December 13, 2021

December 2021 Update!

Hi! How do you a handle a blog when it is no longer your day-to-day? This is something I wrestle with these days. My kids are in middle school and elementary school. I still cook all the time, albeit mostly in the evening or during the day when I want – it’s no longer about stolen moments.

My culinary knowledge has continued to grow, but now I focus on other people’s recipes just as much as my own. I’m not going to lie, that does make life easier. The proliferation of amazing websites and cookbooks over the past several years has been truly awesome. I could cook every meal for the rest of my life at home and never run out of fresh ideas!  Would you like me to share my favorites here from time-to-time? It would be fun, but inconsistent. Still, I’m always happy to show up with those truly can’t-miss meals.

Since we last “spoke” I’ve been focusing on my coaching business. I help other entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals move forward from where they are presently in life and business. It’s about creating positive change in their personal and professional lives with real tools and action steps. It suits my personality to a T and I absolutely love seeing people shine and live their best lives. If you want to hear more about those tools here please let me know and I’ll share that too.

In the mean time, I’m sending you all the biggest and best wishes for a magical holiday season, no matter what you celebrate. I’ll be back in the new year with another update and maybe  – gasp – a fresh recipe! xoxoKelsey

July 8, 2019

More Smart Cookin’ – The BEST Snack Board Ever!

Are you ready for the best snack board assembly instruction ever? I’ve got you covered!!!

April 5, 2019

Introducing Smart Cookin’ with Gatherer Entertainment: One Pan Roast Chicken Meal

Are you ready for a One Pan Roast Chicken with Rosemary Potatoes? I’m am! Let me explain…As I’ve shared a lot recently, the past few years have been a journey. One of the brightest spots along the way has been my involvement with Gatherer Entertainment. I’ve talked a bit about it before, but it’s a production company focused on content for women 35+. Given that I’m in that group now it really speaks to me – I definitely look for different internet content than millenials! 

To that end, a couple years ago Jenna and I worked together to develop a show that speaks to parents about cooking. It’s all about cooking smarter, not harder and making delicious food for your family. Here’s the first episode and stay tuned because I’ll be rolling out all of them over the next several weeks! Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get this viral so we could get the attention of some networks/platforms who’d like to order more episodes? I’m game to film more if that’s what you want! 

So, enjoy the show and thanks as always for your support. I’m so glad to share that my journey – all the parts of it – has brought me to this place of Cooking, Coaching, and Clean Beauty. I intend to occupy this space for all of you forevermore! Let’s do this, 2019! xxKelsey

Smart Cookin' One Pan Roast Chicken with Rosemary Potatoes
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Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large, yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 12 (6-inch) stalks fresh rosemary, divided
  • 1 (5-pound) roaster chicken
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed flat
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly oil the bottom of the roasting pan with olive oil. Place the potatoes, onion, and carrots in the pan in one even layer and nestle four of the rosemary stalks among them.
  3. Working carefully, gently use your finger to lift the skin of the chicken from the meat on both sides. Evenly slide half of the pieces of butter and six of the smashed garlic cloves under the chicken skin evenly around the body on both sides. Then rub the remaining butter all over the chicken skin and inside the cavity and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the remaining six garnished cloves and the remaining eight rosemary stalks in the cavity.
  4. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 375°F and roast for another 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked or a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest pieces of the thigh and breast registers 165°F. Carve the chicken into serving-size pieces and serve with roast vegetables.
https://thenaptimechef.com/2019/04/introducing-smart-cookin-with-gatherer-entertainment-one-pan-roast-chicken-meal/

April 4, 2019

Spring Cookbook Chat with Kelsey!

Hello! I’ve been popping into The Naptime Chef Facebook page a lot recently to say Hi in person. This is all new to me because Facebook LIVE didn’t exist when I first started this page way back when. I know, I know, I sound super old when I say that. Anyway, I really just love the more personal interaction with all of you. I’ve been having fun getting into video again and this is a great way to do it without being crazy formal!

