Fall Is For Cookies And Coffee And That’s Good Enough For Me

I don’t know where you live but here, Fall has arrived in a fantastic fashion. In what feels like an overnight assault, the trees are bright red and orange, the air is cool and dry and little pumpkin patches are springing up all over, each vying for the most sincere. Over the weekend I wasted no time drinking enough cider to safely say I ingested a bushel and watched Halloween 4 at least four times. Needless to say, we are in the season when you freeze in the morning and have a heat stroke by noon. I love it.

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Besides the great weather and horror movies airing on primetime, lets not leave out festive cookies. I am not one to eat a lot of sugar so rarely do I indulge in cookies but this time of the year, how could I not? The entire Nestle Toll House package is a thick sheet of glorious dough, filled with orange and brown chocolate chips. I can’t help but bite at the package leaving teeth marks up and down the dough. It’s a weight x girth/cube size equation for me. If all numbers align, I bite.

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Perfect little squares are a weakness of mine. It makes me want to peel these apart and build the talking prism from the show Out Of This World. There is nothing that you cannot do with building blocks of cookie dough if you can get past the salmonella. That’s the only show stopper for me. I know millions eat raw cookie every hour but the chances are still not in my favor when Lady Luck has anything to do with me, numbered odds and a toilet. I will bake these cookies and scrub my hands as if I am engaging in exploratory surgery.

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While those magnificent cubes are baking let me wax poetry to you about Fall coffee that is NOT pumpkin flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin flavoring this time of the year but it’s nice to see a contender who brings it with straight beans. The monopoly of Starbucks has come out with a “cozy” blend for the nice price of $12 a bag. And by nice I mean stupid. But it’s not the price or the obvious repackaging of Springtime blends in a Fall bag but when you say the word “cozy” on a coffee bag, it is coming home with me.

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Back to the cookies! Well, after a few minutes at 350•, we have Halloween cookies which are no where near as impressive as the cookie on the package. But after all these years writing on the same topic, you would think I would know this by now. Or at least not frown when I stare at two limp-dick cookies. I mean, look at my dog’s face! You wouldn’t know it but he has a pretty refined palate, aside from chewing his butt.

And the coffee?

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They were right. Completely cozy and perfect for early Autumn mornings by the fire. Especially when you grill bacon and sausages in beer. Life could be worse, my friends. Life could be worse.

Also, I built a bar. Sorry about the eyesore trashcan in the frame.

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I know this post was weak but I have a few including a video tonight staring guests you very well may know! I am showing my love for some of the most fantastic TV horror as well as ramping up the Halloween Spook Show with prizes and discussions! Be afraid, it all starts tonight!

Ode To The Fall Fresh Market

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Lordy, I love The Fresh Market! It’s a place where normal people like yours truly can feel a tad sophisticated buying six cucumber sodas and a bag of cinnamon bears. Its warm and cozy with classical music playing overhead, lulling people into paying twenty percent higher for everyday items. Some say it is a snobby market and others brush it off as a specialty food shop, but I say it is a necessary Saturday morning stop to energize the soul and dent my wallet, especially now that we are a foot into the Halloween season.

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This is the place where you plan the best autumn dinner of your life. Every vegetable imaginable is available and if yours is like mine, they come from local farms. That is a huge thing for me. I can’t put my finger on it, whether it is the track lighting or the fact most produce and items are in barrels but you kind of skip around aimlessly in this market. It is a scientific fact most amazing things come in a barrel. And for that, I am sure almost no one sticks to their lists. At least I don’t. I went in one time for three steaks and left with clams.

Hmm, maybe it is a gas leak that is the cause of such aimless shopping?

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The free coffee station is one of the best parts of The Fresh Market. Every season they have a select coffee to try with a full station to garnish your tiny cup. I was excited to see what Fall coffee they were pushing for this year but it never fails that some old bitty would be crowding the coffee sample table, adding cream and sugar with the speed and purpose of an aquarium-ed manatee. I hate her!

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Back to the wacky produce! Tell me, where can you get dwarf squash these days? Think real hard. I don’t know where but at The Fresh Market, this time of the year, you can. It is the main ingredient for my “Little Squash Big People Soup”. If you want the recipe just email me. It is just right for rainy and cold October days paired with the right beer. And yes, I do feel a little bad for that insensitive parody of the midget show. I meant little people show.

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SON OF A BITCH SHIT! I turn around for two seconds and the old guy jumps in and proceeds to go all Cialis on the decaf. Dude is quick in them Foot Joys!

