Carrot Cake Energy Balls #EasterRecipes

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Today is my last post as part of the Easter Week with “Holiday Fun with our Blogging Friends.” This week, 13 bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we’re serving up! I’ll be taking the Holy Weekend off from my computer and spending it with my family and friends.

Our brunch menu consists of those Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls I shared with you yesterday, eggs, and bacon. Our dinner menu will be my Parmesan Pork Tenderloin, a corn and green bean casserole from one of my cookbooks, and some crescent rolls on the side. For dessert, as is tradition, I’ll be making my grandmother’s Easter Pound Cake in her lamb mold.

To round out my carrot cake related offerings this week I provide you with a healthy option. These energy balls even qualify as raw vegan (assuming you leave off the drizzle of cream cheese icing)!

If you love carrot cake, you absolutely must stop everything you’re doing and make these energy balls. You won’t feel guilty in the slightest indulging in a couple.

Firecracker helped me make them – aka he dumped ingredients into and pushed the buttons on the food processor – so he knew there were a bunch of carrots in these treats. Even if I called it a cookie he wouldn’t actually try a bite.

Treat on the other hand, inhaled two of them with his lunch! He had two more of the bunch later in the week, too.

I brought them to Bible study, as I knew one of the moms follows a raw vegan diet. I brought that Caramel Apple Dip as planned, but as we’d made these carrot cake bites the day before, the lightbulb went off and I knew I had to leave cream cheese icing off half of them. They were greatly approved and appreciated.

You can customize these balls to suit your tastes, too. Use any nut you like and any nut or seed butter in your pantry. I actually used a honey sunflower butter!

Carrot Cake Energy  Balls

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 C pecans
  • 1 tbsp sunflower butter
  • 1 C quick oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • cream cheese icing (optional)

Steps:

  1. Pulse carrots in a food processor until finely shredded. Remove and set aside.
  2. Place the dates and pecans in the food processor and pulse until combined. Return the carrots to the food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Pulse until the mixture starts to come together.
  3. Form into balls. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more oats; if it’s too dry, add a little extra sunflower butter.
  4. Optional: Thin out the icing with milk. Drizzle over the energy balls.
  5. Store in refrigerator up to a week.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.superhealthykids.com/no-bake-carrot-cake-bites/*

Carrot Cake Energy Balls | Sew You Think You Can Cook | #EasterRecipes

Be sure to check out these other Easter recipes:

Baked Eggs with Tomatoes by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Hot Cross Buns by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Classic Peanut Butter Confetti Bars by Making the Most of Naptime

Easter Muddy Buddies by Family Around The Table

Honey Cinnamon Quick Bread by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Linda’s Famous Carrot Cake by Cooking With Carlee

Mini Easter Cheesecake Bites by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

In case you missed them, here are the #EasterRecipes from the first half of the week:

Monday

Deviled Ham Bites by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

30 Minute Dinner Rolls by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Easy Pecan Sticky Buns by Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

Easy Citrus Ham by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Sausage and Vegetable Strata by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus With Lemon Herb Sauce by Tip Garden

Strawberry “Carrots” by Family Around The Table

Easter Malted Milk Dip by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Sharadan’s Lemon Blueberry Parfaits by Cooking With Carlee

Easter Egg Cooking and Dyeing Tips and Tricks by Palatable Pastime

Tuesday

Italian Easter Bread by Palatable Pastime

Carrot Cake Pancakes by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Torta Salata Pasquale by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Dill Roasted Radishes by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus by Family Around The Table

Praying Arm Pretzels by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Creamy Coconut Mini Tarts by Making the Most of Naptime

Wednesday

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls by Tip Garden

Individual Easter Breads by Cooking With Carlee

Tomato Asparagus Quiche by Caroline’s Cooking

Peeps Whoopie Pies by Palatable Pastime

Rosemary Garlic Herb Rib Roast by Family Around The Table

Honey butter Peas and Carrots by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Pea and Pasta Salad by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Roasted Eggplant Salad by A Day in the Life on the Farm

#MuffinMonday: Chocolate Chip Pecan Sweet Potato Muffins

fb5cd-muffin2bmonday2bcropI’m finally back with a muffin for #MuffinMonday! I’ve actually been sitting on these since the summer but other things, like my birthday and Halloween, kept cropping up and I’ve kept having to push my sharing of these beauties back.

