May 19, 2016

Make It Easy with Stacie Billis + Giveaway

Make it Easy with Stacie Billis

Stacie has been one of my blogging friends from the very beginning. Waayyyy back in 2009, when all these blog shenanigans began, we met for lunch in New York and totally hit it off. It was one of those lunches were we could’ve chatted all day long and well into the evening, except there were babies to tend to so we didn’t. Fast forward a few years, and a few more babies, and Stacie has written is first book: Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch — with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them. I am SO proud and happy for her. This has been a long time coming and now it is here and the time is right. Brava, Stacie!

The premise of this genius tome is family-friendly food you can make for easily and using a few store-bought shortcuts if needed. Yes! (Because, honestly, we don’t always want to make enchilada sauce from scratch and if you can find a perfectly good jar at Trader Joe’s sometimes it is just worth buying in order to save time. Right? Right.) The book features dozens of new and accessible meal ideas for the family. I flagged several pages right off the bat for summer. Stacie’s writing style is clear and relatable, just like she is in person, and this book will give anyone the confidence they need to get in the kitchen. Today I am so thrilled to share a chat I had with Stacie about her new book and offer one lucky reader the chance to win a copy!

May 17, 2016

Spiced Cappuccino Scones

Capuccino Cinnamon Scones | The Naptime Chef

My parents visited us last weekend and I wanted to make us as a little breakfast treat for Sunday morning. I didn’t have a lot of time to pull together anything complicated so I pulled out one of my old favorites and made some batter for scones. There is no easier make-ahead breakfast treat, in my opinion, since the dough takes all of five minutes to come together in a single bowl.

May 16, 2016

Parmesan Zoodles with a Fried Egg

Parmesan Zoodles with a Fried Egg | The Naptime Chef

I have embraced the zoodles trend wholeheartedly and am never letting go. I love zucchini, I grow it in the garden, and could basically eat it for every meal. Last summer I purchased a very simple zoodle maker and got to work. Now I make zoodles with green and yellow squash and serve it with all kinds of sauces and toppings. Last week I made a very summery version of our favorite dish to celebrate the beginning (return?) of spring.

May 12, 2016

Eating Clean and Healing with Amie Valpone + Giveaway!

Amie Valpone Eating Clean | The Naptime Chef

I’ve known Amie of The Healthy Apple since we lived in NYC several years ago. We’d bump into each other time and again at blogger events but I really didn’t get a chance to speak to her in earnest until last fall. After following her medical events on her blog I was so pleased to see that she looked like a million bucks when we met in person. And now I know why: her diet! Amie has been thrown more health challenges than most and she has done an incredible job healing herself through her diet. Her unusual genetic situation makes her body more susceptible to processed food than the average person and it has wreaked havoc on her life. But once we she realized how to handle it through eating she began to do just that. These days she is a private Chef and incredibly talented writer and she recently chronicled her whole journey in this amazing book: Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body. I am thrilled for her success and am excited to chat with her today!:

EATING CLEAN Mango Cardamom Walnut Bars (c) Lauren Volo

May 10, 2016

Wine Love: Rosé

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

‘Tis the season for rosé so I thought I’d write a little bit about it for my wine love column today. Rosé has experienced a surge of popularity in recent years.  It is hard to say why since “blush” or White Zinfandel has been around for decades and was always popular with grandmothers the world over. However, marketing has played a key part in its rise and, frankly, it’s delicious! Rosé hits all the right notes for summer with mild, sweet berry and tropical flavors, and a refreshingly high acidity. It pairs well with nearly all lighter summer fare like fish, gazpacho, and salads. Plus, it always looks pretty on a summer table. Here are a few of my favorite rosés and gear to go with it:

 

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

DMZ Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé: I wrote about this two years ago as it is still one of my favorite rosés. With a medium body and flavors of ripe berry and watermelon it is weighty enough to drink with a grilled burger or sausage. However, it isn’t so heavy that it can’t be sipped along with a light salad or summer soup. It is a well-balanced wine with a firm presence that doesn’t overwhelm.

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

Encantado: We picked up this gem in Napa and I am so glad we did. It is a delicious example of rosé that is lighter than DMZ, but still exhibits personality. The ripe citrus and red berry flavors make it a delightful summer sipper even on the hottest days. The residual sugar is just enough to make it ideal for pairing with dessert as well as dinner.

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

Sparkling Rosé: When we were at Mumm last year in Napa Valley I met my match: sparkling rosé. If there ever were a more refreshing, delicious rosé style in this world I have yet to find it.(Full disclosure: sparkling wine and champagne are my absolute favorites.) It is not the least expensive bottle in the wine shop, but it is definitely worth the splurge. Sparkling rosé will appeal to anyone and everyone who likes rosé or champagne, or both.

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

Gear: While the #yeswayrosé hashtag is a little overdone I don’t care. In fact, I care so little that I am happy to sport the bag whilst traipsing around the farmer’s market.

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

A pretty illustration that also cracks me up! (via Sparkle Sense)

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

Tea that would be perfect for daytime. (via Republic of Tea)

Wine Love: Rosé | The Naptime Chef

Rosé blend sea salt for cooking! (via Amagansett Sea Salt)

May 4, 2016

Four Star Knives + Knife Set Giveaway

Henckels Knife Giveaway

I am here with a fun giveaway today. As you know, I adore Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives and swear by them in the kitchen. This year it is the 40th Anniversary of one of their knife sets. How fun is that?! That means these carbon knives have been slicing their way through kitchens for longer than I’ve been alive.

Henckels Knife Giveaway

Today my friends at Zwillings J.A. Henckels are excited to give a set of these beautiful knives to one lucky home cook. Here is how to enter to win!

  1. Leave a comment sharing your favorite summer food to chop up with knives!
  2. Visit the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Facebook page and follow.
  3. Contest runs from May 4th through May 11th. Winner will be announced in the May 13th newsletter. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

 

May 2, 2016

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting for a Party

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | The Naptime Chef

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time will know that I am one for birthday cakes. I firmly believe dessert is always on the agenda when it is your special day! Just look back at my birthday celebrations each year and you’ll see I am not fibbing about this. Last week was my husband’s birthday so I, naturally, made a cake. His favorite cake of all time is yellow cake with chocolate frosting and I saw no reason to change his mind by presenting anything new.