Seasonal Sundays (Week 41) Special Sweets for Fall

Cooler weather ... open windows ... changing colors ... falling leaves ... pumpkin patches ... firepits ... sweaters! There's so much to love about fall but the list definitely includes all the special desserts we bake just once a year. So here are seven special recipes for fall sweets, not just perfect for fall but only for fall. Call it a "fall baking bucket list" if you will and what's mine (so many long-time favorites!)... is now yours too.

Seasonal Sundays, a weekly newsletter ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

As ever, thank you for welcoming me into your InBox and RSS feed reader. It's your kitchens, your lives, I conjure while writing ...

Got a minute, just one? Me too, I've got a pumpkin pie to make, this no-bake pumpkin cream, I think, for one of the twin grandsons who's mad for pumpkin pie and knows that come October 1, one's got his name on it.

It's time, it's just time. Pumpkin need no longer be a pipedream, pumpkin finally has, I dunno, let's call it purpose.

It's like fall flips some inner baking switch that re-awakens some butter-sugar passion that fires the urge to nibble on pumpkin muffins for a few days.

After a summer of ice cream and fruit pies, all of a sudden, everything just tastes suddenly seasonal. Right?!

So let's mix up a quick batch (2X?? 3X???) of my all-time favorite Pumpkin Pie Spice, pour ourselves a Pumpkin Spice Lattes and let's plot out the next few weeks of desserts that belong to autumn.

Is Your Mammogram Up to Date? Mine Wasn't.

Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness ♥ Is your mammogram up to date? Mine wasn't.'

Déjà Vu. Something useful ... or thoughtful ... or interesting ... or fun ... from Seasonal Sundays, this same week way back in 2019.

The words come hard and not without tears and a catch in my voice. But I'm going to say them "out loud" here in writing.

"I have breast cancer."

Or perhaps more accurately, after a long summer of surgery and radiation treatments, "I'm recovering from breast cancer."

Here's the recipe and my breast-cancer story, Survivor Soup (Beet, Potato & Cauliflower Soup). The soup goes way back to 2005 but it too is a survivor ...

PS And please take care of your mammogram. And if yours is up to date, then check with your mom, is hers? or your sister's? or your daughter's? or your neighbor's? Ask. And if the answer is no, then ask again. It's so easy to put it off, so easy to procrastinate, believe me, I know.

ESPECIALLY FOR YOUNG WOMEN This is new information to me, one that we should make sure the young women in our lives know about. See Many Young Women Are Getting Breast Cancer. They Want Answers., a no-paywall article from the Washington Post.

PPS I first shared my own cancer news four years back. That means that as of 2023, I'm very likely one year away from that five-year mark of being "done" with it all except maybe a chemo pill. Last year, my sister was also diagnosed with breast cancer and oh, twas a year for her. She's just now beginning to feel back to her normal again.

It used to be that one of nine women would be diagnosed with breast cancer, I remember this number so well, it became embedded in my brain after attending a breast cancer fundraiser where the tables were set for nine. Now? Those tables are set for eight.

In Praise Of ...

  • ... going all out (for me) for Halloween
  • ... all thanks to temptation inspiration from a style/design blogger whose work is always so cool, she's gone 100% all in with her kids (see what she's done inside, on her front porch plus more outside).
  • ... I do love to go all-out with fall seasonal decor that starts with pumpkins in early October and then morphs into Thanksgiving in November. But I've always stayed kinda classy and chic and until now have never gone all witch-y, spider-y, skeleton-y, scar-y Halloween.
  • I found a couple of irresistible pieces at a thrift store but then shopped Michael's and Target. I added a big fat spider to this metal wreath and put LED lights inside this black glass pumpkin and oh! it's really pretty at night. Hands-down, this is the best $100 I've spent all year.
  • PS Target was especially fun this week, they're 100% still Halloween, not a Christmas light to be found, and several aisles of special candy, costumes, crafts, decor, and so much more. Go Target! The next-door HomeGoods? It's been Christmas since September. :-(
  • PPS I've also ordered these edible eyeballs (affiliate link) for decorating cookies and pumpkins and plan to make some Halloween Monster Cookies for the family Littles. Let the pumpkin painting begin!

May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: Seven Special Sweets for Fall

Extra-Crispy Apple Crisp ♥, finally my perfect apple crisp, barely sweet apples firm and tart with an extra-crispy topping. It's got a secret ingredient!

Baked Pumpkin Donuts and Donut Holes ♥, cake donuts warm with spices, coated with buttery sugar. A really special fall treat. Recipe, insider tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points included.

Autumn Pumpkin Bread ♥, moist, flavorful pumpkin bread, my forever-favorite recipe.

Perfect M&M Cookies ♥, classic Tollhouse cookie recipe with M&Ms, perfected by my friend Kathy.

Honey Pumpkin Pie ♥, sweetened with honey instead of processed sugar.

Pumpkin Cheesecake ♥, a real crowd pleaser, barely sweet with ginger-pecan crust and bourbon.

Whole Pumpkin Baked with Custard Inside ♥, a fun fall dessert.

Fall Baking, another recipe collection ♥ Favorite recipes for autumn, quick breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, cornbread and more.

