New Year’s Eve is a bit of a conundrum with children. Do you get a babysitter and stay out until midnight? Do we just do a kids celebration and go to bed early and skip the hoopla? For the past few years our answer has been making punch, having dinner with friends and doing something a little inbetween. Since we don’t have an all out bash I don’t go crazy making a dizzying hard liquor punch. Instead I make a sparkly punch with a hint of booze, so it is tasty without being too over the top. It is perfect for family events and New Year’s Eve celebrations alike.
Dear Friends, It has been a busy and wonderful season around here and I hope you’ve enjoyed yours as well. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store! Here are some of my favorite things from around the web lately. I’ll be back next week with an amazing New Year’s Eve punch, and then a wonderful slate of recipes in the New Year!
Cascadian Farm asleep for the season.
Still one of my favorite places to visit on the web.
Balloons everyone needs!
These are on my wish list — fingers crossed!
The prettiest earrings.
It’s a little late for gift guides, but here is the summary just in case!
Today I am stopping in with a hot shopping tip for any last minute shoppers out there. GiftTree is a great place to get all kinds of awesome gifts for people and today this season they are offering Naptime Chef readers a special discount of 15% off when you use the NaptimeChef15 (code is good until 12/31). I recently selected two delicious baskets to give to friends and they are amazing!!
This Champagne & Truffles gift basket came with all kinds of chocolates and a delicious bottle of champagne. It is perfect for a sweet-loving friend or even my in-laws.
I also picked up this delicious Good Tidings to Share tower. There really are so so many amazing things you can choose from. And, best of all, there is still plenty of time to receive them all in time for the holidays.
Take a look at their website and don’t forget to use the special code to get some delicious for your family or friends! Happy Holidays!
There is still time to shop and today I am thrilled to be sharing five of my favorite gifts ideas from Minted.com. I know art can be very personal and hard to select for friends, but I think any of these things would be slam dunk. They are perfect for hanging in kitchens, pantries, dining rooms, or anywhere you entertain. I ordered my framed which means they are all set to hang right up, but you could order just the print if you’d like to frame them yourself.
Stacked Peaches: This would be so cute for a fruit-loving friend. I’d personally hang it in my dining room again my gray grasscloth walls.
Chicken Run Art Print: A chicken! You can’t beat a good chicken painting. This sweet bird comes with your choice of backgrounds, too.
The strata, a baked egg casserole filled with bread and scrumptious vegetable and meat fillings of your choice, is a time-honored make-ahead holiday breakfast in our house. It is easy on the cook (me) and everyone gobbles it right up. Who doesn’t like a recipe that can easily be made in advance and baked to perfection on demand? It is the stuff that holiday cooking dreams are made of.
Every time I make my stratas I change up the fillings just a touch. It usually depends on what vegetables I have in the freezer because I always make a point of using them first. It is so much easier than running out to by fresh vegetables all the time and I keep my freezer stocked just for this purpose! This week I made a strata using Cascadian Farm organic fire roasted sweet potatoes, Cascadian Farm organic cut spinach, and chopped ham. It was just the right combination of sweet and savory vegetables with a punch of salty ham.
Chocolate dipped orange peels are my single favorite candy in the whole world. I love the tangy citrus paired with the sweet chocolate and the chewy texture. I had this flavor combination in mind the other day when I made this bread pudding. We had a lot of fresh oranges on hand so I decided to combine them with dots of fresh chocolate in a delicious and easy holiday dessert.
The key to imparting the orange flavor to the bread pudding is using lots of zest and a little orange juice. This is added right to the egg mixture that is used as the based of the pudding. When I start the pudding I always use Davidson’s Safest Choice® Eggs. They are pasteurized in an all-natural, gentle water bath pasteurization process to eliminate the risk of Salmonella. The majority of supermarket eggs are not pasteurized so this is a real help to know when I am cooking for my kids. Even though the pudding is baked it means I don’t have to worry when the kids dig in.
To make this pudding I used Challah that was a few days old. It was nice and crusty and perfect for absorbing the pudding while it baked. I added chunks of semisweet chocolate between the bits of bread right before it baked. This way it melted into the custard during baking and added just the right amount of sweetness without being overbearing. I served this with a sweet wine for the adults and milk for the kids. It was the most delicious dessert for all!
Come check out the recipe for this bread pudding on SafeEggs.com!
(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs. This year I am an ambassador for Safest Choice Eggs. I believe in their product and you can read more about my brand work in my affiliate disclosure. The opinions, recipe, and photographs are wholly my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible.)
Pasta night is very popular in our house. I love it because it is so easy to make, and the kids love it because they’ll basically eat anything with noodles. To change things up from time to time I like to make different sauces. Sometimes it is a basic carbonara, other times it is a yummy marinara. Recently I used some amazing Finlandia Premium Imported Butter and made the most decadent buttery pasta with pancetta and peas. It is super easy and incredibly delicious.