Welcome to Bite This Book!, a new 2012 series on Simple Bites. Each month, I’ll feature a cookbook of my choosing that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book! good reads on Simple Bites.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kelsey Banfield, aka The Naptime Chef, at BlogHer Food last May (was that already one year ago?), but I’ve been reading her blog since its conception and connecting with her on social media for some time.
As I know Kelsey to be extremely passionate and hardworking, it was no surprise to hear she was writing a cookbook, and now her project, The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life is finally here!
Kelsey’s recipes are home-style with a decidedly upscale twist and will leave you wondering “Now, why didn’t I ever think of that?”. She has a no-nonsense approach to cooking that would instil confidence in the most timid of cooks and bakers.
I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve prepared from Kelsey’s cookbook. Her Strawberries & Cream Overnight French Toast (pictured at top) is a new brunch favorite around here, and I’m admittedly hooked on her Sour Cream Almond Cookies. I’ve bookmarked the Crunchy Mac & Cheese with Bacon to try soon, and know it won’t be long before I’m toasting a batch of addicting Cranberry Spice Granola.
Read on for a short interview with Kelsey and a chance to win one of two copies of The Naptime Chef!
Q&A with Kelsey the Naptime Chef
1. Kelsey, how would you describe The Naptime Chef and who will it appeal to?
The Naptime Chef is for parents who love to cook and eat great food. I am one of those parents and my message to everyone is that cooking for your family should be fun, not a chore. If you liked cooking before you had kids, you should enjoy cooking after.
A lot of parents with young children find cooking so stressful and turn to reductive solutions for meals that take under certain amount of time or are made with x ingredients or less. I am appealing to parents who are interested in making meals in advance during naptime, or when the kids are out of the house.
There is so much fun to be had in the kitchen and a little advance preparation ultimately makes cooking less stressful and more fun.
2. I see you cite plenty of friends and family in the recipe’s head notes, which I love! Would you say this book was a lifetime in the making and a reflection of the important people in your life?
Yes, absolutely. My recipe box is like that of any home cook’s – it is full of recipes from friends and family! I wanted to celebrate them and all of the favorites we’ve traded over time. It is truly a reflection of my lifetime of cooking and eating to date.
I still flip back through my grandmother’s and mother’s old recipes, and am always swapping recipe ideas and inspiration with friends. It is an ongoing part of my cooking life and I love it.
3. A purely selfish question next! How did you manage to write a cookbook, mother Daphne, AND run a busy blog and home?
I am not going to lie, there were a lot of late nights! Last year Daphne started school so I had a little more free time. My generous husband also gave me some free time on the weekends.
At this point in my life I don’t really have a lot of free time to myself, but that is fine with me. My family is my life and The Naptime Chef is my passion so I am devoting myself to those two priorities. Also, I have a typical Type A personality so the pace suits me just fine.
4. What is something you learned about yourself during the book writing/recipe development process?
It is funny because I’ve always been drawn to the art of cooking and food photography, but during all the testing I found myself drawing on my science background. It reminded me how much I enjoy the methodical approach to recipe testing and analyzing flavors and textures.
I also discovered I really enjoyed telling the stories in the headnotes. It was fun to know I was sharing all of our favorite recipes with the world!
** This giveaway has ended and the winners have been announced! **
Thanks to the publishers at Running Press, I have two copies of The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life to give away!
To enter this giveaway just leave a comment on this post and answer the question:
“Have you ever used precious nap time to hit the kitchen and get cooking?”
(If you are reading this post via email, please note that you must enter on the blog post, NOT by replying to the email. Thank you!)
Giveaway ends Saturday, April 14, at 11:59PM. Good luck to all!