#Choctoberfest 2017

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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

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 CuisineA Day in the Life on the FarmWendy PolisiTampa Cake GirlMy Southern Sweet ToothCanning and Cooking at HomeFull Belly SistersSuperSizeGuy.comOur Good LifeThe Life Jolie

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Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

No one can resist saucy, cheese enchiladas that are packed full of ground turkey and black beans … except my son. Ha! He’s getting more vocal about what he wants to eat and the other night when I made these easy enchiladas, he wanted nothing to do with them. I decided it was a night I was going to pick my battles and not argue with them. The rest of us loved them and they made enough for us to have for dinner later in the week. I’m sure my son won’t want to eat them again.

As I mentioned, they were easy to make and I like that you use low-carb tortillas especially since I’m back to watching what I’m eating. We drizzled roasted shishito pepper sauce over them to add a little heat and they were so good!

Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
2 tsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
juice from a lime
12 6-inch low carb flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
toppings: thinly sliced green onions, sour cream, lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce into the dish.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions for 2 minutes until they start to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey and spices. Brown the turkey until it is cooked through. Mix in the tomato paste until combined. Stir in the beans and lime juice. If needed, add 1/2 cup chicken stock. I didn’t need it as my mixture was wet enough. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes more and then remove from heat.

To make your enchiladas, place a tortilla down on a flat surface. Place 3 tablespoons of the turkey mixture on the one side of the tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue until all tortillas are used. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with both cheese. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the sauce is hot and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a couple of minutes before serving. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions.

Source: Diethood

Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry

I’m always looking for quick dinners and this one fits! I love stir-fry – there’s something about meat and veggies in a delicious sauce served over rice or quinoa……except when your kids complain about it. When I made this, my kids were off – I’m blaming the full moon! My son told me he doesn’t like broccoli (news to me) and my daughter took a plate but complained about how “chewy” the beef was. My husband and I loved it and we had no complaints! I guess you can’t please everyone.

Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
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Western Omelet Quiche

Life has been a little crazy around here and spring sports haven’t started yet! My husband has been traveling into the city every day for the last three weeks and it’s been throwing off our routine. Needless to say, I haven’t been doing much cooking or baking trying to keep up with everything  – huge props to all the single parents out there! I spent some time this weekend meal planning again and think I’m set to do some cooking this week.

I love western omelets, but rarely make them. I had some leftover peppers from a party I hosted and knew I had all the other ingredients in my house, so I quickly threw it it together. We all enjoyed it and it was great for breakfast the next day. I served it with roasted potatoes, but a green salad would be perfect too!

Western Qmelete Quiche | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Ricotta Banana Bread

Once again, I found myself with almost a full bunch of bananas that were on their way to being overripe. I should learn that when my kids ask for bananas, they only want 1 or 2 and not to buy a bunch, since they never eat them all. I decided to wipe up a loaf of banana bread last night to use up a few and then cut the rest into slices, frozen them and they’ll be used for smoothies. I also picked this recipe since it uses ricotta and I had some leftover from another recipe that needed to be used.

The bread came out super moist and you would never know there was ricotta in the batter. It’s really good warm with a little smear of butter. With a slice of this bread and a cup of coffee, it’s a great way to start the day!

Ricotta Banana Bread | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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#ChoctoberFest Begins Today!

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Today is one of my favorite days of the year… because it is the first day of #Choctoberfest 2016!

#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. Continue reading

Most Popular Recipes of 2015

I’m so excited to announce the FIVE most popular recipes from 2015! 2015 was another busy year for me and I’m working to make 2016 a little smoother and get more organized with my blogging. I have enjoyed participating in The Secret Recipe Club and Fill the Cookie Jar monthly blog-hops and will be continuing doing them – don’t worry! I’m also considering adding some new things to the blog and can’t wait until I finalize them.

Without further ado…

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#5 – Peanut Butter Fudge A delicious and super easy recipe to make your own fudge.

Peanut Butter Fudge | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

#4 – Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies Who doesn’t want cookies for breakfast? These healthy cookies are packed full of pumpkin, oats, cranberries and walnuts.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies #FilltheCookieJar | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

#3 – Irish Cream Cookies Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with these chocolate cookies that are flavored with Irish Cream and dotted with white chocolate chips.

Irish Cream Chocolate Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

#2 – Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Wake up and pop these cinnamon rolls in the oven for a breakfast everyone in your family is going to love!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

AND DRUMROLL…… the #1 most popular recipe of 2015:

Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecakes!

These mini cheesecakes were one of my favorite things to make this year too! I loved the hint of maple in the cheesecake and you can never go wrong with a maple-pecan topping.

 Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecakes | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

 

This post is a part of the Most Popular Recipes of 2015 Blog-Hop hosted by Jenny Evolution. Click on the link to see the most popular recipes from other bloggers!

A Look Back at 2014 and A Look Towards 2015

Where did 2014 go? I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by! I love doing these top ten lists at the end of the year to see what are the most viewed posts…and you guys sure enjoyed desserts this year. Me too!

I’m excited to finally introduce my new design and conversion from blogger to wordpress. It’s been something I wanted to do for awhile now and I finally had some time to sit down and do it! I love it and still working on making improvements, but would love to hear what you think.

I’ve been working on a list of changes for 2015 and one of them is to really clean up our diets. I’ve slacked the last few months and we’re all feeling it….so there may be a lack of sweet treats in the coming months.

Now to announce the top ten most viewed recipes from 2014!

10. Honey Vanilla Coffee Creamer

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9. Cookie Dough Dip

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8. Honey Wheat Bread

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7. Caramelized Upside Down Banana Cake 48706-upsidedownbananacake

6. Orange Pull-Apart Bread

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5. Chocolate Mint Cookies

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4. Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

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3. Snickerdoodle Bars

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2. Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits

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Drumroll please……

The number one most viewed post was Peach Yogurt Crumb Bars!!

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Top 10 of 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I took a little time off from blogging to spend with my family. 2013 was another big year of changes for us – we sold our first home and bought our forever home and I started a business. I’m hoping 2014 won’t be full of changes and we’ll be able to enjoy the things we’ve worked so hard for over the last couple of years.

I’ve set some goals for 2014 and the big one that pertains to my cooking and baking is to get back to clean eating and eliminating as much as the processed foods out of our life. I know it’s going to be difficult with two small children, but I’m going to give it all I can. I’d love for you to share any resources you use to do that!

Now onto the top 10 most popular recipes from 2013!

#10 – Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

#9 – Fudge Brownies

#8 – Chocolate Oat Bars

#7 – Orange-Pineapple Julius

#6 – Italian Meatball Soup

#5 – Cheesesteak Buns

#4 – Black Bottom Pie

#3 – Cheesy Cauliflower Patties

#2 – Blueberry Breakfast Bars

and the number 1 most popular recipe….
Pretzel Crusted Pork Chops