gouda mac and cheese with peaches and prosciutto

to the person who made national macaroni and cheese day deep in the heart of summer: 

hi, what are you on?

national bbq day, which was yesterday, i get.

national gummy worm day, which is tomorrow, i guess i kind of get in some odd garden-related way. 

but a food that usually requires standing over a hot pot of roux while your oven is pre-heating, and which will undoubtedly make a bathing suit the absolute last thing you want to put on?

i mean, ok, i won't fire you or anything because macaroni and cheese is my desert-island food, but i'm going to make some changes here in the name of *summer* (which around here has meant being stickier than an inside out sour patch kid and a couple of tornado warnings, but that doesn't really have anything to do with anything). please meet gouda yogurt mac and cheese with caramelized onions, peaches, and prosciutto. here are some things i would like you to know about him: 

1. this is a stovetop-only situation. when the fall comes, i will be the first to tell you to turn on your oven, make it rain panko, and get a thick brown crust going on your mac. and then when the winter comes, i will be the first to tell you to get a deep fryer going too because fried mac and cheese is better than life itself. but for right now, in this heat, we don't need any of that, just a skillet and a pot. 

2. roux who? ok, until recently i had only ever made mac and cheese with a roux! (you know, butter, flour, add some milk and make a béchamel, add your cheese and there you have your sauce, it takes kind of a while, it's super thick and creamy, it's so rich and good on a cold winter's day.) but then i was inspiiiiiired by diane kochilas' yogurt pasta, which makes an addictive creamy pasta sauce from yogurt and a bit of cheese, that's it. it's shockingly good and the tang of the yogurt is so summery and refreshing, i just can't get enough of it. so that's the sauce i've used here, but with shredded aged gouda. 

3. it is good both hot and cold. how many meals have i spent tiptoeing across the kitchen with a stray fork, sneaking bites of cold leftover mac and cheese out of the fridge? many. i know good cold mac and cheese and i know great cold mac and cheese, and this is a great one. probably because yogurt in its natural state is cold. 

4. i'm adding peaches. peaches and prosciutto and cheese are like hilary duff and dan humphrey and vanessa from gossip girl before things got weird. 

so, there you have it. a truly summery mac and cheese that's sweet, salty, tangy, creamy, and super easy to make. it won't put you in an immediate food coma, but you should still wait 30 minutes before jumping in the pool.

the recipe for this mac and cheese is right this way, on an entire site devoted to macaroni and cheese, nestled next to things like mac and cheese egg rolls and a mac and cheese burger. so in other words, if fall rolls around and you can't find me, i'll probably be lurking on this site. 


gouda mac and cheese with peaches and prosciutto

makes 4 - 6 servings


4 oz prosciutto, chopped

2 tb unsalted butter

1 white onion, thinly sliced

salt and pepper, to taste

2 yellow peaches, chopped

1/2 pound orecchiette pasta

6 oz Gouda, shredded, plus extra for topping

1 c plain Greek yogurt


In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the prosciutto until crispy, 3-5 minutes. The prosciutto should be fatty enough that you don’t have to grease the skillet, but if the skillet gets to be too dry, you can add a bit of oil or butter. Remove the prosciutto and set it aside. Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and melt the butter. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper and let it cook until very soft, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peaches and half of the prosciutto and cook for about 5 more minutes. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions. Strain it. 

In a large bowl, mix together the shredded cheese, yogurt, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold in the hot pasta and the onion/peach/prosciutto mixture. Top with additional cheese and remaining prosciutto. The sauce will thicken once the pasta cools slightly.

thank you, wisconsin cheese, for sponsoring this post!!!!

cheddar donuts

if there were ever any remedies in the world for waking up with a grossly sticky phone, not even the wherewithal to gauge the ferociousness of a headache, and the sneaking suspicion that yes, you did in fact stand with a microphone in front of a large group of inspiring people and call them bitches and dude bitches, it's these:

1. a long soupy shower

2. emerging from the shower and seeing a large white bed with a plop of neon ombré blue hair in the center. this would be stephanie's hair. it is fantastic and we are slumber partying in brooklyn currently. 

3. very loud ben folds

i'm going to go try to pull myself together but first, a very very large hug to all of you for this. it has not soaked in, i predict i may cry today, and i'm going to send you a proper thank you note once i can collect my thoughts and words from wherever they are hiding. 

but before i leave, let's make donuts! because it's national donut day, the best day of the year.

now listen, i don't like deep frying. so when i deep fry, i want you to know that it's worth it. it's worth the energy, it's worth taking the extra step of putting on an apron so that you don't get oil on your cardigan, and it's worth the calories. these cheddar donuts are especially worth it because they're fried challah dough stuffed with cheddar and coated in cheddar powder. think of these as slightly sweet, fluffy fried grilled cheese balls that will take a couple of minutes off of your life, but we're all gonna die anyway, so let's just do this. 

cheddar donuts

makes 24 



2 1/4 tsp yeast

3/4 c warm water

1/4 c + 1 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

3 c flour, plus more for dusting

2 large eggs

1/3 c flavorless oil, like canola




3 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

oil for frying

1/2 c cheddar powder

sriracha, for serving


Combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a medium bowl and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, salt, and flour. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. 

When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook for 7-10 minutes, adding more white flour as necessary (but try not too add too much), until you have a nice smooth dough.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. 

