Thoughts

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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Aug 28, 2014

Cream Cheese

Yesterday, I whetted your appetite for homemade cream cheese, didn't I?  It is easy to make, as long as you have patience, and tastes WONDERFUL.  I learned how to make this at the Kitchen Shoppe in Carlisle.  If possible, used non ultra pasteurized products.

Make a 10% bleach solution and sanitize all tools to be used.  Air Dry.

1 Quart Half and Half
1 Cup Whipping Cream
1/4 Tsp Calcium Chloride
1 Tbl Non Chlorinated Water
1/4 Tsp Mesophilic Aroma B Culture
1/8 Tsp Rennet
1/4 Cup Non Chlorinated Water


Pour the half and half and whipping cream into a sanitized pot on the stove.  Turn on the burner to a very low heat and begin bringing the temperature up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

While it is coming to temperature, mix calcium Chloride and 1 tablespoon water, add to pot and stir up and down for 20 strokes.

Sprinkle Calcium Chloride on top of milk, allow to hydrate for a couple of minutes.  Stir another 20 strokes, top to bottom.

When 90 degrees, turn off heat and stir.  Add Rennet to 1/4 cup water and add to pot.  Stir for NO MORE THAN one minute.  Place pot in a warm area where it will not drop below 79 degrees and allow it to sit until liquid whey appears - 12 to 24 hours.

Prepare to drain cheese in a Cuispro Yogurt Cheese drainer OR by lining a colander with cheesecloth or muslin and placing over a pot.  Spoon curd into bottom of the container and allow to sit at 65 to 80 degrees for 24 hours.  Remove it to a storage container.  Enjoy.

Aug 27, 2014

Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake

After learning how to make Creme Fraiche, I learned how to make Cream Cheese.  It makes over one pound, more than I can eat on English muffins, so I make other things too.  This pound cake, made for my father in law's birthday, is made with orange extract, but you can use any flavor you like.  I use a wooden skewer to test the cake.

1 1/2 Cup Butter
8 Ounces Cream Cheese
3 Cups Sugar
6 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Tsp Orange Extract
3 Cups Cake Flour
1/8 Tsp Salt

Heat oven to 300 Degrees.  Add an oven proof pan filled with two cups hot water.  Grease and flour an angel food cake tube pan.

At medium speed, beat together softened butter and softened cream cheese until creamy.  Gradually add sugar and beat 7 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until yellow disappears after each one.  Add orange extract and salt, mix well. Add flour and beat on low speed, just until combined.  Pour into pan and place into oven.  Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.

Aug 26, 2014

Spiced Plum Jam

This has become Hubby's favorite jam.  This is the first time I have made a jam two years in a row at HIS request.

5 Cups Purple Plums - prepared as below
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Water
7 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Pouch Liquid Pectin

Wash, pit and cube plums.

Put into a blender and chop.

When you have 5 cups, add water and juice. Pulse to mix.  Pour into a pan and bring to a low boil.

Add sugar and spices.

Bring to a rolling boil.  Add Pectin, return to a rolling boil, boil for 1 minute.

Put into prepared jelly jars.  Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Aug 25, 2014

Pasta

My niece said she wanted to learn how to make marinara sauce.  What goes better with homemade sauce than homemade pasta, so we made that, too.  This is what I did (at least, that day).

4 Cups Flour
4 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tbl Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tbl Oregano

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a large fork until crumbly.  If too dry, add a little water.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 15 to 20 minutes until well formed.  Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.  Run through a pasta machine to desired thickness and shape. 

Add to salted boiling water and cook 4 to 5 minutes until done.

Aug 20, 2014

Chipotle Pork Chops

These pork chops are very juicy because of the nice crust afforded by the spices.  If you don't have demerara sugar, use light brown.  Goes GREAT with grilled peaches.



8 Ounces Crushed Pineapple in Juice
2 Tbl Demerara Sugar
1 Garlic Clove
2 Tbl Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Seasoning
1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
4 Pork Chops

Heat grill to 400 degrees.

In a blender, combine pineapple, demerara and garlic.

Blend until smooth.

Pour half the glaze into a small bowl.  Reserve the remaining sauce.

In a large bag, combine seasoning and cinnamon.

Add pork chops and shake.

Place pork on grill.

Brush top with reserved sauce.

Cook 4 minutes.  Turn, brush with sauce.  Cook to 155 degrees.

Serve with reserved glaze.

Aug 19, 2014

Tomato Pie

Lots of ripe tomatoes?  Make a pie.  A wonderful cross between a pizza and bruschetta - can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish.  If you don't have pie weights, use dried beans.  Enjoy!

1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
1 Head Garlic
1 Tsp Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Chiffinod Basil
8 Ounces Fontina Cheese
3 to 4 Ripe Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place pie crust into a tart pan.  Place pie weights in bottom of crust.

Cut top off of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil.  Place both in oven.  Bake crust 8 to 10 minutes until browned.

Keep garlic in oven for another 10 minutes.  Reduce oven heat to 350.

While crust and garlic bake, slice tomatoes.  Place on a triple layer of paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let sit until ready to put in pan.

Cut basil and shred cheese.

When soft, squeeze garlic out of garlic head onto baked pie crust.

Spread garlic over crust.

Add 1/3 of cheese to the cooked crust.

Top with basil.

Layer tomatoes over basil and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until lightly browned.


Aug 17, 2014

Veggies with Pesto

This is a fresh side dish that goes well with fish.



1 Tbl Oil
2 Tbl Minced Onions
2 Cups Grean beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, steamed
1 1/2 Cup Corn, cooked
1/4 Cup Pesto

In a large pot, heat oil and cook onion 1 to 2 minutes.  Add beans and corn and make sure they are heated.  Remove from heat, stir in Pesto, enjoy.