The Naptime Chef: Local Chef Fits Great Food into Family Life

Jessica Ryan

When Kelsey Banfield became a mother she quickly learned that organization was necessary to successfully run a household. Babies are unpredictable in their needs and they can easily wreak havoc on the day’s plans. A fussy baby needs tending to.  Clutter piles up, as does laundry as well as those lists of things we need to accomplish. Many of us have been there and our babies are much older. While we can better organize our days, we’re still incredibly busy and there never does seem to be enough time in our day. So while Kelsey utilizes her daughter’s naptime to get things done, those of us without napping children can carve out some time during the day where we can do the same, whether it be morning, afternoon or evening.  Whether we have newborns, active toddlers or busy teenagers with heavy schedules, Kelsey’s approach to fitting great food into our lives is one that can be adapted by us all, and you can share her secrets in her new cookbook, "The Naptime Chef, Fitting Great Food into Family Life." 

Determined not to have to sacrifice her love for cooking and good food, Kelsey was determined to figure out how she could serve delicious, wholesome meals on the table each night without cutting corners or sacrificing flavor, in a limited amount of time. Once she became successful at the task, she began documenting her meals. Her friends dubbed her The Naptime Chef. Cooking and documenting was not quite enough. From a need to be creative, her blog The Naptime Chef, was born. The Naptime Chef chronicles Kelsey’s adventures in the kitchen. Be sure to stop by as it’s filled with lovely, family-friendly, time-saving recipes. 

While I no longer have screaming babies tugging at me around the clock I still find myself lacking for time. Simply put, we all have full lives and there never seems to be quite enough time in the day to get everything done. I do love to cook but often, by the end of the day I have neither the desire nor the inclination. 

The Naptime Chef shares with us how she was able to resume her place at the helm of the family kitchen by creating a few tricks. Not ever did this mean sacrificing good food or good cooking. You won’t find condensed soups or store bought shortcuts. Her ingredients are always natural, always healthy. While Kelsey is a self-claimed foodie, the recipes in her book are delicious and very easy to follow. 

The Naptime Chef is about picking recipes that work with your day. We can all do this, whether our children are newborns, attend preschool or are in high school. Kelsey’s well-placed Naptime Stopwatches throughout the book will help you plan for prep as well as cook time. Many recipes yield extras that can be served again the next day as leftovers, or placed in the freezer to be served again one day down the road. Well stocked freezers and pantries can be a busy mother’s best friend. Kelsey also shares some of her favorite tools and pantry staples.

With recipes like Pesto Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Meatballs for Choir Boys, Pizza with Artichokes, Caramelized Shallots and Ricotta, Caprese Salad with Balsamic Syrup and Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette I assure you your family dinners will bear no resemblance to fast food and yet you will spend minimal time in your kitchen and more time at the table!