It’s fall which means it’s also time to switch out your spice rack and get cracking on that pumpkin and gingerbread. Don’t go along with Chips Ahoy cookies and peanut butter sandwiches because you’re too lazy to change it up. Here are some fun dishes to make that will keep your creative juices flowing and impress your family!
1. Pumpkin Pie
An absolute classic, a good pumpkin pie will knock the summer socks right off of any visitor. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy above all else, don’t be afraid to mess around and experiment with the ingredients and the flavors. Try making your own pie crust, or using fresh pumpkin. The creamy texture might get old on a few weathered souls, so adding sesame seeds, bread crumbs, or other crunchy additions to the mix can be a way to spice things up.
2. Sweet Potato Casserole
My mom has been making this for us since we were little kids and let me tell you, that sweet potato casserole does NOT disappoint. Perfect for dinner, including a potential dish at Thanksgiving meal, sweet potato casserole is a delicious and unique treat that a disappointingly high number of people have never tried. Whether or not you’re privy to potatoes, sweet potatoes have a good flavor for a vegetable, and they go especially good when loaded up with butter and brown sugar.
If you’re feeling particularly froggy, consider adding in more spices or leaving toppings out for people to choose from, such as paprika, genuine syrup (the thick and sweet taste will feel like heaven alongside the soft potatoes), and honey. If they like sweet things but they want to feel as though they’re not just guzzling down pie or cake, this is the direction for your dishes to turn.
3. Pecan Pie
More common than pumpkin pie in the south, pecan pie tends to be sweeter and also have more natural texture. You’ll find that serving this to older or middle-aged adults will turn you into a crowd-pleaser and to be wary and weary of the future requests that are sure to be pouring in. This one works well with whipped cream, and perhaps some ginger and nutmeg if you prefer spicier flavors. It goes well with chocolate as well, so chocolate chip melt-ins or chocolate syrup on top can make this store-bought or homemade pie seem like a true culinary confection.
Your family isn’t starving, your fort isn’t under siege, but a good chili won’t actually last the winter. However, it might stave the troops off enough for you or whoever usually cooks to make meal plans for the better part of the week with all the leftovers your clan is bound to be eating. Get some crackers for people to enjoy on hand, and make and freeze a few batches of this stuff, and voila. No excuses that there’s nothing to eat in this house tonight.
Similar to chili, a good stew will keep everyone off of your back while you’re working on other things, and yet still taste completely delicious. Beef stew has the potential to be healthy and filling and should serve a variety of family and friends as long as they’re meat-lovers who don’t have a large number of allergies. The portions of these dishes are easy to adjust and measure once you’ve made them a couple of times, so nobody should be at risk of ever running hungry. It’s the fall, a time of consuming delicious and rich nutrition for you to use come your ‘hibernation’ during the winter, so take some time to enjoy a few heavier meals as the chill begins to set in.