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Hooked on Cheese: Four-Year Roomano

Hooked on Cheese: Four-Year Roomano

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One of the most delicious Gouda-style cheeses you'll ever have the pleasure to eat.

This weekend I was invited to join in the celebration of my friend Colleen’s birthday. It was a day of summer fun on the back patio; there were super adorable kids (Ada Ray and Biba), some very nice grown ups (you know who you are) and – of course – the essential vast array of beverages and snacks to keep everyone nibbling. My friend Sam even made a birthday cake out of a watermelon! Who knew he had those skills? Color me impressed.

Naturally I was asked to bring cheese to the festivities, so I spent some time picking the best family-friendly options for the occasion. I chose the requisite cheddar, a camembert-style cheese and a creamy French cheese for the kids, then remembered Colleen absolutely adores a well-aged Gouda. I went on a cheese quest the next day and procured a big chunk of Roomano, one of the most delicious four-year-old Gouda-style cheeses I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat.

The Roomano had the browned butter color that is an indication of quality ageing; the tiniest of eyes, or small holes; a slight oiliness; and the visible protein crystals that give the cheese that wonderful crunch. It smelled of dark caramel, and had tasting notes of butterscotch and dark-roasted pears. The sweetness of this cheese was subtle, and it boasted a bit of an acidic element that gave it a mild sharpness.

Clearly, the Dutch do an amazing job of ageing and transporting their cheeses. They ensure their Gouda cheeses are consistently in great shape when they reach American retailers, striving for an even denseness while retaining some moisture in the form of the flavorful oil that is released when the cheese is cut at room temperature. They also aim to guarantee an evenly dispersed protein crystal crunch. When shopping for this type of cheese, try to purchase it at a shop that will cut it to order for you; otherwise some of the more subtle flavors will be lost.

While Gouda itself is the most noted export from the eponymous city in the western Netherlands, it is now made all over the world. The Gouda-style cheese we had at Colleen’s party was from Holland; some of my favorite additional options are Beemster (a delicious goat’s milk version), Lamb Chopper (made from pungent sheep’s milk), and the perfectly aged Rembrandt. Branch out and try a few, but remember to be grateful to the Dutch for this unfailingly delicious import!

You can follow Raymond's cheese adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and his website. Additional reporting by Madeleine James.

Cheesy Keto Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a fork to poke a few holes around the spaghetti squash. Place in the microwave for a minute to soften a bit.

On a cutting board, cut the end of squash off, then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds and pulp out using a spoon, and coat the inside with olive oil.

Place the squash on a baking sheet with the insides facing down. Bake in in the oven for about 45 minutes or until soft.

Let cool for a bit, and then use a fork to remove all the strands of spaghetti squash into a mixing bowl. Combine both cheeses into a small dish, and add HALF the cheese mixture to the bowl with squash. Also add salt, pepper, onion powder, butter, minced garlic, and fresh thyme, and stir all to combine.

Place the spaghetti squash mixture back into the skins on a baking sheet pan. Top with the remaining half of the cheese. Place back in the oven and broil for 5-6 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Enjoy warm.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: about 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: 173 Calories | 12g Fat | 10g Total Carbs | 2g Fiber | 8g Net Carbs

You&rsquove gotta try baking it with two types of cheese, garlic, butter, and fresh herbs. It&rsquos seriously the BEST way I&rsquove ever served spaghetti squash!

I know it&rsquos a popular keto-friendly veggie, so this method of baking the squash, then scooping out all the strands, adding all the cheese and herbs, then putting it back to bake longer is so AWESOME &ndash and now I&rsquom a huge fan.

Cheese makes everything better!

Collin got me hooked on Pecorino Romano, as it&rsquos her favorite cheese, and it&rsquos so delicious freshly grated. Feel free to substitute with Parmesan cheese. Fresh garlic, thyme, and butter throw this squash over-the-top delish! It gives it such a savory flavor that I prefer (compared to the sweeter taste of plain spaghetti squash).

Spaghetti squash is EASY to bake.

Don&rsquot let the size and longer bake time discourage you. You&rsquoll cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out all the seeds and pulp. (I used a serrated grapefruit spoon for ease.) Then it goes in the oven for about 45 minutes, so the inside becomes soft enough to pull tender strands from. You&rsquoll know that the squash is ready because the shell will be soft to the touch.

