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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Drink This Weekend Edition: St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

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The annual St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party in Lafayette Park returns this Saturday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 5 p.m. Like last year, I urge all you city dwellers who don’t venture into the county or over a river that often to acquaint yourselves with some amazing beer brewed outside STL city limits. Tickets are available online and at the door. Dress up and get your Halloween on!

 

1. Mark Twain Tennessee Fresh-Hopped Scrapbook Pale Ale Firkin (5.5 percent ABV)
This single-hopped pale ale boasts notes of citrus and spiced earthiness from the Columbus hops with a clean, crisp palate and biscuit-y mouth feel. Brewers Cat Golden and Dave Alley have once again fresh-hopped their Scrapbook pale ale and put it in a firkin for an exclusive Halloween Party real ale experience. Cascade, Centennial and Columbus hops from Willowbrook Farm in Tennessee provide more depth in hop expression, allowing for more intense notes of grapefruit, grass and spice.

2. Narrow Gauge Oast No. 3 (7 percent ABV)
One of the newer breweries in the St. Louis region, Narrow Gauge brings this American IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo and El Dorado. It is loaded with stone fruit, pineapple and dank aromas, exquisite mouth feel and juicy tropical fruit to round out the palate. Oast No. 3’s slight alcohol sweetness is balanced beautifully with a lingering bitterness you return to again and again.

3. O’Fallon Jack O’Latté (6.6 percent ABV)
Wait – another O’Fallon pumpkin beer? Oh yes, and it’s awesome. Jack O’Latte is a pumpkin milk stout that sat on Ronocco coffee beans, creating a brew filled with sweet, spice and everything nice. The sweet stout’s body states like a full-fat latte on a chill autumn day. And don’t worry, that signature O’Fallon pumpkin spice mix makes this coffee brew anything but basic. Move over, #PSL.

4. Old Bakery Beer Single-Source Coffee Lager (4.7 percent ABV)
This guy isn’t just any old lager beer. It’s stacked with heavily roasted malt for a darker appearance and richer palate, while flaked oats provide a bigger, smoother mouth feel. Complexity and intense roastiness is furthered with the addition of single-origin Honduran coffee from Kaldis.

5. Six Mile Bridge Harvest Peach Saison (5.4 percent ABV)
This lovely dry-hopped, French-inspired farmhouse ale is crisp as a fall day. Aromatics of stone fruit, citrus, flowers and hay pair nicely with juicy fresh peach, a refreshing yet subtle tartness, and clean bitterness on the palate. If the late summer transition into autumn were depicted in beer form, this would be it.

 

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

-photo courtesy of R. J. Hartbeck

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 wines to demolish your Halloween candy stash

Friday, November 6th, 2015

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Maybe your kids recently went out in a silly outfit and came back with a mountain of candy. Perhaps you overestimated the number of trick-or-treaters you thought would come to your door and have picked at that bowl of sweets all week. Either way, it’s time to finish them off this weekend, grown-up style. Invite some friends over and pair Halloween treats with a few great bottles of wine. Here, my favorite three candy and vino pairings:

1. Kids tend to inhale milk chocolate or cookies-and-cream mini bars and leave behind the dark chocolate pieces. For more mature palates, dark chocolate pairs perfectly with a Giribaldi Caj Barbera d’Alba. Rarely does a pairing elevate both the wine and the food but in this case, the chocolate and wine sung together in perfect harmony. $20, available at Lucky’s Market in Ellisville

2. Sometimes you get those overly sweet-sour candies everyone hates (I’m looking at you, Nerds.). These silly candies go great with a somewhat tart frizzante wine – I recommend finding a bottle of vinho verde. The Aveleda Casal Garcia Branco vinho verde has slight fizz and sweetness and a tart finish that perfectly complements a box of crunchy little Nerds. $8, available at Randall’s Wine & Spirits in St. Louis

3. OK, technically, caramel apples aren’t candy, but this treat is everywhere right now. While I love apples, I wasn’t a huge fan of this dessert until someone convinced me to try it with an oloroso sherry. It worked beautifully. The nuttiness in a bottle of Lustau Don Nuno oloroso will highlight the complexity in the caramel, and the acidity will match well with the apple. $30, available at Starrs
Ben Wood has more than 10 years experience in the wine industry. He currently works as shop manager of Cork & Rind. 

Just Five: Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

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This simple vegetarian recipe is a great dish to serve before sending your goblins out to trick-or-treat, but it’s also sophisticated enough to serve as a starter for a grown-up Halloween party. Roasting the carrots brings out their natural sugars, the ginger adds just a hint of sweet pepperiness, and the coconut milk adds a silky texture and just a hint of the tropics. Start your evening in the carrot patch, and you’ll feel less guilty unwrapping those fun-size Snickers for dessert.

