Winter was so very impolite this season, bringing its frosty attitude and just really overstaying its welcome. But we had to eat, and so throughout this wintertide torpor I undertook a few culinary projects that had me dashing here and there in search of this and that. Not only did I reaffirm my cold weather fortitude, I added some A-lister’s to the family recipe book . Bonus.

Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli in Parmesan Broth. All handmade, naturally.

With spring near on the calendar I went bold with Ricotta-filled Beet Ravioli, served with an Orange and Walnut Sauce. These gorgeous pastas looked better than they tasted, so some tweaking will be needed for the next time.

Comfort food for a cold night, Curried Lentils.

When the weather was its coldest the outdoor grilling was paused, but only because the coals could not stay hot. As soon as temperatures soared into the minus-single digits (ºC) we woke the Weber. Tony and I enjoyed this Grilled Octopus and Halloumi Salad on a Saturday evening, and it felt like a mini escape to a warmer clime.

This Grilled Thai Chicken on Lemongrass Skewers recipe was even more exceptional than we expected.

A trip to the Chinese markets produced Jasmine tea to brine and lightly perfume these ribs; a little honey and soy brushed on at the end of grilling made them exquisite. And likely made our neighbors jealous.

This grill-seared tuna with mango salsa all but shouted, “Shoo, Winter. Don’t Bother Us.”

Dukkah is as genius as sliced bread. Harissa Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Dukkah. A feast.

Many of my creations I post on FB, prompting one friend to ask, “Do you ever eat normal dinners?”  Of course we do.  Broccoli Cheddar Waffle Fries, because often the local grocery store just can not manage complicated menus and I lacked any and all interest in cleaning the snow and ice from the car in order to reach a real grocery.

Nachos, improved with grilled tandoori chicken and toasted Naan chips.

Fish Stick Tacos. Unbelievably delicious.

To close out this chapter of the recipe book, dessert. I do not often bake but when I do, I am all in for dark chocolate and coffee cake with warm caramel and sea salt.