What I Did Last Weekend



Clara Aimée Zoë
Born Saturday, March 10, 2012
8 lbs, 12 oz.

Welcome, Baby Clara!

Five Years


The children have been asleep for a few hours, all the house lights are dark save for a lamp by my bed. My body has turned in for the night (this happens a lot earlier since I’m pregnant again), but I couldn’t go to sleep without giving this date a nod.

Five years ago, with absolutely no idea what I was getting into, I started this blog. With a batch of (horribly photographed) mini lemon tarts, I began this journey as a food blogger.

Ironically, today Simple Bites subscribers topped 10,000 and monthly pageviews tipped 300,000. I don’t often share hard and fast numbers, but both of those milestones – on today of all days – are rather pretty.

This won’t be a long trip down memory lane recounting all the places food blogging has brought me and wonderful people I have met, because, well, although they are many, it really would take me all night.

Instead, I’d love to look ahead. What will the next five years hold? Well, we know there’s a baby in there, right around March. A third child to toss my cooking under the high chair. Ah well, it was getting a little too clean under there.

There are also things that I’m not at liberty do discuss – don’t you just hate that? I do. That small TV thing, which I’ve signed all sorts of NDA’s for and we won’t hear about until spring…There’s also that somewhat larger print project-thing, which is still in progress and more or less ‘hush-hush’… An upcoming, but-not-yet-announced speaking engagement at a pretty legit blogging conference…

Gee, what can we talk about? Bloggers without Borders. Now there’s a blogging related project I’m proud about. My fantastic contributors on Simple Bites; love those ladies (and one man, obvi, as I’m married to him).

Well, public knowledge or not, there’s plenty of exciting things happening, and they all stem from this little space that I started five years ago. I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you to each and every one for reading, for following on Twitter, for joining me over at Simple Bites…FOR YOUR SUPPORT. A blog is nothing without readers, so the full credit, the true acknowledgment, goes out to you.

Merci.

Roasted Shiitake Parmesan Pops

OK, I have to admit, I lured you in with that title. While this addicting new appetizer recipe has indeed been developed, tested, and photographed by yours truly, I will not be posting the recipe. Call me a tease, but you’ll have to buy Peko Peko to get it.

Wait, Peko-what?Peko Peko: Family Friendly Japanese Recipes is a collection of nearly 60 Japanese and Japanese-inspired recipes published by Blurb, 100% of the profits of which will be donated to charity relief in Japan. I was fortunate to be one of the food bloggers who contributed a recipe to the cookbook.Peko Peko: Family Friendly Japanese Recipes offers 120 full-color pages packed with gorgeous photography and 59 Japanese-inspired recipes contributed by 56 food writers, bloggers and photographers.Peko Peko also includes an indispensable guide to over 50 Japanese ingredients, including suitable substitutions for the North American home cook. If you’ve never cooked Japanese food, don’t worry, the detailed pantry section in the book that will give you the information you need to use those new ingredients with confidence.It’s been a amazing honour to be a small part of this project, spearheaded by three talented curators.You can read more about Peko Peko (and see some photos from the book) over on Simple Bites and yesterday the Montreal Gazette was also kind enough to give it a mention in the Applause section. The word is spreading!Of course, you can also go directly to Blurb to purchase the book, where all of the proceeds will go to the GlobalGiving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Nobody involved in making the book will profit from Peko Peko, including Blurb. As a Peko Peko sponsor, the good folks at Blurb have agreed to waive their usual cut of book sales. Thanks in advance for supporting our cause and happy cooking!

In support of….Stonyfield Organics

It is fantastic when food blogging introduces opportunities that are too good to pass up. The Peko Peko charity cookbook was one, and now I’m delighted to be working with Stonyfield.ca.

Stonyfield Organics launch a brand new blog recently and if you take a peek at the list of contributors, you’ll probably recognize a few faces. Mine in particular!


Every week on the Stonyblog, I’ll be bringing fresh content that focuses on sustainability, healthy eating, family food, and of course, yogourt. Good thing we’re crazy about it around here!

My first post is up, you can check it out if you like. And do stay tuned, I’ve got a recipe coming soon for a Maple-Yogourt Cake that is absolutely amazing…

Peko Peko: A Charity Cookbook for Japan

A lot of opportunities and projects come through my inbox these days, but none as exciting as those that announce intentions of helping others. They are the ones that are easy to say “yes” too, even when I really shouldn’t be saying yes to anything except a mop and a pail. (oh my poor neglected house.)

You can probably see where this is going. Yes, I’m very excited to announce a wonderful new fundraising project I’m participating in.

Peko Peko: A Charity Cookbook for Japan is spearheaded by three very talented food bloggers (Stacie of One Hungry Mama, Rachael of La Fuji Mama, and Marc of No Recipes) and a collaboration of work from about fifty food bloggers. There is an exceptional line-up of contributors to Peko Peko, including several of my food blog crushes like Sara and Amanda, as well as good friends Shaina, Maggy, Julie and many more.

One hundred percent of the profits will go toward relief efforts in Japan, though the charitable organization is to be determined. It is truly an honor and a delight to participate in this project.

The book is still in development, but the finished product is sure to be outstanding. A professional designer is on board, Marc is photographing many of the dishes, and every detail is being carefully considered.

The recipes are best described as family-friendly Japanese and Japanese-inspired food. I created an appetizer exclusively for the book, so you’ll have to purchase one to get the recipe for my Roasted Shiitake Parmesan Pops!

In the coming weeks, I’ll provide more information on where you can purchase the book, as well as an official update of the charity it will benefit. In the meantime, please check out the website, PekoPekoCookbook.com and follow @PekoPekoCharity on Twitter for more information.