Divide the dough into 24 small balls. Roll each one out, stuff with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar and pinch the ends shut to seal in the cheese. Place them on a sheet of parchment and let them rise for about 30 more minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat 3 inches of oil in a large heavy saucepan fitted with a thermometer to 350f. Using a slotted spoon, fry up your donuts in batches of 3 or 4 for 3-5 minutes each, until golden brown. transfer them to a paper towel to pat off any excess oil, toss them in cheddar powder, and serve.


and do check out all of the other awesome donuts for national donut day!! 


p.s. a few orders of business: i am heading to los angeles this weekend to play the opera that i won't shut up about. can you come? can you come?? there are still tickets left! and then after that, i will be scooting to new orleans for the sustainable seafood blog conference, where graham and i will be dressing up like tara and johnny and talking about food styling. tickets are still available for that as well!!! also what do i need to eat in la and nola?

no-knead bacon bread

ok! i made you a pot of bread and then i used the pot to make you some soup and i didn't even wash it in between. nose-to-tail pot. or something? i don't know. 

a little while back, i had a layover in chicago like i so often do because the amount of places that i can fly directly to from fargo is approximately not that many at all, and mum showed up to keep me company on my layover with this gorgeous breathtaking rustic loaf of bread that was crusty and chewy and perfect with a slathering of egg salad. i couldn't stop eating it and inspecting its cute oblong shape. above all though, it was so shocking because if you know mum (and me) you know that our breads are usually very doughy and pillowy soft. always a challah, never a boule. hold the crust, add more sugar.

but as i sat outside of baggage claim and stuffed my face, mum went on about how she will not be making any other kind of bread ever again. this is her new favorite bread and every other bread can suck it. (she didn't really say that second part.) she went on to explain the process: there's no kneading necessary, no eggs or sugar or butter or oil, just a lot of patience, bread flour, and a dutch oven. it sounded a lot like how you prepare pizza dough. a big big cake of pizza dough. 

(oh did somebody say cake?)

so i obviously rushed home to begin work on my version of mum's bread. it has bacon, chives, and a lot of black pepper. you can use any other kind of salty meat, like pancetta, prosciutto, salami... but if you're as big of a fan of alliteration as i am, you'll use bacon. and if you really want to up the decadence ante, you can reserve the bacon fat and use it in place of butter on a hot fresh bread slice. oooh yeah, baby.

it's true, this recipe does take time, but none of the steps require that much effort at all. a little mixing here, a heavy dusting of flour there. it's the perfect recipe if you're binge watching kimmy schmidt and you need an excuse to get up every few episodes and do one simple brainless activity at a time. 

no-knead bacon bread

makes one loaf


approximately 4 1/2 c bread flour

1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 tsp kosher salt

1 c + 6 tb warm water

8 oz bacon

2 tb chopped fresh chives

black pepper


in a large bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour, the yeast, and the salt. stir in the water until combined. it will be very very very sticky. cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise overnight, 12 hours or so. longer if you'd like. 

crisp up your bacon, pat off excess fat, and then give it a rough chop. sprinkle it into the bread dough, along with the chives and a heavy dose of black pepper. mix it a few times so that everything is generally incorporated (it doesn't need to be perfect, we just don't want too many bacon bits poking their heads out). lay down a clean kitchen towel on our counter and place a piece of parchment paper or a silpat on top of it. brush the parchment or silpat with a very thin layer of the bacon fat (or oil) and lay down a thick layer of flour, about 1/2-3/4 cup. scrape the dough onto the floured surface and use heavily floured hands to shape it into a round-ish blob. (again, it doesn't need to be perfect.) sprinkle the top with another thick layer of flour. brush another piece of parchment with oil, place it over the dough blob, and cover it all with another towel. let it sit for 1 1/2 hours.

during the last 1/2 hour of sitting time, preheat your oven to 450ºf, with a lidded dutch oven in it. (make sure your dutch oven and its lid are heat safe at 450ºf! also, i use a 2.75 qt dutch oven. you can certainly use a larger one, the loaf just won't be as tall as the one in these pictures since the dough will spread more.)

carefully remove the dutch oven from your oven and take off the lid. uncover the bread dough, stick your hand underneath it and flop it over into the dutch oven. (mum calls this step "scary and messy.") cover the dutch oven, stick it into your oven and bake for 30 minutes. remove the lid and then bake for another 15-20 minutes, until it is nicely browned on top. 

let it cool for about an hour, and then rip some off and dunk it into a bowl of soup.

a note on storing this: i get really paranoid about having meat things sitting out at room temperature for too long. so the way i've been storing this bread is that as soon as it cools, i slice it into single serving wedges, and put all of them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. i reheat it slice by slice briefly in the microwave, and then in the toaster or on the grill. it is *perfect* for avocado toast.


this bread is shown here with a great new thing: campbell's organic lentil soup! i really really like it for these reasons: it's very tasty, it doesn't require me to use my least favorite kitchen appliance (the can opener), and i know what all of the ingredients are without having to think hard or google anything. that is to say that there are no preservatives and it's made with organic ingredients. yes, this post is sponsored by campbell's, but truly, all of the soups in this new line that i've tried (there are six of them) have been wonderfully delicious and perfect with a slice of crusty bread. so go, put some bread dough in to rise and then run out to the store for some soup!