Smoky Candied Bacon Sweet Potatoes – Celebrations Cookbook Review

celebrations cookbook by danielle walker

Very rarely do I come across a book of any kind that excites me to stop what I am doing and examine from cover to cover with a kid in a candy store enthusiasm, nevermind a cookbook. I might have been hyped up on sugar from the fudge that came with the book (page 312), but once it was open, it still captivated my attention. I navigated the mouth-watering pages from cover to cover taking mental notes of all the food I wanted to try before realizing I really should review this one for you guys.

Thank you, Danielle Walker, for writing Celebrations Cookbook to remind all of us that the secret to a happy life is good food, good people, and lots of celebrations. Click on any image to buy the book or click here.

Celebrations Cookbook – A Masterpiece by Danielle Walker

Rarely will I make a recipe from another cookbook but Danielle Walker’s newest release, Celebrations Cookbook, has inspired me to share this wonderful collection of recipes with you. Rather than just typing, I decided to record a video as well. Enjoy, and comment if you want some more video reviews.

One of the most common questions I get asked is why am I not losing weight even though I am eating clean or working out a lot. We as a society are brainwashed into thinking that in order to be healthy all you have to do is eat a certain amount of the right things and do a certain amount of the right movement. Those are marketing dollars speaking that are distracting us from the simple answers we have had all along.

Want to be healthy? We NEED to slow down!

In my opinion, one problem with food and health today is we don’t cook or eat like we used to. We are all so busy rushing from place to place, task to task, or day to day that we forget how to breathe. The therapeutic process of taking 20-30 minutes to prepare a meal that will nourish our bodies and souls is nonexistent these days. We choose takeout, fast food, or pantry food because we say we don’t have time. What we are really saying is that Facebook and Instagram are more important.


All of this busyness keeps our bodies operating in fight or flight mode (sympathetic nervous system) from the constant go go go. In order for our bodies to absorb nutrients, heal, and thrive we need to be in rest and digest mode (parasympathetic nervous system). The evolutionary skill built into our DNA to transition us into rest and digest mode is cooking.

We should take the time to enjoy the art of cooking and sharing a meal with those we love. No phones, televisions or distractions. Just quality family time in the kitchen and at the dinner table slowly enjoying our meals together which is scientifically healthy. Are you wondering where to start? There is a book for that, it’s called the Celebrations Cookbook!

This book is loaded with over 125 recipes and 12 occasions to plan from throughout the year.  I love them all but some of the recipes that stood out to me are. Click the recipes that are linked to get the recipes:

  • Smoky candied bacon sweet potatoes (Make that recipe below)
  • Chai Poached Pears
  • Be Mine Pizza
  • Salted Caramel-Chocolate Panna Cotta
  • Caramel-pecan sticky buns
  • Asparagus Proscuitto Tart
  • Lavender Rosemary Leg of Lamb
  • Blood Orange Honey Glazed Ham
  • Skillet Corn Bread
  • 6 amazing cakes – Chocolate, Red Velvet, Nut-free Yellow Cake, Yellow Cake, Strawberry Cake and Vanilla Cake
  • Chicken Salad Biscuits
  • Caramel Apples
  • Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots
  • Apple Sausage Stuffing
  • Roasted Brined Turkey
  • Rosemary Garlic Rib Roast
  • GingerBread Houses
  • And even some cocktails to get the party started

Don’t forget about the occasions that are all planned out for you with a menu and recipes for a Backyard Barbeque, Birthday Parties, Christmas Dinner or even New Year’s Eve cocktails. You can also mix and match and create your own family occasions using any of the recipes. If you start a new family tradition, leave us a comment below and tell us all about it. (To buy the book, click the image below)


Lots of cookbooks are published every year and occasionally a special one comes along with an idea that becomes the standard for all books to follow. Somehow Danielle Walker always manages to create these gifts and Celebrations Cookbook delivers that once more. In the back of the book, you can see every recipe listed and whether it is:celebrations cookbook by danielle walker nutritional information for caramel sticky buns

Did I mention that she also provides nutritional information for every single recipe in the book? And not like inaccurate, I don’t care about this nutrition information, like REAL nutrition information.

Gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free for sure but did you know that this recipe is also Fish-free. That’s great though because fish in Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns doesn’t sound that appetizing. I bet some crazy paleo people would add some fermented cod liver oil with cinnamon on this recipe, but I am not one of them.

I am pretty sure this book review would be great without that last paragraph, but I am too lazy to delete it so hopefully, you laughed a little bit. I doubt anyone even reads this far come to think of it so I am safe.

Smoky Candied Bacon Sweet Potatoes

Celebrations Cookbook is a hardcover work of art that belongs in the kitchen of every cooking human being. I have known Danielle personally since 2011 and I feel incredibly grateful to have witnessed such an incredible journey. I have yet to meet someone so in touch with their gift and so committed and successful in using it to make this world a better place.

After you are done devouring these delicious bacon sweet potatoes, ensure you buy a copy of this book for yourself and everyone you love. Don’t forget her other masterpieces either. You can get them all right here:

Alright, it’s time for you and me to get cooking. As a special treat, Danielle has been kind enough to share her recipe for Smokey Candied Bacon Sweet Potatoes.  When I first came across this recipe I knew it was going down in the caveman kitchen.  I also knew that you, my Caveman family would love this one too!

This recipe is a delicious step away from the traditional candied sweet potatoes with the marshmallow topping but only if you want it to be. Danielle also included a marshmallow recipe so you can recreate even more traditional dishes during your celebrations if you choose. Savory and sweet pair perfectly in this side dish that is sure to become a family favorite and hold a place on your holiday tables for years to come.

4.6 from 52 reviews
Smoky Candied Bacon Sweet Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10-12
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 6 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into even 1-inch cubes. Toss them with the bacon, pecans, maple syrup, chili powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne in a bowl. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir and continue roasting for 15 minutes, or until tender. Turn the oven to broil and brown the potatoes for an additional 5 minutes. Watch the nuts closely and pull the baking sheets out early if they begin to burn. Serve hot.

“Reprinted with permission from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion by Danielle Walker, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.”
Photography credit: Erin Kunkel © 2016

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  1. Hey…I have her book…Against all Grains…love it and my14 year old daughter cooks friday for us using her book…so cool.. <3

  2. Shared today’s George Bryant show and now commenting here. Those potatoes look awesome. I did like you suggested and made a sweet potato chili for dinner tonight. Took about 50 m8nutes start to finish but soo worth it. Now I have a healthy meal for lunch tomorrow. And since the kids didn’t eat it tonight, this will be dinner tomorrow. Woo hoo!

  3. Completed! I bought Danielle Walker’s “Against All Grain” when I first started my paleo journey, and I absolutely love her recipes! In fact, I would love to have a copy of her newest cookbook in hand as I prepare to host Thanksgiving for the first time this year!

    A HUGE thank you to both of you for all that you do!

  4. Completed! I would love a copy of Danielle Walker’s newest cookbook. I am hosting Thanksgiving (for the first time) this year, so this would certainly come in handy! Thank you for all that you do!

  5. I love George & his recipes so im positive i will love Danielle Walkers book as well. I shared the video & will be printing & making this recipe this weekend. Thank you to both!

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