So, today I stopped in to talk about the cookbooks I’m currently drawing inspiration from. I always find this time of year a little tricky since it’s cold once day, and quite warm the next. I mean, what’s a cook to do? In the end I usually employ my VERY unscientific method of selecting books by scanning my ROYGBIV bookshelves and pulling the books that speak to me at that moment.

I really focus on the ones that contain the healthy/hearty fare. I’m not quite ready for gazpacho and grilled shrimp yet! At this point in the year a good salad, a pan of roast chicken, and a chilled glass of rosé sounds perfect. I also happen to me semi-training for my first half-marathon on June 2nd. I have got to get on the stick about that, and that includes eating nourishing foods while I train.

Here are the books I selected above. I highly recommend them if you are looking for some new seasonal inspiration!

Food52: A New Way to Dinner : This awesome playbook-style cookbook is lovely to read and the recipes are spot on. It truly provides ALL the tips in tricks for getting one grocery haul and making it into several delicious meals over the course of the week. I also love that the chapters are organized by season. 

March 21, 2019

The Home Edit with Clea & Joanna!

The Home Edit Book Signing | The Naptime Chef

I’m so, so excited to share this author interview because I absolutely adore this book! I’m also thrilled to share these fun photos from the book signing in Darien the other day. They the coolest women, just as they sound in the book, and we had a blast. Do you want to win a copy? If so, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and the exclusive giveaway! 😉

The Home Edit Book Signing

The book signing was at Kirby & Company in Darien, Ct.

The Home Edit Book Signing

It’s such a beautiful store and they really went with the rainbow theme of the book!

The Home Edit Book Signing

We are stretching boundaries of Cookbook Club this month for an interview with Clea and Joanna of The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals. I LOVE this book for sooo many reasons – it speaks directly to my organized Virgo heart! To be honest my favorite sections are the pantry and cookbook shelves sections because they obviously are incredibly relevant to me, but I swear this whole volume is amazing and is worth adding to your collection.

The Home Edit TSLN) The Home Edit is a goldmine of organizing advice! How long did it take you develop your organization style?

THE) Thank you! We’re so excited to finally be able to share it with everyone. Although we’re both extremely organized people, we come from different backgrounds. Clea worked in the fashion industry and went to art school, so her approach is very aesthetic-driven. Joanna comes from a traditional organization background, so that’s where a lot of the functionality comes in. From the start, our differences help us work really well together and it’s also been the reason THE signature style is what it is today. It’s definitely a collaboration!

TLSN) What is the most common organizing problem you encounter and how do you solve it? And, to add to that, do we all honestly have to start decanting our spices?!

THE) Too many items and not enough space. It’s why purging the items you no longer want or need is so important. If not, then you are essentially shuffling clutter back and forth— which is not organizing! Basically, we solve the space by viewing it completely empty. It’s the only way to properly decide on storage solutions that will fit the space and make items more accessible. Often times, it comes down to getting creative by maximizing vertical or floor space that was otherwise ignored.

You don’t have to do anything. Our rule of thumb is that organization isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Storage solutions need to fit someone’s lifestyle and space measurements, or else people won’t maintain it. We love storing our spices in glass jars because it saves space and we can’t resist a good ROYGBIV moment. However, some people prefer to keep spices in their original packaging and use a turntable as an accessible solution.

TLSN) What’s the wildest organizing job you’ve ever had to tackle? Spill it! 

THE) We’ve organized an ENTIRE 5,000 square foot house. Every closet, every drawer, every shelf, literally all of it. It took about three weeks to complete, but it looked AMAZING at the end! That’s one of the many things we love about our job—being able to see a space completely transform.

TLSN) What’s next for The Home Edit? I’d like to request a line of ROYGBIV storage containers and labels in perfect cursive, please!

We’re OFFICIALLY launching an NYC team in April, AND we’re so excited to finally share that we will be launching an exclusive collection of products we designed with iDesign, which will be available ONLY at The Container Store in May!”

