The arrival of September tends to divide people into two camps: those cable knit sweater-wearing, spiced pumpkin latte-drinking, “We’re driving north to see the foliage,” apple-picking fall lovers, and the beach-going, backyard grill-loving, “Get a load of these tomatoes, peppers, and sweet corn” summer diehards. We’re admittedly a bit of both and these September recipes are further proof of that.

Mother Nature may not officially turn her page to fall until Sept. 22, but we cannot help love the mossy-smelling brisk air that moves in after Labor Day and that back-to-school, fresh start feeling. As the heat winds down and cooler days approach, we are struck with a jolt of inspiration to pull out the slow cooker, create game day tailgating feasts, and gather outdoors around a fire pit with friends and family.

We love late summer’s fruits and produce that usher us into fall with a sweet landing. These remind us that, while the days grow shorter, there is still so much of summer to relish: Pears are ripe, tomatoes are bursting, grapes are busting, and seasonal dishes to enjoy cooking on the grill abound.

Here, we offer a taste of our favorite September recipes and culinary ideas with the best of summer in mind and an eye toward fall. (And who doesn’t love fall?) All these reasons are why this is our favorite time of year to be in the kitchen.

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Theresa Gambacorta is a food writer and 25-year veteran of New York City's restaurant industry. Her writing has appeared in such titles as La Cucina Italiana, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, and Centennial's special interest publications. She is the co-author of chef Joey Campanaro's Big Love Cooking (Chronicle) and is currently working on a cookbook about Persian cuisine to be published by Knopf.

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