The Best Things We Ate, Cooked & Drank This Week: Pumpkin Beer, Swedish Meatballs & More

09/26/2014 at 04:30 PM ET

Fennel Salad
Courtesy Kristin Appenbrink

We love to eat around here (if you follow us on Instagram, you know this to be true), and we love sharing photos of what we’re tasting even more. From crab feasts to pumpkin beer, here are the most delicious things we devoured this week.

CELERY AND FENNEL SALAD

“I got a new mandoline this week, and needed a good recipe to test it out. This fennel salad was the perfect test. I love the licorice-like flavor of fennel, and paired with parsley and pine nuts this recipe was a winner.” —Kristin Appenbrink, PEOPLE.com contributing editor, @kristinapp

Coconut Cupcakes
Courtesy Ana Calderone

COCONUT CAKE CUPCAKES

“I wanted to create a really original cake for a friend’s bridal shower last weekend so, with a little help from Pinterest, I created this dress design made out of cupcakes. I used my favorite vanilla coconut cupcake recipe (from none other than the Ina Garten) and used a 2D icing tip to decorate the tops with a rose design. I changed up the icing color in the middle to create a belt and voila! It was beautiful and delicious, if I do say so myself.” —Ana Calderone, PEOPLE editorial assistant, @ana_calderone

Fennel Salad
Courtesy Kate Hogan

CRABS WITH OLD BAY

“To my family, nothing says ‘summer’ like a weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for boardwalk games, R&R — and crabs! We grabbed these at a local fave, Claws, over Labor Day weekend (squeezed them in just before the end of the season) and cracked into them with extra Old Bay seasoning and fresh corn on the cob on the side, plus a delicious local wheat beer to wash them all down. I must admit that on my first trip to Rehoboth in 2009 a woman at the table next to ours offered me a tutorial because I was quite obviously a novice, but these days I find it pretty easy to open them up and get going with that wooden mallet (sorry, little guys — you’re just too yummy!).” —Kate Hogan, PEOPLE features editor, @misskph

Pretzel
Courtesy Sonal Dutt

HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS

“Ladies and gentlemen, I made my first soft pretzel from scratch. And, spoiler alert: It was really good! After researching countless recipes and watching more dough-twisting how-to videos than I care to admit, I finally picked this recipe from Food Network chef Alton Brown. If anyone was going to take me to the pretzel holy land, it was going to be him. I followed his instructions to the letter: mixing, resting, boiling, baking and shaping the dough just as Alton did. (Truth telling time: Some of my pretzels turned out looking like mangled chew toys, but a few — like the one shown here — actually turned out quite pretty.) Now if I can only muster up the enthusiasm to make my own mustard.” —Sonal Dutt, PEOPLE senior food & lifestyle editor, @sonal_dutt

Pumkin Beer
Courtesy Michelle Ward

PUMPKIN BEER WITH CINNAMON & SUGAR RIM

“This week I decided to try my first pumpkin item of the season, and naturally I turned to beer. I admit, I’ve never really been into fall’s “it” flavor but I loved UFO’s Pumpkin Ale! Maybe it was because I was enjoying it on a warm Sunday at one of my favorite spots, Bostwick’s Chowder House in East Hampton, NY, or maybe it was the cinnamon and sugar rim that gave it the perfect sweet finish. Whatever the case, the sublet pumpkin flavoring was absolutely delicious and I’m definitely making it my drink of the season.” —Michelle Ward, PEOPLE staff food & lifestyle writer

Fennel Salad
Courtesy Mark Marino

SWEDISH MEATBALLS — IN SWEDEN!

“Recently I traveled to Sweden, with a list of restaurants I couldn’t wait to try. During my four days there, I ate my weight in chicken, cheese and chanterelle mushrooms (not to mention Swedish candy). But it wasn’t until the day before I left that I realized I hadn’t had Swedish meatballs — in Sweden or ever in my life. That all changed when I stumbled upon Meatballs for the People in the Södermalm neighborhood. I’m people and I wanted meatballs, so I went inside. The lunch special that day was pork meatballs in a mushroom sauce with roasted potatoes and a side of lingonberries. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but everything was delicious. The meatballs and sauce actually reminded me a bit of Italian sausage, and the potatoes were hearty and flavorful. The lingonberries were a nice little sweet-tart accompaniment that almost felt like dessert. Almost. I still went and bought more Swedish candy afterward.” —Mark Marino, PEOPLE.com deputy editor

Yogurt
Courtesy Morgan Gibson

SIGGI’S PUMPKIN & SPICE 2% YOGURT

“In addition to creating our definitive list of all things pumpkin spice, I had the lovely task of tasting all those flavored (naturally or otherwise) foods. While some were … not awesome, Siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice 2% Yogurt is seriously one of my favorite foods. It’s a tad different than most others in the dairy aisle: it’s not very sweet and it’s strained Icelandic style, which makes it super thick and creamy. I love topping it with crushed granola for breakfast. So — thanks to the pumpkin spice craze and our desire to food out there, no matter how crazy — I now have one of my new favorite snacks.” —Morgan Gibson, PEOPLE associate food & lifestyle editor, @morgangibson

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