June 25, 2015

Salted Nutella Crunch Bars & More

June 24, 2015

Salted Peanut Caramel Brownie Sundae

Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae | The Naptime Chef

I like to make ice cream home but I buy it too. Last summer I shared a little bit about my favorite Talenti gelato line and today I am here to share a little but about new favorite flavors are a great summer dessert.

This spring Talenti came out with several new gelato flavors: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Coffee Toffee, Hazelnut Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Raspberry Cheesecake, Salted Peanut Caramel, and Tiramisu.

I’ve tried them all and they are were absolutely delish but the Salted Peanut Caramel really stood out. My daughter and I decided to give it a try our hand at make the ultimate brownie ice cream sundae. Here is what we did:

Place a thick slab of brownie on the bottom of a deep bowl. Pile on two large scoops of Salted Peanut Caramel gelato on top. Drizzle fresh salted caramel sauce over the gelato, top it with whipped cream, and sprinkle chopped salted peanuts on top. The salty sweet flavors are all there with each other and the result is nothing short of ice cream sundae heaven!

(Disclosure: I was sent the new Talenti flavors to try but the opinions and recipes above are wholly my own.)

June 19, 2015

A Delicious & Easy Summer Snack with Triscuit

I am a big fan of no-cook food in the summer months. I like things I can make without going anywhere near the hot oven. Most of the time this means throwing together cold salads, easy sandwiches, and eating lots of fresh fruits. Another one of my favorite things is topping crackers with delicious bites like bits of cheese, nuts, pestos, and other healthy food. Last month I saw these delectable honey-topped peach Triscuits on Savannah Bee Company. I loved the idea of a salty wheat cracker topped with sweet fruit and honey, and nuts for an added crunch. I couldn’t wait to make my own variation.

June 18, 2015

Wheatberry & Zucchini Salad with Avocado Dressing

Wheatberry Zucchini Salad | The Naptime Chef

Summer is my favorite cooking season. The produce is abundant, local, and fresh. It is hot enough that a lot of time I don’t even have to turn on the stove, just chop up vegetables and enjoy. The only problem is that my children don’t always see eye to eye with me on this philosophy. They still want their heavier winter meals and are not all that interested in fresh summer vegetables tossed in with their standby carrot sticks. This is when I turn to Hidden Valley Ranch for a little help. One of their newest flavors, Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Avocado Dressing, is just what I need to create a meal that the whole family loves.

June 16, 2015

The French Pharmacy: My Picks

Today I am deviating a little from all things food and travel to give you my French pharmacy picks. For many years I’ve read that French pharmacies are the best place on Earth to buy beauty products. They carry entire lines of French-made skin care that can’t be found stateside. These jars of lotions and potions are touted to be as terrifically effective as Le Mer (which I’ve only sampled because I can’t afford a whole jar), but can be purchased at drugstore prices.  Before we went to Paris I researched favorite products on Goop, Design Mom, and the The New York Times so I could build a good shopping list. Once we arrived the three of us hit Citypharma Du Four to pick up some of our own. Here are my top product picks:

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Citypharma Du Four: There are pharmacies all over Paris and most of them carry these products. However, Citypharma is known for having the best prices and selection. It is also a mob scene that requires sharp elbows and a quick hand for nabbing bottles before they end up in someone else’s basket. They have a strict no photography policy so I didn’t even try to take a sneaky picture with my iPhone. There are security guards everywhere! It is right across from Café de Flore and is not to be missed. However, if you do, just look for a pharmacie with an electric green cross anywhere in the city and you should be able to find all of these products.

French Pharmacy | The Naptime Chef

Sanoflore Véritable Eau Florale Bleuet Messicole Bio: This organic cornflower water is mostly intended for tired eyes but I’ve found that it works well for many applications. So far I’ve used it to refresh sunburnt skin, treat my own swollen eyelid, and soothe a small sunburn on the back of my neck. This line also has toners made from other flowers known for their natural healing properties, like rose and lavender. It is highly concentrated so one bottle should last for a few months.

French Pharmacie | The Naptime Chef

Biafine: This plant-based cream started as a burn and rash treatment but people use it for all sorts of moisturizing needs. Recently I used it to treat my daughter’s skinned knee and soothe a little burn on my hand from the oven. I also used it on my dry elbows and chapped lips. It effectively treated everything and has earned a permanent spot in my first aid kit. Note: This cream is very thick and a little bit goes a long way.

June 12, 2015

Smoothie-licious with Jenna Helwig + Giveaway

Smoothie-licious | The Naptime Chef

I don’t post a lot of smoothie recipes in this space because mostly they confound me. What the proper ratio of vegetables to liquid? How much sugar is too much? How do I properly “superfood” my beverage without overdoing it? Lucky for me, my friend Jenna Helwig has finally written a Smoothie-licious: Power-Packed Smoothies and Juices the Whole Family Will Love, a cookbook I can identify with. The recipes are amazing and accessible! That means, smoothie novices like me don’t find them intimidating in the least. In fact, they look downright delicious. Today Jenna stopped by to talk all things Smoothies and share a copy of her book to give away!

1) I’ll admit, some smoothie recipes intimidate me. But your book makes them so accessible. How did you first start making smoothies for your family?
About three years ago I did a “detox” where I gave up caffeine, alcohol, gluten, dairy, and sugar for a week. I also tried to eat more veggies, including at breakfast. Since I have more of a sweet tooth in the morning smoothies seemed like a natural choice. I started concocting naturally sweet smoothies and my favorite was a creamy drink with avocado (it turned into the recipe Avocado Bliss in Smoothie-licious). The real eye-opener was when my daughter—an avowed avocado hater—asked for a sip and continued to drink it even after I told her what the ingredients were.
June 11, 2015

Shopping & Eating in Paris with Kids

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

If I could shop in one city for the rest of my life it would be Paris. (Sorry, New York, but it’s true!) Like many women, I’ve always loved French style and prefer French clothes for my children when I can afford them. There is something about the timeless tailored look in classic colors like navy, white, and creams that appeals to me. When I was in Paris with my mother and daughter last month here were some of our favorite spots to shop:

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Petit Bateau: This is one of my all time favorite clothing lines. I nearly cried when the Boston and New York stores closed! Their navy, yellow, and white color palate never goes out of style and works well for both boys and girls. Lucky for me, there are plenty of Petit Beteau stores in Paris. I stumbled upon one in nearly every neighborhood. I got a few great pieces for my kids and stocked up on their fuzzy onesies for baby gifts.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

The French Pharmacies: I am going to write a separate post about this because I researched French pharmacies before our trip and was quickly sucked into the cult of French beauty products when I arrived. I’ll never bother with an expensive make-up counter again. French pharmacy beauty products are where it’s at!! I followed the Goop guide and a few others and found some real gems. (Note: Pharmacies are all over Paris. The famous Citypharma branch was my favorite.)

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Bonton: If there is one DO NOT MISS store for kids, this is it. We didn’t even go to the giant one in the Marais but I won’t miss it next time! I shopped at the one on rue de Grenelle and it was so fabulous we stayed for nearly an hour. The style is a mix of French classic and Euro pop. It reminded me of the Benetton stores of my youth. In addition to clothes there were all kinds of fun books, games, jewelry, accessories, and more. My daughter and I were in heaven.