Besides the obvious reasons – the changing of the trees, cooler temperatures, less humidity, pumpkins, cooler temperatures, spiced cider, Halloween, cooler temperatures (you get the idea) – Fall is the start of my most favorite time of the year for many things, but also to cook. I mean, of course, right? It’s time to get some comfort food up IN here. Following are some darn good reasons to roll out the Fall food parade that we’ve tried here at FFA, and highly recommend.
Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp is a great recipe from the awesome Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. The fruit, while interchangeable, in this case, were perfectly sweet apples paired with milder pears – perfect for Fall! I’ve made this multiple times and to date feel this is the best recipe of this type I’ve tried. The topping is wonderfully crisp, the fruit sweet and soft.
Tarte Tatin is similar to the above crisp recipe only in that you can make one with just about any fruit you desire, but the use of apples is a true classic. This is a rustic, French take on an apple pie, and it was surprisingly satisfying considering how few ingredients there are and how easy it is. Simple store-bought puff pastry makes up the crust and the apples are easy to cook down in your pan with a little sugar. I daresay it was just as good as an American apple pie!
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake is a little time consuming to make, but utterly worth it thanks to its exceptional taste. This is a Southern Living recipe we really enjoyed – and were sad to see it gone!
Fresh Apple Cake is easy with an even easier caramel frosting to top it with. When I showed this recipe idea to friends and coworkers, they knew immediately what this cake was like, marking it as a classic. While I’d love to make it again, I will try some substitutions (apple sauce for the oil, etc.). IT’s a great starting off point, though, and who doesn’t love apples in their cake this time of year?
I still can’t believe I managed to make this Pumpkin Spice Cake by myself – in case you’ve never read a cake post on here, making cake scares me a little. This two-layer baby is somewhat like a carrot cake in texture thanks to shredded coconut, but even better for all that pumpkin deliciousness in it. The cream cheese frosting was amazing. Loooooved it!
Pumpkin-Filled Cream Puffs might look difficult to make cuz they’re so small and pretty and seemingly delicate, but these little beauts are actually very easy! They’re a great lighter-in-texture dessert for following a heavier meal. Drizzle ‘em with the Maple-Caramel Sauce for a perfect finish.
If it’s still a little hot where you are, and likely to be into the Fall, this Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt is a great way to get your pumpkin in! Make it to taste, sweetening it as much as or little as you prefer.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. You’re welcome! No, seriously, you’re welcome. Now go make them.
Pumpkin in your chili? Yep – it works! This Pumpkin-and-Pork Chili was a really fun alternative to your usual chili. Spicy-good, too!
Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato and Garlic Soup is a smooth, pureed soup full of fabulous flavor thanks to roasting the ingredients first. I honestly wasn’t sure if the texture would do it for me or not, but once tasted, I was in doubt no longer. This is the perfect Fall soup.
Easy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons came from one of my Ina Garten cookbooks, and it’s a super easy way to enjoy a more traditional soup. Using a grilled cheese sandwich as croutons in the soup is a great way to change it all up. Ina uses orzo pasta in her version, which thickens the soup nicely.
This is my family’s most favorite homemade soup – Swiss Chard, White Bean & Sausage Soup. It’s an adaptation of an Italian classic, where escarole is usually used. Since I can barely ever find those greens, I began using Swiss chard instead and we love it for its hardier texture. Spinach or kale can also be used. It takes next to no time to make and if you can grill your Italian sausage prior, it adds lots of extra flavor to the soup.
I’d list every soup on this site if I could, but before I stop, this one is definitely worth mentioning. I made this Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Soup several times last year, some being for when I was sick. If you like Asian and especially Thai flavors, this is the soup for you. It’s a fantastic riff on chicken noodle soup, but it’s also great served over rice.
I know, I know – some of you just don’t want to hear about that holiday riddled with jingle bells yet, but that’s why we have great holidays in the Fall like Halloween and Thanksgiving! Si blogging partner and I loved making these Ghost & Pumpkin Cake Pops, but yeah, they’re super time involved. You need to plan for a day to make these, preferably with your cake made the day before. They are a lot of fun to make once you get the hang of them, and then, typically, they are devoured in enthusiastic seconds when folks snatch them up. Ah, the joys of cooking!
On the flip side of the time factor, these Witches’ Brooms were super easy, quick to make and were a huge hit last year. It doesn’t hurt that they, too, are the cutest things ever.
Okay, moving on to Thanksgiving. The Feast of Yum. This Creamed Corn Gratin with Fried Onions and Bacon was such a huge hit, and we’ve gotten tons of positive feedback from others who’ve tried it, too. It’s perfect for this somewhat hectic family meal time because you can make most of it ahead of time. Shaaawing!
If you or anyone in your family is a fan of mushrooms, these simple-to-make Roasted Mushrooms are the friggin’ bomb, and I kid you not even a tiny bit. You need to double the recipe for something like Thanksgiving, though. They will disappear fast!
Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions & Baby Swiss is another fantastic Smitten Kitchen Cookbook recipe, and it got the big thumbs up when I made it for Thanksgiving last year. It’s a terrific, healthier twist on the holiday’s more traditional rice casseroles. It’s also another one you could make somewhat ahead and pop in the oven the day you need it.
Not that most (OK – all) of these recipes aren’t already in the comfort category, but some just deserve that distinction outright. When the Southern U.S. heat finally relents enough to actually enjoy baking and standing over a hot stove, you get to enjoy recipes like these:
Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding is one of my most favorite desserts. I remember my mom used to make stuff like this when Sis Blogging Partner and I were little, and, typically, I wanted nothing to do with it. Thank goodness our taste buds mature as we do!
While these are certainly using seasonal summery ingredients, you could get away with using frozen blueberries and raspberries in these Blueberry Muffin Cookies. What in the ever-lasting-heck could be better than a cookie that tastes like the best part of a muffin? The added bonus? A streusel top!
Bacon, Cheddar & Chive Scones are the ultimately comforting way to enjoy your morning or brunch. These were so perfect I can almost taste them still.
These Chocolate-Caramel Crispy Treats are a big step up from the traditional marshmallow plain ones from childhood. Not only does biting into one make you remember them as a kid, it makes the adult side of you, possibly, moan just a little in bliss.
And that, folks is merely the nutshell version of why we are so ready for Fall! What are your reasons for being ready for Fall?