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As the autumn nights grow colder, staying in to cook with a few friends becomes an increasingly appealing alternative to going out. If you’re looking for a cozy dinner party, dessert inspiration or just a new idea for weekly meal prep, check out Pipe Dream’s list of unconventional fall-themed recipes.

Cheddar Apple Brussels Sprouts

Out of concern for the absent-minded student who forgets to use their fresh produce before it spoils, this recipe calls for frozen Brussels sprouts. Fresh sprouts work as well, though, and fall is the perfect time of year to buy them. Onions and apples stay fresh for a while, so this is a great choice if you’re craving fruits and vegetables weeks after a grocery run.

Total Time: 30 to 40 mins

Ingredients:

— 2 cups frozen Brussels sprouts (approximately 20 sprouts)

— 1 cup diced apple

— ½ cup diced sweet onion

— ½ cup shredded cheddar

— Oil or butter for roasting and sautéing

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Drizzle Brussels sprouts with oil or butter and spread out evenly on a baking sheet.

3. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking pan once halfway to even browning.

4. While sprouts are roasting, gently heat oil or butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.

5. Add onions and saute until golden.

6. Once onions are golden, stir in apple and saute until browned.

7. Remove sprouts from the oven, then remove apples and onions from heat and mix everything together. While vegetables are still hot, stir in shredded cheddar until it melts.

Happy Harvest Squash Pastries

Rebecca Kiss/Photography Editor
Savor the beginning of October with these squash pastries.

The rich flavors of honey butter, pumpkin and squash make these pastries the perfect appetizers or desserts for a fall gathering. While baking, the crescent rolls smell heavenly in the oven, and the finished product — pinched golden crusts and festive orange filling — is an Instagram-worthy display sure to impress guests.

Total Time: Two hours

Ingredients:

— 1 butternut squash, cut into halves with the seeds hollowed out

— 1 cup Imagine Organic Creamy Pumpkin Soup

— 2 rolls of Pillsbury Crescent Roll Honey Butter (8 ct)

— 3 tablespoons honey

— 4 tablespoons melted butter

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place squash halves on a baking sheet with the cut sides facing up. Drizzle two tablespoons of butter and half a tablespoon of honey over each half. Bake for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the squash from the oven and pour half a cup of pumpkin soup into each of the hollow dents left by the seeds. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the squash flesh is soft.

4. Remove squash from the oven and start scooping the flesh into a mixing bowl, mixing in the pumpkin soup and two tablespoons of honey. Mash the squash until the mixture is even.

5. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Unroll the Pillsbury dough and cut each roll into eight rectangles.

6. Spoon the squash mixture onto the rectangles, then gather the corners of the dough up into a bundle. Drizzle with honey and bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden. Let cool for five to 10 minutes.

Beet Pancakes

These deceptively delicious vegan beet pancakes are a vibrant addition to any breakfast or brunch. To amp up the fall flavors, try adding cinnamon, nutmeg or hazelnut extract to the mix. Bottled beet juice might seem like a niche item, but it can usually be found at Wegmans or Walmart.

Total Time: 30 to 40 mins

Ingredients:

— 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

— 2 tablespoons white sugar

— 2 teaspoons baking powder

— ½ teaspoon salt

— 1 cup beet juice

— ¼ cup water

— 1 tablespoon oil

Steps:

1. Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl until evenly mixed.

2. Mix the water, beet juice and oil together in a small bowl. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.

3. Spoon mixture into a lightly oiled frying pan on medium heat. Cook each pancake until bubbles form at the top, then flip and cook until edges are dry and both sides are browned.

Adapted from allrecipes.com