Blog Lovin’, Press Mentions, and a TV Appearance


This post has been in the wings for nearly a month now, but a certain
cute little distraction has kept me from wrapping it up and hitting publish. Finally, here’s the recap.

This year is just three months old, yet it’s already been an exciting one! I’ll try to keep this really short, but I wanted to throw out a few links to the kind folks who have noticed my blogs and given me a little exposure in 2012.

Here they are!

UtHC a Canadian Weblog Awards Winner.

Huge thanks to the good folks behind the 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards. Somehow the jurors saw it fit to award this space with third prize in Best Weblog About Family & Parenting.

I’m so appreciative of the nod and honored to have Under the High Chair in the company of the 1st and 2nd place winners, Home to Heather and Coffee With Julie.

Congratulations to all the CWA winners!

FBC Featured Member

The awesome people over at Food Bloggers of Canada made me their Featured Blogger not long ago, causing me much embarrassment over their glowing recap of my place in the Canadian food bloggers scene.

Thanks, Mardi, Ethan and Melissa!

Best Health Magazine

An interview I had late last fall with Best Health Magazine appeared in their March 2012 print issue on newsstands now. Titled ‘How four female bloggers turned their passion into cash‘, it features Canadian bloggers Schmutzie, Andrea, Heather and myself.

I really appreciated how the article’s writer, Camilla Cornell, closely listened to my story and wrote a very accurate recap of my blogging history. If you’re curious at all as to how I got started, definitely grab the magazine or read the article online.

Family Cook Off on Food Network Canada

The much anticipated Family Cook Off series finally premiered in early March and we threw a little viewing party, despite the fact that I was hugely pregnant. Friends and family converged on my sofas to watch my mother, sisters and I battle it out in a friendly cooking competition.

Labeled as “wild women who can get a little saucy…” the show definitely played up our rural upbringing and had fun framing me as the Kitchen Nazi. Okay, I admit it, I’m the boss in the kitchen, there’s just no way around that once one has had years of experience in a fine-dining kitchen.

So IF you are in Canada, you can watch our episode online right HERE! It’s only 22 minutes, so not much of a time suck.

The editing left out a few interesting parts; for example, at 15:29 minutes in, Haidi cut herself badly while trying to peel the (horrifically rock hard, unripe) peaches provided. She essentially signaled to Miranda to take over, and was out of commission for the rest of the countdown.

Alas, such excitement was not included.

We were super proud of our dishes and had a blast filming! My dad and brother were in the audience (front row) and it was just an unforgettable experience to have together.

Wimbush clan L-R: Haidi, Zoe, John, Josh, Miranda, Aimee

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds!

Family Cook Off on Food Network Canada


I really should have mentioned this upcoming event earlier, but my head hasn’t exactly been in the game lately. Unless the game is B-A-B-Y. We’re anticipating her arrival literally any day.

But let’s backtrack in the pregnancy a bit, say, all the way to last August, where I was just two months along and exhausted as heck.

My sister, Miranda and I were flown out to Vancouver to meet up with my mother and older sister Haidi at the very posh Hotel Fairmount Vancouver.


We were there to film an episode for an fun new show called Family Cook Off for Food Network Canada.

Just being together was a incredibly special. We laughed, we cried, we goofed, we ATE fabulously around town, and oh yeah, we filmed a reality cooking show. It was a gas.


So this is a head’s up to tune in! Family Cook Off airs this Thursday, March 1st at both 4PM and 9PM on Food Network Canada. It is also supposed to be available online a day or two after it airs.

Watch the promo! And yes, that is my huge mouth at a mere 33 seconds in…

Hope you tune in and in the meantime, go like Family Cook Off on Facebook for all the updates.

Mince Pie and a video demo


When Danny walked in the door Friday afternoon, he leaned on the door frame, and was completely overcome by an enormous yawn. While his mouth gaped, I laughed at him, because the yawn said it all. It was the end of a long week, a long couple of months, and the beginning of holidays!

It’s Christmas vacation!! Well, for Danny, anyway. I’m still hard at work, one of the downsides of working from home. One doesn’t just tidy a desk, flip the answering machine to ‘away’ and take off for two weeks.

I took last night off though. Once two exhausted little kiddos were asleep, Danny made lattes and I baked off a mince pie, (a total cinch, thanks to jars of homemade mincemeat in the fridge and chilled pie crust) and we retreated to our cozy loft to chill and chat about the whole two weeks ahead.

