Quest for the Perfect Cookware

Certain recipes can reveal the true nature of the pans in your cookware set. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’m on a cookware kick with The Spruce Eats. After spending a couple of months researching and testing pressure canners and canning supplies, I’ve moved on to everyday cookware. My focus has been entirely selfish: stackable cookware that fits into the one cabinet in my kitchen or packs neatly for our sailing adventures.

The results of my research into the best stackable cookware will be up on The Spruce Eats soon. This month, I’m personally testing and reviewing several of my favorite sets. Those reviews will focus on the features and function of each set, which gives me the perfect opportunity to share some of the meals I’ll be testing here on Twice as Tasty.
Read more about cookware-revealing recipes

Home-Smoked Cheese

Upgrade mass-market cheese with a simple trick: smoke it. Get smoking recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Did you make cheese with me this month? Maybe you couldn’t find the time or didn’t track down the supplies. Maybe you’re nervous about making that first batch without my personal help. Or maybe, like me, you eat way too much cheese to rely solely on a homemade supply. That last reason is why I began upgrading mass-market cheese with a simple trick: smoke it.

Home-smoked cheese can easily start with a store-bought block that’s affordable but one-dimensional in flavor. I typically buy store-brand cheese or even giant deli loaves for smoking. It takes just a couple of hours with minimal involvement to impress family and friends. I smoke many types of cheese (usually pairing them with pickles, of course) to serve at parties, gift at holidays, and keep in constant supply in the fridge.
Learn to make Cold-Smoked Cheese and other foods

Best Pressure Canners

I’ve been testing the best pressure canners for The Spruce Eats. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Gardening season is here, and I have exciting news to share, so I’m interrupting this month of cheese posts to put canning on your radar. The news is this: One of my goals for this year has been to start writing about food for places other than this blog, and I’m excited to share that I’ve been come a regular contributor to The Spruce Eats. If you’re not familiar with the website, I suggest you check it out: It’s loaded with everything from recipes to videos to cooking tips to buying guides. I’m working with a great editor there and having a lot of fun writing for the site.

My first project was a roundup of the year’s best pressure canners, and I spent last month testing 3 of my favorites. The first reviews went live this week. Since my writing for The Spruce Eats focuses on the products, I wanted to share a little more about what I canned and cooked here.
Read more about what I’ve been pressure canning

Ricotta: Fresh and Aged

Enjoy ricotta fresh, or salt and age it to take the flavor to a new level. Get ricotta recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Ricotta didn’t interest me as a homemade cheese until I spotted an aged, salted version in Karen Solomon’s Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It. She described its texture and saltiness as resembling Romano but less complex. That, I thought, is a cheese I could love. Homemade Romano is a cultured cheese that is repeatedly molded, pressed, brined, and salted before it is aged 8–12 months. So a substitute that takes less than an hour of hands-on time and is ready in a week or so seemed perfect.

This aged cheese starts with ricotta made entirely from fresh milk. If you already make Lemon Cheese, the ricotta recipe will look familiar: it’s essentially the same cheese, although I tend to drain it for less time so that it’s soft and moist. Like the lemon version, it can be eaten fresh. I often make a double batch of ricotta, setting aside half to enjoy straightaway and aging the other half into the Romano replacement.

The only ingredient difference between Whole-Milk Ricotta and Lemon Cheese is the acid used to separate the curds from the whey. The ricotta recipe uses citric acid, a powder with a sour, neutral flavor rather than a lemony one. It’s usually easier to find than the cheese cultures in last week’s post; if you can’t buy it from a local natural-foods store, you can order it online from the sources I provided for cheese cultures.
Learn to make Whole-Milk Ricotta and Ricotta Salata