Archives for February 2010

Weekend Links

As our third week comes to a close, we the editors of Simple Living Media are incredibly encouraged by your response to our network. Thank you for your comments, emails and participation.

If you enjoy Simple Bites, and our sister blogs, but aren’t sure how you’ll be able to keep up, we have a simple solution created just for you.

[Read more…]

Marshmallows: The Basic Recipe


I’ve been playing around tons with this basic marshmallow recipe, adding coloring, cutting and piping it into different shapes…basically having loads of fun when I should probably be cleaning my house or shoveling snow.

I’m finding it’s incredibly versatile, hence these treats for Mateo’s 2nd birthday. The ‘fluff’ was softer than usual after the long beating, so I quickly scooped it into a piping bag and pipped out dozens of ‘M’s and ‘2’s instead of patting the marshmallow mix into a pan.
A dusting of powdered sugar finishes them off.


Aren’t they cute? Shh, he hasn’t seen them yet.
I hope there are some left for his birthday.

I wanted to share this recipe with you without delay, so you can start playing around and not miss out on any of the fun! It’s one of the simplest I’ve seen. Enjoy!

(more photos and tips to come, but this recipe is all you need to get started)

Basic Vanilla Marshmallows
(from the French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller)

3 envelopes of Knox gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Line a 9×13 pan with plastic wrap and lightly grease all over with vegetable oil.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute.

Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture.

Scrape into a 9 x 15-inch pan and spread as evenly as you can.

Cover marshmallow mixture with another piece of oiled plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan. 

Let mixture sit for a few hours or overnight.

Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 12-20 equal pieces with scissors or a chef’s knife.

Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!

Spotlight Ingredient: Leeks

By far the most underestimated of all winter vegetables is the leek. They usually get lost in the respectable, yet predictable Vichyssoise, but this cousin of the onion is capable of so much more.

From Humble Beginnings to Show Stoppers

Once dubbed “Poor-man’s Asparagus”, the leek needs only some slow braising or gentle grilling to bring out its sweet yet complex flavor. The leek should not be considered merely an add-in, because it can stand up very well on its own in a variety of side dishes. [Read more…]

Interviews 1 and 2


These photos are totally irrelevant to the post, but they captured a memorable milestone in our little family: Noah’s first skate! We have this wild swampland out behind our place that froze over perfectly smooth and is the ideal playground for little boys. They’ve been very inspired by the Olympics and we’ve reenacted many of the events in our own winter wonderland.

Good times.
My super-talented sister, Haidi, made this hat; isn’t it just precious?


Alright, I’m really just dropping in to share a few mentions of Under the High Chair that happened earlier this week.

The Montreal Gazette, our major English newspaper, ran an article Monday on the Blog Aid cookbook. They applauded the efforts of all 27 food bloggers involved and quoted me at the end.

You can find the article HERE.

Jessica from I Spy Montreal, read the article and requested an interview, which ran yesterday on her website. She asked about my strategies for getting the boys to eat (pray?), family friendly recipes, and UtHC.

You can read the full interview HERE.

It was fun to chat with her and I definitely recommend her informative website for any Montrealer with kids.

Cooking? Food? Right. I realize we’re way off topic here.

Well, we talked ‘Muffins‘ on Simple Bites this week, in case you missed it. I shared tips on how to make them, favorite flavor combinations and divulged my all-time best recipe.

You should probably head over and print it out for the morning.


It’s hard to believe two years have passed since this announcement, but yes, the little guy crossing the pond above is turning two on the weekend. My baby!

Even though I’ve got a simple menu planned, there is still plenty to do before I can receive the 40 or so guests expected, so I’ll leave it at that.

Go Canada! #olympics

A Guidemap for Finding Real Salt

All photos by Shannon
We cook with salt every day and if you’re not cooking with it, then someone else is adding salt in your food for you. Maybe the wrong kind.

Most of the discussions surrounding salt are negative. We often hear about lowering our intake levels, but then aren’t we missing the deeper question: “what salt should we be eating?” In fact, there are quite a few professionals who argue for the health benefits of the right kind of salt.

In attempting to eat a real food diet, it makes sense to find the healthiest form of this everyday ingredient.

So what is a healthy salt? [Read more…]