Fall Feast

Add some new recipes to your repertoire with these flavorful recipes created specifically for chilly fall nights.

The flavors of fall are pretty much all I can think about when the leaves start to change and I start to spend more time indoors. With the changing temperatures outdoors, this brief cookbook covers some fun dishes that can warm you from the inside out. Whether you’re planning a date night, a potluck dinner with friends or you are just in the mood to cook something yummy, give these fall flavors a try!

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta 

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Compton

Serves: 2 

Cook time: 20 minutes

No, it doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie. This pasta is creamy, savory goodness with a kick (if you choose to add it). A rich pasta that would pair really well with some crunchy sourdough or country loaf to scoop up all the extra sauce you’re going to want to lick off your plate. The real star of this dish…fried sage! 


1 cup pasta (I used rigatoni but really any noodle would work)

1 tbsp butter

1 small red onion, diced 

2 cloves garlic, diced

½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

⅓ cup heavy cream 

1 tbsp cream cheese


Chili Flakes




1 tbsp butter 

Fresh sage leaves 


Salt your pasta water like the sea and when it starts to boil add in rigatoni. The sauce will take the same amount of time as the pasta so once you dump in the pasta, add your butter, diced onion and garlic into a deep pan on medium heat.

Once your onion has turned translucent and fragrant, add in your pumpkin puree. Once the pumpkin heats up, add in your heavy cream and cream cheese. Stir until fully melted. (You may have to use a whisk as the cream cheese sometimes gets clumpy. Just whisk until combined or satisfied.) 

After the cheese is melted, add in your spices, to taste. The sauce should come to a slow boil, turn the heat down if you need to so the sauce doesn’t sputter and burn. 

While your pasta finishes cooking, add a tablespoon of butter to a pan and melt the butter. Once butter is melted, add a couple fresh sage leaves to the pan and fry for about 3 minutes on each side of the sage until the leaves start to curl and turn a darker green/brown color. Remove leaves from the pan and place on a napkin to remove excess grease. 

Once your pasta is cooked to your liking, remove pasta from water with a slotted spoon directly into sauce. Save the pasta water! Combine pasta with sauce and add pasta water, ¼ cup at a time, to the mixed pasta to help make a glossy sauce that clings to your pasta. 

When serving your pasta, add crispy sage leaves to the top of each serving. Savor and enjoy!

Crispy Sticky Honey Balsamic Brussel Sprouts 

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Compton

Serves: 1 large serving, 2 small 

Cook time: 20 minutes 

Simple ingredients, BIG taste. A perfect side dish for any meal, these brussel sprouts are my go-to. 


½ package of raw brussel sprouts, about 8 oz

1 shallot or 3 green onions 

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

1 tbsp honey 

Chili flakes (to taste)

½ tsp fresh cracked pepper 

½ tsp Salt 

⅓ cup toasted pecans (optional)*


Prep by cutting your shallots into thin slices and the brussel sprouts into quarters. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. 

Add the shallots and cook on medium until shallots turn golden brown. Remove shallots from oil and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil. 

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, heat and add the brussel sprouts. *Try not to move the sprouts around too much, you want the brussels to get golden and crispy. Add a pinch of salt to get the sprouts to release moisture and start to season. 

After they start to show some color, about 10-12 minute, add balsamic, honey, chili flakes, salt and pepper. There will be some sputtering because the pan is hot. Mix ingredients together until the sprouts absorb some liquid. Add the shallots and pecans to the pan and cook for about 2 more minutes until all ingredients are heated through. 

Serve and sprinkle with salt to finish. 

*To toast pecans: Place pecans flat on an ungreased baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 and immediately put the sheet in the oven. Once the oven preheats, turn off the oven and let the pecans sit until the oven cools down. 

*To ensure the brussel sprouts are not too hard, you can steam the sprouts in water in the microwave for a few minutes before cooking in oil.

Apple Chai Hand Pies & Pear Chai Hand Pies 

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Compton

Serving Size: makes about 6-8 pies depending on size 

Filling Ingredients:

4-5 pears or apples, diced (if using pears be aware that there will be a lot more juice you may need to drain)

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp brown sugar, packed

½ tsp salt 

1 tbsp chai concentrate 

¼ tsp vanilla extract

Juice of ¼ lemon (about 1 tbsp)

Healthy shake of cinnamon (to taste) 

Pinch of nutmeg 

Pinch of allspice

(I used a pre-made crust because I have no shame. Homemade crust is delicious but if you don’t have time don’t sweat! Want to go all out? Use this awesome crust recipe passed down from family friends.)

Crust Ingredients: 

3 cups of flour

1 tsp salt 

5-6 tbsp white sugar 

1 cup of cold cisco (shortening) or 1 cup unsalted butter

½ cup ice cold water

Egg wash: 

1 egg

1 tbsp milk

Crust instructions:

Whisk together dry ingredients until combined. Once incorporated, cut in shortening or butter. For this you can use a pastry cutter, fork or a food processor. Cut the butter until the butter is in pea sized pieces, making sure it is evenly distributed in the dry ingredients. 

