Fall Family Fun

Raise your hands if you’ve ever been apple picking… this is one of fall’s best family outings! Pull on a wool sweater, grab a bucket and some hot apple cider and gather up as many of fall’s favorite fruit as you can. It’s a great outdoor activity the whole family can get into – or you parents can sit back and relax while the kiddos tackle the trees! A few tips for your day in the orchard:


Apple-picking season usually begins in early September and lasts through November (apples keep well in cold storage, which is why we can also enjoy them in July!).

Choose apples that are heavy for their size and feel firm when pressed gently. Avoid bruised fruit. For the longest shelf life, store apples in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. And for more tips on picking the right fruits, check out my post here.

To find a place near you to pick apples, check out sites like this one: http://www.pickyourown.org/

Once you’ve got those babies at home, try this very Gourmet Dad version of a grilled cheese – you can make this for the whole family and simply omit the ingredients the kids (or you!) aren’t crazy about.

Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon



  • A few slices of your favorite melt-y cheese – Fontina, Swiss or classic cheddar are great options
  • An apple, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of your favorite bread
  • 3 strips of bacon (regular or turkey – or tofu, if ya like!), cooked and cut in half
  • butter (enough for buttering bread) 


Preheat grill pan or skillet over medium heat.

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Arrange half of the cheese slices on the un-buttered side of once slice of bread. Then layer on the bacon, sliced apples, and finally the other half of the cheese carefully on top. Top with the other slice of bread, and gently transfer to the skillet.

Cook sandwich on both sides until golden brown and the cheese has begun to melt, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Pair this with some soup or a salad and you’ve got a delicious fall meal!

Share your favorite fall apple recipes below! 



Photo credit: Virginia.orgTop of TownBakeYourDay
  • Tara

    Looks yummy! I see this being made in my house this week. Thanks for the idea. BTW, I really enjoyed the Backyard Bash show the other day. I hope there are more specials to come!

  • Dean McDermott

    Thanks Tara!

  • NathouFranckLiam

    Good idea, I Know a recipe with salad and apple with nuts and cheese and white grapes, but it is cold.
    My favorite apple is the “Fudji” it is juicy, sweet and crunchy!

  • Kathleen O

    My family loves apple cobbler, while I prefer apples raw and chilled:

    5 c. peeled & sliced tart apples
    3/4 c. sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 c. water
    2 tbsp. flour
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 tbsp. butter


    1/2 c. sifted flour
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 tbsp. butter
    1 egg, slightly beaten

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To make Filling: In a medium bowl combine apples and other filling ingredients except butter. Turn into 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Dot apples with butter. Pour batter, combine batter ingredients and mix until smooth.

    Drop batter by spoonfuls over the apples and spread evenly. Batter will spread during baking. Bake 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender.

    You will notice there is no milk in the batter. This works well for anyone in the family who doesn’t tolerate milk.

  • Jun Alapag

    I eat now cut into little pieces of apple(s). But I also eat the whole red apples, the greens are good too and shall I say too sweet. but if its mixed that’s always good. You know your kids could bring to school to their teacher or teachers an apple “IF” that’s all right until they get quite older when they don’t want their apple at all.

  • Dean McDermott

    That sounds awesome, Kathleen – can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Dean McDermott

    I agree! It’s the perfect all-by-itself apple.

  • Dean McDermott

    What a great idea!

  • Jun Alapag

    You ever tried fruit cocktail for snack or fruit salad for parties? I love those two a lot. I’m sure you do too.

  • Lemon Meringue

    Favourite fall apple meal in our household is a Chicken-Apple Dish originally from Normandy (France). You can make it with chickenbreast or legs (actually any part of the chicken will do!). Wer like picking bones but it’s up to your own taste.
    Anyway: Put some salt and even more pepper on your chicken and bake it until it’s done (breast should take about 7 minutes a side, legs 35-45 minutes). Set aside and keep warm in the stove. Peel and core 6 apples, quarter them and brown them for 3 minutes in the same pan you used for the chicken in about 1 Tbsp of the chickenfat. Add 8 Tbsp of Calvados (the best taste, because of the boiling down you’ll loose most of the alcohol, but if you are a teetotal use applejuice) and braise the apples 7-10 minutes. Put them with the chicken in the stove. Boil down the remaining chickeny-appley liquid until there is 1 Tbsp left. Add 8 Tbsp of cream, boil down until it coats the back of a spoon nicely. Adjust with salt and pepper and pour over apples and chicken. We love this with rice (not very French, I admit) but some buttery cooked or even better, baked potatoes will make a match made in a pan!
    Very kid-friendly but still gourmet Dad worthy I assume?

  • Dean McDermott

    Wow, absolutely! My mouth is watering haha, I have to try this! Thanks for sharing it with me :)

  • Dean McDermott