Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Cozy Fireplace Dinners with Ristorante Pizza

Cozy Fireplace Dinners with Ristorante Pizza

One of the things my husband and I most look forward to each fall is the first fire of the season. After a long, busy summer it is nice to get back into the routine of staying in and enjoying the warmth of our hearth. On school nights we are usually busy with activities until sundown so one of my favorite things to do is feed the kids and put them to bed on the earlier side. Then I light a fire, pour some wine, slip a pizza in the oven and hunker down for a cozy night in.

Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

Time to end the week on a sweet note. These soft gooey cookies are just the thing to kick off your fall baking fun. I made them last week when my daughter requested a change from everyday chocolate chip. The batter comes together in a snap and tastes even better if you are able to let it rest overnight before baking it. We used butterscotch chips because they are a recent favorite of ours. These are best enjoyed with a big glass of milk!

Tomato and Fennel Soup

Tomato & Fennel Soup

Fall is the start of soup season in our house. Out goes gazpacho and in comes cozy smooth soups full of texture in flavor. This is the season I also find myself ordering soup when I am at restaurants in lieu of a starter salad. I love how it warms me up and prepares my palate for an exciting meal.

Cheesy Beef Baked Ziti

Family Classic: Cheesy Beef Baked Ziti

Today I am stopping in with a classic, and super easy, casserole recipe for dinner tonight. This has become a staple in our house recently. Both my children eat it readily and it is a nice break from their favorite spaghetti and meatballs. I also find it a snap to pull together in the morning when both (!) my children are at school. I mix it all up and stick it in the fridge to bake that evening.

The Pasta Sauce Plan | The Naptime Chef

Back-to-School Pasta Dinners with Ragu

It is hard to believe that summer is almost over. This one felt particularly short for some reason. I am so grateful for all the fun we managed to squeeze into our 10 week break, but I wish we had a couple of more to look forward too before we get back in the school routine. However, since I do not decide the school calendar I have to face back-to-school organization and get to work whether I like it our not. Clothes, school supplies, sports equipment, and more all need to be acquired and organized. Summer clothes can be put away, hair needs to be trimmed, and the pantry needs to be stocked.

4 Ingredient Cheesey Herbed Biscuits | The Naptime Chef

4 Ingredient Cheesy Herbed Biscuits with King Arthur Flour + Giveaway!

Hot, buttery, flakey biscuits, saturated with a fresh pat of salty butter, are one of my most favorite things to eat. This is precisely the reason that I don’t make them too often. I could easily eat a whole batch myself and outgrow my pants in a flash while doing so. Instead, I do my best to practice restraint and only make them once in a while. And when I make them, I make them count.

Chocolate Custard Ice Cream

Chocolate Malt Frozen Custard

This summer has been a busy one and I haven’t been using the ice cream maker as much as I usually like to. However, last week I did manage to break it out once and whip up this delicious frozen custard to cope with a heat wave. My husband and I love classic malt flavor so I chose to make this because I knew it would be so appreciated while we sweat it out during the day.

Coffee Rubbed Steak | The Naptime Chef

Quick Coffee Rubbed Steak

Coffee Rubbed Steak | The Naptime Chef

Coffee rubbed steak has become a real favorite of ours this summer. I’ve been using the recipe from my latest cookbook, The Family Calendar Cookbook, and we’ve been loving it. It is simple and can be thrown together in minutes. We like the way the coffee and touch of sugar caramelize in the heat and create a crust around the steak. It keeps the meat moist and tender and gives it a subtly sweet flavor.

Oetker Ristorante Pizza | The Naptime Chef

Ristorante Pizza on the Grill for Date Night In

My husband and I love to go out to dinner, just the two of us, when time allows. Our weekdays are so busy and scattered it is rare that we have a lot of time together to chat and decompress. However, sometimes our usual date night agenda of dinner and a walk around town is thwarted by the lack of a babysitter or a sick child who needs our attention. On these nights we throw ourselves date night at home. We get the kids to sleep, fire up the grill, and have a date on the back porch.

Grilled Romaine Salad | The Naptime Chef

Grilled Romaine Salad with Roasted Garlic Ranch

It has been a big grilling summer around these parts. We’ve been firing up the coals nearly every night and eating outside as much as possible. It is so much easier now that the kids are older and can play on the swing set while we mill around the yard! Naturally I’ve seized this opportunity to work on a few new grilling recipes, including things like vegetables and desserts.

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza

Finding “Me Time” with Ristorante by Dr. Oetker

When my husband travels, sometimes I like to feed the kids their own dinner and wait to make my own until after they have gone to sleep. This may seem unusual at first, but it is actually a good way for me to get a little “me time” in at the end of the day. Now that spring is finally here it stays light late enough that I can enjoy a few slices of pizza and a glass of wine on the back porch.

Marbled Blondies | The Naptime Chef

Marbled Blondies for April Fools

It can be fun to play jokes with food if you are super clever. But I am not one of those people so I just give something a little twist and call it my own personal April Fools joke. For example, are these blondies or are they brownies? Or are they both? I called them marbled blondies because that is the easiest thing to say.