Welcome to #Choctoberfest 2019

Blog | October 14, 2019 | By

This is my THIRD year joining over 100 blogger to celebrate all things chocolate and giving away GREAT prizes!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

#Choctoberfest is an annual recipe-sharing event. I’m joining other food bloggers from around the world to create delicious chocolate recipes. This year, over 70 bloggers are joining together for a week full of chocolate cakes, pies, cookies, puddings, tarts, candies, and more. You can follow along by searching for the hashtag #Choctoberfest on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Or, simply follow any of the participating bloggers listed below. We also have some awesome sponsors, who make #Choctoberfest possible every year. Our sponsors have banded together to put together a delicious prize pack worth over $400! Here’s what you get if you win! (Scroll down to enter.)
  • Candy Gift Pack from blog host Triple Chocolate Kitchen, which includes 180-pack of Lindt LINDOR Chocolate Truffles (dark, milk, and white). Triple Chocolate Kitchen organizes #Choctoberfest, as well as posting chocolate recipes throughout the year.
  • Chocolate and Cocoa Gift Pack from Divine Chocolate, which includes a variety of high-quality fair trade chocolate bars, cocoa powder, and Divine Chocolate swag. Divine Chocolate’s baking line consists of three premium quality flavors ranging from 55% to 100% cocoa for a wide variety of delicious desserts. Their chocolate products are made with 100% cocoa butter and are non-GMO and Vegan Society Certified.
  • $100 Nordic Ware Gift Card and 40 Pounds of Granulated Sugar from Imperial Sugar. They are currently hosting their annual Scary Scramble, featuring delicious fall-inspired recipes using Imperial Sugar’s high-quality sweeteners. Imperial Sugar has been a kitchen staple for over 175 years!
  • Collagen Fuel™ Drink Mix Gift Pack from Primal Kitchen. The ingredients in these drink mixes help support hair, skin, and nails. Their chocolate version has organic, fair-trade cocoa and coconut milk powders, with no wheat, soy, or dairy ingredients.
  • Cracker Gift Pack from Mary’s Gone Crackers. The lucky winner will get to try a variety of crackers, many of which pair well with chocolate (check their recipe page for ideas!). Mary’s products are vegan, cruelty-free, and organic.
  • Fig Spread Gift Pack from Dalmatia Spreads. With flavors like sour cherry, plum, blackberry, and orange, you’ll find that several of Dalmatia’s fig-based spreads work well in chocolate recipes. Use as a filling for crépes, serve warm over ice cream, or spread onto toast. They even have a fig cocoa spread that uses fair trade cocoa.
  • Alkaline Water Pack from Perfect Hydration. Wash down all those delicious chocolate desserts with Perfect Hydration water. This 9.5+ pH alkaline water helps to effectively restore and rebalance the body to optimum pH levels. This water goes through a 9-stage filtration process, has no added sodium, chlorine, or fluoride, and is packaged in recyclable BPA-free bottles.
  • Kitchen Conversions Chart and Etsy Gift Card from Moonflower Mountain. Winner chooses the colors for this flower-adorned conversion chart, which makes it easy to double any recipe or convert from cups to tablespoons.
This is a prize pack worth over $400! Open worldwide, except where prohibited. Must be 18+ to enter (21+ in some locations). One lucky winner will be drawn randomly on October 20, 2019 and contacted via email. See terms and conditions for more details. Enter the giveaway now: a Rafflecopter giveaway Entries from spam or inactive accounts are invalid. #Choctoberfest bloggers, sponsors, and their immediate families/households are not eligible to win. This giveaway is not affiliated with or sponsored by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. Make sure you check out the participating bloggers to see #Choctoberfest recipes throughout the week: Triple Chocolate Kitchen2 Cookin MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmA Labour of LifeA Little Fish in the KitchenA Southern FairytaleAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAn Affair from the HeartBottom Left of the MittenBroken TeepeeBunsen Burner BakeryChampagne and CoconutsCindy’s Recipes and WritingsCook with RenuCook’s HideoutCookaholic WifeCrafty Cooking MamaDaily Dish RecipesDixie Chik CooksEveryday EileenFairyburgerFamily Breakfast RecipesFirst Timer CookFix Me a Little LunchFrugal & FitFun Happy HomeGet the Good Stuff!Glenda EmbreeHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHow Was Your Day?I Can Cook ThatJoin Us, Pull up a ChairKaren’s Kitchen StoriesKate’s Recipe BoxKelly Lynn’s Sweets and TreatsLife & Medicine BlogLife on FoodLong Distance BakingLynchburg MamaMakes, Bakes and DecorMaking MiraclesMama Needs CakeMemories In The KitchenOur Good LifeOur Sutton PlacePalatable PastimeQueenslee AppétitReviewz & NewzSarah Cooks the BooksSarah’s Bake StudioSeduction In The KitchenShockingly DeliciousSimple Family Crazy LifeSimply Inspired MealsSneha’s RecipeStyle IslandSumptuous SpoonfulsSweet CoraliceSweet Dash of SassTake Two TapasThat RecipeThe Awesome MuseThe Beard and The BakerThe Delicious SpoonThe Food Hunter’s Guide to CuisineThe Freshman CookThe Redhead BakerThe Schizo ChefThe Spiffy CookieThe Urben LifeTrampling RoseTurnips 2 TangerinesWho Needs A Cape?Wildflour’s Cottage KitchenZesty South Indian Kitchen

