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Candied Almonds by @UpsideDownPear

There’re only so many times you can have plain almonds as a snack before they get boring. Please don’t show me another bag of unroasted plain almonds for a few months! Not unless I’m going to be making more of these delicious candied almonds. These have an explosion of cinnamon and a hint of cayenne to give it the slightest bit of heat.

Candied Almonds by @UpsideDownPear

You could leave out the cayenne, but it actually brings out the heat of the cinnamon rather than making the almonds spicy. If you wanted to give these a bit more heat, I’d double the amount of cayenne that I added. I may do that at a later time, but for now these are perfect.

Candied Almonds by @UpsideDownPear

The nice thing about these almonds is that you don’t have to roast them and it only takes one pot! You do have to watch the almonds and continuously stir them until all the liquid is gone. Instead of roasting, you just need to lay the almonds out on some wax paper to harden. It all takes roughly 30 minutes, and it’s perfect to make up the night before and grab a handful as a snack to go. These are so addicting that I might try it with other types of nuts to see how well they turn out!

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Peanut Caramel Candies by @UpsideDownPear

I feel a bit like I cheated. That’s how easy these amazing caramel candies are. I had some leftover caramel squares from when I made this trifle, and I wanted to make some type of candy with them. As soon as I looked over my shoulder and saw the bottle of peanuts, I knew what would be perfect.

Peanut Caramel Candies by @UpsideDownPear

These candies are crazy easy and super delicious. All you need to do is melt the caramel and throw in the peanuts. Let it set in the fridge and cut into squares. I mean it really doesn’t get any simpler than that. These need to be stored in the fridge, otherwise they get really sticky. I decided to wrap them in wax paper to help keep their stickiness to a minimum.

Peanut Caramel Candies by @UpsideDownPear

The mix of peanuts and caramel remind me of a Pay Day. There’s no nougat, but it’s not really needed as the caramel is sweet enough. Besides it sticking to everything, these were fun to make. The only other candy that I’ve made was truffles for Christmas a few years back (before I started blogging). These were a lot less work. I’m just going to chill out with some t.v. and a few of these for the evening!

Peanut Caramel Candies by @UpsideDownPear

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Date Granola by @UpsideDownPear

Why does granola taste amazing on everything!? I mean, you can sprinkle it over cereal, yogurt, and pancakes. Or just eat it straight out of the bag. I decided to make some granola and throw in some dates that I’ve had lying around the house. The Medjool dates are sweet like candy and the almonds give it a nice crunch. I also added hemp hearts for protein and other benefits. Hemp hearts are super healthy for you, and they’re starting to become easier to find. I got a huge bag of shelled hemp hearts from Costco.

Date Granola by @UpsideDownPear

I added a small bit of agave to the mix in order to get the nice big clumps of granola. That way, when you’re eating it over yogurt, every now and then you’ll come across a nice hearty piece of granola. I love getting the larger pieces. You could also add corn syrup instead of agave if you had it on hand. I actually had a tiny bit of corn syrup left from when I made granola bars a while back and actually used about half corn syrup and half agave making this batch.

Date Granola by @UpsideDownPear

In September, I’ll be beginning a yoga teacher training program. I’m so excited for this! We’ve gott a list of books and I need to start memorizing the full names of all the poses. In the beginning, we’re supposed to go on a cleanse, which is pretty much a vegan diet. It will definitely be interesting and a bit out of my comfort zone, but I’m interested in taking on this challenge and brining some of these recipes to you! This granola would definitely be approved in this cleanse, and I may start playing with recipes that will get me through the 21 days before I have to take the plunge.  If you’re interested in what type of diet we’ll be adhering to, it’s from the book The Quantum Wellness Cleanse by Kathy Freston. She has some interesting points about the quality of food we put into our bodies. I’m not sure how I’ll be at the end of the three weeks, but I’m definitely going to keep you guys updated!

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Lemon Shrimp by @UpsideDownPear

We have finally had a weekend that felt like summer! I guess the Fourth was also warm, but this was one of the first weekends that I was outside catching some sun. Summer finally! On Saturday, I had a friend come over, and we enjoyed a party by the pool. My apartment complex put on a huge bash and music and food!

Lemon Shrimp by @UpsideDownPear

Then on Sunday, I met my parents and enjoyed an art fair in a neighboring city. There were a few clouds in the sky, but just enough to give some shade. There were so many amazing stalls, and I saw some pretty pieces that tempted me. Overall, coming away with a necklace and earring set was pretty good!

Lemon Shrimp by @UpsideDownPear

To combat those hot nights, this light dinner is perfect! It is also super quick to put together (which makes it a winner in my book). I finally decided to get some shrimp since I was not having chicken or beef one more time! It was definitely a time for a change and something new. I don’t usually cook shrimp, but there’s something about summer than just makes seafood that much more desirable.

Lemon Shrimp by @UpsideDownPear

I love the simple lemon flavor of this dish. All you need is a lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper. I began with sautéing the green beans and sweet pepper. It’s best to start with your veggies since the shrimp won’t take long. This allows the vegetables time to soften and absorb some of the garlic flavor. After the shrimp is added, I squeezed the lemon juice onto everything and lightly added some salt and pepper. You just need to mix everything together until the shrimp is warm. If you wait too long, the shrimp will get a bit overcooked and tough. You could add wild rice on the side instead of noodles if you’d like. I just love the shape of Cavatappi noodles. They’re just so much fun! We’ll definitely be making this again during the summer.

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Snickers Trifle by @UpsideDownPear

I had plans to make my own birthday cake this year just for kicks. I love buying cakes, but this year I really wanted to try and make my own. Make it a bit more special. Show myself how far my kitchen skills have come. There are so many delicious cake recipes out there, and it was hard to narrow it down. I knew I didn’t want funfetti. I’m not against sprinkles, but I don’t go out of my way to order them. I like cheesecake, but that just sounded a bit too heavy for me at the moment. So, I found a chocolate cake recipe and boy did I have plans for it.

Snickers Trifle by @UpsideDownPear

However, as soon as I took the cake out of the oven, I just knew it wasn’t going to work. For whatever reason, the centers just didn’t rise right. I’ve been having some issues with my oven recently, so I just bought a thermometer to keep in there. I think it’s not heating to the temperate that I set it at. So, I took a taste, knew that the cake itself was alright, and changed my plans. It’s trifle time! I’ve actually never had a trifle before, but I’ve had things very similar. I knew all I had to do was break up the cake into square-ish pieces, pour some pudding on top of it, and repeat for a couple of layers.

Snickers Trifle by @UpsideDownPear

Easy peasy…until I kept adding to it. Am I sorry? Heck no! This may have taken me much longer than I anticipated, but it is divine and the best birthday gift I could give myself. It’s like a Snickers bar in a trifle. There’s a layer of chocolate cake, a layer of peanut butter pudding (amazing just by itself!), a layer of peanuts and caramel, and then it starts all over again. I topped it all off with some dark chocolate ganache. I think it might be all I eat tomorrow!

Snickers Trifle by @UpsideDownPear

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MeHi! My name’s Alexis and I finally took the leap into blogging after reading so many fun posts by other food bloggers.  I’ve always had a passion for eating, but have never really felt comfortable in the kitchen.  There are so many drool-worthy recipes out there, that I wanted to document my musings in the kitchen both following others’ recipes and becoming brave enough to create my own.  Please take a look around! I really want to hear from you! If you make something, like something, don’t like something, please comment or use the contact form!  Reading your comments really makes my day!  If you’re looking for an easier way to get my recipes, you can sign up for my email and get them directly to your inbox.  I hope to hear from soon.

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