Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | The Naptime Chef

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting for a Party

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time will know that I am one for birthday cakes. I firmly believe dessert is always on the agenda when it is your special day! Just look back at my birthday celebrations each year and you’ll see I am not fibbing about this. Last week was my husband’s birthday so I, naturally, made a cake. His favorite cake of all time is yellow cake with chocolate frosting and I saw no reason to change his mind by presenting anything new.

Tea Time for Mom | The Naptime Chef

Meyer Lemon Coconut Loaf

This is a good one from my mother. She wrapped it up and sent it back to Connecticut with me that last time I was in Cooperstown. So many of my good recipes come from her! This isn’t a long post but I absolutely have to share this with you. It the best kind of loaf cake: soft and crumbly with a strong Meyer lemon flavor and a slightly crunchy, slightly sweet coconut topping. It is perfect with a cup of tea, sent to school in the lunchbox, or topped with whipped cream and eaten as dessert!

Salted Dark Chocolate Brownies | The Naptime Chef

Salted Dark Chocolate Chocolate Brownies

Casual desserts that can please both adults and children, and are easy to make, are harder to come by then you think. Ice cream sandwiches are great when it’s warm out, and most adults, and some children, love a good apple tart in the fall. But, really, when it comes one thing that please everyone year round the list is pretty short. One of my go-to’s in the this situation is a pan of brownies. Made from scratch with a generous dose of sea salt, and a hint of bourbon extract, they are perfect for just about everyone.

Baked Caprese Chicken | The Naptime Chef

Pantry Purge: Basil Polenta with Feta and Pine Nuts

Spring has sprung and I am still chugging away at cleaning out the pantry. It is has been slow going, yet effective. My shelves are less crowded and I’ve definitely saved money drawing on the dry goods instead of purchasing more. My friend Phoebe has been up to the same thing, cleaning out the pantry in light of a recent move, and today I am joining her in her Pantry Purge. A bunch of use are showing what we are making from our pantry wares in order to inspire others and encourage the spring cleaning mood!

Baked Caprese Chicken | The Naptime Chef

Baked Caprese Pesto Chicken

I’ve been working on my baked chicken recipes since it seems that there are a never enough and, generally, my children like them. Since I am about the plant our new summer herb pot I decided it was time to use up the last of my frozen pesto cubes from last year and make this baked caprese pesto chicken. I know my basil will soon be plentiful again and I plan to make lots of fresh pesto as soon as I have enough!

Dark Chocolate Salted Peanut Butter Cups | The Naptime Chef

Dark Chocolate Salted Peanut Butter Cups

I’d intended to get this up in time for Easter, but whatever. With the new puppy in the house and a three-day weekend it was next to impossible to do much writing at all last week. So! Here we are today with some amazingly delicious homemade candy that will knock your socks off and is just the antidote for all the store bought stale sugary stuff the bunny might have dropped off over the weekend.

A Year of Favorites : Lemony Smashed Potatoes | The Naptime Chef

A Year of Favorites: Lemony Smashed Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes are on weekly rotation in our house. It took me a long time to get to love them again after spending a semester at St. Andrews in Scotland (potatoes for every meal!), but now we’ve made peace. My favorite way to prepare them is by roasting them until the skins are crispy and the insides are nice and soft. Sometimes I even smash them, like I did here, so they turn into delicious crispy circles with creamy interiors.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies | The Naptime Chef

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

Earlier this winter I took these cookies to a friend who is gluten-free. I was in charge of dessert and wanted to bring something light and easy, something to nibble on that wouldn’t weigh us down. I did a lot of research in all my favorite cookbooks and online and this recipe popped up in many iterations. The jist: it is a chocolate meringue-style cookie filled with spices and chocolate chips. They are delicious! In fact, they are so good I made them again recently to take to a friend.

Shrimp Soup | The Naptime Chef

Year of Favorites: Shrimp & Rice Soup

Taking a week off from cooking while we were in Costa Rica was good for me. I could see myself heading into a dinner rut and I needed to step out of the kitchen for a little bit. When I returned I was reenergized to get cooking again and went through my old Evernote list of tried-and-trues. (Do you use Evernote for organizing recipes? OMG, amazing!) This shrimp soup I’d had a couple of years ago at my fried Lauren’s house popped up and I knew it was the right time to make it again.

Caprese Egg Bowl | The Naptime Chef

Quick Caprese Eggs in a Bread Bowl

I am a big egg-for-breakfast girl. It started a few years ago when I had kids and realized I had to eat a solid chunk of protein each morning in order to get me going and sustain me until lunch. The only catch is that our morning routine is very hectic, so over time I’ve devised a few easy ways to cook up simple, tasty egg dishes on the fly.

Mushroom Spinach Wheatberry Salad

Mushroom Spinach Wheatberry Salad

Last year I made a mushroom barley soup which has quickly become a staple in our house. I make it a few times each winter and often freeze a container for later. This week I decided to riff on it a little bit since I had some wheatberries to use up as part of my winter pantry experiment. Instead of soup I made a warm salad and topped it with a simple baked chicken breast for an easy weeknight dinner. It was full of umami mushroom flavors and was perfect for staying warm on a frigid winter evening.

Lasagna Rolls | The Naptime Chef

Year of Faves: Classic Lasagna Rolls

So far I am doing pretty well with the winter pantry experiment. I’ve used up some pasta and vegetables in soups and some grains in a salad that is coming up later this week. Over the weekend I also used up the last few lasagna noodles. They were stragglers from a lasagna I made last […]