February 2, 2016

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine’s Gifts

10 Faves: Valentine's Day

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day


Crispy chocolate pearls from France. (Food52, $24)

10 Faves: Food Valentine's Day Gifts

Spicy Maple Syrup for a spicy breakfast in bed. (Terrain, $20)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

Gorgeous Meyer lemons for making marmalade and cheesecake. (White Flower Farm, $35)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day 10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

A cool bottle stopper and delicious bottle of Rudi Schultz Syrah for drinking. (Crate & Barrel, $4.95; Wine shop, about $30)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

Flourless Chocolate Pecan sandwich cookies which are pretty much to die for. (The Good Batch, $38)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

The world’s most decadent hot chocolate for sipping in front of the fire. (Mariebelle, $23)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

Pretty gold dipped seashell pinch bowls for serving decadent ice cream sundaes. (Food52, $55)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

A gorgeous camembert for baking with herbs to make a delicious treat to enjoy with wine. (Murray’s, $45)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

Cherry bitters for making fun cocktails once the kids are in bed. (Cecil & Merl, $26)

10 Faves: Foodie Valentine's Day

Heavenly cheesecake for two. Obviously. (Mah Ze Dahr, $10)


January 29, 2016

Mushroom Spinach Wheatberry Salad

Mushroom Spinach Wheatberry Salad

Last year I made a mushroom barley soup which has quickly become a staple in our house. I make it a few times each winter and often freeze a container for later. This week I decided to riff on it a little bit since I had some wheatberries to use up as part of my winter pantry experiment. Instead of soup I made a warm salad and topped it with a simple baked chicken breast for an easy weeknight dinner. It was full of umami mushroom flavors and was perfect for staying warm on a frigid winter evening.

January 26, 2016

Year of Faves: Classic Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna Rolls | The Naptime Chef

So far I am doing pretty well with the winter pantry experiment. I’ve used up some pasta and vegetables in soups and some grains in a salad that is coming up later this week. Over the weekend I also used up the last few lasagna noodles. They were stragglers from a lasagna I made last year (!) There weren’t enough to make a whole second lasagna, but there was plenty to make a few lasagna rolls. In fact, it was just the right amount for us. We made one dinner with no leftovers.

January 22, 2016

Brrrr….Soup for Dinner with Bear Creek


In less than 24 hours we are anticipating our first snowstorm of the season. It is a little late in the year for our first storm, but it is coming nonetheless. I am excited for some good playtime outdoors with the kids. We have our snow gear and skis all set to go! I am also excited for a fire in the fireplace and a hot bowl of soup when we come in side to warm up.

January 20, 2016

Garden Vegetable Pesto Chicken Soup

Garden Vegetable Pesto Chicken Soup | The Naptime Chef

Over the past month I’ve basically become obsessed with Panera Bread’s Garden Vegetable Pesto soup. I’ve eaten it several times in our town, and ate it every day for lunch last week when I was taking the WSET Level 2 course in New York. It is a riot of fresh flavor packed into a single bowl, it manages to be hearty, yet refreshing because of all the sharp sweet basil and tomato flavors. This is easily my new favorite soup for winter, but in the interest of my wallet I decided it was time I learned how to make my own version home.

January 20, 2016

Strawberry Chile Dip


We don’t watch a lot of football on a regular basis, but we do like to tune into the playoffs and the Big Game. (I’ll admit, I’m all about the halftime show. And this year it will be Beyoncé and Coldplay so I am basically going to be glued to television for that part.) Most of the time the games are really all about the food. Football food is all about salty, cheesy favorites like yummy dips and chips, wings, and anything that makes you wan to roll up your sleeves and dig in.

January 14, 2016

A Year of Favorites Begins: Top 11 Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipes Revised

Naptime Chef Top 11 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

Over the holidays my family and I were talking about our favorite dishes, noting ones I haven’t made in a while. A lot of them I wrote about here during my first few years of blogging, and several are from my book recipe tasting. Since I am constantly writing new recipes for websites and this site I often leave old favorites by the wayside. This year I am going to change that. I promised my family that while I focus on new recipes, I’ll also focus on old favorites. This applies to all kinds of dishes from appetizers, to dinners, to dessert. In many cases this means I’ll go back through the archives and pull out the oldies but goodies and give them much better photos. In other cases, I’ll be revisiting ones from cookbooks of years past. Either way, it is going to be so much fun.

Today I am starting with one of the most popular posts I ever wrote about my Top 10 favorites chocolate chip cookie recipes. Most of the list is still the same, but I’ve added one in recent years. Here is the original post with a lot about how and why chocolate chip cookies are my absolute favorite. Below is the list with a few recent changes.

1. Dorie Greenspan’s My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies: Soft, sweet and slightly cakey, these are my favorite hands down. The flavor notes of vanilla and chocolate are perfectly balanced, while the texture is slightly soft, but not crumbly. Part of their success is due to Dorie’s specific instructions for adding the ingredients – follow them carefully. These cookies stand up well when vanilla ice-cream is sandwiched between them, and are also great served on their own to adults and children alike.

2. The New York Times’ Chocolate Chip Cookie by Jacques Torres: A slightly more involved recipe, I’ve made this with both the complicated flours, and basic all-purpose flour. Both versions have been successful and delicious. I love how the chopped chocolate creates layers and ridges in the cookie, allowing the chocolate to melt and permeate every crumb. A particularly decadent cookie, these are great for impressing friends and guests.