Mint

It’s Twice as Tasty’s birthday month, and what better way to celebrate than with cocktails? Get simple syrup and mojito recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I tend to be on seasonal quests for unbeatable mixed drinks, looking for, say, the bar that makes its own tonic for G&Ts or the bartender who concocts the perfect old-fashioned. Several years ago, it was mojitos, and a local bartender mixed my hands-down favorite: heavy on the mint, light on the sweet, with the perfect touch of lime. Mint grows like a weed in my garden, but my homemade mojitos didn’t show it. So I had to ask: What was her secret? She gave a simple answer: simple syrup.

I didn’t know it, but I’d been making simple syrup for years—to feed hummingbirds. The first time I dropped some mint leaves into the batch, I found a new kitchen staple. Simple syrups are as easy as they sound, and they can sweeten everything from beverages, with or without alcohol, to desserts. And since it’s Twice as Tasty’s birthday month, and what better way to celebrate than with cocktails?
Learn to make Mint Simple Syrup and Mega-Mint Mojitos

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Herb Marinades

Some of my favorite food memories linger from travels, with dishes I repeat at home. Get Moroccan recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Some of my favorite travel memories linger from my time in Morocco. I had the good fortune to have Peace Corps connections that introduced me to volunteers in both tiny towns and large cities. I stayed in their houses, visited their host families and haunts, and ate dinner in the homes of their Moroccan friends. I could never repeat or improve on the experience.

But the food: some of that I can and do repeat, even though it’s never quite the same. For example, every time I ate chermoula in Morocco, the flavor was unique. The basic version is essentially a pesto featuring cilantro and parsley, but my favorite versions included a little fresh ginger and extra spices, and I replicate it as well as I can. I mostly ate it in a tagine while in Morocco, but I’ve since learn to love it as a grilling marinade, accompanied, of course, by couscous.
Learn to make Grilled Shrimp with Chermoula and Cinnamon Couscous

Hot Cereals

I never was a cornflake girl, and as a kid I wasn’t a hot cereal girl. Then I went to Russia. Get hot cereal recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I never was a cornflake girl, and as a kid I wasn’t a hot cereal girl. I blame my dad: To this day, he calls his porridge “mush.” (If you want to get little girls excited about eating hot breakfast cereal, I highly suggest a different name.) Beyond the name, I disliked the taste and texture—or rather, the lack of both. Dad’s porridge was always bland oats or wheat, ground finely enough or cooked long enough that “mush” was an appropriate title.

It wasn’t until I lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, that hot breakfast cereals became comfort food. Part of it was stepping off the train in early January into –23°F—weather that will make anyone eat anything hot. But mostly it was because Russians know how to make simple porridge taste good. It starts with a mix of grains, improving both flavor and texture. Adding butter to the saucepan before the grains lets them toast slightly. I then take the un-Russian step of adding spices.
Learn to make Russian Kasha and Pearl Barley Cereal with Honeyed Nuts

The Science of Food

If you looked at my book purchases over the last couple of years, you might think I started Twice as Tasty as an excuse to expand my food library. I’d be hard-pressed to dispute it. As my partner and I increasingly returned to basic ingredients and making what we eat from scratch, one of my greatest joys has been learning from people with far more experience, training, and knowledge about food. Although there is a wealth of helpful information online, many of my favorite sources sit on a shelf, ready to be pulled open when I’m looking for answers or ideas.

Earlier this year, I shared some of my go-to books on canning. They’re the inspiration for many recipes on this blog, and my favorites tell me not just how to best can something but also why the process works. When I want to write about other kitchen processes, I often have a different stack on my desk: books on the science of food.
Read more about my favorite resources on the science of food