We’ve become a society that thrives in a go-go-go environment, so when we hear about makers and creators who take the time to slooow down and prioritize time spent around the table with loved ones, we have the same questions as you do – how do you manage to do it all?!
Our March CHEF’S BOX curator Aimee Wimbush Bourque is a celebrated cookbook author, blogger, urban homesteader, former chef, wife and full time mother to 3 kids… talk about doing it ALL! She believes in the importance of bringing the whole family together around the table on a daily basis and created a career that allowed her to make it a reality for her husband and kids.
On Aimee’s blog Simple Bites, she helps families and individuals that want to get back around the table prepare unprocessed, nourishing meals and learn to foster a desire to eat seasonally and locally. She offers a wealth of comprehensive recipes, simple preserving tutorials, and honest tips for cooking with or without kids. We sat down with Aimee to ask her a few questions based around our March theme of Cozy Family Brunches and how she keeps morning moving smoothly (we’ll take any advice!).
1. Why do you feel it’s so important for families to share breakfast together?
My kids were born with the ability to roll out of bed and inhale a stack of pancakes, so hearty breakfasts have always been our thing. I believe that starting the day with a good breakfast is one of the main contributors to maintaining a balanced diet and long-term health. I love that together time in the morning when everyone is still a little sleepy. If needed, I can dish out the pep talks or gentle encouragement for the big day ahead.
2. What does your morning routine with the family look like on week days vs weekends?
Most weekday mornings we can all be found in the kitchen: my husband is stationed at the espresso machine (most important job ever!) and the boys are helping with school lunches. I’m flipping French Toast or serving up bowls of Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal. My daughter takes care of pouring juice and doling out multivitamins. It takes a village, right?
Weekends are a little slower, with everyone making their way downstairs at different times. By 9 or 10 I’m serving up something special such as Spinach Crepes or Maple Roasted Pears with Granola. This is also when I encourage the kids to get involved in cooking, baking and serving others.
3. What are some of your favourite tips for making family breakfasts run smoothly?
I keep a well-stocked pantry of breakfast ingredients: oats, granola, maple syrup or sugar, whole grain flours and, of course, plenty of coffee! I always have a plan the night before (and sometimes even a weekly menu plan) so that processed foods, like cold cereal, are not a fallback. I’m also a huge fan of batch cooking, so I often have a pan of baked oatmeal or batch of muffins in the freezer for mornings when I am scrambling.
4. When someone else is doing the cooking, what is your most common brunch craving/request?
Oh good question! If I could have anything, it would be my sister’s Huevos Rancheros; she lives in New Mexico and has access to all those incredible Southwest ingredients. But most common? My husband’s perfectly pulled Americano and a toasted Montreal bagel with cream cheese. Simple. Perfect.d
5. If your kids/husband could each pick a favourite meal you make for breakfast/brunch, what would they be?
My kids beg for my spinach crepes any time they get the chance. Hand’s down it is their most requested ‘special’ breakfast, along with plenty of maple syrup of course. They have dubbed them ‘Hulk Crepes’ – and I am thrilled that their favourite food happens to included three cups of spinach!
6. What is your go-to speedy week day breakfast?
Definitely my homemade Instant Oatmeal. We keep a jar of it on the counter next to the electric kettle and a hot, nutritious breakfast is just a minute away. To keep it interesting, I keep an assortment of fun toppings in jars on a breakfast tray – coconut chips, dried cherries, almond butter, maple sugar, chia seeds… We heap those onto our oats and breakfast is served!
Click here to order our March CHEF’S BOX filled with Canadian-made artisan products and recipes from Aimee’s kitchen.