Tantalize Your Taste Buds: Starfire Direct's Fall Recipe Contest

Fall is my favorite time of the year. There are piles of fallen leaves to jump into, apples and pumpkins to pick, football teams to scream- I mean cheer- for, and stunning local flora to appreciate. You can enjoy gorgeous trees in every color of the sunset, crisp chilly weather, and cozy sweaters and scarves to bundle up in. And of course, there is my absolute favorite thing about fall: all the rich, vibrant, and delicious seasonal food.

Give me sweet pumpkin pie, colorful squash and gourds, savory and buttery turkey, crispy and salty bacon, and tangy apple cider. There are so many delicious fall recipes, it would take a lifetime to eat your way through them- and oh how I wish I could. Alas, that is neither practical nor good for my blood pressure. Here at Starfire Direct, we held an office-wide fall recipe contest to put some of our favorite seasonal appetizers and desserts to the test. Next time you are invited to a fall potluck, you'll be one step ahead of the rest with these crowd-pleasing fall recipes.


The winner of Starfire Direct Fall Recipe Challenge: Bacon-Wrapped Cherry Peppers from Platings and Pairings

For some reason, parties make me peckish. I know I am not alone on this one. One of the first lines of business when I arrive at a soiree is to scope out the hors d'oeuvre table. Often a guest's first impression of a gathering, appetizers offer a world of opportunity to impress your fellow party-goers with your culinary skills and creativity. And luckily for professional potluck-ers everywhere, the fall season provides a very special and beloved set of ingredients to work with. A simple Google search of "fall appetizers" will leave you with more recipes than you could ever think to try out. We tried out four of these delicious fall-inspired appetizer recipes and picked our favorite.

Without further ado, the winner of the Starfire Direct Fall Recipe contest, appetizer division, is: Bacon-Wrapped Cherry Peppers from Platings and Pairings! Sasha from our Sales Team's sweet and savory wrapped peppers were the perfect combination of creamy goat cheese and salty bacon. Safe to say, there were not many of these left by the end of the day. Yum.

Some of our runners up for the appetizer category included the Gruyere, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Bites from Little Spice JarCranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread from Yellow Bliss Road, and Cranberry Pecan Crostini from The Gardening Cook.

WINNING APPETIZER: Bacon-Wrapped Cherry Peppers

Recipe Source: Platings and Pairings


    • 12 fresh sweet cherry peppers (stems removed and seeded)
    • ½ cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
    • ¼ cup goat cheese
    • strips bacon, halved


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
    2. In a small bowl, combine the cheddar and goat cheese.
    3. Stuff each cherry pepper with a heaping spoonful of the cheese mixture and wrap with a slice of bacon; secure with a toothpick.
    4. Arrange the stuffed peppers on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the cheese is bubbly. Serve warm.
SD Recipe Card Bacon Wrapped Cherry Peppers

Printable Recipe Card




Left: The winner of our Dessert Challenge: Pie Iron Apple Pie Turnovers from Twin Dragonfly Designs, Right: Wes' Starfire Direct Campfire

There are few things I look forward to more at a gathering than the moment the dessert- or desserts- are presented. Hand over the chocolate and I will be one happy girl. During the traditional harvest season, gorgeous pumpkins, apples, and cherries make their debut on the dinner table in the form of sweet breads, pies, and cookies. This time of year is unlike any other when it comes to baking.

Here at the Starfire Direct office, we were spoiled with four delicious desserts made by our talented team. We had a homemade, ridiculously moist family recipe Pumpkin Bread, a perfectly crisp Apple Pie a la mode from Imperfect Homemaking, and an amazing Pumpkin-Walnut Bread from Epicurious. As we filled our plates with these incredible desserts, one dish rose above the rest: Pie Iron Apple Turnovers from Twin Dragonfly Designs. Flawlessly gooey and filled with effortlessly sweet fruit, Chief Information Officer Wes' dessert was a shoo-in for our winner.

For this delicious creation, Wes created a wood-burning fire in the back of our warehouse to cook these babies right. As an avid outdoors man, Wes is more than well-versed in the ways of the campfire. Find the recipe for these campground favorites below.

WINNING DESSERT: Pie Iron Apple Turnover

Recipe Source:Twin Dragonfly Designs


    • 1 can Pillsbury country biscuits
    • 1 jar apple pie filling
    • 1 bag marshmallows
    • 1 can non-stick spray (optional)


    1. Spray the interior of a pie iron with non-stick spray.
    2. Layer 1 biscuit, 1/4 cup apple pie filling, 1 marshmallow and 1 biscuit.
    3. Close and latch the pie iron.
    4. Cook over the fire, opening the iron to check progress periodically.
    5. Cook for approximately 5 mins per side depending on how hot the fire is.
SD Recipe Card Pie Iron Apple Turnovers


Printable Recipe Card

More Printable Recipe Cards

Top Row: Pumpkin Bread Loaf, Gruyere Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Bites, Cranberry Crostinis, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, Bottom Row: Bacon-Wrapped Cherry Peppers, Pie Iron Apple Turnovers, Apple Pie, Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread

You can find printable recipe cards for all of the fantastic recipes below:

Turn Up the Heat!

Big thanks to all of our participating Chefs who did a great job bringing these beloved dishes to life!

I hope your taste buds are tingling and your creative culinary juices are flowing, because I know mine are. It is time to suit up. Preheat your oven, tighten your apron strings, and flour your pans because it is time to turn up the heat in your kitchen. Our Starfire chefs are standing by for any questions you may have on the nuances of puff pastries. Or perhaps, we should just stick to what we know. Call us at (866) 578-8538, email us by filling out this simple form, or chat with a team member live on the site. Happy cooking!


    Katrina McBreen