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Here we come to what The Fresh Market does so well and that is the Halloween display. Every year is a bit different but damn if it isn’t always impressive! They always have a crazy candy display throughout the year but they really turn the knob to high in September. I love the fact an entire three-foot wicker basket is filled with one pound bags of gummy ghosts. If that were to fall off the roof and kill someone, their obituary would be clipped and permanently added to my fridge. It’s a place of honor.

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I know this picture is a tad bit blurry but I had been looked at with some suspicion while I roamed around taking pictures of small squashes and old people. This one was taken with great haste.

I love the decor. It is such a throwback to when I was a little kid. Ghosts and pumpkin-headed scarecrows are hung from the rafters with orange and black streamers dangling, carelessly blowing with the central air. It is simple yet perfectly nails why I love this holiday so much. There is no hint of modern pop or Disney shows. Just the same decorations we loved for years and years.

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Holy shit nuts and gum! I can’t catch a break this trip!

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I know this isn’t very Halloweenie but I can’t go to sleep without yelling from the hills about how amazing their organic nut selection is. Every kind of nut, berry, mix and seed is available for you to buy AND sample. I can’t tell you how many bags of trail mix I have, which are most likely stale, in my cupboard. There is no helping help myself and it is not beyond reason that I buy over one hundred dollars in almonds a month. Don’t get me started on cashews.

Also, I am not entirely sure about the sample part. If someone stops me I’ll just do my best impression of the homeless demon eating crickets in Hellraiser.

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We have success! Even though I like to browse the aisles for the best Thai peanut sauce and vegan friendly pasta while drinking  a free shot-cup of seasonal coffee, beggars can not be choosers. It is an added pleasure to an already fun fall grocery shopping experience.

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Of course it is pumpkin spice! How could it not be?

I am telling you folks, go to The Fresh Market if you want to immerse yourself with autumn goodness. The smells, specials, free samples and specialty food items are enough to make you go home and get drunk on spiked cider while hanging skeletons from trees. It is that great of an experience for this time of the year. Sure you will spend five dollars on a box of Triscuits but that’s why you save that for lame-o Kroger. You buy cornish hens and seven-year old sharp cheddar from The Fresh Market, ya silly!

 

 

I Love The Smell Of Fall In The Morning

It’s a tough time of the season when you want all of the Halloween stuff out right now but most retailers (looking at you Target) are more concerned with backpacks and *enter boy band here* covered Trapperkeepers. It’s a tease. We are at the 10:20am mark before the menu switches and everyone is fully committed, so you have to kinda take what you get until then. That’s why this morning I am writing about smells of the demonic. Or maybe just Fall.

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Searching Target in vain for anything spooky I settled on their mild nod to the season in the Fall scent aisle. They have a few purely Fall titled sprays between Glade and good ol’ Febreze. If you are not into spays because you think the Ozone still has a sunroof, don’t worry your hippy hair, they make them all in both candles and plug-ins. I picked up the sprays because I need a limited example of each. I can’t smell up each room in my house for this review.

Actually, that would have been pretty cool. Double Shits!

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First on the list we have “Salted Caramel” from Glade, an SC Johnson product. At first glance I thought this to be both amazing and totally Halloween. At first smell, however, I thought this was more “Midnight Cowboy” from CVS. It’s a heavy scent that really doesn’t leave one area. By that I mean there is no permeation but a solid mass that waits for unsuspecting people to walk through it, sticking to their face like a spider web or swarm of mosquitos. You won’t get it out of the back of your throat no matter how many pumpkin beers you gargle with.

The description states it has a “…pop of salty and sweet caramel fragrance.” which is odd. I have smelled sweet things but I can’t recall an account of smelling salty things. Maybe the ocean. I don’t know. C-.

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Switching from candy to leaves, Febrese Air Effects has a their “Falling Leaves” limited edition spray. I was immediately attracted to this for some reason. I think it is just specific memories of cool mornings walking home from a Friday night bash, smelling the wet leaves and cursing the 6am Saturday runners. It’s a distant memory but still an effective one.

But this can does not capture that olfactory sense at all. I think they captured Great Aunt Ann rather than anything Fall. You know the smell; make-up and sixty year old perfume? Yeah, you do. This is another air spray that is better suited to kill any offensive oder by masking it with a different but equally offensive oder. It smells and hangs heavy in the air like an invisible bag of piss, waiting for an unsuspecting passer-by who will most likely have their mouth open. D.

