Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking
The funny thing about baby on board is that I’ve eliminated snacking in favor of bigger meals. When I am not pregnant I usually am content nibbling on some baked oatmeal for breakfast, having a poached egg on pesto cheese toast for lunch, and a container of Greek yogurt between meals. However, when I am pregnant this is simply not enough. For lunches I’ve been making two soft boiled eggs and eating them with whole wheat toast and just last week I made this awesome caramelized onion grilled cheese.
I love making big family breakfasts on the weekend. I find it so relaxing to wake up on Saturday morning with nothing particularly urgent to do except making something warm and cozy to eat in our pajamas. With the weather in full fall mode the other morning I decided to make an awesome baked oatmeal to start off the weekend right. I had a fresh bag of McIntosh apples on hands, plenty of cinnamon, and everything I needed to whip up this easy breakfast.
Earlier this month on Facebook I asked what you would like to see on The Naptime Chef this fall. I am so grateful that all of you wrote back with the most terrific answers! There were requests for everything from more chicken and vegetable oriented slow-cooker meals, family breakfast food and kids snacks, to toddler finger food, entertaining ideas, and easy Mexican dishes. I promise I am going to do my best to fulfill all of your needs this fall and, given my current obsession with all things spicy, today I am starting with this simple family-friendly make-ahead meal.
Last weekend a huge front of thunderstorms rolled through and took away the god-awful tropical rain forest-like weather and replaced it with normal crisp, cool fall breezes. To mark this long-awaited turn of weather events I celebrated by making our first roast chicken of the season. For us roast chicken is the king of cold-weather cooking comfort food. I’d take it over mac and cheese any day, especially when paired with some crispy rosemary potatoes and marinated green beans.
We always seem to celebrate a new school year with eggplant. With the season in full swing I’ve been cooking up some of our favorites lately and dreaming of new eggplant recipes in my sleep. (Next on the list is Phoebe’s Grilled Eggplant Baba Ganoush – holy yum!) For this year’s first school night meal I decide to riff on a favorite baked eggplant and gnocchi recipe that is in my book, and is entirely make-ahead, and pair our favorite homemade ricotta gnocchi with a simple eggplant pan sauce.
It’s hard to believe it is back-to-school time again – but it is! I know a lot of people get stressed out thinking of back to school food ideas but I actually find it kind of fun. It gives me a reason to break out old favorites, bake a few loaves of zucchini applesauce bread, and get ready for cold-weather cooking. This year I’ve also been inspired to give my sweets a healthier twist. Part of this is due to me keeping the baby weight gain in check, but part of it is because I’ve come to really love the earthy sweetness of whole wheat flour.
Last week we went to visit Uncle Will, my little brother and home cook extraordinaire. As I pointed out in the acknowledgements of my book, Will and I frequently exchange recipes on a shared Google Doc sheet. He usually posts a few recipes a year for things he has mastered in his own kitchen and is ready for me to try. Recently this amazing recipe for breakfast wraps popped up. Knowing that we were visiting him in less than a month I wrote ahead to specifically request he make his delectable recipe for breakfast. I couldn’t wait to try them in his kitchen before attempting them in my own. Now that I’ve eaten them I can honestly said that one request was probably the most important thing I’ve ever asked of him. They are that good.
This summer I’ve been all about peaches. I’ve always loved peaches but this year they seem especially ripe and appealing. It also helps that my daughter has started enjoying them – the past few years she has had no interest in them whatsoever which was a bit of a bummer. When we were at the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market on Saturday I picked up a big bag in anticipation of a fresh peach almond galette and a savory peach salad with blue cheese and toasted almonds.
When it comes to lobster rolls I take them classic New England style. I usually only eat one or two a year and prefer – no, demand – that they are of the highest quality. The good news is that demanding high quality does not mean undertaking complicated cooking techniques. It just means buying the [...]
While we were in Cooperstown for the Fourth my daughter attended her first ever ice cream social. It is held every year at the Presbyterian Church and features a feast of grilled hot dogs, strawberry shortcake, and an ice cream sundae bar that stretches for miles. It just about blew her kiddie mind. She had a tough time choosing her ice cream but she landed on strawberry shortcake with a side of butter pecan ice cream. Random, for sure, but she loved every last morsel.
I am so grateful to all of my friends for their help during the book tour. They’ve been nothing short of amazing, always pitching in watch my daughter at odd times whenever a last minute radio spot or television appearance comes up, bringing home school forms when I am not there to pick them up. Two weeks ago I was on Martha Stewart Radio and my awesome neighbor, Sarah, took my daughter for the morning while I whizzed into the city for my early morning spot. (Turns out it wasn’t so early morning since my train broke down on the way in, but that is another story.) With all the help I’ve been getting I’ve been trying to thank everyone appropriately which, in my case, usually means baked goods.
To wrap up my week of canning I am showcasing a wonderful recipe I made from Marisa’s new book, Food in Jars. I’ve actually made several of her recipes (the Sweet Cherry Butter is amazing!) but I am only giving up one because I want you all to buy the book! I made this immediately following my strawberry picking expedition in early June. With the huge mound of strawberries on hand I had to think of quite a few things to make and this was near the top of my list.