By Natalie Reehl
Fall chills are quickly cured with comforting, rich dishes and warm frothy drinks. Whether enjoying the best of autumn includes throwing on a sweater or finding a great movie to curl up with, we’ll help you prepare to get cozy with some of our favorite fall flavors so you can treat yourself all season long!
Apple Muffins and a Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha
One of our favorite fall activities is going apple picking at an orchard with friends, so grab a barrel of apples, bring them home, and use the fruits of your labor to create some scrumptious spiced apple muffins. They’ll taste great with your typical morning cup of coffee, or with our fall drink of choice-a salted caramel mocha. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/apple-muffins-recipe.html
Salted Caramel Mocha: http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2011/10/12/homemade-salted-caramel-mocha/
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
Nothing beats a hot bowl of soup on a cold autumn night, especially when it’s homemade butternut squash soup with maple-roasted chickpeas on top! Filled with cinnamon, nutmeg and a surprise shock of green apple, this soup is sure to be worth the six hours of slow cooking. The sweet crunch of candied chickpeas accents the creamy soup perfectly and we promise it tastes all the better if you’re eating it in bed (nestled between flannel sheets of course). http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/slow-cooker-butternut-squash-soup-with-maple-roasted-chickpeas/
Sparkling Apple Cider Punch
What’s the number one drink for fall? You guessed it: apple cider. Warm or cold, it’s the best-tasting beverage that the ripe apple harvest brings in. Many pumpkin farms offer it, and some farms even have their own special brew. You can always buy it in grocery stores if you don’t feel like spending a ton on making juice.
To spice it up a little add sparkling water (if it doesn’t come sparkling), add some orange and cranberry juice, and then to top it off a little bit of vodka. Rum is also a good option, and if the crowd you’re serving to is under 21 then forget the alcohol and add sliced oranges and ice to keep up the fancy appeal. It’s a great recipe for girl’s night or just for a night in with the hubby, or even for a Tuesday. We don’t judge. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nancy-fuller/sparkling-apple-cider-punch.html
Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
As if pecan pie wasn’t good enough on its own, adding sweet potato into the mix makes it all the richer, thicker and more delicious. Filled with brown sugar, two whole sweet potatoes and cooked to tender consistency, this pie will feel more like dinner and dessert combined than just one or the other. Take it to the next level by adding a caramelized pecan topping- just mix pecans, brown sugar, and butter together and bake until bubbling. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sweet-Potato-Pecan-Pie/Detail.aspx?evt19=1
Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili
Warm up instantly with this spicy chili-made with no meat so vegetarians, dig in! With just beans, tomatoes, some spices and some sour cream you can make a pot in the slow cooker that will last a week, and will get more flavorful as it simmers. Add cheese on top or even some bacon if you meat eaters can’t resist, and enjoy the spicy aroma that will inevitably fill your kitchen. The best part? It’s low in calories, so this is one meal you won’t have to sweat about. It’s the four Reese’s Pumpkins you eat after that should cause some worry. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/bean-vegetarian-chili-50400000124285/
Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes
Yep, that’s right, we’ve saved one of our most decadent treats for last. Top off a day of fall indulgence with some yummy spiced apple cider donut holes- complete with cinnamon sugar topcoat. Most farmers’ markets offer them this time of year, but why not push up your sleeves and do the dirty work yourself? Eat them in the morning for breakfast, or pack them in your purse for a mid-day pick-me-up. These tasty donut holes are for eating one to seven at a time, and they freeze well too-but we all know they won’t last long enough for that. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/07/apple-cider-donuts/
If you’re not cutting carbs or counting calories to slide into a slinky Halloween costume, you owe it to yourself to treat yourself this month. Try out a few of our favorite recipes and let us know how deliciously your dishes turned out!