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Welcome to #Choctoberfest 2018 with Imperial Sugar

Blog | October 15, 2018 | By

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, because #Choctoberfest is finally here! From now until the end of the week, I am joining forces with over 100 other bloggers from around the world to post delicious chocolate recipes. Every day, #Choctoberfest bloggers will be celebrating all things chocolate – milk, dark, white, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and cocoa!

Choctoberfest2018

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, because #Choctoberfest is finally here! From now until the end of the week, I am joining forces with over 100 other bloggers from around the world to post delicious chocolate recipes. Every day, #Choctoberfest bloggers will be celebrating all things chocolate – milk, dark, white, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and cocoa!

We are starting with a #Choctoberfest prize pack from our generous sponsors. Scroll down to learn how you can enter to win. One lucky winner will receive the following:

  • A 100-Piece Cake Decorating Kit from our blog sponsors The PinterTest Kitchen. This set includes a cake turntable, piping bags, piping tips, flower nozzles, scapers, and more.
  • An Instant Pot and a 40-Pound Case of Granulated Sugar from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar provides high-quality sugar and sweetener products and over 100 years of time-tested recipes. Sweet things happen when people come together in the kitchen, and that’s why Imperial Sugar has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations for generations.
  • Coconut Oil and Chocolate Silk Greens from our silver sponsor Barlean’s, your trusted source for chocolatey goodness superfood nutrition. Barlean’s has a commitment to staying ahead of the innovation curve in providing the absolute highest quality product.
  • A Chocolate Gift Pack from our silver sponsor Forte Chocolates. You’ll receive 12 of their most popular chocolate bars. With Forte Chocolates, you can celebrate life through chocolate. They also have a line of chocolate developed specifically to use in savory recipes.
  • A Chocolate Gift Pack from our silver sponsor Divine Chocolate. You’ll receive one of each of their baking bars, a white chocolate bar, and their top 5 everyday bars. Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world that is owned by cocoa farmers. Their baking bars are also a delicious vegan option.
  • A Selection of Sprinkles from our silver sponsor Sprinkle Pop. Sprinkle Pop’s bespoke sprinkle creations are one of a kind, just like you! At Sprinkle Pop, you can also order a custom sprinkle mix; there isn’t a sprinkle mix that you can dream up that they can’t create.

That’s a prize pack worth over $400! Open worldwide, except where prohibited. Must be 18+ to enter (21+ in some locations). See terms and conditions for more details.

To enter, simply follow our sponsors using the widget below. You can gain additional entries by following me and the other participating bloggers. A winner will be drawn on October 21, 2018 and contacted via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to come back to my blog for more chocolatey goodness between now and October 20.

Check out our participating bloggers:

