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

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Chicken Caprese Grilled Cheese & Travel Wrap {Tales from the Trenches}

This is my first full week without any travel in a long time. I’ve been cooking up a storm in my kitchen and have a blast getting back into my everyday cooking rhythm. Rest assured you’ll be reading more about that in the weeks to come! In the mean time, I am here to say thanks once again for all the awesome support on my book tour this spring. I have some more book signing dates in the works but for the next few weeks I am sticking around close to home.

DC Evite

Washington DC & Boston MA Book Events! {Tales from the Trenches}

Just a reminder I have two exciting book events coming up next week! On Tuesday, May 1st I’ll be at the JMcLaughlin store in Georgetown, DC from 6 – 8pm. On Thursday, May 3rd I’ll be at JMcLaughlin in Wellesley, MA from 3 – 5pm. I hope everyone will come out to say Hi and get their books signed!

the naptime chef final cover

San Francisco Book Events! {Tales from the Trenches}

I am thrilled to report that next week I have TWO book events in the fabulous city of San Francisco. Please see the dates and times for both events below. Feel free to come along and bring friends – the more the merrier! I am so excited to visit one of my favorite cities for a week of fun and food. I can’t wait to see what new and exciting food adventures await and, of course, to meet all of you. If you have any questions about the events, or tips on what I should see, please leave comments below! I will be in the city for the the entire week (even doing a live TV appearance on Friday!)

JMcLaughlin Charleston

South Carolina Book Tour Events! {Tales from the Trenches}

At the moment here are the Tales from the Trenches from my book tour! I have TWO awesome book tour events coming up in South Carolina this week and I hope you all can come. The first one is on April 4th from 3 -6 pm the JMcLaughlin store at 212 King Street. Invitation above! Everyone is welcome! The second is on April 5th from 3 – 5pm at the JMcLaughlin on Kiaway Island. Invitation above! Everyone welcome! For more book tour dates be sure to see my book page!

Naptime Chef Evite

The Naptime Chef Book Tour Details! {Tales from the Trenches}

I am going to start checking in regularly with book tour details as they roll out. I am beyond thrilled and honored that JMcLaughlin is headlining my tour. They’ll be hosting wonderful book signings, complete with nibbles from the book, at their stores all over the country and I am so grateful for their support. My first signing event will take place at their Westport location and the invitation is above. PLEASE COME! BRING FRIENDS! Everyone welcome!

Julia's Child

Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo & Book and Food Giveaway! {Tales from the Trenches}

Every so often I like to stop in and recommend a great read or two. It is next to impossible to recommend every single book I read, since I truly am one of those voracious readers who reads just about everything under the sun, but I like to highlight the best of the best and here’s a good one for you. Last month I received an advanced copy of a new novel, Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo. Sarah and I struck up an email correspondence last year when we were chatting about cookbook writing experiences. She also co-authored The Ski House Cookbook a few years ago and a few helpful tips for me.

Jeni's Ice Cream

How Jeni Britton Bauer Makes it Work {Tales from the Trenches}

Today I invited my friend Jeni Britton Bauer, the genius behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, easily the most luscious and addictive artisanal ice cream I’ve ever tasted, to join me for a little kitchen Q & A. I am a huge fan of Jeni’s New York Times bestselling book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, and love her philosophy on using the power of business to create positive change in the world. Clearly Jeni’s business is booming, but I was also curious to take a peek under the tent. For someone who runs a rapidly expanded business, I wanted to know what she cooked for her husband and two young children after hours. Here she reveals how she feeds her family, her take on winter ice cream, and the adult meal she is planning for Valentine’s Day!

mango crab salad

Brooke & James Set the Romantic Valentine’s Mood {Tales from the Trenches}

Today I invited my friend’s Brooke Parkhurst and James Briscione, the charming duo behind Just Married & Cooking, to share some of their tips for setting the Valentine’s mood while a toddler roams the house. I first met James when we were both recipe winners on Food52, and then met them again last year at the debut of the OXO Tot line. Since then their awesome cookbook, Just Married & Cooking, has been published they’ve been popping up all around town. I am so thrilled they are here today to share some fabulous tips and positively delicious recipes. With this post they can easily restore all the faith of all parents that a romantic home cooked Valentine’s Day meal IS indeed possible!

Girl Hunter Cover

Georgia Pellegrini, Girl Hunter & Book Giveaway! {Tales from the Trenches}

Today I am chatting with my friend Georgia Pellegrini about her new book, Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time. I read this book in two days flat and loved every second of it. It is all about Georgia’s personal journey to learn about the origins of her food and ultimately solve her own ominvore’s dilemma. This message resonated with me because where I grew up in Cooperstown, New York many of the families I knew hunted in the fall to feed their families all winter. It was not about sport and recklessness, it was about feeding a family responsibly and inexpensively, as well as respecting the wildlife in the area. Families depended, and still do, on hunting to put food on the table. Instead of . They could not afford, and didn’t really like, factory farmed meat in the grocery store I am so excited that Georgia is here today to share her story. To win a copy of her book see below!

Winnie Bark

Homemade Gift Week: Winnie’s Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Hazelnuts & Apricots {Tales from the Trenches}

When it comes to holiday presents, I am a big fan of giving (and receiving!) those that are homemade. I preserve lots of jams and fruit butters throughout the summer and fall, and I save them in my pantry to give to family and friends during the holiday season. I also make big batches of granola which I package up to give away.


Holiday Cookie Week: Spiced Snickerdoodles with Big Girls, Small Kitchen {Tales from the Trenches}

Around this time last year, as our Thanksgiving fullness waned and our tummies grumbled in anticipation of holiday food, we had the opportunity to attend not one but two cookie swaps.

Full admission: we’re not sure we’d ever been to a cookie swap before those two invitations landed in our inbox, but the idea is pretty genius, and of course we caught right on. If it’s not obvious (it wasn’t to us!), here’s how it works: everyone in attendance makes enough cookies for everyone else in attendance to take at least one of each variety home.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole with The Merry Gourmet {Tales from the Trenches}

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday, but like many of you, the stress of the preparation can be overwhelming. Several years back, my in-laws and my parents decided to have a joint Thanksgiving meal with us, an easy solution for bringing both families together for the holiday. Now, bringing in-laws together for several hours and for such a major meal could be have been overwhelming and scary, on multiple levels, but it was not at all. It turns out that it was probably one of the best decisions we’ve made – and it’s turned into an annual tradition.