This year, Autumn begins on September 23rd and ends on December 21st. Although in past times Fall has been associated with times of sadness since summer is over and the cold winter is around the corner, the harvest season is actually a favorite of many because of the cooler temperatures with the leaves changing and the beginning of many exciting yearly events such as back-to-school, football season, Halloween, and the start of preparing for the Holidays.
Ocean Happening’s 2015 Fall Guide covers everything Fall-related to keep your calendar full and your family busy with plenty of memory-filled festivities for the next three months.
With the Holidays around the corner and Autumn finally here, there’s nothing better than getting in the kitchen and cooking to celebrate – especially with those pumpkins and apples that you picked up from the local farms! Below are a few food and drink recipes to kick-start your autumn in the kitchen. Also, we’ve listed some restaurants that are celebrating the seasons changing and the months of Fall, too!
Fall Harvest Recipes
Beef and Butternut Squash Stew – 4 servings
What you need: 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1 onion (peeled and chopped), 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary, 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme, 2 lbs. stew beef (2 inch cubes), ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, 1 cup Marsala wine, 1 pd. Butternut squash (2 inch cubes), ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, 3-4 cups beef broth, 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley, and optional bread to serve with.
How to make it: Heat oil in a large soup pot and sauté onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Toss cubed beef in flour, salt, and pepper, and add beef to the pot once onions are tender. Cook for a few minutes until beef is browned and then add Marsala wine. Using a wooden spoon, stir up the browned bits on the bottom. Add butternut squash and sundried tomatoes. Add beef broth to cover the beef and the squash and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Season the stew with any additional salt and pepper. Once finished, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with bread.
Baked Apples – 4 servings
What you need: ¾ cup of oats, ¾ cup flour, 2/3 cup light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, pinch of kosher salt, 1 stick of cold unsalted butter (diced), 4 Fiji apples, 4 teaspoons honey
How to make it: Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with diced butter. Mix with your hands until a sandy mixture is formed. Refrigerate. Prepare apples by cutting a small layer off the bottom so they stand up on their own firmly. Cut a cone in each apple about an inch outside of the core. Toss the top and the core and carve the remaining center of the apple with a melon baller or teaspoon, being careful not to puncture the sides or base of the apple. Place apples on a baking sheet or in a pie dish and fill the center with a teaspoon of honey. Remove filling from refrigerator and fill each apple until they slightly overflow over the sides. Bake in the oven at 350 for 40 minutes or until the filling is golden brown and the apples are tender. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
(Recipes are for one cocktail)
Apple Cider Hot Toddy
What you need: 1 green or black tea bag, 1 ½ oz. of whiskey or bourbon, 1 oz. apple cider, ½ small lemon, and garnish with lemon and cinnamon stick
How to make it: Heat water to boil and pour over tea bag to make tea (leave room for cider and whiskey), steep for a few minutes and remove tea bag. Pour whiskey and a splash of apple cider. Squeeze in some lemon juice and garnish with lemon and a cinnamon stick!
What you need: 1 part pumpkin spice Kahlua, 2 parts vodka, 1 part heavy cream, fall colored sprinkles for rim of glass
How to make it: Rim glass with sprinkles, fill glass with ice, pour in vodka, Kahlua, and cream over ice and stir.
Spiced Pumpkin Punch
What you need: 1 oz. pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 oz. fresh lemon juice, 2 oz. bourbon, 3 oz. ginger beer, 1/8 teaspoon grated ginger (can use fresh or ground), and garnish with cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon
How to make it: Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker, shake well, strain, and garnish!
Restaurants Celebrating Fall
Artisan’s Restaurant & Brewery is Hosting its Annual Oktoberfest Dinner on Friday, September 25th. If you haven’t made your reservations yet, do so now! (732) 244 – 7566. For 69.95pp + tax & gratuity, enjoy an authentic five course German Dinner and Classic Oktoberfest Beer. 1171 Hooper Ave, Toms River.
Three B’s brings Bavaria to Lakehurst with their own Oktoberfest by adding their traditional German Fare to the menu, including Wurst, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, and more with 25 different German beers every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from October 2nd to the 30th. 314 Route 70, Lakehurst
Il Giardinello is offering 20% off in September and October for lunch or dinner. Although this offer isn’t valid on Saturdays or Holidays (or with any other offer), they are open 7 days a week and it’s still a great opportunity to try the restaurant if you haven’t yet! 1232 Rt. 166, Toms River.
From November 6th to the 15th, 40 restaurants are participating in the Jersey Shore Restaurant week!!! As a favorite week for many, please check in at jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com/restaurants to see if your favorite local restaurant is on the list, and if not, try another one by you!
What’s next? Ocean County’s 2015 Fall Guide: Halloween (hayrides, mazes, costume ideas, etc.) and Late Fall Festivals & Events