Savor the cold weather with warming drinks, waffled grilled cheese and seasonal salad

Make the most of a cold day with these comforting recipes.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

The temperature's dropping but the kitchen is heating up! Melissa Clark joins TODAY Food to shake up some classic dishes for the fall and winter seasons.

Warm spices like nutmeg and peppercorn can be used for more than just pies. Give hot chocolate and mulled cider an inventive kick from the spice rack and, if you choose, the liquor cabinet. Elevate grilled cheese by using a waffle iron (it's not just for sweet breakfast dishes!) and throw together a light Brussels sprouts salad for six in just 15 minutes. All of Clark's dishes are ideal for entertaining, from a cozy dinner party to a kids' gathering, but also work well for a solo lunch or intimate family meal.

Nutmeg Hot Chocolate

Creamy, rich hot chocolate gets a spicy kick from a touch of nutmeg. Adding a bit of rum turns a kid-friendly treat into a more adult beverage. Try a dollop of whipped cream or marshmallows for some added sweetness.

Hot Spiced Cider

Hot Spiced Cider

Melissa Clark

Cozy and warming, spiced apple cider is the ultimate cold weather beverage to warm up the whole family. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a larger group during a winter gathering where some added bourbon may be just the right touch on a snowy day.

Waffle-Iron Grilled Cheese

Crunchier and with more buttery nooks and crannies than regular grilled cheese, the waffle iron gives this lunchtime classic a killer makeover. This dish is versatile and experimenting with different spreads and cheeses is a great way to please a crowd. Set up a DIY station during a party like Martha Stewart so everyone can have grilled cheese their way!

While it's natural to crave hot stews and pastas during fall and winter, sometimes something lighter and in season is just what a dinner spread needs. Raw, shaved Brussels sprouts come together as a beautiful side salad with walnuts and sharp cheese.