Depending on where you live, October is all about cozy baking, comforting soups, and our favorite fall produce (bless you, sweet potatoes). In this weekly digest, we’re sharing the recipes we make for fun—outside of the office—as we enjoy the best of autumn cooking. Check back every Friday for more October favorites. 

October 28

Dessert-for-Breakfast Muffins

I haven’t made my way to Cafe Mutton in Hudson, New York yet, but when I tried the test kitchen’s version of the Best New Restaurant 2022’s orange muffins, I was determined to make them myself. Described as Creamsicle muffins, and moist with a hint of citrus, they’re pretty close to cupcakes masquerading as a breakfast item (a.k.a. my favorite kind of muffin). A friend of mine made them with lemon instead of orange and loved them too. — Serena Dai, editorial director

Anytime Orange Muffins

These plush bakery-style orange muffins are inspired by a much-loved version from Costco. We cut the dried fruit so that the orange flavor really shines.

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Tofu and Kimchi Stew

Tofu and kimchi: an ideal combination. I came across this recipe when looking for something warming and quick on a recent chilly day and was thrilled to realize I had (almost) everything I needed to make it at home. I swapped the daikon out for bok choy—as a commenter recommended—and the final result was a spicy, cozy stew I know I’ll turn to again and again this winter. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor

Crunchy, Crispy Autumn Salad

I can’t stop thinking about Hetty Lui McKinnon’s vegetarian Thanksgiving. It has five wow-worthy recipes but one, in particular, has been haunting me ever since I tried it in the test kitchen: Radicchio and Apple Salad With Mustardy Croutons. I told myself I would wait to make it for the holiday. But I couldn’t. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Radicchio and Apple Salad With Mustardy Croutons

A bright and tangy salad featuring attention-grabbing radicchio that adds drama and balance to any holiday meal.

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Football-Ready Queso

My in-laws live in a college town, and we accidentally planned our visit to coincide with the big homecoming game. While the football fans were moving through an accelerated version of the five stages of grief (it’s a rebuilding year), I was in the kitchen making queso. I used sharp cheddar instead of Monterey Jack and added a tablespoon of adobo from a can of chipotles. But I heeded the recipe’s warning that “American cheese is nonnegotiable.” I’m glad I did—the dip stayed silky smooth for the duration of the thrashing. —MacKenzie Chung Fegan, senior commerce editor

A Refreshingly Bitter Sweet Salad

At our Thanksgiving 2021 brainstorm, the team almost unanimously agreed that salad, even at a Thanksgiving table, shouldn’t be an afterthought. So we published a few delicious jewels, including this one which cleverly combines two holiday staples: cranberry and pecans. What’s better is the nuts are transformed into a delightful brittle after they are baked with syrup and sugar. This weekend one guest squealed when she saw me pull the nuts out of the oven and break the sugar that had hardened around the them: “Are you making me candy?” she asked. Yes, but only to top your salad. —Dawn Davis, editor in chief

Bitter Greens With Cranberry Dressing

Your Thanksgiving spread doesn’t just need a salad—it needs THIS salad with a bright, tart-sweet cranberry dressing.

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October 21

Instant-Classic Roast Chicken

Some recipes take their time en route to becoming classics. Some strike a chord immediately. Such was the case for Diana Yen’s Thai Roast Chicken Thighs, which our audience loves. I’m drawn to it for a host of reasons: the depth of flavor that comes when cabbage is roasted in gooey, flavorful chicken schmaltz; the mix of Thai-inspired, pantry-friendly ingredients; and the fact that it uses only one skillet for the chicken (and a pot for the rice). No wonder it’s so popular. —Dawn Davis, editor in chief

Thai Roast Chicken Thighs With Coconut Rice

This single skillet, weeknight riff on Diana Yen’s favorite Thai rotisserie chicken packs coconut milk, lime juice, and fish sauce for plenty of umami.

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Cheesy, Comforting Beans

Early in the pandemic, when beans were all the rage, I was seeking new bean recipes when my friend and former colleague Meghan McCarron said that her favorite recipe from Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman was pizza beans. I made it often, and after returning from vacation, I sought something cozy, healthy, and easy to repurpose into leftovers. She served me well once again. —Serena Dai, editorial director

Sesame Chicken and Cabbage Salad

I’ve made this Sesame Chicken and Cabbage Salad just about every week since I first sampled it during its development in the test kitchen. And chances are that if you cook with me often, you’ve had it too. It is easy to make, takes well to substitutes (i.e., maple syrup instead of honey or gochujang instead of sriracha), and tastes even better the next day. This week I made it on a Monday night cooking date with a friend using green beans, cilantro, and scallions from the farmers market, which made the recipe that much better (if that’s even possible). I’m just happy the recipe is finally out in the world so that you can fall in love with it too. —Kate Kassin, editorial operations associate

Sesame Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Lean on the broiler for a speedy chicken and cabbage salad that’s big on color, crunch, and flavor—and short on time.

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Golden, Crispy Fried Shallots 

Whenever the temperature starts to dip, I inevitably crave khichdi. The homey one-pot rice and lentil dish is extremely comforting. My favorite part is eating it with condiments like garlic achar and these crispy fried shallots. The shallots are the perfect textural foil, adding flavor and crunch with every bite. The best part is that I can start making them at the same time I start making the khichdi, and they’re both done at the same time. They keep well in an airtight container and are great for other soups and salads too. Yes, you could use store-bought, but these are great if you have shallots that are on the brink. —Urmila Ramakrishnan, associate director of social media

Tender Pumpkin Spice Cake

To get into spooky mode, I made senior cooking editor Emma Laperruque’s Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake for a Halloween movie night with a friend (the movie of choice: Hocus Pocus 2). The best thing about this cake, aside from all of the nostalgic, autumnal, warming spices, is the impeccable, almost 1:1 ratio of crackly crumb to cake. I loved how my apartment smelled like fall after baking this. —Antara Sinha, associate cooking editor

Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake

Your regular old crumb cake gets a fall makeover with this pumpkin and spice-spiked version.

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October 14

Bright, Herby Shrimp Pasta

There has been a bag of shrimp in my freezer since, well, I don’t want to say when. This pasta from Rachel Gurjar got me excited to finally use them. It’s bright from preserved lemon and lemon juice, lively from chile flakes and fresh garlic. The recipe calls for parsley, but I swapped in dill because that’s what I had. Now I need more shrimp to make it again. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Shrimp Pasta With Preserved Lemon

Need an excuse to use up some preserved lemons? Let this simple lemony, buttery, and shrimpy pasta prove once again just how delicious and versatile they can be.

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Portuguese Orange Olive Oil Cake

Bought too much citrus—a good problem to have—and turned to this recipe from Leite’s Culinaria that I’ve been making for over a decade. It’s the type of cake that everyone should have in their repertoire: unfussy, crowd-pleasing, hard to mess up. It bakes in a Bundt pan (<a data-offer-url=":4gKgcFFoYyWqtAJpQGvhXSjiGT5R

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