couscous salad with blue cheese and dried cranberries & the naptime chef cookbook giveaway

I’ve been a fan of Kelsey Banfield’s blog for quite a while. What sold me on her recipes was how approachable and accessible they are. The fact that she makes the prep and cook time fit into a busy family’s schedule is really icing on the cake. And, what sold me on Kelsey herself is that she’s a warm and beautiful person. The only downside to Kelsey is that she lives so far away from me.

Kelsey’s new book,The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life, has just hit the market. When her publisher, Running Press, offered to send me copy to review, I jumped at the chance. Not only do I have an unhealthy addiction to new cookbooks, but I adore Kelsey, and her book has been on my must-acquire list since I first learned she would be writing it.

The first recipe I tested was the recipe for herbs de provence popovers. I’ve never made popovers before, and I loved that the recipe didn’t require me to go out and buy a special pan to make them in.

Popovers are a beautiful thing, really. The billowy tops almost beg to have a finger poked in them, but I resisted. The popovers were loaded with herbs de provence, and the savory aroma that filled the house as they baked was intoxicating.

For lunch one day, I tried the recipe for couscous salad with blue cheese and dried cranberries. I’m trying to take my lunch to work more often, and these are the kinds of salads I look for. Couscous is simple to prepare, and with the addition of a light vinaigrette and the sweet and salty add-ins of pecans, blue cheese, and dried cranberries, this is one beautiful salad. It can be made ahead, perfect for that dreaded Sunday night weekday-lunch-prep-time.

The Naptime Chef is an empowering cookbook for parents, especially new parents who are struggling to find a way to eat well while working around a little one’s schedule. In fact, this is a great book to give to a new mom or dad – it would make a wonderful baby shower gift.  It’s not comprehensive, but it’s not meant to be. Kelsey’s book is just meant to show you that eating well while raising children can be done.

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the giveaway

Running Press was gracious enough to allow me to give a copy of Kelsey’s book to one of my readers, so here’s your chance to get the book in your own warm little hands.

to enter:

It’s very simple to enter — no hoops to jump through. And, while I would love it if you followed me on twitter and liked my Facebook page, it is by no means a requirement.

Since the theme of this book is all about fitting wonderful meals into a busy family life, all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post with the answer to this question:

What is your favorite weeknight meal to serve your family, and how do you fit it in your schedule?

the fine print:

I’ll close comments on Thursday, March 15 at 5pm EST, and I’ll randomly select a winner from the comments. Please, only one comment per person, and you must live in the US or Canada to win the giveaway.

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway to end? Buy The Naptime Chef right now.

*   *   *   UPDATE!   *   *   *

Time’s up and the winner of this wonderful cookbook goes to…

Congratulations, Flavia! I’m sure you’ll enjoy Kelsey’s book as much as I’m enjoying it. I love the dinner suggestion, too. It sounds like exactly what I’d love to eat right this very minute, in fact.

Yield: 4 servings.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Couscous Salad with Blue Cheese and Dried Cranberries

Kelsey notes that this salad tastes better if made at least a couple of hours in advance, to allow the flavors to meld. Chill it in the refrigerator before serving.


1-1/2 cups (10 ounces) uncooked plain couscous
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) dried cranberries
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 3), white and light green parts only
3/4 cup (3 ounces) pecans, coarsely chopped


Prepare couscous according to package directions, making sure to fluff it with a fork when it's cooked.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.

Pour the prepared couscous into a large mixing bowl. Add the cranberries, blue cheese, scallions, and pecans and pour the dressing evenly over the top. Mix everything together lightly with a fork so the ingredients are lightly coated with the dressing and the mixture stays fluffy.

Taste the salad for seasoning, and add another pinch or two of salt if necessary.

Reprinted with permission from Kelsey Banfield's The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life.

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8 Responses to “overnight cinnamon yeasted belgian waffles”

  1. Kirsten/Comfortably Domestic — August 22, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

    I’m a believer in real waffles, but I’ve never made them with yeast. Love the idea of being able to assemble most of the batter the night before–that makes waffles for a weekday breakfast seem that much more reasonable.

  2. deb — August 23, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    I grew up with waffles, the Bisquick variety. With margarine and homemade “maple syrup”. The maple syrup was really a flavored simple syrup. But it tasted much better than the store bought imitation maple syrups and it certainly cost less. My favorite memory is of my brothers, who are twins, fighting for the sidecars. The batter than flows over the edge and onto the sides of the over filled waffle iron was fondly named “sidecars”. Although I now make my own waffle batter and have access to real butter and maple syrup waffles are still a breakfast of magnificence! Your recipe for overnight waffles is a marvelous start to the weekend!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — August 23rd, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

      Sidecars? I love it!

  3. Brian @ A Thought For Food — August 23, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    That was your first waffle? Those were some good waffles! 🙂 Yay! Glad you were introduced to them!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — August 23rd, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

      Can you believe it? Crazy, I know.

  4. jennifer simmons — August 23, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

    I LOVE homemade waffles and I cant wait to make these! Love the idea of making it the night before!!!

  5. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — August 23, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    I am a huge fan of waffles… And, I need to get my hands one on of those KitchenAid waffle makers. I’ve been eying them up ever since BSP. Love your waffle recipe. I need to give it a try in my waffle maker (which isn’t nearly as fantastic) in the meantime!

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