9 Good Reasons to Can Your Own Food

If you’re not already up to your elbows in tomatoes or apples this month, then chances are you need a little nudge in the right direction, a little convincing that it just might be worth it to let the housework slide for a few days and jump onto the canning bandwagon that seems to be leaving you behind, enveloped by a cloud of steam.

Perhaps you see the pallets of canning jars at the hardware stores and supermarkets, but tell yourself canning isn’t for you or you think, “it’s just not worth the effort.”  If that’s the case, are you aware of all the benefits of home preservation?

Why do we can? There is no pat answer; everyone has their own motivations. The question is: What are yours?

Here are just a few reasons one might find us picking over late-harvest strawberries, peeling pears or sweating over the stove on any September afternoon: [Read more…]

Wordless Wednesday: Fall Fair






More than Mirepoix: Roasted Carrot and Cilantro Soup

September. These are the last fleeting days of summer and the return of the crispness of autumn, not to mention the kids to school!

For me, September brings to mind scarves and warm coats, piles of newly yellowed leaves, wood smoke hanging in the air like unspoken words and an end to the bounty of summer harvests; now is the time to be canning, freezing and otherwise preserving all of the best summer has to offer.

Not to be outdone by it’s summer seasonal counterpart though, there is much that is in season in September, including apples, pears, potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, figs and of course, carrots.

Uncomplicated and easy to prepare, carrots are something everyone uses but don’t often think of as much of a star ingredient. They are usually thought of as a side dish or a background flavor, are always at the center of mirepoix (the aromatics forming the base of most soups, stocks and sauces, at least in French cuisine), and are often served raw on top of salads.

What many people don’t realize, however, is that carrots have a sweet flavor profile and when roasted, their natural sugars are enhanced dramatically giving them a caramelized, deep flavor and a wonderful meaty texture when made into purées for soups, such as this one. [Read more…]

Back to…Cooking School: Roast Chicken 101 (Recipe: Lemon & Oregano Roast Chicken)

Autumn is my favorite time to get busy in the kitchen. I gain tremendous satisfaction from roasting juicy whole poultry, cracking open enormous pumpkins to turn into pies, whipping together smooth root vegetable purees and peeling apples by the bushel.

Not only is the weather cooler, allowing for more hearty dinner fare, but the return of familiar fall rhythms lend themselves well to meals that require a bit of love – and lengthier cooking times.

For the longest time, roast chicken was the only meat my pre-schooler ate – and that was conditional to it having no skin. As you can imagine, I had time to perfect the art of roasting a whole chicken. I avoid purchasing BBQ chickens from supermarkets and fast food chains if at all possible, for health reasons (especially after seeing Food.Inc.), and instead roast an organic, free-range bird that will nourish the whole family.

Roasting a whole chicken is simple: there are no fancy knife cuts to attempt or finicky prep required to get it in the oven. Still, there are a few tricks to getting the most out of your investment. And if you’ve ever purchased a free-range hen, I think you will agree that it’s an investment. [Read more…]

An Anniversary and A Request


Four crazy, long, wonderful and hectic years ago I began Under the High Chair without a clue of what I was getting into. A pastime I assumed would probably fizzle and die by Christmas, turned into a hobby, then a passion, and finally, food blogging became a profession when I launched Simple Bites in February under the umbrella of Simple Living Media.

I could never have imagined the wild & wonderful ride blogging has been: the Twitter obsession, the acknowledgments, the opportunities, and most importantly, getting to interact daily with a community of incredible food bloggers.

Food bloggers are truly my extended family. I don’t know how else to explain it.

OK, before this post starts sounding like one giant cliche, I’m going to share with you why I’m really posting today.

I want to make a point about the close-knit community of food bloggers, and then ask you for a favor. You know, ’cause it’s my ‘blogaversary’.

A few nights ago, a fellow food blogger lost her home and everything in it in a frightening fire. Erika Ghanny (of The Ivory Hut) barely made it out alive with her husband; her son ran back inside the burning house to save his grandmother trapped upstairs and exited out a window with her.

They lost everything. Everything. Baby photos, wedding rings, Erika’s MacBookPro and Cannon 5D, all identification papers, her husband’s prosthetic leg —the loss is immeasurable.

Erika recounted the tragic story in a blog post the next day and it ripped my heart out as I sat reading about it with my morning coffee. News spread quickly on Twitter –and the food blogging community stepped into action, led by Alice and Maggy.

These ladies threw a website up, set up a paypal account, and the fund started rolling in. It was a relief to be able to DO something, and I added my donation as soon as I could see through my tears.

Overnight, $5000 was raised to cover the families immediate expenses (and that gesture made the local paper)...but we’d like to double that.
Here is where my request comes in. I had thought about a giveaway to celebrate this 4 year blogging milestone, but I just didn’t feel comfortable about it when a fellow food blogger was in such desperate straights.

Won’t you please honor Under the High Chair on her blogaversary by making a donation towards Friends of the Ivory Hut?
Here’s how you can:

Head HERE to read a bit about Erika and donate at the bottom of the post.

Even $5 helps. Thank you. Please feel free to leave a comment if you made a donation; I would love to thank you personally!

Here is Erika’s account of the fire, (I can’t even imagine) plus a detailed description of how the money will be used and give details on Erika and her husbands particular situation.

Will you reach out and bless a stranger today?