The PinterTest Kitchen 2 Cookin Mamas 27th and Olive A Day in the Life on the Farm A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures A Little Fish in the Kitchen addicted 2 recipes Amy’s Cooking Adventures An Affair from the Heart April GoLightly At the Table with R and R Baking Sense Blade & Barbell Blogghetti Body Rebooted Books n’ Cooks Bottom Left of the Mitten Canning and Cooking at Home Cheese Curd In Paradise Chef Sarah Elizabeth Cindy’s Recipes and Writings Coconut & Lime Cook With Renu Cook’s Hideout Cookaholic Wife Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt CopyKat.com Daily Dish Recipes Everyday Eileen Fairyburger Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice Family Around the Table Fix Me a Little Lunch Frankly Entertaining Frugal & Fit Get the Good Stuff! Growing Up Gabel Hardly A Goddess Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks Home Sweet Homestead House of Nash Eats Intelligent Domestications jenniferbakes JoAnn’s Food Bites Join Us, Pull up a Chair Jolene’s Recipe Journal Jonesin’ For Taste Karen’s Kitchen Stories Kate’s Recipe Box Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats LeMoine Family Kitchen Life on Food Life, Love, and Good Food Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish Little House Big Alaska Long Distance Baking Maria’s Mixing Bowl Moore or Less Cooking Must Love Home Norine’s Nest Our Good Life Our Sutton Place OVENTales Palatable Pastime Prettysweetblog Red Cottage Chronicles Restless Chipotle Reviews, Chews & How-Tos Sarah Cooks the Books Sarah’s Bake Studio Savory Moments Seasonal and Holiday Recipe Exchange Seasoned Sprinkles Seduction In The Kitchen Simple Family Crazy Life Simply Inspired Meals Snacks and Sips Soulfully Made Stephie The Happy Mom Sumptuous Spoonfuls Sweet Coralice Take Two Tapas Tampa Cake Girl That Recipe The Baking Fairy The Beard and The Baker The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine The Gingered Whisk The Heritage Cook The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen The Olive Blogger The Pajama Chef The Redhead Baker The Saucy Fig The Spiffy Cookie The Weekday Gourmet This is How I Cook Trampling Rose Turnips 2 Tangerines Walking Fruitfully Wendy Polisi Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Cookout Week 2018 + Giveaway

#CookoutWeek 2018 is here! During the next week, I am joining over 50 of my blogger friends to celebrate summer by posting delicious cookout-themed recipes. If you love grilling, frozen treats, picnics, berries, s’mores, campfire meals, and other summer goodies… you are in the right place!

Cookout Week 2018 | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This week, we are also hosting a HUGE giveaway thanks to our generous #CookoutWeek sponsors. Enter below to win. Here’s what one lucky will will receive:

  • Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill from blog hosts The PinterTest Kitchen. This grill has 280 square inches of cooking space over porcelain-coated grates and two 12-inch side shelves for extra prep space.
  • A Red KitchenAid Mixer and 5 Flavored Butters from our friends at Chef Shamy. Make the World a Butter Place® with Chef Shamy! The winner will receive Garlic Butter, Cinnamon Brown Sugar Honey Butter, Vanilla Bean Honey Butter, Strawberry Honey Butter, and French Onion Butter with Asiago Cheese to use in your favorite cookout recipes. And if you just can’t wait, use 10BUTTER10 starting today to get 10% off your Chef Shamy butter order on Amazon. These butters contain no oil, and the savory butters are perfect for keto recipes.
  • A Duck Product Pack from our friends at Maple Leaf Farms consisting of 2 pkgs All Natural Boneless Duck Breasts (7.5 oz), 2 pkgs Fully Cooked Roast Half Ducks w/Orange Sauce (14 oz), 1 pkg Duck Bacon (12 oz), and 1 pkg All Natural Duck Legs (16 oz). Maple Leaf Farms is celebrating its 60th anniversary raising White Pekin ducks on local, family-owned farms.
  • Butter-flavored Organic Coconut Oil from our friends at Barlean’s. This dairy free option offers all the healthy benefits of organic coconut oil, with the rich taste of butter. It’s great on toast, popcorn, baked potatoes, or cooked vegetables. You can also substitute it 1:1 for butter in baking, cooking, and frying, and of course it is perfect as a butter substitute for all your favorite cookout recipes.
  • 24 Cartons of Vinegar Shots from our friends at Vermont Village. You’ll receive 12 cartons of turmeric flavor and 12 cartons of cranberry flavor. Each carton contains 12 individual, 1 fluid ounce vinegar shot pouches! This raw, organic apple cider vinegar has rich flavors from whole foods and is sweetened naturally with honey.

That’s a prize pack worth over $750!

