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#Chocolate Energy Bites by @UpsideDownPear

I’ve eaten my fair share of cake and cookies this past weekend, and now it’s time for a different pace. And by different pace I mean still feeling like you’re eating dessert but all the ingredients are good for you….so maybe not all that different after all.

#Chocolate Energy Bites by @UpsideDownPear

These chocolate energy bites are made with dates, nuts, and raw honey. I threw a bit of cocoa powder in for those chocolate cravings and thought I was done. Until Bren decided that we needed to add chocolate chips. I also rolled a few in some extra cocoa powder for an even chocolaty experience. Even though these seem more like a dessert I’ve been eating a few of these for breakfast and also taking some to work for an afternoon snack. They could even be vegan if you substituted the honey for agave. I’m not exactly sure how the texture would be, but the taste should be very similar.

#Chocolate Energy Bites by @UpsideDownPear

I used raw honey since that’s what I had on hand. I wanted to see what all the fuss is about since I’ve heard that raw honey is supposedly healthier than processed honey. Many times processed honey has become heated and lost many of the vitamins and minerals that make honey healthy. However, I believe you can by unprocessed honey that is not raw. Raw honey is more of a solid than a liquid and doesn’t mix into things like yogurt so well. Since we through everything into a food processor, the honey blends in just fine for this recipe. If you don’t have raw honey, don’t panic. You should be able to use whatever type of honey you have on hand. There’s no need to go out and buy something special. Whip up a batch of these and enjoy a decadently healthy snack!

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Easter Candy #Cookies by @UpsideDownPear

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Both Passover and Easter happened, and while I ran out of time for making matzo balls (plan to try them out this week!) I was able to make these Easter candy cookies. We had Bren’s family over for brunch where we made French toast and topped it with fresh fruit, maple syrup, and this to die for whipped cream. It was definitely the hit of the morning. Luckily we made enough French toast for leftovers the next day. Simply heaven!!

Easter Candy #Cookies by @UpsideDownPear

For these cookies, I took a chocolate chip cookie base, and then added in M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces to the batter. You’ll love these cookies if you’re looking for a super soft cookie to since your teeth into. I had to chop the egg shaped Reese’s Pieces as they are a bit on the large side, but they give a nice peanut butter background flavor. It’s perfect against the batter and M&Ms. If you have extra candy lying around after Easter, this is a great way to use some of it up. You could even bring in the extra to work…mine didn’t last that long, but if you wanted to spread some love your coworkers will thank you.

Easter Candy #Cookies by @UpsideDownPear

Let me know what you did over the weekend, and if there’s a special dish you make this time of year!

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Shepherd's Pie by @UpsideDownPear

We’re going to back track a bit and bring back the Irish. This shepherd’s pie is packed full of flavor and will definitely fill you up. I’ve made this at least twice in the past month, that’s how much I love it. It’s seems like a lot of work, but it’s really not too bad. It’s mostly just a bit time consuming since it will need to bake for about 30 minutes in the oven. The majority of it comes together in roughly an hour. I like to make this on a Sunday, and we have lunch (or dinner) through Wednesday.

Shepherd's Pie by @UpsideDownPear

You can add whatever veggies appeal to you, but I like to use onion, carrots, peas, and corn. I usually double the amount of corn to peas as peas aren’t really my favorite and I think a little goes a long way. The corn and carrots are absolutely amazing in this and help to add a bit of sweetness to this dish.

Shepherd's Pie by @UpsideDownPear

I’d also recommend using Yukon gold potatoes as they are just incredibly buttery and creamy without needing to use any actual butter. You just need to add a bit of milk and an egg and you’re all set. They really are my favorite type of potatoes for mashing (or steaming). Otherwise I like the red potatoes for roasting. If you’re hosting an Easter dinner, you could make this the day before all the family visits and pop it in the oven to warm it up. This heats up very nicely, and feeds quit a large number of people. Forget the ham, and start a new Easter tradition!

Shepherd's Pie by @UpsideDownPear

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Carrot Cake #Donuts by @UpsideDownPear

Can you believe that Easter is just around the corner!? March seemed to just fly by. I’ve seen a lot of carrot cake recipes going around, and I had no idea that the two were related…until I asked my boyfriend about it. He was like…yeah Easter and carrot cake go together like peanut butter and jelly. I had no idea. Was it just me?

Carrot Cake #Donuts by @UpsideDownPear

Well, instead of a cake, you should totally impress all your family or friends with bringing these fun donuts to the brunch. This recipe came about for a contest hosted by The Daily Meal for Country Crock, where entrants were compensated with a coupon for free product. I used Country Crock’s stick butter, and it helps make the donuts moist and fluffy. These carrot cake donuts are spiced just right and are packed full of flavor. And of course it’s topped with sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. I also topped mine with chopped walnuts. Personally, I don’t want raisins anywhere near my carrot cake, but I won’t judge those who do. If you wanted to, you could add them to the batter.

Carrot Cake #Donuts by @UpsideDownPear

I’ve made like 4 batches of these over the past couple of days. My arms are incredibly tired from grating all the carrots, but it’s totally worth it. You have to grate the carrots by hand. Buying carrots already shredded will not give you the proper amount of moisture needed. Carrots actually hold quite a bit of water in them, and that’s added to the batter when you freshly grate them. But as I said earlier, the pain is totally worth it. I like to think that I’m just building muscle.

Carrot Cake #Donuts by @UpsideDownPear

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Monkey Business #Copycat @UpsideDownPear

A few years back, my family became obsessed with Monkey Business trail mix from Trader Joe’s. And I do mean obsessed. On our family vacation, we went to Trader Joe’s just about every day. To be fair, it was mostly because my aunt from Hawaii was there, and apparently there’s no Trader Joe’s in Hawaii. There’s just something about the combination of peanuts, cherries, bananas, and chocolate. It makes for a great snack (or breakfast in a pinch).

nkey Business #Copycat @UpsideDownPear

Luckily, we calmed down since we got a bit overloaded. However, a while back I was out with my mom and we tried to find it again. We looked up and down the trail mix aisle, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I’m not sure if some Trader Joe’s still have this, but it looks like the ones closest to us no longer carry it. So what did I do? Recreated it of course.

nkey Business #Copycat @UpsideDownPear

I think I was pretty successful, and my favorite part has been the dried cherries. You can use milk chocolate chips if you would prefer, but I really like the semi-sweet chips. It gives just enough sweetness to make it feel indulgent, but doesn’t make it too sweet. I also used unsalted peanuts, but you could use salted to get a bit more sweet and salty flavor combo. This is so easy to put together! I really hope you enjoy this as much as we have.

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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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