Choctoberfest 2017

Today is one of my favorite days of the year… because it is the first day of #Choctoberfest 2017!
#Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you’ll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. What’s not to love?

Thank you to the sponsors who make #Choctoberfest possible! This year, Imperial Sugar is back as our Gold Sponsor. They have been a trusted name in kitchens since 1843, and their website is home to thousands of sweet recipes tested in the Imperial Sugar Kitchen. You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, or join their Sweet Community so you can share your own recipes, save recipes to a virtual inbox, print Imperial Sugar coupons, and connect with other sugar lovers.

Imperial Sugar and our silver sponsors have banded together to offer a huge #Choctoberfest prize pack, which you can enter to win below! One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive the following:

Enter now to win our #Choctoberfest 2017 prize pack! We’ll be picking a winner at random winner on Saturday, Oct. 16, so enter by Friday to make sure your name is in the drawing:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the yummy recipes posted on these blogs. Check them out throughout the week and don’t forget to follow our sponsors and bloggers.

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Choctoberfest 2017

Welcome to Choctoberfest 2017 with Imperial Sugar, our gold sponsor.

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, because it is the official start of #Choctoberfest. This is the third annual food blogger celebration of all things chocolate, made possible thanks to our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar and the other sponsors listed below.

Over 70 bloggers are participating in #Choctoberfest 2017 and will be posting 200+ chocolate recipes over the next week. Keep your eyes peeled, visit any of the blogs listed below, or use the #Choctoberfest hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to follow along. You can also check out our #Choctoberfest Pinterest board, where we post chocolate recipes all year long.

You can also enter to win our #Choctoberfest prize pack. Thank to our amazing sponsors who are contributing the following items for the prize:

  • $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar
  • 1 case of granulated white sugar (40 pounds), 1 case of light brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of dark brown sugar (24 pounds), and 1 case of powdered sugar (24 pounds) from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar
  • 16 oz Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, 9.52 oz canister of Chocolate Silk Greens, and 8oz bottle of Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint from our silver sponsor Barlean’s
  • 300-piece Lindt LINDOR Truffles gift bag (you choose the flavors!) from blog sponsors The PinterTest Kitchen

This prize pack is valued at over $450! To enter, simply follow participating sponsors and bloggers using the below giveaway widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Stay tuned to see the delicious recipes bloggers have cooked up using Imperial Sugar and Barlean’s products. Thank you also to Davis Chocolate and Rodelle for being #Choctoberfest shoutout sponsors! Watch Instagram and Facebook to find out more about about their chocolate products.

Here is a complete list of all the bloggers participating in #Choctoberfest 2017, so you can see the recipes they are posting throughout the week:

The PinterTest KitchenFix Me a Little LunchSavory MomentsCrumbs in my MustachioHouse of Nash EatsBake It With LoveThat RecipeHardly A GoddessCooking With CarleeA Kitchen Hoor’s AdventuresBody RebootedCindy’s Recipes and WritingsThe Redhead BakerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceSweet CoraliceSeduction in The KitchenCooks&Books&RecipesEveryday EileenUnder My Apple TreeFamily Around The TableBottom Left of the MittenThe Spiffy CookieFairyburgerJoin Us, Pull up a ChairJonesin’ For TasteJane’s Adventures in DinnerTake Two TapasJennifer BakesThe Unlikely BakerHostess At HeartKaren’s Kitchen StoriesKate’s Recipe BoxKelly Lynns Sweets and TreatsWildflour’s Cottage KitchenChocolate SlopesLittle House Big AlaskaMakes, Bakes and Decor2 Cookin MamasThat Skinny Chick Can BakeBooks n’ CooksMildly MeanderingLiving IdeasRestless ChipotleGet the Good Stuff!The Weekday GourmetAn Affair from the HeartWest Via MidwestCookie Dough and Oven MittThe Bitter Side of SweetCookaholic WifeDaily Dish RecipesFor the Love of FoodThe Saucy SouthernerCook’s HideoutBy the PoundsTramplingrose: Cooking, Baking & Ranting in Small-Town South DakotaSarah Cooks the BooksChef Sarah ElizabethFantastical Sharing of RecipesSarah’s Bake StudioThe Pajama ChefFrankly EntertainingLong Distance BakingPalatable PastimeThe Freshman CookThe Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine ♥ A Day in the Life on the FarmWendy PolisiTampa Cake GirlMy Southern Sweet ToothCanning and Cooking at HomeFull Belly SistersSuperSizeGuy.comOur Good Life

