Goat Cheese Making

My dream is to one day have a goat (or goats) and a small bit of land. Until then, it’s quite easy to make fresh goat cheese with pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) store bought goat’s milk. I started out with this Chevre Kit from The Beverage People but you could also buy the ingredients and make-shift your drying rack + draining containers. Here’s their recipe too. It was delicious on the bagels with cured fish. Happy home cheese making!

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Sunchoke-Kale-Oyster Mushroom Hash

I’ve been looking for different ways to cook sunchokes rather then just roasted or in soup (both of which are delicious). This recipe for a hardy winter Sunchoke-Kale Hash was calling my name. I used quinoa instead of farro and added some purple kale along with Tuscan kale. Yum!

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I made a very small last minute batch of peanut butter cups for a holiday gift. I will definitely being making a giant batch soon! Caution: they are very addicting. I used this recipe from sproutedkitchen.com which also happens to be vegan. I didn’t have any almonds to make them with almond butter but will definitely try it next time. I winged it with whatever nut butter and dark chocolate I had at home. Peanut butter + dark chocolate + sea salt (on top) = THE BEST! The process is pretty quick and simple…

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Melt chocolate down in a double boiler (mean is makeshift with two pots).
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Pour a small amount of chocolate and swirl to line bottom of cupcake liners.
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Mix nut butter filling ingredients, roll in small balls and place in center of liners.
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Pour chocolate to cover filling, top with sea salt, and place in fridge to harden for about 30 minutes.
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Then eat.

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Cranberry Curd Goodness

It’s that cranberry time of year. Instead of making cranberry sauce/jam for Thanksgiving, I went a different route and made cranberry curd. I could just eat it by the spoonful but will refrain. Recipe here.

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Waiting for the cranberries to “pop.”
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Strained blood red pulp.
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Egg, sugar mixture. Start the continuous whisking.
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Gels up after about 8 minutes then add the butter cubes.
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Flamingo pink curd.

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Spiced Apple Butter

I came home with 12 lbs. of apples (a variety of pink ladies, granny smith, roma beauties, and fuji) that were, “cosmetically off.” Meaning they were fine apples but didn’t look perfect. I had intended on making apple butter so appearances didn’t matter. I’m still going through Canning For a New Generation’s seasonally recipes so that’s been my staple when canning + my own take on spice editions etc. Apple Butter is pretty labor intensive (especially when you don’t have an apple peeler/corer and a crock pot) but I enjoy the different steps which include using my food mill that doesn’t get pulled out very often. Here’s an online version of the recipe. Full disclosure: I pretty much ate a whole jar by the spoonful.

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Homemade Lara bars

I’ve been eating lara bars so much that I decided to make my own. There are endless flavor possibilities! I used these basic instructions. I started with dates, hazelnuts (from Bernard’s Farm), and almonds for the nut/dried fruit base then added cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa powder, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and flax meal. You basically just pulse the ingredients in the food processor then roll it out and cut bars (or whatever shape you prefer). For me, it was a great excuse to use my dog-shaped cookie cutters. They were delicious and I will definitely be trying out new nut/fruit/spice combinations soon.

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Easy Kosher Dill Pickles

Pickling cucumbers are in abundance at the farmer’s market right now so naturally it was time to make another batch of Kosher Dills. While I love naturally fermented pickles, these refrigerator pickles are quick, easy, with a satisfying crunch. I used Liana Krissoff’s Quickest Kosher Dill recipe from Canning For a New Generation but instead of canning put them in the fridge and will check on them in a week. I’ve also found that giving the cukes an ice bath for a few hours before hand helps them keep their crunch.

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Homemade Sauerkraut

I’m a big fan of homemade sauerkraut! It’s much better than store bought, super easy, contains those healthy probiotics, and will blow your mind. It’s pretty magical to see osmosis in action! It takes about a week before it’s ready to eat. I prefer mine with a simple edition of caraway seeds but you could add carrots, fennel seeds, juniper berries, peppercorns or whatever other spices you enjoy. The recipe I use comes from The Art of Simple Foods by Alice Waters.

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3 simple ingredients: cabbage, salt, caraway seeds.
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The salt creates the brine when massaged into the cabbage.
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I use a smaller jar full of water to weigh down the cabbage so it’s fully submerged in the brine.
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Then place a dish towel over the top and let it hang out on the container for about a week.
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Homemade Mozzarella

If you’ve never had warm fresh mozzarella it will change your world. Homemade mozzarella is quick and easy! It’s take about an hour and a half and there will be no turning back. I used the recipe from Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll but this recipe is very similar. It’s magical to see the transformation from a liquid to a stretchable taffy consistency. Amazingly delicious!

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Pluot Cardamom Jam

Stone fruit is in full force at the farmer’s market right now. The vibrant dapple dandy pluots called my name so I picked up 4lbs to make a small batch of jam. This might very well be my favorite jam I’ve ever made. The recipe is from Canning For a New Generation by Liana Krissoff but I swapped pluots for the plums. It’s only 4 ingredients: pluots, lime juice, sugar, and cardamom pods. Now I just need to bake some whole grain bread to slather on almond butter and pluot jam. Yum!

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half eaten by the spoonful.

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