Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

So I jinx’d myself.

I have been all “oh pregnancy is no problem! I feel great. I’m a bit more tired, but it’s same old same old!” Because it really has been great. I’m one of those (annoying) people who just feels great when pregnant. I get tired but do not experience any significant pains (I don’t count my on again, off again hip pain since that is not related to being pregnant) or sickness or whatever.

But that all changed this weekend.

We were out for a walk and we ran into a neighbor and she asked how things were going. I gave my typical answer that I was feeling great and we continued on our merry way.

I swear, not an hour later I was on the floor like “ALL THE PAINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. I think bent down to pick something up and my body was like ‘HAHA, nope” like everything from my lower back to my arms to my feet hurt. Not like a pulled muscle pain but an all over everything is gonna hurt like you just did the biggest work out of your life pain and lifting your arms over your head might be the death of you.

So I broke myself.

I took a bath and went to bed and started to feel better but it just goes to show you that I am the biggest jinx ever.

In other news, bring on the carrot cake!

My whole reason for ‘celebrating’ Easter is for the Cadbury Creme Eggs, carrot cake, and getting Autumn dressed up in as much bunny branded gear leading up to the hoppiest of days. Yes, I have that much stuff with rabbits on it for her. Judge away…

I couldn’t resist making Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls for this week’s edition of Monkey Bread Monday. (I will have a monkey bread recipe next week!) The carrot cake flavors in the fluffy cinnamon rolls and the cream cheese frosting, yes!

The hardest part of making these was deciding on if the raisins go in the dough or in the filling. I ultimately decided on adding the plump, juicy raisins to the filling to mix in with the crunch of the walnuts. I thought it would be a fun contrast. I know raisins can be a deal breaker for some people so do what ya gotta do and omit them if you must.

Enjoy these on Easter or any time you are craving some carrot cake for breakfast.

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 18 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 1 Cup finely shredded carrot
  • 4 1/2- 4 3/4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 Cup finely chopped walnuts

For the Glaze

  • 6 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 Cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the cook attachment, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and shredded carrot; just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into a smooth ball. Add the dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 3 pie plates or 8×8 round cake pans
  6. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″. Evenly spread out the melted butter on the dough.
  7. Combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon blend, sugar brown sugar, raisins and chopped nuts.
  8. Roll the long edge towards you and then cut into 18 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pans.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Make the glaze by mixing all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Drizzle all over the cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!
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4.3-5: Weekend Recap

{Friday Night}

leave work early- Autumn not feeling well | get Autumn at 3.30 | Price put Autumn to sleep at 6.30 | talk to dad | dinner | work- issue Bulletin  | watch DVR’d Grimm | bed

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{Saturday}

up ‘late’ at 7am | breakfast | Price worked on the dryer vent | Autumn naps | kitchen clean up | walked with Autumn to the Post Office & Salvation Army (Pyrex!!) | lunch | more dryer vent work | Autumn naps | dye Easter eggs | vent done! | dinner | go to Market Basket | work & do time sheet | shower | go to bed

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{Sunday}

Easter!!!

up at 6am | prep brunch food- veggies, dip, buffalo wings | go to Catherine & Ed’s for Easter brunch | home by 3pm | play and read mini books with Autumn | put away clothes | prep breakfast & lunch for Monday | Price gives Autumn a bath & puts her to bed | make dinner | watch DVR’d SNL | work | blogging | Man Men | bed

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Easter Chicks Cupcakes

Easter Chicks Cupcakes

Are you ready for Easter?!?!  I am so ready.

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I have lots of Easter-y stuff around to make a super, super cute Easter basket for Autumn. I had been hitting up the Target Dollar Spot and the local Dollar Tree to get lots of fun random things to include in her Easter Basket. Which might actutally be a bag, but you get the point. Lots of stickers, some barrettes, crayons, mini board books, and a flipping toy chick. And the ‘big’ toy is a pair of Doc McStuffin’s light up clogs. They are way too big but are super cute. I couldn’t resist because she loves to play dress up at daycare so, so much.

Plus, I picked up a bunch of eggs to dye with her this weekend. I’m sure it will be just one big mess but I think it will be a fun experience.

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We painted some plaster eggs over the weekend and that was a great activity. Granted, she tried to crack them at first as we cracks the eggs for me when I make something. But once I explained they aren’t eggs to crack she got the point and got to painting. I’m going to have to keep those half painted eggs forever. So cute!!

Those eggs will last forever, but these Easter Chicks Cupcakes won’t!

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These Easter Chicks Cupcakes are really Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with some Green Vanilla Buttercream Frosting topped off with some green coconut ‘grass’ and Peeps chicks. But Easter Chicks Cupcakes sounds cuter.

