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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Win $100 Cooking.com GC from BlogHer

Bloggers Go Au Natural With In The Raw

Bloggers prepare a recipe from In The Raw's website using In The Raw products (Stevia In The Raw, Sugar In The Raw, Agave In The Raw) and share a pixelated photo of their creation generated by the new Au Natural In The Raw app. Read their posts below to take a peek at their creations, get recipes, and enter to win a $100 Cooking.com gift card!

The Au Natural In the Raw app gives you maximum viewing pleasure and helps you slip just the right amount of coverage over hot, tempting food photography. Using all-natural In The Raw products heightens that sense of achievement because you know you're using the best all-natural ingredients for your creation. Desserts have never been so bad, and yet soooo good.  Turn up the heat...try the Au Natural In The Raw app today.
The BlogHer Naturally Sweet Sweepstakes run from 9/10/2012 through 9/30/2012 and are only open to individuals who, at the time of entry deadline, are legal residents of the United States and are 18 years or older. Click here to read the official rules Winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. Good luck!
I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post.
Did you know that of all the photos posted to social media, food photos are posted more than anything else? And of those photos - guess what is the most popular?Dessert, of course! There is just something about a little something sweet that gets almost all of us going. I know I love my sugar fix and have something sweet at least once a day. When you love sugar like I do, (and I'm guessing like most of you - since those are always the most popular photos), it's important to try to be smart when choosing what kind of sugar to use in your baked goods.  

During the past couple of months, I've cut back big time on the amount of sugar I eat. If you've seen my obscenely large dessert category on my recipe index, this is probably a little shocking. I love desserts. I mean, I loved baking before I loved cooking, and it was brownies and cookies and cakes, all the way. But I started thinking about my sugar consumption after I came across an interesting post on the Family Fresh Cooking blog. It was a post about why Marla chooses to live a sugar free lifestyle.  

Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Food bloggers rejoice! We are finally on the cusp of Fall Baking!! Pumpkin, cinnamon, apples... oh my goodness-- can't you just smell all of those aromatic autumn flavors already in the air?? And I simply can't think of a Fall flavor that doesn't taste even better with cream cheese frosting. Although, come to think of it, is there any season that doesn't taste better with a little cream cheese frosting? Probably not. I recently was given the opportunity to do a review for In The Raw.  

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

I'm sure everyone remembers eating those no-bake oatmeal peanut butter cookies as a kid? They were always one of my favorite cookies. I still really enjoy them, and as a bonus, they have no egg in them, so they're a big treat for Caroline, too! These cookies are a bit of a take-off from those. They are no bake, and contain oats, peanut butter, and chocolate. Yet they are so much more. They also have toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips.  

Pumpkin Pie Frappe

Is it just me, or is anyone else done with summer?Maybe it's because I'm currently lugging around a 2 1/2-pound watermelon in my stomach, but I am totally over this season. It doesn't help that Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and I probably got a taste of it too early going up to Canada a few weeks ago. I want it to be here NOW!I want cool, crisp air. I want jeans and sweatshirts. I want fallen leaves and apple-picking.I want PUMPKIN SPICE! Who's with me on that?  

This has been my summer of discontent. That’s not to say that there haven’t been moments of contentment, but it’s simply been almost unrelentingly too hot and humid. And in the midst of all this sweltering, most of you will know what I mean when I say working 24/7 is the only way to make a real living these days! 

45 Calorie Chocolate Truffles

No, you don't need glasses, you totally read that right. These chocolate truffles are deliciously decadent AND they are only 45 calories a piece! Woot! I seriously feel like I found the holy grail of chocolate truffle recipes. And the reason for this recipe's waist line approving awesomeness is its secret ingredient...Stevia! Stevia In The Raw, to be exact. Stevia In The Raw is a 100% natural, zero-calorie sweetener. Have you ever tried it before? This was the first time I have ever used it, and I was pleasantly surprised with the ooey gooey, melt-in-your-mouth results.  

Spicy Tequila Sunrise

As summer draws to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate with a beautiful sunshiny drink -- this colorful Spicy Tequila Sunrise. The recipe for this drink is actually courtesy of In The Raw -- the brilliant folks behind the line of Sugar In The Raw, Agave In The Raw, and Stevia In The Raw. You have probably seen their cute, little, brown, sugar packets in restaurants before. But I recently began cooking at home with the Agave and Stevia, and am in love!  

