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Fall dishes to bring to the holiday potluck

Crisp, cool autumn days herald a season full of enticing fruits, vegetables, and nuts. From juicy red apples to flavorful squash, the vibrant colors and tastes of the season make some of the most delectable dishes. You'll spruce up any ho-hum holiday potluck when you add some of these heartwarming and beloved fall flavors to the table.

 The Prelude

 The best potluck parties have a few delectable appetizers and starters to nosh on while waiting for guests to arrive. These little bites don't take long to make, but they make a big impact. Candied pecans, mini-croissants with apple butter, and savory stuffed mushrooms are always good choices. For salads, blend vivid colors and seasonal tastes in dishes like cranberry spinach salad or opt for a persimmon and pomegranate fruit salad.

 The Main Event

 Tickle their taste buds and tummies with filling savory dishes that take advantage of bountiful vegetables. You'll be a hit when you whip up an old-fashioned sweet potato casserole or a dish of roasted parsnips. Or, get creative and develop your own sausage and cranberry stuffing recipe or put together a butternut squash ravioli dish. Tried-and-true favorites are also perfect for chilly autumn days, so fill everyone up with satisfying pumpkin soup, homemade chili, or beef stew.

 The Final High Note

 If you enjoy baking, you probably already have a few favorite fall desserts. With all the fresh apples, pumpkins, pears, and nuts in season, it may be tough to decide which dessert to take. You can go the traditional apple or pumpkin pie route, or you can give those old favorites a new twist by making pumpkin cookies or little hand-held apple pies.

 Whatever culinary creation you make, remember that holiday potlucks are a time to honor treasured traditions while creating some new seasonal favorites. So, drag Grandma's precious cookbook out of storage and go to town. Whether you follow her recipes exactly or you put your own touch on her concoctions, you're sure to wow everyone at the holiday potluck.