I used a chocolate brownie cupcake base as I wanted the cupcake to look like the earth. The green frosting is the glue for the green coconut grass. And then the marshmallow Peep Chick finishes it off.

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I used the traditional yellow Peeps Chicks but the Peeps Bunnies are just as cute.

I brought these cupcakes to daycare and the kids loved them.

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Easter Chicks Cupcakes

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

  • 1 pound semi sweet chocolate, use a bar that your break into pieces or chips
  • 12 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour

For the frosting

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • green food coloring

For the ‘Grass’

  • 2 Cups shredded coconut
  • green food coloring
  • 24  Chicks Peeps

Process

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler. Set aside to slightly cool.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the brown sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour to the brownie batter and mix until just combined.
  5. Evenly divide the brownie cupcake batter between the 24 liners.
  6. Make for 25-30 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch while the center is still moist.
  7. While the cupcakes bake, make the ‘grass’. Put the coconut into a small bowl. Add about 10 drops of green food coloring and mix to color all of the coconut.
  8. Make the frosting by beating the room temperature butter until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat on slow speed until just together. Add the vanilla extract, milk, and enough food coloring to achieve a rich green color.
  9. Once your cupcakes have baked and cooled, frost the cupcakes with just a bit of frosting. You want it to be a pretty thin amount over the whole cupcake.
  10. Sprinkle the dyed coconut on the frosting. Insert a toothpick into the bottom of the Peep and then push the toothpicked Peep into the cupcake.

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes adapted from The Cupcake, Frosting slightly adapted from  Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook

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How To Make Adorable and Affordable Mini Easter Baskets

Mini Easter Baskets

I really love the daycare that Autumn goes to. The teachers and kids are the best. Plus, it’s about a minute’s walk from our house.

It’s an family daycare so it’s a nice small group of kids that love to be around each other. They play hard and love hard. When we bring Autumn the kids greet her loudly. And when she goes they say “BYE AUTUMN!!!!!”. Everything is loud and filled with the best kind of enthusiasm. I love it.

I also love baking up special treats for the kids. It’s fun to give them sweet treats every now and then. And if it’s something that is too rich or tart, like the Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake I recently made, I share with the 2 teachers there.

I have some super cute Easter cupcakes planned for this week but I wanted to give the kids little Easter baskets too.

My goal was so make something that was unisex, functional, tasty, healthy, fun, and affordable. Thankfully, I found everything I needed at a recent trip to Target. I needed to make 9 baskets for 3-4 year olds so I hit up their Dollar Spot section as it’s the bees knees.

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I grabbed 5 packs of mini storage bins. I thought they were cute and functional as they could have a life after being an Easter basket. 2 for $1 (I could have put in some grass but I figured the parents would kill me when it got all over their cars on the way home!)

I saw card games that were age appropriate for the kids so I grabbed them. $1 each

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Kids love crafts so I grabbed some pens for their baskets as well. 4 pens $1

And what’s a basket without some treats?!? So I moved on to the grocery section and found a box of yummy strawberry fruit rope. $2.99 for 10 treats.

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As well, Rice Krispie treats are kid favorites. $4.19 for 16 treats.

Lastly, I filled some plastic eggs with some M&M’s to finish it off. $.89 for 12 eggs and $2.89 for the bag of M&M’s

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And that’s how I made 9 adorable Mini Easter Baskets for the kids at Autumn’s daycare for just $2.61 each. I only spent about $28 for everything and I have some extra goodies leftover to incorporate into the Easter Basket I’m making for Autumn. Woohoo!

Hop over to Target or your favorite stores to make some great Easter baskets for the kiddos in your life. xoxo

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What are your favorite things to include in Easter Baskets?

4.17-21: Long Weekend Recap

{Thursday Night}

get mom at airport | dinner- sauteed chicken breast over salad | hang out | bed

{Friday}

 work at home 1/2 day | get Autumn from daycare | donation for Mother’s Milkbank Northeast | Container Store | lots of traffic | foodler take out order- Chinese | make barm from seed culture | hang out | bed

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{Saturday}

make Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwiches | take Kemper to the dog park while mom watched Autumn | 5 guys burgers | naps | date night!!! dinner at Osaka | JP Licks ice cream | Brookline Booksmith shopping | bed

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{Sunday- Easter}

 grocery shopping | Taco Bell breakfast | Price did lots yard work | plots of pictures of Autumn | nap with Autumn |laundry |  dinner- steak and grilled veggies | mom gave Autumn a bath | TV | bed

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{Monday}

up early | Price went to work | Autumn slept like crazy! (10.00p ish-9.00a) watch Marathon coverage | house stuffs | lunch at Border Cafe | Home Ddepot for flowers | plant flowers in pots | dinner- pasta with pesto | Bones | shower | blogging | bed

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