Cookout Week 2018 | Bottom Left of the Mitten

To enter, follow our sponsors and bloggers on social media by entering your information below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s a full list of the bloggers participating in #CookoutWeek 2018! You can find yummy recipes by checking out any of the links below:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmA Kitchen Hoor’s AdventuresApril GoLightlyAuthentically CandaceBlogghettiBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenCheese Curd In ParadiseChef Sarah ElizabethCoconut & LimeCookaholic WifeCookwithRenuDaily Dish RecipesEveryday EileenFairyburgerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFix Me a Little LunchFor the Love of FoodFrankly EntertainingFrugal & FitGet the Good Stuff!Hardly A GoddessHerbivore CucinaJoin Us, Pull up a ChairJolene’s Recipe JournalJonesin’ For TasteKaren’s Kitchen StoriesKelly Lynn’s Sweets & TreatsMildly MeanderingMoore or Less CookingOur Good LifeOven Tales By SyamaPalatable PastimeSarah Cooks the BooksSavory MomentsSeduction In The KitchenStrawberry Blondie KitchenSweet CoraliceTampa Cake GirlTechnotiniThat RecipeThe Baking FairyThe Beard and The BakerThe Freshman CookThe Simple SupperThe Spiffy CookieThe Weekday GourmetThis is How I CookWho Needs A Cape?Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen

Comment below with your favorite cookout recipe!

It’s Time for #Choctoberfest 2017 with Imperial Sugar

Blog | October 16, 2017 | By

Choctoberfest-2015-2
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 Cuisine ♥ A Day in the Life on the FarmWendy PolisiTampa Cake GirlMy Southern Sweet ToothCanning and Cooking at HomeFull Belly SistersSuperSizeGuy.comOur Good Life

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth

Blog | October 12, 2017 | By

I have wanted to try an at home whitening treatment for years but choose to shy away from them since years of orthodontics as a teenager had my teeth sensitive, even into my 40’s.  So, when Smile Brilliant offered for me to try their whitening treatment at home – I jumped at the chance.  Didn’t hurt that getting my teeth whitened in time for turning 41 either.  An updated smile is just the confidence boost I didn’t know I was even missing.

You ask though, how did you do it with sensitive teeth?  The Smile Brilliant system is completely customizable even for sensitive teeth.  And when I say completely customizable I mean everything from choosing which treatment was best down to trays made-to-order so that there was no question every tooth would get covered completely.

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.
I received Smile Brilliant complimentary but all opinions stated in this post are my own.

If you’ve ever had to endure a youth full of braces like I did the first step in Smile Brilliant will take you back.  Smile Brilliant provides everything to make a full mold of your teeth as well as extra just in case something goes awry.  Once done I shipped them back to the lab to be made.  What I really loved about it was that I got an email every step of the way.

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

And then they were done and heading back to me….

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Going at my own pace really made me feel so relaxed through the whole process.  I could adjust the amount of gel I used and then wait a day in between gave me the flexibility to make sure that I had no tooth or gum pain that I was worried about.  Once I put the kids to bed at night I would pop them in and go about my nightly routine.  Just put them in and get the kids lunches packed for the next day or binge watch a few episodes of your favorite show.

I noticed the results almost immediately.  After just two treatments I could notice the years of daily coffee drinking slowly erasing away.  I started seeing the smile from my youth that I went through so much trouble to get.  No trips to the dentist, no waiting for appointments and all of this is less than $200.

Check out my before & after…

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

I was so pleased with my results that I did something that I rarely do, I took a selfie….

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Have more questions about Smile Brilliant?  Please leave a comment below I would love to share my experience more with you.

GIVEAWAY:  Want to win a Smile Brilliant custom T3 Sensitive Smile Brilliant experience for yourself*?  Click here to enter today!  Or use ‘bottomleftofthemitten10’ for a 10% discount on your order.

   From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Smile!

*The giveaway is for a $139 Smile Brilliant credit. It is open for 1 week (7 days after blog post date) and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents.


Tooth Whitening Gel

 

Easy Teeth Whitening at Home – Even for Sensitive Teeth | Smile Brilliant | Bottom Left of the Mitten #sensativeteeth #teethwhitening

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City

Look no further than the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City , Indiana
for family fun in the Northwestern Indiana area.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

We are into the middle of Summer and looking for fun stuff to do!  I can’t believe that Washington Park Zoo is not one that we’ve visited before.  Located in Michigan City, Indiana this zoo is small enough to get through quickly but unique enough to want to go back again and again.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Winding walkways go up and up but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t easily accessible with strollers or wheelchairs.  Lots of different paths to take so that one way you can look into the bear exhibit then go another way and you are up behind it looking down.  This gives a great 2nd chance to see animals that may have been in a spot that wasn’t visible before.  After seeing the animals and riding the train the little petting area toward the end was not to be missed.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

There are three things that I’ve never seen before that made this trip one of my families favorites.