Scoop out the strands into a mixing bowl, add all the goodies to it, then place it back into the shells of the squash topped with more cheese. That goes back into the oven, the cheese gets bubbly and melted, and it will taste like spaghetti squash HEAVEN!

Hip Tip: Want to up the protein? Throw in some cooked shredded chicken if desired.

I’m always amazed how hooked on a storyline or character we can become. How attached to them and how much we can care about them. I know I’m not the only one that has cried while reading a book. In fact, I’ve literally bawled my eyes out while reading some, not many… but a few definitely stand out in my mind. So devoted to the story that I’ve become emotionally invested and attached to them. The Notebook and Marley & Me were definite tear jerkers for me. I’d of course rather not have those experiences but it says a lot about the writing.

Only my most recent experience wasn’t with a book. A show. A fictional character I’d watched for seasons passing suddenly. Making it worse, I was on the treadmill fighting back emotions while all of this happened. You know that awful feeling you get in your throat when you’re getting emotional and are trying to fight it. Working out amplified that. So bad. Again – great that the writers pulled me in so much, but I’d rather not be crying at a show. It almost feels silly.

So tell me…have you experienced this too? And which shows or books did it to you? I can name a handful of shows I’m willing to be have brought many to tears. This Is Us, Parenthood and Grey’s Anatomy… to name just a few. I’m positive there are many more, but those are definitely up there at the top of the list for pulling at the emotional heartstrings.

Switching gears… with the big game coming up I knew a new pizza recipe was a must!

There’s one food combination that always comes to mind when I think of game day. Buffalo chicken.

Whether it’s classic wings or some other twist with those flavors, it’s an essential addition to any game day menu… football, baseball, basketball etc… any and all sports. I’ve made and shared my fair amount of buffalo chicken recipes over the years. From soup and chili to deviled eggs and much more! Of course, I’ve also shared two different buffalo chicken pizza recipes as well: whole wheat buffalo chicken pizza and classic thin crust buffalo chicken pizza. But, there’s always room for twists and improvements on classics.

I paired my favorite thin crust pizza dough with not one or even two types of cheese but four! A batch of seasoned shredded chicken and thinly sliced red onions are a must! And of course, a buffalo chicken pizza wouldn’t be complete without buffalo sauce and a creamy addition. A thickened spicy buffalo sauce acts as the base and drizzle of creamy ranch (or blue cheese) dressing completes this recipe.

This isn’t your standard buffalo chicken pizza. There’s lots of extra flavor hidden in there, from the cheese to all of the spices on the chicken. I highly recommend sticking to the recipe as is for best results and a full flavored slice of happiness.

This easy thin crust four cheese buffalo chicken pizza is hands down a must make for your next pizza night or game day menu. It’s guaranteed to be a hit with anyone who loves a spicy kick! Be sure to add this to your menu asap!

Tips tricks and questions answered…

How many will this recipe serve?
As written, this will make roughly 1: 10-inch pizza and can serve anywhere from 2-6.

Can I use store bough pizza dough?
Of course! If you’re in a pinch or have a favorite pizza dough to use, it can absolutely be substituted for homemade.

Can this recipe be frozen?
You can definitely make the dough ahead and either chill for up to a few days or freeze even longer. Be sure to bring the dough to room temperature prior to stretching. Of course, as with anything, fresh is always best though!

What can I use instead of blue cheese?
In place of the blue cheese crumbles, you can use feta or any other strong flavored cheese. You can also omit the blue cheese entirely if you prefer. In place of the drizzle topping, you can substitute ranch dressing.

How spicy is this?
If you’re used to buffalo chicken recipes, this will only be slightly spicier due to the seasoned chicken. Otherwise, this has a nice mild heat that lingers a bit. Nothing too strong.

Can I skip the onions?
Absolutely! The recipe is a base for you to create your own tasty pizza. Swap out ingredients as desired.

Can I make substitutions to the ingredients?
This recipe works with the exact measurements and and ingredients listed. However, with savory dishes, spices can always be adjusted to personal preferences. Outside of any alterations I’ve already mentioned, for specific substitution questions, ask in the comments below.

Make Copies of the Recipe, everyone will ask for it!

Everyone always will ask what is in these.

