everything bagel mac and cheese

Ok, as long as no one we know gets surprised engaged and decides to surprise go to Hawaii and get married at the last minute, we are done going to weddings for a few good months, which I’m kind of sad about because the Rent the Runway dresses I’ve been finding have been off the hook. And I love a good dance party. And the far off destinations that we get to go to. This past weekend we were right on the Idaho/Wyoming border for an Eggcousin wedding at a ranch that made me want to go back and watch Hey Dude reruns. (Was that a good show? Or just an obstacle on the way to Bug Juice and Double Dare? Will we ever know?)

It was my first time in Wyoming and I gasped when I saw the scenery. Mountains are so good. On our first night we stayed at the adorable Anvil Hotel in Jackson and had a delicious and inspiring crispy honey chicken with creamed corn at Glorietta. I pretty much never order chicken at a restaurant unless it’s schnitzeled but our server said get the chicken so we got the chicken and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made at a restaurant all year. The next morning we hiked up Snow King mountain, ate an apple and peanut butter at the top, and then came down and drove across a Teton to the ranch in Idaho for the wedding. Wowee zowee, it was beautiful. We rode horses, saw a bunch of wildflowers, sat around a campfire, and Eggboy played music for the ceremony!! It was the best. 

Now we’re back, just in time for National Macaroni and Cheese Day!!!! Which is the only food holiday besides donut day that I take seriously for now. It’s on Saturday. And I know, it’s kind of dumb to have it fall in the middle of summer when we should be taking advantage of fresh summer vegetables, but I don’t make the rules. So here is a recipe that I’ve been making in my low key mission to everything bagel (v.) all of the things. It was partly inspired by Alex and Sonja’s Everything Bagel Pasta, which looks sooo good. And the things that make this mac bagel-y are: 

-Cream cheese in the cheese sauce, which adds a delicious tang 

-Chives, because chive cream cheese is the best cream cheese

-Just a tiny bit of barley malt syrup, a sweet sticky substance that’s a key ingredient in making bagels taste bagel-y 

-Tons of everything bagel seasoning on top. It seems like a lot when you’re making it but it gets all crunchy in the oven and adds perfect texture. (I’ve included measurements below to make your own seasoning but you can certainly use store bought. If you use storebought: sprinkle it on to taste because some of them, like the one from Trader Joe’s, are extreeeeemely salty.)


-And if you’re feeling extra, sub out the panko breadcrumbs for bagel crumbs!

-And for bonus points: add hot dogs or veggie dogs and then it’s bagel dog mac and cheese.

…And there is no bagel-driven reason for the ketchup. I just like it.

Everything Bagel Mac and Cheese

Serves 4


1/2 lb (226g) pasta, I prefer rigatoni
Olive oil
1/4 c (68g) unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt
1/4 c (33g) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c (590g) whole milk
4 oz (113g) cream cheese
4 oz (113g) white cheddar or gruyere or a mix of both, shredded
1 oz (28g) parmesan, shredded
1 1/2 tsp barley malt syrup, optional
Crushed red
Black pepper
1/2 c chopped chives or scallions
Bonus points: 2 cut up cooked hot dogs or veggie dogs


3/4 c (75g) panko breadcrumbs
1 tb unsalted butter, melted
1 tb each: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion
A few pinches of Kosher salt

Ketchup, for serving


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the box, cooking for one minute less than directed. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside. 

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium high. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the milk and cook, whisking continuously, until thickened, and then repeat with another cup, and then the remaining 1/2 cup. Add the cheese and stir until melted, and then add the barley malt syrup (if using), a few pinches of crushed red pepper, a few turns of black pepper, and salt to taste. Stir in the pasta, chives, and hot dogs, if using. Transfer to an 8” baking dish or a dish that’s a similar size. In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and melted butter and then distribute it over the top of the mac and cheese. Combine the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, and salt in that same medium bowl and sprinkle it liberally over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly and then serve with ketchup.


mac and cheese photo by chantell and brett

P.S. I have a few fun appearances on Food Network this weekend!! 

On Saturday at 11am eastern I will be making peanut butter cake on one of my favorite shows, The Kitchen!!!!

👆🏼👆🏼Feeling very at home in the presence of Jeff Mauro and his great Chicago accent.

And on Sunday at 9pm eastern I will be a guest judge on Food Network Star!

Bobby and Giada were soo nice!!!! 

And on Sunday at 11am eastern on Girl Meets Farm, we will be celebrating Eggsister's baby shower!!! There will be donuts!! And ~walking tacos~! 

bagel and lox donuts

are these weirding you out? do you not want to be thinking about fish while you're eating a donut? i just wanted there to be a pescetarian alternative to those cute-as-a-button burger cakes. and another reason to make donuts. because at some point when i was making 12,000 donuts for adult summer camp and watching bojack horseman the whole time, i trained myself to only be able to watch bojack while making donuts, and to *crave* making donuts whenever i watch bojack. it's a vicious cycle but a really relaxing one because no matter how much i feel like i'm losing my marbles in the thick of book stuff and preparing to leave for my tour, it's nice to know that i'll always have my shit together more than bojack. never mind that he's half horse, half man, and completely fictional, just please go with me.

there are three days until i leave for my tour! and in that time i have to: purchase more pairs of jeggings, get my blonde hairs touched up, think about what i am going to say at tuesday's conference panel, remember to pack my bike helmet so that i can use citi bike in ny, and maybe wax my eyebrows. because i do that now. i also have to do some mega tidying up because right before i leave, all of my grand forks and fargo home slices who were in the book are coming over for a night of pizza and tattoos. (btw, did you enter to get some tattoos yet??)

