Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Spreading Fair Trade Holiday Cheer (a Giveaway!)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Happy December! It’s been a little quiet around here, but I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and are enjoying all the holiday preparations. We’ve lit our (organic, real) Christmas tree and visited New York, now we’re counting down the days to Hanukkah and Christmas. Phew. As we get down to gift-giving business, I have a little holiday gift for you. Read on for the giveaway instructions.

I always have great intentions to make hand-made holiday treats, only to run out of time and have to buy something in a rush. Instead of combing the local mass retailer for something semi-natural (please tell me I’m not the only one who can’t even buy a tiny bottle of hand lotion without reading the ingredient list?), Equal Exchange offers the perfect fair-trade gift baskets for anyone on your list — gifts the recipient will love and that you can feel good about. (Think daycare teachers, the milkman, the boss, etc.)

gift_FTMixer50110_mediumEqual Exchange’s Fair Trade Mixer Gift Basket, for example, includes a variety of coffee, chocolates and nuts in a fairly traded kaisa grass basket imported by Ten Thousand Villages from Dhaka Handicrafts, a non-profit that works to improve the lives of children and rural families in Bangladesh. The gift basket is on sale  for $47 until December 15th. Also find other fair trade gifts that support small-scale farmers, ranging from $27-$75. Order online and get 10% of your order and receive free shipping on orders over $75. Use coupon code: giftme10 during checkout. Coupon expires 12/31/09. Visit today to order!

And here’s my gift to you, courtesy of Equal Exchange. One lucky reader will receive a FREE Fair Trade Mixer Gift Basket.* Just leave a comment below sharing your favorite holiday treat to give or receive, by midnight (Eastern time), Sunday, December 13. A winner will be selected randomly on December 14. One entry per person, please, and please help spread the holiday cheer by telling a friend! Please enter a valid email address when commenting (it will not be posted) so that I can contact you if you win.

The Fair Trade Mixer Gift Basket includes:

• Organic French Roast Coffee – 10oz, drip grind
• Organic Hot Cocoa Mix – 12oz
• Organic Very Dark Chocolate – 3.5oz bar
• Organic Dark Chocolate with Almonds – 3.5oz bar
• Organic Milk Chocolate with a Hint of Hazelnut – 3.5oz bar
• Organic Tamari Roasted Almonds – 5oz
• Roasted Salted Pecans – 5oz

*Please note the fine print: All shipments are sent via United Parcel Service (UPS). Orders will be shipped within the contingent United States only. We do not ship to PO/APO/FPO’s, American Samoa, Guam, Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or Virgin Islands.

And the disclaimer: all reviews are the opinions solely of myself and the FoodieTots family, and are not financially compensated in any way. Equal Exchange is providing the winner’s gift basket.

Banana Mini Cupcakes with Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting

Friday, February 6th, 2009

We were invited to a toddler pre-game playdate on Super Bowl Sunday and brought these mini cupcakes. The bananas added enough sweetness that I was able to reduce the sugar in the recipe by half; the frosting of course more than compensates for the not-too-sweet cake. I called it Nutella frosting, but I actually used an organic chocolate hazelnut spread from Whole Foods.

banana chocolate hazelnut cupcakes

Banana (Mini) Cupcake Recipe
From The Cupcake Project


  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup raw sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 bananas

Instructions: Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Mix in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add sour cream, flour and baking soda and mix just until ingredients are combined. Add vanilla and mashed bananas and mix until smooth. Drop batter by tablespoons into lined mini cupcake tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean, but be sure to remove before they start to turn brown. (For full-size cupcakes, bake 20 minutes.)

Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, melted
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, additional as needed

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add additional milk as needed to reach spreadable consistency. Frost cupcakes and top with banana or chocolate flavored jelly beans. Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

This past weekend was the fall open house and potluck at our CSA farm, Potomac Vegetable Farms. We stopped by Crooked Run Orchard for apple and pumpkin* picking first. It was such a gorgeous, warm fall day to be out in the orchards. When we arrived at PVF, we had missed the hayride but set to work breaking apart garlic cloves to be planted for next spring. The potluck was full of wonderful, nutritious food and the kids had quite a spectacular hay-fight in the wagon.

For the potluck, I brought mini muffins because they’re easy finger foods, always popular, and guarantee there will be something the toddler will eat. I had been meaning to try a chocolate zucchini bread recipe, and came across this one. I modified it slightly to incorporate my local, organic buckwheat flour. (Adding fiber to compensate for the sugar!)

Recipe: Whole-Grain Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from The Barefoot Kitchen Witch


  • 1 1/2 c unbleached flour
  • 1 c buckwheat flour (or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 c turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 oz grated unsweetened fair-trade chocolate
  • 1 c shredded zucchini

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly oil muffin tin. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then gradually pour dry into wet and stir until smooth. Pour into muffin tin and bake for 12-15 minutes for mini muffins (18-22 for regular size muffins). Makes 36 mini muffins. Enjoy!

*Crooked Run uses integrated pest management (IPM) techniques which means their apples are minimally-sprayed, better than conventional but not organic. Their non-tree crops are “eco-ganic.