As I was reading up on the October holidays, I came across a list of dates on this website, and October 12th caught my attention.
A fun fact: October 12th is Cookbook Launch Day, where schools, churches, and other clubs ask members to donate a recipe to compile a community-wide cookbook.
Pondering why this grabbed my attention, I thought back to earlier in the week when I was discussing meal time with a group of mom friends. We lamented that we always make the same dishes based on what our kids will eat and have fallen into a bit of a rut as far as new ideas. Also, of course, is the lack of time and interest to prepare meals with busy schedules where we are frequently running out the door or rushing in late in the evening with no plan for dinner.
Thinking this through reminded me of how my grandmothers used to write down recipes and keep them in a book or binder, and how special and nostalgic it is to see their handwriting and recall fond memories of them based on their cooking and memories of our meals together. This inspired me to create a family book of recipes that we all enjoy organized by seasons.
Having this in mind, I decided to get together with family and our neighborhood community, which is comprised of a lot of families with young children, and compile a recipe book that can be shared with everyone.
Since it is early fall and Halloween is fast approaching, I decided to start with fall-themed recipes or recipes I typically make as the weather turns colder and throw in some fun Halloween snacks and treats to boost the mood and prepare for the holiday.
1. Butternut Squash Soup: This has always been a comforting favorite of mine in the fall season, and my kids like it because it is a little sweet. I like to serve with warm, crusty bread and sometimes rice to make it more of a hearty meal. Here is the recipe I use.
2. Pumpkin Dishes: I use Martha Stewart’s recipes often and find these various pumpkin recipes to be creative and great for families to enjoy together. Check out the Roasted Pumpkin with Shallots and Sage recipe.
3. Cider-Roasted Pork Tenderloins: This is a great pork recipe and great for fall with the cider element.
4. Beef Stew: Another great fall and comforting food. I love soups and stews in the fall and winter.
5. Buttermilk Cornbread: This is more of a side dish but goes so well with soups or any fall-themed dish. I also love to eat at breakfast time.
6. Baked Mac n Cheese: This is a family favorite and loved by all. We frequently make this dish in the fall and winter months and serve it on its own or as a side with a meat dish.
7. White Bean Chicken Chili: This is a favorite of mine with the chilis and peppers and a great alternative to traditional chili recipes.
8. One-Pot Braised Chicken with Kale and White Beans: It may be tough to convince the kids to eat the kale, but they love the crispy chicken with another side of vegetables, so this recipe works for us.
Halloween Snacks and Treats
1. Pumpkin Rice Krispies: This is my daughters’ favorite, and it’s fun to make together. I sometimes substitute a colored candy for the stem.
2. Carmel Apple Nachos: This is another sweet treat we make in the fall season, and it’s a great use of apples after bringing bags home from the apple picking.
3. Pumpkin Deviled Eggs: A savory snack and a great side dish or appetizer.
4. Mummy Pretzels: These are fun to make and a little more involved with the preparation but great to make for a party or a group of friends at Halloween as they are cute and festive.
5. Apple Peanut Butter Teeth: These are fun and healthy snack. My kids love making them. They are easy to make and are (mostly) healthy.
6. Mandarin Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts: A great way to incorporate fruit into a Halloween-themed snack.
As late fall approaches in great to have some new recipes to add and share amongst friends and family. It’s also a great way to socialize with neighbors and create a closer community.