April 23, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce with Mrs. Wheelbarrow + Giveaway!

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry | The Naptime Chef

I’ve been wanting to feature my friend Cathy’s book, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year Round Preserving for some time now, but I had to wait until spring. Why? Because I am finally using up my remaining frozen strawberries and rhubarb from last fall and want to feature her amazing Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce. Also, Cathy’s book WON the 2015 IACP Single Subject Cookbook Award so now I can officially brag about that for her. (There is even a new beauty mark on the cover!) Congratulations, Cathy!

You all know how much I love preserving and Cathy does too. In fact, Cathy has written this beautiful book for us home preservers. In it she shares her infinite knowledge about home preserving and everything in between. This week Cathy and I had a little chat about her book and she graciously allowed me to share her sauce recipe. If you want to see this book for yourself don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

April 21, 2015

Kahlua Chocolate Cake

Kahlua Chocolate Cake | The Naptime Chef

Over the weekend we celebrated my husband’s birthday. In keep with tradition I made him a cake. My kids were slightly disappointed that this chocolate cake wasn’t as kid-friendly as last year. But, they still had plenty of Easter candy to enjoy so I really didn’t feel guilty. The original cake recipe is adapted from Molly’s famous rich and fudgy wedding cake recipe. I’ve tweaked it by adding a generous nip of kahlua and an extra topping of whipped cream. It takes very little time to prepare and is perfect for any celebration.

April 15, 2015

Napa Valley Tips + Recommendations Welcome!

Napa Valley Wine Trip | The Naptime Chef

(Photo via William Hill Estates)

Hi Friends! I am heading to San Francisco and Napa Valley for a much-needed vacay soon. I am SO ready for some sun and a change of scenery. Do you have any tips for places I must see in Napa? I would love to hear any and all suggestions. I love wine, riding bikes, and anything to do with being outdoors and enjoying good food. I’ll be sure to report back after our trip. Thanks in advance!

Napa Valley Trip | The Naptime Chef

(image via Swanson Vineyards)

Obviously this 24-hour itinerary from Alexis Swanson looks amazing. If it was created for Ina I’m sure that means I’d like it too!

April 14, 2015

Lemon Raspberry Jam Bars

Lemon Berry Jam Bars

Spring and summer entertaining season is on the horizon and that means one thing: showers. As in, baby showers, bridal showers, and engagement showers. So many showers! I personally love showers of all kinds and have thrown quite a few myself. In doing so I’ve learned a few things along the way as well. First: have a standby menu. It is best to have a few standards you can riff on: chicken salad, quiche, punches, bon bons, and a solid dessert nibble. For a baby shower you might do a big cake too, but I find having a bite size dessert on hand is always an good idea. Which is where my Lemon Raspberry Jam bars come in.

April 10, 2015

Paprika Roast Potatoes

Paprika Roast Potatoes | The Naptime Chef

I love these roast potatoes because they are perfect for entertaining. As in, you can make a nice big batch and serve them in a bowl to lots and lots of people and everyone loves them. Potato dishes are usually good for entertaining in general, but this one is totally foolproof. The come out perfect every time and the paprika and crispy skins make them so delish. They also don’t need any heavy adornments which I don’t find as appealing in the warmer months. There is no cream, cheese, or onions, just salt, pepper, oil, and paprika. In the oven, then done and done.

April 9, 2015

Kitchen Idea File #6: Sinks

The Naptime Chef | Kitchen Idea File #6

Our kitchen renovation is still in the works. All winter we’ve been checking out design books and kitchens we like around town. I also found this great article about 15 small and clever kitchen designs and I want all of them to be included in ours! One thing I’d never paid much attention to before was the sink. Every kitchen has one, but I never gave much thought to how they fit into the overall design scheme. Equally as important: functionality. What do I use my sink for and what kind do I need?

Undermount Double Sink

(photo via: alfaplit)

I’ve lived with both single and double sinks and think we should go with a double sink. I love the option of one space to wash and one space to drip dry. The hardware above is not my style, but that is a different design decision altogether. This undermount double sink catches my eye in particular because it is paired with my favorite wooden countertop. (But is an undermount easy to keep clean around the top edges?)

Naptime Chef Kitchen Renovation

(photo via Design Mom)

Naptime Chef Kitchen Renovation

(via Elements of Style)

Then I see these gorgeous deep apron sinks and think how pretty they are. They give a room a nice polished feel and the gleaming white always looks clean and modern. Maybe I’ll have to add a utility room to our wish list just so I can have a sink like this.

Naptime Chef Kitchen Renovation

(via Country Living)

I like this sink with the apron and the window above it. I definitely want to position our new sink so I can look out on the yard and the kids while I wash dishes.

Naptime Chef Kitchen Renovation

(via Design*Sponge)

I am gaga for Grace and Julia’s recent kitchen renovation. Bright space, wooden countertops, antique wooden floors, sink with a window view, giant island, open shelving, pantry to the side… So many of my favorite elements! I have pinned every image from their renovation to my idea board.

What kind of sink is your favorite?

ps – So far we’ve covered: Refrigerators, Pantries, Countertops, and Ovens

April 8, 2015

Cappucino Coffee Cake

Cappuccino Coffee Cake | The Naptime Chef

One thing that is a surefire hit with breakfast entertaining is coffee cake. There is no way to go wrong with it which is why it is important to have a couple good coffee cake recipes up your sleeve at all times. I made this last Friday when my parents came to town for Easter weekend. It is your basic sour cream coffee cake made in a tube pan. I added cappuccino chips and a little espresso to the crumb to make it extra decadent and ideal for my coffee-loving parents.