Black Forest Organic Candy (and Giveaway)

Disclosure: I received candy from Black Forest Organic. (Because who would say no to trying new candy?)

Black Forest Organic Candy

You may remember last year, when I received a ton of candy corn from Brach’s. Well, the nice people at Ferrara reached out again and offered to send me some candy from their Black Forest Organic line. It’s USDA certified organic candy that is allergen free, GMO free, and made from natural colors and flavors. And because I love candy and was excited to try something new, I of course said yes, please send it.

Black Forest Organics Candy

Wellll…I wasn’t expecting that “some candy” was THIRTY POUNDS OF CANDY. Yes, you read that correctly. I received seven cases/30 pounds of candy. It was like I won the candy lottery! For the past month, I’ve been giving friends bags and bags, and everyone has reported back that they love not only the flavor, but also love that it’s organic!

Black Forest Organics Candy

I received seven different varieties: Gummy Cherries, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Caramel Hard Candy, Watermelon Sour Heads, Mixed Fruit Candy Drops, and Sour Heads. My favorites are the gummy cherries and watermelon Sour Heads, but I’m partial to red or pink gummy candies in general.

Black Forest Organics Candy

As you can see in the picture, the colors are slightly muted compared to gummy candy that you’re used to. That’s because there’s no chemical food coloring in the candy, just natural colors and flavors. And they taste amazing!

And because the folks at Black Forest Organic are so nice, they’re sending candy to two lucky winners. Enter below (U.S. residents only), and make sure to follow them on social!

Meet the Organics

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The Counter #theNEWgoods and a Giveaway

Disclosure: The Counter provided me with gift cards to enjoy a meal for the purpose of this blog post. I happen to love The Counter, so I jumped at the chance!

I’m what some people may consider a picky eater. I’m very particular about what I like and don’t like, and that coupled with the fact that I haven’t eaten beef or pork for 20-something years makes me the person no one wants to share a meal with (or the person the chef hates). Fortunately, there are restaurants like The Counter, where you are encouraged to build your own burger, rather than get shamed for making substitutions! And I’m lucky that there is a location walking distance from my apartment, so it’s a great local place to meet up with friends.

Two quick things first: 1. They have two hours free parking with validation. This is a rarity in Hollywood, so it’s a huge plus for friends that don’t live as close as I do. 2. I just discovered they have sangria. Need I say more?

Build Your Own Burger

Anyway, for those of you who want to order off the menu, there are a bunch of new delicious Expert Builds menu items to choose from the next time you’re there!

  • Red Eye: hormone and antibiotic free beef topped with melted tillamook cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, ripened red tomato, a sunny side up egg on an English muffin with a side of sweet sriracha
  • Un-Brie-lievable: 100% natural ground turkey on a bed of organic mixed greens topped with soft-ripened brie, ripened red tomato, dried cranberries on a multigrain bun with a side of apricot sauce
  • Bison with Bite: organic bison topped with tillamook cheddar, spicy pickles, sliced red onion on a brioche style bun with a side of house mustard and spicy worcestershire
  • Southeast Asian Ahi: ahi tuna topped with pickled carrot and daikon slaw, ripened red tomato on a brioche style bun with a side of nori-soy sauce and sweet sriracha
  • Anaheim Jack: 100% natural chicken breast topped with jalapeno jack, Anaheim peppers, red onions on a ciabatta bun with a side of roasted garlic aioli

My friends and I used the new menu items as inspiration for our dinner choices, and we all loved our meals. The counter has a wide range of protein options (beef, turkey, bison, tuna, and chicken), as well as a veggie burger for those that don’t eat meat, so we did a little swapping and were super satisfied.

I had the Anaheim Jack with turkey rather than chicken, and it was delicious. I loved the spice from the jalapeno jack, and the garlic aioli was divine. And they sure don’t skimp on the peppers!
The Anaheim Jack with a turkey burger instead of chicken #theNEWgoods

One of my friends had the Un-Brie-lievable over lettuce instead of the bun, and swapped the turkey burger for a veggie burger. She said she was pleasantly surprised at how well the brie and cranberries went with the tomatoes. Two thumbs up! Side note: Isn’t it pretty?
The Un-Brie-lievable, with a veggie burger on lettuce #theNEWgoods

Of course, we also enjoyed some sangria, because well, it was 70 degrees out and…sangria!