February 15, 2019

Homemade Cinnamon Honey Peanut Butter

Homemade Cinnamon Peanut Butter

I have to share this recipe for the Homemade Cinnamon Honey Peanut Butter from Uncle Will. He is a bit of a health champion and swears this is a great protein-heavy snack. It’s easy to make, tastes amazing, and is a delicious dip for fruit or vegetables, or spread on bread. I’ll admit, I’m not usually one for making homemade peanut butter but this is truly amazing!

February 10, 2019

Cooking with Scraps by Lindsay-Jean Hard + Giveaway

When I first was given Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals by Lindsay-Jean Hard, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. I like to think I’m good about not wasting too many food scraps. But did I want to start making banana bread with the peels? It turns out, YES! After making a couple of recipes and given this a thorough read through I can honestly say this is a wonderful book for even the most unsure. I promise, it really is about using those scraps we all find ourselves hold after a good vegetable chopping session. Things like beet greens, banana peels, apple cores and more are simply reused to flavorful results.

I’m super excited that Lindsay-Jean stopped by today to chat with us and giveaway a copy of her book!

TNC) This book is so inspired! What first interested you in work with food scraps?

LJH) Thank you! It started on some level when my husband and I were living in Japan. We joined a CSA for the first time, and it was really a period of discovery for me—leaning about new-to-me produce and how to cook it—and it also got me thinking more about where my food was coming from. Knowing that local farmers had grown all of the items in my box made me want to make sure I was honoring that time and effort by putting it all to good use.
Years later, when I was working at Food52.com, the editorial team was brainstorming new columns, and someone suggested one based on the “Garbage” chapter within Gabrielle Hamilton’s cookbook Prune. It struck a chord in me, and I all but insisted that I had to have that column—it was called, you guessed it, Cooking with Scraps. I would hunt through the recipe archives on Food52 for recipes making smart use of underutilized produce parts and other odds and ends, and feature those community members’ recipes (and a few of my own). I learned so much from fellow Food52-ers from that column that I really wanted to share that knowledge with a larger audience, and Cooking with Scraps, the cookbook, was born!
TNC) The banana peel cake is sooo interesting… whatever made you think to use the peels?
LJH) I don’t remember how I first learned that they are edible, but once I figured that out, it was enough for me to assume that they could be cooked, blended, and used like any other fruit purée in a baked good. My first thought was to use the peels in “banana” bread, but I didn’t already have a favorite banana bread recipe to use as a jumping off point, I did, however, know that my grandmother’s banana cake is perfection, so I decided to start there instead, and lo and behold, using banana skin purée in her recipe in place of bananas was an easy (and delicious) substitution.
TNC) Can you advise a cozy winter menu of recipes from the book?
LJH) Right now I’d love to warm up with a bowl of Brothy Beans with Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Rind with a Crispy Breadcrumb Fried Egg on top, and a Vanilla Pod Brandy Hot Toddy to sip on.
TNC) What food scrap do you think will surprise people the most as being flavorful and fun?
LJH) I think banana peels are definitely the most surprising, but second place might go to spent coffee grounds. They still hold a lot of flavor, more than enough to lend their roasty goodness to dishes savory and sweet. In the book, I used them to add texture and flavor to a nut butter, and on Food52, I use them in a French Silk Pie, both directly in the crust with chocolate cookie crumbs, and also to infuse flavor into the whipped cream topping.
TNC) What’s next for your food scrap recipes? There is so much more to do with this and the food sustainability movement!
LJH) Great question! So far I’ve had suggestions for follow up books—Scrappy Cocktails (self-explanatory) and Cooking with Scrappy (scrap-focused recipes for dogs, the person who suggested it has a dog named Scrappy). Both good options, but I’m still open to other ideas. 🙂
Thanks, Lindsay-Jean!
To enter to win a copy:
1) Leave a comment sharing what food scrap you’d like to try to cook with!
2) Contest runs from 2/10/19 at 11:11am through 2/19/19/ at 7:00am EST. Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond to claim the prize. Continental US residents only.