The Chef Next Door

Crumb Topped Banana Muffins

These light and tender banana muffins are topped with a crunchy cinnamon crumb 
topping that makes them simply irresistible. Bake a batch on the weekend 
and individually wrap them for a quick and delicious breakfast on the go! 
HELLO, friends! It's been awhile since I've been here. How have you been? I hated being away for so long, but 2018 really got the best of me. I've had quite the hard time finding the right balance between my full time job and the blog. OK let's be real here, there hasn't been any balance! My job keeps me busy 9-10 hours a day so there isn't much time left for me and blogging once you throw in cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, exercising, seeing my kids....you get the drift. But I've come up with a plan for 2019 so that I finally have some BALANCE and can work and blog. It's a work in progress so bear with me, but I'm hoping to start posting one to two new recipes per week starting in January. I'm setting a goal to do a minimum of one but I'd love to do two. Baby steps, that's what I keep reminding myself.

Pumpkin Chili #PumpkinWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with PumpkinWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the PumpkinWeek recipes. All opinions, as always, are mine.

This Pumpkin Chili is loaded with veggies and two kinds of beans, and is a hearty and delicious vegetarian chili recipe. It's perfect for those chilly Fall days!
This Pumpkin Chili is loaded with veggies and two kinds of beans, and is a hearty and delicious vegetarian chili recipe. It's perfect for those chilly Fall days!


Strawberry Bread Pudding #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 beautiful and decadent Strawberry Bread Pudding is a delicious twist on classic 
bread pudding and is perfect for breakfast or brunch!
This beautiful and decadent Strawberry Bread Pudding is a delicious twist on classic bread pudding and is perfect for breakfast or brunch!
Happy Saturday! It's been a long week and I am thrilled that the weekend is finally here. I had a crazy week at work, then my laptop decided to die on me. It's been in the shop for a few days and I finally got it back last night, but unfortunately that meant I missed a few days of brunch week. I'm so bummed I didn't get a chance to share a couple of my favorite recipes with you, but I'm very excited to end the week with this amazing Strawberry Bread Pudding! A twist on traditional bread pudding, it's full of fresh strawberries and strawberry preserves, making it the perfect dish for breakfast or brunch.

Ham & Artichoke Strata #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 Ham & Artichoke Strata is hearty and flavorful and perfect for any occasion. 
Plus it can be prepped the night before then baked in the morning, which cuts down on brunch stress!
Welcome to #BrunchWeek 2018 hosted by Love and Confections and A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures! This year is even bigger and better than ever! Thirty eight bloggers from around the country are showcasing their best brunch dishes. We have so many delicious recipes for you to enjoy throughout the week (over 150!!) including cocktails, appetizers, pastries, tarts, main courses, and plenty of desserts! Our BrunchWeek Sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

Weeknight Meatball and Pepper Skillet


This post is sponsored by Farm Rich, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This easy Weeknight Meatball and Pepper Skillet is a quick and flavorful meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes!
This easy Weeknight Meatball and Pepper Skillet is a quick and flavorful meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes!
Hello friends! I know it's been a little quiet around here lately and I apologize for that. You see, I started a new job the first of the year which has rocked. my. world. I love the job and love what I do but it is extremely busy. I've been working 9+ hour days and still keeping up with the normal mom/family/animal/household stuff, which has left me a bit tired haha. I finally feel like I'm getting into a nice routine and am excited to be recipe developing, cooking and photographing once again. What that means for you is new recipes...yeah!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting

These simple gingerbread cupcakes are light and tender and topped with a flavorful orange buttercream frosting!
These simple gingerbread cupcakes are light and tender and topped with a flavorful orange buttercream frosting!
Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and got to spend some time relaxing with family and friends. This is my first post of 2018, one that I had hoped to have done much sooner. The holidays were so busy and this past week was absolutely nuts at work. I feel like I didn't have much time to breathe! The last few weeks I've really been reflecting on this past year and wanted to share a little bit with you. 

I had much success and many wonderful opportunities in 2017. Cooking, baking, sharing my recipes with you, connecting with and building relationships with some wonderful brands. I went on a few amazing trips and got to meet new friends and see old friends as well. If you follow me on social media then you may have seen my posts about my trip to Cleveland with the American Dairy Association Mideast back in October. It was definitely one of the highlights of my year and I had so much fun learning, playing, and eating tons of good food!

Hot Onion Cheese Dip

I am honored to be a Stonyfield Ambassador and I thank them for sponsoring today’s post.  
All opinions, as always, are my own.

Looking for an easy party appetizer? This Hot Onion Cheese Dip is so delicious and simple to make!
Looking for an easy party appetizer? This Hot Onion Cheese Dip is so delicious and simple to make!
I've never been one to go out on New Years Eve, at least ever since I've had kids. Sure when I was young I did, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually went on NYE over the past 20 years. I know some people love going out that night, but I've always enjoyed staying in and watching football during the day and then watching all the fun festivities on TV at night. I also do a big appetizer spread which typically consists of our favorites, including my mom's famous shrimp dip and her delicious BBQ meatballs, but each year I love to surprise everyone with some new dishes as well. This year I'm adding this Hot Onion Cheese Dip to the table because not only is it delicious, but it's really easy to make too!