Tales from the Trenches: Recipes & Stories from Family and Friends

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry | The Naptime Chef

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce with Mrs. Wheelbarrow + Giveaway!

I’ve been wanting to feature my friend Cathy’s book, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year Round Preserving for some time now, but I had to wait until spring. Why? Because I am finally using up my remaining frozen strawberries and rhubarb from last fall and want to feature her amazing Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce. Also, Cathy’s book WON the 2015 IACP Single Subject Cookbook Award so now I can officially brag about that for her. (There is even a new beauty mark on the cover!) Congratulations, Cathy!

Let Them Eat Cake Interview & Giveaway

Let Them Eat Cake with Gesine Bullock-Prado + Giveaway!

I’ve am longtime fan of Gesine Bullock-Prado. I own every single one of her books and often dream of someday (someday!) being able to bake at her level. She possesses a rare talent for inventing dreamy cakes and succulent sweets, and even elevating things like everyday cookies to a whole new gourmet level. Luckily for […]

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars Giveaway | The Naptime Chef

Brown Eggs & Jam Jars with Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

I’ve written about my friend Aimeé before as she is the editor of Simple Bites, one of my favorite food blogs. Her recipes and tips are timeless and she is one of my most constant sources of inspiration. I should also mention that her incredibly organized refrigerator makes me weep with envy! Today I am writing about Aimeé for the best reason – she wrote her first cookbook! Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from The Kitchen of Simple Bites is a triumph of family food, gardening tips, and a warmth of Aimeé’s hearth. I can’t say enough about it. Here is my little interview with Aimeé and your chance to win your very own copy!

The Polan Family Table | The Naptime Chef

The Pollan Family Table Interview + Giveaway

The Pollan Family Table: The Best Recipes and Wisdom for Delicious, Healthy Family Meals is perfectly named. It is not one of those books that offers a mere page or two of advice before diving into unusual recipes. Oh, no. It is more like a cookbook with a lot of wisdom and practical, delicious recipes […]

The Yellow Table Cover

The Yellow Table with Anna Watson Carl + Giveaway

The Yellow Table Cover

Earlier this fall I had the pleasure of meeting Anna Watson Carl at a potluck celebrating Dana Cowin’s new book. Anna and I hit is off immediately and I’ll admit I was secretly thrilled to finally meet the master behind the gorgeous blog The Yellow Table. I’ve been a longtime fan! When I met Anna she was in the process of wrapping up her first ever cookbook named after her blog. She chose to go the self-publishing route which I deeply admire. I love being a part of the Running Press family and can’t imagine doing all the work she did on my own. It is truly a labor of love and the result is gorgeous! Her recipes are indeed simple and seasonal, and the gorgeous photographs by Signe Birck echo Anna’s commitment to easy, warm gatherings. Every scene looked so cozy and welcoming I wanted to jump right into the pages and join the party. To I am thrilled to share a little chat I had with Anna recently about her book and offer a chance to win a copy!:

thekitchn cookbook cover

Kitchen Booster Shots in The Kitchn Cookbook + Giveaway!

I have been a longtime fan of The Kitchn and editors Sara-Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand. Their website is insanely useful and now they’ve gone an written an amazingly useful cookbook, too. The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking is not just useful in the it-has-great-recipes kind of way. It is covers the entire kitchen from renovations and maintenance, to cooking and entertaining. It teaches you how to stretch your kitchen to limit and make it a room you love to live and cook in.

Baking Chez Moi Cover

Baking Chez Moi with Dorie Greenspan & Giveaway

When I think baking, I think Dorie Greenspan. Over the years she has been a guru, mentor, and friend, and for that I am so grateful. Lucky for us, Dorie continue to write amazing baking books. I’ll admit, I didn’t think there would ever be a book quite as awesome as Baking: From My Home To Yours, but now there is. Baking Chez Moi is Dorie’s latest book and it is such a treasure. In it she features family-friendly French baking recipes that are neither finicky nor complicated. In fact, they are downright homey!

MasteringMistakes hc c

Dana Cowin on Mastering Mistakes & Perfect Carrot Soup {Giveaway}

I am no stranger to mistakes in the kitchen. The stories are almost too numerous to count. Dried out roast chicken? Check. Burnt cookies? Done. Forgotten ingredients in soup? Yup, been there. Obviously, I don’t write about all of the mistakes I make in this space. Instead I learn from them and try again before I consider a recipe completed and ready for publication. Sure, I know you’ll all make your own mistakes, too. And that is okay. Even the best chefs and food writers make them! Don’t believe me, you need to read Dana Cowin’s new book, Mastering my Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Different Recipes.

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn + Giveaway

I haven’t done as much summer reading this summer as I would’ve liked. Running around after two kids, working on the next book, and keeping up with the house has taken up almost all my time. However, I had the good fortune of getting a copy of my friend Kathleen Flinn’s latest book, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family, and I read the whole thing, cover to cover, in just a few days. I’ll admit, I pushed aside work in favor of reading and it was so worth it.

The Forest Feast

The Forest Feast, Strawberry Salsa + Giveaway

A few weeks ago The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson landed on my doorstep and I instantly deemed it the most gorgeous cookbook I’d ever seen. Not only is it full of delicious vegetarian recipes, it is a colorful feast of Erin’s watercolors, typography, photography, and more. Each recipe features it’s own watercolor by Erin, a unique layout, and original photography. On top of that, the recipes feature vegetables in ways I haven’t seen before. The butternut caprese, for example, is the perfect twist on an everyday favorite. I also love her cool watermelon “cake”, and ideas for vegetable ribbon salads. The first recipe I made from it was the strawberry salsa, it was such a hit at our block party!

Today I am sharing a great chat I had with Erin, the delicious salsa recipe, and a chance to win a copy of this book. I swear, once you crack the cover you won’t be able to stop reading it and you’ll tab just about every recipe to try tout de suite!

Bakeless Sweets Cover

Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand + Giveaway

Last year my friend Faith, the incredibly talent editor of The Kitchn, came out with a gorgeous cookbook called Bakeless Sweets: Pudding, Panna Cotta, Fluff, Icebox Cake and more No-Bake Desserts. I no-baked from it all last summer and just pulled it out again last month. You guys, this it the ultimate dessert summer cookbook. Faith knows what we all like – cool, sweet desserts that range from the traditional to adventurous. And she also knows that we don’t have time for complicated cooking techniques and fancy equipment. Her desserts are all easy and accessible and taste completely fabulous.

To get us all in the mood to turn off our ovens this season Faith has stopped by to chat about her book and generously give away a copy. If you want to see the kind of recipes that are in it you should checkout my take on her Graham Cracker Lemon Icebox Cake – it is soooo good!

The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits

The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits + Giveaway

Last month my friend Barbara introduced me to a new book, The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits: A Handbook of Etiquette with Recipes, and the authors Suzanne Pollak and Lee Manigault. It is undoubtedly the whittiest, most fun, informative, and inventive cookbook I’ve read in a long time. Chock full of southern charm, Suzanne and Lee manage to get right down to the brass tacks of eating, entertaining, and house-keeping without seeming overbearing or bossy. To cap it off, instead of photographs the book is dotted with cheeky illustrations reminiscent of New York cartoons.
My personal favorite part of the book are the cheeky observations on entertaining which ring 100% true. Here are a few of my favorites: