99 Kinds of Bread: #6 Easy Garlic Knots

This Mother’s Day I made Chicken Parmesan.  For the past several months, I’ve been dreaming of garlic knots after having them at a little hole in the wall pizzeria.  I decided they would be the perfect side to the Chicken Parmesan (which will also be coming to the blog soon), but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time making them.  Using pre-made pizza crust dough makes this recipe quick and easy, but also amazing!

First, you roll the dough out and cut it into strips, about four inches long.

pizza dough strips

I had fun twisting the dough into knots and it was easier than I thought.  You really do just tie a knot, but do it quickly or the dough will start sticking together.

tied garlic knots

The knots of pizza dough get dipped in a garlic butter bath.

garlic knots ready for baking

Once the knots bake, they are doused in garlic butter again and sprinkled with parmesan.

baked garlic knots


Easy Garlic Knots

Easy Garlic Knots

  • Servings: 18
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Knots of pizza dough doused in garlic and butter and topped with grated parmesan


  • 1 tube refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
  • 4 Tb salted butter
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 ts garlic, minced
  • 1 ts parsley flakes
  • Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Unroll the pizza dough onto the parchment paper. Roll the dough into a rectangle.  Cut the rectangle vertically three times.  Then cut each section into strips.  Your strips should be about 1 inch wide and 4 inches long.
  3. Holding each end of a dough strip, twist the dough so it is round instead of flat, then tie into a knot.  Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt the butter in the microwave in 20 second intervals until fully melted.  Add the garlic and microwave another 5 seconds.  Stir in the olive oil and parsley.  Brush the garlic butter all over the dough knots.  Reserve about 1/3 of the garlic butter for later.
  5. Bake the garlic knots in the oven for about 10 minutes, until they are just turning golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and brush the remaining garlic butter on the garlic knots. Sprinkle generously with grated parmesan cheese.


99 Kinds of Bread: #5 Amazing Cheese Breadsticks

My daughter’s favorite food is cheese.  Maybe it is in her blood, since she was born in Wisconsin.  When I made these cheese breadsticks for the first time, she stated I could make them every day.  They are very easy to make.  The only tricky part is timing the baking exactly right to get a crispy bottom that isn’t burnt.

You only need a few ingredients to make these.  I used thin crust refrigerated pizza dough (in the tube).  You can roll out the entire tube of dough to create a rectangle or cut off a strip of dough from the end to create a square.  I pre-bake the dough to prevent the breadsticks from being soggy.

rolled out pizza dough

What makes these cheese breadsticks extra amazing, is the garlic butter sauce that goes on first.  Just a simple combination of melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, and parsley.

pizza dough with garlic butter

Then comes the cheese.  I found that a combination of shredded mozzarella and fancy shredded Italian cheese created the best effect of stretchy, gooey cheese.

cheese breadsticks before baking

Adding an extra sprinkle of parsley and Italian seasoning on top gives these breadsticks more flavor.

Now comes the tricky part.  If you don’t bake these long enough, the breadsticks will be floppy and too gooey.  If you bake them too long, the bottom of the crust will get burned.  I start checking every minute, starting with 8 minutes.  A golden crust will give you that perfect crunch on the bottom with garlic butter and melted cheese on top.

amazing cheese breadsticks after baking

Slice the baked cheese bread into strips (using a pizza cutter works best) to create Amazing Cheese Breadsticks.

Amazing Cheese Breadsticks

Amazing Cheese Breadsticks

  • Servings: 16
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Pizza crust topped with garlic butter, mozzarella cheese, and seasonings


  • 1 tube refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
  • 2 Tb salted butter
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • ½ ts garlic, minced
  • 2 ts parsley flakes
  • ½ ts Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup Italian cheese blend, finely shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Unroll the pizza dough onto the parchment paper. Pull the corners until the dough is thin and spread out evenly. If desired, cut a 3-4 inch strip of dough off the end to create a square (I did this and used the extra strip of dough to make a mozzarella and pepperoni spiral).
  3. Pre-bake the dough in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  4. Melt the butter. Stir the olive oil, garlic, and 1 ts of parsley into the melted butter. Brush evenly over the entire pre-baked crust. Spread the mozzarella cheese and Italian cheese on the crust and sprinkle lightly with Italian seasoning and parsley.
    Bake in the oven for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Watch carefully because the bottom of the crust browns quickly.
  5. Remove from oven. Using a pizza cutter, slice the cheese bread once vertically through the middle, then make horizontal slices to create breadsticks.


