By Jaime Jo Wright, Crosswalk.com
Fall brings with it an intrinsic need to hibernate, and that means we need cozy food that compliments the aesthetics of a chilly, crisp day. Right? Maybe that's a little extreme, but for many of us, food truly does help to set the atmosphere. For some reason, we often gravitate toward warm baked goods, soothing soups, and more carb-related casseroles. But whatever suits your palette, the point remains: some good fall recipes can be just the recipe to usher in the crisp nights, the colorful leaves, and the preparations for the upcoming winter.
We have to begin with a favorite!
1. Apple Cider Doughnuts
It is the season for all things apple, and with the onslaught of pumpkin spice coming from us at every angle, it's only fair we put apple doughnuts front and center. If you haven't had a chance to try an apple cider doughnut, you are truly missing out! You can either try this recipe on your own, or if you're lucky enough to have an orchard nearby, call them and see if they bake and sell them there!
As the "Bon Appetit" site states:
"These sugared doughnuts are craggy and crunchy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside. Apple butter (not sauce!) is key to their texture and flavor; look for it alongside jams and jellies in the supermarket, or at farmers' markets, or make your own."
2. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Now that we've given apples their due, we must move on, and yes, pumpkin is just a given, considering the time of year. For those of you who aren't typical squash fans, pumpkin tends to slide into the acceptable category when it's coerced into a baked good with cinnamons and nutmegs and all the other delicious spices and ingredients.
And what is better than a whoopie pie? With the pumpkin-y outside and the creamy inside, it's essentially a sandwich! You could eat these for lunch and be good to go! Or maybe not, but still. Take a bite out of one of these, and all your senses of fall will truly come alive!
3. Cheeseburger Soup
Moving away from baked temptations for a moment, let's not forget that soup season is truly here! Cheeseburger soup is a winner, and the whole family can enjoy this one on a cool fall evening when you want something easy to simmer in the crock pot throughout the day. Cheesy but not overly so, cheeseburger soup gives you the perfect blend of beef and cheese, a little bit of vegetable, and a lotta bit of mmm—mmm, so good! Pair it with a dinner roll or even oyster crackers, and you've got a winner! Plus, soup freezes well, so if you can't eat it all up, individually package it and pop it in the freezer for later!
4. Instant Pot Beef Stew
Let's not discount the traditional beef stew but recognize the benefits of the Instant Pots in our lives! Has any appliance made our life easier since the invention of the Instant Pot? Now we can whip up some beef stew on a Saturday afternoon and still eat its deliciousness for dinner! And, as the website claims:
"This one-pot meal brings warmth to your heart, flavors to your taste buds, and comfort to your soul. The impressive meal takes about 45 minutes to cook, and you can also use any vegetables of your choice. Herbs and condiments include thyme, oregano, garlic, and bay leaves. Add a delicious sauce of your choice and balsamic vinegar for the best of flavors."
Is your mouth watering yet?
5. Pumpkin Cheesecake
It's a return to pumpkin! You knew that was inevitable, didn't you? We can't have just one pumpkin recipe to choose from, and if whoopie pies aren't your thing, cheesecake just might be! And please note the website it's from is called "comfortable food." That in itself is a win-win.
"Fall in love with this exquisite pumpkin cheesecake that combines the goodness of the pumpkin pie filling and the creaminess of the cheesecake filling. This easy pumpkin cheesecake recipe is the perfect showstopper to WOW your guests with delicious flavors and textures that feel like a touch of heaven with every bite!"
6. Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
Raise your hand if this recipe just bumped up to the top of the list of ones to make this season. Apples? Cinnamon? Cinnamon rolls? Gooey sticky goodness and frosting? Yes, please. Not to mention, you can justify it for breakfast and dessert. It's just a matter of emphasizing the "cinnamon roll" or the "apple pie." So don't hesitate and take their word for it:
"This Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie recipe is a cozy and delightful treat. Made with pantry staples, it's a breeze to whip up and a perfect dessert for any occasion. Whether it's a holiday gathering, a family dinner, or a casual get-together with friends, this pie, with its luscious apple filling and a twist of cinnamon roll crust, is bound to steal the show."
7. Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
Who else needs some good ol' potatoes to make your dinner complete? Have you ever tried cheesy hashbrown casserole? This is one of many recipes available for this delectable and not diet-friendly, carb-coma-inducing hibernation must-have! What other adjectives can be used to describe cheese and potatoes? Not sure, but feel free to try this recipe and come up with your own list as you smile your way through food heaven.
8. Chicken Nachos
One can only assume, with "Pioneer Woman" attributed to this recipe, that it will be a great one! And who can say "no" to chicken nachos? Not even your kids. Chicken nachos can feel more daunting when you think of cooking and shredding the chicken, but this recipe makes it easy. And it doesn't call for crazy ingredients that make it difficult to make!
Just read through the ingredients list and take a peek at the picture, and you will find yourself salivating for nachos, and before you know it, you'll have a plate full! Guaranteed!
9. Slow Cooker Potato Soup
Nothing screams fall like potato soup, and this recipe can literally stew all day and keep the house smelling delightful. Again, brought to you by the Pioneer Woman, you can only imagine what a little crumbled and crispy bacon topping this bowl of goodness would do. A dollop of sour cream, some shredded cheddar cheese, and don't forget some hot apple cider to sip when you're all done!
Potato soup is filling, something the entire family can enjoy, and it goes a long way! Sure, that's probably because of all the carbs, but then again, when bears hibernate, they don't count the calories. So why should we?
10. Cinna-bun Cake in the Oven
Wrapping up the list is one of the best coffee cakes around and the perfect side to a hot cup of chai! Try this Cinna-bun cake and enjoy the gooey goodness. You can even modify it and make it gluten-free if you need to, so that this way, everyone can partake in the goodness!
Fall is the perfect time to make your taste buds happy as we bring in all the special flavors we attribute to this time of year. And just think! In a little while, we can follow these recipes up with pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce, turkey, and other such Thanksgiving deliciousness!
It's that time of year, you all! Time for good, heartwarming, and cozy food. Go get it!
Jaime Jo Wright is an ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. Her novel “The House on Foster Hill” won the prestigious Christy Award and she continues to publish Gothic thrillers for the inspirational market. Jaime Jo resides in the woods of Wisconsin, lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimewrightbooks.com and at her podcast madlitmusings.com where she discusses the deeper issues of story and faith with fellow authors.