June 28, 2016

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles | The Naptime Chef

Summer is a little warm for making truffles, but so long as you store them in a cool place you can enjoy them as much as you want. I made this simple recipe for red wine chocolate truffles for a dinner party a few weekends ago. They were rich without being overly sweet, with a hint of dark berry flavor from the wine. I put them on a platter with raspberries, and little butter cookies. Sweet nibbles that were easy to make and fun to eat. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

June 23, 2016

Strawberry Pistachio Pavlova

Strawberry Pistachio Pavlova | The Naptime Chef

Strawberry picking season is here and we’ve already conquered the local farm. Two children and 12 pounds later, we are swimming in bright red fruit and I couldn’t be happier. One of the desserts I made with our recent haul is this easy peasy, delicious pistachio strawberry pavlova. It is made with a pistachio meringue, topped with whipped cream and a generous spread of fresh strawberries.

June 10, 2016

Cookbook Style Love: Crabtree & Evelyn

Crabtree & Evelyn | The Naptime Chef

Last year my friend gifted me this gorgeous copy of The Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook: A Book of Light Meals and Small Feasts. I don’t think I should call a cookbook with copyright of 1989 “vintage,” but the style is definitely of the late 80’s ilk. Yet, unlike many cookbooks that are almost 20 years old, I don’t think it has totally gone of the style. It contains so many recipes I like to make today and the illustrations have a timeless pastoral look. I’ll share some recipes I love at a later date, but let’s just look at the book today:

Crabtree & Evelyn | The Naptime Chef

The sections are divided by light meal menus. This menu for Lunch in the Old Dairy was written two decades ago but I would totally serve it today! (Isn’t that a great title, “old dairy” – it makes me want to go live on a farm!)

June 9, 2016

Year of Favorites: Rhubarb Coffee Cake

A Year of Favorites: Rhubarb Coffee Cake | The Naptime Chef

I’ve been revisiting a bunch of favorites this year and I couldn’t resist pointing out this one again. (And this time the picture is better!) The recipe is exactly the same so I am not going to reprint it, but I am going to sing its praises once more. EVERYONE should make this at least once this summer. I, alas, am not making it with rhubarb from my own garden just yet. However, there is hope since the rhubarb root I planted two years ago have finally started blooming which means I’ll have rhubarb of my own to harvest soon enough!

This delicious coffee cake is as simple as they come. It is thick and creamy from the sour cream and the rhubarb gives it such a delicious tangy. We scarfed it down last weekend when my in-law’s were visiting. Even the kids liked it!

June 8, 2016

Creamy Garlic Penne with Chicken Apple Sausage

The Naptime Chef

Pasta with sausage is one of the recipes at the tippity-top of my list of go-to quick dinners. When time is at a premium, and I want to get something healthy on the table, it is my go-to. I think one of the main reasons for this is that the bulk of the meal, the pasta, is a completely hands off activity. Other than stirring it into boiling water I don’t need to tend to it. When time is of the essence there is hardly anything better than that!

June 3, 2016

How to Cook Artichokes in a Pressure Cooker + Giveaway

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Last month I received my first pressure cooker and it has been a revelation. I am able to cook everything I want, except now in half the time. No joke! I plan to share more and more about it as I continue my experiments, but today I want to share my favorite thing to cook in it: artichokes. As you know, I have a longstanding love for artichokes. This comes from my mother who cooked them nightly when they were in season. I try to do the same, the problem is time. They take so long to cook! But not anymore…

June 2, 2016

Busy Spring Meal Tips + Arugula and Wild Rice Salad

Arugula & Wild Rice Salad | The Naptime Chef

It’s been a busy month of end-of-school picnics, holiday weekends, and soccer tournaments. That means that I’ve been employing a lot of my favorite weeknight shortcuts like cooking double of what I need and repurposing leftovers. It takes a little strategizing, but it is worth the effort if it means solid meals to grab when rushing about. Here are three of my favorite spring meal tips for the “busy season” and a few favorite salad technique!:

Busy Season meal Tips | The Naptime Chef 1. Double Up on the Grill: We love grilled chicken, steak, and vegetables all summer long. Not only is it great right off the grill, but it is just as tasty served cold the next day. On Sunday nights I’ve taken to preparing twice as much meat to grill so we can eat half for dinner and have a whole extra portion for the next day or two. I use cold grill meat for tacos, enchiladas, serving over salads, or even making in wraps to take on-the-go.

Busy Season meal Tips | The Naptime Chef

2. Cold Dinner Season is here: We like to make paninis in the winter, and in the summer I am all about sandwiches and wraps. In fact, sometimes I am just about a vegetable, cheese, and meat board with some crackers for an evening meal. It is easy to stick to cooking hot dishes for dinners, but don’t forget that it is the season for cool and refreshing food. In fact, when you start to see those ripe, local tomatoes in the market start making gazpacho!

Busy Season meal Tips | The Naptime Chef

3. Salads Don’t Need Recipes: There are many amazing salad recipes out there. But, I have to be honest, I prefer the salads that are thrown together at the last minute. They always yield the most interesting flavors and textures and are unfailingly satisfying. Here is my newest favorite salad technique: add a grain! Last night I made a salad with arugula, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts, feta, and wild rice. The warm rice was a delightful chewy addition to the salad. Over it I served, of course, grilled chicken made fresh the night before!