At Restaurant Business and FoodService Director we have great respect and admiration for all the creativity that comes out of restaurant and noncommercial kitchens. And while none of us can match your professional expertise, cooking is an enjoyable sidekick for many of the editors here. So this week, we’d like to share five recipes that came out of our kitchens in 2018.
1. Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
This baked mac ‘n cheese gets it creaminess from blended cottage cheese and its cheesy flavor from extra-sharp cheddar. For speed and convenience, the pasta goes into the oven uncooked, becoming tender as it bakes. The top gets crusty and golden brown in the oven, making the dish even more craveable. The recipe was originally printed in The New York Times and is now a family favorite. —Heather Lalley
2. Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce
I live in Minnesota now, but spent six years in Charleston, S.C., where I developed an affinity for the glorious taste of barbecue—in particular, pulled pork with mustard-based sauce.
As such, I love this recipe for Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce. I also love it because it follows my three rules for great recipes: It is easy, it is impressive and it is flexible. Not sweet enough? Add more honey. Not mustardy enough? Add some mustard. Need more spice? Throw additional pepper in there. —Jonathan Maze
3. Lemon Apricot Scones
These scones not only make a great addition to the breakfast bar or brunch menu, but they can also be packaged for a grab-and-go snack. They have a buttery taste and tender texture, yet contain no butter. The secret ingredient is heavy cream, which acts as both liquid and fat in the dough. The recipe came from a friend, and it quickly became a go-to treat. —Patricia Cobe
4. No-Bake Cookie Butter Pie
This creamy, fluffy pie comes together quickly and is always a crowd-pleaser, as our staff can attest. I found this version on the Inquiring Chef website; it’s an original recipe authored by Jess Smith, created with tips from All Recipes and The Pioneer Woman. Cookie butter spread comes in jars, sold under the brand names of Speculoos and Biscoff. —Kelsey Nash
These classic Italian cookies are a Christmas tradition in my family. The original recipe is flavored with anise, but vanilla extract can be substituted. It’s necessary to have a pizzelle baker to create the authentic snowflake design; ours is made by Vitantonio, the company that also provided the basic recipe. —Benita Gingerella
Photograph courtesy of Benita Gingerella