Otter Tunnel

I wish that I got a better picture of Ace in this but there were so many kids going through it that I just got this one.  It was a busy place!  Ace had to go back 4 separate times because he loved it so much.  While the kids go in the tunnel the otters can swim over them or even sit on top of the tube.  It was so cute and all the kids were enjoying it very much.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Observation Tower

Take a little walk off the beaten path to the observation tower.  Small balconies are on each level as you walk out to give a full 360 degree view from the tower.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

After the trek up many, many, many steps the payoff was a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan.  The open windows were very well guarded.  Even the most height weary person would feel comfortable enough going up to enjoy the scenery.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Feed the Birds at the Aviary

By far my boys favorite at the zoo. Once you walk into an enclosed area there is an option to buy a stick with bird seed on it for $1.  Be careful since Ace thought this was for him and promptly put it in his mouth! Lol.  The employee selling the sticks assured me that it happens multiple times a day.  After that it’s time to feed the birds.  It was a popular spot too but big enough that everyone had lots of chances to feed any bird they liked if they were on the ladders, bird houses or even on the ground.  They also got lots of chances to hold the birds on their sticks.

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten
This zoo was about an hour from our location in Southwestern Michigan and well worth the trip.  We completed the whole zoo in about 2 hours and had enough time to visit Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets for a little shopping and lunch downtown.  If you live the SW Michigan/NW Indiana area I recommend putting this on your families Summer list.

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

Visit to Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City | Bottom Left of the Mitten #zoovisit #funwithkids #michigancity

It’s Time for Cookout Week 2017 + Giveaway

#CookoutWeek_Logo2

Get those grills fired up… because it’s #CookoutWeek 2017! This week, I’m joining forces with over 40 food blogger friends to bring you delicious recipes perfect for every backyard BBQ, picnic, summer party, or cookout.

We also have a fabulous giveaway featuring products from the brands who have made #CookoutWeek possible! You can enter below to win:

  • From blog host The PinterTest Kitchen: $100 Amazon gift card, to use to buy all the supplies you need for your next cookout
  • From our sponsor The French Farm: A gift pack of gourmet products hand-crafted by small businesses and using only the finest ingredients – La Favorita Genovese Pesto, Caprichos del Guadalquivir Cadenera Orange Marmalade, and L’Abeille Occitane Lavender Honey
  • From our sponsor Smokin’-Os: A sampler pack of their “smokin’-os” wood rings, to help you add wood-fired, smokey taste to your grilled foods, even if you don’t own a smoker
  • From our sponsor Primal Kitchen: $200 of Primal Kitchen goodies, including condiments made with avocado oil and bars and shakes with grass-fed collagen
  • From our sponsor Langers Juice Company: Your choice of 10 bottles of Langers Juice, with flavors including traditional Apple and Grape, as well as interesting mixes such as Pineapple Orange Coconut, Cranberry Blood Orange, and Mango Peach
  • From our sponsor True Made Foods: A 3-bottle sampler pack of sauces with real flavors made from real vegetables and less sugar – Ketchup, BBQ, and Veracha

This prize pack has an ARV of over $400! You have until July 1 at 11:59 PM to enter by following our sponsors and bloggers on social media:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned… remember, throughout the week, all of the participating bloggers will be posting delicious cookout recipes. Here are all the bloggers who are part of #CookoutWeek 2017:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmA Kitchen Hoor’s AdventuresAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAshees CookbookBaking SenseBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenChef Sarah ElizabethCook’s HideoutCookaholic WifeCooking with SapanaEat, Drink, Be Healthy!FairyburgerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFix Me a Little LunchFor the Love of FoodFull Belly SistersHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHome Sweet HomesteadJoin Us, Pull up a ChairKate’s Recipe BoxKelly Lynn’s Sweets and TreatsLittle House Big AlaskaMy Southern Sweet ToothOur Good LifeOven Tales By SyamaPalatable PastimeRants From My Crazy KitchenSavory MomentsSeduction in the KitchenSidewalk ShoesThat RecipeThe Freshman CookThe Mad Scientists KitchenThe Pajama ChefThe Redhead BakerThe Saucy SouthernerThe Spiffy CookieThe Weekday GourmetTramplingroseTurnips 2 TangerinesUncle Jerry’s Kitchen

As one of the bonus entries in the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post… what is your favorite dish to eat at a cookout?

