Best Fall Date Night Menu Ever…With Wine Pairings!

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Fall date night, anyone?

I know it’s fall because pumpkin spice is taking over the world and also because Halloween candy and decorations are displayed in every store. In this part of Texas, we don’t get to enjoy the crisp fall weather and that our neighbors up north do…that doesn’t happen until late in November. People are still wearing shorts and the turning of the leaves is something we only see in pictures.

I know it’s fall because vibrantly colored squash appears in the produce section, telling me it’s time for robust fall recipes.  Our Texas fall nights may be warm but we can bring some great recipes into our kitchen and enjoy the season.

Although Halloween is mostly a kids holiday (or a holiday enjoyed by adults who are still kids at heart) here’s a great fall date night in or adults-only dinner party menu if you need a break from the pumpkin carving and shopping for candy corn. While the month of October is pretty much all about the kids, here’s a great way to carve out some grownup fun time, complete with wine pairings.

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These hearty yet healthy foods allow you to set a beautiful fall table but are relatively quick and easy to make. The soup takes only a few minutes to throw together and the ease of using a crockpot makes a weeknight dinner with friends or a special someone entirely doable and will leave you plenty of time to enjoy what’s really important this fall season: great Woodbridge wines and great company. 

Fall date night dinner party menu with wine pairings|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|acorn squash ideas|wine pairing ideas|fall dinner ideas|pumpkin soup|crockpot pork medallions

Simple entertaining is often the best entertaining…this is a menu that allows you to enjoy some fall flavor and to also enjoy what matters most – the people in your life!

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Fall date night dinner party menu with wine pairings|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|acorn squash ideas|wine pairing ideas|fall dinner ideas|pumpkin soup|crockpot pork medallions

Ingredients:

  1. 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  2. Olive oil (once around the pan a la Rachael Ray!)
  3. 1 can pumpkin
  4. 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  5. 1 can chicken or vegetable broth
  6. 1/2 cup water
  7. 5 scallions (white and greenish white parts)
  8. 1 red pepper
  9. 1 tbps garlic powder
  10. 1 tbps ground cumin
  11. 1/2 tbps curry powder
  12. 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella
  13. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Fall date night dinner party menu with wine pairings|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|acorn squash ideas|wine pairing ideas|fall dinner ideas|pumpkin soup|crockpot pork medallions

Instructions

Finely chop bell red pepper and thinly slice scallions. Separate the green parts from the white/greenish white parts

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Add bell pepper, white/greenish white parts of the scallions and garlic powder. Cook until soft – about 4 minutes. Stir in cumin and curry, cook for another minute.

Add in black beans, chicken broth, tomatoes, water and pumpkin.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook ten minutes, then stir in salt and pepper.

Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and the green parts of the onion.

 

Crockpot pork medallions 

Fall date night dinner party menu with wine pairings|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|acorn squash ideas|wine pairing ideas|fall dinner ideas|pumpkin soup|crockpot pork medallions

Ingredients:

  1. 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
  2. 8 oz fresh mushrooms
  3. 8 scallions
  4. 1/2 tbsp dried thyme*
  5. 1 tbsp garlic powder*
  6. 1 cup chicken broth
  7. 1 cup full-bodied red wine (I used Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvingnon.)
  8. Fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to taste (I use smoked sea salt for an extra pop of flavor.)

*fresh garlic and herbs may be subbed

Instructions:

Slice the pork into half inch thick slices (medallions)

Slice mushrooms

Thinly slice the white/whitish green tops of the scallions…make sure to cut off the very top of the scallion

Note: the meat and the veggies can be pre-sliced and stored in the refrigerator overnight…this can be a timesaver for you as you’re getting your crockpot ready in the morning.

Place pork in the crockpot. Top with dry seasonings, then vegetables. Pour in wine and broth.  Cover and cook on high for 8 hours.

The pork medallions will be fork tender. Serve with the “au jus” spooned over the meat or on the side.

Fall date night dinner party menu with wine pairings|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|acorn squash ideas|wine pairing ideas|fall dinner ideas|pumpkin soup|crockpot pork medallions

Parmesan stuffed acorn squash

Ingredients:

  1. 2 acorn squash
  2. 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  3. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  4. 4 tbps butter
  5. 1 tsp garlic powder
  6. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove all seeds and pulp

Place about an inch and a half of water in a shallow baking dish. Add the squash, flesh side down. Microwave on high for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from microwave, shake off excess water. Place on cookie sheet flesh side up. The meat of the squash should be fork tender*. Place a tablespoon of butter inside each squash. Sprinkle with equal parts garlic powder and add equal parts cream, then cheese. Top with salt and pepper.

*Microwaving drastically cuts cooking time. If you want to bake a raw squash, you’ll need about an hour at 400 degrees Farenheit to cook the squash all the way through.

Broil squash at on high for about 5-10 minutes…time will vary with size of squash.  Filling should be browned and bubbly. Serve with pork medallions and enjoy! Oh, and seriously, people? This is the best squash recipe ever.

Fall date night dinner party menu with wine pairings|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|acorn squash ideas|wine pairing ideas|fall dinner ideas|pumpkin soup|crockpot pork medallions

Woodbridge wines were the perfect compliment to this simple yet impressive menu. Red or white goes equally well with pork. I like serving the Woodbridge Lightly Oaked Chardonnay with the soup or as a pre-dinner cocktail and the Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon with the main course but there’s no hard and fast rule. I like to keep both on hand…some people have preference for red over white and it’s nice to be able to offer a choice. For more creative ideas on how to choose the perfect wine for your meal, check out Woodbrige Wine on Pinterest for some “winespiration.”

If you have a Pinterest board for party ideas or date night ideas, pin this menu for later!

Fall date night dinner party menu with wine pairings|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|acorn squash ideas|wine pairing ideas|fall dinner ideas|pumpkin soup|crockpot pork medallions

 

I really hope you try and enjoy these awesome fall recipes. For more cool ideas on how to enjoy a “Halloween for grownups” check out this Simple Entertaining Social Hub and join the conversation.

I know not everyone is a wine lover but for us, the wine selections made these simple dishes pop. Wines don’t have to be pretentious or expensive to be good. If you’re interested in checking out an in-store wine demonstration on October 30th to learn more about awesome Woodbridge wines, check THIS LIST to find a location near you. If you’re out picking up those last little goodies for Halloween night, why not treat yourself?
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For more great ideas for crockpot meals, follow my Crockpot Goodness Pinterest Board!

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7 Comments

  1. Well my husband would never go for the soup but my parents will. They are visiting next weekend. Hey are vegetarians and they love wine! AND we’re going to have a little cold front so this will easy peasy and perfect. Wish I had a glass of that Chardonnay right now!

    1. Use vegetable broth instead of the chicken and it will be truly vegetarian. It’s really good! I made if for my kids last week, too…and they tore it up!!!

  2. These all sound like wonderful meals worth trying out. I’m not a wine person, but it’s nice to learn about these different kinds of wines to pair with these meal options. Thank you for sharing.

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