Scott: This is a deep fried, crunchy miracle perched atop a pickle pedestal. When I bit into it I swear I heard a harp playing in the distance. Maybe it was a banjo. The potato bun muffled my inner dialogue. Either way, true story.

Paula: A truly great chicken sandwich takes you to your happy place, inspiring soundtracks and a montage of joyful visions. Creating layers of flavor elevates this one above the rest. First, a seasoned pickle juice and buttermilk brine infuse the chicken with a tangy flavor. Second, the flour dredge is considerably kicked up with Chica Licka Bam Bam, our Cajun-style spice blend (hence the Bam Bam). Finally, a sticky, hot honey drizzle crowns the crispy chicken with an addictive sweet-and-fiery finish (feel free to adjust the cayenne to your heat preference, or leave it out entirely).

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If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I blame a traumatic childhood experience that involved the drab, mushy, and overcooked variety. If you’re already a fan, you know sprouts are at their best when they’re nicely browned and crisp. Which takes us to the grill: A quick spin over blistering coals provides charred and smoky flavors that mellow the cruciferous bitterness, make seasonings pop, and a mix of tender and crunchy textures.

As a bonus, the outdoor cook liberates oven space for, say, parade of holiday casseroles. First, you blanch the sprouts in boiling salted water (shocking them in ice water, after, will retain their bright green color). Next, they’re tossed in a seasoned oil made with your Fire & Smoke Society blend. Last night I used Fish Monger, because I knew its base of Mediterranean herbs would be delicious with the sprouts, but Potato Slayer or The Usual would also be excellent choices.

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The first time I heard this dish described, during a radio interview with Ruth Reichl (former editor of Gourmet and food critic for The New York Times), I found it so compelling I was ready to drive to the nearest pumpkin patch. (Ruth has a gift for making food sound really, really good.) Imagine, a small pumpkin as a gently yielding cooking vessel for bread, cheese, chicken broth, and herbs! Even though I couldn’t entirely imagine how the dish would taste, I knew it would be spectacular to behold. Well, years flew by and I forgot about pumpkin dreams, until all things Halloween settled in a few weeks ago. This time it was game on: I knew a cheese-stuffed pumpkin would roast beautifully on the grill, and that a fragrant charcoal fire would make it even more delicious.

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You might think of The Marigold as a margarita’s sultry, sophisticated cousin. The drink gets its smoky nuance from mezcal, the smoky spirit made from oven-roasted agave. For this cocktail, I love using Gem and Bolt mezcal made with Damiana, a Mexican herb believed to have aphrodisiac qualities. (Is there a better time to embrace such magic?) A touch of honeysuckle liqueur provides sweetness and a floral perfume that’s balanced by grapefruit bitters and bright, fresh citrus juices. From it’s soft peachy hue to a smoky, spicy rim, this drink is a study in contrasts that smooth out each other's edges--a helpful thing to have these days.

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