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Here on the East Coast we’ve been very spoiled this year.  Fall has been playing peek-a-boo with temps favoring an Indian summer.  Although the first day of fall was September 22, fall is finally making her presence known.  Ranked second to spring on my list of the transitional seasons, fall—or autumn—is a fantastic time of year.  There is so much to do and such a harvest of good eating bounty.

Fall is a great time to:

  1. Take advantage of heartier in season fruits and vegetables. Good hearty veggies include:  Brussel sprouts, beets, mushrooms, turnips, parsnips, leeks and some of my favorites in the winter squash family (i.e., acorn, butternut, spaghetti, delicata).  Fall is the season for pomegranate, pears, persimmons, asian pears, and an abundance of apples. I don’t know about you but I love to stock up on fresh cranberries every year and freeze them.  That way I can take advantage of fresh cranberries throughout the year.  Be adventurous…pick up a veggie or fruit you don’t normally purchase and try a new autumn recipe.
  2. Visit the orchard. Go apple picking and try a variety of different apples.  Make apple desserts such as tarts, apple cake, apple crisp and good old apple pie.  Toss apple slices into a smoothie.  Slice an apple and eat with cheese or dip the slices in cashew or any other nut butter.  Make homemade applesauce.  Sip on some apple cider.  One of my favorite desserts is a baked apple.  It is such a simple, easy and warming dessert.  Simply core an apple and bake it with a touch of cinnamon and cloves or use pumpkin pie seasoning until soft.  Mmmm good!
  3. Its pumpkin time.  Grab some friends or family and visit the pumpkin patch and be a kid again.  Have fun on the hayrides, use your brain to figure out the corn mazes, get on the tractor pull or pony rides.  Take advantage of the refreshments and seasonal goods offered such as jams and jellies, fruit butters, apple butters, etc.  Then go pick your own pumpkin.
  4. Eat well. After all that apple picking and visits to the market to select your fall harvest now is the time to fix up the fall bounty.  Seasonal treats such as baked pies are the norm.  However, how about whipping up a steaming pot of chili?  Whether on the stove top or in the slow cooker, all types of warming fall soups (e.g., lentil, tomato, split pea, French onion) are the best.  Experiment with making a carrot and apple soup.    Enjoy mulled cider.  Roast a mix of autumn veggies: a simple way is to toss some parsnips, turnips, sweet potato and carrots with olive oil, Kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh or dried parsley and roast in the oven until tender.  Try making pumpkin bread pudding.  When baking sweet treats, or even making oatmeal, use lots of fall spices like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.
  5. Take a hike. Autumn is such a gorgeous time with the changing of the leaves.  Take time to enjoy a hike, scenic walk or bike ride to view nature’s magnificence at a local state park or trail.
  6. Decorate your outdoor space. Hang a favorite harvest wreath on your front door, decorate your porch or flower beds with seasonal flowers (e.g., pansies, mums, ornamental cabbages) or items such as pumpkins or gourds.  Prefer a more neutral or conservative look for your entry way or terrace?  Winterscape by adding greenery with plants or small trees and dwarf shrubs potted in decorative ceramic or mosaic tile planters to offer a neutral yet colorful pattern and focal point.  Or use planters as a container garden to offer a hint of fall colors with potted flowers (e.g., yellow, orange, purple pansies).
  7. Transition your style. Boots are always on trend from casual to dressy.  Now is the time to pull the boots out from the back of the closet.  They may be flats, wedgies or stilettos, ankle, riding, motorcycle, comfort, Western’s or Ugg’s.  Slouchy, cuddly, warms sweaters come in hand as the weather transitions before it is time for a bulky winter coat.   Cashmere wraps offer a warm and chic elegance even over a pair of skinny jeans and a top.  Keep a nice tote bag to carry all of your stuff.  I’m someone that continues to enjoy a great pop of color in the fall and winter (think handbags or totes in beautiful burgundies, deep reds, plums, dark grey, navies, dark greens)!  Fall is also the time to make nails pop!  Break out those gorgeous dark bold nail polishes in chromes and cool shimmers, the darks: reds, burgundies, bordeaux and chocolates, fall classics:  burnt oranges and deep salmons, the trends: purples, navies and of course neutrals in taupes, greys, and blushes or pinks.  Or consider adding some nail art.
  8. Stay warm inside. Pull out the heavy-duty quilt or the flannel sheets.  Keep the cozy blanket or throw in the family room.  Make sure the electric blanket still works well.  Pull out your favorite warm bath robe.  Lastly, pick up some warm new socks to keep your tootsies nice and toasty!  Snuggle up with your loved one, kids, or solo.  Light a fire (or flip the switch on the electric fireplace!) on a chilly night and sit back, relax and enjoy your day or evening.

What do you enjoy most about fall?