Top 10 Halloween Must-Haves

Halloween is finally around the corner! Are you ready? Whether you’re going out to party and run around in a slutty costume or you’re hanging out at home to scare the crap out of kids, you need to be prepared. Along with some of our blogging friends, we have all of your Halloween essentials – whether it is orange milk, candy, entrees, and even beer and booze, we have you covered. Check it out and let us know what your must-haves are for Halloween! Click on the links for recipes.

10. Orange and SCREAM Milk

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9. Spiked Pumpkin Cider

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8. Pumpkin Spice M&Ms

Pumpkin Spice M&Ms Flavor Taste Test

7. Halloween Candy Corn Chocolate Popcorn

Halloween Candy Corn Chocolate Popcorn

PHOTO: Chocolate Moosey

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Gingersnaps Gone Wild! Top Ten Gingersnap Recipes

Last week, one of my co-workers brought in a box of gingersnaps. Of course, I grabbed a couple throughout the day. As you know, I enjoy fall and all the flavors that come with it. However, as I bit down into the rock hard cookie, I nearly broke a tooth. In considering what to feature next on our top ten lists, I thought of some ways that would highlight the tasty flavors of gingersnaps without the risk of breaking your teeth. Therefore, we found the top ten gingersnap recipes! Links will bring you straight to the recipes. Let us know what your favorites are!

 

(Bake it in a Cake)

10. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Rolos, Gingersnap Crust, and Apple Cider Buttercream

Pumpkin cake, caramel, apple cider frosting, and a sweet and crispy crust? I’ll take two.

 

(Five Crafty Sisters)

9. Gingersnap Pumpkin Pudding

I’ve always had problems with pudding – a texture issue. But this may be something I’d at least try. A whole different take on gingersnaps…with PUMPKIN.

 

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(strawberryplum)

8. Gingersnap Bread Pudding with Bourbon Butter

Stop drooling. You’re making a fool of yourself.

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(Heidikins Cooks)

7. Chocolate Covered Gingersnap Pancakes

Screw chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes…lets get fancy up in here with sugar, spice and everything nice.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

(Brown Eyed Baker)

6. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Now this is an excuse to get you through an entire box of gingersnaps…without the mere threat of breaking a tooth.

(Tasty Trials)

5. Gingernsap and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin

Some of us enjoy savory of sweet. Here, we have a combination of the two. With some sweet potatoes, it may even start to feel like Thanksgiving.

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(The Humble Food Snob)

4. Gingersnap Beef Stew

I love me a hot stew on a Sunday afternoon during a football game. I never thought to add something sweet and spicy like gingersnaps to the mix.

(Fifteen Spatulas)

3. Fifteen Spatulas – Pumpkin Chip Gingersnap Ice Cream

If you truly have a sweet tooth, then you know ice cream never goes out of style. The flavors just change by season.

 

Pumpkin Ginger Snap Crunch Cake Mix Cake Recipe

(Recipes for Our Daily Bread)

2. Pumpkin Gingersnap Crunch Cake

A pumpkin-spice take on an apple cobbler(ish) recipe sounds like a fall-flavored challenge.

 

Ginger Snap Pumpkin Icebox Cake

(Food 52)

1. Gingersnap Pumpkin Icebox Cake

Eff the summer and its icebox cakes. This is where it’s at. Gingersnap cookies with pumpkin filling.

 

Don’t see your favorite? Tell us what it is!

For other top ten lists, check them out here!

Endless Beer: Fall Beer Roundup

It’s October. Now there is no excuse to not be indulging in some kind of fall flavored food or drink. Yes, I said fall flavored. Fall has many flavors, you know. If you are not enjoying the fall flavors, well there is some sort of evil hiding in the depths of your soul. For the rest of you, we bring you the 2014 roundup of fall brews. There are so many to choose from that it is hard to narrow it down to a list. But, with the help of several trusty breweries, we were able to provide you this handy list. Note that these aren’t just your typical pumpkin beers or Oktoberfests. These are in your face flavors or different twists on the typical fall beers. In order to categorize this list in the most helpful way, we’re trying something new: word association. After tasting each of these offerings, we thought of the first word or phrase that comes to mind.  Reviews of each brew to come.

 

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21st Amendment/Elysian Collaboration: He Said He Said

Refreshing and Sweet. The collaboration of 21st Amendment and Elysian is one of the most unique I’ve found for the fall. The trappist version of the He Said He Said is the refreshing part of this four pack. While the pumpkin flavor is at the forefront, the characteristics of a Sour Belgian Trappist come through with a crisp finish. Meanwhile, the pumpkin porter provides a sweet and nearly creamy rendition of a porter with extra pumpkin to boot.

Abita Oktoberfest

Toasty. The Abita Octoberfest is a classic lager with a sweet and toasty taste. The lager is a sweet classic Octoberfest with a pleasant roasted flavor and a hint of hops. The hops tone down the sweetness, making it a nice fall brew.

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Coffee Gone Wild! Top Ten Ways to Use Coffee

Need I remind you of the importance of this day? It’s National Coffee Day! Hopefully by now you earned that first of several free coffees today and are ready for more.

We perused the ES vault and found our favorite recipes that include coffee. There are cocktails for any time of day, sweet treats, and even some savory ideas. Only one recipe does not actually include coffee, but it was hard to leave out a coffee cake. Lastly, props to our trusty ES friend Baker’s Royale for contributing to the list! Here they are (in no specific order):

Caramel Clover

10. Caramel Clover

Jameson, Bailey’s, caramel, espresso. BOOM. Make it hot in the cold months and iced in the warm months.