Turns out it’s okay though, because Sweet Potato muffins are much more seasonally acceptable in the Fall!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

This muffin recipe came out of one of Food Network Magazines pull-out booklets; this one for 50 muffin recipes.

wesleyI love putting sweet potato in baked goods for the added nutritional benefit and it adds to the moisture content. I do think there was a missed opportunity in the batter making – spices! I would definitly suggest adding some pumpkin pie spice, or at the very least some cinnamon!

Firecracker loves helping me bake muffins (or, in his world, “cupcakes”) and he usually eats them without problem. With these muffins, I think he was more interested in licking the chocolate chips than he was with eating the muffin.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Sweet Potato Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C white wheat flour
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C pecan pieces
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C pureed sweet potato
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, chocolate chips, pecans, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, sweet potato, and butter.
  4. Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin tin.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow muffins to cool 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is modified from Food Network Magazine*

Chocolate Chip Pecan Muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Banana Chocolate Espresso Swirl Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins from Making Miracles

Christmas Morning Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts

Gingerbread Muffins from Palatable Pastime

Savory Sage Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Shrimp Scampi Muffins from Food Lust People Love

Stout Spice Muffins from Passion Kneaded

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Cornbread Dressing

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Welcome to #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We’ll be sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. You can search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

I was really excited when I discovered #CranberryWeek was going to be a blogging event this year. I hope it’s one that will become an annual thing as I simply adore cranberries!

I’ll be posting each day this week and offering a variety of courses. Yesterday, I shared a dessert that is guarenteed to please your holiday guests. Today I’ve got a wonderful side dish to cranberrify your dressing/stuffing.

I’m sharing this cranberry cornbread dressing today becuase should you choose to serve it on Thursday you’ve got to get your ingredients today! The cornbread needs to be baked at least a day in advance, and there’s a loaf of white bread that needs to go stale.

There are a fair amount of moving parts in this dressing, but just about all of them can be prepped ahead of time, making your turkey day workload lighter.

  • Pecans can be toasted and chopped ahead of time (or purchased that way if you can find them)
  • Celery and onion cut in advance, even cooked early on, too!
  • Cornbread and white bread cubed up early

If you get all that prep done, all you need to do is mix everything together and pop it in the oven (or stuff it in your bird). This recipe makes enought for two large casserole dishes – so if you’re stuffing the turkey, you’d have to have a huge cavity! Any extra dressing/stuffing could be baked and frozen for a taste of Thanksgiving another time of the year.

When I made this recipe, I had all intentions to freeze one of the casseroles for Thanksgiving enjoyment. But… my post-1 year-doctor’s-visit child was needing my attention. As I picked him up and turned to stir the veggies at the stove, he reached out and knocked one of the bowls of bread to the ground! The bright side was that I hadn’t added the egg or stock to it, so the mess wasn’t too difficult to clean.

We loved this dressing recipe and I’m remaking it and serving it today at my husband’s office Thanksgiving party.

Cranberry Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 C pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 9″ skillet cornbread (day old), cubed
  • 1 loaf white bread (stale), cubed
  • 2 C dried cranberries
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 – 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 C chicken stock

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and celery, until tender.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. In a very large bowl (or two) toss cornbread, white bread, toasted pecans, cranberries, parsley, oregano, S+P. Add eggs – amount of eggs needed will depend on the moisture level of the bread – and chicken stock.
  5. Transfer dressing to two large greased casserole dishes. Bake, covered, 35 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.

*This recipe is modified from Martha Stewart at http://www.marthastewart.com/317663/cranberry-cornbread-stuffing*

Cranberry Cornbread Dressing for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Baked Pork Chops with Cranberry Thyme Sauce from Hostess At Heart

Cranberry Caipirinha from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Cranberry Chicken Thokku from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Cornbread Dressing from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cranberry Oatmeal Sourdough Muffins from Cooking With Carlee

Cranberry-Sage Breakfast Sausage from Palatable Pastime

Jaegerschnitzel with Cranberry-Raspberry Sauce from Caroline’s Cooking

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

#SundaySupper: How to Use Holiday Leftovers

Thanksgiving is this week.

