The Chef Next Door

Maple & Walnut Yogurt Muffins

These tender and delicious muffins are filled with nutrients and protein and make a great portable breakfast 
or perfect midday or post-workout snack!

My youngest son has been playing sports pretty much all summer. First it was summer basketball in June. The rest of the summer has been dedicated to football. Football camp. Football workouts. Weightlifting. Football scrimmages. Seems like we eat, breathe and sleep football. Now don't get me wrong, I am a total sports mom, but it's nice to have the occasional day or two off!
Evan and I after one of his games last season!



Foodie Friends Friday Link Party!

Welcome to Foodie Friends Friday!


Crunchy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce

These chicken tenders are moist and tender inside from a quick buttermilk bath, and crunchy on the outside from a surprise breading! Served with a spicy orange dipping sauce, this is a delicious and quick meal!

We eat a lot of chicken in our house. I mean, A LOT. Grilled chicken, baked chicken, chicken sandwiches, chicken kabobs, and most importantly, chicken tenders. Both of my sons have loved chicken tenders since they were tiny tots, and my almost 16 year old would easily choose them over most anything for dinner every single night. 

The trick to chicken tenders is making them healthy and not deep frying them. I mean, I'm all for eating them every day, but not when they've been deep fried! This new recipe is just that, healthy. Oven baked and juicy on the inside, they get a delicious crunchy crust from a surprise breading. Are you ready for this? The tenders are breaded in granola! Golden Girl Original Granola to be exact. Golden Girl Granola is holding a recipe contest for bloggers. We were challenged to make an entree with one of their flavors of granola (I chose the Original), and I thought using the granola like breadcrumbs would be a perfect idea! 

Overnight Raspberry Coconut Oats

Looking for a simple yet healthy breakfast? It doesn't get any easier than these overnight raspberry coconut oats! Mix everything up before bed, and breakfast is ready to go when you get up in the morning!

If you're like me, there are days when it's hard to find time to eat breakfast. Rushing to get ready for work, to get the kids ready to go wherever they need to be, to run here and there and everywhere....you get the point. We are all busy. But we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We need the nutrition and essential proteins and fiber to give us energy to start our day. It also helps weight control, and improves our performance. Who wants to go to a morning meeting feeling sluggish and out of it? It's better to have a good breakfast and knock that meeting out of the park!

One of the best things we can do for ourselves is plan our breakfasts ahead of time, like the night before. Whether that means prepping ingredients for a morning smoothie, or making a batch of pancakes or waffles over the weekend that can easily be reheated on a weekday morning, it's good to have things in the frig that are ready to go. This new recipe for Overnight Raspberry Coconut Oats is just that! Prep everything the night before in a bowl or jar, cover, and in the morning it's ready to eat! Easy peasy, right?

Homemade Fudgsicles

Making rich, creamy fudgsicles from scratch is easy! Both kids and adults will love 
cooling off this summer with this delicious frozen treat.

Growing up, one of my favorite frozen treats were fudgsicles. You know, the ones in the box that your mom bought from the grocery store. I had one practically every night after dinner. Sometimes I'd get one from the ice cream man during the day, too. But almost always I had one for dessert.

Little did I know that one day I would be making these delicious frozen treats from scratch for my own family! In celebration of National Ice Cream Month, I sought out to recreate my favorite childhood frozen novelty treat. What I made is better than I ever imagined. The best part? These fudgsicles are made with only four ingredients. FOUR! Can you believe it? It's crazy to me that four simple ingredients can turn into something to creamy, so chocolaty, so decadent.

Chickpea & Pasta Salad with Lemon-Chutney Dressing #Pastapalooza

Chickpeas and toasted pine nuts add the perfect crunch to this fresh, delicious pasta salad! 

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that aside from sweets, pasta is by far one of my favorite foods. Whether it's a main pasta dish for dinner, or a cold pasta salad for a picnic, I truly love my pasta. Lately I've been trying really hard to eat healthy as often as possible and make better food choices. To help with that, I've been eating a lot of Dreamfields Pasta and let me say it's quickly become my favorite! With 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per serving, it's a simple way to add nutrition to your diet. And it tastes delicious, too! 

Dreamfields is celebrating their 5th Anniversary of their #Pastapalooza event. To celebrate this milestone, they’re having a #Pastapalooza Market Basket Challenge! Food bloggers are creating recipes around different themes using five required ingredients. Readers have the opportunity to vote for their favorite recipe from each market basket category, with the winning blogger receiving a $1,000 donation to their local food bank/pantry; a $200 donation will go to the food bank of choice of the remaining bloggers. One randomly drawn reader who votes will win a family pack of Dreamfields Pasta plus a $1,000 donation to the local food bank/pantry of their choice.

Mini Lemon Poppyseed Donuts with Lemon Glaze

These adorable bite sized donuts are bursting with fresh lemon flavor in each bite!
It's really no secret that I love donuts. Donuts of every shape, size and flavor. Filled donuts, glazed donuts, cake donuts...I'll eat 'em all. My waistline tells me differently though! So I've come to love baking donuts at home. I've made several variations over the years that have been absolutely delicious, but this new recipe that I came up really takes the cake! And it's perfect for summer.

These little mini donuts are bursting with fresh lemon flavor and are also topped with a sweet lemon glaze. The best part is how teeny tiny they are! Perfect for tiny hands to handle, and especially great for portion control, these Mini Lemon Poppyseed Donuts with Lemon Glaze are my new favorite. Made with the new Mrs. Fields Cutie Pie™ Mini Donut Pan, they are quick and simple to make and super adorable!