99 Kinds of Bread: #4 Savory Monkey Bread Muffins

Monkey bread doesn’t have to be sweet.  Nor does it need to be baked in a bundt pan.  These monkey bread rolls are cheesy and savory and baked in a muffin pan.  They make a nice addition to an Italian meal, pizza, or soup.

Using refrigerated biscuit dough helps this recipe become quick and easy.  Simply start by cutting each biscuit into 6-8 small pieces.  Then toss them in a large bowl with melted butter, seasonings, and cheese.


biscuit pieces with seasoning and cheese

After that, you smoosh several of the biscuit pieces into each opening of a muffin pan.  Make sure you smash them down a little bit, so that the pieces with stick together once baked.

savory monkey bread muffins ready for baking

Once they come out of the oven, they are puffed up into cheesy, golden bread muffins.

Savory Monkey Bread Muffins

You can either take a big bite outta these or tear off the little chunks of biscuit one by one.  Enjoy!

Savory Monkey Bread Mufins

Savory Monkey Bread Muffins

  • Servings: 12
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Monkey bread in muffin form with seasonings and cheese


  • 1 16 oz. tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 2 Tb butter, melted
  • 1/4 mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup colby monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 ts dried parsley
  • 1/4 ts seasoning salt
  • cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 6-8 pieces.  Place biscuit pieces in a large bowl and pour melted butter on top.  Stir/flip biscuit pieces to coat.  Add seasoning salt and parsley.  Stir to coat.  Finally add both cheeses and toss the biscuit pieces until they are covered in cheese.  They will be sticking together, which is ok.
  3. Smash several biscuit pieces into each well of the muffin pan.  The biscuits should come to the top of each opening.  Fill until all of the biscuits have been used.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the muffins are golden brown.


99 Kinds of Bread: #3 Parmesan Panko-Crusted Cheese Bombs

I keep feeling like it should be cool out, but when I step outside it is still hot and humid.  That is what September is like in the south.  However, it’s football season, and these cheese bombs are great football food.  Soft and cheesy, with a crunchy top, they are quite tasty.

Using refrigerated biscuit dough makes this recipe easy.  Simply flatten the biscuits, add some mozzarella, and pull all the edges up to seal.  Make sure you pinch the dough tight so that the cheese stays enclosed.

flattened biscuit dough

biscuit dough with mozzarella

closed cheese bombs

Next comes a butter bath and the crunchy, garlicky topping.

parmesan-panko crusted cheese bombs ready for baking

Upon baking, these cheese bombs turn a beautiful golden color.

a parmesan-panko crusted cheese bomb fresh from the oven

My family just loved these.  They also make a great accompaniment to pizza or pasta.

Parmesan Panko-Crusted Cheese Bombs

Parmesan Panko-Crusted Cheese Bombs

  • Servings: 8
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Fluffy mozzarella filled cheese bombs topped with a parmesan, garlic, and crunchy panko breadcrumbs


  • 1 16 oz. tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1-2 Tb butter, melted
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tb grated parmesan
  • 1/8 ts garlic salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a shallow bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, and garlic salt.
  3. Lay the biscuits on the parchment paper and press to flatten.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella onto the center of the each biscuit.  Pull the edges up and over the cheese and pinch to seal.
  4. Roll each cheese bomb in the melted butter, then press the top side (without the seam) into the breadcrumb mixture.  Lay seam side down on the parchment paper.
  5. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly browned.


99 Kinds of Bread: #2 Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins

Sometimes you want an extra bite at dinner that doesn’t take too much effort.  These mini cheese cornbread muffins are just that.  They can be whipped up quickly and easily and add a tiny bit of something to your dinner plate.

