Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Skillet Chicken Cacciatore | The Naptime Chef

Skillet Chicken Cacciatore

We are finally in back-to-school mode with both kids. It was a great summer but my little guy wore me right out and I am very happy to be back into the regular routine. This routine, of course, includes weeknight cooking. Depending on our daily schedule I will sometimes prep food while they are at school. If I don’t have time to do that I’ll review some of my oldies but goodies, or the ingredients in our fridge, to come up with a quick and easy dinner recipe. Recently I made this easy skillet chicken cacciatore because I had the last couple of peppers from our garden in the crisper and a fresh packet of chicken to be eaten.

Peach Caprese Salad | The Naptime Chef

Late Summer Peach Caprese Salad

Last weekend we were supposed to endure the rains of Hurricane Hermine and they never came. It has been a long, hot summer in Connecticut and our garden so desperately needed the rain and cooler temperatures so I was excited. I am glad we did not have to endure any crazy hurricane weather like our neighbors to the south, but I honestly didn’t mind the idea of part of our long weekend being rained in. Naturally we had some party plans and I was all for preparing food to take to friend’s homes, including this peach caprese salad which is just fine, rain or shine.

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Baked Peach Oatmeal with Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Let’s talk whole grains. Last month I spent 48 hours in Winnipeg, Canada with General Mills Cereal learning all about oats. I learned about everything from how grain is grown and harvested, what makes it “whole”, and why it is so important for your diet. I was shocked (shocked!) to learn that 95% of Americans don’t get enough whole grains in their diet. How did I miss such a statistic? Consuming whole grains isn’t too hard, they are found in cereals, breads, and more. Yet, it seems that we never get enough.

Any Berry Summer Muffins | The Naptime Chef

One-Bowl Any Berry Muffins

It’s the season of many, many fresh berries. While we endeavor to eat them all up before the get too soft, that doesn’t always happen. My solution? Bake. These one-bowl any berry muffins are the perfect treats to make with kids when you have that last handful of berries that you don’t want to freeze, but need to be eaten. You know they are so fresh that it would be a shame for them to go to waste!

Summery Cucumber Soup

Summery Cucumber Soup

My mother made this amazing cucumber soup last week. It was perfect timing since we were in the midst of a terrible heatwave and only wanted light, cooling foods. She merged a few recipes to make her own and it was nothing short of delicious. I ate it as is for lunch, pouring it into a cup straight from the fridge. For dinner I paired it with some cheese and crackers to make it a little more substantial, but still very easy. Wherever you are I hope you aren’t too hot. And if you are, make this soup!

Lemony Zucchini Pasta | The Naptime Chef

Lemony Zucchini Pasta

We are back from vacation and I have to share one of my favorite new summer pasta dishes right away. It is a riff on this one from the New York Times and tastes like a lemony summer dream. It is also perfect for right now when back yard zucchini production is peaking. There is suddenly no limit to the amount of fresh zucchini available and I try to incorporate into everything from savory to sweet. This dish comes together in a jiffy and will please the whole family. Enjoy!

Tomato Tart | The Naptime Chef

Savory Tomato Tart

Tomato season is upon us and I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up my new favorite tomato recipe. It is from one of the best ever French cookbooks, A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorrison and is, quite literally, as easy as pie. A savory pie. Made with tomatoes. That is perfect to serve for dinner, or lunch, or breakfast with a fried egg on top!

Burgers & Fries 2 Ways

Burgers & Fries 2 Ways

Burgers and fries are the ultimate summer meal for us. I know it isn’t totally original to say, but it is true. We just love a good cheeseburger like it is nobody’s business. We also adore a crispy flavorful French fry. And, while I can make them from scratch, I often don’t want to because […]

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Can-It-Forward Day 2016 + Giveaway

One of my favorite food events of summer is Can-it-Forward day. I’ve had the pleasure of celebrating it for the past four years, each time showcasing some new cool Ball jars. This year their new jar is a gorgeous wide mouth jar in a beautiful shade of turquoise blue. They’d be perfect for pickles or beets or tomatoes!

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream | The Naptime Chef

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

There is something about the strawberry rhubarb flavor combination that screams summer to me. The tart rhubarb and extra sweet strawberries compliment each other so perfectly. One can easily tell that the sweet flavor isn’t from granulated sugar, it is a natural sweetness that can only be produced by warm fruit that has enjoyed a long spring growing in the sunshine.

Apple Bread

The Best Summer Homework with Box Tops

Sponsored by General Mills Cereals Since my children are in nursery school and elementary school we are going to be using a school calendar for many more years to come. For this reason, and for other reasons that pertain mostly to my own sanity, there are parts of our school routine we stick with year […]

Strawberry Pistachio Pavlova | The Naptime Chef

Strawberry Pistachio Pavlova

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.