Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Prosecco

Lovely Bubbles for Mother’s Day (or Anytime!)

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to start stocking up on her (your) favorites. Prosecco is one of my favorite drinks this time of year. Each bubbly sip is light and refreshing, and it pairs so well with all kinds of foods. It is reminiscent of champagne, but with a slightly sweeter flavor. Prosecco comes from a specific region on northern Italy, similar to the way Champagne comes from Champagne, France. It is known for being less expensive than Champagne since it is cheaper to produce, and is an excellent base for popular cocktails like Bellini’s and spritzers.

Quick Lemony Spring Cake

Quick Lemony Cake for Spring

I almost called this an Easter cake but it really is so much more versatile than that. It is bright and cheery and perfect for spring. Yes, my children decorated it for Easter, but it honestly could be served nearly any time of year. The best part is that the batter comes together in one bowl, which makes it convenient for anyone short on time or interest in doing dishes. I also was able to enlist the help of my 4 year old in making it to begin with – a fun project for both of us! Here is the recipe if you need a fun, quick recipe for this spring and summer. Enjoy!

Banana Crumb Muffins | The Naptime Chef

Easy Banana Crumb Muffins

Sometimes I buy bananas and they last for a week on the counter and the kids eat them all time. Other times they turn brown within 24 hours of coming home from the store! It’s so frustrating, but that just gives me another excuse to bake. In an attempt to break away from our favorite banana bread recipe I made this easy banana crumb muffins with our latest round of brown bananas.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake | The Naptime Chef

Toasted Brown Sugar Pound Cake

When I get into a cooking rut the first thing I do is turn to recipes and books I love. Sometimes I just spend a week or so revisiting old recipes. Other times I decide to crack open favorite books and challenge myself to try something new. It can be anything from a full dinner recipe, to a quick baked treat, to a cocktail. There is no limit to what I’ll try and having someone else already have written the recipe for me a huge help. Not to mention, reading the recipes of others is a terrific learning opportunity. Hardly a recipe goes by when I don’t learn a new technique or flavor pairing.

Salted Butter Cookie Chocolate Truffles

Today I am catching up from two days of work on a super exciting new project I can’t wait to reveal. In the mean time, I have to post about this super recipe I found on My Little Paris when it landed in my inbox last week. It is a recipe from Poilane, one of the many amazing places we visited when we traveled to Paris a few springs ago. It is the best kind of sweet in that it is delicious and it barely takes any effort.

Angel Hair with Peas & Pancetta

Angel Hair with Peas & Pancetta

Pasta is my comfort food and there is no limit to the number of pasta dishes I’ll make. I wish I could make it every night, but in the name of excess that is definitely NOT a good idea. When I do make it I try to bulk it up with some vegetables and protein. This helps make the dish filling and nutritious, not just a giant bowl of carbohydrates.

Low-Fat Strawberry Yogurt Muffins

The beauty of muffins is their portability. They pack well in lunchboxes, purses, and just about anywhere they need to fit. I’ve even started taking them to the ski mountain to enjoy as a quick snack when we need to warm up in the lodge. There is no end to their versatility! The key to enjoying muffins frequently, however, is keeping them on the lighter side. I like them to be full of flavor, but I really don’t like them when they are sweet like cake.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup | The Naptime Chef

Easy Slow-Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup

This is the season I like to take it slow. Life doesn’t slow down, but the cooking does. Instead of chopping loads of fresh vegetables from the local market I use my favorite frozen ones and add them to the slow-cooker. It is an easy approach to the delicious soups and stews to keep us warm during the busy, cold days of January.

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie | The Naptime Chef

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie for the New Year

Eating lighter doesn’t have to be miserable. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can have your cake and it too! Of course, I don’t mean literally, but eating better doesn’t mean you have to give up every single thing you love like chocolate and ice cream. My recent favorite chocolate treat that manages to match my resolutions goal, yet still satisfy my cravings, is this raw cacao smoothie. It is filled with chocolate raspberry flavor, a snap to make, and perfect for everyday sipping.

Zucchini Bread Trifle | The Naptime Chef

Zucchini Bread Trifle

The January blahs are setting in and I am doing everything I can to keep my kitchen fresh and exciting. Sometimes a little change and break us all out of the rut, it doesn’t have to be anything momentous. Just enough to make us look as something with fresh eyes. Over Christmas vacation my mother gave me some delicious chocolate zucchini bread from a friend. My kids enjoyed a few slices but then grew a little bored with it.

Panasonic CIO | The Naptime Chef

Roast Chicken Thighs & Broccolini in 23 Minutes

January is the season of resolutions and I am no different. It’s time to cut back on the sugar and pasta and focus on the healthy, lighter fare. Last fall I went to Napa Valley to attend the media reveal of the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven. It was a wonderful trip and I really enjoyed learning more about oven and its many features. I’ve been using it a lot since I received mine and it has truly made my cooking life easier than ever. I can roast, bake, and reheat in a fraction of the time I can do any of those things in my regular oven!

Loaded Ham & Veggie Strata | The Naptime Chef

Make Ahead Loaded Ham & Veggie Strata

The strata, a baked egg casserole filled with bread and scrumptious vegetable and meat fillings of your choice, is a time-honored make-ahead holiday breakfast in our house. It is easy on the cook (me) and everyone gobbles it right up. Who doesn’t like a recipe that can easily be made in advance and baked to perfection on demand? It is the stuff that holiday cooking dreams are made of.