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

Sourcing Produce

Sourcing Produce Outside of the Supermarket with Aimee of Simple Bites

Today I am thrilled to welcome my friend Aimee of Simple Bites. She is here to share her five awesome tips for the best ways to source excellent fresh produce outside of the supermarket. I find this incredibly helpful since I much prefer to support local producers and feed my family the healthiest product possible. I am sure you will also find your tips as helpful as I do!

Sunflower Butter Bran Muffins

Sunflower Butter Bran Muffins with Catherine McCord

Today I am thrilled to share an article and recipe from my friend Catherine McCord of Weelicious. As you might remember, earlier this year I chatted with Catherine about her new cookbook and shared a recipe for her awesome Baked Ziti. Her next book all about school lunches is coming out this summer (yay!) and I can’t wait to get a copy. It is perfect timing for me since my daughter starts kindergarten next fall. I’ll be sure to alert you when it hits shelves! In the mean time, check out these amazing muffins that are completely allergy friendly and great for kids and adults alike.

My Berlin Kitchen

A Chat with Luisa Weiss of My Berlin Kitchen & Book Giveaway!

Today I am thrilled to be chatting with one of my all-time favorite bloggers and published authors, Luisa Weiss of The Wednesday Chef. In case you missed it, last spring Luisa’s first book, My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes), was released. It is a terrific food memoir (foodoir?) that chronicles her life to date beginning with her young childhood in Berlin, Germany. I won’t give away all the stories in the book, but suffice it to say Luisa has spent her life living around the globe, finding love and solace in her kitchen, and is currently – happily – living in Berlin with her husband and infant son.

The Food52 Cookbook Volume 2

Amanda & Merrill on The Food52 Cookbook Vol. 2 & A Shopping Treat!

Today I am having a fun chat with my friends Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs from Food52 about the second volume in their award-winning cookbook series. You may remember that last year I was thrilled to feature the first Food52 cookbook on the blog since I had three (!) recipes printed in it! I don’t have any recipes in the second book, The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2: Seasonal Recipes from Our Kitchens to Yours, but I am still completely enamored of the content. The recipes, organized by season, are all winners of the Food52 weekly contests and are lauded for everything from their complete originality (xx) to their simplicity (Clementine Pound Cake.)

Baked Mac-n-Cheese with Marinara Sauce via The Naptime Chef

Baked Mac & Cheese with Marinara {Tales from the Trenches}

I am so excited to today to be participating in a virtual viewing party for my friend Phoebe. Tonight she is making her television debut as part of Team USA on Jamie Oliver’s new cooking show competition: Chef Race UK vs US. I’ve already set my DVR to watch it on BBC America! To celebrate Phoebe’s accomplishment (I can’t wait to see how she fares!) I am participating in this awesome virtual potluck party for her team featuring all kinds of classic American foods. For my contribution I am making our favorite baked macaroni and cheese with marinara. If there is any more all-American dish I don’t know it and it happens to be a naptime classic around these parts.

Phoebe's Homemade Granola Bars via The Naptime Chef

Phoebe’s Homemade Granola Bars {Tales from the Trenches}

I am thrilled that today my friend Phoebe of Feed Me Phoebe has come to share her recipe for homemade granola bars. These beauties are PERFECT for lunchboxes, snacks, and even pick-me-ups for Moms. (Confession: I keep granola bars in my purse. Do you?) Next month you’ll hear a little more about Phoebe when she hits the airwaves in the first season of Chef Race: U.S. vs U.K. on BBC America. You all had better set your recorders because this show is NOT to be missed! In the mean time, here is Phoebe’s delicious snack solution for kids and adults alike!

Weelicious Book Cover

Weelicious Baked Ziti and an Interview with Catherine McCord & Giveaway {Tales from the Trenches}

Last week a brand new copy of Catherine’s beautiful new cookbook, Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes landed in my mailbox. I was thrilled. Having been a longtime fan of Catherine’s blog, Weelicious, it was awesome to finally have so many of her great ideas in book form. This time next year I’ll be back in the baby puree stage and she has a whole chapter based on feeding baby that has already given me tons of new ideas. I have a feeling those pages will be well worn by next fall!

An interview with Ellise Pierce

An Interview with Ellise Pierce of Cowgirl Chef & Book Giveaway! {Tales from the Trenches}

I am so thrilled that my friend Ellise of Cowgirl Chef stopped in today to chat about her awesome new book, life as a Texan in Paris, and what is next on her delicious agenda! In case you missed it, yesterday I showcased some of the amazing recipes from the book. For all you parents out there, rest assured that the vast majority of her recipe are very naptime cooking-friendly and would be great for families. (They are also great for preggo ladies craving spicy food!)

Crunch a Color

Crunch a Color with Jennifer Lee {Tales from the Trenches}

Today I am chatting with my friend Jennifer Lee, the inventor of the cool award-winning food game Crunch a Color. It is a game you can play with your kids to inspire them to eat healthy food. I’ve been playing it with my daughter and we are having a blast. Because of the game she made her first ever attempt at eating asparagus! She still isn’t sure about the vegetable but I am glad she gave it a try. I loved chatting with Jennifer about the inspiration behind the game and her next move. I also am so glad she enjoyed our Watermelon Lime Ice Pops! Stay tuned tomorrow when I give away five (yes, 5!) copies of the game to five lucky winners.

Mudslide Pies from Desserts in Jars via The Naptime Chef

Frozen Mudslide Pies from Shaina Olmanson’s Desserts in Jars {Tales from the Trenches}

Last week a copy of my friend Shaina’s new book, Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine (Harvard Common Press), arrived. I first met Shaina through blogging together at Babble’s The Family Kitchen and have come to love her personal blog, Food for My Family. Her new book instantly drew me in since, as you might remember, I’ve baked a few desserts in jars myself. In fact, baking food in jars is becoming something of a trend and I am so excited someone finally wrote a whole book on the subject.

Food in Jars

Chatting with Marisa of Food in Jars {Tales from the Trenches}

Today I am chatting with my friend Marisa, author of the amazing new preserving cookbook Food in Jars. As you know, I am a big fan of canning and was thrilled with Marisa’s new book which further fuels my hobby. One of my favorite features of the book is that each recipe is written to make a small batch of food. For example, her pickles recipe makes 2 pints of pickles, her strawberry syrup makes 4 half-pints. For home canners who aren’t trying to stock a larder for the entire winter (I love pickles, of course, but don’t need 20 quarts-worth), this is ideal. For those of you interested in learning how to can this is a terrific first book. The recipes are smartly written and easy to execute and there is even a whole chapter on the basic steps of jar processing written for a true novice. I highly recommend this book to new and experienced canners alike. Better yet, enter to win your own copy below!

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.