All-Time Favorite Fall and Halloween Ideas

Yummy Mummy Cupcakes
We polled the offices and here they are -- the best-ever fall recipes we've cooked in our kitchens, crafts we've created with our kids, and decorations we've lovingly set out in September. What's your favorite?

Recipe: Apple-Bacon Mac and Cheese

What it is: Salty bacon, crispy apples, creamy Gouda cheese; all baked in a macaroni casserole.

Why we love it: So simple, so delicious, so fall. A trifecta of perfection.

Decoration: Colored-Leaf Centerpiece

What it is: Trimmed branches from your fall foilage make quick work of a table display. Transition different hues in a single-file line down the table center.

Why we love it: We're never shy about bringing the outdoors in (especially when it looks this amazing)!

This easy-to-make Halloween wreath can be used year after year. A few cheap supplies and some creativity result in a pretty fall wreath that's ready to display on your front door all season long. See how to make it!

Craft: Cheap Halloween Wreath

What it is: Make a Halloween wreath from canning jar tops, washi tape, and ribbon.

Why we love it: This wreath looks great on the front door September 1 through October 31. Long-lasting, easy, and inexpensive? Sold!

Decoration: Globe Display

What it is: A globe cut in half (just run an X-Acto knife along the equator) serves as a bowl for your fall finds.

Why we love it: Antique globes are cool, but they've languished on top of our dusty bookshelves for too long. Now they get the star status they've always deserved.

Recipe: Salted Caramel Dessert

What it is: Buttery homemade caramel baked in ramekins with a sprinkle of flaked sea salt on top.

Why we love it: This fall dessert nails it: silky, sweet, salty, rich, warm ... you get the idea.

Decoration: Kale in a Display

What it is: A pretty fall container made sans flowers. This planter's formula:

A. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris 'Bright Lights')

B. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Pigeon Purple')

C. Coralbells (Heuchera 'Marmalade')

Why we love it: Long before kale became our power food go-to, we discovered how pretty it looks in fall planters.

Design a funny pumpkin for your Halloween porch. Our big-eyed jack-o'-lantern is hilarious -- and fun to carve as well as display. Get the kids involved, too; this pumpkin design is made for creative little ones.

Craft: Monster Pumpkins

What it is: Party cups and foam eyes take your pumpkin displays to hilarious heights.

Why we love it: Nothing is better than hearing a crew of trick-or-treaters giggle as they come across these monsterously fun jack-o'-lanterns.

Decoration: Clever Lantern Silhouettes

What it is: Transformed plain glass lanterns with vinyl-printed designs.

Why we love it: We designed the patterns so there's no guesswork! Print, trace, cut, attach, and your porch just became spook-tacular!

Decoration: Bright Bittersweet Wreath

What it is: A homemade wreath you make by twisting fresh-cut bittersweet vines and stems of Chinese lanterns. Hot glue secures it all to a twig wreath form.

Why we love it: Gorgeous colors, just the way Mother Nature made ’em.

Your new favorite fall recipe is here: Cakes made from canned pumpkin and fall spices are shaped like footballs for an adorable tailgate or potluck contribution.

Recipe: Pumpkin Football Dessert

What it is: A whoopie pie shaped like a football with pumpkin-flavor cookies and creamy vanilla frosting.

Why we love it: Um, did you read the description? Pumpkin flavor plus a nod to the season's best sport? Touchdown!


Recipe: Baked Butternut Squash

What it is: A way to enjoy butternut squash in its creamy, earthy fall glory.

Why we love it: The emphasis is on enhancing, not hiding, what Mother Nature made. Add butter, salt, and fresh thyme, bake, and enjoy.

Decoration: Gourd Vases with Fall Flowers

What it is: Skip the glass vases and let hollowed out fall gourds make your centerpiece statement.

Why we love it: When it comes to letting natural elements inspire our decorating, we're all in.

Recipe: Potato-Apple Gratin

What it is: Fall in every bite: Granny Smith apples, creamy cheese, Yukon potatoes, and a hint of nutmeg.  

Why we love it: This is now our go-to fall potluck dish. Make it once and it will be yours, too.

Decoration: Maple Leaf Pumpkin Carving

What it is: A skin-deep carving design that shows off two layers of your pretty gourd. Simply cut lightly around the outline with a knife, being sure not to cut all the way through the gourd. An inexpensive clayworkers' ribbon tool (check the crafts store) does the scraping job.

Why we love it: This was the cover of our October issue for a reason: It's a whole new way to carve your pumpkin!

Recipe: Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

What it is: Chicken plus wild rice plus veggies and cheese baked into fall-casserole perfection.

Why we love it: We can't even take full credit. Readers were the ones to nominate this recipe as the best of It's our most-loved recipe of the year.

Recipe: Mummy Cupcakes

What it is: So-simple cupcakes that get all wrapped up with a basket-weave-tipped pastry bag and white, red, and black frosting.

Why we love it: No Pinterest fails here! Adorable and doable is our favorite cupcake combo.

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