The Chef Next Door

Caramel Pecan Pie

Traditional pecan pie gets kicked up a notch with the addition of an easy, homemade caramel sauce!

Pecan pie is a holiday favorite in our family. I'm pretty sure that pecan and pumpkin pies have been a staple at our Thanksgiving meals for as long as I can remember. I was never the one to make the pies, my aunt and grandma usually took care of the sweets, but the past couple of years I've started to take on that duty too. 

Recently, when Karo Corn Syrup and Fleischmann's Yeast sent me an invite to have a "Trouble-free Thanksgiving," I knew I needed to join them! I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year and I can use any help that I can get. Time savers, tricks, tools, I need it all!


Creamy Parmesan Risotto

This rich, flavorful, and creamy Parmesan risotto takes a little time to make, but the results are worth it!

Whenever I dine out at a nice Italian restaurant I tend to order the risotto. Up until just recently, that was really the only time I ate it because I didn't make it at home. For some reason I was scared to make it, thinking I would somehow mess it up. I always heard people say it could turn out gummy and not creamy, so that scared me away from trying.

Several months ago I finally decided to stop being a chicken and go for it. I figured, what do I have to lose? So I made an asparagus risotto at my parents house and I have to say it turned out pretty well. Probably not my best, but it was still good. A couple of weeks ago I gave it another shot, went with a nice creamy and cheesy Parmesan risotto, and the results were fantastic.


Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Sealer System Review #Sponsored

I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for the Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Sealer System. I am receiving a fee for posting, however, as always the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with the Ziploc Vacuum Sealer System team and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.



I was recently sent the Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Sealer System to review as part of a campaign with the Vibrant Influencer Network. I received the machine itself along with a variety of vacuum sealing bags, rolls and containers. I was like a little kid on Christmas morning opening up that box of goodies!

I couldn't wait to try out the system and see for myself how amazing it was. I've been wanting one for years! You see, I love to buy things in bulk. From meats to veggies and fruits and even nuts, I knew this would a valuable tool in my kitchen.

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Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

A tender and delicious sweet potato cake drizzled with a decadent dark chocolate ganache!
Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache | The Chef Next Door

Technically it's still Fall, but Old Man Winter is breaking down the door here in Michigan. Cold, snow, wind...YUCK. I am not ready for this! But I still have Fall food on the brain, I'm just not ready to give that up yet.

I know I've mentioned this before but I'm a huge fan of pumpkin and sweet potatoes and I love cooking with them. I can't wait to have delicious sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving! Recently I decided to create a dessert recipe with sweet potatoes instead of the usual savory recipe, and what I came up with is a masterpiece. At least it is in my eyes. I made a light and fluffy Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with a mouthwatering Dark Chocolate Ganache. It's simply delightful and very easy to make.


Buttermilk Cornbread

This slightly sweet and tender cornbread is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving meal! 

My family is from the South, Louisiana to be exact, and every year during my childhood we traveled down there during the summer to visit my grandparents. It's safe to say that's one of the reasons I love food so much today. My grandma cooked everything from scratch and in true southern form, she loved to cook with butter.

I can remember eating catfish, hush puppies, fresh tomatoes and peppers from her garden and, of course, cornbread. Lots and lots of cornbread. My mom makes it quite often still, especially to go with beef stew and chili. Cornbread is perfect for sopping up all the juices in your bowl.


Butternut Squash & Bacon White Pizza

Forget ordering takeout, this delicious Fall pizza could be on your dinner table tonight!
Butternut Squash & Bacon White Pizza | The Chef Next Door

Today I'm excited to be back over at Anyonita Nibbles with a new contributor post and recipe! And trust me friends, you are not going to want to miss this one. Butternut Squash and Bacon White Pizza. The squash is roasted and sweet, the bacon crispy and salty, the white sauce is totally out of this world.