Fall Fest

Joel and I found ourselves high strung with work stress last week. Fortunately, we had my in-laws annual Fall Fest party at the lake for a group of friends and family to look forward to at the end of the week. There was a bonfire and a doughnut eating contest but really the star of the event is always the food! There were three kinds of cheese balls, two kinds of chili, sweet potato chorizo soup, a pot of Columbian black beans, roasted vegetables, hasselback butternut squash, salad with shallot vinaigrette and candied pumpkin seeds (me), cornbread, chocolate cupcakes, oatmeal pumpkin cookies, and Halloween Chex mix (me). I think I ate most of the Chex mix. Candy corn, man. It gets me every time.

The Menu


Dinner at the in-laws


Laila’s Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheese Grits (recipe from Laila Ali at Food Network)

I cannot give an honest review of this recipe, because I left out the poblano pepper, didn’t have a red pepper, and had to substitute chicken broth for beef broth. #dinnerfail. My rendition wasn’t very flavorful. Also, the grits required a whole lot of salt. I like the concept of this recipe so, if you try it, left me know if it’s good.

Sides: Salad with vinaigrette & sliced cucumbers


Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans (recipe from Pinch of Yum)

Who says baked beans only belong at a BBQ? I happily dig in to them all year long, and this was a quick take on the classic. Canned beans make this recipe easy to throw together, bacon lends smokiness, and brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness.

Sides: Buttered toast, steamed broccoli, & salad with vinaigrette topped with sliced apple and fennel


Creamy Dijon Chicken (recipe from Simply Delicious)

Terrible photo, but a delicious recipe for chicken Dijon. I substituted chicken legs and added extra salt and lemon juice to taste. It requires few ingredients and packs a ton of flavor. Plus, who doesn’t love creamy chicken over rice?

Sides: Brown rice, roasted carrots, & sautéed swiss chard with garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar.

Cooks Illustrated Molasses Spice Cookies (recipe from With Two Spoons)

This is a repeat recipe from last year. I make these deliciously spiced cookies every fall. I skip rolling the raw cookie dough in granulated sugar. The powdered sugar glaze, however, is a must. Sneak one in the morning with your cup of coffee and call your day off to a good start.


Impromptu date night at Big Bowl


Pizza at my parent’s house


Taco Night (no recipe)

(Oct 21st, 2018 – Oct 27th, 2018)

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