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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Easy Maple Mustard Chicken Drumsticks with Roasted Radishes & Asparagus :: Simple Bites

Easy Maple Mustard Chicken Drumsticks with Roasted Radishes & Asparagus

If you make it past the little family table anecdote I am about to recount, then you will find a simple dinner recipe that needs to go on your week’s menu plan.

It’s inspired by maple season, of course, but combines classic French flavours – lemon, garlic, mustard and tarragon – into a sticky glaze for pan-roasted chicken drumsticks. Spring vegetables roast alongside the chicken and are tossed in the pan juices just before serving.

We’ve been loving it with roasted radishes, potatoes, asparagus and sweet potatoes; basically, whatever we can get our hands on this time of year.

On a side note, I had forgotten how much I enjoy chicken with tarragon and now I must remake an old favourite for entertaining, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. The roasted garlic perfumes the whole house and marries with cream and tarragon for a sauce that garners your guests’ full attention.

But back to my story, and then the recipe. Read on!

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Eat Seasonal: Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti || Simple Bites #recipe #dinner #vegetarian

Eat Seasonal: Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti

I want to talk about tomatoes and corn, eggplant and zucchini, and all the other beautiful produce that is so abundant right now, but first, I must say thank you all for your kind responses to my last post.

You commented, emailed and left messages on social media; I read every one and was much encouraged. It really helped to hear from so many people that the emotional toll if an car accident is just as severe as the physical one. As it turned out, after a week of exhaustion, sensitivity to noise, and bad headaches, the conclusion is that I did suffer a mild concussion. Rest is needed, as is time away from screens, so this post will be short.

Fortunately I developed and photographed this simple summer pasta the day before the accident, and I’m so excited to share it. If your kitchen is anything like mine, there’s a pile of vegetables begging to be roasted and tossed with pasta, herbs and olive oil tonight[Read more…]

Sour Cream and Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale

Sour Cream & Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale and Crispy Bacon

It is my firm belief that many spring foods need to be just as hearty and filling as winter fare, at least for those of us with gardens to plant.

From turning the compost to prepping the ground for planting, hauling soil and rocks and clearing brambles, an afternoon of work on our homestead can leave me utterly famished. It’s on those days when a meal featuring bacon, gnocci and sour cream makes complete sense. I love my spring salads and soups, I DO, but I won’t say no to refuelling with fully loaded bowl of carbs.

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Beef Stroganoff with Roasted Mushrooms & Meyer Lemons | Simple Bites #dinner

Sunday Dinner: Beef Stroganoff with Roasted Mushrooms & Meyer Lemons

I think my Monday may have gotten the upper hand, had it not been for my Sunday dinner leftovers.

Soft egg noodles, bits of buttery beef in gravy, roasted mushrooms and slivers of Meyer lemon to cut the richness. I ate them from a bowl with a kid’s fork, standing in my kitchen looking out at the bare trees brushing a blue sky. It was a moment of quiet; a reset in a day that was rowdy, hectic and loud.

The beef stroganoff had graced our table for Sunday dinner, our main meal of the day, and everyone had murmured their approval between bites. Fortunately, I had the big camera handy before we ate, and through its lens, this dish is now conveyed to you. I think you’re going to like it.

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