Simple Bites turns Ten!

This week we celebrate the 10 year blogiversary of Simple Bites.

Remarkably, I’ve been a content creator, publishing on this platform, for an entire decade. Far more wonderful is that YOU are still here, ten years later.

For your readership, I am forever grateful. Your encouragement has inspired me and your feedback has propelled me, post after post, recipe by recipe.

This small community has meant so much and continues to be a central part of my life. How could it not? It’s been an incredible journey…

Simple Bites: Then and Now

Readers, when I started in February 2010, Instagram didn’t yet exist and Pinterest was a month old; I didn’t even own a cell phone. We bloggers had no idea what social media was about to do for our work (and procrastination!).

But Simple Bites launched and a community was built, reader by reader. We landed upon an audience hungry for simple family recipes, DIY tutorials, and a steady movement away from processed foods.

The first post was Welcome to Simple Bites and I’m proud to say I’ve stayed pretty close to what I promised to bring to the new platform:

Our desire is to inspire you in your day-to-day efforts to put wholesome, delicious food on the table for your family. We will provide you with an encouraging perspective as well as practical application on how to manage your kitchen and provide the best for your family. Along the way we’ll bring you tutorials, tips and tricks on every subject from preserving food to menu planning, and provide inspiration for both daily meals and holiday menus.

Simple Bites 2010

Ten years later, I’m still delivering in this niche with posts such as:

And friends, I’m having just as much fun as I ever was – I hope it shows!

Simple Bites: The Backstory

A few years earlier, in September 2006, I started blogging at Under the High Chair (don’t Google it), my hobby blog, a creative outlet for my life as a stay-at-home mom.

With that step into the online world I discovered a warm community of food bloggers, many who would become friends and mentors. UtHC was a personal journal where I published top ten lists, family updates and the odd recipe.

In 2009, Tsh Oxenrieder of The Art of Simple (then Simple Mom) extended the invitation to become the editor of a new online food channel she was launching as part of a network. And Simple Bites was born.

With the singular goal of making every post insanely useful, I dedicated myself to a newfound career, focusing on food writing and recipe development.

I had a lot of fantastic contributors in the early years, hence the ‘we’ in many of the earlier posts. We published three times a week and built a recipe index of over FIVE HUNDRED recipes and tutorials. I know you’ve got a few favourites in there!

Simple Bites: What Followed Hard Work

Well, web traffic climbed and the press was kind, but it was the reaction from my readers that brought me the most fulfillment.

They wrote to tell me they had made jam for the first time and felt like a domestic goddess. A woman with terminal cancer rediscovered her holiday spirit while following my gingerbread house tutorial. And using my recipe, a newly widowed dad roasted a turkey on Thanksgiving for his kids – with great success.

Their words lifted me up and encouraged me to keep publishing year after year.

Astonishingly, the food magazine Saveur named Simple Bites ‘Best Kids Cooking Blog’ in its 2013 Best Food Blog Awards. It was so very meaningful to me in my career. And who can forget that trip to Las Vegas?

An offer from Penguin Random House landed in my inbox literally as soon as I was wheels down from Vegas. Shortly afterward, I signed a double book deal with the biggest publisher in the world. What a thrill to share that news with you!

My first book was Brown Eggs and Jam Jars. It hit the bestseller list in Canada within a few weeks of being released. The Simple Bites Kitchen cookbook followed two years later and won a 2018 Silver Taste Canada Award for best general cookbook in Canada.

My work had expanded to the print world and I was using my voice to encourage readers to embrace simple food. I tackled subjects such as food waste, seasonal eating and sustainable food choices. Additionally, I challenged readers to be conscientious cooks and to bring kids into the kitchen, too.

In another transition of growth, Simple Bites officially became my own space in January 2016 when I took over the website from Tsh of Simple Mom/Art of Simple.

Here’s a recent note from Tsh. In a different turn, she has announced that 2020 will be the last year for The Art of Simple. We’re all wishing her the absolute best in her new chapter.

It’s been a delight knowing Aimee this past decade-plus of camaraderie. Her food writing was one of the first I never missed, and to this day, she continually inspires me with her recipes, her photography, and most of all, her life choices and values. I’m so glad for all of us that she does what she does — here’s to another decade of living well, my friend!

