Make sure you check out Allie’s first and second editions of weekly meal plans!

Now that summer is upon us, I want to spend literally every day grilling something delicious for dinner. If I had my way, it would never rain, and everything would be char-broiled to perfection.

Unfortunately, we live in Western Pennsylvania, where we have more overcast days than pretty much anywhere other than Seattle… and with those sad clouds, comes rain.

So for this batch of meals, I combined my love of grilling (3 recipes) with some indoor options to cover the evenings with those inevitable showers. And as usual, I have also included one night of brinner. Because that’s how we roll in the Dixon household.

What’s on the Menu

  • Day 1: Apple, Cranberry, Walnut & Gorgonzola Chicken Salad
  • Day 2: Breaded Pork Chops with Loaded Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli
  • Day 3: Bruschetta Chicken with Garlic Oil Pasta
  • Day 4: Chocolate Chip Waffles with Bacon
  • Day 5: Grilled BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas

What’s in the Cart

  • Chicken (2-3lbs) get a frozen bag at Aldi for $6, or “Fresh Meat Wednesdays” there for 1.89/lb!
  • 2 bags salad (GE has BOGO sales with 2 for $3.56)
  • Walnuts
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Bacon
  • Pork Chops
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Cheddar Cheese (buy the block at Aldi’s for $1.50!)
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Green Onions (don’t forget to check our farmers markets for your produce!)
  • Sour Cream
  • Flour
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1 lb. Linguine

Chicken Salad


  • 2 bags salad, or a large head of lettuce
  • 1 lb grilled chicken, sliced
  • ½ c Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 1 c walnut pieces
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 2/3 c raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and toss VERY well, then serve. You want every bite to be full of all of the delicious flavors. And this is just how I make mine. If you want more chicken, less cheese, extra dressing, etc., just adjust accordingly! It’s seriously a fantastic summer salad to eat out on the deck or patio.

Bruschetta Chicken with Garlic Oil Pasta

  • 1 lb chicken (4 small breasts) I normally buy the giant ones in bulk and cut them in half.
  • ¼ c Italian dressing divided in half
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ c fresh basil leaves (or more if you love basil)
  • ½ c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 lb linguine
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese

Place chicken in a bag with 2T Italian dressing. Marinate at least 10 minutes, but the longer you can the better. Toss on a grill and cook about 6 minutes on the first side.

In the meantime, mix up 1 tomato, mozzarella cheese, half of your basil, and the remaining 2T of Italian dressing. Once you flip the chicken, add about 2T of this mixture to each breast. Continue cooking approximately 6 minutes on the second side. Check for done-ness, and pull off.

Cook linguine according to directions. Drain but do not rinse. Add olive oil, the other tomato, remaining basil, garlic, pepper flakes, and sprinkle with as much parmesan cheese as you like. I’d say a couple tablespoons to a quarter cup, depending on how much you like it.

Plop both of these on your plate and dig in!

BBQ Chicken Flatbreads

  • ½ t active dry yeast
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 1 t coarse salt
  • 1-2 chicken breasts depending on size- grilled
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 2 t oregano
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 4 T ranch dressing
  • 4 T BBQ sauce
  • 1 c mozzarella cheese
  • 1 c cheddar cheese

For the dough:

Place ½ c warm water in a bowl and add yeast. Stir until dissolved and then let sit for 5 minutes. Add olive oil, flour and salt, and mix well.

Sprinkle additional flour on a large cutting board or straight on the counter like I do, and plop the dough down on it. Knead well until stretchy (about 2 minutes.)

Divide into 4 equal pieces, flour your rolling pin, and roll each out to about 1/8 in. thick pies. Lightly oil your grill, heat to medium-high, and lay each piece of dough on it. Cook about 2 minutes, and then flip over. Cook another 2 minutes and remove.

Making the pizza:

Combine the garlic, oregano and black pepper.

For each individual pie, spread 1T of ranch as the base. If you prefer more, go ahead and dump it on, we aren’t counting calories here. Then dust with a quarter of your spice mixture. Top with a quarter of your chicken, then cover that in about 1T of BBQ sauce, or more if desired.

Top with a quarter of your mozzarella cheese, and then cheddar. Place back under the grill on the top rack until cheese is melted and pizza is heated through.

**You can also use this recipe and make buffalo chicken pizza by substituting Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce for the BBQ. Or you can start with this dough recipe and add anything you want on top!

Chocolate Chip Waffles


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1T baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t vanilla
  • 1 2/3 c milk
  • 1/3 c melted butter
  • 2 jumbo eggs, beaten

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & cinnamon in a large bowl. Add milk, butter and vanilla. Add eggs and stir again, then mix in the chocolate chips.

Pour into your waffle iron and cook according to the instructions. Top with syrup and whipped cream, or whatever you like on top of your waffles, and dig in!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes, scrubbed & diced with skins on
  • ¼ c milk
  • 2T sour cream
  • ½ c cheddar cheese
  • 3 strips of bacon, crumbled
  • 1/3 c green onions
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t pepper

Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat until done, approximately 10 minutes. Drain and add back to pan. Add remaining ingredients and mash until well mixed. Top with an extra sprinkle of cheese, bacon & green onions on your plate if you like it to look extra pretty!

Breaded Pork Chops

  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 ½ c Italian bread crumbs
  • ½ c parmesan cheese
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t pepper

Salt and pepper both sides of the chops, and preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet (If you don’t have one, you can cook in a regular skillet then transfer to a baking dish for the oven portion).

Mix the eggs and milk in one bowl, and the bread crumbs and cheese in another.

Dip each pork chop into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Add to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Place the skillet (or baking dish) in the oven and cook about 20 minutes, or until the temperature is 145 degrees internally. You do NOT want to overcook your pork, so keep an eye on it especially if they are thinner slices.

Steamed Broccoli

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 t sugar
  • ¼ c melted butter
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t pepper

Fill up a large pan with about ½ inch of water and add sugar. Mix to dissolve. Chop broccoli into florets and add to pan. Cover, bring to a boil and cook 5-8 minutes, checking for done-ness by piercing with fork.

When done, remove broccoli and add to a bowl with melted butter, salt and pepper. Literally melts in your mouth!

Allie is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. She is a 2006 graduate of Blackhawk High School, and still resides in Patterson Heights with her husband Andy and their 3-year old son, Luke. She is a Regional Manager at PLS Logistics and a sports fanatic. You can find her on Facebook as Allie Dixon.