After months of balancing beach time and blasting air conditioning, summer is ending. Now that you’ve scrambled to cook all the best warm-weather produce and fired up the grill a final few times, let’s give a (slightly less) warm welcome to the greatest season of all: fall.

Now, we understand that fall may not be everyone’s favorite time of year, but it does have some of the best foods and flavors (two words: pumpkin spice) plus cardigan-wearing-temperature weather. Just try to go apple picking while surrounded by colorful falling leaves without grinning from ear to ear. Here are five things we’re excited about this autumn, including finally giving that Dutch oven some lovin’.

1. Apple Picking (and Eating)

Once you pick a few bushels of apples at the local farm, you can make your own caramel apples or check out our best apple recipes to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

2. Warm, Bubbly Casseroles

Your oven misses you, so try out some easy casserole recipes like Sunny Anderson’s cheesy mushroom and broccoli bake. Pro tip: Adding cheese will make anything taste better.

3. Pumpkin Spice Everything

After you have a few Pumpkin Spice Lattes, try using our DIY Pumpkin Spice recipe for Pumpkin Sticky Buns with Pecan Bourbon Caramel Goodness or other fun pumpkin pie transformations.

Bonus: Watch how to pumpkin-fy your cocktails:

4. Breaking Out the Dutch Oven

Your Dutch oven is ready for its close-up. Fill it with delicious fall recipes like this Beef and Butternut Squash Stew or decadent short ribs. When you braise for days, you’ll get plenty of praise.

5. Kicking Off the Holidays

The first two major holidays of the end of the year are Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pore over spooky Halloween recipes and ideas like how to make a pumpkin cake or a Jack-o’-Lantern cheese ball before your Monster Mash, and then start gathering Thanksgiving turkey and side dish recipes as the countdown to football days and tryptophan nights begins.

Get more comfort food recipes.

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