Using a mini muffin pan produces a whole bunch of these little guys, so you have a big family there’s plenty for everyone.  Or if you’re just cooking for one or two, the leftovers save nicely and can be popped in the microwave.

mini cheese cornbread muffins pre-baking

I used sharp cheddar cheese in these, which complements nicely with the cornmeal.

Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins

Since these were so simple, and tasty too, I’m sure they will become a new staple to my family’s dinner rotation.

Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins


Mini Cheese Cornbread Muffins

  • Servings: about 24 mini muffins
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Mini muffins made with cornmeal, buttermilk and cheddar cheese


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 1/2 ts baking powder
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Generously grease a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in the buttermilk and egg.  Beat until smooth.  Add the shredded sharp cheddar cheese and stir until fully mixed.

3. Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan, filling each hole about 2/3 full.  Bake on the top rack of the oven for 10 minutes.


99 Ways with the Air Fryer: # 1 Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites

The air fryer is great because you can produce food that tender on the inside and crispy on the outside without the fat and calories of deep-frying. One of my favorite things to make in the air fryer is cheese sticks or cheese bites. These Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites are coated in crushed cheeseballs and the perfect size for popping in your mouth.

To make things extra easy, I used cut up pieces of string cheese for the mozzarella. The cheeseballs need to be crushed into fine pieces so that they stick to the flour and egg coated pieces of cheese.

mozzarella cheeseball bites ingredients

When placing food into the air fryer, I give it a quick spritz with cooking spray to make sure the outside coating crisps up well.

cheeseball mozzarella bites in the air fryer

One thing I learned from using the air fryer is that you need to remove the food immediately, especially anything with cheese, otherwise it keeps cooking. The Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites need to be whipped out right away after 3 minutes otherwise you’ll find gooey cheese all over the bottom of your air fryer and empty pieces of crispy coating.

But follow this recipe and remove the bites quickly and you’ve got wonderful pieces of soft cheese with a cheeseball crust.

Air Fryer Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites

Air Fryer Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites

  • Servings: 4
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Soft bites of mozzarella coated in crushed cheeseballs and cooked in the air fryer.

Calories per 4 bite serving = 160


  • 3 pieces of string cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 ts water
  • ¾ cup crushed cheeseballs or cheese puffs (can be done in food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin)
  • ¼ ts salt
  • Cooking spray


  1. Mix salt with crushed cheeseballs or cheese puffs. Cut each piece of string cheese into 5 pieces. Roll each piece of string cheese in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in cheeseball crumbs. Repeat will all mozzarella pieces.
  2. Refrigerate coated cheese bites for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Place cheese bites in air fryer basket and spray with cooking spray. Set air fryer to “fries” setting or 400 degrees. Set time for 3 minutes. Remove cheese bites immediately after time has ended, otherwise the cheese will start leaking out. Eat quickly while warm and soft, before the cheese becomes firm.


99 Flavors of Potatoes: # 1 Baby Potato & Mozzarella Stacks

My family loves potatoes.  Potatoes adorn our dinner place several times a week, which is why creating 99 flavors of potatoes is a good thing.

These Baby Potato & Mozzarella Stacks are a little extra work (I made them for a Sunday dinner), but well worth it.  The potatoes are soft and creamy, the cheese is melty, and the butter sauce morphs into browned butter in the oven, resulting in a delicious side dish.

First the potatoes are boiled – no peeling required.  Then the very top and bottom get sliced off of the potatoes to make flat surfaces for stacking.  I made the mistake of cutting my string cheese too tall the first time, resulting in toppling stacks of baby potatoes.  One quarter of an inch is about the right size.


The butter sauce is quick and easy to make – done in the microwave.  Mmmm…butter…


A quick roast in the oven and voila! – you’ve got potatoes that are creamy on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside, with brown butter and cheese.  What is better than that?

