graduate from play cooking to serious cooking and they are eager to make a good impression. They can plan a simple menu and pull together an entire meal, if given the chance. Now, more than ever, it’s important to give them space to be creative. Guide them, give instructions, but don’t hover. And heap on the praise.

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