Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Favorite Fall Recipes & Seasonal Craft Beers

As I make my way back into the kitchen, I have been delightfully borrowing recipes from around the blogosphere. Here is a look at my foray into fall cuisine and the seasonal craft beers that have accompanied the dishes.
Click on the links for the step by step recipes!

Cake Batter and Bowl's BBQ Chicken & Cheddar Baked Potatoes with corn and roasted red peppers.
I made these awhile back when the weather was still warm, saying good bye to late summer corn before diving into the world of root vegetables. While the potato bakes, the chicken is poached, shredded and mixed in your favorite BBQ sauce. The extracted baked potato flesh is combined with butter, corn and roasted red pepper and scooped back into the potato skins before getting loaded with the BBQ chicken and some fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese.

These are hearty and filling, proving a fantastic way to spice up your regular old twice baked potato. Alongside I drank Sixpoint Sweet Action, a beer I had been enjoying throughout the summer. This dynamic golden amber colored ale is brewed in Brooklyn, NY. The sweetness from the barely malts nicely pairs with the juicy pops of corn kernels. The action is lent from the hops, a bitter spice that brushes your palate clean after every sip.

Delicious Dishing's Butternut Squash Soup with brown butter, sage, cayenne and blue cheese. The soup is made with roasted and sauteed squash, as well as leeks, carrots, onions, shallots and garlic. Filling, hearty, sweet, savory and spicy, I can't think of anything more you could want from a cold weather soup. Actually, the weather is not what I would describe as cold quite yet, the days are seeing beautifully crisp fall temperatures, but perfect for soups none the less.I did make one small change to Megan's recipe; I substituted the 2 tablespoons of honey for maple syrup. I also used a bit more cayenne pepper for an extra kick. The soft pungent sage and the sharp creamy blue cheese crumbles are ideal garnishes for lending even more contrast to the deeply flavorful soup.

From Cambridge Brewing Company, The Great Pumpkin Ale is now being sold in the bottle for the first time in 22 years of brewing! It's an unfiltered ale brewed with locally grown organic sugar pumpkins.

The pumpkin flavor is subtle but fresh, enhanced by autumnal spices. And much like the blue cheese and cayenne garnishes, the beer also served to balanced out the bold sweetness of the butternut squash. While I generally crave powerful flavors of sweet pumpkin in my pumpkin beer, (hello Shipyard Pumpkin/see below!) this brew was a nice contrast in general and a pretty perfect pairing with the soup.

Beantown Baker's Balsamic Roasted Vegetables I used Jen's recipe (which she actually borrowed as part of a recipe swap from another blog) as inspiration for the vegetables I had on hand. I adjusted the original recipe by adding olive oil, opening one of my California Olive Ranch bottles provided at the tasting dinner I attended a couple weeks ago. It's pretty amazing what a high quality extra virgin olive oil can do for your food; I'm a big fan of their product.

Here is what's in the mix:
- 1 potato
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 butternut squash
- 3 beets
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
I tossed the evenly chopped vegetables and whole garlic cloves in a large bowl with the balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted on a tin foil lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. This made enough for a hearty side dish for two, with a small amount of leftovers that Adam heated up in a saute pan the next morning and served for breakfast, homefry style with egg sandwiches. I decided to pair the vegetables with Shipyard Brewery Smashed Pumpkin Ale. Not to be confused with Pumpkinhead, but make no mistake, I've been drinking that like it's going out of style (oh wait, it is...) Smashed Pumpkin is an energetic, full bodied pumpkin ale, with a light coppery orange color and nutmeg aromatics. The natural pumpkin tannins are vigorous, playing off the vegetables sweet roasted flavors, one doesn't tend to overpower the other. The spiciness of the hops also lends balanced flavor to the ale.

What's all these savory fall foods and brews without a pumpkin dessert?!
Eat Live Run's Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are a breeze to make, even for a non baker like myself! You don't even need an electric mixer or anything fancy - even the buttercream frosting can be mixed by hand.
I would like to call mine Artisian Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, due to the fact that I have no patience for piping batter or frosting. I take comfort in the fact that I can haphazardly spoon batter on a pan, yielding varied shapes and size pies, that will all taste the same. These morsels are moist and fluffy, with bright pumpkin flavor and rich spices sandwiching sweet, creamy frosting. They impressed Adam, delighted my co workers and gave me a good excuse to use my recently obtained Silpat non-stick baking sheet liners.
If you have a recipe for fall that I absolutely must make, please don't hesitate to share! And then go bake these whoopie pies!!!


  1. Woohoo! I love your cooking posts and all of these great fall dishes!

  2. Look at you go! I love that you were inspired by so many bloggers. If those whoopie pies are really that easy, they are going to have to make an appearance at my house!

  3. mmm pumpkin whoopie pies, i must try!

    i brought a pumpkin coffee cake with brown sugar glaze to michelles on saturday, and that was scrumptious!

  4. I need to get myself some Sweet Action, that stuff is good. Also, YES on pumpkin whoopie pies.

  5. I love ALL of this!! Good call on the sil pats...they are life changinge :)
    All the food looks amazing!! I've had most of those beers...I really loved the one from CBC this year. Brian and I had it after that Oktoberfest 5k, but we have a bottle at home too :) I did enjoy the smashed pumpkin as well,and SO much better than pumpkinhead (which to me, at least this year, tastes like bud light with pumpking spice...blah)

    And now I'm hungry!

  6. You have been very busy in the kitchen recently! Love your garnish on the soup. All of these seem prefect for the cold weather that is coming...

  7. the balsamic roasted veggies look really good! and of course whoopie pies...

  8. I am definitely making those potatoes! I love this post.

  9. Lets not forget the best turnips in the world are picked right around the first frost of the fall .Number One in the world Eastham And you can buy them at roadside stands.Number two much more expensive to arrive at this destination. Bartlet Farm Nantucket .When first dug you can eat them raw like candy .Imagine how well you can cook with them .So the morale is buy your native turnips soon great in an auso buco

  10. That butternut squash soup looks like something I definitely need to make. And soon. LOVE the Smashed Pumpkin. My favorite pumpkin beer this year is the Southern Tier Pumpking; it's on the sweet side but really tasty.

  11. Pass that whoopie pie over here please.

  12. I'm putting sil pats on my Xmas list! My, your culinary juices are flowing girl! Wonderful! You are very much inspiring me. I'm going to pull the beets out of the garden!

  13. What a great collection of fall recipes.

  14. I will have to add the soup receipes to my book. There is nothing better than a bowl of hot soup and a cold sam adams octoberfest beet.

  15. I love this post! It's so great when we can inspire each other to make things. Glad you enjoyed the soup with my fun garnishes!

  16. yeah i think i need those whoopie pies in my life! so many great dishes though :)

  17. I'm such a fan of roasted vegetables. I've never used vinegar on them though so this is a great recipe!

    And the whoopie pies...can you believe I've never had one? They look delicious.

  18. I love how you paired all your food with beer! I just tried that pumpkin ale from cambridge brewing company the other day and really liked it. And, I'm so glad you enjoyed the potatoes :)

  19. MMMmmm those whoopie pies look great!! Loving the start of fall and all of the foods that accompany!