Ten Minutes With Kelsey Banfield
The naptime chef
Kelsey Banfield is the author of two cookbooks and lives in Fairfield with her husband and two children. While her first daughter was napping, Kelsey cooked a little bit every day. During that time, she started a blog called The Naptime Chef, which is also the name of her first book. Her latest book is The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year.
What inspired The Family Calendar?
The idea for this book came about when my oldest child was in preschool. I found myself cooking above and beyond what I needed to do every day for events like Teacher Appreciation Day, a bake sale, a beach picnic, Thanksgiving, etc. I was constantly trying to come up with something new. One day I took these cupcakes to a bake sale and someone said, “You didn’t make those chocolate cupcakes you made last year. They were so good.” That’s when it dawned on me—I just needed a few really good recipes to keep in my back pocket. That’s what we all need instead of trying to reinvent the wheel all the time.
Where are your favorite places to shop in Fairfield?
When it comes to picking up gifts for friends or things for my house, I swear by The Beehive. I also love Capri for jewelry and bags. I hit up the Love of Pretty booth at every single pop-up market.
Where are your favorite places to eat in Fairfield?
Bonda is our favorite date-night restaurant. I have to force myself to try new things on the menu because all I ever want to order is the Sriracha fried chicken and grilled-romaine salad. It is hands down the best fried chicken on the planet. Plus, they have a great wine list. With the kids, we head to Brick + Wood. It is nice because my husband and I can get salads and burrata, while they dive into their margherita pizzas.
Do you cook with your children?
I do, but we keep it light and simple. If you have cooked with children before you know that everything takes at least three times as long. Our cooking is age appropriate. With two young children, we might top pizzas as opposed to making chicken cutlets. It shouldn’t be stressful, and we certainly don’t want to chastise our children for not breading the chicken properly. Children should be having fun when they cook.
If you could drop everything and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? I am craving a trip to Portugal to check out the amazing beaches and wine region. Last year we visited Napa Valley, and I got really into learning more about wine regions around the world. So I think I’d choose one, hop on a plane, and go.
What books are on your bedside table? Right now, I am finishing Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I also have Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel since I read Wolf Hall, the prequel, last winter. I like to rotate lighter books into the mix now and then too. I have the new Jojo Moyes on my Kindle for this. I think it is good to mix heavy literature with lighter fare. It is like having a little taste of candy between heavy meals.