Quick Bite with Taylor Kaye
Every once in a while we are lucky enough to meet someone who reminds us that kismet actually exists. From the day I was introduced to radio and TV personality Taylor Kaye, I knew (OK, admittedly, I hoped) we would be friends: Maybe it’s because she has three girls between the ages of four and nine so she gets the whole happy chaos/working mom thing, maybe it’s because she exudes positive energy at all times (which I admire and aspire to do as well), or maybe it’s because she will literally drop anything to call me if I need her before I actually know that I need her and I now know she does that for all of her friends.
But I’m pretty sure it’s all of the above.
In addition to her weekly radio show on 104.5CHUMFM and all her work-related commitments, Taylor recently launched a hilarious new Youtube channel called My Daily Grind. (You know how we all want to show how unsexy our job/parenting lives are and not look crazy doing it? Yeah, that’s what her show is all about.) But I made her hold still long enough to give us some insight into how she organizes meals for her busy family and seem relatively sane while doing so.
Sweet Potato Chronicles: What’s your earliest food memory?
Taylor Kaye: Hmmm, I want to say it was chocolate cake. I love chocolate so maybe I just want that to be the memory and I’m reinventing history.
SPC: How did you learn to cook?
TK: Growing up I was surrounded by women. My mother and grandmother taught me how to cook but we also had one neighbour I called Grandma Valerie: She would teach me how to cook on Friday afternoons after school. We would watch a taped version of Days of Our Lives, drink tea and make a mean pasta sauce.
SPC: What do you like best about cooking?
TK: I love that I know where all the food comes from and how it was prepped. We eat at home six out of seven nights a week. I tried for all seven nights but it’s tough: Sometimes you just want to order in!
SPC: So you cook at home regularly: What’s your specialty?
TK: We just did a major renovation and our kitchen was a major part of the reno. My husband and I love to cook at home. Even with after school activities, we want to make sure we have that one meal together. My specialty would be my homemade pasta sauce. I also make a mean chicken soup from scratch that can kill a cold (or at least I think it does).
SPC: Do your daughters join you in the kitchen?
TK: Everyone has a job in the kitchen. Our 9-year old is my little sous chef. She took cooking classes at our rec centre and makes a wicked chicken cacciatore that puts mine to shame. Don’t tell her I said that though: She’s a tween, and you know what they’re like.
Our six and four year old are allowed to cut strawberries and cucumbers: We start with a butter knife and work our way up.
SPC: What do your girls not eat that you wish they would?
TK: My two eldest girls eat everything but we have to sneak things in with my youngest. And we are still experimenting with sushi at our house: Even I didn’t try it until I was in my 20’s. Don’t judge! There were no sushi places where I grew up.
SPC: What’s your go-to-late-home-from-work-on-a-weekday dish?
TK: A stir-fry: It’s easy and healthy. I am usually tempted to just get take out but my husband and I make sure we have all the essentials in the fridge for those “just in case” nights.
SPC: Are there rules at your table? (Clean your plate? Eat your vegetables or no dessert?)
TK: I just want manners. We have tried the “no dessert” rule and it doesn’t work. But if anyone has any tricks please share!
SPC: How has parenthood changed the way you cook?
TK: When it was just the two of us, my husband and I would go with the flow: Now we have to be organized. We meal plan and prep more. Plus, there are always fresh vegetables and fruits ready to go. But don’t get me wrong: We also have a pantry full of treats.
SPC: What is your idea of the ultimate comfort food and why?
TK: Lasagna is my go to for comfort food. My mother would make it for me on special occasions. I crave it when I’m feeling down or on a wicked winter night.
SPC: We love how genuine you are both on the radio and in social media: You never fake it. So, what makes you crazy when it comes to feeding your family? Do you ever get stressed about having to make 15 lunches a week or if your kids won’t eat their vegetables? And how do you handle it?
TK: The first couple of years we had to deal with “boomerang” lunches. Everything was coming back except the “treat” in the girls lunches. I was a stress case because they were not eating in school. One weekend I took them out and we bought cute thermoses and other lunch gear. Since then it’s been a bit better. I also passed the lunch baton to my husband. I do breakfasts, dinners and snacks and he handles the weekly lunches: He had no idea what he was getting into!
SPC: Do you have a sweet or salty tooth? What’s your guilty pleasure?
TK: I’m a junk food addict. There I said it. Sour cream and onion chips are my fave with a Pepsi and Skor bar. I’ve tried making kale sour cream and onion chips: They’re just not the same.
SPC: You have been to a million red carpet and star-studded events. Have you ever witnessed a funny celebrity food moment or learned an interesting food fact from someone you have interviewed?
TK: Whenever I am going to be at an event with celebs, I always make sure I have food with me: Treats in my purse or a candy bowl….you name it. For four years straight we were the go-to for stars at the Grammy’s backstage because we had “Canadian” treats: Coffee Crisp, Crispy Crunch and Ketchup Chips. Oh and during TIFF I would bring McDonalds Happy Meals for some of the celebs. Jay Baruchel’s mom requested I pick one up for him one year and he loved it. We also brought a meal to Drew Barrymore but her assistant took it. At least we got the interview! Food is a good way to lure people over. Oh, and Michael C. Hall aka Dexter and I shared a ring pop. Don’t ask!
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