You guys. Thanksgiving is this week!

When you plan your holiday menu do you plan to intentionally have leftovers? I don’t, but I know there will be and I don’t necessarily try to mitigate them.

What do you do with all your leftover food? My brother’s favorite way to eat them is simply reheated in a skillet with some gravy. That’s really the best method for reheating the turkey and stuffing to make it taste just as good as T-day itself.

I’m a sucker for a cold turkey sandwich with some mayo on rye bread. I also enjoy a grilled cheese style sandwich with the turkey, creamed onions, and thin slice of apple.

But what do you do with the non-turkey items? I’m sure my Sunday Supper friends have some more creative and wonderful ideas on how to use up those holiday leftovers! A big thank you to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure for hosting today’s event.

wesWhen I had leftover sweet potato casserole last year, I decided to repurpose it into breakfast. (I mean, really, what else would I possibly do?) Waffles! I simply left out the streusel (marshmallow if that’s they way you go) topping and garnished my waffles with fresh pecans.

Just look at that cutie to the right! I can’t believe that was almost a full year ago. He looks so little. I mean, his brother can now wear that shirt! My how much can happen in one year.

Sweet Potato Casserole Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C sweet potato casserole
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
  • pecans (optional)

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and baking powder.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the casserole, eggs, milk, and yogurt.
  3. Combine wet ingredients into dry.
  4. Drop 1/3  C of waffle batter onto a greased waffle iron and cook until golden.
  5. Garnish with pecans, if desired.

Sweet Potato Casserole for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Breakfast

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

SRC: Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

I had to chuckle when I received my assignment in my email this month. You see, for the past two reveals April of Angels Home Sweet Homestead was assigned my blog! For our themed barbecue/picnic reveal she made Mexican Street Corn Salad and for our traditional Group C reveal she chose Cinnamon and Honey Roasted Chickpeas. I suppose it was only fitting that I took my turn diving more deeply into April’s blog.

April’s philosophy behind her blog is fantastic. She writes:

I want to bring back a simpler way of life, where families sit down together to a home cooked meal and talk every day, growing as much of that food as possible with our own hands, and the old-fashioned art of canning that food too.

I just love that! While I can’t grow my own food – partly due to lack of yard but mostly due to lack of green thumb – I can provide home cooked meals for my family. After our 18 months in Ohio without a dining table, it was a goal for our California home to have a space dedicated to eating family dinners. Our large table fits perfectly off the kitchen (and doubles as extra counter space) and is set with two booster/highchair seats for my boys. We have finally gotten into a rhythm of dinner between 6-6:30 and I love it! Firecracker is reaching an age where he can recount the day’s activities to Daddy and I know that as the boys continue to get older, the stress of eating will give way to pure enjoyment and nurturing our relationships and bodies.

Seven recipes made their way to my secret Pinterest board from April’s blog including Fruity Breakfast Burritos, Restaurant Style Salsa, and Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad. I was going to show the list to my husband and have him decide what I’d make. But then I didn’t. Though I’m pretty sure I picked the “right” answer anyway.

While I was updating my planner this month I decided to take a peek at the food holidays for July. I was slightly surprised to see that National Pecan Pie Day isn’t in the fall, but it’s July 12th! My decision was made. April had on her blog, and a recipe that I’d saved prior, Pecan Pie Muffins.

Now, I’m not sure these qualify as a muffin. That’s why you’ll notice I renamed them cupcakes. Though I’m not sure if that’s accurate either. Muffins imply a little bit of healthiness. There’s absolutely nothing healthy about these sweet bites.I could say that pecans are a source of protein, but that’s really stretching it. I almost just called them Mini Pecan Pie Cups but without a crust I don’t think they qualify as pie.

Whatever you want to call them, they’re pretty delicious. (And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t care for pecan pie!) I ate two within an hour of them coming out of the oven – one to taste test and one as a snack during their photo shoot.

