Naptime Simple Tips: Fun & Essential Tips for Your Kitchen
While we were in Cooperstown my Dad and I did a LOT of canning. It was so nice to have the time together in the kitchen, one of our favorite places, to catch up on life and exchange canning tips. After our canning marathon last year he sent me my first ever Ball Canning Set which I used all fall. This year he had me geeking out over my grandmother’s vintage Wear-Ever 17-quart aluminum cooking pot. When I finally located one on eBay he taught me how to actually use eBay (what can I say, I’ve never used it!) and he won it for me. Yay! Here is a summary of what we made this and the canning projects I have planned for fall! (Note: I’ll be taking the rest of the week off to concentrate on back to school insanity preparations, but will be back next Tuesday!)
I’ve been bursting to tell you all the most exciting news!! I’ll admit, I’m actually slightly amazed that none of you have guessed it out loud already. Either that, or you are all way too polite to say anything. I was nearly certain when I wrote about homemade ginger ale someone would call me out on how ginger combats queasiness, or at least how Twix Ice Cream Pie sounds like the perfect meal for someone craving excessive amounts of sweets. I mean – what kind of condition would lead me to post such things in quick succession while avoiding normal food completely?
There are lots of delicious vegetables abound in farmer’s markets all over the country right now. I am especially excited by what I am finding in the Northeast. Because we have such a relatively short growing season what is available right now is truly a fleeting pleasure. Here are some of the awesome locally grown vegetables I’ve been spying on Martha’s Vineyard this week and a few ideas for what to make with them. If you have resolved to have your children try some of these scrumptious vegetables with you this summer I suggest you pick up a copy of Crunch a Color. This award-winning eating game by Jennifer Lee ( I chatted with her yesterday) will get them happily munching away on healthy summer veggies in no time. Even better, enter to win one of five copies here today!
Every year or so I do a huge ice cream celebration. In fact, way back in 2009, the first summer of this blog, I did a new ice cream recipe every week all summer!! This year I’m back with a fun new ice cream week and a round-up of my favorite ice cream gear. All week I’ll be focusing on ice cream and including a few new recipes everyone will love. To kick things off, here are my favorite tools for making luscious, silky ice cream at home. I swear, it is so easy and soooo naptime-friendly!
Here is my big secret about canning gear: you don’t need much. A lot of people don’t believe me but it is the honest truth. Canning doesn’t take a lot of expensive, fancy equipment. When I make things like the hot fudge sauce and strawberry-vanilla jam you find in my cookbook I use the basic canning set my Dad generously gave me a few years ago when he was tired of me swiping his. For the actual boiling and jam-making I use my regular old stainless steel pot and candy thermometer. I swear – that is all!
On the heals of last week’s Kitchen Gadgets post I am bringing you a round-up of my favorite items for the kitchen garden. When I say kitchen garden I am talking about a simple container garden of assorted herbs and maybe a few small tomato plants that thrives on nearly any porch or shady fire escape. Not the lush English-style garden that requires much more gear than this to maintain. For example, a kitchen garden does not require a lawnmower, wheelbarrow, or electric clippers (thank goodness!) It only requires a few basic necessities to thrive. With these items on hand you are all set to grow herbs and enjoy cooking them with them all season (or year) long!
This summer I am introducing a new visual element to the blog: layouts! Instead of just blabbering on about my favorite tool for chilling wine or my awesome new watermelon knife I thought I’d spell it all out here for you in a cool easy-to-read layout. Today I am starting out with ten of my favorite kitchen gadgets for summer. These are the items that are quirky and a little unusual yet I find myself using on a daily basis all summer long. What can’t you live without in the summer months?
Mom deserves a delicious Mother’s Day, don’t you think? As I Mom, I completely buy into this idea. Even I, on Mother’s Day, am happy to hand over kitchen duties to my husband and daughter. I don’t particularly care what they make for me. Honestly, sometimes the simplest thing, like a perfect brownie, or hot bowl of soup, is the best. Here are some easy recipes and ideas for what could to make for your Mom this Mother’s Day. I can honestly guarantee they are all easy to make and are guaranteed to put a smile on her face.
During my travels over the past three weeks I’ve been catching up on some of my favorite websites and discovering a few new ones as well. I’ve even (finally!) been able to start some new books, including The Hunger Games and Spoon Fed. Both have been on my list for at least a year and I am excited to be able to crack their spines. I thought I’d take a break from recipes today and share a few of these new favorites with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll have some unexpected downtime soon too, here are some things you might enjoy!
Since we are all gearing up for Easter this weekend I thought I’d stop in with some festive naptime cooking recipes that are perfect for your holiday meal. These can all be made in advance and are totally family-friendly. I hope you have a wonderful celebration planned wherever you are!
To celebrate my official on-sale date I am hosting The Naptime Chef Virtual Book Tour along with Running Press Cooks. Bloggers from around the world have brilliantly cooked and photographed recipes from my book and have written about them on their blogs. Best of all, each blogger is giving away a copy of my book. There are so many chances to win! To join in the fun come to our Twitter Party today from 12 – 1pm ET and use the hashtag #naptimecooking to chat all things naptime! I’ll be adding links and photos to this post all week long so keep checking back for more delicious dishes!!
I am finally emerging from jetlag fog and am getting back into my usual cooking routine. Earlier this week I mined the freezer for a few favorites and even picked up an old standby at the store: a rotisserie chicken. Every so often I pick up a rotisserie and put it to work for dinner. There are so many uses for a basic rotisserie chicken and here are a few of my favorites. Don’t worry, next week I’ll have some new recipes!