Archives for January 2008

The Year that Was

2007 was a fantastic year for cooking and I am so glad that a portion of it is documented here on Under the High Chair. Several factors helped make it the year that was…

This summer my garden finally decided to start producing and gave me plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs to work with. My son Noah was old enough to pull up a chair and obedient enough for us to try slightly more complex dishes together. Certainly being pregnant for the second half of the year gave me a voracious appetite that spurred me on to keep cooking. I didn’t crave much in particular except FOOD and lots of it (sweets in particular!)

I found inspiration in every season from the crisp asparagus and Quebec strawberries in spring to the ripe peaches and fresh fish of summer. Fall produce tempted me to start canning jams and jellies and the arrival of snow brought an onslaught of comfort food such as warm gingerbread and bread pudding.

Christmas is practically a season of its own and I got a jump on my holiday baking with an early batch of fruitcake and a successful cookie swap that even made the local paper.

Yes, I so enjoyed cooking every dish and sharing them with you, but at the end of the day, what really makes blogging worthwhile is the feedback that I get from my readers. Thank you to all who have commented and sent personal emails! They are always encouraging and great to get.
Some of the feedback never fails to really astound me. For example, Dana from the UK writes that a new resolution of hers is to try as many recipes as I post! A truly ambitious and flattering goal. New mom Michelle emailed to say that she is addicted to UtHC and her 7-month-old son loves tartiflette. Sounds like a foodie in the making, Michelle! Laura also dropped me a note from Vancouver and said she and her sister spent a few hours browsing UtHC over the holidays and they are two new hardcore fans!

These comments are much appreciated and I thank each and everyone who takes the time to drop me a note.

I hope that I can continue to inspire you to get cooking in the year to come!
Thanks for reading.

About Under the High Chair

Welcome to Under the High Chair, a blog about all things food related with a little baby talk thrown in!

Here’s who we are:

Aimée is the writer of UtHC, chief photographer, chef, and young mama.

Growing up in an artistic family, Aimée has poured her creativity into cooking ever since she could hold a spoon. Her enthusiasm earned her the Lieutenant-gouverneur’s award in culinary school—not to mention as the irksome nickname ‘Martha Stewart’.

Before her children arrived, Aimée worked as a personal chef and was happy to have her life revolve around food. After she fell in love with motherhood and determined to never return to work, she married her two passions by becoming a food/mommy blogger. She still does what she loves best, only now she has two little helpers to keep her on her toes. Not surprisingly, she’s busier as a home manager than she ever was in the fine dining industry!

Aimée’s rural upbringing on Canada’s West Coast instilled a permanent connection to nature and the simple things in life; camping trips and pulling carrots in the kitchen garden are part of passing that bond on to her boys. She has traveled to over sixteen countries on four continents, yet still gets itchy feet; her fondness of travel only rivaled by her dedication to food (read: bacon).

On days when there are too many cloth diapers to fold, Aimée wishes she could escape to her parent’s farm, but usually copes by baking something sweet. Even though she spent ten years in the professional cooking industry, her pickiest customers to date are her children. Since they scorn her efforts, this blog is a necessary outlet for her creative cooking juices and showcase what is ultimately ending up Under the High Chair…

Danny is Aimee’s favorite person and husband; he is also her most honest food critic and biggest fan. He’s really a foodie-in-hiding behind the engineering façade, and the trusty techie behind UtHC. He works hard to bring home the bacon for the Carbonara. Although he is a Montrealer to the core, Danny also enjoys scaling mountain peaks, going for runs with the boys in the jogger stroller and fishing for salmon in British Columbia’s rivers.
His ongoing project is to build a chicken coop.

Noah is five and has been apprenticing as a chef in the UtHC kitchen for three years already. He can roll a mean meatball, count two dozen eggs, and flips pancakes with pizzaz. If he’s not getting his apron dirty, he’s probably reading or digging for worms in the garden. His currently hates tomatoes, blueberries, and cottage cheese but loves olives, grapes, avocado and bean & cheese burritos; however this can all change in the blink of an eye.

Mateo is our leap year baby, born February ’08, and won’t be turning one for a few years. That’s OK, because he’s a great cuddler and we don’t want him to grow up too fast. He’s recently discovered the joys of eating spaghetti with two fists and his hero is his big brother.

Celebrating in Comfort

A New Year’s Eve celebration at home was always my preferred party mode and now that we have a little one, it’s an even more attractive way to ring in the new year. No babysitter, no cover charge, no late-night winter driving, just a good time in the comforts of our own home. Of course, it’s also a great excuse to cook mountains of party food, chill bottles of champagne in deep tubs of snow, and invite a few close friends over.

Happy New Year everyone!

My guests were more of a conservative crowd as far as palates are concerned (no ceviche or sashimi here!) so I chose a retro comfort food theme for my menu. We feasted on foods that were probably served at parties in the 70’s or 80’s such as chocolate mousse and mini quiches. Everything was gobbled up pretty quickly, so I suppose I guessed it right for this crowd.

The menu:

Finger Food
Gouda Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Dill Pickle
Shrimp with Parsley-Garlic Butter
Mini Margerita Pizzas
Spanikopita Triangles
Tomato Bruschetta
Mini Bacon and Cheddar Quiches
Crudité and Dip
Smoked Salmon Spread on Crackers
Cheese Board
Mini Crème Brulé
Chocolate Mousse
Domino Brownies
Cherries & Grapes
Assorted Cookies and Sweets

We had a Vegas theme for our little party and guess who surprised everyone by winning the big pot? That’s right, moi, and not just because I was the only one sober, but because I have some serious poker talent!

Today snow is falling in huge flakes outside and we’ve got naps planned all around. Later on we’re heading to the in-laws for turkey dinner-and the feasting continues! I’m contributing a chocolate layer cake large enough for an army (guess I am continuing the whole ‘comfort food’ theme).

Hope everyone is recovering well from last night’s fêtes.
Here’s wishing everyone a very happy and healthy 2008!