 
Roasted Carrot-Ginger Soup
4 to 6 servings

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
½ cup full-fat coconut milk

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• In a large bowl, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread them a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until they start to brown.
• Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 8 minutes, until translucent. Add the ginger and cook 1 minute, then add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
• Add the roasted carrots to the pot, cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Use an immersion blender or work in batches with a regular blender to carefully puree the soup until smooth. Add more stock to thin to reach desired consistency.
• Return the soup to the pot over low heat and stir in the coconut milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

 

Behind the Scenes at Sauce: November 2014

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

A lot happens behind the scenes at Sauce HQ, from “tattoos” to Halloween costumes. Here’s a peek at some of our favorite moments at the office this month:

 

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Drink This Weekend Edition: 8 fall cocktails to shake on Halloween night

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

The jack-o’-lanterns are carved, your costume is ready, and the candy bowl is stocked. Time to kick off Halloween with a toast. We’ve got eight perfect sippers for All Hallows Eve, whether you’re dressing for a ghoulish night out or hosting a spooky soiree of your own.

 

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{Odd McIntosh}

Apples and fall go together like pumpkin and pie. Shake up a round of Apple Cider Martinis with cider and rum, or Odd McIntoshes with ginger and applejack. Of course, you can always combine bourbon, cider and ginger beer and declare yourself Mr. Autumn Man (or Ms. Autumn Woman).

Sick of cider? Try a boozy, apple-free Fallspice Cocktail with bourbon, Aperol, orange juice and grapefruit bitters.

 

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{Pumpkin Buttered Rum}

 

If your Halloween night  means traipsing through the neighborhood monitoring a pack of trick-or-treaters, warm your bones and regain your sanity with hot Spiced Cider or Pumpkin Buttered Rum.

 

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{Amsterdam Punch}

Hosting this year’s costumed festivities? Pull out a big bowl and fill it with bloody red Vampire’s Punch or the less gruesome but equally delicious Amsterdam Punch, loaded with baking spices like allspice, cloves, anise and cinnamon.

If cocktails aren’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with a St. Louis favorite: pumpkin beer, and we’ve got 17 local options to choose from.

Looking for more fun Halloween ideas? Click here to find out how to make your own taffy ghosts and candy bars, and click here for some of our favorite pumpkin desserts from Pumpkin Mousse Shortbread Bars to gluten-free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 -Odd McIntosh photo by Brian Fagnani; pumpkin buttered rum photo by Jonathan S. Pollack; Amsterdam Punch photo by Jeff Cardin

The Weekend Project: Halloween Candy

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

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When the Sauce editors suggested DIY Halloween candy for this month’s project, I almost went into a Pinterest meltdown. Dan and I love to cook, but homemade candy is one challenge we have intentionally avoided for more than a decade, thanks to one nightmarish incident years ago.

My mom and I used to make Christmas candy when I was kid, and it was a fun holiday tradition I took up again as a young adult. I was just starting out with very little money, so making English toffee and pecan pralines seemed the perfect, personalized Christmas presents. That is, until the year the candy curse struck.

Suddenly, it didn’t matter what new candy thermometers I purchased or what fresh ingredients I bought, my candy never finished with the right texture. The first batch of toffee never hardened; the next batch burned despite my careful attention. Even the pralines failed! Instead of creamy, maple meltaways, I had gloppy maple goo that would have worked better as slime to gross out trick-or-treaters. I was so frustrated that I never made candy again.

Until now. The gauntlet was thrown, so Dan and I resolved to master a couple of candy recipes easy enough to conquer in a weekend and tasty enough to dazzle even the pickiest young ghouls. While you can’t exactly give out homemade candy to those costumed goblins at your door, these make for fine homemade fare at your Halloween party.

 

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The “All for One and One for All Bar” is a riff on Dan’s favorite commercial candy bar (guess which), the only one he actually eats at Halloween. Chocolate encases this cheater’s version of nougat, a simple mixture of melted marshmallow cream and chocolate that comes together in a cinch. The key to this recipe is high-quality chocolate, as its simplicity highlights the quality of the ingredients. You may have to practice to get your glazing technique down (make sure that nougat is very frozen so it doesn’t melt in the hot glaze), but don’t sweat the details – eating the mistakes is part of the fun!

This taffy recipe proved the greater challenge. The first batch worked beautifully, but when our photographer Michelle Volansky came to shoot the process one rainy day, the taffy failed miserably. After further research and slight tweaks to batches three and four, the recipe was finally victorious, and the failed taffy taught me what to look for in a bad batch.

