For some time now, most of the country has been experiencing the changes in the weather and scenery that comes with the fall season. Here in sunny Southern California, we are just seeing the first real signs of fall – Santa Ana winds, colder temperatures, and leaves that are finally changing color and falling off of the trees. With the fall season comes a shift in the fresh produce being displayed at the farmer’s markets and in our local stores. Now is the time to buy apples, pears, tomatoes, corn, and winter squashes. But, please, think outside the box. Don’t just buy the old standbys – red apples and Bartlet pears (not that there’s anything wrong with them). Have fun as you try some new produce. Buy one of each kind of apple or pear and have a taste test with your friends or kids. Try a variety of heirloom tomatoes (large or baby size) and slice them and drizzle with good balsamic vinegar and freshly torn basil leaves and thinly sliced mozzarella for a caprese salad. Make butternut squash soup with spiced and toasted pepitas as a crunchy garnish. Try using spaghetti squash in place of pasta and make a yummy homemade marinara and some fresh parmesan cheese to go on top. For dessert, try my individual crustless pumpkin pies topped with cinnamon cream. Enjoy the bounty of the season!