Foods for Fall

Autumn Insp button

Welcome to Autumn Inspiration Week! I mentioned yesterday we’ll be having a week long celebration during this change of the seasons. As the hot summer days come to an end, I find myself in the kitchen having a wonderful time whipping up hot and tasty dishes we’ve put on the back burner for several months. I do enjoy the fresh flavors of veggies straight from the garden, but these crowd-pleasing recipes really hit the spot as cooler weather arrives.

Pumpkin Cheeseball

My daughter crafted this Autumn-themed cheese ball for me to take to my Ladies Bible Study last week. (We found the inspiration for this at Home is Where the Boat Is.)

cheese ball pumpkin / Apron Strings & other things

We used our favorite basic recipe for the cheeseball (1 brick cream cheese, 1 jar Kraft soft cheese, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese) and seasoned it with a couple tablespoons of Southwest Ranch seasoning. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 or more hours. Then place cheese ball on parchment or waxed paper, add strips of cheese to outline pumpkin-like divisions, poke in 3 pretzel sticks (or a pretzel rod) for the stem, add a string from a celery stalk (it curls up perfectly when you strip it down the stalk), garnish with leaf shaped cookies (we used our own sugar cookie recipe, cookie cuttersΒ  and painted watercolor-style with cake colors) or crackers and serve!

Chili with Peanut Butter Bread

There’s nothing better than the first pot of chili once the weather turns cool. The other night temperatures dipped down to 41 degrees – it was unanimous –Β  put on a pot of chili!

Chili with peanut butter bread / Apron Strings & other things

I use my stand-by “dump-and-stir” method for this recipe. Brown 1-2 lbs ground meat (beef, venison, turkey, etc) with 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped green pepper. Drain if needed. Add 2 quarts tomato sauce, 1 15-oz can each black beans (drained), pinto beans, kidney beans, chili beans or any combination you have on hand. Season to taste (2 packets chili seasoning or your own preferred seasonings such as chili powder, garlic salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper).Β  Bring to bubbling and simmer at least an hour. The longer the better – stir often. Or fill the crock pot and cook on low 6 hours. Serve with fixins’ like grated cheese, corn chips, sour cream, chopped onion, and of course peanut butter bread (this takes me back to school lunches when I was a kid in grammar school!)

Donut Hole Acorns

My youngest daughter created these tasty treats for dessert the other day. We were inspired by this post at gracious rain, where you can get a step by step tutorial so you can make them for your hungry crew.

Acorn Donut Holes / Apron Strings & other things

The ingredients we used were: store-bought donut holes, chocolate chips (melted in a double boiler), chocolate jimmies and chopped nuts, pretzel sticks. Easy Peasy and Tasty Too!

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies and Hot Spiced Tea

Oh, my, I do not even need to tell you how scrumptious these two Fall favorites are. As soon as there is a chill in the air, the children are begging for Hot Spiced Tea. And Mom’s favorite cookie this time of year is this one with all it’s spicy goodness melting in her mouth.

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies with Hot Spiced Tea : Apron Strings & other things

Aunt Cindy’s Hot Spiced Tea

The recipe for this is based on one my baby sister gave me several years ago, along with a jarful all mixed. We were hooked and have been mixing up our own version ever since. Mix together:

  • 1 1/2 c. instant tea
  • 1 c. tang mix (I’ve tried off brands, they are ok but not nearly as good)
  • 1 c. lemonade mix
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Store in tightly sealed container. Use 2 heaping tsp. per cup of hot water. [I triple (or more) this recipe]

Serving in special mugs like these makes it taste even better! (yes, that’s an affiliate link)

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookie Recipe

  • Cream 1/4 c. butter, 1/2 c. shortening, 1 c. brown sugar.
  • Add 1/4 c. molasses, beat well.
  • Add 1 egg, beat til fluffy.
  • Add 1 c. white flour, 2 1/4 c. wheat flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves. 1/4 tsp salt. Mix thoroughly.
  • Shape into 1 inch balls or use small cookie scoop, roll in sugar if desired, place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake in 375 degree oven for 7 minutes, just until edges begin to brown. [I use a large cookie scoop and bake 12 minutes.]


What are you cooking up these cool and crispy days? Do you have a favorite food of the season or a favorite comfort food?

Be sure to check out the 30 other bloggers from Inspired Bloggers Network who are sharing their Inspired Autumn with you. You are sure to find inspiration when it comes to books and fall cooking and crafts for the season, plus a whole lot more!

Come on back tomorrow for more Inspiring Autumn ideas. A list of all my posts in this series can be found HERE.






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  1. Oooo…I love autumn cooking…and you have made me seriously hungry this morning!
    Those little acorns are beyond cute. I think I will try making them for my grands this weekend. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • I’m hungry all the time these days, Cheryl. I hope you get to spend time in the kitchen this week. Enjoy sweet times with the grands. I know they’ll love making these little acorn treats.

  2. These all look so good, and I love the fall theme of the presentation. My kids would devour that entire cheese ball, and the donut holes wouldn’t last long around here, either. I’m pinning all of them! πŸ™‚

    • Hello Anne πŸ™‚ The cheese ball did not last long. We’ll be making another (or two) very soon. I had to ration out the little acorns. With a large family, one little box didn’t go very far. Thanks for stopping by. It’s going to be a fun week.

  3. My mouth is watering … and it’s still 100 degrees here.

    Thanks for joining the momma melody. We would love to have you join us again. Anything mom, from vacation pics, encouraging words, to recipes. I jot some notes on Mondays, but it’s a come whenever you can kind of party. Just moms. Sharing our notes. Creating a melody.

    Be blessed bunches,

    • oh, Sarah, all that heat! We’ll still have some warm days, but the evenings are cooling down nicely. I hope you get some relief soon. I always enjoy stopping in for Momma Melody. I’ll be seeing you soon πŸ™‚

  4. Your cookies sounded so good and I was in the mood to bake that I whiped them up in the kitchen aid while our breakfast baked. They are wonderful cookies, thanks for sharing this tasty recipie with all of us. *smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

    • Wow! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. God’s timing is perfect isn’t it? You have made my day, knowing that you were blessed and inspired by what you found here. A little tip – I baked up half the dough and formed the rest into a log, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and froze for later. It makes it easy to bake up a quick treat to serve company and nice to have something my daughters can bake up on their own.

  5. They all sound so yummy! The acorns are super cute. What a great idea. I can’t wait to make them!

  6. i love edible food crafting and yours are wonderful! thanks so much for linking up to Kids in the Kitchen! πŸ™‚

    • It’s a wonderful thing to have permission to play with your food before you eat it πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your sweet comment – looking forward to trying some of the ideas from your kitchen link party. Thanks for hosting!

  7. Looks Delish! Thanks so much for stopping by the Pinterest party! Happy autumn to you πŸ™‚

  8. thank you! these look so yummy!

  9. Very nice. I’m featuring you this week also on the new linky! PINNING. Your friend, Linda

  10. I want to try all of these! What great things to make for fall.

    Thank you for coming to the Country Fair Blog Party! We are so happy to have you.
    Laurie – Country Link

  11. I LOVE fall, and I LOVE all these foods. Just reading the list makes me happy. πŸ™‚ And by the way, I love your tagline…with one HS freshman and one college freshman in my house, I am on the “learning to let them go” fast track! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for hosting Encouraging Hearts & Home!

    • this time of year makes me happy, too, Elizabeth πŸ˜€
      Sounds like we have things in common when it comes to letting our kids go – I’m not sure I’ll ever quite get used to letting them go, I’m just trying to learn how to do it more gracefully! Praying all goes well for you and yours πŸ˜‰

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