No matter how you define cold where you live (no judgments here…), there’s no debate about keeping the home fires burning when the chill arrives, or at least the stove, with something warming. Something comforting. Something that eases the freeze and makes it more than okay to hibernate.

Michigan winters (that’s what we used to call them, before we got polar vortex crazy) have instructed me so well that I take certain, and unwavering, pleasure in weather that forces me to stay put. Up North, with not a soul in my clan around these post-holiday days, that means the kind of solitude every writer, and reader, pines after.

Here are some delicious ways to keep your kitchen windows steamed up–another version of rose-colored glasses, blurring our view of the vortex, and transforming it into a cozy winter’s day with something warm and good to eat.

Garlicky Lentil Soup

Fragrant Chicken Soup with Cinnamon

Kishk
A soup of dried yogurt and ground beef or lamb

Talami Bread

Za’atar Flatbread

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Old favorites, Lebanese-style. Okay, NOT, but on days like these we’ve gotta have them!