Let it rain. In Napa Valley, the vines are dormant and our soil is thirsty. During these damp months, I’m hungry for hearty dishes that make my kitchen smell divine: lamb meatballs simmered in yogurt with a sizzling topping of red pepper butter; brothy chickpeas layered with toasted pita, yogurt and butter-browned pine nuts; fondue made with top-notch mountain cheeses. (It makes a difference.) If I can save up—or buy—enough Parm rinds, I’ll make a rich stock for winter risottos. Even my salads get a little cheesier in winter: I love a spinach salad with queso fresco or shaved ricotta salata. I don’t often make cheesecake because it’s too hard to resist, but my friend Cenk’s pumpkin cheesecake is worth every last calorie.