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Thanksgiving Cake ♥, one cake, all our favorite fall flavors, pumpkin, apple, cranberry, pecans, warm spices.
  • THE RECIPE Thanksgiving Cake One cake with fall's favorite flavors: apple, pumpkin, cranberries and warm fall spices. (PIN This)


Gingerbread Pudding Cake ♥, an old-fashioned recipe, magical layers of cake and pudding!
  • SHE LIKES IT! "I’ve made this many times, most recently when visiting family. I had all the ingredients so it was just a matter of putting together and placing in an already hot oven to bake while we ate dinner. Everyone enjoyed. I didn’t change a thing. We didn’t even add ice cream of whipping cream. It was so good! In the past, I’ve divided batter and hot water in several smaller dishes. That way we can freeze finished puddings and warm up when we want a taste of gingerbread. Thanks for providing such a delicious ‘comfort’ dessert." ~ Anonymous
  • THE RECIPE Gingerbread Pudding Cake Layers of cake and pudding. It's magic!

Estonian Apple Cake ♥, an easy low-calorie apple cake recipe, moist and bright with cinnamon.
  • SHE LIKES IT! "I had an apple cake recipe from you once that I thought was the BEST -- how do recipes disappear? Do you happen to have it, without jumping through too many hoops?" ~ Carole
  • THE RECIPE Estonian Apple (or Pear!) Cake A wordly, neighborly cake.

Looking Ahead ...

This Year, Let's Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, 13 reasons, menus, recipe and more ♥

  • October 9th - Canadian Thanksgiving
  • October 9th - Columbus Day
  • October 31st - Halloween
  • November 1st & 2nd - Days of the Dead (All Saints)
  • November 4th - 5th - "Fall Backward" Time Change (an extra hour! nice!)
  • November 11th - Veteran's Day
  • November 23rd (early! nice!) - American Thanksgiving
  • December 1st - Alanna's Unofficial First day of Winter
  • December 21st - Winter Solstice (Official First Day of Winter)

Looking Back ...

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week, not including the Pumpkin Smoothies, Hamburger Soup and Cauliflower Risotto on repeat this time of year.

Gashouse Eggs ♥, the old-time favorite with so many different names, just bread and an egg fried together. Medicinal properties, I swear.
  • THIS WEEK I miss cooking a real breakfast! These really hit the spot. I even figured out a way to cook two eggs in a single slice of bread. It takes bread cut a little thicker and a larger center hole. Whisk the first egg with a fork, then place the second egg on top. I'll definitely repeat this trick.
  • THE RECIPE Gashouse Eggs The old-time comfort food, just an egg and bread fried together, with so many names.

Pumpkin Hummus with Honey ♥, traditional chickpea hummus recipe turned pretty, slightly sweet with pumpkin and a drizzle of honey.
  • THIS WEEK I'd planned a big vegetarian fall salad for dinner and knew that it needed a little something on the side. This hummus really worked! Instead of one big plate of hummus, I made small individual bowls for our salad plates, garnished and everything. Very pretty! I love this hummus!
  • THE RECIPE Pumpkin Hummus with Honey Traditional chickpea hummus recipe turned pretty, slightly sweet with pumpkin and a drizzle of honey. (PIN This)

Sausage & Cabbage Skillet, another Quick Supper ♥
  • THIS WEEK This has become my go-to recipe when random sausage shows up in the fridge. (Who me? Nope. Who him? Yep.) It's definite comfort food. This week I used less potato, threw in some leftover chickpea liquid from that Pumpkin Hummus, and added a chopped apple at the end with the cabbage. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Sausage & Cabbage Skillet Rustic & homey.

Sugar Cookie Bars ♥ All the colorful deliciousness, none of the cookie cutter and decorating fuss.
  • THIS WEEK I organized a surprise for my husband, a big family gathering at the World's Fair Pavillion at Forest Park (St. Louis' "Central" Park, just bigger than NYC's!) for fried chicken, something he remembers fondly from his childhood. His mother brought the entire spread: me, I managed to cook some great beans (recipe coming soon!) and a sweet treat that thrilled all the Littles and even a few Bigs. (In fairness, we'd been out of town for two days, not much time to cook/carry an entire meal for so many.)
  • THE RECIPE Sugar Cookie Bars Bake, frost and sprinkle all at once. (PIN This)

Just Updated!

Molasses Ice Cream ♥, unusual and alluring, familiar and unexpected. Pair it with Molasses Cookies!

Something to Read

The River We Remember (affiliate link) by one of my favorite writers, Minnesota author William Kent Krueger.

He seems to write in two tracks.

The first track is a mystery / detective series (I'm six books in) set across Northern Minnesota, including on the Northwest Angle near where I grew up, that northern "chimney" of Minnesota that's accessible by land only through Manitoba but in summer by lake taxi and in winter by an ice road across the lake. To my taste, they're fascinating, especially the Native American storylines.

But it's the second track that will appeal to serious readers. I so recommend This Tender Land (affiliate link) from 2019 and especially Ordinary Grace (affiliate link) from 2014.

NO TIME TO READ? MAYBE YOU DO! How I Read 4X More This Year Than Last What I gave up, how I read so much, what I read.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.