The Chef Next Door

Dinner Divas Weekly Menu Plan - Week 10

Happy Friday, friends! I'm off to Kansas today for a super fun trip where I'll be visiting a ranch and learning all about the farmers and their cattle and, of course, eating lots of delicious food! Be sure to follow the action on Instagram where I'll be posting pictures and Instastories about my adventures. What are your plans for the weekend?

The Dinner Divas have decided to do something fun this summer and have themes for our menu plans. Week 10 is all about grilling! From my shrimp on barbie to Comfortably Domestic's gorgeous steak salad to Girl In The Little Red Kitchen's BLAT hot dogs, there is plenty of delicious food to be eaten! Take a look at this week's recipes and let me know what you're excited to make.

Grilled Pork and Pineapple Salad with Simple Vinaigrette

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. 
The opinions and text are all mine.
#RealFlavorRealFast @SmithfieldBrand

Juicy and flavorful pork, fresh pineapple and heirloom tomatoes are topped with a simple 
vinaigrette to create a hearty summer salad that the whole family will love! 
Juicy and flavorful pork, fresh pineapple and heirloom tomatoes are topped with a simple vinaigrette to create a hearty summer salad that the whole family will love!
Summer has finally arrived and you know what that means...it's grilling season! Most summer evenings you can find me on my back deck, cooking on the grill, enjoying an icy beverage, and eating my dinner at my outdoor table. Since warm weather season isn't around too long in Michigan I try to enjoy every single moment that I can outside. Grilling just happens to be one of my favorite activities and I can proudly say that, after years of practice, I am Queen of the Grill!  

One reason I love to grill is that there is less mess in the kitchen. If I can throw my meats and veggies on the grill, there is no need for extra pots and pans in the house! Another plus is that it's quick, and you don't need to think too hard about what's for dinner. I try to keep a lot of meats and fresh veggies on hand so that I can pull together a quick grilled meal in no time.

Coconut Cream Pie Milkshakes

These decadent and delicious Coconut Cream Pie Milkshakes are simple to make and 
are the perfect treat on a hot summer day!
These decadent and delicious Coconut Cream Pie Milkshakes are simple to make and are the perfect treat on a hot summer day!
One of my favorite things about summer is getting to eat all the ice cream. I'm sure many of you can understand and agree completely. Now don't get me wrong I eat ice cream all year round, but during the summer I go all out. Lots of homemade ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, and everything else in between. Speaking of milkshakes, these Coconut Cream Pie Milkshakes are my jam. I whipped them up a few weeks ago and haven't stopped making them since!

Mint Chocolate Potato Chip Clusters

I am honored to be a World Market Ambassador and I thank them for sponsoring this post!

Satisfy both your sweet and salty cravings with these simple Mint Chocolate Potato Chip Clusters
These little addictive bites are perfect for road trips or an everyday snack!
Satisfy both your sweet and salty cravings with these simple Mint Chocolate Potato Chip Clusters! These little addictive bites are perfect for road trips or an everyday snack!
Do you have a summer vacation planned? Or do you have a special trip that you take every year? Every single summer of my childhood my parents and I visited my grandparents in Louisiana. My mom grew up there, met my dad working at the Fort Polk military base hospital, they got married, and eventually settled down in Michigan where my dad is from. With the exception of one or two flights, we always drove to Louisiana. It was about 1,200 miles from our house in Michigan, a 17 hour drive. We never made the drive in one day, we'd always stop for the night to have dinner and rest, and then get up the next day to make the rest of the trip. I should mention that I'm an only child, so these trips I spent in the backseat of our car listening to music, reading, daydreaming, or playing car games with my parents. These are lifelong memories that I'll never forget.


Grilled Peach BBQ Chicken

Simple grilled chicken gets a boost of flavor with an easy homemade peach barbecue sauce. 
Perfect for weeknight dinner, it's a meal the whole family will love!
Simple grilled chicken gets a boost of flavor with an easy homemade peach barbecue sauce. Perfect for weeknight dinner, it's a meal the whole family will love!
Summer is in full swing here. It's been in the high 80's/low 90's for over a week, which is really warm for Michigan in June. I've been soaking up all the sun I can and loving how late it stays light out. That's a food bloggers dream to have so many hours of daylight, but I also love it because it means more time for the kids and I to spend outdoors. We've been spending a lot of time out on the deck and I've been grilling a lot of our meals lately. This Grilled Peach BBQ Chicken is made with a simple homemade peach barbecue sauce that's so flavorful and delicious. I'm also using ingredients in this recipe that supports one of my favorite campaigns, so please read on to learn more!

Dinner Divas Weekly Menu Plan - Week 9

TGIF! After a long, hot week I am so happy that the weekend is here. We've got another round of graduation parties to attend, but other than that I plan on relaxing at home and hopefully catching up on some blog work and cooking. What are your plans for the weekend? 

Since it's been so hot and humid this past week I've been turning to quick skillet dinners or no-cook meals so that I don't have to turn my oven on. This weeks' menu plan has some great recipes to keep the kitchen cool. I've been on a strawberry kick lately so the Summer Strawberry Mango Salad with Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette is right up my alley. And those Pork Banh Mi Burgers? Yes please! What are you looking forward to trying this week?

Grilled Southwestern Beef & Tomato Kebabs with Lemon Orzo

Flavorful cubes of sirloin steak and fresh tomatoes are grilled to perfection, then served atop a bed 
of creamy, lemony orzo. It's the perfect summer meal and best enjoyed al fresco!
Flavorful cubes of sirloin steak and fresh tomatoes are grilled to perfection, then served atop a bed of creamy, lemony orzo. It's the perfect summer meal and best enjoyed al fresco!
Father's Day is just around the corner and I'm already planning dinner for my dad. It's been a tradition for years now that I cook for him on this special day. There's no going out to eat around here, everything is homemade! He's pretty easy to please, but I always ask him if he's craving something or has any special requests. This year when I asked he told me that he'd love steak on the grill. Instead of cooking a whole steak, I've decided to make these Grilled Southwestern Beef & Tomato Kebabs with Lemon Orzo. The beef is tossed in southwest spices and grills up tender and juicy. The sweet grilled tomatoes add the perfect pop of flavor!