Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Healthier Homemade Nutella for #Choctoberfest

By: The Food Hunter

If you love chocolate hazelnut spreads, but don't love all the calories and sugar associated with the store bought brands, you can always make your own. It takes a handful of ingredients and less than an hour to make this healthier version.

Without further ado I bring you today's Choctoberfest recipe sponsored by Imperial Sugar & featuring Rodelle baking Cocoa. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom for lots more recipes and a giveaway! 

Healthier Homemade Nutella 

2 cups raw hazelnuts (240g)
1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Rodelle cocoa powder
2 tbsp Imperial sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk

Roast hazelnuts for 5-7 minutes at 400 F. Remove from oven and rub them in a paper towel to get the skins off.

Blend the nuts in a food processor until they’ve turned to butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it’s smooth and creamy, this could take a few minutes.  When done put in a glass jar to keep fresh.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 16, 2017

Welcome to #Choctoberfest 2017 with Imperial Sugar

By: The Food Hunter

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.


Most importantly be sure to 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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Celery Alla Parmigiana

By: The Food Hunter

There is no doubt in my mind that I could easily move to the Umbrian region of Italy and never look back. The people are friendly, the lifestyle is laid back and the food is out of this world. Don't get me wrong, the food is fabulous everywhere in Italy but I tend to favor the recipes from Umbria.

Take for example Celery Parmigiana, when the whole rest of the world is doing eggplant and chicken the folks in Umbria are using celery to make this well-known dish. Initially it might sound odd, but I urge you to give this recipe a try.

Celery Alla Parmigiana 

1-2 large bunches of celery
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
3 pieces of bacon, diced (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small can of chopped tomatoes
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375.

Trim the base of the celery with a sharp knife and peel the stalks, with a vegetable peeler to get rid of the outer layer. Cut the celery lengthways into quarters, then cut each one in half.

Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and bacon, and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Add the celery and cook with the lid on until the celery is soft.

Heat another pan and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and a cup of water.  Cook the sauce over a medium heat for half an hour or so, until reduced and thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil a shallow baking dish and spoon a some tomato sauce on the bottom. Spread out the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish and top with about a third of the celery pieces. Cover with more tomato sauce, some thyme leaves and a good grating of Parmesan. Keep layering, being sure to end with the tomato sauce, lots of cheese and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until heated through and crisp on top.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hearty Cannelli Bean & Veggie Ragout

By: The Food Hunter

Growing up my mom made a lot of beans and greens for dinner. Though I would like to think she did this because both are healthy foods; it was more likely due to them being an economical choice when feeding a family.

Over the years the combination of creamy white beans and garlicky spinach became a comfort food for me and something I continue to eat. These days I like to add other foods to the mix, for some added flavor and nutrition.

Served with bread the recipe below comes together easily and makes a tasty vegetarian meal. It would also taste delicious alongside your favorite chicken or pork dish

Hearty Cannelli Bean & Veggie Ragout 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
8 ounces thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
1 14.5-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped
¼ teaspoon dry red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound fresh baby spinach, chopped
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese

In a large skillet over medium high heat add oil and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are tender.

Add beans, chopped tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Cook for five minutes to combine flavors and to reduce any liquid.

Add spinach and cook just until it wilts. Add feta and cook just long enough to heat it through. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Squash & Ricotta Bruschetta

By: The Food Hunter

This year, for something different, we planted yellow squash instead of zucchini in our garden. If you've ever grown either variety, I'm sure you know what it's like to have an abundance of zucchini and the trials of what to do with them.

One of my favorite ways to serve squash is with some ricotta cheese, as a bruschetta topping. For added flavor I will often saute them in either homemade basil or mint oil.

 Squash & Ricotta Bruschetta

Green or yellow zucchini
ricotta cheese
basil/mint oil (see below)
Italian bread, grilled

Pour basil/mint oil in the bottom of a large pan over medium heat. Once oil is heated through ad squash and saute until tender.  Remove from heat

Spread bread with a thin layer of ricotta cheese and top with a generous helping of sauteed zucchini.

Basil/Mint Oil

Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add chopped fresh basil or mint and allow oil to come to a boil. Once it starts to boil remove pan from the heat and allow it to cool before using.