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Cocktail O’ Clock: The Scarecrow’s Lean

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Thanksgiving is a time for cooking, sure, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s also a time for… drinking. While a bottle of cheap wine always does the trick, sometimes you want something a little fancier to wow the family and friends. This cocktail from The Honeymoon in Houston is the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and just elegant enough to impress your crowds of holiday guests. Bottoms up!

 

The Scarecrow’s Lean

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PUMPKIN Gone Wild! 10 Ways to Use That Pumpkin on Your Porch

80% of Americans have at least one pumpkin still sitting on their porch – FACT. Well, not definitely, but you get the point. Many of us toss the pumpkin in the woods, others in the garbage. But why not EAT the pumpkin (or drink out of it)? Even though Halloween is over, you can still find a handy (and edible) way of using that pumpkin before throwing it out. These are recipes that require the real thing – pumpkin puree, real pumpkin…not pumpkin pie filling. You’re welcome.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Gratin

10.  Cauliflower-Pumpkin-Ricota Gratin

Total veggie dish…so it’s totally healthy. With one pumpkin and a large serving of cauliflower, you can feed a full family!

 

Warm Fall Kale Salad with Bison

9. Warm Kale Salad w/Pumpkin Seeds and Sweet Potato (or PUMPKIN)

I’m sorry to even say this…but yes, I like Kale. UGH. I understand the disappointment. But even if you don’t like Kale, adding in the pumpkin seeds for a good crunch, and substituting the sweet potato with pumpkin may finally get to you the “basic” status that you’ve been aiming for. If you don’t know what that means, clearly you aren’t cool.

 

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8. Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

Yum. That’s all.

(Reluctant Entertainer)

 

Favorite Fall Tomato Soup

7. Tomato-Pumpkin Soup

Tomato soup is the perfect meal for a cold winter day. But we have not reached winter yet! Clearly, the only way to make it a seasonal dish right now is to….add pumpkin!

 

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6. Bacon, Egg, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin

This is not for the faint of heart. But need I remind you of the FIRST word….BACON!

 

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5. The Pumpkin TAP

Personally, I believe this is the most useful.

4. Pumpkin Fried Rice

Try your own “fake out take out” night and impress the fam with this adorable dish.

(Judy in Her Natural Habitat: The Kitchen)

3. Pumpkin Ricotta Ravioli

Cheese, pumpkin, and pasta. Need I say more?

(My Kitchen Addiction)

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2. Kaddo Bourani

While I love sweets, and overall American values like over-eating, it’s always fun to embark upon different flavors. This is a completely different way of using a pumpkin – put the pie crust away.

(Tiny Urban Kitchen)

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

1. Pumpkin Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

Ooey, gooey, pumpkin-y. Screw Cinnabon.

(Wild Yeast)

pumpkin chai ice cream

Top 10 Halloween Foods

YES. Halloween is upon us. Break out the Hocus PocusThe Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and your favorite horror DVD. But what good are these delightful fall productions without fall-themed food? Well, frankly they are nothing without our beloved food. Clearly, you’re doing it wrong if you have not yet enjoyed some sort of “halloweeny” food. Here are our top ten suggestions:

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10. Acorn Squash Fondue

Who needs the melting pot? Get the acorn squash while their on sale and fill it with ooey, gooey cheese.

9. Caramel Apples

Yes, that apple is supposed to be me. My favorite part (other than eating them) is trying to design the most vulgur apple.

8. Butterfinger Cheesecake

Tell yourself that you didn’t have to go back to the store for candy because you didn’t blow through the first bag. OR, you could make a more refined candy treat that won’t tempt you to go through that second bag “for the kids.”

Pumpkin Caramel Mousse Cake_Endless Simmer

7. Pumpkin Caramel Mousse Cake

Pumpkin at a whole new level.

6. Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

This version is pretty much a pumpkin pie in a pumpkin. If that’s not your thing, think of the other possibilities (cheese, meet, ya know – the basics).

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5. Black Bean Spaghetti

BS showed us the blood and guts of spaghetti with a gourmet spin.

4. Pumpkin Chai Ice Cream

In the BEST of households, ice cream is NEVER out of season. Don’t you dare tell me otherwise.

