Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

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:

Ice Cream Cake in a Loaf Pan | Naptime Chef

The Easiest Ice Cream Cake Hack in a Loaf Pan

Since we are talking about awesome frozen desserts this week I had to include this post for making ice cream cake in a loaf pan. Seriously, you guys, this is soooo easy. Plus, it is super fun for kids. Here is how you make it!

Peanut Butter Noodles with Chicken

Phoebe’s Peanut Butter Soba Noodles with Chicken

The best and worst think about the food writing world is staring at amazing recipes and food all day. My friends and favorite writers are constantly thinking up new and amazing dishes. I try to Pin them all with the hopes of making them someday but there is never enough time! Last week I finally tasked myself with making Phoebe’s amazing peanut sauce. It has always been high on my to-do list and I was totally craving an Asian-inspired noodle dish so it was finally the perfect time to give it a whirl.

Lemon Pepper Cod

Weeknight Lemon Pepper Cod

Even though school is almost over you still need easy recipes for dinners that can be in the oven then on the table in under half an hour. Not to mention, you need recipes that don’t require excessive heat or stewing since it is simply too hot to do so! One of our latest easy favorites is a quick baked cod. Any white fish will do, really, it is all about the seasonings in the end.

Chicken Kebab

Grill it Up! Chicken Kebab 101

I am not a grilling maniac, but I like to fire up the coals and cook on them while the weather is good. I have a roster of tried-and-true grilling recipes I return to year after year the second the thermometer takes a turn for the better. One of them in chicken kebabs. There is no hard and fast way to make a chicken kebab. In fact, I’d say I barely use a recipe. Instead I use this simple formula and they turn out great every time!:

Rhubarb Buckle

Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumb

Yup, here I am to beat you over the head with a few new rhubarb recipes this spring. You didn’t think I’d let the whole season pass us by without at least one or two new ones, did you? Silly people. It is my Favorite with a capital “F”! I even planted two rhubarb roots in my new garden with the hopes I’ll be harvesting my own homegrown rhubarb pretty soon. Until then, there is still plenty at the market. This recipes fits neatly into the category of recipes you’d make for Memorial Day or to serve to summer house guests. Or, if you are like me, you will just make it for no special reason whatsoever. Anything with rhubarb needs to be made and enjoyed any/every day of the week. Right? Right.

enchiladas

Sarah’s Lightened Up Enchiladas

I am a little sad these days because my dear neighbor, Sarah, has moved to Pennsylvania! {Sniff!} The community we live in is very transient, but it always hard to say good-bye to a friend, especially since we just settled into a new house for a while. One of my favorite things about our old neighbors is that we used to lend a hand to each other whenever we could. For example, when we moved last fall Sarah made dinner for us for our first night in our new house. It was such a thoughtful gesture. Instead of blah take-out, we got a home cooked meal of enchiladas, Mexican rice, and salad. Talk about the epitome of a good friend.

Macarons

Key Lime & Orange Blossom Macarons for the Macaron Challenge!

Last month I received a wonderful email from Patty at Sucre, the New Orleans bakery known for their outstanding macarons. They invited me, along with 11 other bloggers, to participate in a macaron baking challenge. All month long a group of us will be sharing our own riff on Sucre’s top secret macaron recipe on our blogs and everyone can vote on their favorites. The top three finalists will then have their recipe made by Chef Tariq and a winner will be chosen. While I don’t typically participate in contests like this I couldn’t resist this one. I adore baking and have always wanted to improve my macaron making skills so I immediately accepted the challenge.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

My family has been all about Easter this week. We’ve been very busy dyeing our eggs and decorating the table for Sunday. We’ve also been planning our annual Easter egg hunt and planting fresh flowers on the front porch. Easter has always been a happy time for me and is full of so many good memories. This year in particular I’ve been thinking of our old neighbors who recently moved away, the first year we held an Easter egg hunt for our daughter in our New York apartment, and my grandmother’s carrot cake.

Cod Salad

Tuscan Herb Cod with Tomatoes & Arugula

To wrap up my amazing delicious month of everyday seafood meals with Sea Cuisine I made a delicious, and very easy, dish of Tuscan Herb Cod with Tomatoes & Arugula. The beauty of this meal is that the lengthy preparation is already done for you. The cod is perfectly seasoned with Italian flavors and is ready to be baked to perfection. To make mine into a healthy meal I added a side of baby arugula with halved tomatoes and a simple vinaigrette.

Chicken Cacciatorie

The Chicken Cacciatore Rice Bowl

Sometimes the trick to coming up with new dinner ideas is to take an old favorite and give it a new twist. It isn’t about reinventing the wheel entirely. It is about breathing new life into the tried and true and ending up with something completely new. This is how I came up with this rice bowl idea using RagúRagú Old World Style Traditional Sauce. I wanted to make my favorite cacciatore from a new angle. So, I decided to serve it over brown rice instead of pasta and, voila, a new meal was born.