We’re looking at a surprisingly relaxed holiday season, mostly because we haven’t just moved (one year ago) and I’m not attempting to invite every single person we know over AND attend every event on the calendar.

Sometimes, I do the right thing.

Let’s talk about this mincemeat, though.

You may recall I made a Canadian version of this traditional holiday pie filling last year, which I went rather ape over. Seriously, the homemade stuff cannot compare with store bought. Shocking, I know.

This year, I was planning on making more, but hadn’t picked up all the ingredients. In fact, a few days of serious snow had me put off grocery shopping altogether and I avoided exiting the house as much as possible. (Thanks goodness for Skype and *high-five* to all work-at-home peeps!)

So here I am one recent morning, with very few groceries, entertaining a Montreal Gazette reporter and photographer in my home for an interview/photo shoot (for a future feature, not out yet) when the photog mentions that his editor wants him to shoot a cooking demo video as well.

Oh. OK. A little notice would have been nice. I scrambled together ingredients for mincemeat and we shot the clip below in one take. A few hours later it was up on the Gazette website, and my mincemeat was stashed in the refrigerator for the holidays. Not a bad morning!

A few notes from the impromptu cooking demo:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup is too much. I should have said 1/4. But then again, I like my mince on the tart side and not too sweet.
  • I listed cognac as an option for the alcoholic ingredient. I meant brandy. Please don’t use cognac! Rum, whiskey or port are also great options.
  • I prefer currants to raisins, but didn’t have any in the house.
  • You can grate the apple if you like a finer mincemeat.

Head here for the full recipe.

Do give the recipe a go, then tuck it between two flaky layers of pastry and enjoy the best pie of the season.

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving…many ways.


Last week I was probably more excited about having Noah home for four whole days than I was about Thanksgiving. For some crazy reason, I had decided not to cook my own turkey dinner, perhaps because an entire week (OK, make that a month) of functioning on five or six hours of sleep had taken it’s toll.

Besides, I knew we would have turkey dinner with all the trimmings at my in-laws, so it wasn’t like I was skipping Thanksgiving entirely.


Then I developed this recipe for Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls and invented their adorable presentation…and got all excited about cooking again. And setting a fine table. And hosting. There was no way I could not cook a Thanksgiving dinner, I mean, just look at this festive inspiration outside my patio doors.


So I was pumped; I found a fresh local turkey, TONS of brussels sprouts – which Mateo helped carry – and proceeded to spend half of Saturday in the kitchen.


Turns out that was just what I needed. It no joke that cooking is my therapy of choice, and I relaxed, rejoiced, and found rejuvenation in preparing a simple turkey dinner for my family and a few close loved ones.


You’ve seen a few of these recipes before…Fruit & Herb Stuffing, Perfect Mashed Potatoes, and a few more are coming soon on Simple Bites. One in particular, the butternut squash gratin (Wednesday), was a huge hit, leaving me with zero leftovers. I should probably be happy about that, but dang, I wanted some for the reheat!

So that was Saturday. Sunday was the wonderfully homey traditional dinner with my in-laws. There were pies, Maple, Pumpkin and Cherry. I had some of all three, then we beetled off home because I had an early morning date with these guys:


The folks from Daybreak had invited me to come talk turkey in studio at 8 AM. So I drove downtown and tried to put cohesive sentences together on only one cup of coffee.
You decide if I succeeded or not; you can listen to the radio clip HERE.

I did discover, however, that I have a lot to say on the subject of turkey and could probably go on all day. Mercifully, the news had to be shared eventually and I got shut down.

Our afternoon today was lazily spent, well, eating. Friends came over and we shared a most excellent Turkey Shepherd’s Pie (loosely based on this one, but with sauteed leeks and cheese curd in the mashed potatoes), with more brussels sprouts.


Then we headed outside, went for a walk, hung around the campfire and toasted cinnamon marshmallows, and enjoyed the very best weather of the season.

Late afternoon brought tea on the patio as well as this beautiful pie that my friend brought over.


Yes, there was even homemade vanilla bean ice cream to top it off with. Now you see why my Thanksgiving weekend is shaping up to be one of the best ever.


Incidentally, this pie was also my late dinner, and now that I’m writing about it…I’m thinking I need a snack. So, if you don’t mind, I’m going to enjoy the last few hours of my Thanksgiving – with a slice of apple pie.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers….

Wordless Wednesday: Details to come…