this is a nice squishy baked vanilla donut that's been dipped in a sweet everything bagel topping--basically sub out the garlic and onion for turbinado or thick decorating sugar--and lightly toasted like a bagel. (i was talking about cake toast with steph the other day, how it should be a common thing, don't you think??) then it gets smeared with cream cheese. you can use cream cheese frosting if you'd like, but i think that between the donuts and marzipan, there's enough sweetness to go around. and the toppings are all made out of marzipan: red tomato slices, green lettuce leaves, green capers, purple onions, and salmony salmon which will get the streaks in it if you don't knead the food coloring in completely. the whole thing is fit for a sunday bagel brunch of your sweet tooth dreams!

bagel and lox donuts

makes 12


1 3⁄4 c flour

1 c sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1⁄2 tsp baking soda

3⁄4 tsp kosher salt

1 large egg

1⁄2 c buttermilk

1⁄4 c flavorless oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1⁄4 c water


marzipan kneaded with food coloring for lox, tomatoes, lettuce, capers, onions

poppy seeds, sesame seeds, a pinch of kosher salt, and turbinado or beige decorating sugar

for serving:

2 tb canola oil

cream cheese or cream cheese frosting 


preheat oven to 375ºf. grease two donut pans and set aside.

in a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk to combine. in a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. add to dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth.

add batter to donut pan and bake donuts for twelve minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown. remove from oven and let cool.

shape marzipan. cut into circles for tomatoes, smash into oblong shapes for salmon and lettuce, roll into little balls for capers. to make the onions, just brush a bit of food coloring on the edges.

in a small bowl, combine poppy seeds, sesame seeds, a pinch of kosher salt, and sugar. dip cooled donuts in toppings and press down slightly so the topping stick.

when ready to serve, slice donuts in half, and fry each one in the canola oil so that they look toasted. spread with cream cheese or frosting and top with marzipan shapes. enjoy!


p.s. have you entered the two molly on the range giveaways that are going on right now? preorder the book and then head over here for sesame cardamom sprinkles and here for tattoos

everything bagel galettelettes with tomatoes and scallion cream cheese, and look, i updated my fashions!

happy back to school week everybody!! i realize that macaroni aren’t old enough for preschool yet and i’ve obvi been out of school for a while, so back to school doesn’t really affect my life too much these days (except that grocery shopping takes way longer now since the school supplies sections are a mega distraction from the vegetables) but this year i kinnnnd of feel like i can join in on part of the fun because my book tour starts this month!!! there will be new people to meet, presentations to give, probably some new buildings to get lost in while i search for the bathroom, and new pens in case someone asks me to sign their book. eeee! note to self: find a cute hello kitty pencil case. 

one fear i have about this whole tour thing (other than no one showing up and just generally letting my inner awkward turtles get the best of me) is looking like the slob that i am. it’s not very hard to look like a slob when all day long you play with cake batter and hang out with a cartoon horse. but just like the molly on the range cover, i want to dress in a way that’s approachable, not slobby, and that also gives a nod to my mighty midwest home and farm. 

so it was actually perfect timing when old navy asked me to define my state style for their super cool 50 styles 50 states project: coziness, layers, knitted sweaters. colors like olive, denim, mustard, and cookie. and movability! because you never know when you’re going to be climbing into a tractor. all of that good stuff, and none of that stuff that i wore in new york when opaque tights and dry-clean-only skirts filled my closet. 

i got to go back to school shopping and try on some of old navy’s new fall things, which i think will be just right for some of the more casual book recipe demo events, one of which i know will be on a farm! 

chantell came over and we took my new fashions for a test run. we fetched eggies, picked tomatoes and scallions from the garden, and then made galettelettes (mini galettes!) for eggboy and the other farmers who were around that day to help with wheat harvest. it was a great day! i even discovered that i like jeggings because, among other reasons, you can climb up a tractor in them. boom! 

these galettelettes are dead simple. they’re for when you’re feeling bagel-y and don’t have any bagels but do have tomatoes, scallions, and a big old batch of everything bagel topping. and if you want to simplify it even more, there is no shame in buying scallion cream cheese (or any savory flavor really). and i’ve used store bought pie dough here, but feel free to use homemade. these make a great brunch, snack, or picnic treat! 

everything bagel galettelettes with tomatoes, and scallion cream cheese

makes 8 mini galettes


1 1/2 pounds tomatoes

14-15 oz pie dough (homemade or storebought)

1 beaten egg for egg wash


8 oz cream cheese, room temp

3 chopped scallions

1 egg yolk

1 tb flour



everything bagel topping:

1/2 tsp dried minced garlic

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp sesame seeds

1/2 tsp dried minced onion


preheat the oven to 400ºf.

slice the tomatoes. then lay them out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt so that some moisture drains out of them.

divide the pie dough into 8 balls. roll out each ball into a circle that's 6 or 7 inches in diameter. 

mix together cream cheese, scallions, egg yolk, flour, and pepper until smooth and well-combined.

mix together the everything bagel topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

brush the edge of the rolled-out dough with egg wash, spread with filling and top with tomatoes. fold over the edges and pleat. brush the outside edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with the everything bagel topping.

bake galettes for 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. enjoy!




pictured: jacket // jeggings // booties // flats // shirt // yellow sweater // grey sweater

thank you, old navy, for sponsoring this post! go check out the other 49 looks in their #50styles50states project and then post your own state-inspired look with the #50styles50states and #oldnavystyle hashtags! disclaimer: per my sponsor agreement, the product links in this post are affiliate links. 

all photos by chantell quernemoen!