Recipe for a Fantastic Fall

As the weather gets cooler and the leaves start to turn, you know that Autumn is here. I absolutely love the clothing, food, drinks and atmosphere that arrive with the change of season. They never fail to make me feel cozy and festive.

The days may be getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pack tons of fall fun into them! We have lots of Autumn traditions that my family and friends and I enjoy and I hope you’ll try them out.

A trip to the pumpkin patch to find either the perfect pumpkin or maybe a funky, odd-shaped gourd is delightful. Walking through the field, with your eyes peeled, looking for the orange-est, round-est beauty to be found is something the whole family can enjoy. Then you can take them home and decorate them.

Remember, decorating pumpkins doesn’t mean you have to carve them. If little ones want to be involved, painting pumpkins is a great idea, although it is a little messy. You can also decorate them with glitter, gems, thumbtacks, puffy paint, ribbons, leaves and sticks. You can even dress them up as your favorite character!

painted-pumpkins

Go apple picking for another fall-festive activity. Going to an orchard to pick your own fresh fall treat can be all day trip – bring a picnic lunch and a football to toss around. The apples fresh from the tree are far tastier than any you can find in a store (and taste great in a pie or turned into cider or applesauce).

picking-apple

Bake seasonal goods – some flavors just taste like fall! The crisp sweetness of apples, the warm taste of pumpkin and a sprinkle of cinnamon on whatever the treat is, always remind me of fall. Here are a couple delicious recipes to try when the weather is turning colder:

Chai Tea Latte
This hot, comforting, slightly spicy drink serves 4.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. water
  2. 2 tea bags
  3. 1 cinnamon stick
  4. 1 whole clove
  5. 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  6. 2 1/2 c. milk
  7. 1/3 c. sugar
  8. whipped cream
  9. ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a kettle, place water, tea bags, cinnamon stick, clove and ground ginger.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
  3. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Add milk and bring back to a gentle boil for 1 minute.
  5. Strain and discard tea bags, cinnamon stick and clove.
  6. Stir in sugar.
  7. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/
App

Apple Cake with Secret Ingredients
You won't believe what's in this moist, oh-so-yummy apple cake! (Shhh - don't tell the children!)
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. flour
  2. 16 oz. sauerkraut, rinsed well and squeezed dry, chopped finely
  3. 2 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1 green apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
  5. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  6. 1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
  7. 1 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1 tsp. salt
  9. 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  10. 1 c. sugar
  11. 1/2 c. brown sugar
  12. 4 eggs
  13. 1 c. vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. 16 oz. cream cheese
  2. 1 c. confectioner's sugar
  3. 3 1/2 T. heavy cream
  4. 2 T. grated orange rind
  5. 1 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix sugars together; whisk in eggs and then oil until blended.
  4. Stir in sauerkraut, apple and nuts.
  5. Add flour mixture and stir until moistened.
  6. Spoon into greased and floured 9"x13" pan.
  7. Bake about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. When cool, spread with cream cheese icing.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/
This time of year there are dozens of fall festivals – they often include corn mazes, pumpkin picking and a hay bale maze. Spend an hour or an afternoon – just enjoy the nice fall weather before the snow falls.

alli-and-brandon-with-cat

At a local fall festival with my brother, Brandon, about 7 years ago. We found a black cat!