It’s getting to be that time of year again. The air is turning crisp, the leaves are changing colors and cozy sweaters are finding their way out of the backs of dresser drawers. Fall is my favorite time of the year, not just because I get to break out my boots or because the weather is perfect for running outside, but also because the season calls for a menu of delicious comfort food. Nothing beats walking out of the slight autumnal chill and sitting down to a hot, nostalgia-inducing meal. So grab a few friends and enjoy my recipe for hearty chicken pot pie. Just be sure to save some room for a traditional fall dessert — caramel apples!

Chicken Pot Pie
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 unbaked pie crusts, 9 inch, round

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine carrots, peas, celery and cubed chicken in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain the mixture and set aside. Combine the butter, garlic and onion in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the onions are soft. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and milk. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes. Line a round pan with one pie crust and fill with chicken mixture. Remove thyme sprigs from the liquid mixture and pour into the pie crust. Top with second pie crust and seal edges. Cut small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 4.
Cost per person: $5.00

Caramel Apples
4 red apples
1 bag caramels
2 tbsp.tablespoons milk
4 Popsicle sticks

Combine caramels and milk in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until smooth. Insert Popsicle sticks into the apples. Hold apples by the stick and submerge in caramel while using a spoon to evenly cover the apple. Allow excess caramel to drip off before placing the apple on a buttered surface. Allow apples to chill for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.
Cost per person: $2.00