A snow storm blew its way through New Mexico last week and here in Albuquerque, where the snow seldom mounts more than a couple inches and rarely lasts more than a couple hours, we ended up with two genuine snow days.
To make the most of it, we cobbled together some mismatched snow gear and headed into the backyard to make Maple Taffy in the snow. It was so fun and so Little House on the Prairie of us. It wasn't my idea though - we have Aimee Wimbush-Bourque and her beautiful new book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, to thank for our tasty snow adventure.
I have long been inspired by Aimee, her kitchen, her writing, and her beautiful homestead and garden. Of all the food blogs I read, and there are quite a few, I probably cook more from Aimee's blog, Simple Bites, than anywhere else. Her recipes really are the most family friendly, down-to-earth, absolutely delicious.
In fact, so many Simple Bites recipes have made it into our regular family repertoire. Lazy Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls have been a winter favorite for a couple years now - I've made them a hundred times. Butternut Squash Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese is another weeknight favorite and I have Quick Chinese Chicken and Cabbage Spaghetti printed and hanging in the cookbook cabinet for easy reference.
I love when Aimee writes about Family Food Habits (we've made #7 and #11 family goals this year). I look forward to her garden tours for inspiration and seeing her kids cooking on their own so often is constantly nudging me to get my own little ones in the kitchen. Really, the Simple Bites blog is my go-to for family cooking inspiration and recipes I know the kids and I can count on to be healthy, delicious, and manageable.
(Photo via Simple Bites. Taken by Tim & Angela Chin for Brown Eggs and Jam Jars)
When my copy of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars landed on my doorstep, I was so pleased to see that the book, with its gorgeous photos and delicious recipes, just picks up the story where the blog leaves off. Aimee's writing is personal,inspiring, and instructive. The recipes are the kind that will easily become part of your family kitchen and be right at home on the family table. Beyond that, she'll have you pining for backyard chickens, gearing up to host old fashioned Sunday dinners, and maybe adventuring out into the snow for a Maple Taffy Adventure of your own.
In addition to getting us out into the snow for a really great family adventure, with a really tasty treat too, we've been cooking our way through Brown Eggs and Jam Jars and we have nothing but good things to say - all five of us!
So far, we've fallen in love with the Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes and the Coconut Cream Baked Oatmeal. They are both just as delicious as they sound. We had the Spinach and Ricotta Pappardelle for dinner last week and we all unanimously voted it back again this week. I even made homemade mayonnaise for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by how simple and tasty it turned out.
The book is divided into Seasons, so we haven't worked our way through the Summer and Autumn recipes of the book yet (though I read the whole thing cover to cover the day it arrived), but I've got my eye on the Peach Glazed Grilled Salmon Fillets and the Blueberry Cardamom Butter as soon as the season is right. The Big Batch Bolognese looks perfect for a Sunday Dinner Crowd and the Toasted Oat and Cocoa Smoothies sound like just my kind of thing. The kids, of course, are lobbying for the Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Orange Zest, and I'm inclined to give in someday soon.
I know Aimee to be kind and generous, warm and friendly, and a maker of mighty fine food. Brown Eggs and Jam Jars is all of that paired with really gorgeous photography and heartfelt writing. Whether you're interested in learning more about Batch Cooking, building your own Raised Garden Beds, or just making a really great salad, I'll point you to this lovely read. Get it here.