The Chef Next Door

Dinner Divas Weekly Menu Plan - Week 6

Happy Friday, friends! Happy Memorial Day! And happy long weekend! I only have to work a few hours this morning so I technically have a three and a half day weekend and I. Can't. Wait. We have so much to do this weekend. E's graduation party is next Saturday and I am totally not ready. Oh and by the way, I successfully made it through his graduation ceremony without a major breakdown. Score one for mom!

I'm super thankful for these weekly menu plans because believe me, I will be utilizing them this coming week. With all we have going on, I need to plan ahead and make sure dinner is on the table fast. Which recipes have you tried? Do you have a favorite? Let me know! You know I love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. 


Frozen Caramel Mocha Latte

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

Skip a trip to the coffeehouse and make your own icy and delicious Frozen Caramel Mocha Latte at home! 
Skip a trip to the coffeehouse and make your own icy and delicious Frozen Caramel Mocha Latte at home!
If you've been reading my blog long enough then you already know how much I love coffee. I mean, I love coffee so much that I refer to myself as a coffee addict. 😂 I typically stick to one cup in the morning (occasionally two if I had a rough night), and I usually have one in the afternoon, too. I don't let the heat deter me either. It's coffee all year round over here. During the summer I like to drink iced or frozen coffee drinks to keep me cool, and I love making my own treats at home. I find they taste better, plus it costs much less to make your own.

Sesame Chopped Chicken Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Conagra Brands. 
All opinions are mine alone. #SimpleSecret #CollectiveBias

This flavor packed Sesame Chopped Chicken Salad is a perfect dish for summer BBQ's,
potlucks, or just for family dinner!
This flavor packed Sesame Chopped Chicken Salad is a perfect dish for summer BBQ's, potlucks, or just for family dinner!
Even though my son graduated last week, we are still busy as ever. We have several graduation parties to attend over the next several weeks, plus we are planning his graduation party at the same time. There is still so much to do! Landscaping to do, food to buy, picture boards to be made...there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done! No matter how busy we are, I still like to make home cooked meals for dinner. Now that the weather is nice I've been turning to my grill almost nightly. Grilling is so simple and there's less clean up, too. 

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!