The Chef Next Door

One Pot Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Spinach

Weeknight dinner just got easier with this flavor packed One Pot Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Spinach!
Weeknight dinner just got easier with this flavor packed One Pot Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Spinach!
This past weekend my youngest son graduated from high school. {If you follow me on Instagram then I'm sure you saw a few photos!} He is my baby. My baby is no longer in high school. It sounds so weird to say that! The past four years have flown by and I'm so proud of him, but I'm still coming to terms with the fact that my babies aren't babies anymore. It's really hard being a parent sometimes! Please tell me you agree and that I'm not alone?!

Dinner Divas Weekly Menu Plan - Week 5

Happy Friday, friends! Here we are at the end of another week already. It felt like this week really flew by! My "baby" is graduating from high school on Sunday so I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the big day. I mean, didn't he just start Kindergarten? It's incredible how the older I get, the faster time seems to go. Do you feel that way too?

Getting to the food part of this post, we are already at week 5 of our weekly menu plan! I hope you've been enjoying these menus as much as we've enjoyed putting them together. I've been using the plan myself and have loved all the new recipes I've tried, and so has my son! Do you have a favorite yet? As always, please share your thoughts and suggestions below. I value your feedback!

Spicy Avocado Hummus

I received free products from Casabella to create a delicious recipe for this post. 
No additional compensation was received. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Perfect for your summer gatherings and family BBQ's, this Spicy Avocado Hummus is 
nutritious, easy to make, and simply delicious!
Perfect for your summer gatherings and family BBQ's, this Spicy Avocado Hummus is nutritious, easy to make, and simply delicious!
Summer is right around the corner which means it's time to start prepping the deck for outdoor gatherings galore. I love to have friends and family over, fire up the grill, and enjoy dinner and an icy beverage outside. We spend time talking, laughing, and of course, eating! I try to serve simple and delicious food that doesn't take hours to prepare and is easy to clean up. The beauty of grilling is no pots or pans to clean, and I often make pasta salad, coleslaw, or other salads beforehand so they're ready when company arrives. I also like to serve dips alongside chips and veggies for snacking before dinner is ready. Again, anything that can be made or prepped ahead is key here.

Heirloom Tomato Pesto Pizza

Fresh heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese are the stars of this beautiful Heirloom Tomato 
Pesto PizzaIt's a simple pizza, yet so delicious, and perfect for the summer!
Fresh heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese are the stars of this beautiful Heirloom Tomato Pesto Pizza. It's a simple pizza, yet so delicious, and perfect for the summer!
The farmers market is brimming with fresh produce this time of year and one of my absolute favorite finds are heirloom tomatoes. Not only are they gorgeous in color, but they are juicy and super flavorful. There are so many ways to enjoy these beauties, but my typical go-to is to use them as a topping for pizza. You may remember that early last month I attended the Food & Culinary Professionals 2017 Culinary Workshop in Napa with the Dairy Industry of Michigan. We attended different educational sessions and also participated in hands on activities, one of which was making our own wood fired pizzas. Even though I don't have a wood fired oven in my backyard, I was so inspired by our trip that I had to try and recreate our pizza at home!

Dinner Divas Weekly Menu Plan - Week 4

Happy Friday, friends! So Mother's Day is this weekend, do you have plans? My son is coming home from college so I'm grilling out on Mother's Day for my boys and my parents. At first my mom wanted to go out to eat because she didn't want me to have to cook, but I wanted to cook for her. That's the best part, to just spend the day at home with my family. That's really all I need! Whatever it is that you do, I hope you enjoy your day!

So here we are at week 4 of our weekly menu plan. I can't believe it's been a month already! Do you have a favorite recipe that you've tried? Are you enjoying the recipes that we're sharing? Please, feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions below!

Cherry Almond Coffee Cake #BrunchWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor 
companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

This Cherry Almond Coffee Cake is a sweet addition to any brunch menu. Made with fresh cherries, almond 
extract, and slivered almonds, this delicious cake will quickly become a family favorite!
This Cherry Almond Coffee Cake is a sweet addition to any brunch menu. Made with fresh cherries, almond extract, and slivered almonds, this delicious cake will quickly become a family favorite!
I'm gonna be honest here, coffee cake is my weakness. I would make one every few days if I could, but I don't because I know I'll devour it all by myself. Coffee cakes are one of those things that are good for breakfast, brunch, an afternoon snack, and even dessert. I can eat coffee cake all. the. time. See the problem here? I need to learn to control myself better. But since Mother's Day is this weekend, and since I really want to spoil my mom, I'm making myself this Cherry Almond Coffee Cake. I mean, her. I'm making her this coffee cake. Sorry about that.

Apple & Grape Breakfast Salad #BrunchWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor 
companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Lighten up your brunch menu with this creamy Apple & Grape Breakfast Salad! Fresh fruit
 is tossed in a flavorful lemony yogurt sauce that's not only delicious, but healthy too!
Lighten up your brunch menu with this creamy Apple & Grape Breakfast Salad! Fresh fruit is tossed in a flavorful lemony yogurt sauce that's not only delicious, but healthy too!
Happy Thursday, friends! I hope you've been enjoying #BrunchWeek so far. You didn't get a new brunch recipe from me yesterday but don't fret, I've still got two new ones coming your way this week. This Apple & Grape Breakfast Salad is one of my new favorite dishes. It's so simple, yet it's light and creamy and packed with flavor. It's perfect to serve at brunch, but also great for busy weekday mornings. You can make the dish ahead of time and eat it for the next few days. It gives me a great boost of energy and brightens my mood too!