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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. 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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#WhippedCream @UpsideDownPear

All I have to say about this is OMG YOU GUYS. YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW *cough* sorry for yelling. I’m just over the moon with this super easy whipped cream, and I’ve been putting it on everything. We’ve made french toast, pancakes, milkshakes, berries. You get the idea. I mean I didn’t actually make the berries, but I put this all over it.

#WhippedCream @UpsideDownPear     #WhippedCream @UpsideDownPear

I really could just take a spoon to this it’s so good. If you’ve never made your own whipped cream, you need to start. It’s life changing. You’ll thank me. I thanked myself. One word of advice, don’t do this by hand. It’s way to tiring. I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the whisk attachment, but you should be able to use a hand mixer as well. My fist attempt was with a hand whisk, and while I think I gained some muscle in one arm, it didn’t thicken at all.

#WhippedCream @UpsideDownPear

Now that spring is finally popping it’s head up, I think my new dessert will just be this whipped cream on top of fresh berries. It was a perfect light, sweet, and fresh way to end the evening. I look forward to many more evenings enjoying this whipped cream, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

#WhippedCream @UpsideDownPear

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Matcha Cheesecake @UpsideDownPear

While St. Patrick’s Day is no longer here, we’re still sort of continuing the celebration with this matcha cheesecake. You heard right…a green tea flavored cheesecake. This brought me right back to my study abroad days. It was all sorts of perfectness. You need to make this to experience the creaminess and decadence that’s all wrapped up in this cheesecake.

Matcha Cheesecake @UpsideDownPear     Matcha Cheesecake @UpsideDownPear

The matcha powder actually helps to tone down the sweetness, so if it’s not really your cup of tea (pun intended) you can leave the powder on the top off and you’ll taste more of the cream cheese flavor. If you like that green tea flavor, by all means then sprinkle it on top! It really helps to bring out the flavor. Just be sure that the green tea you are using is a powder and not leaves! This is important as I don’t believe anyone would really care to eat leaves in their cheesecake. I don’t really know what brand I used as it was in Japanese at my local Asian grocery store, but if you search “matcha” on Amazon, any of the ones that say powder should work just fine.

Matcha Cheesecake @UpsideDownPear

I used a 6x3 inch springform pan for this, which is perfect for two people. You’ll love this if there are either not many people in your house or you just don’t want/need the leftovers. I mean, who are we kidding? We’d all love the leftovers, but we don’t really NEED them (they’re just a bonus). This makes about 1/3 of the amount as a regular 9 inch recipe. I think I’m going a bit cheesecake crazy…there’s all these other ideas for amazing flavors just floating around in my head. Now that I know cheesecake isn’t as scary as I thought it was, I’m feeling like I can take on anything.

Matcha Cheesecake @UpsideDownPear

The hardest part is actually being careful to not overbake the cheesecake as this will cause it to crack. It’s very easy to do, so it’s best to stay on the safe side and undercook rather than overcook. Another thing that will lead to cracks is the cooling process. If it cools too fast, it’ll crack. The easiest way to safely cool it is to let it sit in the oven (which will be turned off) with the door ajar, and then wait. And this may test your patience (it certainly did mine) but you’ll need to wait about 3 hours before doing anything with it. Cheesecake is definitely not a bake and serve type of dessert. It needs some time to settle before it can be eaten. I also recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for at least one more hour after it’s cooled in the oven just to make sure everything is set and cooled.

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Irish Soda Bread @UpsideDownPear

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! I hope you’re having fun (and staying safe!). What should you have to go with that green beer of yours? This awesomely easy Irish soda bread, of course! You should not be scared by this just because it’s called a bread. There’s no yeast, and it’s incredibly easy. In fact, everything is put together in one bowl, and it’s ready in less than an hour.

Irish Soda Bread @UpsideDownPear

This bread is perfect for any stews, corned beef and cabbage, or shepherd’s pie you may be enjoying on this fabulously Irish day. It’s a great bread for soaking up all the sauce or gravy, and also pairs well with soups. I surprised myself with a super savory shepherd’s pie the other day, and this bread was the perfect companion with its crumbly dense inside and crunchy crust.

Irish Soda Bread @UpsideDownPear

One word of caution is that you do not overwork this bread. It is a fairly dense bread to begin with, but overworking it will cause it to become tough. You want to mix the buttermilk in until just all the flour is moist. I found this bread to be quite sticky, so make sure you keep extra flour out for your hands. You’ll need this when you go to shape the loaf.

Irish Soda Bread @UpsideDownPear

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also add raisins or other nuts and berries to the dough. I might try some in the future, but for now I just wanted to keep things simple. Enjoy this fresh with a hot slice of Kerrygold butter, since there’s just nothing more Irish than that.

Irish Soda Bread @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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