This is fritter recipe is so easy and can be made in a quick minute with pantry ingredients.

You can also make it a Paleo version just adding coconut flour instead of regular flour, then fry them in coconut oil.

Cheesy Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

Not that long ago- your girl was hooked on boxed, standard Mac and Cheese. I don’t know if it was the affordability, the childhood nostalgia, the convenience or the cheesy and creamy pasta bits that lured me right in. Maybe, it was ALL of the above working in perfect conjunction. AKA the perfect food storm of sorts.

Despite the fact you’re making dinner out of a box it still feels cozy, filling, perfectly satisfying and it tastes even better with a glass of wine. Yes, no shame. Friday nights went down like this many times especially when I started my first job fresh out of university. I would often come home exhausted after a long work week and I just wanted to eat something warm, sink into my trusty, Ikea couch and drink a glass of red wine, very very slowly.

I vividly remember coming home to my Tabby rescue cat, Tiger, and cozying up on that couch while watching hours of mindless TV followed by a good read. He didn’t judge and was the best sidekick.

Flash forward to a couple of years down the road, and Mac and Cheese was my “mom win” whenever the kiddos were acting extra picky, when I had a meal fail, or when I was in a rush after a long day in the office and not about to cook a meal from scratch. I always served it with a side of roasted broccoli with lots of lemon and grated parm, which they would gladly devour. The greenery absolved me from some of the mom guilt that comes with making dinner out of a box.

But- what if I could make this CHEESE-like, velvety, luscious, roasted butternut squash sauce ahead of time and have it on hand to add to freshly-boiled pasta on a whim, allowing me the same convenience of the boxed favorite? And instead of serving up 30+ ingredients in a processed sauce you’re actually giving them 6, it’s packed with veg, tastes amazing and you can feel even better about it, too?

This recipe works best with:

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce!


  • a whole butternut squash- peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and rough chopped into quarters
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried or fresh thyme
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of veggie OR bone broth
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of Tabasco (omit if serving to kids)
  • 1 cup of raw cashews (soaked in water overnight & drained) *

IF not dairy free, the following cheeses pair so well with this:

  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1/3 cup of grated Manchego cheese

If vegan, don’t worry. The cashews are the CHEESE. No cashews? You could also take a shortcut and add 1/2 cup of cashew cream cheese or standard cream cheese if not vegan or dairy-free.


    Preheat your oven to 425F and line a baking pan with parchment paper. Add your butternut squash, onions, garlic, sage, thyme, sea salt, pepper and drizzle of olive oil. Bake for

You Will Need

1 pound dried pasta like elbow macaroni, shells or penne

5 cups (1180 ml) milk, whole or 2% are best

5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter

5 tablespoons (45 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (4 heaping cups), plus more if baking (about 1/2 cup)

5 ounces (140 grams) Pecorino-Romano cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

Fried Cheeses

Deep-fried cheese has been said to originate in Paris, France in the 15th century.

However, recipes for breaded cheese sticks can be traced back to 1393.

The original recipe called for the use of Muenster cheese instead of Mozzarella, but the rest, as they say, is history.

Whatever cheese you decide to try, you won't be sorry, this recipe is spot on the best ever!!

How do you make Linguine with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Brie?

You’ll start by cooking up a box of linguine pasta. While the pasta cooks, saute together pancetta and olive oil in a large skillet, until the pancetta is nice and crispy. Add shallots and garlic, then chopped sun dried tomatoes plus a ladle of the pasta cooking water. Simmer for a few minutes until the tomatoes absorb that pasta water.

And cream and brie to the skillet – stirring to create a creamy sauce. Add cooked pasta, plus grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses and toss together. When ready to serve, add some chopped fresh basil (and more grated cheese if you’d like).

This Linguine with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Brie is pure, delicious comfort food! This rich pasta dish has layer upon layer of deliciousness thanks to the crispy pancetta, super flavorful sun dried tomatoes, and the rich, cheesy cream sauce made with a combination of brie, Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Fresh basil on top adds a nice, bright note that balances the richness of the other ingredients.

