Naptime Simple Tips: Fun & Essential Tips for Your Kitchen

Peach Crumble Bars | The Naptime Chef

Peach Pie Crumble Bars + More Peach Recipes

We’ve been having such a wonderful time in Cooperstown this month. I look forward to this trip more than anything else all year and this summer did not disappoint. Since my little guy is in the super-active-and-I-always-want-your-attention phase I didn’t get as much fruit canning done as last year. But that’s okay, we’ll save it for another time. At least I managed to get a start on my homemade Christmas gifts and discover a new-to-me craft.

10 Easy Summer Dinners on the Grill | The Naptime Chef

8 Easy Late Summer Dinners on the Grill

We’ve been grilling a lot this summer. For the most part the meals have been really simple so I haven’t been typing them up for individual posts. Instead I’ve been recording them to share with you all at once. Most of the them are so basic they don’t require recipes and can be thrown together with ease. Please share what you’ve been grilling in the comments so we can swap ideas and enjoy the last few weeks of grilling season together!

Homemade Fruit Juice Slushies

Summer Food Inspiration

Mmm, 25 Tart & Refreshing Lemonade Recipes on Momtastic Homemade Fruit Juice Slushies with Kids on Babble Great Grilled Summer Corn on Momtastic No-Bake S’mores Pudding Pie on Lifetime Moms

General Mills Chex Cereal | The Naptime Chef

7 Tips for Busy Mornings with Children

In our house weekday mornings are busy year round. From September through June my daughter goes to school fairly early. In the summer both children often have camp or some sort of organized activity every morning. Over the last couple of years I’ve compiled some strategies for making our busy mornings flow better. These tips help me make sure things go smoothly so we can get out the door without too much chaos. Here are my favorite tips for making it all work:

Can it Forward Day | The Naptime Chef

4 Ways to Celebrate National Can-it-Forward Day + Giveaway

I love to wax poetic about the wonders of preserving. It doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, it truly can be simple and fun. Every year I join my friends at Jarden Home Brands to celebrate National Can-it-Forward Day. This year it is on August 1st! The day is full of events featuring prominent home preservers sharing their tips and expertise. Luckily this day will coincide perfectly with my yearly trip to Cooperstown. It is the time of the year when I do a lot of preserving, mostly of seasonal fruits I find at the Farmer’s Market, and this year will be no different.

Maple Pecan Tarts

22 Maple Syrup Recipes for Right Now

I’ve been having so much fun seeing what recipes you want to try from Butternut Mountain Farm. Don’t forget, the maple syrup giveaway is continuing until Thursday so please come by and enter!

In the mean time, last week I had gathered some great recipes from many of my favorite food blogs. These all feature maple syrup as a natural sweetener and main ingredient. Since maple syrup season is now in full force there is no better time to try them. Enjoy!

Maple Syrup 101 | The Naptime Chef

Maple Syrup 101 with Butternut Mountain Farm + Giveaway

Over the weekend we tapped our maple tree and hope to be making our homemade maple syrup soon. While we love this new tradition we never make enough syrup to last the whole year. I always end up buying a big jug or two of pure upstate syrup in Cooperstown whenever we visit. Over the years people have told me they find buying maple syrup intimidating and wonder if it is even worth it. All the grades can seem confusing and it is more expensive then the fake manufactured syrup you find in most grocery stores. So, today my friend Emma from Butternut Mountain Farm is here to help clear up any confusion and share a few fun facts about maple syrup

Mushroom Barley Soup | The Naptime Chef

Soup Season!

If there ever was a soup winter this is it. It is barely above 10 degrees F most days here. When we were in Cooperstown last weekend is what rarely above 0 and that is not an exaggeration! To stay warm and happy I’ve been making lots and lots of soup. I even plan to have another new soup recipe for you next week.

Blue Apron Meals & Special Pricing 2| The Naptime Chef

Break Out of the Winter Cooking Rut with Blue Apron + Free Meals!

Last week was the perfect time to receive my latest box from Blue Apron. As you might remember, I get a fun box of meals from Blue Apron from time to time. It is a great way to jolt me out of my cooking comfort zone and get the family excited for news. The box comes with all the farm-fresh ingredients for three delicious family meals measured out and ready to be cooked. Not only are the recipes they send inventive and interesting, it also means no trip to the grocery store and no throwing out unused food. Perfect!

How to Care for Copper 2 | The Naptime Chef

How to Care for Copper Pans

Last year I was gifted some pretty copper pots by various family members. I love cooking with copper and could never afford to buy a set myself so it was a real treat! The pots themselves are heavier than my favorite stainless steel workhorses, but they conduct heat more evenly and are perfect for warming soups and stews. They even make my kitchen look a little fancier, like a French kitchen! Someday I hope to have a little copper collection that I can hang from the ceiling or on a pegboard like Julia Child. In the mean time, though, I need to the care for the pots I have to make sure they last a lifetime. So! Here is what I’ve learned so far about caring for copper:

How to Care for Rosemary | The Naptime Chef

How to Care for Rosemary Indoors

In the winter I freeze my herbs from the garden and bring whatever plants I can inside for the winter. This year my Meyer Lemon tree is wintering in our dining room along with this beautiful rosemary plant. Not all herbs tolerate being dragged from inside to outside for season after season, but rosemary is one of the few that can withstand the change. I love that it is so easy to care for and makes the whole house smell incredible whenever I pinch a few leaves. It also means we’ve got beautiful fragrant rosemary to cook with year-round! Here are a few tips for caring for your rosemary plant indoors:

The Family Calendar Cover

Making Kitchen Resolutions for 2015

Happy New Year! I am excited to be back up and running for 2015. We have a BIG year ahead. The next book has an official publishing date: March 31, 2015! On that day all the copies of The Family Calendar: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year, will be available for purchase (you can pre-order it now!!!). Stay tuned for book tour information.