Naptime Simple Tips: Fun & Essential Tips for Your Kitchen

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!

Eggnog Cheesecake

10 Best Naptime Chef Christmas Treats {Naptime Simple Tips}

Christmas is literally around the corner and there is one little girl in my household who is beyond excited. (Does the phrase “pinging off the walls” mean anything to you?! ) We’ve been cooking and baking up a storm and I thought I would share some of the favorite things we’ve been making. These are all things that you still have plenty of time to make and will impress all of your household guests. Let the holiday naptime cooking crunch-time begin!

Eggnog Ice Cream

Boozy Eggnog Ice Cream & Christmas Desserts {Naptime Simple Tips}

I am wrapping up holiday dinner week with a new favorite “adults-only” ice cream. I have to admit, I saw the title Boozy Eggnog Ice Cream on the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams site, but couldn’t find the recipe anywhere. Thankfully I have her awesome book and was able to use it to riff on her base flavor formula and dream up my own recipe. Maybe sometime I’ll actually get to taste her version to make a comparison. Mine is creamy and boozy with just a hint of spices. My husband and I loved it, as will you.

tea loaves

Homemade Gift Week: Meyer Lemon-Ginger Loaves & KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway! {Naptime Simple Tips}

Welcome to Naptime Chef homemade gift week! This week we are going to talk all about edible homemade gifts. I, for one, am so excited to give my friends some of my favorite homemade gifts this season. Do you make anything for your friends and family? I’ve heard some people say they are hesitant to give edible homemade gifts because they think it means they have to tackle complicated, intimidating recipes. But I can assure you this is not the case. There are many tasty and easy recipes that are very simple to make and are terrific presents. Those are the ones we will talk about this week!

Espresso Shortbread

Holiday Cookie Week: Freckled Espresso Shortbread Coins & HUGE Baking Package Giveaway {Naptime Simple Tips}

Welcome to Naptime Chef Holiday Cookie Week! I am a huge fan of baking holiday cookies and I know I am not the only one. This week I want to hear all about your naptime cookie baking. Are you working with tried and true recipes? Experimenting with new ones? Do share! Of course, no Naptime Chef theme week would be complete without a great giveaway package. Today I have loads of goodies you will love for your holiday baking!

Winter Village

Homemade Christmas Gift Planning & A Winter Village Cake {Naptime Simple Tips}

It’s that time of year again – time to plan holiday gifts for family and friends! I am a huge advocate of giving homemade gifts for Christmas. Giving a simple bag of homemade candy bark or jar of hot fudge sauce is a heartfelt way to show friendship and happiness and is much less expensive than buying bags of gifties at hefty retail prices. I am planning an entire week dedicated to homemade kitchen gifts that are naptime cooking-friendly in early December, so stay tuned. Today we are going to talk about planning for these gifts and things to consider in your gift giving this year, including some great ideas for reasonable gifts from Red Envelope to pair with your homemade delicacies.

Roasting Pan

Thanksgiving Week: Holiday Planning & Roasting Pan Giveaway! {Naptime Simple Tips}

Welcome to Naptime Chef Thanksgiving week! With the holiday cooking season underway I thought it would be fun to spend the week talking about Thanksgiving. I am going to throw in a few great side dish recipes, share an awesome guest post from a friend and fellow food blogger and, of course, talk turkey. I am also giving away a fantastic professional aluminum non-stick roasting pan with rack with a set lifting forks (usually sold separately, but they packaged them together for you!) courtesy of my friends at I love this particular pan because it is constructed out of strong aluminum, fits up to a 24lb. turkey (that’s a big bird!) and should last a lifetime. It is exactly like the one we have at home and use all the time. So, if you are in the need of a new roasting pan look no further – see the entry rules below and join in the fun!


How to Use Up Dairy-Based Condiments {Naptime Simple Tips}

About once a month I open my refrigerator to see half-used containers and cans of condiments that are perilously close to their expiration dates. It may be a tub of sour cream that I used for a cake two weeks ago, or a tub of yogurt we haven’t quite finished up. Whatever it is, I hate (hate!) to waste it. My parents always taught me to “waste not, want not” when it came to cooking and baking and that included the simple things like basic dairy-based condiments.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Challenge Week & Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with King Arthur Flour Giveaway! {Naptime Simple Tips}

Welcome to Naptime Chef Pumpkin Week! I am a huge fan of cooking and baking with pumpkin this time of year, and I know I am not the only one. This week I thought it would be fun to challenge everyone to cook or bake at least one awesome pumpkin dish during the week to get you in the mood for pumpkin naptime cooking. So, consider this your challenge – get out your pumpkin and start cooking! You can make anything you want with any kind of pumpkin you want. Whatever it is, we want to hear how what you make! Of course, like any good challenge, the more you share the more chances you have to win some really cool Halloween prizes.


Fall Grocery Store Shopping with Kids {Naptime Simple Tips}

A few weeks ago I got a great comment asking me to share how I grocery shop with my daughter during the week. I know I am always chatting about my trips to the farmer’s market and gourmet shop, but I do hit our neighborhood grocery store on a regular basis as well. Not surprisingly, when I posted about how much I love to grocery shop by myself at night while my husband stays home with our sleeping daughter I got a resounding response. Casually strolling the grocery aisles sans children is a luxury you all love too! Of course, the reason we call it a luxury is because it very rarely happens. Usually my daughter is in the cart with me, begging for various treats while I politely ignore her and speed around checking things off my list and trying to steer clear of grumpy people and children waving candy bars (which inevitably leads to my child wanting one, too). The grocery store can be a minefield with kids, but it still necessitates frequent visits. Here is how I do it:

Birthday Cake

Best Birthday Tips & Challenge Round-Up {Naptime Simple Tips}

I thought I would finish off the week with some fabulous birthday tips and recipes from some of the best food bloggers in the biz! I swear by every single one of these ideas and want to make all of their recipes straight away. I think you will feel the same way. Please chime in with your own tips below for your last chance to enter our awesome Birthday Week Favorite Things Giveaway!:

Paris Tea

Birthday Favorite Things Giveaway (Like Oprah, Only Better!) {Naptime Simple Tips}

Today I am celebrating my birthday Oprah-style. That is, I have collected a whole bunch of my favorite things – both cooking related and otherwise – and am giving them to YOU! That’s right, it is fun to receive presents, but it is more fun to give, I think, which is why this early 30-something birthday is all about sharing some of my absolute favorite items with everyone here.
This giveaway not only marks the “official” launch of the blog redesign, it also marks the beginning of the first of many food challenge and celebration weeks coming up this year. Next week The Naptime Chef is going to be all about birthdays!