Naptime Everyday: Recipes for Everyday Cooking and Baking

Chicken Cacciatorie

The Chicken Cacciatore Rice Bowl

Sometimes the trick to coming up with new dinner ideas is to take an old favorite and give it a new twist. It isn’t about reinventing the wheel entirely. It is about breathing new life into the tried and true and ending up with something completely new. This is how I came up with this rice bowl idea using RagúRagú Old World Style Traditional Sauce. I wanted to make my favorite cacciatore from a new angle. So, I decided to serve it over brown rice instead of pasta and, voila, a new meal was born.

Havarti Grilled Cheese

Celebrating National Grilled Cheese Day with Arla Dofino Cheese

I hope you all celebrated National Grilled Cheese Day yesterday! I’ve been celebrating it all week on behalf of my new roll this spring as the national spokesperson for Arla Dofino cheese. I am so excited about this partnership because I am a bona fide cheese nerd and I totally love their product. Last week I celebrated the beginning of our partnership with a launch in New York City at an amazing food space called Freshmade. In honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, I worked with Arla Dofino to create a few upgraded grilled cheese sandwiches featuring the brand’s delicious Creamy Havarti cheese. The cheese melts beautifully and is an easy upgrade on a traditional grilled cheese. You may have even seen my #HavartiParty images from Arla Dofino’s Grilled Cheese Day celebration this week!

Fish Caesar

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Caesar Salad for Spring

For my next weekly fish meal using High Liner Foods’ delicious prepared fish, I am focusing on salad. It isn’t because I am on some crazy health kick. It is because this Parmesan Crusted Tilapia was totally made for Caesar salad. It might not seem obvious at first, but is so much better than just serving it with rice and vegetables. The Parmesan crust mimics the same flavor usually found in Caesar dressing, and the breaded coating means you can skip the croutons, too.

Fish Taco

Beer Battered Cod, Avocado & Bacon Tacos

Pairing up with my friends at Sea Cuisine to talk all about fish tacos was a no brainer this year. I adore tacos (who doesn’t?!) and their recipes for getting them on the table with minimal fuss and maximum flavor are perfection. Last week I talked about the classic Baja fish taco. I have never been to the Baja peninsula, but if the fish tacos are that delicious I’m putting it next on my destination vacation list. This week we are highlighting another family-friendly recipe that is perfect for weeknight meals or casual weekend entertaining.

Fish Tacos at Home

Baja Fish Tacos at Home with Sea Cuisine

This month I am going to be sharing some delicious and easy fish dinner ideas with my friends at Sea Cuisine. I first started working with this company when they sent me to Thailand in 2012 to research Thai seafood. I came to appreciate their product even more when I returned home and started eating it regularly. Their commitment to sustainability and freshness is something I really admire and can stand by. This year Sea Cuisine is going to be highlighting lots of great fish tacos you can make at home with their products. I, for one, adore fish tacos and couldn’t wait to try their first recipe for classic Baja fish tacos made with their Tortilla Crusted Tilapia.

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!