What do you do on a cold winter night? Build a fire for the dog to enjoy. And cook, of course. Rib-sticking stuff.

Pot roast (I like Kroger’s English cut shoulder roasts, which hold a good shape for slicing and they’re often on sale cheap) with carrots and new potatoes, which is bubbling on the stove. And a little something sweet, too, like this caramel cake, a recipe from a recent Gourmet. Simple and rich. That icing? Cream and brown sugar and a pinch of salt.