3. Three Musketeers Pop-Tail

Who needs candy anyway when you can have a dessert that also has booze?

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2. Butternut Squash Pizza

No, Domino’s does not have this flavor.

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1. Butternut Squash Quiche

And finally, something for those who still want to eat “healthy” on Halloween.

pumpkin spice french toast

The Pumpkin Spice Pinterest Roundup

Happy October, ES friends! It’s time to really start focusing on our favorite fall recipes… including, of course, the ubiquitous pumpkin spice. Believe it or not, October 1st is actually National Pumpkin Spice Day. Whether this flavor is a friend or foe to you, you can’t deny that it’s become an integral component to our cultural fall narrative.

And of course, pumpkin spice goes hand-in-hand with another favorite… Pinterest. Yes, these are two P’s in a pod. We trolled Pinterest to find the best, funniest, and weirdest PSL/pumpkin spice recipes trending this year. All of these puppies are certified Pinterest-viral right now, and for good reason. Whip one up if you’re feeling fall-ish and festive!

 

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Covered Pretzels 
originally from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Chocolate-Covered-Pumpkin-Spice-Pretzels

Chocolate covered pretzels? Good. Chocolate covered pretzels with pumpkin pie spice? Great!

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Favorite Fall Tomato Soup

Favorite Fall Spiced Tomato-Pumpkin Soup

Favorite Fall Tomato Soup

I made this last week when I was (a) trying to eat extremely healthy to make up for some weekend indulgences and (b) really craving a big bowl of something hot, cozy, and autumn-y. Soup was the obvious answer. I love tomato soup and wanted to make a homemade version of that, but also noticed I had some pumpkin puree leftover in the fridge and didn’t want it to go to waste. Guess what? Pumpkin and tomato are great together. You don’t really taste the pumpkin-ness with all the other flavors going on, at least not overwhelmingly so, but it adds a nice thickness and fall flavor.

Favorite Fall Spiced Tomato-Pumpkin Soup

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Endless Road Trip: Collingswood Pop Shop

There is more to South Jersey than the Real Housewives: there is food. We were recently visiting  to celebrate my future sister-in-law”s birthday and went to the Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ. The name “pop shop” insinuates great ice cream floats, milk shakes, and fountain soda. However, I noticed that every waiter was wearing shirts touting their love for cheese. The shop was featured on Food Network”s Throwdown with Bobby Flay for their grilled cheese. The menu features the sandwiches from the show so some of us got that, while future sister-in-law ordered the trophy of dessert breakfasts – s”mores french toast. Then of course, we all gorged ourselves with desserts. Enough chit chat – on to the food.

S”mores French Toast:

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Under the heading of “Fantastic French Toast Dreams,” you will find cinnamon bun french toast, banana”s foster, and even ham and cheese. But then you see the s”mores french toast on the menu and by chance see a waiter flaunting a pile of french toast, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow on what has to be a silver platter. Clearly someone at the table is ordering the s”mores french toast. Sister-in-law ordered it with a small amount of persuasion from the table and offers to give up half of their sandwich for a bite of the gooey french toast.  Well I got my bite in a trade for some bacon and cheese fries. The bite included savory fresh french toast  soaked with chocolate sauce. Then the marshmallow sauce that glues the stack of french toast together hits you. Your bite must include a piece of the top of the stack, since that is where the crunch of the graham cracker comes from. While I would never be able to finish an entire dish of it, I would suggest someone at my table order it again.

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Cocktail O’Clock: Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Behind only brunch, I think pumpkin spice is the second-most surprisingly controversial topic of the fall food season. Fine, the Internet thinks P-Spice is way too basic; but we say October can’t come and go without it…especially if you’re mixing if up with some tequila this year.

Pumpkin “Spice” Margarita

2 ounces Camarena Reposado Tequila
2 can Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1 pinch Nutmeg
2 cups Water
1/2 ounce Orange Liqueur
Juice of 1/2 a Lime

Make a pumpkin simple syrup by combining pumpkin puree with brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and strain. Combine the juice of half a lime, Camarena Reposado Tequila, and 2 ounces pumpkin simple syrup. Shake well and serve on the rocks.

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