We love all the seasons but fall has to be one of our favorites. The beautiful colors, fun events and activities and of course the fabulous fall FOOD! It’s time to switch gears from grilled burgers and cold salads to warm comfort dishes like soups, stew and casseroles. Erie has some great fall food favorites that are special to our area. Many of our local restaurants, cafes and markets switch up their menus to feature the flavors of fall. During your Erie Fall-cation, make sure it includes LOTS of great fall food, stay overnight and make it a multi-day fall food adventure!!
Remember when out in public to wear your mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing. All of our partners have taken the necessary safety measures to ensure your experience is fantastic and yummy!
Here are a few ideas, products and recipes to celebrate autumn in Erie PA!
Hot Dogs Simmered in Beer - For a quick dinner fix, simmering a few dogs in beer is amazing…and fast! It’s especially tasty if you use Erie’s favorite wiener, Smith’s. That trademark “pop” when you bite into a Smith’s natural casing dog is enhanced when you pair it with beer (and you can even add a little sauerkraut too!). Our friends at Erie Ale Works suggest a "beer-flavored beer" like their Tattooed Lady Blonde Ale for best simmering results. A lighter beer can transfer more flavor to food than a richer, darker, or even hoppy beer. Erie Ale Works co-owner Jeff McCullor recommends Smith’s beer brats are best when a lighter beer like a pilsner or blonde ale is included. So if they recommend it, it must be good! There are several recipes out there for hotdogs simmered in beer so pick your favorite and start “brewing”!
Romolo Chocolates – The folks at Romolo Chocolates say “Fall” with fun Halloween chocolate. Each September Romolo’s begin making candy corn bark and focus on their maple nut crème and caramel collection. Plus, if you haven’t tried it yet, their newly introduced Caramel Apple Delight this year really tastes like autumn! In the Cocoa Café, Fall brings Caramel Apple Cider and Maple White Cocoa—both customer AND staff favorites! We can’t wait to go and pick up one of everything (and maybe snag a couple milk chocolate frogs while we’re at it).
APPLE CIDER: It wouldn’t be fall without a tall glass of tart, crisp apple cider from Luminary Distilling & Eatery/Fuhrman’s Cider or Wegmans Cider. Since Luminary Distilling took over the former Fuhrman’s Cider Mill and General Store, they are keeping up with tradition and serving up Fuhrman’s famous cider by the half gallon and gallon. Wegman’s Apple Cider is part of their “Food you Feel Good About” line of products with no artificial flavors or preservatives and is also available in half gallon or gallon size. What goes perfect with cider? Donuts of course! Both businesses offer a selection of fresh-baked donuts.
Arundel Cellars & Brewing Company – In addition to their year-round wines, craft beers and yummy shared snack trays, Arundel Cellars has released a new hard cider – Rose´ Spiked! This pink cider is an homage to the annual North East Wine Fest which did not take place this year due to COVID. Stop by their big beautiful barn and grab yourself a pint!
The Original Popcorn House – The delicious aromas wafting out of their storefront will tempt your senses and permeate the thickest face coverings before you even walk in the door! The OPH is a family- owned and operated gourmet popcorn store located in the Colony Plaza (between The Colony Pub & Grille and Bello’s Market). They feature a wide variety of savory and sweet flavors every day but for fall they have really kicked it up a notch with some fantastic flavors: Cinnamon Kettle, Frosted Pecan, Fall Vanilla Butternut, Salted Caramel, Salted Caramel Apple and Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup. You can mix and match your fall popcorn flavors in a specialty tin or simply grab a bag of each. “Pop” in and give them a try. We promise your taste buds will not be disappointed.
Courtyard Winery – Experience harvest in a glass with their new Autumn A-Peel Wine Slushies. It’s infused with their house –made brown sugar simple syrup, applesauce, cinnamon, then blended to perfection with their Apple Wine. Sounds absolutely amazing!
Skunk & Goat Fall Craft Cocktails - Their new fall cocktail menu includes Pink French 75, Cider Mule and the Fall Fling.
Arrowhead Wine Cellars – Owner Kathy Mobilia sees an uptick in business during the fall, especially when it comes to the sale of their fruit juices and wine. That increase most assuredly comes from the fragrant smell of grapes that floods the air in North East PA; the heart of Lake Erie Wine Country. Currently Arrowhead isn’t allowing customers inside, however, while the weather holds out they are allowing people to buy tasting flights curbside to enjoy on their patio. Sales of Arrowhead wine and juice are also accepted both curbside and online. Another popular fall item is Mobilia Fruit Farms frozen pitted sour cherries. They come in a 4 lb. bag which is enough for 3 pies or you could try your hand at making jam or jelly, or simply top a piece of cheesecake with them. With the cooler weather approaching, more people feel like baking and who doesn’t love a freshly baked cherry pie? Check out their recipe for cherry pie in the recipe section of this blog!
