Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Orange Marmalade

Simple Orange-Ginger Marmalade

I didn’t plan to write about this because I’ve been beating you over the head with so much citrus lately. But after I made this last week I was so smitten that I had to share it. It really is that good. The orange and ginger combination tasted like my favorite spiced winter cocktail. The scent almost reminded me of a pomander. I call this recipe “simple” because it is just that. I don’t use any complicated slicing and dicing techniques. In fact, I used mostly mineola oranges but threw in two naval oranges I had on hand to make the measurement a full eight cups. You could really use any kind of orange you want.

Citrus Marmalade Cake The Naptime Chef

Citrus Marmalade Loaf Cake

Given that I am still working my way through the incredibly generous citrus care package I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been making! My friend Barbara turned me on to this awesome marmalade cake recipe that was in the New York Times last month. It makes sense since she’s the one that got me on my marmalade making kick to begin with. Since I have plenty of Meyer lemon marmalade on hand, as well as a dozen or so oranges, I decided to combine the two to make my own citrusy confection.

Caramelized Shallot Soup

Caramelized Shallot Soup

Given that the our winter weather seems to have no end I am sneaking in one last great soup to cap off the season. This is a riff on my favorite caramelized onion soup. I make it with shallots, add a little season, and skip the cheese topping. I know, I know, it is sacrilege not to have the cheese topping so I’ll go ahead and say you can add it if you want. However, if you don’t, I don’t think you’ll really miss it. This is one of those soft, nourishing soups that is filling without being too heavy.

Spring Green Jars

3 Things to Make with New Green Ball Jars + Giveaway

It is time to think spring. I am ready to put this winter and all of the snow days and icicles behind me. Luckily, a pretty little package of Ball Heritage Collection Spring Jars arrived recently and put me right in the mood. The cheery green color of this vintage-style jars are perfect for spring. If I hadn’t been the mood for more marmalade I might have used them as flower vases for our dining room table and pretended it was summer!

Fig Prosciutto & Fig Panini

The Fig, Prosciutto & Brie Panini

To create a little excitement while we slog through the winter doldrums I like to change up our dinner routine. Any break from the norm on evenings when the sun has set by four o’clock is a good way to lift the spirits and keep a smile on our faces. This winter I’ve tried everything from breakfast for dinner, testing new cuisines (more on that soon!), and revisiting our beloved sandwich maker. We received our panini press as a wedding gift nearly a decade ago and it has held up like a champ. I use it all the time to make our favorite pressed sandwiches, grilled cheeses, and even grilled vegetables. Last week I dug it out of the basement for the first time since we moved to make some dinner sandwiches on a particularly cold evening.

Bourbon and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bourbon & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Over the years I’ve made endless (endless!) lists about my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. And, while I like making all of them, I am still searching for new ones. Last week I was inspired by an article on Food52 and wanted to recreate Phyllis’s recipe. However, I didn’t want to use walnuts since many of my daughter’s friends are allergic. I also had a different selection of chocolate on hand. And, I was jonesing to try my big new bottle of bourbon extract.

Lavender Orange Biscotti

Lavender Orange Biscotti from The Dollop Book of Frosting + Giveaway

I am always a sucker for a good baking book and this week I am excited to share a great one: The Dollop Book of Frosting: Sweet and Savory Icings, Spreads, Meringues, and Ganaches for Dessert and Beyond. At first I thought this would be just be a ho-hum baking book but it really is so much more. Not only are the recipes for spreads and baking goods amazing, they are all different from ones I currently have in my cookbook collection. There really is something for everyone in here, especially if you are looking to add something new to your everyday sweets repertoire. Today I am featuring a fun little chat I had with the author, Heather Saffer and am giving away a copy. I am also featuring one of my favorite recipes from the book!

Hazelnut & Cocoa Nib Granola | The Naptime Chef

Hazelnut & Cocoa Nib Granola with Whole Grain Mornings

Yesterday I interviewed my dear friend Megan Gordon about her new book, Whole Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons. It was so much fun to hear how the book developed and about the progress of her company, Marge Granola. Today I am sharing one of my favorite recipes from her new book as well as a little glimpse of my favorite things about the volume. Don’t forget I am giving away a copy of the book, just click here to enter!

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Barbara’s Gorgeous Meyer Lemon Marmalade

In the meant time, after I posted the picture I immediately got requests for the jam recipe and Barbara sent it along. Turns out it making it is a total snap! I shared the recipe with my mother and she agreed that is a good recipe – it is the same one she uses. You can easily make this with a hefty bag of Meyer lemons you pick up at the store this winter. In fact, do yourself a favor and double or triple the recipe. You can seal the jars and keep them to give out at Easter or next summer. Or, of course, you can always just send some to me.

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala with Parmesan

During my year of exploring the flavor trend of mushrooms with Sargento I’ve been trying to highlight the many ways mushrooms can be used in home cooking. So far I’ve turned up ways to incorporate them into so many sides dishes and main courses. This month I wanted to take mushrooms and turn them into a sauce. I love a good savory mushroom sauce for pasta and chicken so why not try my hand at it home. The twist? This time I added some Parmesan breadcrumbs to the chicken and gave it a quick broil at the end, turn this dish into an earthy, cheesy delight.

Fig Port Streusel Bars

Figgy Port Streusel Bars + The Cookie Rumble (with KitchenAid giveaway!)

It is not an exaggeration for me to say that Dorie Greenspan is my baking idol. And I am not saying that because I want to win any sort of contest. It is the honest to goodness truth that I love her writing and her work and deeply admire her dedication baking in the home kitchen. So, when I was invited to join in the Cookie Rumble with Dorie, Jacques Torres, and Fonseca BIN 71, I couldn’t say no! For my entry I am submitting these tasty salted butter blondies topped with figs poached in port and a brown sugar streusel.


4 Awesome Cheesy Weeknight Meals

After my trip to the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival I got thinking more about weeknight meals. I loved Sara Moulton’s and Richard Blais’ presentations, but they didn’t really feature a lot of cheese. However, the dishes they made could feature plenty of cheese. In my year of working with Sargento I have had a lot of fun documenting the popular food trends of food trucks and mushrooms but it really all comes back to the cheese. I am no stranger to cheesy weeknight meals and I wondered if I could take Sara’s and Richard’s dishes and make them a little cheesier, so to speak.