Easter Weekend Recap

Four days of the most glorious weather combined with a relatively relaxed holiday made our Easter long weekend simply wonderful. I needed the sun – for my emotional and mental health – as well as a break from my online world. It’s been a long winter.

Here’s a recap of the highlights, although every minute was pretty sweet.

~ Waking up on Good Friday to two deer standing amidst the maples in the back yard.
~ Waking 2 sleepy boys to see the deer, followed by a leisurely breakfast.
~ Connecting with friends and family over lots and lots of ham.

~ Making Easter Brunch as a family: cider braised ham, maple baked beans, asparagus, scrambled eggs, and homemade Coffee-Glazed Doughnuts. Oh. MY. the doughnuts. (Yes, the recipe is coming.)

~ Enjoying brunch with family – and the first al fresco meal of the spring.

~ Catching up with the furry cousins, Roxy, Nelly & Tulip in our back yard.
~ Talking seriously about getting chickens.

~ Discovering signs of spring, and that the forest floor is carpeted with bulbs.
~ Finding the first crocus, only to see it trampled by little rubber boots.

~ Hours and hours spent outdoors, with a hand-built compost bin and fire-pit to show for our efforts.

~ Toasting homemade coconut marshmallows on that new fire-pit and establishing them as the new favorite delicacy for the summer.
~ Eating more meals out of doors than indoors.

~ Relishing in exposed knees and shoulders after a long winter, and even, the next morning, a touch of sunburn on the nose.

~ Enjoying the best part of camping -toasted marshmallows- but from the comforts of your own home.
~ Putting wasted kids to bed and staying up way too late with siblings and board games.

~ Watching geese, collecting rocks and hunting for worms on a casual day hike with friends.

Today we went back to the day-to-day stuff, but things feel different. I can compost now, for one. Then there are all those flowers in the forest to keep an eye on in anticipation of their blooms.

I also still have the canola oil from the doughnut fry-up, too….something tells me it’s not going to go to waste.

Look for that recipe coming soon!

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

More Marshmallows

Yes, I made marshmallows. I boiled and beat, patted and sliced, and tossed them in toasted coconut.
Yes, they were amazing.
I just picked up ingredients to make another batch, this time with vanilla bean. Danny comes from a long ancestral line of marshmallow aficionados (me not so much), so we’re taking this homemade marshmallow step very seriously.

There’s the story -and recipe- coming sometime soon. Things have been a little nuts around here, (see my previous post).

This weekend I’m getting ready for Mateo’s 2nd birthday and the 45 guests that will join us for the event. The little fellow went through a lot last year and we want to celebrate him and his life.

The menu is still TBD, but one thing I know, there will be hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows.

Merry Christmas from all of us at UtHC

(click image to view in full)

Our little family at Under the High Chair would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

A warm and sincere thank you to all my readers for being there and for following this random expression of myself that I call Under the High Chair. I enjoy every minute of blogging, but it is all of you that make it truly meaningful and worthwhile.

With our family holiday photo this year we give homage to the now defunct Gourmet Magazine. For over sixty years it was the finest magazine in its niche and we took the liberty of creating the cover that could-have-been for December’s issue that sadly never was...

Huge thanks and props to our friends, the very talented Tim & Angela Chin of timchin.com, who ran with my idea for our Christmas card and created this vintage Gourmet moment. Isn’t it precious?!

Happy Holidays!!!

Aimée, Danny, Noah & Mateo

Chocolate Banana Pancakes and Signs of Hope.

Dear Noah.

I’m confused. I’ve had you pegged as a picky eater for some time now, but it seems like lately you’re toying with the idea of becoming a foodie.

What is up? Is this a ploy to give me false hope or are you really tuning over a new leaf?

Tonight at dinner, you devoured two shrimp and avocado summer rolls like a seasoned eater (peanut sauce included) and not at all like the finicky three-year-old of the past. Sure, you suspiciously inspected the mango and cilantro inside, but they didn’t seem to deter you and you asked for thirds–a request that made my heart beat a little faster, I have to admit.

Now that I think about it, you’ve been slowly evolving in the food department; I’m remembering that entire chef’s salad you ate recently. Salad!

“Look, Mom, I’m just like Benjamin Bunny!”

you said, as a bowl full of lettuce disappeared down the hatch.

Oh, and don’t think that we haven’t noticed that you are calling us “Mom” and ‘Dad” now, instead of mommy and daddy. Humph.

Yes, I know, you’re getting to be a big boy now. You can count to a hundred, write your name and do simple math, so have you also decided not to be picky anymore and eat your dinners like a man?

I’ve always told you, life can’t be all-pancakes-all-the-time, but just in case this recent progress doesn’t last, I’ll keep this recipe handy.

Love Mom(my)

Chocolate Banana Pancakes with Nutella and Fresh Banana Slices

1 cup sour cream or yogourt
1 ripe banana

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup milk
or buttermilk
2 eggs

pinch of salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 Tablespoons coconut (optional)

2 Tablespoons wheat germ

1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine sour cream, banana and vanilla in a large bowl and pulverize with a hand blender until smooth. Add milk and blend some more. Crack in the eggs, add a pinch of salt and mix thoroughly.

In another bowl, sift together flours, cocoa, and baking soda. With a wooden spoon, stir in coconut and wheat germ, if desired, then add entire dry mixture to the sour cream wet mixture. Fold gently together. Pour in melted butter and mix just to combine.

Heat a cast iron pan and grease with vegetable oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter onto the pan to make several small, round pancakes. Add a slice of banana in the middle if you like, but be sure to dab more batter on top so they don’t stick to the pan when you flip the pancakes. Cook on even medium heat until bubbles start to form. Flip pancakes and continue cooking.

Remove from pan and layer with Nutella and fresh banana slices. Serve!