Dark Chocolate Caramel Martini #Choctoberfest

An indulgent cocktail of rich dark chocolate and sweet caramel that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Dark Chocolate Caramel Martini - An indulgent cocktail of rich dark chocolate and sweet caramel that will satisfy your sweet tooth

Disclaimer: Thank you to #Choctoberfest Sponsors  Barleans, The PinterTest Kitchen and our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar for providing prizes for #Choctoberfest free of charge. These companies, as well as sponsors Rodelle and Davis Chocolate also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #Choctoberfest . All opinions are my own.

When I signed up for #Chocotoberfest this year, I knew pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to be sharing all dessert recipes. It’s not that I don’t enjoy chocolate desserts, but I wanted to ensure that there was some good variety. And I really wanted an excuse to shake up my usual cocktail routine and experiment with something new. 🙂

Experimenting with my cocktails  came at the perfect time, as the past 6 weeks have been ridiculously stressful both at home and at work. Work has been frustrating, the kids have been cranky, the house always seems to be a mess no matter what I do, and the chores don’t go away. There may have been a lot of stress eating (damn you perfectly salted and perfectly crispy Cape Cod Potato Chips!) and more evening glasses of wine than I care to admit. I know I need to figure out how I can take a day off, a day to myself. to get some stuff done and relieve some of the stress. But the work and chores won’t do itself and I can’t seem to find time to make that happen.

So during naptime recently, I made this recipe. I savored the 45 minutes of quiet that I got while writing this post with the television turned to something that wasn’t a cartoon. Toys still covered the floor, dishes and laundry were still piling up, but the quiet I got was essential. Reinvigorating. And my martini? It was like dessert in a glass. The perfect marriage of rich dark chocolate and sweet caramel. Indulgent but not so much that I couldn’t finish it. In fact, I could have had a second and been quite happy.

Dark Chocolate Caramel Martini - An indulgent cocktail of rich dark chocolate and sweet caramel that will satisfy your sweet tooth

If you haven’t checked out the #Chocotoberfest giveaway, you can do so here. There’s a prize package from our sponsors worth more than $450 and multiple ways to enter. Rafflecopter below the recipe, followed by a linkup that includes more #Chocotoberfest recipes shared today.

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Dark Chocolate Caramel Martini

An indulgent cocktail of rich dark chocolate and sweet caramel that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 martini
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Godiva Dark Chocolate Liquor
  • 1 oz. Caramel vodka i.e Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. dark Creme de Cocoa
  • 2 oz. milk preferably not skim milk
  • Dark chocolate shavings and/or caramel for garnish

Instructions

  1. If using caramel as a garnish, drizzle caramel along inside of a martini glass. Set aside.
  2. Add liquor and milk to a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Strain into prepared martini glass. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings.
  4. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

  • I used 2% milk for this recipe. The higher the fat content, the creamier it will be.
Dark Chocolate Caramel Martini

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Mulled Apple Cider #AppleWeek

Apple cider slowly simmers away with spices that remind you of fall, for a wonderful beverage to savor while you enjoy the beautiful cool weather this fall.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

Mulled Apple Cider

Welcome to #AppleWeek, hosted by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee! If you haven’t already seen the giveaway from our fabulous sponsors, head over here to read about the prize packs. Then scroll to the bottom of this post – leave a comment on this post (and any other #appleweek post published today) to get an extra entry. Share the giveaway via Twitter for another extra entry.

One of my favorite things about the fall is enjoying the cooling weather. I truly love being about to enjoy being outside and doing fall-ish things with my family – apple picking and pumpkin picking, watching the hounds at one of the local farms, or playing on the playground while bundled in sweatshirts. All of the kids in our neighborhood are suddenly outside again, after being holed up away from the heat (or at the pool) for the summer, and they all run a muck between the various houses with the parents chatting nearby. I love summer, but fall may be my favorite season because of all of this.

While spending time outside if wonderful, my guilty pleasure is finding a quiet moment to to cuddle up under the humongous wool afghan my mom made for me with a warm drink and a book. With this in mind, I knew that one of the first recipes I’d be making for #AppleWeek is a mulled cider.

Mulled Apple Cider

This particular recipe has a wonderfully subtle orange note from the orange extract. I think that makes it one of my favorite mulled cider recipes to date. This cider recipe takes minutes to put together and then simmers away on the stove for as long as you’d like to leave it. It’s a great recipe to bookmark for fall and winter entertaining, or to take with you on those fall outings.

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Mulled Apple Cider

Mulled Apple Cider

Apple cider slowly simmers away with spices that remind you of fall, for a wonderful beverage to savor while you enjoy the beautiful cool weather this fall.