Tired of cheese pizza and fish sticks? 10 Lent recipes for no-meat Fridays

It’s Friday. You’re tired, it’s been a long week and you’re hungry. You don’t have energy to think about dinner for yourself, much less for your family. And then you remember: It’s Lent. (Hopefully it didn’t just occur to you that it’s Lent, but if it did, we understand.) Half of the ideas about what you want to make go out the window because, unfortunately, they all include meat. What now?

We asked our editors and staff at America to share some of their favorite recipes as a corporal work of mercy: to (help) feed the hungry. We hope this alleviates some of the stress of Lenten meal planning during a pandemic. We know it can be rough, and we’re right there with you. (We’d love to see your favorite recipes, too! You can share them in the comments section.)

But, if all else fails and you just want to order food, we’ve got you covered there too:

This is my absolute favorite recipe because it is something I’ve learned to put together in less than an hour but with an outcome that tastes like it took much longer (which on a Friday during Lent is key): eggplant, caramelized onion and tomato pasta. The recipe calls for homemade pasta sauce and caramelized onions, though you can use store-bought sauce. Both of these sounded intimidating the first time I tried this recipe, but now they are second nature to me and I can’t use store-bought tomato sauce anymore. If you’re looking for an easy recipe that makes you feel like a star chef, this is the recipe for you. It’s also technically vegan but I always just use non-vegan butter, so it’s more vegan-ish. The point is, make this recipe if you need a win in your life (because at this point in the pandemic, who doesn’t?). You won’t regret it.

Vivian Cabrera, assistant editor

We asked our editors and staff at America to share some of their favorite recipes as a corporal work of mercy: to (help) feed the hungry.

2. Recipe: Cheesy Bean Burrito

After college, when I worked as a volunteer teacher making $200 per month, my community of four loved making this inexpensive, easy dinner: Combine one can of corn (drained), one can of black beans (drained), one jar of salsa (16 oz.) and one block of frozen spinach (thawed excess water pressed out) in a pot and cook on the stovetop on medium low, stirring occasionally until heated. Add cumin (approximately 1 teaspoon) and cheddar cheese (approximately 1-2 cups, shredded) to taste. Stir until cheese is melted and mixed throughout. Serve wrapped in a warm tortilla. These days, this meal is also a hit with both my 4-year-old and my husband, who claims to not like black beans. We’re also fans of these crispy, buttery chickpeas and this cheesy black bean bake, both of which we serve over rice and top with avocado.

Kerry Weber, executive editor

I don’t much care for fish, so Fridays in Lent have usually been an exercise in “what can be done to this sea creature to make it taste like meat?” But a few years ago in El Salvador I discovered a tiny seafood restaurant that made ceviche with shrimp as the sole protein, and I was hooked.

The first time I tried this recipe, I made the mistake of using frozen shrimp. DO NOT DO THIS. Boiling frozen shrimp turns them into pencil erasers. They’ve got to be fresh, which makes them more expensive (but to be honest, you’re not bothering with the scallops, so there’s a cost-saver there). You’ll need a quarter of a cup of kosher salt, a pound of medium shrimp, two lemons, two limes, two oranges, one cup of diced cucumber, half a cup of chopped red onion, two serrano chiles (three for the bravehearted), one cup of diced tomatoes, one diced avocado, one tablespoon of chopped cilantro and a fourth of a cup of olive oil.

After boiling the shrimp (almost flash-boiling them, they only need a few minutes), chop them up and add the juice from the citrus fruits then stir in the cucumber, red onion and chiles. Stick in the fridge for an hour. Then add the tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and olive oil. Let it sit at room temperature for half an hour to warm up the shrimp and the citrus mix. The recipe calls for it to be served in a chilled martini glass, but chez Keane, a cereal bowl from Target works just as well.

James T. Keane, senior editor

My family has been enjoying Skate with Capers and Bread. Skate reminds me of my favorite meals from one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. This recipe is very easy to make with fresh fish, and everyone in the family will eat it (kids included). One word to the wise: After you take the skillet out of the oven, remember that the pan is hot—I badly burned my hand one time but it hasn’t stopped me from making this almost every week!

Heather Trotta, advancement strategist

I was skeptical of this recipe at first, but it’s quickly become a favorite go-to dinner or appetizer all year long. It’s also ideal for Lent: simple, affordable and nourishing. (And because this Lent takes place during a global pandemic, the fact that it also feels a bit decadent in its pizza-ness is O.K.) For the recipe, I double the amount of tomato paste and use more garlic and less cheese than the recipe suggests. Throw some fresh basil on top after baking if you have it. Serve with a simple green salad and crusty bread. And a bottle of red. (Again, it’s O.K. during pandemic Lent.) Perfection.

