The Chef Next Door

Caramel Macchiato & Double Chocolate Biscotti

Surprise your family and friends by making your own creamy Caramel Macchiato at home! It goes superbly with one or two homemade Double Chocolate Biscotti. The perfect holiday pairing!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#MakeItMerrier #CollectiveBias

Each year for as long back as I can remember, my mom and I have had a holiday cookie baking day. We each gather our favorite recipes, some new, some old, and spend an entire day in the kitchen together. When my boys were younger this included them as well, rolling out and decorating their beloved sugar cookies. Now that they've gotten older they don't help as much, but I still get them in the kitchen a little by bribing them with treats. Don't judge, it works! 

I love making something special for my mom and I to drink and snack on as we bake away. Some years it was hot chocolate and doughnuts, others it was coffee and a homemade coffee cake, but this year I created something new. I made us Caramel Macchiatos with Double Chocolate Biscotti! The biscotti are chocolaty, crunchy, and perfect for dunking in the creamy, caramely Macchiato. YUM!

Ziti with Eggplant, Sausage and Parmesan

Italian sausage, eggplant, and Parmesan cheese come together in this quick and easy hearty pasta dish!
Ziti with Eggplant, Sausage and Parmesan | The Chef Next Door

We all know how much I love pasta, and it's been quite awhile since I shared a new pasta recipe. Well, it's about time I change that! I've been experimenting with different combinations and flavors, and this Ziti with Eggplant, Sausage and Parmesan is my new favorite.

Other than traditional eggplant parm, I've never cooked eggplant in a pasta dish before. Once I tried this dish, I realized I had really been missing out! The cubes of eggplant turn soft and tender, and the their flavor pairs perfectly with the Italian sausage.

No Bake Chocolate Cereal Bars

Nutritious cereal, chocolate chips, and pumpkin seeds come together to make a delicious, healthy, and portable breakfast!

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and Kellogg’s Origins. All opinions are my own.

I'm all about fast, healthy, and delicious breakfasts during the week. Although I'd love to make my kids a huge meal before we head off to school and work, it just doesn't happen. I can barely get us out the door on time, much less spend a lot of time in the kitchen! I love foods that are portable and can easily be taken on the go, like breakfast bars, fruit, even a waffle sandwich. Basically anything that is hand held!

I enjoy making homemade granola bars and breakfast cookies, and try to make a batch at least once a month. I also love to make cereal bars, using different mix-ins to change things up. I recently tried a couple of new products - Kellogg's Origins™ Ancient Grains Blend Cereal and Kellogg's Origins™ Raisin Apple Granola - and I absolutely fell in love with both of them! The granola is the perfect topping for my yogurt, and the cereal is crunchy, slightly sweet, and just all around delicious.

Chicken Cranberry Walnut Pizza with Goat Cheese

Goat cheese and cranberry sauce pair perfectly with chicken and walnuts for an exciting change to our pizza routine! 
Easy and quick to make, it's a winner on pizza night!
Chicken Cranberry Walnut Pizza with Goat Cheese | The Chef Next Door

No matter the time of year, I'm always in the mood for pizza. It's part of our weekly routine to get pizza delivery sometime during the weekend, whether it's Friday or Saturday night depends on our schedules. I really enjoy making homemade pizza too, so sometimes I'll do that instead. I enjoy changing the toppings up - it could be just cheese or pepperoni, other times I'll make BBQ Chicken or Chicken Alfredo. It's fun to put some twists on the traditional toppings.

Recently I decided to create a new pizza that symbolized Fall. Not the usual pumpkin, sweet potato, apple flavors that I've been working with a lot lately. I wanted something different. Going with cranberry was the best decision I made for this pizza! Delicious cranberry sauce is the base, topped with shredded chicken, walnuts, crumble of goat cheese and fresh rosemary. That pizza has Fall written all over it! 

Skillet Cornbread & Chili Pie

This warm and hearty Skillet Cornbread & Chili Pie is an easy, one dish meal that's sure to please the entire family!
Skillet Cornbread & Chili Pie | The Chef Next Door

Chili is one of my all time favorite meals during the winter. You just can't beat the warm spices and flavor packed bites on a cold day. I always serve cornbread or cornbread muffins alongside my chili, but I decided to kick things up a notch and make a skillet cornbread and chili pie. Because why wouldn't two of my favorites be combined into one dish? It's a win-win!

This dish is so amazingly simple to put together. One skillet is all you need to make a hearty, homemade chili smothered with ooey gooey cheese and a tender cornbread top. Just thinking about it makes me hungry!

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Crisps

For comfort in a bowl, dish up some Spicy Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Crisps! 
Made with fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, and fresh thyme, it's warm, comforting and hearty!

This post is sponsored by Acorn Influence, however, all opinions, as always, are my own. #TheHolidayBox

Fall is here and winter is right around the corner, which means it's about to get really cold here in Michigan. In fact, this coming weekend we are supposed to get a few inches of snow. {UGH, say it isn't so!!} Although I'm not ready for it, I guess I have no choice in the matter. I've been making warm comfort food the past couple of weeks in preparation for this cold season, and soup has been on the menu quite often. To me, there isn't anything more satisfying on a chilly day than a big bowl of hot soup.

I recently was sent a Holiday Box from Acorn Influence and boy was I thrilled when I received it! There were so many fun things for a foodie like me to experiment with, and the first thing I took for a spin was a beautiful Nutri Ninja® with Auto-iQ™. I've always wanted a Ninja, so it was like Christmas for me to get one! If you are looking for one too, they are available at Walmart and From smoothies to juices to soups and dips, the Nutri Ninja is extremely versatile. Of course since I've been a soup mood, the very first thing I decided to make was soup!

Kale, Walnut & Pomegranate Salad and Chicken Pot Pie

Hearty kale, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and Feta cheese come together to make a light and healthy salad, 
which pairs perfectly with a comforting pot pie!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#PotPiePlease #CollectiveBias

Kale, Walnut & Pomegranate Salad | The Chef Next Door #PotPiePlease

The holidays are quickly approaching and as each day passes I grow more and more excited! Next week is already Thanksgiving and before we know it Christmas is going to be here. I love this time of year because it means I get to spend more time with my family and friends. It seems as if we are all so busy during the rest of the year that we don't get together as often. But as soon as the holidays arrive, there are parties and get together's just about every weekend.

One of my favorite events is the get together I throw at my house for my closest girlfriends, my BFF's. I've been hosting this party for a few years now, and it's always so much fun to get together and eat, drink, talk, laugh and just be crazy girls. Lord knows we don't see each other often enough! I insist on making all of the food myself (after all, I am the food blogger of the group!), and the girls usually bring delicious beverages. You know, like wine and Rumchata. The good stuff.