Here at Mom Central we pull out our boots, sweaters, and colder-weather gear as the seasons change from summer to fall. Sure, in some areas, this only means switching from flip-flops to flats, but we all know this season changes things up.
Along with a reworking of our fashions, we also begin to switch what foods we prepare as the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter. We asked our staff to answer the simple question:
“What is your favorite fall comfort food and why?” and you’ll see from our answers below, some replies came back as anything but simple! We learned most of us need more than one choice when deciding which comfort food ranks the highest, and figure there will be lots of good eating this season!
Stacy DeBroff: “This is SO hard. But, ultimately, fall is the season of gourds! My current delectable favorite is baked spaghetti squash, teased apart into “vegetable noodles” after it’s baked, with truffle oil. (Use a fork to puncture the squash about 5 times, roast at 350 for an hour, slice in half, cool, use a spoon to first scoop out the seeds, then scoop out the spaghetti like veggie noodles. I toss with truffle oil or salt, but any pasta sauce will do, even just butter for kids. It tastes fantastic!)
Next favorite: Roasted acorn squash with sausage and onion filling. Cut off the top of an acorn squash, scoop out the seeds, fill with any mixture you like of cooked meat and raw veggies: our family favorite = smoked sausage and onions. Bake for an hour, and each one is a delicious meal.
Lastly: Pumpkin sauce for pasta. This is the easy way out – you can find some great selections in your grocery store (sometimes they’re in the refrigerated section). Top with a scattering of thinly-sliced scallions, and hello awesome dinner!”
Alexia Pagones: “Homemade chili and cornbread OR butternut squash soup. If I can have both I’ll be happiest. Haha.”
Alexis Dredden: “Soup! Because it’s warm and reminds me of my family! The Dreddens are big soup eaters. :)”
Owen Kauppila: “Leftover turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwiches! Nothing screams fall like Thanksgiving, and I’m the #1 fan of sweet/savory combos.”
Kelly Palmisano: “Hmmm this is a hard one since I basically eat my way through the fall season. So I could probably name a million favorite fall comfort foods. Which then cause me to only live in yoga pants. So basically I completely embody fall comfort. But I’ll go with pumpkin pie. Yum!”
Sarah Ann Harris: “Fave fall comfort food—a tie—chili or apple cake.”
Elizabeth Strickert: “My favorite fall comfort food is chili. Why? It is easy to make and so many different recipes!”
Pam Mills: “Stews. Yum.”
Maria Guerra: “My FAVORITE fall comfort food is CHILI. Chili warms you up and fills your belly. It’s leaf-raking, football-watching, sweater-wearing seasonal fun in a bowl. It’s an anything-goes, one-pot-wonder of a meal. Chili allows you to be endlessly inventive: Let’s try ground sausage this time! Maybe chipotle powder instead of chili powder! Is that a lonely IPA on the bottom shelf of the fridge? Let’s pour that in! How about garbanzo beans? Why not kale? It’s in everything else. Top mine with lots of melty cheese and sour cream, please.”
Ashlie Triolo-Dekkers: “If pumpkin beer isn’t an acceptable answer, then I suppose it would be those yummy cider donuts you get when apple picking hahaha!”
Carol Rooney: “Hands down – it’s mashed potatoes! It makes me think of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, which are almost the only times of year that I eat it. But, it’s really good, and if done right, really creamy.”
Lorianne Lacey: “My favorite fall comfort food is mac and cheese. It’s warm, gooey, and warm cheese is the perfect consolation for cooler temperatures.”
Lauren Nickl: “Butternut squash ravioli, except I can’t make it, so that’s my favorite when I go out to restaurants… it’s delicious and just reminds me of fall and it being cooler outside. And apple pie because it just reminds me of the holidays and being with my family…and apple pie is the best after you go apple picking and make a homemade pie… and maybe apple cider donuts too… so many yummy foods!!”
Ruth Carmichael: “Apple crisp!! Enough said!”
Elizabeth Wilson: “But what if there are just too many to pick from! My favorite fall dish is black bean sweet potato chili, with lots of cheese on top. I love it because it’s warm and cozy (and I hate being cold!) and has so many delicious veggie and spice flavors. I’ve made this Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili Recipe a bunch.
Natalie Rea: “I love all the healthy things that can be added to a chili, and I love spicy food. Best part, my meat-eating family is always fooled by the veggie ground round I use instead of ground meat!”
Stephanie Kaufman: “My favorite fall comfort food is soup — I love to make it and eat it. It’s so soothing as the weather suddenly turns chilly and takes advantage of the wonderful fall vegetables you see at farmer’s markets.”
Erica Gatlin: “Fall comfort food? It’s got to be corn chowdah! Or apple cider donuts. Can I have two? I’m taking two!”
Amy Turner: “My favorite fall comfort food (or drink in my case!) is hot chocolate with marshmallow “fluff”. Only New Englanders will know the “Fluff” brand, but it’s the best and reminds me of my childhood growing up in cold, snowy Boston and now I love serving it to my kids after they’ve come inside to warm up from their chilly outdoor adventures. I can’t quite enjoy this treat as much during the summer/spring for obvious reasons, so enjoy saving it for this time of year.”
Eileen Calandro: “Soup – soups of all kinds! But if I have to choose a favorite, anything that comes with cheese on top would rank as a favorite. A steaming bowl of soup with so much melted cheese on top that it sticks to my spoon? Sign me up!”
Did our favorites match with any of yours? We all came up with so many delicious, mouth-watering answers! No matter what foods bring you comfort this season, in the words of our own Maria Guerra, we hope your fall season bursts with “leaf-raking, football-watching, sweater-wearing seasonal fun.”