Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Chocolate Tart | The Naptime Chef

Mimi’s Chocolate Almond Tart

Today I have to share a little chocolate tart I made last month. It was simple, yet sophisticated; rich, but not overwhelming. I loved making it because it wasn’t complicated and had a very grown-up appeal. It a chocolate tart with an almond crust, topped with mascarpone whipped cream and a rich caramel sauce. Simple? Yes. Decadent? You bet. This little gem would be perfect for a chocolate holiday dessert, or at just about any dinner party you throw this winter. The best part is that the recipe isn’t mine, it was already perfectly written out by Mimi Thorisson. I considered a few amendments but I’m glad I didn’t use them because I love the recipe exactly as it is written. You know what they say about messing with perfection.

Buttery Pumpkin Danish | The Naptime Chef

Buttery Pumpkin Danish

This fall I’ve been working on getting more comfortable with yeasted doughs on working on recipes for sweet rolls and bakery-style sweet breads. It has taken a bit of experimenting but I am finally ready to share a favorite, this braided buttery pumpkin danish. It’s not perfectly symmetrical or fit for display at a fancy bakery, but I promise you it tastes amazing.

Green Beans & Bacon Casserole | The Naptime Chef

Easy Green Beans & Bacon Casserole

Three generations at our Thanksgiving table can be tricky. My parents have had several decades to establish their Thanksgiving eating habits and have very clear opinions of what they’d like on the table. My husband, my brother, and I sit in the middle, having a few things we love to eat but don’t get every single year. My children are the youngest, and being that they are somewhat picky I often make a few things just for them.

Carrot Blueberry Bundt Cake | The Naptime Chef

Carrot Blueberry Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

It took a few tries for carrot cake to become one of our favorites. I initially served my family the classic version and after the very first bite my children insisted I omit the raisins and nuts the next time. The second time around was better, but was deemed “boring.” Then, after they developed a sudden, and unexpected, obsession with blueberry pancakes I was asked to add berries to their cake to liven it up a little. Finally, with a few adjustments made to the frosting technique, we were set.

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!