I absolutely love Fall! It’s the setting of several of my novels, including my latest, A Lancaster Family Secret. Ignoring the scary Halloween décor that intrigues Piper, I see so many cute Autumn decorations as we walk in the mornings. Not to mention all the lovely displays in store windows and even at the grocery store.

While my husband and I no longer carve pumpkins, I do put a few arrangements of leaves, pumpkins, gourds and cinnamon sticks around the house. It’s also a wonderful time to treat yourself to something during this cozy season!

Of course, Fall means scrumptious foods as well. Soup, hot spiced cider, and anything apple is a big hit with me, so my grandmother’s Apple Bread Pudding is a must.

Apple Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups bread cubes (roughly ¾” cubes), from stale bread
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk or cream
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups apples, diced, unpeeled
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously butter a 9″ square baking dish.
  • Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Beat together the eggs, milk or cream, apple juice concentrate and vanilla plus the brown sugar and spice; pour over the bread and stir.
  • Add the raisins, apples, and nuts. Stir and transfer to the prepared pan. Drizzle the melted butter over the top.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until the pudding is set and no liquid shows when you tilt the pan. Remove the pudding from the oven and serve warm with caramel topping and vanilla ice cream (for a decadent dessert), or refrigerate until ready to serve and reheat.

Fall is all about feeling comfy and snug. I love to wear a soft sweater and wrap myself up in a quilt and take a bit of time to read. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of novellas, squeezing them in between my writing and editing.

After years of honing her skills, my aunt made marvelous petite quilts.

My Aunt Leda was an amazing quilter, making exquisite award-winning miniature quilts as well as fullsize.

Are you reading Christmas books yet? Here’s a new novella I recommend by fellow Pacific Northwest author, Melody Carlson, A Quilt for Christmas, a warm and touching story of lonely strangers coming together to bring joy and love to a young family in need. A delighful read, plus I adore quilts!

Christmas should be celebrated with family and close friends. But for Vera Swanson, that’s not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one—until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all—and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books, including many bestselling Christmas novellas that I’ve enjoyed. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

Enter my Feelings of Fall Giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card plus a copy of my latest novel, A Lancaster Family Secret or another of my books if you’ve already purchased a copy. US and Canada only. Winner will be announced Tuesday October 25 and has three days to respond to my email. Only by responding to my email can you win. Sorry, I don’t read Facebook or Instagram messages.

Enter Kate's giveaway by April 25