September 21, 2016

Yogurt & Fruit “Sundaes” for the Lunchbox

Yogurt & Fruit Sundaes | The Naptime Chef

I am so thrilled to announce that this year I’ll be working with Cascadian Farm to produce exciting content on The Naptime Chef and for their website featuring their amazing selection of frozen fruit and vegetables. I’ve been a longtime fan of their frozen produce and frequently use it in my cooking working together is a natural fit. There is so much wonderful family-friendly fare that can be made with frozen produce, let’s dive in together!

Yogurt & Fruit Sundaes | The Naptime Chef

Smile! Blueberry Yogurt with Blueberries, Frozen Peaches & Meusli

Since it is back-to-school season and I am also in back-to-school mode with work I thought I’d start off with a simple, yet delicious, lunchbox treat my kids adore: Yogurt & Fruit “Sundaes”. Instead of making it a formal parfait with studied layers we prefer to take the sundae route. This means filling a jar or plastic container with our favorite flavor yogurt (this changes on a daily basis in our house, just use what flavor yogurt your children prefer), and topping it like a sundae with loads of fruit and some crunchy cereal or granola.

September 20, 2016

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cake for My Birthday

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cake | The Naptime Chef

It’s time again for my annual birthday cake. In case you missed it, I am never one to shy away from birthdays. There is nothing about getting older that worries me or makes me want to run and bury my face in a pillow. Birthdays are for celebrating and having fun. In an attempt to pass this spirit onto my children, this year I got them involved in the baking of a brown sugar chocolate chip cake. They have not always been invited to participate, but this year I wanted them to join in. They both still enjoy cooking with mom and this flavor is super kid-friendly, so why not make it a family occasion.

September 15, 2016

Fall Cookbook Pre-orders

Fall is super duper cookbook season and I have been doing a lot of pre-ordering lately. Here are few that I’ve paid for and can’t wait to arrive. I am curious, what books are on your list?

Fall Cookbooks 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Mad Hungry: 120 Essential Recipes to Feed the Whole Crew by Lucinda Scala Quinn. I have loved the Mad Hungry series since the very first book. Even though I don’t have a crew of teenagers in my house (yet) her recipes still speak to me as a family cook. Lucinda always has the perfect answer when it comes to putting a fresh twist of roast chicken or making a new and exciting salad that the whole family will love.

Fall Cookbooks 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsee to Streuselfkuchen by Luisa Weiss. I am a longtime fan of Luisa’s writing and recipes. Her deep knowledge of the German kitchen is not to be missed. It is rare to find a German-American so in touch with traditional recipes on both sides of the pond. I think German baking is often eclipsed by its French neighbor so I am excited to learn more about traditional German recipes and there is no better teacher than Luisa.
Fall Cookbooks 2016 | The Naptime Chef

French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards by Mimi Thorisson. I discovered the magic of Mimi’s life in Medoc last spring was instantly sucked in. Her latest book promises to share a new collection of delicious, accessible French recipes from her home deep in the wine region of Bordeaux.

Fall Cookbooks 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Dorie’s books never fail to amaze. Her exquisite baked goods are awe inspiring yet completely doable. Baking from her books is like hanging out in the kitchen with you best friend. I can’t wait to crack the spine of her latest tome and start baking.

Fall Cookbooks 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. The magic of Ina Garten is ongoing for me. I’ve cooked from her books consistently ever since the first once was released. I can’t wait to see what this book holds and am thrilled that a new show is in the works.


September 13, 2016

Skillet Chicken Cacciatore

Skillet Chicken Cacciatore | The Naptime Chef

We are finally in back-to-school mode with both kids. It was a great summer but my little guy wore me right out and I am very happy to be back into the regular routine. This routine, of course, includes weeknight cooking. Depending on our daily schedule I will sometimes prep food while they are at school. If I don’t have time to do that I’ll review some of my oldies but goodies, or the ingredients in our fridge, to come up with a quick and easy dinner recipe. Recently I made this easy skillet chicken cacciatore because I had the last couple of peppers from our garden in the crisper and a fresh packet of chicken to be eaten.

September 8, 2016

Late Summer Peach Caprese Salad

Peach Caprese Salad | The Naptime Chef

Last weekend we were supposed to endure the rains of Hurricane Hermine and they never came. It has been a long, hot summer in Connecticut and our garden so desperately needed the rain and cooler temperatures so I was excited. I am glad we did not have to endure any crazy hurricane weather like our neighbors to the south, but I honestly didn’t mind the idea of part of our long weekend being rained in. Naturally we had some party plans and I was all for preparing food to take to friend’s homes, including this peach caprese salad which is just fine, rain or shine.

September 6, 2016

Baked Peach Oatmeal with Cinnamon Toast Crunch

The Naptime Chef in Winninpeg

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by General Mills Big G Cereals. The opinions are wholly my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Naptime Chef.)

Let’s talk whole grain in honor of National Whole Grain Month. Last month I spent 48 hours in Winnipeg, Canada with General Mills Cereal learning all about oats. I learned about everything from how grain is grown and harvested, what makes it “whole”, and why it is so important for your diet. I was shocked (shocked!) to learn that 95% of Americans don’t get enough whole grain in their diet. How did I miss such a statistic? Consuming whole grains isn’t too hard, they are found in Big G cereals, breads, and more. Yet, it seems that we never get enough.

September 2, 2016

Feeding America with Unilever


(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mirum Shopper but all opinions are my own. I am proud to work with Mirum shopper to bring attention to the Feeding American program.)

This month my kids are starting school. I took a little time off at the end of August to get my house together and prepared for the back-to-school routine and all that comes with it. That meant gathering school supplies, labeling lunch boxes and folders, shopping for bulk snacks, and buying the ingredients for many of our much-loved weeknight dinners I haven’t made since last spring. Getting everything organized is hectic, but I am grateful I can do it. I know how lucky we are that we can buy loaves of bread for lunches and offer a wide variety of snacks to my kids to choose from each day. Feeding my family without worry is a luxury and it is not something everyone can afford to do.

Today I am working with Ahold stores and Unilever to bring awareness to their Feeding America campaign. I am not including a “read more” jump in this post because I am not looking for clicks or “likes” or popularity points here. I want people to read and learn, to take a moment to think of the hungry in their own community – especially the children – and think about how they can help this fall.

This month Feeding America has partnered with Ahold Stores (Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin’s, and Giant Carlisle) and Unilever to help alleviate hunger in their communities. Making your own contribution is SO simple:

If you purchase $15 in Unilever products, you’ll save $5 on your purchase, and part of it will be donated to the Feeding America program. Each transaction provides 11 meals to people in need.

Here is a video that further illustrates how the program works. To help out even more, spread the word of this program by sharing this video using the hashtag #BuySaveFeed – each share is worth an additional donation.

It is not about donating money, or buying something you don’t want or need. It is simply about selecting some of your favorite Unilever products and letting them do the rest.

So, if you have the time this weekend I hope you’ll buy some Unilever products and help out this campaign. It will make such a huge difference in the lives of many. Together we can work to alleviate hunger in our communities and I am grateful that this partnership is taking place in mine.