Baby Potato & Mozzarella Stacks

Baby Potato & Mozzarella Stacks

Baby Potato & Mozzarella Stacks

  • Servings: 3-4
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Creamy Yukon gold potatoes, stacked with mozzarella cheese and drizzled with butter sauce


  • 1.5 lbs baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 1 ts dried minced garlic
  • 1 ts dried parsley
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • ¼ ts pepper
  • 1 – 2 pieces string cheese


1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, but not falling apart, about 15 mins. Let cool for 5 minutes or until potatoes can be handled.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Slice the very top and bottom off of the potatoes so that they are flat, then cut the potatoes in half. Cut string cheese into small, ¼ inch flat pieces (if the string cheese is too thick, your potato stacks will topple over). Sandwich a piece of string cheese between two potato halves and place on the sheet pan. Repeat with all of the potatoes.
4. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Microwave an additional 20 seconds. Drizzle the butter sauce over the potato stacks.
5. Carefully place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven. If the potato tops have slid off, slide them back into place and serve.



99 Kinds of Bread: # 1 Southern Hushpuppies

love hushpuppies.  I mean, I really love them.  Unfortunately, since I limit my intake of fried food, I don’t make or eat them very often.  Since I’m not originally from the south, I had never had a wonderful hushpuppy until I moved here.  And it took several experimentations to get the perfect consistency and method to produce actual spheres (rather than misshapen blobs).  But finally I have done it!  The perfect round hushpuppy, thanks to a cookie scoop!

I also had to thicken up the batter so that they properly fell into the hot oil, without leaving a long tail behind them.  A little bit of sugar, buttermilk, and onions make these hushpuppies divine.

hushpuppy batter

The oil must be really hot before you add the hushpuppies.  A cookie scoop works miracles to make the perfect round hushpuppy!

Behold, sweet, golden fried perfection.

Southern Hushpuppies

These have the perfect consistency and texture.  I wish I could have more.

inside the perfect hushpuppy

Southern Hushpuppies

  • Servings: about 16 hushpuppies
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Classic southern cornmeal hushpuppies


  • 3 cups vegetable or canola oil (for deep frying)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tb vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 ts baking soda
  • 1/4 ts salt
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely minced


1. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk in the buttermilk (you can substitute 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 Tb of vinegar added, let sit for 5 mins before adding to cornmeal), oil, and egg.   Stir in the minced onions.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fryer.  When the oil is hot, use a cookie scoop to drop spoonfuls into the hot oil.  Fry about half of the batter at a time, so that the fryer is not too crowded.  Turn the hushpuppies after about 2 minutes.  Fry until golden, 5-6 minutes total.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a paper towel lined bowl.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

99-taste.com adapted from Allrecipes

99 Flavors of Mac & Cheese: # 1 Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked Mac & Cheese is a favorite side here in the south. Gooey and cheesy in the middle with a golden crunchy baked top – who wouldn’t like it? I bake the leftovers in a muffin tin with a little extra cheese on top to put in my daughter’s school lunches.

My recipe is adapted from the Mac & Cheese Cookbook by the Homeroom restaurant in San Francisco. I figure they know a little bit about making macaroni and cheese.
Using a high quality sharp cheddar and kosher salt are crucial to bring out the flavors in this mac & cheese. I use Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar since it is available at my local grocery store.



My family loves the crunchy baked topping.

Classic Baked Mac & CHeese

Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

  • Servings: 6-8
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Baked cheddar macaroni & cheese, creamy in the middle with a crunchy topping.

Credit: adapted from The Mac & Cheese Cookbook from the Homeroom

Calories per serving = 312


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 ts kosher salt

Topping Ingredients

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tb butter
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish.
2. Cook elbow macaroni in boiling water with 1 ts kosher salt according to manufacturer’s directions for al dente pasta. Drain and rinse in cold water (to stop the cooking process).
3. While the pasta is cooking, melt ¼ cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup flour and stir or whisk constantly until golden and bubbly. Slowly add milk ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until smooth, but thickened. Turn heat to low and add 1 ts kosher salt and 2 ½ cups shredded cheese. Continue stirring until smooth.
4. Pour macaroni and cheese sauce into greased casserole dish. Stir so pasta is covered in cheese sauce. Melt 1 Tb butter and mix with ½ cup panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle all over the top of macaroni followed by ½ cup shredded cheddar. Bake in the oven for 15 mins.