Wednesday, September 30, 2009


There is a wonderful creamery not far from us in Otto, North Carolina,
called Spring Ridge Creamery. It is the best milk I have ever had. Probably because the cows are pastured directly behind. So we always buy our milk there. And I always make yogurt from it. This past week for some reason my yogurt just didn't thicken.

So we decided to try making it a second time, starting the entire process over. We put the "yogurt" back in a saucepan to heat it. When heated the whey separated out, and there was soft cheese. Now I'm no cheese maker, but I've seen a lot of cheese being made, and I can only assume that there must've been enough acid from the yogurt to cause such a separation. That's just a guess, does anyone have an answer?

So I strained our cheese through cheese cloth, salted it, and put it in the refrigerator. The next day we added it to our pasta with basil from our CSA, garlic, and olive oil. It was wonderful, with a flavor similar to ricotta salata--delicate, fresh, slightly floral, and (of course) salty. I think I may need to start trying to make cheese.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Come to Dinner

We had dinner guests--such a rare occasion and such a joy! (hint hint: to those of you wanting a mountain vacation, come visit us, we'll feed you well!)

We decided to make tiramisu for our guests. I've been wanting to make it for awhile, using some Kahlua we have sitting around. We made our own lady fingers. Our method of spooning the batter in lines was far less effective, than using a mold. I would highly recommend a mold. We then soaked the fingers in Kahlua and coffee.

Meanwhile we searched for a recipe. Many recipes we found added whipped cream to the classic mixture of egg yolk and marscapone folded into beaten whites. We wanted to avoid this heavier version and stuck with the classic of yolk, marscapone, and beaten whites.

We then layered the custard mix with our lady fingers, sprinkled with cocoa and garnished with lady finger sticks. Simple and absolutely delicious, much thank to the local, pastured eggs which produced a rich and flavorful custard.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Will you...?

My non-working life is now consumed with the fluff and puff of bridal magazines. (This is, of course, a self-indulgent choice I have made.) One bridal magazine referenced a web site where you can buy a cookie to ask your flower girl. I loved the idea, and decided to expand it to bridesmaids too. And to do it all myself.

For the bridesmaids I decided on lemon sablés. They are one of my favorite cookies right now, and they're perfect for decorating. So I made each cookie one word in the phrase "Will you be my bridesmaid?" Seems that it's worked too, I'm two-for-two.

Remembering my childhood fascination with the beautiful colors and daintiness of petit fours, I decided to make them for the flower girl. A new cake decorating book I'm working my way through has the recipe, so this was the perfect excuse. They turned out wonderfully. Little squares of feminine perfection just as I remembered.