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 1 tsp. orange extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 small cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 3 cardamom seeds
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • apple slices for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients (except apple slices) in a medium pot set over medium heat. Heat until simmering. Stir and lower heat. Continue cooking over low heat for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  2. Serve hot, garnished with apple slices.

Recipe Notes: 

  • Feel free to spike with your preferred liquor. I enjoy it with a shot of spiced rum or Fireball (cinnamon) whiskey, but use whatever you’d like (one friend used to enjoy caramel vodka in her warm cider).
  • Cider may be made or kept warm in a slow cooker, if desired.
  • I  garnished mine with apple slices, but you can certainly play up the orange notes with an orange slice as the garnish as well.

Enter to win one of our awesome #AppleWeek prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And before you go, check out the more #AppleWeek recipes that went live this morning, from a group of very talented bloggers:

Apple Bacon Turkey Burgers from Jonesin’ for Taste
Apple Brickle Mini Tarts with Oatmeal Crust from The Freshman Cook
Apple-Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Apple Cobbler French Toast Casserole from Tip Garden
Apple Fritter Yeast Bread from House of Nash Eats
Apple Oatmeal Coffee Mug Cake from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Apple Oatmeal Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal from Cooking With Carlee
Caramel Apple Nut Bars from Family Around the Table
Cinnamon Apple Cider Sangria from The Redhead Baker
Creamy Maple Gouda Apple Soup with Pecan-Oat Granola from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Healthy Apple Muffins from Caroline’s Cooking
Mulled Apple Cider from Books n’ Cooks
Oatmeal Crusted Apple Stuffed French Toast from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Salted Caramel Apple Cake from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Savory Apple Sausage Tart from The Crumby Kitchen
Vanilla Brined Pork Chops with Applesauce  from Bear & Bug Eats
Swedish Apple Oatmeal Pie with Vanilla Sauce from All That’s Jas
Torta di Mele Sicilian Apple Cake from Girl Abroad

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

Mulled Apple Cider - Apple cider slowly simmers away with spices that remind you of fall, for a wonderful beverage to savor while you enjoy the beautiful cool weather this fall.

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Sparkling Chambord Sangria #SundaySupper

Chambord was the first high quality liquor that I ever drank. A black raspberry liquor, my mom (yes, I was legal drinking age and yes, I was a good girl) introduced it to me in the form of a Chambord Sour. The sweet-sour drink worked for my young palate, but as I got older and was introduced to a much larger variety of good quality liquors (not the junk we drank in college), I grew to appreciate a nice glass of Chambord on the rocks.

I’ve always loved the liquor and am immediately drawn to drinks that feature it when we’re out to dinner. So when this week’s #SundaySupper theme was announced as Simple Mixed Drinks for a Refreshing Summer, I immediately knew that I wanted to make a cocktail with Chambord as the star.

Sparkling Chambord Sangria

After tossing around a few ideas, I decided upon some sort of Chambord sangria, with a light white wine as a base. At first, I attempted a straight sangria recipe – Chambord, white wine, and a few muddled raspberries. However, I found this far too sweet for me. I envisioned something lighter, which I planned to solve with the addition of tonic or soda water. I went with the former, which mellowed out the flavor nicely. I was apparently on the right track with the recipe I’ve presented below, as just a day or two after making it, my Pinterest feed was filled with Chambord recipes, one very similar to the below, the Chambord Spritz.

Sparkling Chambord Sangria
By Books n’ Cooks
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Chambord black raspberry liquor
  • 4 oz. white wine (I used pinot grigio but a chardonnay would work well as well)
  • tonic water
  • fresh raspberries

In a cocktail glass filled halfway with ice, add 1 oz. Chambord followed by 4 oz. white wine. Top with tonic water and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Serve immediately.

Thanks to Christie at A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting this event. Be sure to check out the recipes below for more refreshing summer cocktails and mocktails! 

Classics with a Twist

Make Mine a Mocktail

Simply Different

Tasty and Tropical

Very Vino

For even more inspiration check out these Simple Mixed Drinks for a Refreshing Summer by Sunday Supper Movement
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Pomegranate Grapefruit Vodka Martini #NationalMartiniDay

Sweet and tangy pomegranate combines with bright grapefruit to make a refreshing summer cocktail that is just slightly sweet.

Pomegranate Grapefruit Vodka Martini

By now, you must be realizing that there’s a foodie holiday for everything. Last week’s National Iced Tea Day, National Doughnut Day earlier this month… These holidays are a lot of fun for bloggers who use them as inspiration for their blog and social media posts. After all, who wouldn’t love to drool over the over the top recipes that come out for National Ice Cream Day?

Welcome to #NationalMartiniDay!

Whether you enjoy your martini with vodka or gin, shaken or stirred, we’ve got some libations for your happy hour.

