This soup is filling enough for my husband, and it’s vegetarian, which I love. The couple who introduced us made it for us on a freezing night and we’ve been hooked ever since. —Cara McDonald, Winter Park, Colorado
To add bushels of fall flavor to your birthday bash, try baking up this cookie scarecrow shaped and decorated by the Crafting Traditions kitchen crew. It starts with Vickie's sugar cookies. "The recipe is a winner with my family and friends," Vickie says. "I am always asked to bring it—or even make it—for people." The scarecrow's easily adapted for other themes besides. For example, try a clown with bouncing balls or an athlete with baseballs instead.—Vickie Wade, Bourbonnais, Illinois
With chocolate bodies and licorice legs, these cute spiders on cobwebs will "catch" attention fast! They're easy to scare up, too—our home economists simply put a Halloween spin on cupcakes they baked from a purchased mix.
Fitting right into October fun is the suitably orange-colored sipper from Sue Thomas. "To serve it in an extra-festive way," she pens from Casa Grande, Arizona, "I'll often put the punch bowl inside a hollowed-out-pumpkin."
I usually make these bite-size cookies at Christmastime, when oranges in Florida are plentiful. Every time I sniff their wonderful aroma, I remember my grandmother, who shared the recipe. —Lori DiPietro, New Port Richey, Florida
"These tiny tangy appetizers have such broad appeal. I prepare them often for holiday gatherings, weddings and family reunions," relates Lucille Howell of Portland, Oregon. "They're convenient to serve at parties since the sauce can be made ahead, then just reheated with the franks before serving."