Michael O’Loughlin, national correspondent

I don’t much care for fish, so Fridays in Lent have usually been an exercise in “what can be done to this sea creature to make it taste like meat?"

6. Recipe: McKinless Family “Tuna Nuna”

To this day I don’t know if everyone calls it this or if my mom made it up but in the McKinless household it was called Tuna Nuna, and if it was a Friday during Lent and we weren’t ordering cheese pizza from Pizza Hut (sad), this was what we had for dinner.

Admittedly, I have not eaten Tuna Nuna (a.k.a. tuna noodle casserole) since becoming a pescatarian at the age of majority and discovering there are other fish in the sea. But I have very fond memories of Tuna Nuna nights, and I’m sure it’s still just as delicious and easy to make.

I texted my mom to get the recipe, which she described as “so simple it is almost embarrassing”:

10 minutes from starting to boil the water to putting it on the table.)

Ashley McKinless, executive editor and host of Jesuitical

Apparently, shakshuka is popular in New York, but I hadn’t heard of it before moving here. It’s delicious. It’s meatless. It’s breakfast for lunch and dinner that involves vegetables and spices. It sort of surprised me, you know, that something like this could come out of my oven. These flavors, really, this gift—for me? Apparently there is debate about the dish’s origins—is it North Africa? Yemen? The Ottoman Empire?—although it is enjoyed across those regions today, from Morocco to Israel to Yemen in different variations. The New York Times recipe was my introduction, although I’d encourage you chefs to look up the dish and find a variation that sounds exciting to you. Ironically enough, the dish is sort of sweet (read: tomatoes, onions, paprika), and eating a sweet thing during this season, regardless of your Lenten practice, is a good opportunity to relish in the goodness of life.

Erika Rasmussen, O’Hare Fellow

Remember when Paul was struck by a blinding light on his way to Damascus (Acts 9)? It was a moment of epiphany that eventually led to his conversion: the perfect story to read and reflect on during Lent. When you “go vegan,” as I did three years ago, you set yourself up for a different kind of epiphany: Meatless and dairy-free foods can be everything you thought they couldn’t be! I love comfort foods—classic American dishes and cheesy homemade casseroles—so I was delighted to discover this vegan mac and cheese recipe. The best piece of advice I can give new meatless-eaters: Discover nutritional yeast it will change your life. The problem is vegan dishes are so rich, complex and delicious that they hardly seem like a “fast” on Fridays during Lent, so I recommend serving this one up on Sunday!

Sebastian Gomes, executive editor

When you “go vegan,” as I did three years ago, you set yourself up for a different kind of epiphany: Meatless and dairy-free foods can be everything you thought they couldn’t be!

Prickly pear cactus recipes to try

One of the most popular ways to eat the nopale leaf is in salads. Try a prickly pear recipe that combines lime, cilantro and salty white Mexican queso panela cheese in this Tender Cactus Salad. For an extra kick, consider this alternative Ensalada de Nopales, which adds a serrano pepper.

You can serve nopale cactus leaf salads like these in tortillas to turn them into more of a hand-held snack, but they also go well as a side with grilled meat. For example, this Mexican Style Chipotle Chicken takes just 19 minutes to prepare and cook, making it a perfect main to throw on the barbecue while you whip up the salad. Alternatively, throw together this convenient Mexican Chipotle Shrimp Skewers Recipe which cooks in even less time. Seafood is a perfect complement for a prickly pear cactus salad.

While you're preparing your salad or skewers, substitute prickly pear juice for orange juice in this Pepita and Chile Salsa. Pair with grilled meat or enjoy as a dip for tortillas and nachos with some extra bite.

Prickly pear juice is a versatile ingredient for drinks, too. It easily replaces the cranberry component in this Gingered Margarita to take your evening cocktail south of the border. For the kids, prickly pear fruit juice is refreshing and tasty all on its own, further proving this versatile plant has so many different uses!


  1. Anthony

    There is something in this. Thanks a lot for the info, now I will know.

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  4. Domingo

    broke through the norms

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