Tsh Oxenreider

Simple Bites: Dreaming Big

As I look back on a decade of blogging, I see that it taught me to dream big. I learned to never doubt my capability or underestimate my reach. Truly, anything is possible with hard work and determination.

Over the years, I came to care little about what people though of me and instead, found happiness within myself. As creatives, both online and off, we’re constantly putting ourselves out there for others to judge.

It’s essential to let go of it all and learn not to put your self worth in the opinions of others.

The latest chapter in our story has to be titled: The Big Move. Our recent lifestyle change was a conscious effort to slow down.

We wanted to be closer to nature and anchor ourselves in a friendly coastal community where families are cherished.

Thank you for following our journey as we chased a big dream! Your many messages, emails and comments are cherished. We are so happy in our new life in beautiful Nova Scotia.

Today, my little family and I are truly living in the moment. We’re enjoying the simple things in life like morning coffee on our dock, Saturday pancakes and oceanside hikes.

Oh, and I haven’t stopped dreaming big. Danny and I are currently pursuing the idea of a kitchen makeover…building the Simple Bites dream kitchen….finally. Because why not?

Simple Bites: The Modern Era

Today, I use my platforms to create conversations around food every single day. Sometimes they are playful, like when I throw a sunset picnic on the dock, but most often they have deeper meaning.

Through my blog and socials, I curate conversations around topics like food waste, nutritious lunches, preserving harvest and food education for children. It’s never boring!

Here are a few of my favourites:

  • It’s World Food Day ~ Act. Influence. Advocate. One woman in a Canadian kitchen is not exactly a world-changing platform. But I have a voice and I am using my power to create conversations around food every single day.
  • How to Move Towards a Zero-Waste Kitchen ~ Simple tips for going zero-waste in the kitchen – with a goal of progress, not perfection. Every day is earth day.
  • How to Host a Modern Dinner Party ~ I have realized that the act of gathering is much more important than a styled table or fancy food. Welcome to hospitality in 2020.

It’s been a fantastic ten years of Simple Bites and I’m so honoured that you joined me along the way. Here’s to the next decade; there are so many exciting things in store. Stay tuned!

Readers, I want to hear from YOU, just like the good old days. What is your favourite Simple Bites recipe, one that you keep coming back for and making again and again?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. I found your blog about a year or so before it became yours alone.

    The recipe that has really become a staple around here is your leek, ham and goat cheese frittata. The ingredients change at times depending upon what is in the kitchen but it is always delicious and a favorite with overnight guests.

  2. Congratulations! I was hooked back at UTHC when I was pregnant with my 2008 baby, and your tone and content was so darned refreshing and real and honest… and still is. It’s truly my favourite blog (cookbooks, too). And thank goodness for that big ol’ 9×13 chocolate layer cake recipe. As my three morphed into major eaters, I needed a larger version of our 8″ – and your timing was PERFECT (as usual). Best wishes and here’s to another decade of dreaming big. I can’t wait to read all about it xo

  3. Congrats on 10 years, Aimee! What a fun post–to commemorate all the changes and accomplishments! I must have started reading in late 2013 or early 2014, because although I don’t remember the trip to Vegas + the awards 😉 I do remember reading before you published your first book! You’re one of my very favorite blogs because I know there’s always something fun to try, and gorgeous pictures to go with it.
    I’m not sure if I could pick a favorite recipe (peach lemonade? sweet potatoes with bacon + walnuts? too many!), but the most recent one I’ve tried was the butter chicken w/ chickpeas, and my family loved it!

    • Thanks for celebrating with me, Sarah! I’m thrilled that you’ve found so many family favourite recipes here on Simple Bites. Here’s to many more!

  4. I have been reading since 2011, when I had my first baby 6 weeks early and all we did was nurse. I had lots of time to explore blogs! I love to cook and bake, am Canadian (but live in California), and the age of our daughters made me feel a connection to you. You have inspired me to find joy in the functional and fun ways to feed my family. One of the earliest recipes I tried was the one bowl oatmeal muffins-so easy and adaptable. There are others of course, but that one stands out. There are many more to try! Thank you for your lovely blog!

    • Melanie, that’s a great time to explore blogs – during nursing! Thank you for your kind words; they mean so much. We still make those muffins weekly. 🙂

  5. Aimée:
    Thank you for so much. For always being transparent and real in your posts, particularly the ones around choosing to make the move to Nova Scotia, for the abundant love for your spouse that always shines through, and for great food, of course. As you know, your basic granola is the go-to in this house, and we’ve also come to rely on the carrot muffins from Brown Eggs, although we’ve shifted to almond flour.

