Falling for Autumn Flavors

Our cravings for comfort food and warming spices seem to return just like clockwork as the days grow shorter. We’ve put together three easy, full-flavored recipes that are guaranteed to have you feeling extra-cozy as you look forward to the joys of autumn in the Ozarks. 

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Slow-Cooked Beef Stew with Red Wine)

8 servings

In the category of things that sound fancier than they actually are, Boeuf Bourguignon is a simple dish that showcases the benefits of low, slow cooking. The aroma of this French classic will have your mouth watering as it simmers – but it is well worth the wait for the rich, savory flavor that builds over time.


1/4 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
5 medium onions, sliced
2 pounds lean beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1 8-oz package sliced fresh mushrooms


• Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions and stir frequently until tender and starting to brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

• Add beef cubes to the same skillet and stir until nicely browned. 

• Sprinkle meat with flour, marjoram, thyme and pepper – then pour red wine and beef broth over the mixture. Stir well and reduce heat to low. Simmer and stir occasionally until beef is tender, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

• Once the beef is tender, stir in onions and mushrooms. Cook about 30 additional minutes over low to medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until mushrooms are tender and the liquid has thickened and turned into dark, rich brown sauce.

• Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, rice or creamy polenta.


Hot Buttered Rum Cider

8 servings

As evenings bring a little chill, there is simply no better way to warm your bones than with a steaming mug of Hot Buttered Rum Cider. Full of spices, the recipe for this perfectly flavored beverage makes plenty to share with friends. If you don’t drink rum, no worries – it’s still wonderfully tasty without it.


1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, well packed
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of salt
Half-gallon (64 oz.) natural apple cider
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)


• Over medium heat, melt butter in a Dutch oven. Whisk in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt until completely combined.

• Carefully add apple cider and simmer until mixture is hot.

• Ladle hot buttered cider into mugs and top with rum, according to taste. Garnish with cinnamon stick if desired.


Ginger Spiced Pear Tart

4 servings

Whether you’re a lifelong baker or you’ve always focused more on just the happy consumption of delicious sweets, anyone can make this super-simple, yet showy dessert. Bursting with classic cool-weather flavors, this beautiful Ginger Spiced Pear Tart is quick to make and perfect to share.


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, fully defrosted
2 d’Anjou or Bosc pears, thinly sliced longwise
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp coarse sugar, such as demerara


• Preheat oven to 400°F and then line a large baking sheet with parchment.

• Lightly flour a clean work surface. Gently unfold and lay out the defrosted puff pastry. Cut a rectangle measuring approximately 7” by 10” and carefully move the pastry to the lined baking sheet.

• Combine well the melted butter, brown sugar, ginger, vanilla and cinnamon. Brush about half of the mixture over the top of the pastry.

• Leaving roughly 3/4” of border, layer the thin slices of pear over the pastry. Brush with the remaining portion of the butter-sugar mixture, then sprinkle with the coarse sugar.

• Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned and the edges are puffed around the pears. Cool for a minimum of 15 minutes before slicing. 

• Serve warm with a bit of fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.