We started out with cocktails on our patio (bundled up in fleece jackets) and really enjoyed the Dogfish Head Pumpkin Beer. It has a well-balanced, full bodied flavor with just the right hints of pumpkin and spice. At 7% alcohol and $2.50 a bottle retail it is both more alcoholic and expensive than most pumpkin beers, but well worth it. B is a bit of a beer purist (no flavors) and he loved this one, noting that it did not taste artificial at all.
B had a great dinner in store. Boston Bib lettuce with a quick balsamic vinaigrette dressing and Parmesan shavings to start followed by rosemary (yes, we used our herb garden again) and roquefort stuffed pork chops, complimented with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes (for which our Kitchen Aid mixer is a Godsend).
The recipe, available at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roquefort-Stuffed-Pork-Chops-5668, is described as "an easy autumn recipe great for special occasions." B had made this dish once before last winter and I had loved it and still do. The key is to get a good thick cut (1 inch) bone-in pork chop. You make the filling (a combination of rosemary, homemade bread cubes, onions, shallots, rosemary) ahead of time and chill for at least fifteen minutes (allowing time to enjoy the aforementioned beer). Then you stuff the pork chops, pan sear them in butter for two minutes a side and throw in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
And voila...a hearty, delicious fall meal. I highly recommend it for easy entertaining or even a special weeknight in.