I Love Fall and October…Who Knew?!

It’s Two For Tuesday and since we are only a week out from Halloween, I have to give two sweet treat recipes today inspired by the season. One recipe is ridiculously easy and one recipe is just kind of ridiculous. Thanks for joining me today. Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisers and affiliate links found on this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.

Food For Thought  I consider it a blessing to live in a region where we have very distinct seasons (most of the time.)  It is refreshing to watch, and feel, the seasons changing.  There’s a newness, a freshness, an excitement in the air as we leave one time of year and progress into another.  When we cannot take one more day of cold, clouds, and brown, we get to experience the warming beauty of spring.  When we cannot take one more day of hot, humid, and glaring dry sun, we get the cool refreshment of autumn.  Each season has its own unique weather, natural beauty, and fun activities.  But for the first time in my life, I have actually taken the time to enjoy the fall season.  I’ve allowed myself to surround myself with all of the sensory images this change of season has to offer and really appreciate its splendor.

When I was growing up, fall was a hard season for me.  I have asthma and when I was young, it was pretty severe.  Two of my triggers are prevalent in the fall season: damp cold weather and dry, dusty leaves.  It was hard for me to enjoy all of the fun outdoor activities that accompany autumn when I was often sick for days, or weeks, after spending just a couple hours outside.  Thankfully, as I’ve grown up I’ve been able to manage my asthma a lot better with medications and knowing the best ways to handle my seasonal triggers.  But as an adult I’ve still been missing out on the fun of fall.  For the past 18 years, the month of October for me has meant parent-teacher conferences.  The weeks leading up to the conferences are hectic.  I felt compelled to have plenty of work samples and data to share with parents and would lose sleep at night thinking about how best to tell parents sometimes-hard information.  I would work back-to-back 13-hour days, and sometimes more.  There were grading systems to update on the computer, and their endless amount of glitches, resulting in re-entering data multiple times.  There were progress reports to fill out, and where I worked the kindergarten forms were double the length of any other grade level.  There was student work to display, resources to pull and copy for parents, and a classroom to get in spic-and-span condition.  It was very important to me that I portray myself as a”having it all together” teacher.  So, between August and October most all of my family and friends knew better than to plan any big events or ask me to join in fall activities.  I was just “too busy.”  I was completely missing Fall, and now I see, and feel, what I was missing!

This year, for the first time in a very long time, I have truly experienced autumn.  I have watched the leaves change in my neighborhood and it has been spectacular.  I love the days when the sun is warm and the bright colors of the trees are almost blinding, and there’s like this spicy, peppery smell in the air.  I love the days when the clouds are heavy and gray but the colors still pop against the background of the ashy sky and the wind blows crisp and cool.  I love burning candles in my house during the day while I’m writing, wrapped in a coziness I’m not sure I’ve ever appreciated before.  I love getting up on mornings like today, walking with my daughter to school, snuggling into my fleece hoody and the sharp wind doesn’t seem so bad, after all.  I’ll stop and take a moment to watch the little leaf tornado blowing in the street.  I’ll listen more closely to the crunch of the leaves, the chatter of the squirrels, and the gust of the wind blowing through the trees in our yard.  Instead of rising each morning thinking only of tackling my to-do list, I can sit and enjoy a hot beverage, being warmed from the inside out, and spend some time in devotional with God.  This is the way I was meant to enjoy my life, without rush and distraction, full of appreciation and gratitude.  Happy Fall, ya’ll!

Today’s Scriptures  The most famous passage in the Bible regarding seasons, I think, is in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, “for everything there is a season.”  I love that passage and have found it very comforting this past year as I myself am going through a change in life-seasons.  But I wanted to share a few different verses about seasons today.

Genesis 8:22  “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Psalm 104:19  “The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.”

Jeremiah 5:24  “They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.”

Daniel 2:21  “He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

God is the creator of all earthly seasons and is in charge of the changes that happen during those times.  I know God is also the creator and guide for the changes during my life-seasons, as well.  The changes in our life-seasons may not be easy or even welcome, but if we look closely and breathe in deeply, I’m sure we can find some beauty and blessings in these changes, too.

Today’s Recipes  Let’s just have fun and enjoy the season today!  I have the easiest Halloween treat you can make with your kids, Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers for Halloween that only use three ingredients!  I also jumped on the “freak shake” trend and came up with a candy corn version that would be so much fun for a party this Halloween season.

Chocolate covered graham crackers
Only 3 ingredients AND your kids (or grandkids) can help!

Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers (makes 12 cookies)

  • 6 full graham crackers, whatever flavor you like!
  • 1 package of Wilton milk chocolate candy melt (this package will coat exactly 12 squares)
  • Assorted sprinkles (we used Halloween sprinkles, but you can adjust for the holiday season you are in)
  • graham cracker half
    Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Break graham crackers in half.
    melting chocolate
    Melt chocolate according to package directions.
    dipping grahams
    Dip graham crackers in melted chocolate so they are coated on all sides. I use two plastic forks as my dipping tools and have best of luck with them, not the fancy tools!
    sprinkle the crackers
    Sprinkle ’em up! Kids love doing this part. My daughter does the sprinkles while I dip, so the chocolate doesn’t set too fast. Refrigerate for an hour to finish setting the chocolate.  Easy and fun!
    Candy Corn freak shake
    Love the colors of the season? Try this candy corn-inspired “freak shake.”

    Halloween Freak Shake-Candy Corn Edition (makes 1 shake, serves 2-3)

  • 5 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Hot Fudge sauce
  • “candy corn” Halloween sprinkles (They come in the orange, yellow, and white color pattern and are available at most craft or cake decorating stores during the fall season.)
  • Candy corn
  • 1 package of Tasty Cake or Hostess chocolate frosted donuts
  • 1 package of Kit Kat candy bars
  • fudge jar
    Swipe a layer of fudge on the bottom of a mason jar, another layer around the middle of the jar, and around the rim.
    sprinkle rim
    Dip rim of jar (lined with fudge) in candy corn-colored sprinkles.
    candy corn sprinkles
    Place vanilla ice cream, milk, and about 1/4 cup of candy corn-colored sprinkles in blender. Blend to desired shake thickness.
    candy corn shake
    Pour candy corn ice cream into jar.
    candy corn freak shake
    Thread mini-donuts on orange straw. Garnish shake with donut straws, Kit Kat bars broken apart, and candy corns.

    I recommend serving this on a plate or tray, as it can get pretty messy, but oh, so fun!  There’s a lot of sweet here, with ice cream, candy, and donuts, so it’s best to share!

  • If you would like to make these recipes, here are some products you may find useful (links verified on 10/24/17 at 12:00 pm, CDT): 

 

 

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