Pumpkin Beer on the Lake Erie Ale Trail – Pumpkin spice, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie and PUMPKIN BEER! Pumpkin is synonymous with fall so why wouldn’t our local craft beer makers include this fall goodness into their latest brews? Check out this list of local brewers from the Lake Erie Ale Trail that are featuring Mr. Jack O Lantern:
- Caution! Contains Real Pumpkin!! – Voodoo Brewery
- The Devil’s Dark Side Pumpkin Stout and The Devil’s Pumpkin Ale– Lavery Brewing
- Johnny Rails Pumpkin Ale – Erie Brewing Company
- Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Ale – The Brewerie at Union Station
Icing on the Lake has introduced some sinfully delicious flavors for fall along with bringing back some old favorites. Stop by their store in the West Erie Plaza and pick up a cupcake (or 12) of Boozy Bourbon, Cookie Crumbler, Zucchini Lemon, Cookie Monster, Caramel Apple or Red Velvet. Call ahead to preorder or stop by to see them!
Courtesy of VisitErie and Partners
Black Cherry Balsamic Pork Loin (from Buona Cucina Oils & More)
1 boneless pork loin (3-4 lbs.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 Tbls. Buona Cucina Blood Orange Olive Oil
1/3 cup Buona Cucina Black Cherry Balsamic
3/4 cup cherry preserves
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Sprinkle roast with salt & pepper.
In large skillet, heat Olive Oil and brown roast on all sides.
Transfer to slow cooker.
In small bowl combine balsamic, cherry preserves and brown sugar.
Pour over roast and cook on low 3-4 hours until tender. (meat thermometer should read at least 145 degrees.)
Remove from slow cooker, tent with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
After skimming the fat from sauce, drizzle over pork and enjoy!
From Arrowhead Wine/Mobilia Fruit Farms
- 4 Cups of Mobilia Farms frozen pitted sour cherries
- 1 ¼ cups Sugar (or 9 tsp. sugar substitute)
- ¼ cup Tapioca
- 2 Tbs. Flour
- 1 tsp. Almond Extract
Pre-heat oven to 400°. Make pie shell and place in bottom of an ungreased 9 inch pie pan. Add the mixture from above. Cover with top of pie crust, vent and then bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat in oven to 375° for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Voila!
Drunken Apple –
From Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership’s Director of Investor Relations, Nadeen Schmitz
A shot of Salted Carmel or Kissed Carmel Vodka, apple cider (local is best!) served over ice in a rocks glass! GREAT for fall!
VELVEETA® Spicy Cheesy Broccoli Soup –
From Janice Friedrichsmeyer, VisitErie Partnership Development & Tourism/Convention Services
¼ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups milk
¾ pound VELVEETA®, cut up
1 large jar of Salsa Con Queso Cheese dip
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained
Step 1 - Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add flour; cook 1 minute or until bubbly, stirring constantly.
Step 2 - Stir in milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 1 minute.
Step 3 - Add remaining ingredients. Cook until VELVEETA is melted and soup is heated through, stirring occasionally.
Healthy Homemade Granola
From Chris Temple, VisitErie Director of Communications
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut – optional
- 1 1/2 cups nuts roughly chopped – I used a mix of almonds and pecans. Walnuts tend to burn quicker
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
- 2/3 cup cranberries or other dried fruits (roughly chopped) – I use golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 300 F / 150 C degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients
- Add the wet ingredients: maple syrup and coconut oil. Mix thoroughly until well combined and all the oats look wet.
- Transfer on prepared baking sheet, spread the mixture into a 3/4"-thick layer (about 1.5/2 cm) and with a wooden spoon, press down the granola on the prepared baking sheet. A thick layer and pressing down the granola is key to getting clusters! If you prefer your granola without clusters, spread the mixture as much as possible and don't press it down.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. All ovens are different so start checking around 20-25 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Remove from the oven, spread the dried fruits on top and let it cool completely. DO NOT TOUCH the granola before it's completely cooled down. It's key to make it crunchy and clumpy!
- When cool, break it into pieces and store in an air-tight container – ideally in the fridge to keep it extra crunchy.