Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

My mom’s kid-friendly mac and cheese and my more flavorful version are just the beginning for cheesy pasta ideas. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
We’ve had a spate of cool spring weather here in northwest Montana, including days when I woke up to snow on my just-emerging crocus and scilla, so I’ve been in comfort food mode. That means—along with other recipes that satisfy filling, fatty food cravings—mac and cheese.

I grew up eating homemade mac and cheese baked in the oven until the center was gooey and the top was a crunchy cheese crust. My mom’s version was kid-friendly and simple: elbow pasta, butter, flour, milk, and mild Cheddar. I’ve tweaked it to bring in more flavor and better texture. But when it comes to making mac and cheese your own, the recipe I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon is just the beginning.
Learn to make Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese


How To Make Cheese, Step by Step

For the Old Farmer’s Almanac website, I created a basic cheese making guide and a recipe with step-by-step photos for Farmer’s Cheese. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’m excited to share my first pieces for The Old Farmer’s Almanac website—all about cheese! I created a basic cheese making guide to help beginners make their first cheese and experienced cheese makers learn some of the history and details about the process. It includes a recipe for a classic cheese from pioneer days: Farmer’s Cheese. You’ll also find that recipe in a separate post that includes step-by-step photos of the process.

I’m just as excited that by creating these pieces for Almanac.com, the editors have added more recipes to their website for making cheese and other dairy products. The website’s collection now includes recipes for homemade ricotta, yogurt, and butter. I have another piece in the works for their website, too.
Learn how to make cheese, step-by-step

Homemade Fruit Leather: Most Requested

I usually make my most requested fruit leathers from homegrown and frozen berries and homemade applesauce. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Homemade jams and preserves are delicious, but they take hours my garden demands I spend weeding and harvesting. As I explain this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, freezing homegrown fruit lets me keep up with the harvest and save that haul to preserve in a different way when I have more time. Two-step preserving may seem like extra work, but it’s really a time saver when that second process needs some dedicated hours and focus, like canning jam and rolling up dried fruit leather.

Berries freeze particularly well for later preserving projects, as well as for smoothies, baked goods, and more. I always spread them on a tray for a first round of freezing to discourage clumping in the freezer bag. Again, what seems like extra work makes pulling out just a few berries for muffins or a galette so much easier. Even defrosting an entire bag for my nephew and niece’s favorite fruit leather flavors seems to happen more quickly if the berries haven’t frozen into a solid brick.
Learn to make Homemade Fruit Leather

Roasting Peppers

 I use not one but four techniques to roast peppers of all colors, sizes, and heat levels. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
In one of my recent pieces for Taste of Home, I had a chance to share techniques for one of my favorite vegetable upgrades: roasting. I mainly roast homegrown peppers, so it’s an easy seasonal choice to char them on the grill. But if you’re buying peppers out of season or keeping an eye on a simmering pot in the kitchen, indoor techniques may make more sense. So I share not one but four ways to roast peppers of all colors, sizes, and heat levels.

Once glance at the price on a jar of roasted peppers in the store makes clear a key advantage to roasting your own. Other reasons include the ability to get them just the right softness to use in chunks in fresh dishes—jarred roasted peppers tend to be soft and slippery. I don’t just roast the standard red bell peppers, either: green bells, Gypsy peppers, Poblanos, and chilies all carry a smoky note when their charred.
Learn more about Roasting Peppers