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The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life Paperback – March 6, 2012

31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, Founding Editor of Apartment Therapy’s TheKitchn.com, and author of GOOD FOOD TO SHARE
"What I love about Kelsey's approach to cooking is that she doesn't use her role as a parent as an excuse to compromise the quality or frequency of her cooking. As mothers, Kelsey and I agree that cooking for a family should inspire rather than limit possibilities in the kitchen. In The Naptime Chef, Kelsey takes her favorite recipes, from Four-Bean Chili Mole to Black Bottom Peanut Butter Pie, and tweaks them so that they can be prepared while the baby naps. Baby or not, this book will help anyone who thinks they're too busy to cook to absolutely flourish in the kitchen."

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, co-founders of FOOD52.com
"At last, a cookbook for parents that doesn't push you away from the kitchen! Kelsey Banfield has done all the hard work for us—coming up with inventive, delicious recipes that you can get done in your down time, and helping us all eat well."
 
Laurie David, producer and author of THE FAMILY DINNER
"Kelsey's book is one more great weapon in your arsenal for making sure that a home-cooked family dinner happens in your house, even with babies underfoot."

Library Journal
"Great for new parents."

NY Family Magazine
“a boon for parents”

Gluten is My Bitch blog
“The Gen X Martha Stewart has a whole book full of delicious, and easy (she makes them during her daughter’s naptime—get it?) recipes that make you feel happy inside.”

Chicago Tribune
"Naptime for baby is often naptime for exhausted parents as well. They may want to reconsider how that time is spent with this smart book. Every one of Banfield's recipes comes with a "Naptime stopwatch" telling you how much time you need to prepare the dish and cook it while your child is sleeping. Founder and editor of The Naptime Chef (thenaptimechef.com), this mom from Fairfield, Conn., proves that you don't have to give up great home cooking after the baby arrives, just shift strategies to keep the flavor but be more efficient."

About the Author

Kelsey Banfield is the founder and editor of TheNaptimeChef.com, and producer of The Naptime Chef Cooking Show, found online. She writes for various other publications including Babble and New York Family Magazine’s Yummy Delicious blog. She lives in Southern Connecticut with her husband and her daughter, who still takes afternoon naps.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; Original edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762442123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762442126
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #852,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Before my daughter was born I was the most dedicated of home cooks, spending hours in the kitchen in blissful ignorance of the clock. But once my daughter arrived, I began to long for the days when dinner came steaming-hot from the oven and not a take-out box. Fed up, I began searching for ways to fit good cooking into my new routine. I began cooking when my daughter was napping and started reinventing all of my favorite recipes to be prepped while she slept.

These days I cook while my daughter naps, is at school, or generally occupied with another activity. I live in southern Connecticut with my daughter and husband. My daily naptime cooking adventures can be found at www.thenaptimechef.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amy L. on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm the proud owner of a ton of cookbooks, and my shelf is pretty crowded with titles that I like to read but that I don't actually cook from that often.

Since I bought it, I haven't bothered to fit The Naptime Chef's book on my shelf, because it's found a better place: on my kitchen counter. In use. Kelsey's recipes are delicious looking and sounding, and they're also a creative call to action to get in the kitchen, no matter how busy or complicated our days may be.

There are a bunch of moments in our lives when routines change--after we graduate from college or start a family. Kelsey Banfield's cookbook identifies the latter as a time when a foodie home cook's priorities have to change. But she also shows with her recipes, introduction, and helpful sidebars that just because life's gotten busier doesn't mean food lovers have to abandon great cooking, or revert to cake mixes or take out.

I don't have a kid yet, but I'm in school and engaged, so I always need great, straightforward recipes for two that I can make ahead of time or whip up quickly when I get home from a super long day. That's why Kelsey's book has been invaluable to me.

