Sweet Potato and Pecan Dinner Rolls

Sweet Potato Rolls

A few weeks ago I was asked to review Rick Rodger’s new cookbook, The Big Book of Sides. Seeing as how he is an award winning author, I knew it would be good. With more than 450 recipes, there is really something for everyone.

the big book of sides

This book could not have come out at a better time. This is the first year that we are hosting Thanksgiving for a large group and I needed some new tasty dishes. I can honestly say that half of my Thanksgiving meal is coming from this book. From Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms to Homemade Creamed Corn, my guests will hopefully leave content with full bellies!

dinner rolls

With vegetarian, grain, vegetable, salad, bread, and sauce recipes, this is really the only book you would need to host a dinner party. Let your sides shine!


I was instantly intrigued when I saw the recipe for these Sweet Potato and Pecan Dinner rolls. I have used mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin in cinnamon rolls before and the results were fantastic. There is something about the starch that adds moisture to the bread. These rolls were no different. They were incredibly soft and moist.


You can’t really taste the sweet potato, however it adds a pretty orange color to the rolls. The pecans added a nice crunch too. These rolls are perfect for your holiday meal and the dough can be made 12 hours in advance!

butter and rolls

If you are looking for a new cookbook that will please everyone and every season, The Big Book of Sides is a great choice. It would also be a great gift for your foodie friend!

Sweet Potato and Pecan Dinner Rolls

Sweet Potato and Pecan Dinner Rolls

Recipe by Rick Rodgers from his new book, The Big Book of Sides.


  • 1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato pierced a few times with a fork
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, thinly sliced, plus softened butter for the bowl and pan
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea or table salt
  • One 1/4-ounce package instant (quick rising) yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour, as needed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg yolk


  1. 1. Cook the sweet potato in a microwave oven on high until tender, 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the wattage of your oven. (Or Bake it on a rimmed baking sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven until tender, about 1 hour). Let it cool until easy to handle, about 30 minutes. Peel the sweet potato, transfer the flesh to a small bowl, and mash it with a fork. Measure and reserve ½ cup mashed sweet potato and let it cool completely, about 30 minutes. Discard the remaining sweet potato or save it for another use.
  2. 2. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove it from the heat and add the sliced butter. Let it stand until the butter is melted. Add the reserved mashed sweet potatoes, ¼ cup water, brown sugar, and salt.
  3. 3. To make the dough in a stand mixer: Pour the sweet potato mixture into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Stir in the yeast. Fit the bowl on the mixer with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in enough flour to make a dough that cleans the sides of the bowl. Change to the dough hook. Mix on medium-low speed, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is soft, supple, and elastic occasionally pulling it down as it climbs up the dough hook, about 8 minutes. During the last minute add the pecans.
  4. To make the dough by hand: Pour the sweet potato mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a dough that is too stiff to stir. Turn out the dough on a floured work surface. Knead, adding more flour, to make a soft, supple dough, about 10 minutes. The dough will be somewhat tacky, but do not add too much flour. If the dough does not stick excessively to the work surface, then it has enough flour. Pat the dough into a thick rectangle.
  5. Gather up the dough into a ball. Generously butter a medium bowl with softened butter. Shape the dough into a ball, ass it to the bowl, turn to coat it with the butter, and leave it smooth-side up. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 ½ hours. (The covered dough can be refrigerated for up to 12 hour. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before shaping. )
  6. Butter the inside of an 11 ½ x 8 x 2-inch baking pan. Turn out the dough onto an unfloured work surface and knead briefly. Cut the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each dough portion into a taunt ball. Arrange the balls evenly spaced, with the smoothed. Arrange the balls evenly spaced, with the smoothed sides up, in the baking pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place until the balls have almost doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
  7. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of water. Lightly brush the tops of the balls with the yolk glaze. Bake until the rolls are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let them stand for 5 minutes. Serve them warm.

This is not a sponsored post, however all opinions are 100% my own. This post also includes amazon affiliate links. 

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

Orange cranberry pound cake

I spent a good majority of my childhood living with my grandparents. My grandmother never let anything go to waste. To this day when we go over to her house and she offers us something to eat, we question how old it is. Well, I think that this has somewhat rubbed off on me, which is a problem because sometimes I go a little crazy when something is on sale.

Cranberry orange pound cake

Now that we have moved into a house with a mini grove in the backyard I am have a little anxiety problem. I was so excited when I saw the huge orange tree. However, I never stopped to think that the oranges would all be ripening at the same time!!!! I seriously have about 300 oranges, 200 lemons, and about 150 guavas. Hence the reason for the anxiety. Each time a fruit falls, I cringe. How could I possibly let it go to waste?! I have given quite a few away, in the process of making guava jelly, and we have an endless supply of orange juice…..and there are still a ton of oranges left! So, if you see a bunch of citrus recipes coming up, you now know why. And if you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!

