Wednesday, May 13, 2009

cooking sensation

I feel like a domestic goddess. I'm pretty sure I'm far from it but since I don't have a real job these days, cooking and baking help to fill the multitude of hours that pile up with nothing to fill them with. My latest excursion into the baking world was to make homemade ricotta cheese. And I did it! Chris and Lindsey gave me a cheesemaking kit awhile ago and I finally got around to trying it out. It's actually really simple to make! I can also make mozarella with this kit so that will be the next adventure. With our ricotta cheese we made a lasagna with spinach noodles and a homemade meat sauce - it was delicious. I did learn that you can salt the cheese and I think that will enhance the flavor even more next time around.

And after you skim the curds off the top to get your ricotta - there is a ton of whey left but there was no way I could just toss it. So I put it in the fridge till I could figure out what to do with it. Evidently you can substitute whey for buttermilk or any liquid in cake, bread, pancakes, and other recipes. People even use it to cook rice, pasta or oatmeal in it because it adds flavor and protein. FUN! I decided to try out the basic buttermilk recipe in my peace corps cookbook - the cake turned out delicious. And for the icing I made it from icing sugar but used whey instead of milk - also yummy!

The next experiment was with buttermilk biscuits this morning. We're trying to clear out our fridge before we head to Ethiopia for a week. So to complement our eggs & bacon, I made the biscuits, which turned out pretty good! They weren't as thick as I thought they'd be so I'll have to experiment with the ratios and I'm not sure exactly what it means to cut the butter into the flour - maybe I over did it? But they were tasty and Jason loved them!

No matter! It's been fun and I have a bit more whey left over that I'll freeze for now and use when I get back. Can't wait for the next cooking adventure. But first I'm going to enjoy as much Ethiopian food as I can!

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