The Chef Next Door

Foodie Friends Friday Weekend Link Party!

Welcome to Foodie Friends Friday!

If you are interested in being a Guest Host for future parties, please contact me or any of our regular weekly hosts.

Please take a moment to read through the rules before getting started, Thank You!

Meet our Co-Hosts! 

Foodie Friends Friday Co-Hosts  

Sour Cream Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This moist and tender spice cake is filled with raisins and slathered in a decadent cream cheese frosting!
Sour Cream Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | The Chef Next Door

My love of cooking and baking was passed down to me from my mom and both of my grandmothers. Meme, my mom's mom, was a Southern gem who loved to garden and can just about everything. Her bread and butter pickles were amazing and like no other! Her hush puppies were the bomb too.

Grandma Jane, my dad's mom, loved to bake. Pies, cookies and cakes were her specialty. With their influences, and my mom's too, I was baking and cooking at a young age. The holidays of course were always a time for special treats. We'd have dozens of different cookies and fudge for days. It was amazing!


Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling #FBCookieSwap

Delicious peanut butter cookies sandwiched with a luscious chocolate hazelnut filling are a perfect holiday treat!
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling | The Chef Next Door

I'm so excited to be a participant in the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap again this year! This is the fourth annual swap, but just the second year that I've been involved. Have you heard of the swap before? Food bloggers from all over sign up and receive the addresses of three other food bloggers, then send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. The bloggers participating will receive three different boxes of cookies from other bloggers. Everyone then posts their cookie recipe on their blog!  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondie Bars with Nestle Toll House DelightFulls

Soft, chewy blondies studded with peanut butter filled chocolate morsels are the perfect addition 
to your holiday dessert tray!

I've got cookies on the brain. No, seriously...I do! It's time for my annual cookie baking frenzy and I've been busy lining up all the recipes I want to make this year. Along with my traditional favorites, I'm creating some new recipes too. 

Each holiday season my mom and I get together and bake dozens of cookies to give to friends and family. We each bring a few of our favorite recipes, then share all the cookies that we bake. My kids help too, but now that they are getting older it's not as much fun for them as it used to be. Of course they love to sample the cookie dough and the finished products though!


Foodie Friends Friday Weekend Link Party!

Welcome to Foodie Friends Friday!

If you are interested in being a Guest Host for future parties, please contact me or any of our regular weekly hosts.

Please take a moment to read through the rules before getting started, Thank You!

Meet our Co-Hosts! 

Foodie Friends Friday Co-Hosts  

Apple Pie with Toffee Glaze

Delicious apple pie gets a decadent touch with the addition of a simple toffee glaze and sea salt!

The holiday season is such a busy time of the year. We decorate, cook, bake, shop, and wrap, and somehow manage to get some sleep somewhere in between. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays! It just seems like we are so busy that it flies by in the blink of an eye.

I love to bake during the holidays. I always bake cookies for friends and family, and I'm usually in charge of desserts for our gatherings as well. I've learned over the years that not everything has to be made from scratch. Sometimes it's nice to take shortcuts so we have more time to spend with everyone. I mean, the season only comes around once a year!

For Thanksgiving I decided to save a little time in the kitchen and bake one of Marie Callender's delicious Lattice Apple Pies. I gave it my own touch by making a simple toffee glaze to drizzle over the top, then added just a touch of sea salt to give it that sweet and salty kick. The results were outstanding!

This apple pie is delicious on it's own, just like homemade, but the toffee glaze and sea salt just kick it up a notch. Give this pie a try, you'll save time in the kitchen which means more time with family and friends. And your guests will be impressed with your dessert!

What do you do to save time during the holidays? Share your secrets with me! 

Apple Pie with Toffee Glaze
Author: Sarah Bates | The Chef Next Door
Serves 8
Print this recipe

Ingredients:
(1) Marie Callender's Lattice Apple Pie
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Flaked sea salt

Prepare the pie as directed on the back of the box. Once the pie is done baking, allow it to cool for at least two hours on a wire rack. 

While the pie is cooling, make the glaze. Add the butter, brown sugar, cream and salt to a small saucepan. Cook over medium high heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for about five minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the vanilla. Set aside and allow the glaze to cool completely. 

When the pie is ready, spoon the glaze all over the pie then sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt. Slice and serve.

Bon Appetit! 
I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Marie Callender’s. I am receiving a fee for posting, however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Marie Callender’s and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

Be sure visit Marie Callender's website and Facebook page to learn more about their frozen meals and desserts! 

Layered Greek Dip with Mezzetta Memories!

This delicious dip is filled with the flavors of the Mediterranean and guaranteed to be a hit at your next holiday party!
Layered Greek Dip | The Chef Next Door

With the holiday season in full swing and many parties on the way, I've been in my kitchen a lot lately experimenting with new recipes. You can imagine my excitement when I was asked to participate in the Mezzetta Memories campaign and share my family traditions with you, as well as create a new recipe!

For the last several years my family has been gathering on Christmas Eve after mass for food, drinks, and games. Instead of preparing a heavy meal, we fill the table with our favorite appetizers! Wings, cocktail weenies, veggies and dip, cocktail shrimp and, of course, lots of different dips are on the menu.