Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce

It is well-known in grade school land that October is the month of teacher conferences and half-day dismissals which is means that carefully laid routine of September is basically thrown out the window for a couple of weeks. It is an incredible pain in the a** for busy parents and the best way to deal with the food aspect of it, at least in my opinion, is with the slow-cooker. Prep food early in the day, let it cook while you scurry around to early pick-ups and coordinate playdates, and then serve dinner once everyone is finally able to wind down.

Chewy Oatmeal Almond Cookies | The Naptime Chef

Chewy Cranberry Oatmeal Almond Cookies

Cool fall days call for warm, chewy cookies. As the temperatures dip I find it easier to turn on the oven and let the kitchen warm up with it. These chewy cranberry oatmeal almond cookies are a new recipe I found in a terrific new cookbook, Scandinavian Gatherings: From Afternoon Fika to Midsummer Feast: 70 Simple Recipes & Crafts for Everyday Celebrations. I am going to showcase the book next week but this recipe simply can’t wait.

Eggs in Tomatoes with Zoodles | The Naptime Chef

Egg in Tomatoes with Zoodles

We are back in the weeknight swing and I’m working on some new dinner recipes to add to my current repertoire. Over the summer we got into two dishes: zoodles, and shakshuka. Both are simple to make and taste delicious. Up until now I’ve been serving them separately, but this week I decided to combine them into one easy dish. My plan was to bake the eggs in the tomatoes and serve them over zoodles for an easy, healthy dinner.

5 Affordable Weeknight Meals with Whole Foods Market | The Naptime Chef

Steak with Blistered Tomatoes & Blue Cheese

This week I am participating in 5 Affordable Weeknight Dinners from Whole Foods Market with my friends at Whole Foods Market. We were asked to come up with five delicious family meals that we can make with one bag of groceries using Whole Foods’ super fresh ingredients .

Yogurt & Fruit Sundaes | The Naptime Chef

Yogurt & Fruit “Sundaes” for the Lunchbox

I am so thrilled to announce that this year I’ll be working with Cascadian Farm to produce exciting content on The Naptime Chef and for their website featuring their amazing selection of frozen fruit and vegetables. I’ve been a longtime fan of their frozen produce and frequently use it in my cooking working together is a natural fit. There is so much wonderful family-friendly fare that can be made with frozen produce, let’s dive in together!

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.

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!

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!

3 Lavender Drinks for Summer

Earlier this summer I got a beautiful care package from one of my favorite food companies, Sonoma Syrup Co. I adore their natural line of extracts, simple syrups, and more. Knowing my love of floral flavors one of the things they sent me this gorgeous Lavender Simple Syrup. It can be used for all sorts of things including flavoring ice cream, infusing strawberry soup, and stirring into yogurt. This week I decided to make some beverage with it and here were our favorites: