I have two dinner-time standbys for when the wind howls and it feels like you’ll never be warm again. As it’s impossible to have a fire when it’s windy, and as I have an allergic reaction to a really high heating bill, I tend to fill the night with the warmth of one-pot meals. While I have a few tried-and-true recipes, I frequently search the internet for new ones to try.

For me, a one-pot meal usually means stew or a hearty soup or cassoulet. Something I can throw in a slow-cooker in the morning and by nightfall, it’s hot and whatever meat inside is meltingly yummy. A slow-cooker is, in my opinion, a busy parent’s best friend. Once everything is in the pot, you can just forget it – until the savory aromas come wafting out from the kitchen, warming the house and making you hungry all afternoon and thus adding on the pounds as you snack your way to dinner. But aside from that…

Another fabulous cold-weather meal is pasta. Almost any kind of pasta, but my favorite is spaghetti with lots of fresh veggies, cooked just to al dente. While pasta doesn’t warm you up from the inside out like a good soup or stew does, it’s hearty flavors and textures soothe the wind-whipped beast and the carbs will keep the internal fires burning all night. Add in a hunk of good sourdough bread, toasted; then rub the toast with fresh garlic and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. That, my friends, will help keep the winter colds at bay (as well as discourage any lurking vampires – but that’s a post for another day).

Mornings are tough, too, climbing out of the warmth of a many-blanket-and-quilted bed to the chill of the morning house. I’m always reaching for the oats when hubby would rather I reach for the pancake mix. But both of us agree on Decadent Hot Chocolate. Forget your diet and try it – I guarantee your taste buds will weep in gratitude.

What are your go-to favorites for cold weather? I’d love some recipes!