There’s usually not much surprising—though plenty to love—about comfort food mainstays like macaroni and cheese, BLT sandwiches and nachos. That is, until Cabot partnered with award-winning blogger and cookbook author Ashley Rodriguez, who helped put a fresh spin on these perennial favorites.
Her velvety cheesy pasta borrows an efficient technique from Italian carbonara and adds a quick, sophisticated touch of blistered snap peas. She builds her BLT on the flakiest cheddar biscuits and melts Cabot Pepper Jack into the perfect kicked-up sauce to marry crunchy tortilla chips with fresh veggies.
Ashley developed her blog Not Without Salt after working in high-end restaurant kitchens and then switching gears to have the first of her three children. She has since published two cookbooks and opened an event, teaching and community space in Seattle where she lives with her family. Ashley’s approach combines the practicality of a mom feeding her crew with the creativity and know-how of a professional cook. As she writes on her blog, “It’s about how a passionate home cook stays inspired when the passion feels more like something to check off on the to-do list than a joy. And it’s about celebrating life through food.”
For extra fun and inspiration, we created short videos of Ashley making each dish and even found the perfect wine pairings to go with each: a crisp chardonnay to complement the rich carbonara mac and cheese, hearty cabernet sauvignon that will elevate your BLT into brunch, and a bright Napa Valley zinfandel to sip with your nachos.
We do recommend, however, that the kids stick with tall glasses of milk. Ashley’s grandfather was a dairy farmer and we know she agrees!