Warm and Cozy Fall Recipes | Simple Green
When the days get shorter and you start to feel a chill in the air, that's when you know fall has finally arrived! Sweater weather makes us want to curl up on the couch with a fluffy blanket, a good book, and a cup of hot tea.
It also makes us want to spend time in the kitchen, cooking up our favorite warm and cozy comfort food to share with family and friends. Here are a few of our favorite fall recipes, from our Simple Green kitchen to yours.
Kid-Friendly Caramel Apples:
Nothing says Fall like a sweet and gooey caramel apple! But cooking hot caramel on the stove can be dangerous for kiddos, so we wanted to share a simple (microwaveable) caramel apple recipe that your whole family can make together.
And when the inevitable spills, drips, and splatters happen – be sure to keep a bottle of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner handy, along with this cleaning hack for kitchen counters. Caramel apples may be messy, but we'll make sure clean-up is a breeze.
- 14 oz. bag of your favorite store-bought caramels (unwrapped)
- 6 granny smith apples
- 2 Tbsp. Heavy cream
- 6 craft sticks
- Optional Toppings: nuts, dark or white chocolate, sprinkles, coconut, etc.
STEP 1: Wash each apple, remove the stems, and press a craft stick into the top. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. If you want to add additional toppings, place them in separate shallow bowls.
STEP 2: Put caramels and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes on high, stirring once. Allow to cool briefly.
STEP 3: Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated. Roll in any additional toppings and place on prepared baking sheet to set.
STEP 4: Eat and enjoy!
Game-Day Slow Cooker Chili:
When we think fall, we definitely think FOOTBALL. And when we think about getting together with friends to root for our favorite team... we think about chili.
The great thing about chili is you can make it mild or wild. If you want to kick up the spice level, just add a seeded and chopped jalapeno or two to your crockpot.
The other great thing about chili has got to be the toppings. Set up a chili bar with all the fixings' and let your football fans build their own bowls to suit their unique tastes.
The slow cooker method is our favorite way to make chili. Low and slow cooking produces a rich and robust flavor. This is comfort food at its finest, and it comes out perfect every time!
And of course, we've got a slow cooker cleaning hack to make your post-game clean up as simple as possible.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Lbs. ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
- ½ Cup beef broth
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tsp each ground cumin and paprika
- 2 Tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (the secret ingredient! It adds depth, but won't taste chocolatey)
- 1 Tsp each sugar and ground coriander
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Optional Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, oyster crackers, sour cream, chopped green onions or jalapenos.
STEP 1: Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds more. Pour the onion/garlic mixture into a 6-7 quart slow cooker.
STEP 2: Return skillet to medium/high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain beef and add to slow cooker.
STEP 3: Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, sugar, coriander. Add salt and pepper to taste.
STEP 4: Cover with lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
STEP 5: Stir in kidney beans and allow to heat through (about 5 minutes). Scoop chili into bowls and serve with desired toppings.
Grandma's Thanksgiving Asparagus Casserole:
Getting tired of the same-old green bean casserole as a Thanksgiving side? Time to kick it up a notch with this yummy asparagus casserole that's grandma-approved.
In this delicious baked asparagus side dish recipe, we smother tender-crisp asparagus with a gooey cheese sauce and top it off with crispy panko breadcrumbs. Pro Tip, blanching the asparagus first in boiling water helps preserve its vibrant green color.
And if your baking dish happens to sit out overnight before you get around to cleaning it, no problem. Just use our dish cleaning hack to easily remove any baked-on gunk and grease.
NOTE: Medium-thick asparagus spears work best for this recipe. If your asparagus spears are extra thick, they may need to cook a little longer in the oven.
Also, blanching the asparagus before assembling the casserole helps keep its vibrant green color. You can skip that step if you're crunched for time but know that your vegetables will come out more of an army green than a bright green.
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- ½ Cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
- 3 Lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Cups whole milk
- 5 Oz cream cheese
- ½ Cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tsp salt
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 450°F. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Set a large bowl of ice water near your stove.
STEP 2: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small bowl in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Stir in panko; set aside.
STEP 3: Cook asparagus in the boiling water until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice bath. Let cool for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Arrange the asparagus in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
STEP 4: Heat the pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese, mozzarella and salt.
STEP 5: Pour the cheese sauce over the asparagus and stir to coat. Sprinkle the reserved panko mixture on top. Bake until the asparagus is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Holiday Party Mini-Fruit Pies:
Who doesn't love pie? But when it comes to which pie filling is the best, opinions vary. Your Aunt Jenny might love apple, but Uncle Phil is definitely a cherry pie guy.
What to do when you're hosting a holiday get-together with a bunch of guests with different tastes? Mini-fruit pies to the rescue!
Making individual sized pies in a cupcake pan lets folks choose their favorite. Or they can taste-test them all to see which one they like best. It's the perfect solution to holiday entertaining.
And when it's time for post-party clean up, be sure to use our baking pan cleaning hack to make getting off all that baked-on goodness as easy as possible.
- 1 (14.1 oz) premade refrigerated pie crust package containing 2 pie crusts
- 2 (21 oz) cans canned fruit filling of your choice (apple, cherry, blackberry, peach, blueberry, raspberry, etc.)
- 1 dozen cupcake liners
- Optional toppings: powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter, or coarse sugar
Recipe yields 12 pies (1 dozen) in 2 flavors. To make more for a larger gathering, simply double the recipe and you can have as many as 4 different pie flavors for your guests!
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 450°F. Bring pie crusts to room temperature. For refrigerated pie crust, let stand for 15 minutes or microwave on defrost for 10-20 seconds.
STEP 2: Slowly and gently unroll pie crusts. Cut round crusts into 2 large rectangles, then cut each into 6 approx. 2 inch squares. You will have 12 total dough squares when complete (see pic below).
STEP 3: Place dough squares into your cupcake liners/baking tin and spoon fruit filling of your choice into each dough cup.
STEP 4: Bake 10-12 minutes in your preheated oven until dough appears light brown. Sprinkle with optional toppings (if desired) and enjoy!