Apple Pie Churro Cheesecake 


This is my first fall recipe of 2017 since I broke my hip and leg. It’s been a rough couple of months but I am back in the kitchen doing what I love to do. This recipe is very tasty. I made this dessert in an 8 x 8 pan but I will also supply the directions if you prefer to make a 9 x 13 size to serve more people. 

Ingredients:

1 can of crescent rolls 

2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature 

3/4 cup sugar 

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 can apple pie filling

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, leave in jar to sprinkle, optional*


Putting the apples on top of the cream cheese mixture. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 x 8 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1/2 of the crescent rolls in the bottom of the pan. Press seams together and bring edges out to all edges of the pan. 
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Carefully spread on top of crescent roll sheet in the pan. 


A quick sprinkle of cinnamon before adding the other crescent on top. 

Pick apples out of the can of pie filling. Lay apples on top of the cream cheese in a single layer so you have enough fruit to cover the cream cheese. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of apples. *The canned apple pie filling I purchased had no high fructose and no cinnamon in the apples. If your can has cinnamon in your canned apples, I would omit the sprinkling of cinnamon. I tasted my apples and they were on the bland side so I added cinnamon to my recipe. 


Second sheet of crescent rolls on top with melted butter, sugar snd cinnamon. Ready to go into the oven. 

Take the remaining 1/2 sheet of crescent rolls and place between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll out until it’s 8 x 8 and place on top of apple pie filling. Make sure the edges come out to the sides of the pan. 


Finished product!

Churro Topping:

1/2 stick of butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 

6 Tablespoons of sugar

Garnish with whip cream or a scoop of ice cream if desired 


Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar together and spread over top of the top crescent. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and serve with whip cream or ice cream. Or both! 😉  Enjoy!


***For a 13 x 9 size pan, use the following measurements. 

Ingredients for 13 x 9 pan:

2 cans of crescent rolls, 1 entire can for the top and one for the bottom

3 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature 

1 1/2 cups of sugar

3 teaspoons of vanilla

2 cans of apple pie filling

1 teaspoon of cinnamon, optional

Follow the instructions for the 8 x 8 pan for assembly. 
Churro topping for 9 x 13:

1 stick of butter, melted 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

3/4 cup of sugar

Follow the instructions for the 8 x 8 size.  Baking time will increase to 40-50 minutes. 

Low Carb Italian Bowl of Love

Ingredients:

2  Sausages (I used Al Fresco)

1/2  cup roasted vegetables (I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions, you can make your own roasted vegetables by grilling or broiling)

3 Tablespoons or more to taste marinara sauce

Parmesan cheese, optional


Cook sausages, I grilled mine. Slice into bite size pieces. Warm up vegetables and marinara sauce. Combine ingredients and garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. You can serve this over low carb pasta if you wish but it will change the carb count from low carb to medium high carb. 


***As far as the carb count goes, the sausages I used were 1 carb each. The toasted vegetables were about 4 carbs. My marinara was on the high side, I didn’t notice it until I read the label. I used tomato basil flavor and used about 3 tablespoons which was approximately 4 carbs. My goal carb count 9 carbs. Not bad. I didn’t count the cheese because I used so little. You will need to read your labels to see what your total carb count is. I currently have 2 boxes of low carb pasta in my pantry but I find the carb count on the high side. I can’t imagine what regular pasta is. 

