Best Fall Recipes

IT’S FALL, GUYZ. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. Pumpkin. Squash. Cinnamon. Spices. Hot tea and coffee. Soups. Stews. Deliciousness.

Fall cuisine is my favorite. Probably because I love the heartiness of stews, the comfort of a hot dish, and all of the different things I can do with soup. The leaves are turning and it’s getting cold outside and slaving over a hot stove is not nearly so terrible as it is in the summer.

So, without further adieu, here are a few of my favorite fall recipes!

untitled-8-3-620x775Caramelized onion and stout mac ‘n cheese
Seriously, how can you go wrong with this? The rich undertones of the stout (a bourbon barrel aged stout is my personal favorite with this dish) combine with the sweetness of the caramelized onions and creamy provolone cheese. Bake with bread crumbs on top to add the perfect crunch. Get the recipe.
12599306425_ed4bac5b06Dijon and cognac beef stew
A little more work, this baby is worth every last minute. It seems like a lot of mustard, but it really just adds the perfect flavor and tang, while you can’t help but bite all the round little mustard seeds. The beef falls apart in your mouth. Serve it over egg noodles—you won’t regret a single bite. Get the recipe.
french-onion-andmushroom-soup-recipe-mountain-mama-cooksFrench onion and mushroom soup
We all know that French onion soup is kickass. Now, add some mushrooms and barley. Now you have a kickass soup that’s a touch more filling. Tip: if you make slow-cooker beef at any point, SAVE ALL THE LIQUID. It can turn this soup from good into something your coworkers will moan over when you heat it up in the break room. Get the recipe.
158Butternut squash and leek soup
Easy, delicious, and comforting. The recipe says to swirl with sour cream, but I like some Greek yogurt on top. Don’t forget the cracked pepper! Get the recipe.
Chicken-Pumpkin-Soup-aboveChicken and pumpkin soup
You knew the pumpkin was coming. This one is hearty, easy, fairly cheap, and it has the addition of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, adding the perfect amount of kick. Don’t miss out on this soup. Get the recipe.
roasted-pumpkin-shallot-sage-soup-1Roasted pumpkin and sage soup
All right, all right, another pumpkin one. This is another favorite (it actually calls for A REAL PUMPKIN). Roast that pumpkin and then include  the delicious, fall-y flavor of fresh sage, one of my all-time favorite herbs. To be extra freaking cool, serve your pumpkin soup IN AN ACTUAL PUMPKIN (I won’t judge if you serve it in a plain ole bowl). Get the recipe.

What are your favorite fall recipes? I’m always looking for new, delicious things to cook.

Vanessa is a digital media coordinator by day and a writer, novelist, and badass cook by night. In her spare time she haunts used bookstores, gets serious about tea, and loves a good stout (Russian Imperial, please). Follow her on twitter and instagram if you wanna be buddies, and maybe check out her writing blog.

What I Learned From Coleslaw (A Lesson On Taking Charge)

This story is about coleslaw and taking charge (don’t worry, I’ll explain).

My office building is a bit unconventional in that my desk is technically in the kitchen area, which means that while I don’t have my own window, I do get to enjoy such things as aromas of coffee brewing, microwaved leftovers dinging, and the sultry white noise of our electric tea kettle.

It also means that I am the first (and in this particular case the only) person to notice if something has gone bad in our refrigerator. In this particular case, the culprit was a small container of what I can only assume is coleslaw. I say “assume” because in all honesty I have no idea what this substance was, considering the state of decomposition it was in when I finally dug its container from behind a wall of Tupperware.

Coleslaw

What I think it once looked like (credit: Thriving Vegetarian).

Its stench was all-consuming. Every time the door opened it assaulted my senses. It seeped into bottles of water and even takeout containers, until everything within its path was tainted.

And I let it sit in there for weeks. Weeks! I assumed that it belonged to another coworker who would in turn take care of it, but no such luck. It occurred to me that it had belonged to a coworker who had recently changed offices, or that no one wished to own up to stowing (and abandoning) a bit of rotten food, or some other such nonsense. It appeared that I would have to take matters into my own hands.

Finally, one fine morning I marched all of three feet to the fridge, tore open the door, fished out the pungent offender and unceremoniously tossed it into our garbage can. The smell lingered for a few more days until at last it was gone and I could rest easy that my hummus and pita would no longer take on essence of coleslaw.

Now, you could read this as just an instance of food gone bad, but I like to think of it as a learning experience.

You can’t be afraid to take charge of things. In many cases (whether it’s forgotten garbage or not), you’ll have rely on yourself if you want something to get done. It is not always reasonable to expect others to do it for you, or to wait for others to decide how to act.

To quote Ferris Bueller, “Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.” Don’t be a meek coleslaw slave. Be a bold master of the refrigerator.

 Noelle is an email copywriter (yes, that is a thing) and occasional freelance writer. When she’s not typing or running, she can be found eating, sleeping, quoting a movie, or curled up in an easy chair with her nose stuck in a book. Sometimes she tweets too.