Here's what I love most about it:

-Kelsey's tips for planning ahead. In all her recipes, she tells you exactly what needs to be done to get this appetizer/main dish/dessert on the table. It's great to learn what can be frozen easily and how long different parts of a recipe keep in the fridge, and it really helps with planning.
-The little boxes that separate prep time from cook time so you know the start-to-finish time but also how many precious minutes you'll have while the food is cooking unattended to wash dishes/clean the apartment/talk on the phone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mlaw on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have used many cook books over the years and claims of 30 minute meals often take more like an hour for the amateur chef. This is not the case with The Naptime Chef. The naptime stopwatch for prep and cook times in Kelsey's book are quite accurate and the recipes are simple enough for a beginner chef, yet appealing enough to satisfy the palate of an experienced cook. The make-ahead tips and variation ideas help even the busiest parents make delicious foods the entire family will enjoy. Favorites in our house are the old-fashioned blueberry muffins (which we call scuffins, since they are like a scone-muffin), italian-style meatloaf (delicious even the next day crumbled up with spaghetti sauce!), and the everyday cream puffs (delicious and so easy to make!).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George Erdosh on April 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
In our deluge of new cookbook, Banfield pulled off a new one by thinking outside of the box. The title The Naptime Chef may mislead you. It's not the chef, unfortunately, who can take a nap. But as a young parent with a new baby, your kitchen time is reduced to snatching minutes here and there to prepare a healthy and proper meal--an awkward way to cook. Banfield designed her cookbook to do kitchen work in the best available time: during baby napping. The recipes are good, though simple enough to fit within the time on hand, while hoping the nap is not over too soon. Fixing basic items like pancakes, french toast, guacamole, ratatouille and teriyaki chicken fit into the napping time. Each recipe comes with prep time and baking time (Naptime Watch) and the very good head notes give tips on both the recipes and ingredients. Most have make-ahead tips and variation ideas. In addition, she provides plenty of suggestions that will speed the work: e.g. your own pancake mix. The layout of recipes is excellent and cook friendly. The index is well cross referenced and very complete. The Pantry Staples chapter is useful. (As reviewed for Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JennB on March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
I highly suggest you check out the Naptime Chef - being a parent doesn't mean you have to give up the food you love. Kelsey Banfield offers great suggestions for making the most of your "free" moments (when kids are napping or otherwise occupied) to prep food and make delicious low-hassle meals. Her soup with chicken sausage and tortellini will satisfy and freezes great. There is a great mix of food for all occasions, even entertaining. This would be a great gift for new parents or a baby shower.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By the wicked noodle on March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I just love this cookbook! Although my girls are out of the napping stage, the recipes are so easy and delicious that it still applies. They really are easy enough to prepare during naptimes, too! It makes me wish I knew someone who was having a baby because it would be the perfect gift. The recipes are easy and family-friendly yet sophisticated enough that I always feel like I'm treating myself and my family. The cocktail section is good, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AT on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The recipes I've tried so far have been very tasty but not very healthy. Also, very time consuming. Not so nap friendly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Jeanne Patterson on June 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
With three young children, I struggled to get healthy meals on the table--not just healthy meals, but ones that appealed to my husband and me, too. Now, with Banfield's book, we all sit down to a gourmet meal (and our children actually eat it--salmon, green beans, etc).
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By NicoleLG on March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a busy mother of two - and cannot say enough about this book. Why? because you don't need to be a busy mother of any-number-of-kids to enjoy the recipes - you just have to like food. Kelsey Banfield has found a way to walk the very thin line that often gets blurred between the titles of "cooking for kids!" or "cooking for adults!" Everyone can find something delicious and interesting within the pages of this book, and I've yet to find something my girls won't at least try, if not love. She doesn't "dumb-down" or "hide" food because it's for kids - it's like an insider's manual for eating grown up food as a family.

My copy arrived earlier than anticipated to my office, and an unmarried colleague picked it up and starting leafing through it. She couldn't put it down, and wrote out two recipes to try that night for she and her boyfriend...and then went online to order the book herself.

The best thing I can say about this book is that it is SO adaptable to your life - I'm a big fan of Barefoot Contessa, and I look at this book as similar (only it has a stopwatch for each recipe, which I find ingenious). If you enjoy cooking, and are trying to figure out how to fit it all in, try this. You won't be disappointed.
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