Nothing says warmth and comfort during colder months like a homemade meal. These fall-inspired dinner, lunch, snack and dessert recipes are perfect for the upcoming season and holidays.

Cream cheese chicken chili

Jessica Shaefer, Elkland


15 oz. can black beans

15.25 oz. can corn undrained

10 oz. can tomatoes undrained

1 package ranch dressing mix

1 tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. onion powder

8 oz. package light cream cheese

2 chicken breasts


Drain and rinse the black beans. Place chicken at the bottom of the crock pot, then pour out the whole can of corn (undrained), tomatoes and black beans on top of chicken. Top with seasonings and ranch dressing mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese block on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. After the cooking time is over, take chicken breasts from crock pot and shred and add back to the chili. Stir well.

Easy cheesy baked tortellini

Noell McConnell, Wellsboro


20 oz. bag of frozen cheese tortellini

1 lb. ground beef or venison

1 medium diced onion

1 jar of red spaghetti sauce

8 oz. cream cheese (softened and cubed)

1-2 cups shredded mozzarella

Seasoning to taste


Cook the tortellini according to package directions and then drain/set aside. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9x13 dish. Brown ground meat, adding diced onion and seasoning to taste. Drain excess fat. Add the spaghetti sauce and cream cheese. Stir over simmering heat until the meat and sauce are well mixed and cream cheese is all melted. Add the tortellini slowly to the sauce mixture and mix until everything is evenly coated. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered in center of oven for 20-25 minutes.

Bloomin’ grilled apples

Jessica Shaefer, Elkland


4 apples

2 tbsp. melted butter

1 tbsp. cinnamon-sugar

1/2 cup caramel, plus more for drizzling

1/3 cup chopped pecans

Vanilla ice cream for serving


Slice off the top ¼ of the apples and scoop out cores. Using a paring knife, make a deep cut around the center of the apple. Flip over apples and make narrow cuts all around, making sure to not cut through the bottom. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and cinnamon-sugar. Brush apples all over with mixture, then fill center with caramel and pecans. Wrap apples in foil and grill until tender, about 15 minutes. Top with ice cream and drizzle with more caramel.

Butternut squash soup

Amy Tulanowski, Elkland


2 tbsp. butter

1 small onion

1 stalk celery

1 medium carrot

2 medium potatoes

1 medium butternut squash

32 oz. chicken stock

Salt and black pepper to taste


Peel, seed and cube squash. Chop/cube all other vegetables. Melt butter in a large pot. Sauté onion, celery, carrot, potatoes and squash until lightly browned (about five minutes). Pour in chicken stock to cover vegetables and bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer on low for 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Caramel apples


6 medium apples

6 craft sticks

14 oz. package caramels, unwrapped

2 tbsp. milk


Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top. Butter a baking sheet. Place caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 2 minutes, stirring once. Allow to cool briefly. Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated. Place on prepared sheet to set.

Cream cheese pumpkin roll


3 large eggs eggs, beaten

1 cup white sugar

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

⅔ cup pumpkin puree

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter or grease one 10x15 inch jelly roll pan. In a mixing bowl, blend together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and blend until smooth. Evenly spread the mixture over the prepared jelly roll pan. Bake 15 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove cake from pan and place on tea towel (cotton, not terry cloth). Roll up the cake by rolling a towel inside cake and place seam side down to cool. Prepare the frosting by blending together the butter, cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and vanilla. When cake is completely cooled, unroll and spread with cream cheese filling. Roll up again without towel. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle top with confectioners sugar and slice into 8-10 servings.

Toasted pumpkin seeds


1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried

2 tsp. olive oil

Sea salt, fine grain


Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with the olive oil and sea salt. Transfer pumpkin seeds to the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-30 minutes, or until the seeds are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.