Fall is such an invigorating season, offering fun festivals and gatherings, along with vivid colors and flavors. Now’s the time to choose unique apple or winter squash varieties while visiting a farmers’ market, farm or a roadside stand. Western North Carolina is home to numerous apple orchards, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches. For a list of farms in your area, visit https://www.ncfarmfresh.com/farms.asp Once you have your fresh ingredients, bring in the spirit of fall by trying one of these simple recipes.

Sliced apple and cheese are a classic combination on a fresh baguette topped with honey and rosemary or thyme. Great snack or appetizer.

Baguette Topped with Cheese, Apple and Honey

thinly sliced bread of choice (French Baguette works well)

cheese of choice (cheddar, brie, gouda, or goat cheese)

thin apple slices

honey

freshly ground pepper

thyme or rosemary, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Top bread with chosen cheese and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake until cheese is melted. Goat cheese spreads well and does not need to be melted.

3. Top with thinly sliced apple, a drizzle of honey, ground pepper, and herb of choice.

This yummy pumpkin dip tastes like pumpkin cheese cake. You may use either canned pumpkin or puree made from fresh.

Pumpkin Dip

12 ounces Neufchatel cheese

½ cup brown sugar

Beat together until well blended.

1 cup of cooked and pureed pumpkin (or winter squash)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Add and beat until smooth.

Serve with sliced apples, pears, or other fruit, graham crackers and gingersnaps, etc. Use your imagination and enjoy!