Day 319–Locavore Pumpkin Chili


I totally get it now. All that work, all the canning, all the freezing. I get it. Because now when the days are cool and there is nary a green bean, peach or tomato to be found at the farmer’s market, I can make something like this awesome chili with lots of my own, local vegetables. It’s pretty awesome. And it makes all the sweaty afternoons in a steaming kitchen totally worth it. I wondered at the end of the summer if I would ever do all that work again and now I know the answer. Yes.

This chili is completely delicious. It was posted by The Scrumptious Pumpkin as Drunken Pumpkin Chili. I like the name, but since I made this for a sleepover my daughter had, I thought I’d tone down the beer reference and focus on the local. I did, however, use the pumpkin ale she recommended and it was a great addition 🙂 Typically, I serve pizza for a sleepover, because who in the world doesn’t like pizza? As it turns out, we all liked this chili–so much that our plans for a second dinner are out (but I do have a fabulous lunch packed for work tomorrow!).

I changed up the original recipe a bit to suit the local ingredients I had on hand, like fresh oregano, frozen whole tomatoes, frozen roasted red peppers and frozen, roasted jalapenos, but the original recipe is HERE. Check out the otherScrumptious Pumpkin recipes, too. She does a great job using spices and natural flavors to tone down our use of fats and sugars!

Locavore Pumpkin Chili (adapted from The Scrumptious Pumpkin’s Drunken Pumpkin Chili)

  • 1 pound local, grassfed ground beef (Mae Farm)
  • 3 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 cup pumpkin ale (I used Kennebec Beer Company Pumpkin Ale)
  • 15-ounce can organic pumpkin puree
  • 5 tomatoes, skins removed and chopped
  • 4 roasted jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and saute for about 4 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the carrots and bell pepper and saute for about 5 minutes more, until carrots begin to soften.
  3. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon, and brown. Stir often.
  4. Add the spices and tomatoes and stir well.
  5. Add the beer and stir again. Let simmer about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the pumpkin puree and peppers. Season to taste. Add the drained beans.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 45 minutes (because I used the frozen tomatoes, my chili had a lot of liquid and needed to simmer a good while to reduce and thicken). Your house will smell truly amazing.
  8. Drink the remaining beer. Marvel at your domestic skills. Remember to be thankful for other bloggers who share their recipes.
  9. Serve alone or with grated cheese.

Day 311–Pork Roast with Apples, Cider and Thyme

Onions, apples and cranberry make a nice base for this slow cooker roast!

Last week my friend Sarah commented on a dish she made involving pork roast and apple cider. Hmmmmm, sounded pretty good to me, so I decided to take a try myself and use the leftovers for our football tailgating lunch. This slow cooker roast takes advantage of our fresh, local apples and apple cider. I also added some dried cranberries, which were tasty. We served it with our delish purple potatoes!

Pork Roast with Apples, Cider and Thyme

  • 1 pork roast or Boston Butt
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 granny smith or fuji apples
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup organic, dried cranberries
  • 3 cups fresh apple cider
  • Olive oil
  1. Peel onions and slice thin. Put in bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. Peel and core apples. Slice thin and add to bowl of the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle dried cranberries and thyme over onions and apples.
  4. In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Brown pork on all sides.
  5. Place pork roast on top of onion/apple mixture. Pour cider over all, cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on hi for 4.
  6. Serve pork sliced or pulled with apples on top!


Day 292–Bad, Bad Blogger and Apple Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I am a bad, bad blogger. Up until this point I’ve been pretty good at posting several times a week if not every day. But the last two weeks have been absolute craziness, with parts of my world taking over and wreaking havoc on everything else. I believe I have survived the worst of that and now I’m back and (hopefully) on a more sane schedule. At least, I certainly hope so because that was one wild ride!

I haven’t had much of a chance to cook anything recently, but this dish of apple stuffed sweet potatoes was a winner. It has all the great hallmarks of fall–sweet potato, pumpkin pie spice, apples and maple syrup. This would make a great side dish or a light meal in itself. We have an abundance of sweet potatoes at our farmers markets and apples are available here although not in our usual quantities.

So here is to restarts and a better work/life balance for the rest of the fall! Enjoy!

Apple Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium apples like granny smith or galas
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Poke sweet potatoes all over with a fork and roast in the oven until soft (about an hour depending on how large your potatoes are). Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350.
  3. While potatoes cool a bit, peel/core and chop the apples into 1/2″ chunks.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add apples. Cook apples for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add brown sugar and spice to the apples and stir. Add more butter if you need it. Reduce heat to low and cook until apples are soft. Set aside.
  6. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut skins and scoop potato flesh into a medium-sized bowl. Add apple mixture and mix together until combined.
  7. Spoon mixture back into the potato skin shells. Top with chopped pecans, put on a baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and drizzle with maple syrup.
  9. Serve!