Today the infamous Starbucks drink Pumpkin Spice Latte comes out. In the past, it has always come out in late September. I’m not surprised by this because I saw Halloween outfits in the stores back in July. Our world is changing and holidays are being celebrated earlier and earlier due to our lack of patience and stores capitalizing on early profits. Black Friday is now on Thursday. Christmas is being celebrated before Thanksgiving. Even though Fall is my favorite time of year, I personally want to enjoy my last month of summer before I settle into Autumn season (pus it’s still too hot!).
PSL has become so popular that it even has its own Twitter page. But what has been interesting this year is this posting below by the Food Babe. Starbucks has always been hesitant to post the ingredients to PSL because it has no actual real pumpkin in it. This will probably bode well for smaller independent coffee houses that use real ingredients in their pumpkin drinks if word continues to spread about this. I’m curious to how Starbucks responds to this. What do you think or do you care?
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated throughout Mexico and other parts of the world. It is a day for friends and families to remember those that have died. It takes place November 1 and 2. Some traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. There are also parades and festivals that end at cemeteries in which families pray for the deceased. Desert Botanical Garden honors this holiday with festivities and music. Also on display was Philip Haas’ The Four Seasons – four giant monumental sculptures. Each season is represented by each of the imaginative portraits composed of fruits, vegetables, flowers and related objects.
It’s Fall and I love to cook when the weather starts to cool. But there are some days I feel like grabbing something quick. Trader Joe’s always has some great ideas and quick meals that are great for this time of year. I like to grab the Fearless Flyer and come up with some great dishes for dinner.
Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival celebrating beer held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world’s largest fair, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. To the locals, it is not called Oktoberfest, but “die Wiesn” – after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event.
OK. Here in the U.S. we celebrate Oktoberfest for one reason – Beer (and the food as well). Like every cultural holiday, we need another reason to get drunk. Personally I’m all about the sausage and sauerkraut and watching the polka dances. I will admit I do like to put down a bottle of Becks from time to time. Every year Tempe does their annual Oktoberfest and they do a good job of keeping to some of the traditions. But for the most part, it is just a big beer fest. I had a fun goofy time there wearing my Bavarian hat and eating some good food (as you can tell in these goofy photos of me).
I love Fall. To usher in the new season, I held a Fall party at my place with friends and family. I made sausage with sauerkraut (I added apples, bacon and carrots to the mix). I also had cupcakes, cookies and candy as snacks. It was a fun night despite the triple digit weather here in AZ.
For me Labor Day is my prelude to Fall. I know in a few weeks, the weather starts to cool (if you call below 100 degrees cool in AZ), Pumpkin spice lattes start rolling out and the leaves sort of change. But most of all, I get to bust out my hoodie and beanie. I got to go to a few fun Labor Day parties and eat some great food to start off the count down to Fall.
I love Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held each year Munich. Polka dances, sauerkraut, Bavarian outfits and great German beer are all things synonymous with the holiday. Here in Arizona, Oktoberfest is always the event I use to usher in the Fall weather (if you call 90 degrees Fall weather..). But what I love most about Oktoberfest is the great food. Bratwursts are the common food associated with Oktoberfest. But this month I discovered something at Red Robin that got me salivating – their limited edition Oktoberfest Bürger.
Red Robin’s Oktoberfest Bürger is a toasted pretzel bun slathered with beer mustard and topped with a fire-grilled beef patty, melted Swiss cheese, beer-mustard sautéed onions, Black Forest ham and green leaf lettuce. Wow… this was so good! I loved the pretzel bun, it was so moist and soft. I thought the pairing of the ham with the burger was a great combination. I also ordered a Sam Adams Octoberfest beer to help wash this bad boy down. Even though Red Robin is a chain and I’m more and more backing off chains, I will admit they bring out some great gourmet burgers. Plus they have a great loyalty program in which you can build up points to get free food every time you visit them. Great Fall item Red Robin – two thumbs up!
It’s that time of year again.. Harvest time! October is my favorite month and I kicked it off with grilling some BBQ chicken and roasted corn-on-the-cob for dinner. I’m looking forward to some cooler weather and some great October dishes to cook up before the holidays kick in.