A family of six and their fearless journey through life, love and the pursuit of all things yummy

Help! I need a new cheese mold! May 10, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 1:01 am
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I’ve started making a white aged cheddar in a “wheel”, but I need to find a better mold. I need to use something plastic, a cylinder and something I can drill small holes in to so I can drain off my whey. My wheel looks a little lumpy with my existing cheese mold…It’s the basket from my salad spinner! Any ideas?


Molto Mozzarella May 3, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 6:35 pm
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Okay, mozzarella is a ball of heaven, and it’s so much easier to make than you’d ever believe. Follow this recipe, and you’ll be golden! This makes one nice big ball of cheese. BTW, this recipe comes from LOVE THOSE FOLKS!

Half gallon whole milk (definitely use whole…creamier cheese)

3/4 tsp. citric acid dissolved in 1/2 c. purified water

1/8 tablet of rennet dissolved in 1/8 c. purified water


Put milk into a stainless steel pot and add the citric acid/water mixture. Stir well and put milk on medium-high heat. Heat milk to 90 degrees. Use a thermometer! Take off the stove.

Add the rennet/water mixture into the milk. DON’T STIR! Use a plastic or wooden spoon and “chop” at the milk in an up and down motion for about 30 second. Cover with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes. This is will allow the milk to coagulate and form a good curd.

After 5 minutes, take the lid off and put your finger in the curd. If it has a custard-like consistency, it’s ready. If not, let it sit for a few more minutes.

Take a long, sharp knife and at an angle, cut into the curd all the way to the bottom of the pot. Turn the pot and cut the curd in the opposite direction so you have about 1/2 inch cubes. Put the pot back on the stove and heat it gently to 105 degrees, stirring VERY gently.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir the curd gently for another 3-5 minutes. Longer stir means firmer cheese!

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the curd into a microwavalbe bowl. Using your hand, drain off as much whey (yellow-ish liquid) as you can, but don’t press too firmly.

Put your bowl with curd into a microwave for 45 seconds. Drain off any excess whey and with a wooden or plastic spoon, get the curd into a ball. Add about 1/2 tsp. salt.

Put bowl into micro again and nuke for 30 seconds. The curd will be HOT, so using your plastic spoon and start STRETCHING your cheese! Scoop it onto your spoon and let is stretch its way back into the bowl. Do this for about 1-2 minutes. If it becomes too firm, nuke again for about 15-20 seconds and keep stretching. REMEMBER: longer stretching = firmer cheese.

Form the cheese into a log or ball, pinching it closed underneath. Put cheese into an ice bath for about 20 minutes to firm up and – voila! You have cheese!!!!!


Adventures in Feta – 2.0 May 2, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 1:12 am
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Here is my second attempt at homemade feta cheese. I only used a half gallon of whole milk instead of the full gallon. I didn’t want to waste anymore milk on a fiasco. I followed the exact same procedure as in attempt #1, but halved everything. To correct my mistake with the feta crumbling in the brine, I altered what I did after I drained the cheese in the mold.

I unwrapped it, sliced it, added about 1 tsp. of salt to the cheese and let it drain for another 2 hours.


Then I laid the cubes out on to a cooling rack for baked goods and popped it into the fridge to let it dry out.


Once it “dried” for about 2 hours in the refrigerator, I pulled it out, took an old olive jar, filled it with whey and 4.5 T. of salt and dropped in the feta cubes.


And completely sounding like a 13 year old girl – OMG….this cheese is amazing. You must try this. What a success and it cost me a whopping $1.15 for cheese that would have cost me about $4.00 in the grocery store. SUCCESS! Let me know if you have any questions. Long live cheese.


Question about cheese making…. April 30, 2012

I’ve had a couple of questions sent to me about supplies to make cheese. There’s not a lot for the cheese I’ve been making: feta, mozzarella, ricotta and Gjetost. Here’s the short list….

thermometer, cheese cloth or sanitized handkerchief, strainer, stainless steel pot (or anything that’s NOT non-stick and no cast iron), citric acid (or white vinegar) and RENNET. What is rennet? It’s an enzyme that aids in coagulation. You can get it in the ICE CREAM TOPPING and CONE section of your grocery store. It’s cheap! Only about $1.25 per box and I can make a load of cheese out of it.

Did you want more cheese making instructions?


Adventures in Feta – Attempt #1

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 2:04 pm
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Okay, tried my hand as making feta this weekend and it wasn’t difficult, just a process. I had the finished project by Sunday, but had some problems at the end. Don’t get me wrong – the flavour is amazing. It’s creamy, tangy, and salty and crumbles beautifully. The only problem is that my brine that I need to keep the feta in (you know – that watery junk in with a solid chunk of feta you get from the grocery store?), dissolved the feta. BOOOO! I saved some and am “drying” the large chunks in the refrigerator.

I am now doing Feta 2.0 and combining two different techniques. I’m posting my photos of my first attempt and will show you the finished product and instructions when it’s completed by late this afternoon.

Its is SO incredibly easy to make your own cheese and I’m having a blast trying out recipes, seeing what works and what doesn’t. So far, I feel that I have good hand on making my own BUTTER, MOZZARELLA, RICOTTA and GJETOST (Norwegian Cheese).

If there’s an interest, I’ll be posting recipes for mozzarella! Huzzah for cheese!!!


The Good Stuff of Life April 21, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 3:06 am
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Can life get any better? Homemade bread, homemade wine and a sweet girl named Violet!


Oh My Godda – It’s Your Own Ricotta! April 19, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 4:26 pm
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Here are simple instructions for making your own ricotta.  I started checking the ingredients on the ricotta I was buying and discovered that they all contain xanthum gum or guar gum. Yipes! It’s easy and SO delicious. Give it a shot and let me know how yours turns out!

1/2 gallon whole milk

1 tsp. citric acid OR 1-2 T. of white vinegar

Salt (if desired)

Put your milk into a stainless steel pot. Add your citric acid or vinegar.

Turn your burner onto medium to medium high and slowly stir your milk until it reaches 195 degrees.ImageImage

Once it reaches that temp, take it off the heat and put a lid on it. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. This allows the curds to separate from the whey. Line a strainer with a lot of cheese cloth (I use clean, cheap, throw-away clothes!) and ladle your curds and whey into the cloth.


Let it strain for about a half an hour to an hour, depending on how moist or “dry” you want your cheese. This makes about 3/4 c. of ricotta. NOTE – If you don’t have enough curds, you can simply add more citric acid (a little at a time) or vinegar to your hot milk until you really see those curds forming! Good luck!