sweet potato, sausage + apple pot pies

Holiday traditions are a huge deal for me. Growing up, Halloween always meant creating that perfect costume, trick-or-treating with my sisters and the neighbor kid across the street, and visiting the school’s Halloween carnival before going home and passing out in a sugar coma. In the days leading up to the holiday itself, it meant carving pumpkins and watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and the Garfield Halloween special (“I’ll have you know, Halloween is my middle name! Gar-Halloween-field….”) from the video tapes my mom had recorded many years before.

Every year when Halloween rolls around, I still look forward to watching those silly cartoon specials of my childhood, carving jack-o-lanterns and admiring their flickering candlelight in the dark outside my house, and my new tradition — making tasty things to eat. These adorable Fall flavor-packed pot pies are everything a Halloween meal should be, complete with festive orange sweet potato, autumn-appropriate sage and sausage, and the perfect jack-o-lantern face grinning up at you as you eat. Can your Halloween meal get any cuter? I submit that it cannot.

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pumpkin spiced jack-o-lantern macarons

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Going out trick-or-treating for Halloween candy was something I looked forward to every year as a kid. I always hoped to get lots of fun size Snickers bars, and always scoffed at the ever-present rolls of Smarties candies that would accumulate in my pumpkin shaped pail. Come on, those things were barely even candy!

These days, living the life of a gal who’s pushing 31, my trick-or-treating days are long behind me. That doesn’t stop me from still carving jack-o-lanterns to set out in my front yard, watching John Carpenter’s Halloween every year (and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — it’s a classic!), and occasionally buying a mixed bag of Halloween candy to snack on hand out to potential trick-or-treaters.

The older I get, the more I embrace those nostalgic Halloween traditions. Living life as an adult, I get the added perk of making my own classier, grown up-friendly Halloween treats, like these adorable pumpkin spiced macarons! Yes, pumpkin spice is everywhere, but I promise you, these actually taste like real pumpkin and spices!

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jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers

Isn’t Halloween one of the best parts of being a kid? It’s like that old Seinfeld bit, “What is this? What did you say? What did you say about giving out candy? Who’s giving out candy? Everyone that we know is just giving out candy?!”

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Going trick-or-treating as a kid was one of my favorite times of the year. My mom would help me and my sisters touch up our costumes after wearing them at school all day, and when the sun started to go down, we’d pile into our neighbor Eric’s mom’s van and go through our neighborhoods in search of glorious, free candy! Armed with plastic pumpkin buckets and green glow sticks around our necks, we’d get out of the van every so often and get candy from a few streets worth of houses before getting back in and repeating it down the next few streets. You dress up, and people give you free candy. What a time to be alive!

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