And a trip to The Counter isn’t complete without an order of fries. We went for the fifty-fifty with sweet potato and parmesan fries; the sweet potato were our faves.
Half sweet potato fries, half parmesan fries.

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, we decided to order the oversized chocolate chip cookie a la mode with three spoons. I’m a sucker for a warm chocolate chip cookie with ice cream, and I wasn’t disappointed. We ate every single bite!
Oversized Chocolate Chip Cookie a la mode.

Want to know what The Counter is up to on social? Follow them here:
Twitter: @CounterBurger
Instagram: @thecounterburger

Jealous yet? Don’t be! The Counter is also providing one lucky blog reader with a $25 gift card, so enter below!
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Brookside Chocolate Tasting Kit Giveaway

I was recently contacted by Hershey’s and asked if I wanted to try their new Brookside Chocolate–real fruit juice pieces dipped in dark chocolate. I’m normally not a huge fruit and chocolate fan; I’m that annoying person that bites into every piece of chocolate in those holiday assortments then throws away the other half when it’s fruit filled, but I was pleasantly surprised!

The fruit pieces are chewy and remind me of fruit snacks that I ate as a kid, and the chocolate is rich and has the right amount to complement the fruit without overpowering it. They currently offer three flavors: dark chocolate acai with blueberry, dark chocolate pomegranate, and dark chocolate goji with raspberry (my favorite).

Brookside Tasting Kit Giveaway

Brookside sent me all three flavors (I shared the acai blueberry before I had time to snap a picture) as well as a headband, stemless wine glasses, a candy dish, a cheese board, a cheese knife, (all from Crate & Barrel!) and an AMEX gift card (cheese, crackers, and wine anyone?) so I can relax and indulge with friends.

And because Brookside is so awesome, one of you will win the same tasting kit! Leave a comment below letting us know what flavor you are most excited to try.

For more information about Brookside, visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

Brookside provided me with a tasting kit and will ship a second kit directly to a winner. Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, January 27, 2013. One winner will be selected at random shortly thereafter and contacted by email. Please note this giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S.

Hershey’s Baking Melts Cookies & Giveaway

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Before we get into the recipe, look what I got in the mail from Hershey’s!

Nov 24, 2012, 9:34 PM

Yep, that’s a Hershey’s® Cookie Headquarter Apron, one package of Hershey’s® Baking Melts Chocolates, one package of Hershey’s® Bits ‘o’ Brickle® Toffee Chips, one package of Hershey’s® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, one package of Hershey’s® Kisses® Chocolates, one canister of Hershey’s® Cocoa, and one set of recipe cards featuring the core Hershey’s® holiday recipes.

I know, it’s amazing. And I couldn’t wait to try out some of the chocolate, including Hershey’s new Baking Melts. The Baking Melts are these cute little discs that can be mixed into batters or even sandwiched between two cookies. The best thing about using them in this cookie recipe is that you get more chocolate in every bite. And how can you go wrong with more chocolate?

Hershey's Baking Melts Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter , softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups (9.5-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S BAKING MELTS Milk Chocolate or (10-oz.-pkg.) HERSHEY’S BAKING MELTS Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Heat oven to 325°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate pieces and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; slide parchment paper and cookies to wire rack. Cool completely. 3 dozen cookies.

Recipe from Hershey’s.

And because Hershey’s is so awesome, they’ve given me a holiday baking prize back to give away to one of you! Leave a comment below stating which Hershey’s product you are excited to bake with this holiday season.

Hershey’s provided me with a holiday baking pack and will ship a second pack directly to a winner. Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 9, 2012. One winner will be selected at random shortly thereafter and contacted by email. Please note this giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S.

Chinet Bakeware Giveaway

Earlier this year, I was contacted by Chinet and asked to try out their disposable bakeware. I instantly fell in love, and told everyone I knew about it because it is so convenient. The bakeware is made of 90% recycled materials and is non-stick and disposable. And to make it even better, it can go from oven to table to freezer to microwave!

With the holidays coming up, Chinet asked if I wanted to give away another set to which I said, of course! To enter to win, leave a comment stating what holiday dish you think this bakeware would be perfect for.

Chinet Bakeware Giveaway

Chinet provided me with a complete set of Chinet Bakeware and will ship a second set directly to a winner. Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 18, 2012. One winner will be selected at random shortly thereafter and contacted by email. Please note this giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S.

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