Delightful dishes to enjoy this fall

Looking for something to eat that can spice up your fall? Look no further than these recipes! GRAPHIC CREDIT: Elizabeth Wong

I love the fall season. Between the weather, the decor, the clothing and the food, the fall offers all of my yearly favorites in abundance. So during the fall, I take it upon myself to cook as much as possible. Fall is a time for warming spices, hearty meals and warm food for cold nights. 

When talking about fall breakfasts, there is nothing better than a maple pecan muffin or a cinnamon roll. Both of these are hearty breakfasts that are sure to pair with a hot cup of coffee and keep you fueled until lunch.

Making muffins for the week ahead is easy to do and sure to give you the boost you need in the morning. So, I started experimenting with a few different recipes for my own homemade maple pecan muffins. I personally recommend opting for a large muffin tin, instead of the small ones; I promise you that you’ll thank yourself for making more.

If you’re looking for a weekend project, take on some cinnamon rolls for breakfast. There is nothing better than a soft and fluffy roll covered in cream cheese frosting on a weekend morning. My favorite cinnamon roll recipe comes from Serious Eats, which also happens to describe them perfectly. They are not too sweet and they’re made even better with a good latte.

A good coffee or espresso drink is non-negotiable during the fall, whether you’re drinking it black or getting a pumpkin spice latte. If you’re looking for a black coffee, I highly recommend the Otoño Blend from Intelligentsia for the fall. 

If you are more the pumpkin spice type, I have just the thing for you. While many people think pumpkin spice lattes are pumpkin flavored, they are actually just flavored with spices. But at Fuel Coffee Bar in Bonnet Shore, they make a pumpkin spice latte with their “real pumpkin flava.” Even if you’ve been a long avowed pumpkin spice latte detractor, I encourage you to try one of these, and it might just change your mind.

After a long day at work, there are few better things than a fresh home-cooked meal. I personally love soups and pasta for the fall season. I always advocate for using the seasonal foods available at each time of the year, so always make substitutions and sides with local and fresh ingredients as much as possible.

Two soups define fall for me: beef barley soup and butternut squash soup. Beef barley really hits the spot when you’re sitting at home on a cold, fall day. I like to make mine in an instant pot, letting me do the work in the morning to prepare the dish and then let it sit while I’m running errands or in class. Butternut squash soup takes advantage of the seasonal squash. While it takes a good amount of prep work and some equipment to blend the soup, it’s worth all that work.

While pasta is a good dish year-round, the fall is the time to bring out the heavy hitters. Cacio e pepe, or cheese and pepper in English, is as simple as the name implies, but it packs a world of flavor. Fresh cracked black pepper and some nice cheese are musts for this, splurge on those expensive ingredients since they will be carrying the dish. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum of fall pasta, is pasta e Fagioli, or pasta and beans, a hearty meal that will fill you to the brim for days. Beans, ham hock, pasta and soffritto are combined to make a pasta-filled soup that cannot be imitated.

For the grand finale, I will now share my top fall desserts. Pumpkin is the classic fall flavor, and for good reason. My new favorite way to use it is in light cakes, such as the ones from Yossy Arefi’s cookbook “Snacking Cakes.” The pumpkin olive oil cake from this cookbook will feed you and your roommates for at least a few days if you let it sit on the counter.

While pie is an American staple, I have never been big on pies, that was until I discovered galettes, open-faced pies. I love to make an apple galette mixed with all the warm spices I love, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and black pepper. This is an easy and beautiful centerpiece for any fall get-together.

If you are looking for a true showstopper though, there is nothing better than a kouign-amann (pronounced queen a-mahn). This pastry is unbeatable. It is the perfect meeting of a croissant and a palmier. Flaky buttery pastry with a caramelized and golden outside. Do yourself a favor and buy these from the local pastry shop; I do not dare even try to make another batch of these to save my own mental health, but the flavor is extraordinary.

Let me know what you’re enjoying this fall and I hope you found something new to try and obsess over like me!