Once butter is cut in, sprinkle the ice water in and mix. Add more water until the crust just sticks together without falling apart. Be careful not to overwork the dough. 

Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to form. At least 1 hour. 

Filling Instructions: 

In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add your apples or pears. Coat your fruit in the butter and add sugar and salt. Stir continuously and melt sugar down. Once sugar is melted/dissolved, turn heat to medium low.  

Add the chai concentrate, vanilla extracts and lemon juice. Bring to a soft boil. (Note: At this point, your pears will already be soft. Your apples will need about 5 more minutes to soften. You want a sharp knife to easily puncture the fruit.) 

Once fruit can be punctured easily with a knife with little resistance, add your spices. These are all to taste, so sample the sugary syrup before adding more spices.

Let the spices get to know each other, about 3-5 minutes, cooking low and slow, constantly stirring. Don’t let the sugar syrup stick to the bottom of the saucepan or it will burn. 

Remove from heat and let the mixture cool slightly before beginning the filling process. 

Baking and shaping: 

When ready to roll out dough, lighty flour your surface and rolling pin. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

Begin to roll out the dough into a circle. Every so often give the dough a quarter turn to keep the edges from fraying and cracking. Get dough fairly thin, about ⅛ inch thick. Add more flour to the rolled out dough if your rolling pin begins to stick. 

Cut the dough into circles about 4 inches in diameter. Spoon at most a tablespoon of filling into the center of the dough circle. (These have lots of juice and leak easily so we don’t want to overfill!) Fold the circle of dough in the calf creating a half circle. Pleat the open edges of the dough however best suits you, using a fork, or your pointer finger and thumb and pointer finger to pinch the crust on edges. If there is too much filling don’t be afraid to take some out and replete. 

Place pleated hand pies on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Cut 2 slits in the top of the pies. This allows steam to release from the pie and cook fully.

Make an egg wash with the milk and egg beaten together. Brush onto pies. Sprinkle with a little sugar for extra pop. 

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden and filling is bubbling. 

Salted Caramel Sauce 

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Compton

Serving Size: 1 cup or caramel

Cook time: 25 minutes

Caramel is not easy to make! I have tried and failed many times. But this recipe is now a go to. I’ll admit I did not come up with this one! I leaned on my great friend Sally’s Baking Addiction for this one, and boy did it pay off. 


1 cup white sugar 

6 tbsp butter, room temp (I used half salted half unsalted) 

½ cup heavy cream 

1 tsp salt 


#1 thing to remember…DON’T stop stirring. 

Slowly heat the sugar on medium/medium low, constantly stirring the sugar with a wooden spoon or heat resistant stirrer. This is going to take a while, up to 10 minutes. The sugar is first going to get really clumpy but then it will start to melt. You want all the sugar to melt and the color to be a dark red amber. 

Once you’ve reached that point, toss in your butter. Be careful, it may splatter. Stir vigorously until better is combined with sugar. (If it looks like it is separating, take the mixture off heat and stir until combined again. Then return to heat.) 

Once butter is incorporated, slowly stream in heavy cream. Whisking briskly, make sure the mixture is fully together. There may be some clumps but keep stirring until they get worked out. Remove from heat and stir in salt.

Because I am not a professional, my caramel had a few clumps. I strained the mixture, still warm, into a glass mason jar. Lid off, I let the caramel cool off a little before using. 

Dip your hand pies, fruit or literally anything in this sauce, or drizzle on some ice cream! Caramel does harden in the fridge so just pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds and you’ll be good to go. 

Spiced Apple Vodka and Ginger Beer

Photo Courtesy of Sydney Compton

Inspired by my dad’s recipe, this spiced vodka is worth the constant stirring! 


1 liter plain vodka (I used Wheatly brand, but any plain vodka will work)

6 sliced apples of your choosing, honeycrisp is best

1 ½ cup sugar 

1 tbsp Cinnamon 


The most important thing to note, DON’T bring your vodka to a boil. You will lose the alcohol content. 

In a large pot, pour in your vodka, sugar, cinnamon and apple slices. On low heat, slowly melt the sugar and whisk to incorporate. If you have a candy thermometer, heat to 75 degrees Celsius/ 165 Fahrenheit. If you do not, simply keep heat on low and ensure the vodka does not boil. Stir constantly for 30 minutes.

Let vodka cool, strain with cheesecloth, add back to the bottle or container.

I like this vodka with a spicy ginger beer. If you’d like to warm it up, heat apple juice in a pot, add vodka and serve with a splash of sparkling water for a little bubble. For an extra kick, and to grow some chest hair, add a splash of bourbon. 

Make it extra fun and garnish with cinnamon sticks or thinly sliced apples.