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Fall is Here: 8 Cozy Autumn Recipes

By Paula Deen

Life’s a little slower down South than it is in the rest of the country. No one is in a hurry to get anywhere because down here anywhere can usually wait. Even fall sneaks in as sly as a fox.

One mornin’ I step out on my porch and I feel that something is missing: humidity. Without that suffocating blanket of heat, I can catch a chill when it’s 65 degrees. So I cover my goose bumps with a warm coat, even though I know that I’ll be sweatin’ by noon. Come nightfall, I’ll need that coat again, otherwise my Southern blood will just about freeze solid.

But that first chill of the season sure takes me back. I get to thinking about high school football, cheerleading, and pullin’ on a warm sweater as us girls reluctantly headed home after the game. We’d stretch those nights out as long as we could, as if we knew that someday soon we’d have to grow up. Eventually we did—well, sort of. I still like to think I’m a kid at heart.

I still consider autumn the season of friends, football, and comfort food. I’m no spring chicken, but I can still tear up a pile of leaves with the best of ‘em. And after a hard day of work and play, there’s just nothing better than diggin’ into a big bowl of Creamy Squash Soup to warm me right up. If the change in weather does start to get me down, I’ll get creative in the kitchen with my grandbabies, who always lifts my spirits. Together we’ll pour candy corns into the Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats and eat up all the misfits that don’t make the cut.

This season, take a lesson from the children and cast away your grown-up inhibition. Join in the Halloween fun by dressing up with the kids or turn your house into a haunted one and don’t even bother cleaning—the more cobwebs the better! Because before you know it, the trees will be bare, the blue sky will turn gray, and the kids will be trapped inside with so much pent-up energy it’ll make your head spin.

So with my mug of Hot Cranberry Cider, I salute you, autumn. Because you remind me of a special time when I was no longer a child, but not quite a grown-up either. It may be the “in-between” season, but it’s a miracle just the same.

My Favorite Fall Foods:

Cheesy Squash Casserole

Baked Apples

Turkey Pot Pie

Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs

Creamy Squash Soup

Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats

Hot Cranberry Cider

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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