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Cocktail O’Clock: Spiked Pumpkin Cider

Posted by on October 1 2014 in Drinks

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Mulled wine is cute. Sure, for those cold fall days nearing winter, why not heat up some wine and mulling spices for a warm and alcoholic treat? But what about those nights that you need something more? Try something new for a change – a modified sweet and boozy night cap. Sons of Liberty’s pumpkin spice whiskey is offered with a few cocktail suggestions on their website. I decided to try out the pumpkin cider martini (with no martini glass). The sweetness of the cider is a good pairing with that of the pumpkin spice flavors. Then, you get hit with the booze and spices of the whiskey. For some extra sweetness, rim the glass with some cinnamon sugar…and some maple syrup. I may even try some syrup shaken in with the drink for some extra sweetness.

Sons of Liberty suggests making it pretty damn strong. I tried it strong at first, then tried it in equal parts. It all really depends on whether you want more sweetness or more of a boozy warming feeling. However, with such a sweet whiskey, the strong variation is not exactly overpowering because of the general sweetness of pumpkin spice whiskey to begin with. Try it out  and let us know what you think! I may try a variation of this in the pumpkin tap sometime in the near future…

Spiked Pumpkin Cider

  • 3 oz.  Pumpkin Spice Whiskey (for a strong drink – 2 for sweeter drink)
  • 2 oz Fresh Apple Cider
  • Crushed Ice

Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously. Rim fancy-shmancy cocktail glass with cinnamon sugar and pour. Garnish with apple wedge and cinnamon stick if you are REALLY fancy.


Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Stuffed Acorn Squash

Posted by on October 1 2014 in Recipe

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Blue Cheese Caramelized Onion & Turkey

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
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Green Coconut Curry Chicken, Crock Pot Style

Posted by on September 30 2014 in Fowl, Recipe

Homemade Green Curry Chicken
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!)
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Coffee Gone Wild! Top Ten Ways to Use Coffee

Posted by on September 29 2014 in Breakfast, Drinks, Lists

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.


ES Guide to National Coffee Day

Posted by on September 26 2014 in Breakfast, Drinks

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!

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Dunkin Donuts:  Free Medium Dark Roast (then .99 Medium Dark Roasts from 9/30-10/5) (you may have to download the app)

 
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Krispy KremeFREE 12 oz. Cup of Coffee

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Fall TV Frenzy! Pairings for Your Favorite Shows

Posted by on September 25 2014 in Drinks, Lists, TV

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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Endless Whiskey: Pumpkin Spice Whiskey!

Posted by on September 24 2014 in Drinks

Pumpkins with award

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…


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