April made hers in a regular size muffin cup and got 6 of them, but I thought mini would be the way to go. I can’t have my husband taking only 3 to work, because let’s be honest, there’s no way all 6 would be leaving the house untouched. I’m glad I made them mini, too, because I don’t think I’d be able to eat an entire muffin of this dessert before my sweet tooth had enough.

Firecracker helped bake these treats, but he won’t be getting to try them – they’re simply too sticky and sweet for my 2 year old. Now I just have to send them with Stuart to work so he doesn’t see them sitting on the counter.

This recipe makes 24 mini muffins/cupcakes. I recommend baking these without liners, no greasing of the pan necessary – there’s plenty of butter in the batter. I was 2 liners short of 24 and those two cups were our favorites because the sugar gets all crispy and crusty on the edges. If you do use liners, not that they’re much easier to peel back if you allow the cupcakes to cool completely before eating.

Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 C chopped pecans
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 2/3 C butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, pecans, and flour. Mix in the butter and egg until combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly among 24 mini muffin tin cups.
  4. Bake 18 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from April at http://www.angelshomesweethomestead.com/2011/01/pecan-pie-muffins.html*

Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in The Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Vanilla Honey Roasted Pecans

April 14th is National Pecan Day.

I’ve been wanting to try using the honey we brought back from Hawaii and after a trip to the Marietta Square farmer’s market in Atlanta where we inhaled Angel Pecans from Ye Olde Christmas and Candy Shoppe I knew that roasted nuts in honey would be a great way to utilize the Hawaiian honey. But first, I needed to do test runs with cheaper products.

National Pecan Day was an excellent excuse to try it out. I already had pecans in the pantry and my friend Tara of Tara’s Multicultural Table gave us vanilla bean infused honey for Christmas. I happily used that, roasted the pecans in the oven, and tossed with a little powdered sugar.

Vanilla Honey Roasted Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C vanilla bean infused honey
  • 1 1/2 C pecan halves
  • 1/8 – 1/4 C powdered sugar

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place honey in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 20 seconds.
  3. Toss pecans in honey. Place pecans in a single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  4. Remove pecans from baking sheet and allow to cool in a single layer. Toss in powdered sugar, to taste.

Honey Roasted Pecans

For other nut recipes, check out my Sugar and Spiced Nuts, Pecan Pie, or Pecan Crusted Salmon.

Pecan Pie

I had planned on providing you with a healthy shrimp and avocado pesto recipe to start your new year off right. But unfortunately the avocados at the grocery store weren’t anywhere near ripe and they were completely out of basil. So that recipe will have to wait for another day.

Instead I’m going to switch gears entirely and give you a sweet, rich dessert. Stuart’s holiday favorite. Pecan pie. My mom makes this pie just for him – and it amuses me greatly that the woman married to a man with nut allergies provides the only nutty dish of the holidays.

Pecan Pie Steps

Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 C light corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C chopped pecans
  • 1 pie crust

Steps:

  1. Over medium heat combine corn syrup, butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Stir until the butter melts. DO NOT BRING TO A BOIL. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl beat the eggs. While constantly stirring the syrup mixture, slowly add in the eggs. Stir until smooth. Add in the vanilla and chopped pecans.
  3. Pour pecan pie filling into a ready-to-bake, thawed pie crust. If desired, place 5 halved pecans in a small circle/star in the center of the pie.
  4. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees until the filling no longer jiggles.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.mrfood.com/Pie/Perfect-Pecan-Pie-685/*

Pecan Pie

Update December 2016: I’ve been dying to re-photograph this pecan pie and every Christmas I say I’m going to. It’s taken three years for that to happen, but hey! My parents remodeled their home in 2016 and all of the yellow tones of the kitchen were replaced by modern and timeless whites, greys, and deep cherry. Even with the new open concept I was surprised at how little natural light penetrated the bright space. I had to take mom’s pie out to the lanai to snap the new photo. It’s amazing what natural lighting can do to the beauty of a pie!

Classic Pecan Pie | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com