Winter pound cake

This Cranberry Orange Pound Cake was wonderfully moist and flavorful. The colors are gorgeous too! The combination of sweet, tart, and citrus-y is wonderful! I hope you enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  4. Combine the eggs, milk, orange zest and juice (milk will become more like buttermilk because of the orange zest), and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  5. Mix and set aside.
  6. Add butter and half of the egg mixture to the dry flour mixture.
  7. Beat until just combined (about 30 seconds).
  8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the egg mix.
  9. Gently mix the entire batter with a wooden spoon.
  10. Stir in cranberries.
  11. Pour into pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
  12. To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth.
  13. Pour over cooled cake.

Bacon Butternut Squash Risotto

This post is sponsored by Melissa’s Produce and the San Diego Food Bloggers

butternut squash risotto

A few weeks ago I signed up for a recipe challenge the San Diego Food Bloggers and Melissa’s Produce. I love these kinds of challenges one because I get to try new produce and I get to work with local bloggers!


For this challenge, Melissa’s Produce sent an array of glorious fall treats. We had to use at least 3 of the items sent. I had been wanting to make and share this risotto recipe since I started the blog however every time I made it, it was polished off before I could photograph it. When I received the box, I knew that this was the year that I would finally make and share the recipe.


By no means is this a low fat recipe. But seriously who wants a fall inspired low fat recipe. This is the kind of dish you want to splurge your calories on!

butternut squash

Check out the other dishes that my fellow San Diego Bloggers made!!!!

Bacon Butternut Squash Risotto

Bacon Butternut Squash Risotto


  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts


  1. Slice bacon into little pieces before cooking.
  2. Cook until your desired crispiness.
  3. Drain bacon and reserve 1/4 cup bacon grease. Set bacon aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil
  5. Peel, cut in half, remove seeds and chop butternut squash into 1x1 in cubes.
  6. Toss with olive and sea salt.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until squash is tender.
  8. In a heavy bottomed pan, melt butter and bacon grease on medium high heat
  9. Add rice, garlic, and shallots and cook until rice has browned very slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir to avoid burning.
  10. Reduce heat to low and slowly add in chicken stock and wine.
  11. Cover rice and cook until tender about 35-40 minutes, stirring constantly.
  12. Once rice is tender, add cream and cook for an additional 5 minutes, uncovered.
  13. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, bacon pieces and roasted butternut squash.
  14. Garnish with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts.

Mini Cranberry Crumbles #QuakerUp #MyOatsCreation #CollectiveBias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker. All opinions are mine alone.

Mini Cranberry Crumbles

There is something about the holidays that gives me an extra dose of patience. I love baking with my kids, but sometimes the extra mess is just flat out daunting. During the holidays however every recipe that is made, my children are involved. We just absolutely love dancing around to Christmas music and bringing ingredients together to create a magical recipe to share with our friends and family. The mess just doesn’t seem to bother me as much because the memories that we are creating are worth so much more. Not only did the kids love making these quick rolled oat Mini Cranberry Crumbles, but they were simple and easy too…meaning quick clean up! 

mini cranberry crumbles 2

When I was growing up I would spend a week making Italian cookies with my grandfather. My grandmother would always sit and watch, claiming that she was not a baker and that she preferred the clean up. Perhaps she wasn’t a cookie baker but she defiantly could make a mean crumble. Some of my favorite food memories are her recipes. It think it was the simplicity in the foods that she made that made them comfort food. Still to this day she says she hates cooking and never enjoyed it.

Quaker Oats

When I saw this adorably packaged canister of Quaker Oats, available at Target, I knew exactly what we were going to make. The kids and I had a wonderful making these and threw them together in less that 5 minutes, with very little clean up!



These are great little simple desserts perfect for movie nights, dinner parties or even Holiday meals!!!! Make sure to print out this coupon for your Quaker Oats! Visit Quaker Oat’s Facebook and Pinterest for more great recipes!


Mini Cranberry Crumbles #QuakerUp #MyOatsCreation #CollectiveBias

Yield: makes 8 4oz jars

Mini Cranberry Crumbles #QuakerUp #MyOatsCreation #CollectiveBias


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or water
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) melted butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup Quaker Oats (instant)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together cranberries, sugar, cinnamon and juice or water.
  3. Fill jars 2/3 of the way full with cranberries.
  4. Combine oats, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl and mix.
  5. Place about a tablespoon of topping onto the cranberries.
  6. Place jars on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove from oven and serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.


Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cups #Feast4All #Collectivebias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

peppermint pudding cups

So when asking on Facebook what kind of fall recipes you guys were looking for, you responded with “recipes that can be made in advance.” Cooking for a crowd can be rather overwhelming and leaves you with little time to enjoy your family and friends. But you want to present your best, so you continue to slave in the kitchen from appetizer to dessert. My husband always gets mad at me when I spend the evening in the kitchen and he is out socializing. Let’s just say that making conversation is not his forte.


With isles and isles of baking items all of the store, inspiration is not hard to find these days. I could probably buy everything baking related at Walmart, but alas I have to restrain myself. This is because I know myself all too well. I will buy everything to make the most extravagant dessert ever then be overwhelmed come serving day and resort to something uber simple. Evaporated Milk and Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chips are exceptions though, because I always make sure to have staple ingredients in my pantry.


