Homemade Cottage Cheese

Homemade Cottage Cheese

 Too many times I wish I had cottage cheese in my fridge for one recipe or another, and find I am completely out.  I don’t want to run to the store just for cottage cheese.  So I started looking on line for ways to make my own at home.  After some tweaking, here is what I’ve come up with.  I’ve eaten it plain, and in salads, and other dishes that call for cottage cheese.  It tastes great.
I’ve also read that when you get the munchies at night, cottage cheese is a good thing to eat.  It helps keep your metabolism working all night, without keeping you awake.

Homemade Cottage Cheese 

1 gallon milk (I’ve used whole milk and 2% and personally prefer 2%)
1 gallon milk makes approximately 4 cups.

Heat this in a pan that will hold more than 1 gallon of liquid.  Heat on medium heat to 180 degrees, or just to the boiling point.  Stir to keep from scalding on the bottom.

Heat Milk to 180 degrees

Once milk reaches 180 degrees, stir in 3/4 cup vinegar slowly.  (I’ve tried apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.  The white vinegar tastes better to me.)

Stir in Vinegar

Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.  You will see it start to curdle right away.

Milk starts to form Curds

Pour this through a cheese cloth or mesh strainer to separate the curds and whey.  You can keep the whey and use it later in just about anything item you will make that calls for water, soups, cakes, smoothies, etc.

Pour Milk through strainer to separate curds and whey
Whey to be used in other foods

Remove the whey container once drained.  Then rinse with cold water.

Rinse Cottage Cheese with Cold Water
Sprinkle with Salt to taste

Sprinkle with salt to taste, and place in an air tight container until you are ready to use.  Can be used immediately.  If you want a creamier cottage cheese, add a couple of tablespoons of half&half or cream. (I’ve also added plain Greek Yogurt, and my homemade Greek Yogurt with  great results.)

Finished Product
Cottage Cheese

Our Family Favorite Sweet Potato Casserole

Over the years I’ve tried just about every recipe involving Sweet Potatoes. Trying to find one that the majority of the family will eat has been a challenge. We were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner at some friends when the following was on the buffet table. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw each of my kids going back for seconds. I haven’t served Sweet Potatoes any other way other than fried since that day. This is a must on our Thanksgiving and Christmas menus. Hope you enjoy it too.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

OUR FAMILY FAVORITE SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
(KID TESTED AND APPROVED)

1. c. mashed cooked sweet potato (about 2 1/4 lbs.)
2. 1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3. 1/3 c. skim milk
4. 2 Tbsp. margarine, melted
5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
6. 1/2 tsp. salt
7. 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
8. Vegetable cooking spray
9. 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
10. 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
11. 2 Tbsp. chilled margarine
12. 1/3 c. chopped pecans

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl, and stir well. Spoon sweet potato mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 1/2 c. brown sugar and flour in a bowl, and cut in 2 Tbsp. chilled margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the chopped pecans, and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 8.

The Best of the Best Homemade Greek Yogurt (Budget Friendly)

I like yogurt! These days I just pass it by at the grocery store because it is so expensive. I happened upon a very easy, cost effective way of making yogurt at home, without all that fancy equipment.  I can now have yogurt with live cultures and pro-biotics that is very cost effective.

What you need: An insulated cooler, glass jars, a thermometer (candy type), milk, plain yogurt with live cultures, pan, spoons.

What You Need

What You Need

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For every quart of yogurt you make, you will need a quart of milk and 2 tablespoons of yogurt with live cultures.

2 TBS. Yogurt with live cultures per Quart of Milk

2 TBS. Yogurt with live cultures per Quart of Milk

Directions: Heat milk in a pan to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. I did this on medium heat to prevent milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.  While milk is cooling down to 115 degrees, place 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt with live cultures into each jar.

180 degrees

180 degrees

20130531_114508

115 degrees

I used Greek yogurt for this, and whole milk. I wanted creamy yogurt.  I got what I wanted.  You can use any plain flavored yogurt with live cultures.  You can also use 2%, skim, fat-free, or powdered milk.  I hope to experiment with other milks such as almond and coconut milk.

Once the milk has cooled down, pour a little into the jars. Stir with the yogurt. Then add remaining milk and stir completely again.

Yogurt Starter and Cooled Milk

Yogurt Starter and Cooled Milk

Place the lids on the jars loosely. Place the jars in an insulated cooler, surrounded by towels. Wait 8-10 hours. I liked the results better after 10 hours. Refrigerate.

Fill Jar with Milk and Stir

Fill Jar with Milk and Stir

Place Jars in Cooler Surrounded by Towels

Place Jars in Cooler Surrounded by Towels

The yogurt turned out nice and thick, creamy and almost as good as the original starter that I used. This was the best yogurt I have ever made. My dh couldn’t believe it tasted so good on his baked potato.  (He actually thought it was sour cream.)

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

If you want to sweeten your yogurt, you can add sugar to taste up to 3/4 cup sugar per quart of milk with 1 tsp. vanilla. Add this at the same time you do your yogurt starter. After the yogurt has cultured, then you can add your fruit toppings.

This was the Best homemade yogurt ever. Easy to make, tastes delicious.  Very Budget Friendly!

From start of heating up milk, to placing jars in the cooler took 1 hour. You could speed up the process by heating your milk at a higher temperature.  The second batch I made, I placed a lid over my pan, and the milk heated up in about 30 minutes on medium heat.

 

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