Coffee Cake Muffins

I'm sure it's no surprise to most of you that I'm sort of addicted to Pinterest. The crafty things I'll never make, the crazy hair styles and fancy finger nail polish, the home decor, and, of course, the food. The gobs and gobs of food. I sometimes get embarrassed by all of the food I'm pinning and will pin some random craft or hair style just so people don't think I do nothing but look at food photos. True story.  

Chocolate Chip Brownies

I was lucky enough to receive some "In The Raw" products to use in my baking. I headed over to recipes section on their website and after searching through several different options, I decided on this one: Chocolate Chip Brownies. I was actually surprised with the variety of food you can make using Stevia In The Raw. You can make breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! I chose to stick with what I knew best ... dessert. 

Turbinado Energy Bars

School is officially under way, and I have to say I'm having mixed feelings about it. I'm the kind of person who craves structure, so as convenient as it is for me to schedule work and time for myself when my guys are in school, I miss the lazy mornings of laying around in our pajamas and spending leisurely afternoons at the pool.I love being able to plan a hike with my girlfriends each week, but I hate packing lunches every morning. So whether I'm ready or not, it's time to settle into a routine! 

Banana Daiquiri Bread

Coming up with new things to bake can sometimes be a challenge. I'm always trying to find ways to make something I already feel like I know everything about seem new and interesting, and thankfully, this time I got a little bit of help. I'm pleased to bring you into my partnership with Sugar In The Raw in order to show you the benefits of baking with raw sugar. I had only done it myself on a few occasions, but you'd be surprised to know how well replacing regular, granulated sugar with the raw version works.

Win $100 Visa GC from BlogHer and Cheateau Ste. Michelle 0930

What is your Chateau and how do you get there? For some, it’s a space. For others, it’s a space in time. Someone's Chateau may be their summer home on the lake where they can forget the world and bask in the sun. Someone else's Chateau may be a good hike in the woods where they can connect with nature in peace. It could be something as simple as enjoying the company of family and friends minus life's usual distractions. Eight bloggers were asked to share what gets them to their Chateau and try some delicious Chateau Ste. Michelle wines along the way. Read on to see what each woman said and be sure to share your own Chateau for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Also, check out the Chateau Ste. Michelle Facebook app to create your own Chateau!
The BlogHer Life's Simple Pleasures Sweepstakes run from 9/5/12 through 9/30/12 and are only open to individuals who, at the time of entry deadline, are legal US Residents (except residents of California, Colorado, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Utah ) age 21 or older. Click here to read the official rules. Winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. Good luck!
Read The Reviews:

Finding My Chateau, My Happy Place

I recieved and had the chance to try two different wines, the Columbia Valley Riesling and the Indian Wells Cabernet. Of course, that meant I had to take two separate bubble baths in order to fully appreciate each wine. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Read more

Chateau Ste. Michelle: Helping You Find Your Chateau

Chateau Ste. Michelle gives you a great excuse to hit the pause button on your day and stop to find your happy place. Maybe for you it’s sitting in the yard with a glass of wine after doing the gardening or hosting a formal dinner with great friends. Read more

My Happy Place Formula

My nightly glass of wine is a wonderful way to reward myself and relax a little, and this week I had the pleasure of enjoying a couple bottles by Chateau Ste. Michelle. It's actually a winery I've purchased many bottles from before, so when this review opportunity came along, I pounced on it. It's a 100% natural fit for me. The wines were wonderful, as usual. Read more

Finding A Happy Place

We thought about what our happy place is, what our "chateau" would be...and, without a doubt, mine would be drinking a glass of wine, listening to the sound of the waves crashing at the ocean and having my friends, my man friend and my daughter by my side. Read more

Chateau Ste. Michelle For The Win

This is our happy place. The kids might be fighting in the yard over their tire swing, but hey, at least we are all together. There is nothing better than when my husband and I can finally relax with a glass of win. Read more

What, me w(h)ine? Only when absolutely necessary.

But through all these adventures my heart still holds close my precious children. While I know they might not be with my physically, I have learned that they are always, always with me emotionally. Read more

My Formula for Bliss

My favorite time to have a glass is either when I'm cooking dinner or when I'm reading a fantastic book. Gone Girl definitely qualifies!