Bite This Book! The Naptime Chef (giveaway)

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:

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?”

That’s it!

(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!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. I used naptime for naps!! My son is 6 now and we cook together 🙂 no more naps though 🙁

  2. Amanda Scoggins says:

    I love this title! There should be a whole series – the Naptime workout, the Naptime handywoman, Naptime crafter etc etc! I often run to the kitchen during naptime to prepare meals, esp get prep out of the way for dinner later!

  3. At least one naptime a week I devote to menu planning and making my grocery list – not to mention dinner prep at other naps.

  4. Since I am in my 60s, naptime is over for me! But I do remember praying Kristi would snooze a long time so I could get stuff done!

  5. Of course! But save what my 3 days year old can do for when he wakes up, he loves to cook with me 🙂

  6. I try using nap time for cooking but it always seems that other things get in the way!!

  7. Of course I do! It’s the best time to prepare, or to at least get all the chopping and prep work done, so all I have to do is throw things together later.

  8. Katherine says:

    I usually use naptime for prepping (chopping veggies, defrosting meat, etc.), and then do the actual cooking when everyone is awake.

  9. I was never one who could lie down and take a nap, so naptime was best served either in the kitchen or doing laundry. Obviously, I chose the kitchen!

  10. Liss Vasquez says:

    Yes! On a daily basis!

  11. Deborah Hamby says:

    If you’re like me, you take every spare moment to check off items on the list. Wish I had known what I do now as far as nutritious cooking goes–my kids would have fallen asleep to the gentle sound of a blender and food processor!
    Thanks for your inspiring blog!

  12. I just started doing freezer cooking. I do my grocery shopping in the morning with my son, and when he’s down for a nap, I prep enough food for 8-10 meals.

  13. amy marantino says:

    yes. i cook and do chores as much as i can during naptime.

  14. Yes, I have, and I always aspire to do more– I know I would feel so much better about dinner if I capitalized on that prep time. But somehow, I end up finding other things to do instead.

  15. I love to prep or make the “special” baked goods while they are napping. That way when they wake up they have something yummy waiting for them!

  16. All the time! I also prep things at night after he’s in bed

  17. Jon Lasser says:

    When my kids were little we tried to do lots of cooking together and really enjoyed time in the kitchen. We often napped together. Once, when my youngest was little, we fell asleep while the bottle nipples were boiling and awoke to the smell of melting rubber!

  18. No. I tend to use nap time for cleaning or my own nap.

  19. Lyndsey Gentile says:

    Sometimes. Today, nap time is for napping!

  20. Christina says:

    I need nap time to rest so I usually do prep the night before or in the morning while the kids are having breakfast.

  21. Not yet, but with our first baby coming any day now, it shouldn’t take long!

  22. Naptime truly was a precious time, usually spent catching up on housework (a lot of laundry, as I remember), returning phone calls and emails, doing dishes. Once in awhile I did steal that time to just hold my babe and watch them sleep. That was my favorite!

  23. I work full time and am a single mom, so nap time on the weekends is devoted to prepping food for the entire week! Lunches for me, breakfasts and dinners for both of us, plus snacks and a few grab n go treats like muffins or a cookie ;). I chop, dice, marinate, pre cook, par bake/boil, bake and portion everything I can so that our hectic weekdays and weeknights are more about us enjoying a great meal together (usually with just a few simple steps we can do together!) than scrambling for last minute foods 🙂 I prep a ton during nap and then we get to spend some time cooking/prepping a few meals together when he wakes up as well, giving us valuable time together in the kitchen, where so many life lessons are naturally taught and passed down <3

  24. Luciana Davis says:

    What would be of us without Naptime??? It’s when I get my freeze meals done and chop veggies/fruits for the week!!,

  25. Naptime in our house is from 2-4, but the baby doesn’t always think his nap should coincide with his brother’s. If it does, I sometimes use naptime to get some prep done for dinner.

  26. Of course!! That time is so precious!

  27. This book sounds like something I would D

  28. Nap time is a great time to chop/prep ingredients so dinner time is less hectic. If i haven’t planned well, naptime is also a good time to figure out what we’re having. Would LOVE to win this book!

    • Yes! I would try to rest myself but would quickly get up and rush to kitchen to make a batch of cookies or a muffin recipe I had been wanting to try! I now have no napping kids but use their “chill out time” to do it! I can’t wait to read and use this book. Congratulations!