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Here is another SC Johnson product from Glade and this is interesting. “Hayride”? I never knew a Hayride was an attractive smell. If memory serves me right it’s a mix of allergic attack and either horse poop or tractor exhaust depending on which mode of pull the farm chooses. It’s like their “Salted Caramel” idea, I just hope it’s not executed the same.

I like it! It’s really interesting and it does remind me of a Fall scene. It’s not quiet Hayride but it smells a lot like the first day of school. I can’t explain it but taking a huff off this can I am walking into Mt. Bethel Elementary with a backpack larger than my torso and velcro shoes. It’s really incredible! I love it and this is going in the den rather than the last two who are banished to the bathrooms. A-. (The minus is only because it’s not Hayride. That might be a good thing.)

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Finally we come to another Glade spray and while this one isn’t original what so ever, I do believe my saturated nose will enjoy this. “Orchard Apple Cinnamon” can not not smell amazing. It just can’t!

Oh wow. Wow that smells a lot like one of those 365 days a year Christmas shops. When I take a whiff from this I am surrounded by thirty fake and tacky Christmas trees with tacky decor while fat tourists wearing fanny packs slowly meander through the narrow aisles eating soft serve out of a cup. THIS IS NOT HALLOWEEN! WAIT YOUR TURN SPRAY! C. (Will be an A when November first arrives.)

So there you have it. None of these scream Halloween and only one really has something to be proud of. Go to Target and spray these around to see..er…smell for yourself. I am fairly certain “Hayride” will be in your cart. The other three can be used to kill spiders.

Sorry the countdown hasn’t been totally wheels up since my job is not sympathetic to my demon worshiping self but hang on, shit’s about to get real.

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OH! And guess who started their Halloween Countdown? Matt from Dinosaur Dracula started his chainsaw and it’s amazing. Please go there now. NOW! (Click the header)

Fall Beer Review 2013: Part 1

Holy heck, I have been doing the Fall beer reviews since August of 2007! It all started at a Kroger grocery store in Augusta, Georgia when I stumbled on a JW Dundee craft pack that inspired a nostalgic trip that I shared on a very young VeggieMacabre. It also led to Pepp-o-lanetern. From then on I have made the annual tradition of Fall beer reviewing for my pleasure and the few who care about the a.b.v. percentage in a beverage with dead leaves on the bottle.

This year will be a real banner year for the site because the Halloween countdown is around the corner and I have no less than six fall craft packs to yap about. There are more but I have committed to six.  Since the Halloween countdown will overlap the Fall Beer Review, expect to see some spooky shenanigans. 

Starting out on the right foot, Magic Hat Brewing Company out of S. Burlington, Vermont, has hit another home run and managed to mix autumn brand beers with straight-up Halloween glory in their “Night of the Living Dead” variety pack featuring two new beers; the Seance and Deveiled. I won’t spoil the video review but please check out their site too. It’s to disembowel for. 

The 2010 Fall Beer Review: Episode 1

It’s that time of the year again! My liver always tells me so and so do the crisp winds of autumn, pumpkin patches on church lawns, fake severed limbs in a Rite-Aid and NFL dominated Sunday-Fundays. Such a wonderful time to be alive and we celebrate by drinking the seasonal brews that bottle the essence of what makes Fall so great.
This year you will be meeting me in a face-to-face review more commonly referred to as a Vlog. While I had some trepidation with putting my stuffy-nose voice and poor screen presence in place of a written blog, Sierra Nevada Brewery shot me an email asking me to review the Tumbler and suggested a video. I know I’m not the prettiest vlogger but if you drink with us on these reviews, I will get prettier. That’s number 312 of 5 gazillion why beer rocks and should be sewn onto the bottom right corner of our nations flag.
Also, to do this beer review properly I have included a dear friend and fellow blogger, Mike, who is a master brewer himself. As you have read in the past I am a not a beer connoisseur by any stretch. I buy seasonal beer based on the marketing and pretty pictures. Much like how I shop for salsa. So this year I put a little professional taste in the mix and I hope all of you beer snobs will be less irritated with me. (check out his blog. Excellent stuff)
I am happy this 4th annual blog er…vlog, can be something a little different for all you to watch and hopefully enjoy. remember this is a 3 part series and there will be a number of beers that we will be reviewed including some obscure shout-outs. If you can spot the five shout outs (all horror movie references) I will be mailing a prize to the first three who guess right. It’s a good prize too.
So enough of all this reading crap and on to pure visual ecstasy. Turn off your brain…right……NOW!

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