Cupcakes & Measuring-Get Kids Cooking

I am excited this week to have Education.com as a guest poster! My first ever. This fun recipe combines the fun of getting kids in the kitchen and learning. Big A right now is learning measurements so this is a great project. And the cooler weather has me thinking Fall so the recipe can’t be beat.

Cupcakes & Measurements | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Missing the flavors of fall? For those of you who are “apple people” all year long – and who may have kids who are – try baking these scrumptious spiced apple cupcakes! At a quick glance, these lovely little treats look like caramel apples. But look again and you’ll see that they’re actually soft, delicious cupcakes coated in caramel. Baking is a great way for your child to practice important math skills like measurement and fractions, while she prepares some delicious food for the family. No doubt about it, these cupcakes are as much fun to make as they are to eat!


Print Recipe


Bake Caramel Apple Spiced Cupcakes

Spiced apples are added to cake & pudding mix then topped with a rich caramel glaze. All the flavors of Fall!

Cupcakes & Measurements | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cupcakes

Servings
cupcakes


Ingredients

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cupcakes

Servings
cupcakes


Ingredients

Cupcakes & Measurements | Bottom Left of the Mitten


Instructions
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat your oven to 350°F.

  2. Line 24 cups on your cupcake pans with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

  3. Prepare the cupcake batter: Place the drained apple rings in the food processor and finely chop them with the pulse button for 15 seconds.

  4. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, chopped apple rings, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds.

  5. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all of the batter is incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined.

  6. Spoon or scoop about 1/4 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way. You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes.

  7. Remove the empty liners if any and fill the empty cups in the pan each with a small amount of water. Place the pans side by side in the oven.

  8. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and the top springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes.

  9. Gently remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before glazing.

  10. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel glaze: Unwrap the caramels and place them in a medium-size saucepan. Add the evaporated milk. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until all the caramels are melted and the mixture is combined, about 5 to 6 minutes. At the very end, stir in the vanilla.

  11. Immediately spoon the warm caramel glaze over the top of each cooled cupcake and sprinkle the chopped peanuts around the edges. Careful! The caramel will be hot and this part can get pretty sticky too!

  12. Push a craft stick in the center of each cupcake, if desired, to make them look like caramel apples. The cupcakes are ready to serve and enjoy!

  13. Store these cupcakes, in a cake saver, under a glass dome or in a large tupperware container, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them (without the craft sticks), wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.


Recipe Notes

*The Cupcake Doctor Says...

If you can't find spiced apples, you can use fresh apples as a substitute. Cut 3 to 4 fresh apples (any kind you like) into slices and throw them into a saut*The Cupcake Doctor Says...

If you can't find spiced apples, you can use fresh apples as a substitute. Cut 3 to 4 fresh apples (any kind you like) into slices and throw them into a saute pan with 1/3 cup of water, about a Tbsp of sugar, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Saute over medium low heat for a few minutes until the apples are tender. Once they've cooled for a few minutes, chop them up or throw them into the food processor for a rough chop. Add the apples to the batter and follow the recipe accordingly. These cupcakes are perfect for parties, and they look beautiful lined up on a wooden tray!
e pan with 1/3 cup of water, about a Tbsp of sugar, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Saute over medium low heat for a few minutes until the apples are tender. Once they've cooled for a few minutes, chop them up or throw them into the food processor for a rough chop. Add the apples to the batter and follow the recipe accordingly. These cupcakes are perfect for parties, and they look beautiful lined up on a wooden tray!

It’s Time for Choctoberfest 2016 + Giveaway

It’s Time for Choctoberfest 2016 + Giveaway

Blog | October 10, 2016 | By

Choctoberfest-2015-1

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.

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:

  • From our Gold Sponsor Imperial Sugar: 1 case of granulated sugar (40 pounds), 1 case of brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of dark brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of powdered sugar (24 pounds bags), and an Imperial Sugar red ruffle apron
  • From our Silver Sponsor Nature Nate’s: 32 oz. Raw & Unfiltered Honey bottle, Honey Syrup, Honey Packets, a Nature Nate’s T-shirt, various kitchen supplies, and $50 Amazon gift card
  • From our Silver Sponsor Barlean’s: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 Caveman Coffee: 1 Bag of Coffee (you choice of blacklisted or sabertooth), 1 coconut MCT oil, and 1 Cacao Butter
  • From #Choctoberfest blog hosts The PinterTest Kitchen: 1 specialty chocolate gift pack (your choice of dark or milk chocolate), 1 tin (14 ounces) drinking chocolate, and Divine’s Fair Trade Gift Set