 

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Pulling taffy is an easy process that simply takes patience and maybe a partner to save your arms. Just grasp the ends and pull it into long ribbon, then fold it half and pull again. Continue for at least 10 to 15 minutes, until the taffy has a satiny texture and begins to form ridges. The idea behind pulling taffy is to aerate the candy; you’ll actually see it lighten in color as more air is incorporated. It’s done when it achieves a lighter shade and holds it shape.

 

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Taffy will roll into your desired shape, but if left unwrapped, it oozes back into a Flubber-like pool. If you’re struggling to roll the taffy into a rope, let it rest on the greased cookie sheet to cool for a few minutes while you work with another piece. Away from the heat of your hands, the taffy will be more malleable and easily rolls into a rope for slicing.

These recipes are a cost-effective treat for your family or a unique activity to do with friends. We hope you enjoy pulling pumpkin pie taffy or dipping your own candy bars as much as we relished vanquishing our haunted candy past.

The Gameplan
Day 1: Make the chocolate candy bars.
Day 2: Make the taffy.

The Shopping List*
2½ cups (15 oz.) Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, divided
7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2¼ tsp. ginger
2¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 29-oz. can pumpkin purée
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

*This list assumes you have milk, canola oil, butter, salt, sugar, eggs and cinnamon. If not, you will need to purchase these items, too.

 

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The “All for One and One for All” Bar
Makes about 30 bite-sized pieces, or 20 “fun-size” bars

2½ cups (15 oz.) Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 to 2 Tbsp. milk (2 percent or whole)

● Line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
● In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave ½ cup chocolate chips on high 20 to 30 second bursts, stirring until completely melted. Pour the chocolate into the bottom of the loaf pan and use a rubber spatula to spread gently into an even layer.
● In another microwave-safe bowl, melt the marshmallow cream and another ½ cup chocolate chips on high 30 to 45 seconds, until the chocolate softens in the cream. Stir well to combine and pour it over the chocolate, using a rubber spatula to spread gently into an even layer. Freeze the loaf pan until the chocolate is set, 20 to 30 minutes.
● In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave another ½ cup chocolate chips on high 20 to 30 second bursts, stirring until completely melted. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and pour the melted chocolate over the hardened marshmallow cream, using a rubber spatula to spread gently into an even layer. Freeze again to set, another 15 to 20 minutes.
● Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate glaze. In a narrow coffee mug, microwave the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon milk on high in 20 to 30 second bursts. Stir until the milk is completely incorporated and the chocolate is thin enough to glaze the bars. Add another 1 tablespoon milk if needed to thin the glaze. Set aside.
● Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and remove the loaf pan from the freezer. Lift the parchment paper to remove the candy bar from the loaf pan and place it on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the candy bar into 1-inch slices, then cut each slice in half. Stab a mini candy bar with a fork, dip it into the milk chocolate glaze to coat and place it on the baking sheet to set. Gently remove the fork and repeat until all the candy bars are glazed.
● Candy bars will keep several weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

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Pumpkin Pie Taffy
Makes about 50 1-inch pieces

Canola oil for greasing
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. butter plus more to grease
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. pumpkin pie filling* (recipe follows)
5 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg

Special equipment: a candy/deep-fry thermometer

● Grease a 9-by-12-inch rimmed cookie sheet with canola oil.
● In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, bring the corn syrup, cornstarch, butter, salt, water, and sugar to boil over high heat, stirring from time to time, until the mixture reaches 260 degrees (hard ball stage). Remove from heat and stir in the pumpkin pie filling, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Pour the taffy onto the greased cookie sheet and let cool until it is easy to handle, at least 10 to 15 minutes.
● Use a sharp, greased knife to divide the taffy evenly into 5 pieces. Lightly grease your hands with oil or butter and roll 1 piece into a ball, then pull it a few inches, fold over and pull again. Repeat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the taffy has a satiny texture and begins to form ridges. The color will lighten and the taffy will hold its shape when done.
● Roll the taffy on the greased cookie sheet into a rope 1 inch in diameter. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces using buttered scissors or a sharp knife. Roll each piece of taffy into a sphere.
● Place each piece in center of a 2-by-4-inch piece of parchment paper, wrap and twist to close, or cut a 6- to 8–inch piece of parchment paper and place a piece of taffy in the center. Tightly wrap the parchment around the sphere and twist to make a “ghost,” dotting the sphere with marker to make eyes and a mouth. Repeat the pulling and cutting with the remaining taffy until all the candy is wrapped. Taffy will keep, wrapped, at room temperature for several weeks.

