Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom & Barley Soup

My mother made these recipe when we were visiting Cooperstown in October. It was so warm and hearty I couldn’t wait to share it with you. It isn’t an original of mine, my mom mined it from the depths of Google and gave it her own tweaks. She has such a well-trained eye for good recipes! I am always looking for new ways to make mushroom soup. My old favorite is delish, but we all need change now and then. I promise, you’ll love the smooth silky flavor with the undertones of nuttiness from the barley. It is easy to whip up during naptime and put away in the fridge (or freezer) for later. Stay warm!

Pita Chip Clusters

Salted Caramel Pita Chip Clusters

Where there are families, there is snack food. No two ways about it. I’ve long advocated for generally healthy eating habits in our home and that includes an assortment of store-bought products we love. Some things are just better purchased than made at home! One of the things I buy are Stacy’s Pita Chips. They are made in small batches by hand and I never worry about giving them to my kids. We eat them plain or with hummus, or sometimes even with a caramel dip for dessert. To spice things up this holiday season my friends at Stacy’s came out with a delicious limited edition flavor. Salted Caramel Pita Chips! Seriously, they are as amazing as they sound.

Dilly BLAT National Sandwich Day

The Dilly BLAT with Fried Egg for National Sandwich Day

Sandwiches are my go-to lunch and, sometimes, my go-to dinner. They are perfect in so many ways because you can layer in all sorts of delicious ingredients and not have to worry about turning on the oven. In honor of National Sandwich Day today I am thrilled to be sharing one of my all-time sandwiches. It is my version of the basic BLT, but with a tasty twist including a fried egg and creamy Arla Dofino Dill Havarti.

Pumpkin Loaf

Halloween “Witches” Marble Cake

As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t go overboard with Halloween food. Yes, I go crazy with pumpkin flavored things, but that extends throughout the fall well past Halloween. Anyway, this year my daughter and I had a blast with all of our favorite Halloween crafts. When it was time to bake we decided on a simple orange and brown swirl cake which we called “Witches Cake.” The idea came from the thin chocolate lines which reminded us of creepy trees, and the dark chocolate glaze flecked with gold.

Ham and Havarti Waffle Sandwich

The Havarti & Ham Waffle Sandwich

I’ve noticed a waffle trend around the web recently and I am enthusiastically jumping on board. We love using our waffle maker and the idea of using it to make savory toasted sandwiches is the coolest thing ever. Sure, we make Paninis at home, too, but the waffle sandwich is just so interestingly savory with a touch of sweet. To get use to the process, we made our first batch with slices of Arla Dofino Creamy Havarti and regular smoked deli ham.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup & The 52 New Foods Challenge {Giveaway}

A couple of years ago I shared a nice chat I had with Jennifer Tyler Lee regarding her genius kids toy, Crunch-a-Color. Since then Jennifer has written a new cookbook and it is being released this season. It is called The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, and it keeps with her theme of finding great ways to get your kids to try new, healthy foods. Each week she encourages kids to pick a new food to try and provides some great family-friendly ways to prepare it.

OXO Cookie Press

Fall Spritzer Cookies + OXO Cookie Press Giveaway!

I am so happy that I finally have a reason to make spritzer cookies year-round. I am not sure why, but to me they’ve always been exclusively for my Christmas cookie platter. All the disks I have are in Christmas shapes so that is the only time I’ve ever made them. However, now OXO has gone and improved upon the everyday cookie press, as only they can, and they’ve made a whole suite of disks with fall shapes. Triumph! Spritzer cookies for every season!

Ore-Ida Garlic Parmesan Fries

Garlic Parmesan Fries with Ease

Looking for new ways to enjoy old favorites is an ongoing challenge for me. Sometimes it really isn’t about the food, but the way it is presented. This is true for my family for everything from vegetables to pasta to even your basic French fry. I rarely fry at home so when I make them I often turn to a simple bag of frozen ones. With minimal ingredients they are just as good as fresh ones I’d make at home, plus, they can be served so many different ways.

Harvest Salad with Overlay

Pear, Pecan & Gouda Harvest Salad

Fall salads are my favorite because I can load them up with strong flavors to match our favorite roast chicken or soups. To give mine a little kick, I use slices of fresh pear, thin slices of red onion, chunks of Arla Dofino Gouda, sweet caramelized pecans and a mix of dark green lettuces and spinach. I toss it all with a homemade vinaigrette and serve it up in big heaping bowlfuls. To show you just how easy it is to prepare this gorgeous salad I’ve prepared a little video for you!

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