Simple Bites: Recipes and Tips From a Yard-to-Table Family

Slow-Cooker Maple Apple Butter
Tara Donne
They aren't pioneers exactly, but Simple Bites food blogger Aimée Wimbush-Bourque and her family are forging a new kind of life together, one that revolves around the seasons, the garden, and the kitchen. Aimée shares her favorite recipes and the lessons she's learned bringing up a brood of food lovers. 
Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Crunchy Vegetable and Soba-Noodle Salad

For this Bourque family favorite, the soba noodles can be cooked and chilled up to three days in advance; the dressing can be shaken together ahead of time too. "When kids are around, you can't fly by the seat of your pants," notes Aimée. "Working ahead contributes to keeping the family meal alive and thriving." Add grilled tofu, chicken, or salmon to round out the meal.

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Get Them Involved

"Even the smallest kids can be welcomed into the kitchen to get used to the sounds and smells and learn that the kitchen is a safe place where they belong," Aimée says. When her children were babies they sat in a high chair and played with vegetables. Now 4-year-old Clara cracks eggs, mixes ingredients, and washes produce. Noah and Mateo, ages 10 and 8, chop fruit, roll meatballs, and bread and batter meat or fish.

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Peach Slab Pie

The whole family is crazy for peaches. For this summery dessert, the older kids wash and chop the fruit. They all measure and mix the ingredients and add the cut-out toppings. 

Tara Donne 
Tara Donne 

Show Kids Where Food Comes From

Whether it's gathering eggs with Clara, tending the backyard garden with Mateo and Noah, or heading to the farmers' market, Aimée and her husband Danny want their kids to see the work that goes into producing the fruit, vegetables, and meat that becomes their everyday meals.

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Minestrone Verte

Wash and prep the produce for this delightfully seasonal soup together, giving tasks such as shelling peas and snapping beans to little helpers.

Tara Donne 
Tara Donne 

Make Saving the Season a Family Affair

It's true that in our globalized world you can get almost any fruit or veggie any time of year, but the Bourque family chooses to enjoy (or preserve) produce only during the months it is grown and harvested. To keep the flavors of summer and fall on the table all year, the whole family helps preserve food.

Tara Donne
Tara Donne

Slow-Cooker Maple Apple Butter

Use this delicious spread at breakfast to top toast or dress up waffles — or simply swirl into yogurt. There's no need to peel the apples.

For more of Aimée's recipes and ideas on raising happy eaters, visit her blog or check out her cookbook Brown Eggs and Jam Jars.

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