Naptime Simple Tips: Fun & Essential Tips for Your Kitchen

Essential Kitchen Garden Gear Naptime Chef

Essential Kitchen Garden Gear {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!


10 Best Kitchen Gadgets for Summer {Naptime Simple Tips}

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?

Homemade Pancakes with Butter

Giving Mom the Delicious Day She Deserves {Naptime Simple Tips}

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.

Tomboy Style

Naptime Chef Spring Favorites 2012 {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!

Naptime Chef Easter Cake

8 Recipes for a Make-Ahead Easter Feast {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!

Couscous salad

The Naptime Chef Virtual Book Tour {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!!

Taco Tales

4 Things to Make with Rotisserie Chicken {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!

Red wine

Navigating Valentine Wine with Sasha! {Naptime Simple Tips}

I love drinking good wine, but personally find it daunting to select a good wine on my own. In fact, I usually find myself chatting up the sommelier or wine store owner to find something I think I might like before I make a commitment to buying anything. Today I am invited my friend Sasha of Spin the Bottle NY to share her tips for buying wine. Specifically, I wanted her to share suggestions for buying wine at restaurants and getting the most of out a bottle for Valentine’s Day. After all, I firmly believe us parents deserve a great bottle of wine and if we are going to splurge, let’s do it right!

Brownie Tarts

6 Awesome Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day {Naptime Simple Tips}

I am a huge fan of homemade gift giving, even for Valentine’s Day. Today I’ve rounded up some of my favorite chocolate recipes that are perfect for gift giving. There is something here for everyone. Whether you are looking for a sexy chocolate sauce for your sweetie, or a more cheerful cookie for a friend, all they require is a little naptime baking, a clear plastic bag tied with a ribbon, and your gift is ready!

Heart Shaped Waffles

Eight Hot Family Breakfasts to Keep You Warm This Winter! {Naptime Simple Tips}

As evidenced by the extensive family breakfast recipe list I’ve accumulated we take breakfast very seriously in this house. I got this from my parents, we always ate big breakfasts each morning growing up. My mother, a teacher, rightfully acknowledged that a healthy breakfast is a great way for both children and adults to start the day. I’ve carried on this tradition with my daughter, we eat breakfast together every morning. Of course, just because we consider breakfast a necessity – we all wake up with growling tummies – it doesn’t mean it has to be boring or difficult to make. Here are eight of our favorite hot breakfasts. I make a lot of these after my daughter is asleep. Or, they are classic powernap recipes and come together in a moment’s notice. Here is to wishing you a warm, cozy winter morning full of hot breakfasts!

Breville Slow-Cooker

The Slow Cooker Challenge & Low-Fat Lemon Thyme Chicken {Naptime Simple Tips}

Welcome to The Naptime Chef & Small Kitchen College Slow Cooker Challenge! This week Phoebe, Cara, Lily and I are joining forces to talk all things slow-cooker. You might ask: what do college cooks and moms have in common? Answer: they’re BUSY. Do you use your slow-cooker a lot in the winter? What do you make? I hope are excited because we are going to chat slow-cooking with you all week long! I know I, for one, am a big fan of slow-cooking during naptime and this week I am going to explore all the interesting family foods can be slow-cooked. I’ll give you a hint: it is about much more than soups and stews. We’ll be partnering with Big Kitchen and offering up two great slow cookers, one on each of our sites! See below for how to take home the Breville model. If you visit Small Kitchen College you can also enter to win a great Delonghi version.

Rhubarb Orange Snack Bread

The 10 Best Breads to Bake this Winter {Naptime Simple Tips}

I am all about baking bread, especially in the winter. Sure, I still buy a good loaf of country bread for sandwiches now and then, but I mostly bake it from scratch. It really is a cinch to make no-knead bread during naptime (an actual webisode of that to come later this week!) and a large loaf lasts us for at least a week. Denser sweet breads are easy too, and they are great for breakfast, school snack or even dessert. Most the loaf batters below can be made with a simple bowl and spoon and take less than ten minutes to pull together. They are perfect for naptime baking!