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

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. 

Strawberry Fields Salad 


I love salads. I really love spinach salad, this is my second one on my blog. If you prefer arugula or spring mix, you can easily substitute spinach for something else. I did make a homemade poppy seed dressing and it has a little tang. If you prefer something like balsamic or any other vinaigrette, that would work also. This is a perfect spring/summer salad and it’s Popeye’s favorite! 😉

Salad

Ingredients:

2 packages (6 ounces) baby spinach

1 4 ounce container of feta cheese, crumbled 

1/4 purple onion, sliced into pieces

1 pound of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 

1 cup of pecans, I used praline pecans I purchased at the grocery store

3 cups of sliced strawberries

Place ingredients in a salad bowl and toss. Serve with poppy seed dressing or your favorite dressing. 

Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients:

1 cup of mayonnaise 

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard 

1/3 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons white vinegar

2 Tablespoons of poppy seeds

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper 

Mix together and serve over Strawberry Fields Salad or your favorite salad. Dressing will last a week in the fridge. Enjoy!

Grammy’s Carrot Cake

This is a very old recipe. I adapted this recipe and added 3 cups of grated carrots to the original recipe. This is a very moist and delicious cake, a favorite of my Dad and my clients. People love carrot cake all year but Easter is also a popular time too. 


Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 cups carrots, grated (6 is not a misprint)

1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray with nonstick spray that contains flour or grease and flour your cake pans. You will need three 9″ cake pans or you can use two for thicker layers. Please line your pans with parchment paper and also spray the parchment paper. Set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Blend together dry before adding your wet ingredients. Add oil, vanilla and add eggs one at a time. Add carrots and nuts and combine. Divide equally into your pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before frosting. 


Cream cheese Frosting

2 blocks of cream cheese, room temperature 

2 sticks of butter, room temperature 

4 teaspoons vanilla

2 pounds of powdered sugar 
Blend cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla and slowly add powdered sugar. Frost on cooled cake. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy. 

Egg Nog Mousse

I love egg nog. I knew when I made my pumpkin mousse that eventually I would get around to making egg nog mouse. This recipe does not disappoint. A light creamy dessert that is perfect for the holidays. 

Ingredients: 
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, room temperature 

1 cup eggnog

3 teaspoons of cornstarch

8 ounces of heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons of nutmeg

3/4 cups of powdered sugar

Whip cream for garnish, optional

Nutmeg for garnish, optional

In a chilled mixing bowl that has been refrigerated a minimum of 20 minutes (attachment too) blend cream cheese in a chilled bowl until smooth. Add egg nog and blend until smooth. Add cornstarch and combine. Pour in whipping cream and add nutmeg and whip into stiff peaks. Add powdered sugar. Pour into bowls and refrigerate several hours or overnight until set. Garnish with whip cream and nutmeg.   Makes  6  one cup servings. Enjoy!

Copycat Salted Caramel Cafe

After the hustle and bustle of shopping and preparing holiday meals, why not treat yourself to a holiday cocktail?!  This cocktail can be purchased at Tampa’s Hard Rock Cafe but now you can make one for yourself in the comfort of your own home. This could give Irish Coffee a run for the money. It’s like a caramel coffee drink that people order at the high end coffee shop with a kick!  This drink is very tasty. 

  

Cast of characters. 
Ingredients:

1 shot of Tia Maria

1 shot of Bailey’s  Irish Cream

5 ounces of Half and Half

3 ounces of Salted Caramel Syrup (I used Monin that I purchased from Amazon)

Whip cream for garnish

Caramel ice cream syrup

Caramel corn, optional

  
I used a glass that is often used for Irish Coffee. Tia Maria is like a coffee liqueur. Add the shots of Tia Maria and Bailey’s to your glass. Add half and half and caramel syrup. Stir to mix. Top with whip cream, drizzle with caramel syrup and top with caramel corn.  Cheers!

  
*please remember to drink responsibly