  29. I have used naptime for baking, although my little guy loves to help me in the kitchen so I usually wait for him!

  30. This sounds like a book I would definitely get some use out of. I have great energy levels during the morning but after 2:00 my afternoon slump is more like a downward spiral! Being able to make use of my energy to prepare the evening meal is a wonderful idea! 🙂

  31. Amanda Thompson says:

    Not yet but hopefully someday soon!

  32. Nap time is the best for preparing your meals. I have to be alone in the kitchen to focus on cooking as well as cleaning up afterwards. The biggest kid in the house is my husband who likes to sit at the computer, which happens to be in the kitchen, and supervise and direct me, so I like to take advantage when he is out of the house too.

  33. I didn’t plan the spacing of my children very well and they both gave up their naps young, so I didn’t get a whole lot of naptime to do much of anything but enjoy a cup of tea in a few moments of silence. Love the idea of prepping ahead of time – my house is the go-to place for all holiday celebrations and most general gatherings, so I often try to stage food as much as I can, so that when guests are here I can enjoy them (and they can enjoy me) instead of spending the whole time cooking fabulous food. Now that my boys are 4 and 5, it seems even more important to show them that good food, pretty food and healthy food isn’t a chore and forethought is a valuable skill in all pieces of our lives.

  34. I use naptime to bake all the time. I have a 15 month old, and it’s nice to bake with the older kids when she’s sleeping:-) I also like to do some of the make-ahead portions of dinner during naptime.

  35. I have used nap time to bake something for occasions or others. Mostly, I use nap time to finally eat lunch because I couldn’t earlier in the day!

    It looks like this book is filled with useful-ness!

  36. I have recently started doing some prep work for dinner during naptime so that getting it on the table is less stressful. It really does help and it frees me up to focus fully on the kids when they are awake!

  37. Naps are long gone for me, but yes, I did cherish those quiet times and was so efficient prepping for dinner and/or cleaning the house!

  38. No….I’m usually a sucker for trying to sneak in a nap too. But this is a great idea! I would love to read the book!

  39. Yes! I love cooking with my older daughter while the younger one takes her nap. She’s always asking to make something with me, it’s a lot of fun.

  40. Yes – if I waited til ‘dinnertime’ to start preparing, we wouldn’t eat til midnite! I am amused when a recipe lists ’45 minutes to prep’, since anyone with kids knows you don’t have the luxury of wandering in the kitchen at 5 pm to spend an hour preparing your meal. Advance menu planning and a good grocery list make it easy for me to do bits of meal prep when I can. My kids are school age, and the hours from 3 pm on get even busier now that they have homework and sports!

  41. Everyday! As a mom of 3, nap time is the only time I have to bake up something yummy or start the evening meal. It’s a much needed break for all of us and Its amazing what can be accomplished in that small window of time! I would love a book like this for new ideas and more inspiration to feed my family!

  42. Kaitlin Jenkins says:

    I don’t have kids yet, but I know when I do that naptime will become as precious to me as every other mother out there.

  43. I am now in my 60s, but vividly recall sneaking in a lot of things during naptime when my children were small. Definitely working in the kitchen rates at the top. Especially during times of the year when I would be preserving bounty from my garden.

  44. My son is grown and beyond naptime however I had to work FT outside the home when he was young. I do however loved to get up early while he is sleeping and bake then…the house is quiet and I have something yummy for him when he wakes up.

  45. Nap time is my time to make or at least prep dinner most days. Thankfully I find the time in the kitchen to be relaxing, so I don’t mind. I’d much rather cook in the peace and quiet than at 5:00 with fussy kids at my heels!

  46. are you kidding! YES! nap time is a mix of replying and initiating emails to plan for in person connections for the days ahead, a quick cup of coffee and toast with jam then off to the kitchen to get a few steps in a recipe (or the whole thing) done before the “wake” timer goes off. i also use the last few minutes of nap time to get lunch ready.

  47. Patty Jensen says:

    My daughter is sadly past the nap time stage, but I will use any free time I can carve out of my day to cook/bake. I just love to be in my kitchen.

  48. I definitely have, although many times I’m tempted to just sit and enjoy the silence with a book and forget everything I should be doing! It’s a great time to get a batch of granola going.

  49. Every week-end!

  50. Yes~ I have taken a quickie nap before cooking. Having 6 children, 2 in law children and 8 grandkids….I need a nap before cooking and then they all come over! Would love to win this book ~