Rainy Day Comfort Recipes

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Stave off the rainy day blues this week with a lineup of warm-and-wonderful fall pairings—rich, flavorful cauliflower soup with toasted pumpernickel bread, creamy blue cheese and ripe red pears, and baked apples fragrant with cinnamon-hazelnut filling. Complemented by a roasted garlic compound butter, sweet port wine and seasonal produce including butternut squash, cabbage and the last of the sweet peppers, this cozy meal begs to be eaten fireside, tucked in your favorite chair, with the drip-drop-drip of rain falling outside.

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pears & Salad Greens
Topped with spectacular slices of blue cheese stuffed-pear, this salad always wows guests.

Baked Cinnamon Apples
These homey, cinnamon-scented apples are a farmhouse classic.

Braised Cabbage with Caramelized Onions & Apples
This simple recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart is wonderful side for chicken, beef or pork.

Butternut Squash Bisque
Creamy and supremely satisfying, this butternut squash-based soup is spiced with cinnamon, cayenne and thyme.

Homemade Sauerkraut
This super-simple recipe requires just a few select ingredients (and a little patience).

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Butternut Squash Bisque

Creamy and supremely satisfying, this butternut squash-based soup is spiced with cinnamon, cayenne and thyme.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
2½ cups chicken stock
1 cup half & half
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh silver thyme, chopped
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Method:
1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and cayenne. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Add squash, broth, half-and-half, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Working in batches, purée in a blender until smooth. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt. Serve bisque with sour cream, garnished with cayenne, if desired.

d store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

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