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Chocolate cookbook now available; chocolate contest winners announced

Ultimate Chocolate Challenge winners were, from left, Zita Dippold of Chase on the Lake, Faith in Action Executive Director Theresa Eclov, Vicki Daniels and Lois Bohanon. Submitted Photo

The third annual Chocolate & Wine Affair held March 23 at Northern Lights Event Center in Walker showcased chocolate recipes while raising funds for Faith in Action for Cass County and the HOWA Family Center.

Three businesses — Zita Dippold of Chase on the Lake with Flourless Chocolate Cake, Deb Holloway of Walker Bay Coffee with Fudge-filled Dessert Strips, and Northern Lights Casino & Event Center with an Amazing Chocolate Dessert — and nine individuals — Vicki Daniels with Chocolate Caramel Power Balls (gluten-free), Barb Mann with Almond Brownie Trio (gluten-free variety), Sue Eikenberry with Biscotti Bites, Rollie Haugen with Authentic Mexican Mole Chicken, Julee Ford Young with Mounds Bar Pudding Shots and Chocolate-covered Cherry Mice, Lois Bohanon with Fanny Farmer Fudge, Theresa Eclov with Rolo Surprise Cookies, Julie Ann Kerrigan with Oreo Truffles, and Carol Fjelstul with Nut Goodie Bars — entered the Ultimate Chocolate Challenge.

Two Judge's Choice Awards determined by a panel of "chocolate experts" were given to Bohanon and to Dippold of Chase on the Lake.

Two People's Choice Awards, voted on by the event attendees, were given to Daniels and Bohanon. This is Daniels' third title, as she won the People's Choice category the last two years.

Chocolate & Wine Coffee Connoisseurs Java Loon at Chase on the Lake and Kaffe Havn of Stille Havn Hus provided a variety of coffee samples and Southern Wine and Spirits of Minnesota and the wine specialist from Northern Lights Event Center donated wine samples to match and compliment the many varieties of chocolate.

Larry Kimball of Walker played guitar. Mike Bergmann stepped in as auctioneer and several "Date Night" baskets went home with the highest bidders, along with chocolate platters from the contestants that were put up for a silent auction.

The Ultimate Chocolate cookbooks, with recipes from each entrant in the inaugural year and a supplement for 2013 and 2014, are available by contacting HOWA Family Center or Faith in Action.

Sponsored by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and Northern Lights Event Center, all contributions from the event go directly to support individuals of all ages in area communities through the various programs offered by HOWA Family Center, including Kinship and youth mentoring, and by Faith in Action for Cass County's "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" volunteer assistance with transportation, visiting, respite and meal delivery.

Contact the HOWA Family Center at 218-547-4273 or Theresa Eclov of Faith in Action at 218-675-5435 for information about programs, services and volunteer opportunities, or to get a chocolate cookbook.