Cannoli Cupcakes


I love cannoli. I have a friend that dearly loves them and recently celebrated a birthday. I decided to make cannoli cupcakes for his birthday. I must say they were a success. Chocolate cupcakes with cannoli whip cream frosting. 

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

6 Tablespoons unsweetened baking chocolate 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Egg

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup buttermilk 

1/2 cup hot coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tin with cupcake liners. 

In your mixing bowl, put flour, sugar, baking soda and powder and salt.  Whisk together. In a separate bowl, egg, oil and buttermilk and beat together. Add these liquid ingredients to your flour mixture. Add your hot coffee once the ingredients are mixed together. After coffee has been blended, add vanilla. Fill liners 1/2 full. Bake 18-20 minutes until cupcakes test clean. Cool completely before frosting. 


Cannoli Whip Cream Frosting:


Ingredients:

1 8 ounce container marscapone cheese

1 teaspoon Grand Marnier*

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar, or more to your taste

1 pint (2 cups) Heavy Cream

Mini chocolate chips for decorating 

Chocolate sauce for drizzling, optional

Chill mixing bowl and attachment for minimum of 30 minutes. Mix marscapone cheese, Grand Marnier and vanilla together quickly. Over mixing will cause the marscapone cheese to become watery. Add powdered sugar and mix. Pour in heavy cream and whip until it’s very stiff. Place in piping bag and frost cupcakes (I used a 1 M tip). I sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top. I also drizzled chocolate sauce on top of the cupcakes. Store in refrigerator. Enjoy!

*This is an orange liqueur. If you prefer not to use this in your frosting, use additional teaspoon of vanilla. 

Lisa’s Pizza Bowl

Pizza Bowl? Yes this is pizza without a crust. I was inspired by my friend Lisa that ordered this at a pizza restaurant in Louisiana. I knew once she sent me a photo that I could create this delicious low carb dish. Thank you Lisa and Happy Birthday!


Ingredients:

1/4 cup Pizza sauce, look at the back and use the one with the lowest carbs on the nutrition label, I used Contadina

Mozzarella cheese

Pizza toppings of your choice, I used meatballs and onions (I forgot my mushrooms)

Italian Seasoning, optional 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


 In a small bowl/dish, spread 1/4 sauce in the bottom of your bowl. Add your pizza toppings. I had planned on using mushrooms but I forgot to add them. Cover in mozzarella cheese and bake 5-8 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle on Italian seasoning if desired. Serve with a tossed salad using low carb dressing to round out your meal. This pizza bowl was 6 total carbs. Depending on what you chose for your toppings, it will determine your carbs. For example, red peppers have more carbs than green peppers. Enjoy!

Patriotic Pound Cake 

Just in time for Fourth of July! I present my Patriotic Pound Cake made with fresh strawberries and blueberries. I also added some red, white and blue sprinkles in the batter to make it even more patriotic. Have a slice with coffee for breakfast or serve it as a simple dessert. 
Ingredients:  

3/4 cup butter, (1 and 1/2 sticks) room temperature 

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 3/4 cup flour plus an additional 2 Tablespoons for the berries

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup strawberries, chopped

5 Tablespoons of red, white and blue sprinkles


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line loaf pan with parchment paper or nonstick foil. 

In a mixing bowl, mix butter an sugar until light yellow and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and blend. Add extracts and mix well. 


In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate flour mixture and milk. Once everything had been combined, stir in 5 Tablespoons of sprinkles to the batter. Add 2 Tablespoons flour to the berries, stir to coat the berries before adding them to the batter. This will keep the berries from sinking to the bottom. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before glazing. 


Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

1 -2 Tablespoons of milk

Decorative sprinkles, optional
Mix sugar with extract and one Tablespoon of milk. Add additional Tablespoon of milk if needed. Pour over Pound Cake. Decorate with more sprinkles if desired.