Naptime Simple Tips: Fun & Essential Tips for Your Kitchen

Tomatoes via The Naptime Chef

6 Summer Vegetable Recipes & Crunch a Color Giveaway! {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!

Ice Cream essentials The Naptime Chef

Ice Cream Week: Best Ice Cream Gear & Ice Cream Maker Giveaway! {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!

Canning gear slide

Basic Canning Gear Essentials & Giveaway! {Naptime Simple Tips}

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!

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!