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9. Irish Cake Bombs

Little truffle-like cakes that pack a punch. The cake bombs offer a sweet balance between the bitter flavors of Guinness and coffee with the sweetness of a chocolate cake. Yum.

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8. Serious Irish Coffee

No worries, you can make this cocktail in a glass that isn’t as fancy as this. BUT, what doesn’t sound good about rich, roasted espresso with sweet and warming whiskey?

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7. Coffee Macaroons

Macaroons always seemed boring to me. What’s so special? But, now that these include coffee, I may be a bit more open minded about these tiny .baked goods.

Pinnacle® Coffee King

6. Coffee King

Not REAL coffee, but the booze that takes like coffee mixed with cake flavored vodka. I’d give it a try.

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5. Cocoa Crumble Ricotta Cake

Yeah, yeah, yeah – it doesn’t necessarily have coffee IN it, but it does have the WORD coffee in it. So get over it. I mean, look at it – you can see the creamy, moist layers of the cake. I’m sold.

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4. Coffee Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Enough said.

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3. BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Coffee adds an incredibly complex layer of flavor to meats. Add it to sweet BBQ sauce and now the sauce and the pork become rich and extra savory.

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2. BEER: Stone Xocoveca Mocha Stout

My favorite Stone collaboration so far. Coffee, chocolate, cinnamon and pepper creates a surprisingly delicious drink! Oh yeah, and it’s in the form of beer.

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1. Affogato

My favorite dessert. Ice cream topped with espresso makes me salivate just a bit. While this recipe is for the holiday season, you can also make it with some simple vanilla ice cream and espresso.

Fall TV Frenzy! Pairings for Your Favorite Shows

The arrival of fall brings us the return of many of our favorite shows. Some enjoy the comedies, the cheesy chick flick(ish) shows, and others the thrillers. Regardless of what show(s) you prefer – they’re back! Several hours will be taken away from the time you thought you had in your day as you stare at the tube losing brain cells. The least you can do is feed your body with tasty food and beverages. For you we polled our trusted ES focus groups ourselves to determine the shows that we are looking forward to watching most, pairing them with our own crazy dishes. Plan some parties with your several friends and impress with creative themes and pairings. You’re welcome.

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FOX – New Girl

A show about a girl living with a bunch of dudes (and her ex) but somehow they all get along. Crack open a pumpkin wheat beer that everyone can enjoy together and put together (or order) a buffalo chicken pizza. While some biased people out there liken beer and wings to men, there are plenty of women out there that enjoy it too. Like Jess, find common grounds and dig in.

Drink: Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

Eat: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

 

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FX – American Horror Story

Always a little creepy, and typically even more disturbing, American Horror Story merits something that will take the edge off while watching. The Séance Saison is a fall seasonal that adds fall spices to the mix to get you in the spirit. Also considering the fact that this year’s season’s theme is circus, we thought the best meal to pair with the theme would be circus food: corn dogs and some air popped popcorn.

Drink: Séance Saison

Eat: Corn Dogs with Popcorn

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MAPLE Gone Wild! Top 10 Ways to Use Maple

Yes, it is fall. Try to say otherwise and somewhere out there a fall enthusiast will crucify you with a caramel apple or pumpkin flavored something. But deep down in the roots of the fall season is the poor flavor of maple. Somehow the poor guy doesn’t get the spotlight nearly as much as his apple and pumpkin counterparts. But wait, there are TONS of recipes bringing maple back to the forefront of fall. You may know that I have a special place in my heart for pumpkin, so don’t be surprised if pumpkin is included in some of these recipes. Also notice that I’ve included some cocktail treats in this roundup as well. Let us know if you have any favorites!

10. Cinnamon Maple Bourbon

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This cocktail seems to be able to get anyone into the mood of cold crisp fall nights while offering a pleasant means of “spicing up” a night cap.

Recipe: So Lets Hang Out

9. Maple Glazed Apple Doughnuts

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Ever have an apple cider doughnut? Now add a sweet and creamy maple glaze. On your way to work? Pass on the Dunkin pumpkin donuts and make these the night before to grab on the go. OR make these fresh after dinner for a nice hot treat. Really, you could have these any time.

Recipe: A Pumpkin and a Princess

8. Maple Pumpkin Cake Roll

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Who doesn’t love pumpkin roll? The moist pumpkin cake with delicious cream cheese filling is already a treat that I yearn for every fall. But this thing looks like an “amped up” version of pumpkin roll. Just look at it! I’m trying this out for sure.

Recipe: Le Creme de la Crumb

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Endless Beers: Happy IPA Day!

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You may not know it, but it’s National IPA Day! Donut day, coffee day, ice cream day…why not have a day for those of us who take pride in the name “hophead”? Well today’s that day. Many consider the IPA (India Pale Ale) to be the brew that really made a name for craft beer. The IPA is a bold, typically strong in alcohol content, and bitter (in a good way) brew that includes strong notes of citrus. Regardless, today is a day to try an IPA for the first time, try out a crazy new IPA flavor, or crack open your favorite IPA. In the spirit of this wonderful holiday, we worked with some of the best breweries in the nation to bring your our “National IPA Day Roundup.”

Sierra Nevada 2014 Hop Harvest: 6.5 % ABV

harvest-equinoxbottle-pint3Sierra Nevada brings out this annual 5-bottle series that features a single hop, wet hop, fresh hop, and wild hop brews. I had the Equinox Single Hop IPA. Single hop meaning they used only one kind of hop to highlight the aromas and the bitterness. The brew is an easy drink that will put you in the mood for fall. The IPA has typical hop flavors you would expect and then the taste of fresh peppers and spices from the garden comes through.

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