Enter now to win our #Choctoberfest 2016 prize pack! We’ll be picking a winner at random winner on Saturday, Oct. 22, so enter by next Friday to make sure your name is in the drawing:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s a list of all of the bloggers participating in #Choctoberfest 2016. Visit any of their blogs to get delicious chocolate recipes throughout the week:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Kitchen Hoor’s Adventuresaddicted 2 recipesAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAn Affair From The HeartBalancing MotherhoodBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenBy the PoundsCanning and Cooking at HomeCoconut & LimeCook with 5 KidsCook’s HideoutCookaholic WifeCooking with CarleeCopyKat RecipesCricket’s ConfectionsCrumbs in my MustachioElisabeth JeanFairyburgerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFantastical Sharing of RecipesFeed Your Soul TooFeeding BigFrankly EntertainingFull Belly SistersGet the Good StuffGrumpy’s HoneybunchHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHostess At HeartInk and SugarJane’s Adventures in DinnerJoin Us, Pull Up a ChairKaren’s Kitchen AdventuresKate’s Recipe BoxKudos Kitchen by ReneeKylee CooksLetz EatLife CurrentsLife on Food Making MiraclesMonica’s TableMoore or Less Cooking Food BlogMy Catholic KitchenMy Gluten Free MiamiOur Good LifePalatable PastimeRestless ChipotleSeduction in The KitchenSew You Think You Can CookSimple Food 365Southern With A TwistSumptuous SpoonfulsTake Two TapasTampa Cake GirlTeaspoon of GoodnessThat RecipeThe Crumby CupcakeThe FlavouristaThe Food Hunter’s Guide To CuisineThe Freshman CookThe Pajama ChefThe Redhead BakerThe Spiffy CookieTramplingroseWildflour’s Cottage KitchenZesty South Indian Kitchen

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 using the Rafflecopter giveaway widget above for your chance to win our sweet prize pack.

Are you a fellow food blogger who wants to get involved with events like #Choctoberfest? Sign up here to get notifications when they happen from The PinterTest Kitchen.


Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

We recently redid out back deck.  It was a much needed upgrade and it turned out fabulous!  I mean look at the difference.  It went from this…..

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

To this!

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

While this is gorgeous the new deck could not provide a solution for a big problem that we have in our backyard–no shade!  Lucky us we just happened to have this Flex Shade Canopy purchased a few years ago and hardly ever used.  It was in great shape so we popped it up on the deck and anchored it down with a few screws.  Viola!  Instant shade.

But still even with the added shade the coverage at times was lacking. Like later in the afternoon when Little A likes playing in his water table the sun was coming under.  So I thought……why not add curtains?  Better yet how about shower curtains so they can stay up and get wet? Yeah, problem solved!

So I headed to our local Dollar General and picked up 2 shower curtains. The hooks are already included.  I got a great deal on them when I used the $5 off $25 on Saturday’s coupon. You can find them on the bottom of almost every receipt.

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

Because of the position of the tent I put a curtain on 2 sides of the canopy.  Once hung I added self-stick Velcro (which I also purchased at Dollar General) to the corners to so that the edges closed around the post.  I used the Velcro thinking that it would be easier to adjust curtains as I saw fit and not be stuck with a certain design if I had sewn them shut.  It worked out great.

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

For when I didn’t want the curtains down for shade on the canopy I decided to make some tiebacks.  I had some leftover fabric that I cut 24″ wide x 5″ high.  I then folded over the edges and sewed them so they wouldn’t fray.  You could easily make this a no sew project with some Iron on Hemming Tape.  Then I added the self-stick Velcro to the ends.  I did end up sewing these on to make sure they were extra secure.

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

I had thought about adding a bow to the tie back but I already put up this little beauty that I made from leftover deck boards and it was a little on the girly side….I didn’t want my husband to revolt if I took it up another notch.

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

So here it is tied back.  Little A can go out and enjoy his water table and we stay cool and shaded.

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

The total project cost around $21 for the shower curtains and Velcro using the $5 off coupon.  I still have so many more projects that I want to do for the backyard in anticipation for my 40th Birthday party at the end of the summer so stay tuned!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy your summer!

Clever Dollar Store Solution to Update a Simple Canopy Tent

Food Blog Theme from Nimbus
Powered by WordPress