February 24, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup

Given that we’ve been slurping a heck of a lot of soup around here lately I thought I’d stop in with one more. I swear, promise (!), that this will be the last one for a while. Even I know it is time to break out of my soupy pattern. It has been so easy while the weather has been crapola, but now it is time to move on. But, before I do, I have to share this little gem I found on F00d52 the other day. It is called Chicken Parmesan Soup because it tastes exactly like a Chicken Parmesan casserole but it can be made with one-quarter of the effort and is a touch healthier.

February 19, 2015

Soup Season!

If there ever was a soup winter this is it. It is barely above 10 degrees F most days here. When we were in Cooperstown last weekend is what rarely above 0 and that is not an exaggeration! To stay warm and happy I’ve been making lots and lots of soup. I even plan to have another new soup recipe for you next week.

There are many reasons why soup makes a great winter meal including:

– Soups are a great way to pack lots of flavors into one bowl. Most soups contain at least one, if not more, vegetables, some beans, pasta, and even meat or poultry. Depending on what you want to make, soup can be a complete, nutritious one-bowl meal.

– Soups lend themselves well to batch cooking. Double whatever soup recipe you want to make and freeze half for later. Soup is always handy to have the freezer when there is no time to cook!

– Since soup recipes can be made up on a moment’s notice they are a great way to use up bits and bobs of whatever is in your fridge or pantry. It is no coincidence that there are so many ways to make soup. You can add almost anything to soup!

Soup ages well. If you make it in advance by naptime cooking, or even making it the day before you plan to eat it, the flavor of soup will only improve. Reheating it is a snap on the stovetop or in the microwave and it is always easy to serve hot.

Here are some of the favorite soups we’ve been enjoying this winter:

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup | The Naptime Chef

Tomato Soups

Tomato Quinoa Soup

Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup & Basil Grilled Cheese – Food for My Family

Spicy Tomato Soup – Cheeky Kitchen

Tomato White Bean Soup - Dinner a Love Story

Mushroom Barley Soup | The Naptime Chef

Vegetable-Based Soups

Mushroom & Barley Soup

Caramelized Shallot Soup

Creamy Mushroom & Leek Soup with Croutons

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup with Chard – Feed Me Phoebe

Greens and Garlic Soup – Brooklyn Supper

Turkey Pho from Food52

(image via Food52)

Chicken & Turkey Soups

Chicken Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Sausage Bean & Pasta Soup – Simple Bites

Ina’s Italian Wedding Soup

The Best Chicken Soup You’ll Ever Have – Cup of Jo

Turkey Pho – Food52

Shrimp Soup | The Naptime Chef

Seafood Soups

Thai-Style Shrimp Soup

Cream of Scallop Soup – Orangette

Dad’s Fish Stew – Simple Recipes

Clam Chowder – Honest Food

February 18, 2015

French Toast Muffins & More

February 17, 2015

Pretty Votives for Your Table

Keeping the house bright this time of year can be hard. The light outside is so dull and the sun sets pretty early. To cheer up our table I like to light candles in little votive holders. It is an easy way to brighten our space and add a little extra warmth to our day. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Naptime Chef Favorite Tea Lights

via Food52, $42

The Naptime Chef Favorite Votives

via Terrain, $8 each

The Naptime Chef Favorite Votives

I love this festive design from Aimee of Simple Bites. You can use your own supply of jam jars to make them at home.

The Naptime Chef Favorite Votives

via Anthropologie, $7.95

Favorite Votive Holders | The Naptime Chef

via Simon Pearce, $80 per pair

February 12, 2015

No-Bake Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie

No-Bake Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie | The Naptime Chef

This decadent treat is my gift to you this Valentine’s Day week. I know, we’ve talked about a few sweet things lately but this baby is the ultimate. It is so easy. Really, truly easy. And it is unbelievably delicious. It features a thick spread of salted caramel which is definitely a trendy flavor right now. The caramel is cradled in a simple chocolate cookie crust and topped with a decadent, and easy, ganache.

February 11, 2015

Break Out of the Winter Cooking Rut with Blue Apron + Free Meals!

Blue Apron Meals & Special Pricing | The Naptime Chef

Last week was the perfect time to receive my latest box from Blue Apron. As you might remember, I get a fun box of meals from them every so often. It is a great way to jolt me out of my cooking comfort zone and get the family excited for new foods. The box comes packed with farm-fresh ingredients for three delicious family meals measured out and ready to be cooked. Not only are the recipes they send inventive and interesting, it also means no trip to the grocery store and no throwing out unused food. Perfect!

Since we like to change up our diets I always get one poultry meal, one seafood meal, and one vegetarian dish. Last week two of the three dishes had a wonderful Asian flair which we enjoyed since I rarely cook Asian-style family meals, though we love the cuisine. The third was a delicious chicken dish featuring a kumquat and cracked wheat salad. I’ll admit, I think kumquats are pretty in the store but I rarely buy them. Now I have an idea of what to do with them and I think I might pick some up.

Blue Apron Meals & Special Pricing | The Naptime Chef

All in all this box was the perfect thing to get me back on track with trying new recipes and cooking meals full of fresh produce.  Though find it harder to cook with loads of fresh vegetables this time of year there is really no reason why I should. I think it is just because I miss visiting the farm stand so much.

If you feel like you are ready be plucked out of a cooking rut, or you just want to try a week of new, inspiring meals you really should give Blue Apron a try. There are lots of people I know who love them! In fact, right now Blue Apron is giving Naptime Chef readers a special incentive. The first 50 readers to sign up here get 2 meals FREE!! If you get hooked on Blue Apron you can continue ordering from them and cancel or skip a week at any time at no cost. Oh, and the shipping is always free. Hard to argue with that! So, what are you waiting for? Treat you and your family to a mid-winter change and have some fun!

Blue Apron Meals & Special Pricing 2| The Naptime Chef

(Disclosure: I was sent the meals from Blue Apron to try. The photographs and opinions are wholly my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible.)

February 10, 2015

Sunday Eggs & A Big Zwilling Cookware Giveaway!

11-piece Zwilling Cookware Giveaway | The Naptime Chef

So, this winter we developed a weekend brunch routine. Every Sunday morning for the past few weeks I’ve been whipping up fried eggs and bacon, along with English muffins, tea, and juice for the whole family. There is pretty much nothing better than starting off the day with a hot meal before heading outside to play in the snow. (And yes, for the non-egg eater in my house there are pancakes, too!)

11-piece Zwilling Cookware Giveaway | The Naptime Chef

Recently my friends at Zwilling J.A. Henckels sent me these beautiful non-stick pans and they’ve made this egg-n-bacon routine easier than ever. Everything I make on them glides right off the pan and onto the plate perfectly cooked with nary a crumb left behind to burn. I love it! Since they conduct the heat so evenly I don’t have to thrash the pan around the stovetop to keep the egg yolks from setting too soon in hot spots, or worry about the bacon burning. Those days are behind me now!

11 Piece Zwilling Cookware Giveaway