We've been waiting and waiting and anxiously anticipating, but today is the day. It has arrived. Today is officially the first day of fall. Whip out your boots, scarves, jeans, and get ready to crunch through some dead leaves, sip on whatever spiced lattes, and dive headfirst into some apple pie. Ok, maybe that's a little too much too soon, but I'm excited because even if it is still pushing 90 degrees outside... today really is the first official day of fall. Today is the fall equinox and with it comes the emergence of shorter days, crisp air, changing leaves, and the arrival of fall flavors onto our plates. Sure, some of these seasonal items were available to us over the summer, like apples and sweet potatoes, but now it's their time to legitimately shine.

Of all seasons, autumn is probably the most fun to impose it's distinct flavor associations onto every meal of the day. For breakfast, take the traditional pumpkin spice pancake up a few notches by turning it into a savory dish.

For a main dish, you definitely want to embrace recipes from the slow-cooker or baked to warm, comfort food perfection in a casserole dish. Hearty, savory flavors melding together in one place which makes for a really mighty cool weather dish. My suggested dinner to start with would be a pot pie loaded with chicken and fall veggies.

Harvest Time Chicken Pot Pie

For side dishes, get creative with earthy grains and seasonal veggies. Play around with pairing ingredients like quinoa and farro with the rich sweetness of butternut squash or beets to pull together together exceptional side dishes that are easy, nutritious, and wholly satisfying through the entire season.

And of course, the fall dessert table is a special sort of sanctuary. Say what you will, but I believe fall to be the season for pies and cozy desserts. The after-dinner treat recipes below feature two of our favorite fall dessert staples: apple pie and pumpkin (and a little bit of moonshine for good measure).

Apple Pie Moonshine:

Easy Skillet Apple Pie:

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Buttermilk Glaze:

And with that, I have but two words left for you: Hello, autumn.