HAPPY OCTOBER!! Time to bust out some serious fall flavors. Let’s start the month with an ultra-delicious squash recipe! I made this last night after work – you can prep the whole thing from start to finish in about 30 minutes, score! It was a huge hit. The sweetness of the squash, onion, pumpkin, and cinnamon are perfect with the salty bite of the blue cheese and the heat of the cayenne.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Caramelized Onion + Blue Cheese
As I recently mentioned, I got me a crock pot! I’ve been trying to embrace my new slow cooker lifestyle by ummm, Pinterest-ing a lot of recipes to get an idea of good technique (such as the meat-searing tip in my recipe below!). I’ve also been trying not to be such a hot mess in the kitchen – usually I’m holding my phone to look at recipes, photos, etc. while simultaneously chopping and sautéing and almost dropping it into the sink. Horrible. So I have to give a shout out to the silly-named Monkey Kit, which holds up the iPad so I can cook hands-free like a normal person. They sent me a sample model and it has truly been a game changer, two thumbs up. Between this and the crock pot I really am becoming a human adult, I guess.
SO! This is the next meal I’ve perfected with my new slow cooker. For this recipe you could totally use red or yellow curry paste if you prefer it over green. Red curry paste is actually my favorite, but green is what I had on hand and it worked well with the vegetables I used and my pumpkin seed garnish. As with most dishes, you can feel free to swap out the vegetables with whatever your favorites are… just keep in mind cooking time. Softer vegetables you can just add in at the end of the day, about a half hour before you plan on serving. Harder vegetables with a longer cook time can be added in the beginning at the same time as the chicken. Got it? Great.
Homemade Green Coconut Curry Chicken (in the crockpot!)
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):
10. Caramel Clover
Jameson, Bailey’s, caramel, espresso. BOOM. Make it hot in the cold months and iced in the warm months.
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.
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?
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.
6. Coffee King
Not REAL coffee, but the booze that takes like coffee mixed with cake flavored vodka. I’d give it a try.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Listen up! National Coffee Day is coming up on Monday 9/29 – do YOU know where you’re getting your free cup of Joe? You need to create a plan of action for the day. Unless you live in the boonies, there’s enough coffee chains to fund your day of free coffee goodness. Many of the chains don’t require a coupon or anything – those are the key stops. Check out the list below and start your plan now. Links provide the deets for each deal. Caffeinate early and often. IF we missed any – let us know!
Dunkin Donuts: Free Medium Dark Roast (then .99 Medium Dark Roasts from 9/30-10/5) (you may have to download the app)
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.
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
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
Yes! The moment I’ve been waiting for. Hop-flavored whiskey was good, but I’ve been waiting for this kind of seasonal for a long time. Last year, Sons of Liberty used 4,000 lbs of pumpkin in their fall whiskey seasonal. This year, they worked with a local Rhode Island farmer to use 32,000 lbs of pumpkins to create two batches of pumpkin spice whiskey. This year’s seasonal offering took one of ten World Whiskies Awards given by Whisky magazine; Sons of Liberty was the only craft distillery to win (with a PUMPKIN whiskey!).
Sons of Liberty paired with facebook volunteers to wash, cut, core, roast, and press all of the pumpkins. From there, the pumpkin juice is blended with a single malt whiskey. Finally, spices including cinnamon, clove, sweet orange peel, vanilla and allspice are added to the blend. Last year, owner Mike Reppucci used his mom’s oven to roast 4,000 lbs of pumpkins. I guess this year he realized his mom’s house may not be plausible, so he rented conventional ovens. Don’t fret though – he still kept it in the family by using his dad’s vintage wine press to press the pumpkins. I have to admit…I kind of wish I lived in Rhode Island just to take part in this crazy event. Here’s the tasting profile: continue reading…
Stone sends us their most recent collaboration brew: The Xocoveza Mocha Stout. This weird name represents the sentiment of the true engineer of the beer: Chris Banker. Chris won Stone’s homebrew competition in March of 2013, where the champion wins the chance to brew their homebrew at the next level. Stone provides their facilities, expertise, and ingredients to create a bigger and even better version. The name is derived from the idea of a Mexican hot chocolate, which is what the beer is supposed to remind us of – sweet and spicy hot chocolate. Given the Mexican twist, Stone invited well known Mexican craft beer representatives of Cervecería Insurgente to join in the collaboration.
The suds include malts and specialty ingredients of a milk stout. Cocoa and milk sugars were added during the boil, which adds noted sweet and roasty flavors throughout the brew. Then, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, pasilla peppers, and coffee are added. The end result is a very complex flavor profile. While I don’t taste the chocolate as much as I do a sweet roasted coffee – it does remind me of a spicy hot cocoa. Here are the ES tasting notes: continue reading…