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

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.

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!