This is one foodie holiday I couldn’t wait to celebrate. While I’m usually a wine drinker, I increasingly enjoy experimenting with new cocktails when we go out for dinner or at home in my own kitchen. This foodie holiday was perfectly timed this year, as I had recently had a wonderful cocktail at a local restaurant, The Wine Kitchen on the Creek, that I was anxious to recreate. You see, they had a spin on the classic cosmo – one of my go-to cocktails of cranberry juice, vodka, orange liquor, and a splash of lime – that featured pomegranate juice and grapefruit juice instead of the cranberry and lime. So good!

My recreation took me a few times to get right. It needed to be a little bit sweet but not overpowering. Take 1 was definitely too sweet. Take 2 was better but still not the perfect balance of flavors. Take 3 was it. I made sure by having two cocktails. The things I do for you… 😉

Cheers to the start of a good week!

Pomegranate Grapefruit Vodka Martini

Pomegranate Grapefruit Vodka Martini

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. good-quality vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 3/4 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • grapefruit wedge and/or pomegranate arils for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka, Cointreau, pomegranate juice, and grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Pour into a martini glass and serve immediately.

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Check out the collection of martinis that our bloggers have created for you!

And big thanks to Ellen at Family Around the Table for hosting this one!

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Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea for #IcedTeaDay

Disclaimer: Thank you to our #IcedTeaDay Sponsor: Adagio Tea for providing the prizes free of charge. This company also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #IcedTeaDay. All opinions are my own.

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

It’s #IcedTeaDay! Are you ready for some fun?

Welcome to #IcedTeaDay hosted by Sue from PalatablePastime. We are so excited to have you join us as we cool off with drinks and treats made with Adagio Tea. Thank you so much, Adagio Teas, for generously supplying the bloggers with product for development and providing a prize package for our readers! We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

Adagio Tea

Bloggers are hanging together today to share their favorite iced tea recipes using gourmet teas. In addition to the giveaway below, you can also find a collection of recipes that bloggers have created using Adagio Teas, inspired by Iced Tea Day. There are some great recipes for cold beverages and even a popsicle recipes, so be sure to check it out!

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

I am a long-time hot tea drinker and usually have a couple of cups a day. But I have never been one to drink a lot of iced tea. I’ll drink the occasional glass of unsweetened iced tea, but by comparison to my sweet-tea-loving hubby, I drink very little. Iced Tea Day was a fun experiment, and I completely loved the results.

I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to create an iced tea with a black tea. The Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea, a black tea that is much lighter in flavor than my favored Earl Grey, was the perfect pick. It has subtle floral white grape notes, making it just sightly sweet. As a hot tea, I enjoyed it on its own, or with a touch of orange blossom honey (also available from Adagio – I might have gone a little nuts shopping!). As an iced tea, it’s light floral notes paired with a touch of a strawberry basil simple syrup were right up my alley. The Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea was killer with a couple teaspoons of the simple syrup – just enough to add a sweet berry flavor. I loved this so much that I was seriously thinking about running back to the grocery store for more strawberries to make another big pitcher of this tea and more simple syrup. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

As promised – some more great #IcedTeaDay recipes created for you using Adagio Teas:

And now for my own recipe…

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

By Books n’ Cooks

Ingredients for the Iced Tea:

  • 8 c. water
  • a heaping 1/4 c. Darjeeling Sungma Summer tea from Adagio Teas

Ingredients for the Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
  • 12-15 large basil leaves, roughly torn

Optional Garnish:

  • sliced strawberries
  • fresh basil

Make the Iced Tea: Add water to a large pot. Add tea – either loose or within a paper tea filter. Bring to a boil. Turn off and allow to steep at least 10 minutes, or until cool enough to transfer to a pitcher. When cool enough to handle, remove tea filter (or strain over a fine mesh sieve or through cheesecloth, if you used loose tea) and transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until real to server.

Make the Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup: In a small pot set over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off and allow to cool.

Strain out solids with a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. Transfer syrup to an airtight glass jar and store in the refrigerator.

To Make Tea: Fill a glass halfway with ice. Add iced tea and desired amount of simple syrup, to taste. (I use 2 teaspoons – from my everyday silverware – for a 16 oz. glass.) Stir and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

  • I like to make the iced tea and flavored simple syrup and keep the two separate. This allows everyone to mix up their own flavored iced tea, adding more or less per their preference.
  • Simple Syrup will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight jar in the fridge.

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Adagio Teas is giving away a gourmet teas gift pack (valued at $92)

Prize Package

Enter the Contest~Giveaway

Giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. Winner will be announced and the prize package sent after the giveaway ends on June 16, 2017. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

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