This is why I love this recipe. These Chocolate Peppermint Pudding cups have an intense chocolate flavor with a slight minty aftertaste…a perfect palate cleanser. They are fresh and festive! The best part though is that they can be made up to 3 days in advance, leaving you time to prep for the rest of the meal!


The pudding itself is pretty simple and only takes about 15 minutes to make, as you see below. With this recipe I actually made the pudding twice, the second time omitting the chocolate and adding peppermint extract. The end results were pretty layered pudding cups that were enjoyed by adults and kids!


Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cups #Feast4All #Collectivebias

Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cups #Feast4All #Collectivebias


    Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (2 cans) Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Peppermint Pudding
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (2 cans) Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Crushed candy canes for garnish.


  1. In a heavy bottomed pot add cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
  2. Very slowly add evaporated milk, mixing with a whisk vigorously to avoid cornstarch clumping.
  3. Begin heating on a medium low heat and add chocolate chips.
  4. Stir occasionally at the beginning but once chocolate begins to melt, stir constantly until it has thickened, about 5 minutes, add vanilla.
  5. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.
  6. Pudding will thicken considerably while cooling.
  7. Once cooled place plastic covering directly on top of the pudding to avoid pudding skin to form.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to use!
  9. To make the Peppermint Pudding, repeat steps above omitting the chocolate, and adding peppermint extract with the vanilla.
  10. To assemble, place in a large freezer bag and cut of the corner. Pipe in layers in the cups. Garnish with crushed candy canes.

Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potato Pancakes #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TastetheSeason #CollectiveBias

potato pancakes

I love Thanksgiving, and begin preparations for it at least a month in advance. Between the mental prepping, shopping, cooking and cleaning, by the time the meal is served I am pooped. Usually I barely eat and I just sit down and watch my family enjoy my hard work. I also firmly believe in Thanksgiving leftovers! That’s why I always make at least double the amount that I need to. I figure that since I will be doing all of the cooking anyway, I mine as well make enough to eat for a week after Thanksgiving. The problem with that however is that I get tired of food quickly. Hence the need to get creative with leftovers. This is why we joined forces with Kraft to create a recipe that you will love! If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? If you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!


These Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes are perfect. Crunchy on the outside and smooth in the center. Put a fried egg on top for breakfast, eat them plain for lunch, or add a salad a call it a night for dinner.

potato pancakes

I actually made and froze about 15 of these for easy future meals! I’m feeling very accomplished today :) Yes, they are that good!

cheese store

Now you can certainly get creative with these savory pancakes. There is certainly enough cheese in the cheese isle at Walmart to change it up every single time! Next time, I may try shredded mozzarella and make them like little mini pizzas after frying. Hey, the possibilities are endless!


Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potato Pancakes #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias


  • 3 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
  • Oil for frying


  1. Combine egg, flour, cheese, and bacon with your mashed potatoes and mix well.
  2. Scoop out 2 inch balls and roll the smash like a pancake, about 1/2 in thick.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan on medium high heat.
  4. Add potato pancakes and cook each side until golden, about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve immediately or freeze for later use.


NatureBox Review


I don’t know how many times I have been scrolling through Instagram and have seen people post pictures of their monthly NatureBox snacks. That is why I was so excited to review their snacks. Because of the holidays, we constantly have people coming over. Between cookie decorating play dates and Birthday dinners it was certainly nice to have quick delicious snacks to serve to my guests.


NatureBox delivers a world of carefully sourced and nutritionist-approved foods right to your door.Each snack contains wholesome ingredients – with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors, zero grams trans fats, and no high fructose corn syrup. You can learn more about their Product Promise here.

nature box

When you join NatureBox, you’ll receive five different snacks every month. You can choose the snacks you want or be surprised with their carefully curated selections.

pretzel pops

My selections were Sriracha Rice Crackers, Maple Habanero Pretzel Pops, Honeycomb Sunflower Kernels, Peanut Butter Nom Noms, and Mango Orange Fruits Chews. We loved them all, but the Sriracha Rice Crackers and Mango Fruit Chews (so good they didn’t even last long enough to get photographed!) were our favorites.


The Maple Habanero Pretzel Pops were smoky and sweet with a kick! The Honeycomb Sunflower Kernels were sweet with a crunch and fantastic on their own or in a salad. The Peanut Butter Nom Noms were a great no guilt way to satisfy your sweet tooth. All in all the snacks were delicious and I would surely order again.


I highly recommend Naturebox, and will be continuing our monthly box! Not sure? Try a free trial box that contains one full-sized bag and four single-served pouches. Got a dietary goal or taste preference? NatureBox has 100+ snacks to excite and delight every palate. NatureBox snacks are perfect for this indulgent holiday season as a better for you snacking alternative – delicious snacks for your holiday party (and options for all of the picky eaters), easy and unique additions to fall/holiday recipes and fun ways to change up the lunchbox routine.

Click here to start your free trial with NatureBox! Free trial is available for new and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers. Have fun trying to narrow your choices down! ;)


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.