Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Surprise Apple Loaf | The Naptime Chef

Surprise-Inside Streusel Apple Loaf

There is no limit to the amount of apples I want to cook/eat/bake this time of year. We’ve even been working double-time to acquire them. I’ve been buying them up at the grocery store and farmer’s market, and picking them straight from the source. I would worry that we are drowning in apples if I didn’t have some many things to make with them. So far I’ve revisited a few old favorites and made this new one. It is a simple apple loaf studded with a brown sugar streusel. But instead of being flavored with chopped apples throughout, the apples are spread in one even layer near the top of the loaf. So when you cut into it and find the apple layer it is like a sweet little surprise inside.

Egg Burrito in a Rice Cooker

Rice Cooker Breakfast Burritos + Panasonic Rice Cooker Giveaway

One of the few kitchen appliances I’ve never purchased is a rice cooker. I am pretty good at cooking rice on the stovetop so it never seemed crucial to have one. Would we eat more rice if I had one at the ready all the time? Probably. So when Panasonic asked me to test out a SR-DF101 rice cooker and participate in their #RiseandShine Better Breakfast Month I figured it was a good idea. It was the perfect opportunity to finally test this appliance everyone loves and see just how versatile it is.

Arla Back to School Sweeptakes

Win Naturally Delicious Arla Dofino Cheese for a Semester!

This year I started a fantastic partnership with Arla Dofino because I love their cheeses. They are naturally delicious and align perfectly with my mission of incorporating good food into my family’s life every single day. Back-to-school is one of the busiest times of year and Arla Dofino totally gets that. To make naturally delicious meal planning a part of your new routine and add any wholesome Arla Dofino cheeses to your shopping list and cook up some great food. Better yet, enter this sweepstakes for the chance to take home a semester’s worth of Arla Dofino cheeses – perfect for snacking or packing into school lunches! SIGN UP HERE

Green Bean Quinoa Salad

Green Bean & Radish Quinoa Salad

I am still getting used to quinoa. It is a not a food I grew up eating. In fact, I didn’t really try it until maybe five years ago. It wasn’t because I was purposely trying to avoid it, it was just so off the beaten path. And, to be honest, I didn’t think I’d have time to master it given that I was still on baby #1 and trying to get quick meals on table. Fast forward a few years and now I am braver and more intrigued. I like quinoa. It serves a great backdrop to lots of flavorful healthy foods and can be used in so many dishes. I still, however, look for recipes using quinoa for ideas on what to make. I am not a pro at whipping up amazing quinoa salads with no guidance whatsoever. So when I saw this recipe on Megan’s website I knew I had to try it. It was full of flavor and green vegetables and perfect for getting on the table in a jiffy.

Easy Pizza Pockets

Naturally Delicious Back-to-School Pizza Pockets

Not only does back-to-school season necessitate lots of new lunchbox packing ideas, it also calls for easy, family-pleasing weeknight meal recipes. My family loves pizza in all shapes and sizes, so we took our love for pizza one step further this fall with these cool pizza pockets. I use fresh store-bought pizza dough from our local pizza parlor, lots of naturally delicious Arla Dofino cheese, pizza sauce and any other toppings we want to try.

Easy Vanilla Tapioca Pudding

Easy Vanilla Tapioca Pudding

I am busy stocking up the fridge with goodies for the lunchbox and yesterday I made one of my daughter’s new favorite things: tapioca pudding. It is a dessert we stumbled on by accident. She tried it at a friends house and adored it. She instantly feel for the rich vanilla flavor and interesting texture. In fact, initially she thought it was some kind of warmish ice cream until I explained it was pudding. Perfect for the lunchbox and easy to make I was eager to recreate it at home. It is ideal for tucking into a lunchbox for a sweet and hearty snack.

Gouda Skillet Pasta

Back to School Weeknight Meal: Skillet Penne with Tomatoes & Gouda

I can hardly believe I am saying this, but it is time to think about easy weeknight dinners for school nights. It doesn’t seem possible that the start of school is barely two weeks away! This is a good time of year to review some of your favorite family dinners and find a bunch of new recipes to try. Adding new recipes to the repertoire keeps everyone at the dinner table interested in trying new foods, while weaving in family favorites lends element of comfort to your routine. To help you get started, here is a great new recipe we love that uses naturally delicious Arla Dofino Gouda cheese. It is a fun twist on everyday macaroni and cheese and comes together with ease on a weeknight.

Grilled Garlicky Hasselback Potatoes

Grilled Garlicky Hasselback Potatoes

I’ll admit, I first learned of hasselback potatoes from a Pinterest picture. While I rarely let Pinterest dictate my menu, I do like turning to it for ideas from time to time. I am accustomed to grilling vegetables but I have never grilled a potato whole and was so intrigued by the idea. Frankly, it never occurred to me to try it even though I am always popping potatoes into the oven to accompany meatloaf in the winter. The cool thing about this recipe is that not only it is a snap, but it a really stunner presentation-wise. It always draws a little extra attention because it is just so fun to look at.

Peach Tomato & Burrata Salad

Peach Tomato & Burrata Salad

This is a super simple recipe that we enjoyed on Martha’s Vineyard over vacation. I love it because it reminded me of my favorite Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad recipe. It has the same components of the sweet fruits (peach and tomato), warm herbs, and tangy cheese. The burrata is a new one to me as a salad cheese. I usually lean toward goat, feta, or blue, but the silky burrata worked beautifully. The milky mozzarella oozed into the crevices of the chopped tomatoes and enveloped the peaches. There was just a little bit of it in each bite and the trifecta of flavors was summer perfection.

Arla Infographic Final

Naturally Delicious Cheese Ideas with Arla Dofino

Earlier this summer I shared some interesting information about naturally made versus processed cheese. The short story is that we all want to be eating and serving naturally delicious cheeses like Arla Dofino. They are the easy healthy choice for our families. To give you more information Arla Dofino cheeses check out this awesome infographic above. It features their five main varieties of cheeses and ways you and healthily incorporate them into your everyday diet. Which one is your favorite?

Smoked Ham & Havarti Tart

Summer Dinner: Havarti & Ham Tart

Sometimes I like a new recipe so much that I make it a little too frequently. That is what happened with this simple ham and cheese tart. The first try was such a resounding success that it quickly took center stage in my weekly dinner repertoire. I admit it is a bit decadent for an everyday dinner. But, we are all sold on it, so I’ll keep making it until something new comes into play. The genius of this dish is in the simplicity of the ingredients: quality Dijon mustard, creamy Arla Dofino Havarti cheese, thin slices of smoked ham, all insulated by buttery puff pastry.

Real Deal Strawberry Ice Cream

Real Deal Strawberry Ice Cream

I’ll admit, the only time I eat strawberry ice cream is in the summer. I like it to have loads of real fresh fruit, and that means using strawberries that are truly fresh and red to the core. I’ve tried many great ice cream recipes in the past but this one really takes the cake when it comes to strawberry ice cream. It is sweet, but not too heavy, with loads of fresh strawberry flavor. It doesn’t get too hard when it freezes which makes it perfect for scooping into a circle on top of cones, or add on top of a cake or pie. Best of all, it is easy to make! I am so glad my friend Megan featured it – she is, as we all know, a culinary ice cream genius. Haha! Here’s how you can make it too: