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.


Goodbye July

It’s August, which means were eating corn for dinner 5 nights a week, I’m making birthday plans, and Christmas merchandise has showed up at Costco.

July sped by in a blur of pool parties, potlucks, weddings, and long afternoons spent keeping cool. I dedicated a series to frozen treats over on Simple Bites and, for the most part we survived the heat wave.We started the month with a perfect three-day camping trip, followed by a most memorable U2 concert under warm Montreal skies. Best. Show. Ever.The month was punctuated by our baby news! It was a thrilling discovery, but one that plunged me into exhaustion so deep I felt –and still do– that every day was Moving Day. ‘Moving day fatigue’ is the best way I can describe to Danny how my body feels in the morning as I lie pinned to the mattress. Fortunately, he’s been off work for the last 2 weeks and has gallantly risen every morning to prepare breakfast and coffee for us, and keep the kids quiet until I can rouse myself. I think my strength is slowly returning; hopefully my appetite is not far behind. So yes we are expecting again, anticipating the new arrival in early March. Danny is hoping for a leap year baby again, which could easily happen. I for one, won’t truly relax until the first ultrasound and they tell me there’s just one baby. As twins run in my family, the chances of doubling the number of our children with this pregnancy is definitely a possibility. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that kind of an adventure! Central ParkAt the end of July, I hopped on a plane to Jersey for Big Summer Potluck. I cemented some online friendships, made new ones, laughed myself silly, and spent a day eating New York City. It was the best of times. In an update on our urban homestead, our backyard project of the month was finally completed and I now have 4 raised garden beds. They terrace down the hill toward the forest, framed by a massive weeping willow. I love them.I planted a little fall garden — lettuce, spinach, watercress and arugula– and little sprouts are already peeking up from the earth. My herb garden is thriving, thanks to bedding plants I was able to find at a local nursery.Next year I will plant a complete garden; it’s reassuring to know that as soon as the snow melts the spring I’ll have a garden space ready to plant. August holds some canning projects, a visit from long-time friends, my birthday, back to school for Noah, and at the end of the month, a trip out to Vancouver to film a little project for TV…But that story is for a another post.Goodbye July.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Today was spent playing ‘Memory’, assembling puzzles, eating Christmas cookies and leftover Black Forest Trifle, tromping through the snow and sledding down hills, coming home for hot cocoa, and eating turkey leftovers for dinner.

We’re really, really enjoying the holidays.

I’ve been taking a much-needed blogging break….but did manage to throw together a little video to wish readers happy holidays. Please stop by Simple Bites to receive holiday greetings from the whole family…

There’s also been Classic Tourtière, a pretty Citrus Salad (which got picked up by both Glamour and Gourmet. !), and a lengthy, personal and much-loved recap of my holiday cookie swap.

Here’s hoping your holiday was a special one.

Holiday Giveaway Week on Simple Bites

Its finally the week we’ve been waiting for: when we the editors of Simple Living Media get to give away thousands of dollars worth of prizes for our Home for the Holiday’s giveaway event!

I hope you’ll join in the fun. With 25 giveaways over the week, there’s a good chance you’ll win something!

I’m kicking things off with a giveaway from Scanpan – the top-of-the-line in non-stick cookware. Head on over to enter to win this cookware set, valued at over $700!
The giveaway is TODAY ONLY, so make haste. And good luck.

Stay tuned to Simple Bites all week as I’ll be handing out some of my favorite things – for the home, for kids, for mom and, of course, the kitchen.

Cookbooks & Kitchen Items: My Top Picks for Gifting

The past three Fridays I have shared gift guides with my readers on Simple Bites. I wanted to showcase which tools help make my kitchen run smoothly, as well as provide inspiration for gift giving this holiday season.

From the first post:

“I’ve rummaged through the tool kit of many a professional chef. I’ve taken detailed inventory of a restaurant kitchen’s supplies. I’d rather shop for spatulas than shoes and I’ve probably cooked every day for the last twenty years. I’ve seen what lasts (my mother’s Le Creuset she received as a wedding present 35 years ago), I’ve seen what breaks (cheap blenders and espresso makers) and I’m ready to share my recommendations.”

So whether you are writing your own holiday wish list, or are looking for the perfect gift for the cook in the family, let these lists of cookbooks, tools and gadgets inspired from my personal kitchen be your guide.

Holiday 2010 Gift Guides on Simple Bites:

My Top Ten ‘Big Ticket’ Kitchen Items.

My Top Ten Stocking Stuffers for the Kitchen.

My Top 10 Cookbook Picks.

Don’t skip the comments on these posts, either. Savvy readers offer which tools and cookbooks they love the most and why.