    I have an odd warning for you that we’ve discovered this year. Mr 18 went off to university in the fall, and, due to living in residence, got a meal plan. We have now learned that our kids (and I assume yours will be similar) need a residence room where they can cook, rather than deal with over-processed, over-salted mass-produced food. We didn’t realize that making the conscious choice to eat local, healthy and from scratch would cause the largest transition our kids would deal with in going to school. Some universities are starting to shift this (St F-X actually has a meal plan option with access to a commercial kitchen and ingredients, as well as leftover storage space). The things you don’t know…..

    Thanks for being part of the journey, and know that next year, when he takes up living with members of the Bishop’s women’s hockey team, he’ll be cooking some Simple Bites recipes.

    • Thank you for your comment, and good advice, Lisa. I’m thrilled that my recipes are carrying on to the next generation. And those muffins are still the most requested in my house to this day. 🙂

  6. Hello!

    The recipe I make most often is from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars. It’s the Greek Chicken Thighs with Barley (not sure if that’s actually its name). Wow, is it delicious. I had to smile when I read about the dad roasting the turkey for the first time. I’ve shared that recipe with several people, and it’s the one I’ll stick with for the rest of my life.

    Thank you for this wonderful space.

    • Hey Caroline! That such a great one pan chicken recipe – perfect for this time of year. I’m so glad you’ve found a few favourite recipes, both for everyday and holidays. Thank YOU for reading!

  7. Your recipe books and blog are my favourite. I often pick up one of your books just to leaf through with a cu of tea. I think your camping posts are so inspiring and helped me to plan our first family camping trip last summer. And your carrot oatmeal muffins from your first book is my favourite recipe! I remember being so excited when you announced you were moving to Nova Scotia (I live in Halifax)! Cheers to 10 years and I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years brings!

  8. Congrats to you Aimee! My go to recipe for waking up in the morning all year long is the Stewed Berry Maple Oatmeal! It was once made for a group of men at church for their quarterly breakfast by my husband and now it’s always requested at their breakfast’s each quarter! I love the recipe because it’s overnight and ready to eat in the morning after heating up wit the milk. And lastly I am very inspired by your coastal move and it remains a vision of mine as well hopefully sooner than later!

  9. Ten years! What a fantastic milestone. I started reading when my first baby was just born and so many of our family recipes are from you. It is a lovely spot on the internet, friend, and I’m so excited for what the future holds for you! XO

  10. I am so happy for your reflections of this wonderful 10 year milestone you have reached in your blogging career. Three bloggers come to my inbox, but yours is always my favorite for the style is so simple it warms my spirits. Hope you never change much for I am known for my cooking and I learn from how you combine foods too. Baking is where I tend to follow the recipes the most but with cooking I like being creative. I have used so many of your recipes it is impossible to pick a favorite. I like to cook some foods just to cross it off my bucket list of having done at least once. Last night I made homemade butter scotch for the first time to fulfill my need for exploring experiences as well in the kitchen. Best wishes for your next ten years with us all.

  11. Congratulations Aimee!

    Your hard work, commitment to your passion , and positive attitude are an inspiration!I’m so proud of you.

    The kids and I have our favorite go-tos in your books. The gingerbread house tutorial is a must-make every Christmas and I recently got back into your slow-cooker post.

    Here’s to another decade of great recipes and writing!
    Love,
    Haidi

  12. Woot! What a ride, sweet friend! So blessed to have journeyed part of it with you!! Congrats! xo

  13. Aimee Reimer says

    Congratulations on 10 years.
    Meringue

  14. Congratulation. You done a great work. I’m still your fan whenever

  15. I missed this post (now, how could I have done that?!) when it first came out. I still wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate you, Aimee! I’ve been reading your blog for a very long time. It has never failed to pull me back into my kitchen when life gets too complicated to cook as well as I’d like, and it has always been a treasure trove when I’m in my cooking groove. Thanks for *everything* you share — recipes, tips, your family life, and your philosophy about food and cooking. The recipe I make time and time again — sometimes once a week in the winter — is Rustic Chickpea Stew. It’s the most comforting and delicious dish, never mind that it’s a slow cooker dump recipe.

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