 

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Pumpkin Pie Filling
Makes 2 9-inch pies

● In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine 1 29-ounce can pumpkin purée, 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, 2 eggs, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon ginger.

*Doctoring canned pumpkin makes for a phenomenal pumpkin pie filling. Use what you need for the taffy, the bake the rest with a simple crust for a third Halloween dessert. Get the recipe for a basic pie crust here.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Just Five: Halloween Pasta

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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Squid ink pasta looks more dramatic than it tastes. Its slight brininess is stronger in fresh pasta than in dried, and it’s intensified even more in this dish thanks to anchovy paste, but mostly it tastes of garlic and sweet cooked squash. Delicata squash is perfect for this dish thanks to its thin, edible skin (no peeling required!) and quick cooking time.

This pasta is the perfect meal for your ghouls and goblins before they head out for a night of trick-or-treating. Noodles black as night are studded with orange crescent moons and plenty of garlic to keep the vampires at bay. Of course, it’s also adult enough to be the entree at a themed dinner party served with goblets of blood red wine. Drape a black lace cloth over the table and string some fake cobwebs around a candelabra for a festive, fun Halloween night.

 

Halloween Pasta
4 servings

1 delicata squash
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for tossing
Kosher salt to taste
8 oz. squid ink pasta*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. anchovy paste
¼ cup shaved Parmesan or pecorino cheese

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Trim the ends off the delicata squash, slice it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Slice into ½-inch crescents. Toss the squash with olive oil to coat and salt to taste, and place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.
• Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and drain the noodles.
• In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and stir until fragrant, then add the roasted squash and saute 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water and toss gently to coat, about 1 minute. Top with the cheese and serve.

*Squid ink pasta can be found at Parker’s Table.

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: A hauntingly delicious spirit for a spooky night

Friday, October 29th, 2010

102910_punchHalloween is all about transformations. This weekend, it’s a Shirley Temple that’s been wickedly bit by Dracula. A trio of red liquids – cranberry juice, grenadine and Campari – give Vampire’s Punch a blood red tinge, while vodka and Campari lend a bite that’s tempered to your taste by a topping of 7UP. You’ll want to batch up this simple punch for your “spooktacular” Halloween celebration. But innocent ones, beware: This concoction can come back to haunt you.

Vampire’s Punch

Adapted from a recipe by Alex Straus, cocktail director at Suite 700 at the Hotel Shangri-La in Los Angeles

Serves 13

18 oz. Skyy Infusions Cherry
8 oz. lime juice
10 oz. cranberry Juice
2.5 oz. grenadine
1 oz. Campari
7UP
Maraschino cherries

• Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl and stir.
• Top each serving with 7UP and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

The Ritz Carlton stirs up ghostly cocktails

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

102710_ritzThe kids will be running around collecting candy on Sunday. And since all good neighbors will be handing out candy on the very night, adult revelers can have their own Halloween fun on Friday and Saturday night. One place that has spirited eves in store: The Ritz-Carlton in Clayton.

At the bar, you’ll find a lineup of spooky martinis featuring new-to-the-market Frozen Ghost Vodka that’s only made its way to 10 U.S. states so far. Imported from western Canada, Frozen Ghost is noted for its smooth, crisp character, as it’s distilled six times for purity.

This premium vodka, poured from a bottle that will give you the heebie-jeebies, will find its way into the likes of a Bloodytini tinted red from açai and topped with Champagne; the Spider Web of vodka and Midori that’s crawling with dark streaks of chocolate syrup; or the ghoulish Green Goblin that gets a green tinge from Midori and is packed with extra fruity punch from peach schnapps and sweet and sour. Indulge in the seasonal Yummy Pumpkin Pie or get diet-savvy, my little pretty, with the Skinny Witch, where glowing sake liqueur Ty Ku meets vodka and limoncello.

The Ritz’s boozy boo brews, plus live music both nights, are certain to leave you howling at the moon.

Cold beer, cool mullets

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Break out the wife-beater and wallet chain, and bag that tired ol’ trick-or-treat scene this Halloween. The International Tap House in Chesterfield is hosting a Hoosier Halloween Bash on Friday at 7 p.m. Dress down for the costume contest (a mullet and a flannel will get you an iTap koozie), rock out to hillbilly karaoke, or just mellow down easy with a friendly game of washers. There’ll be a couple of old cars out front to beat on, and PBR and Busch Light will be available on tap this one night only (along with iTap’s usual selection of 500 brews). So hop in your IROC and come on down.

– Matt Sorrell

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