Friday, June 5, 2015

Mozarella without fringes !

Cheese-pedition as I called it yesterday ! I am one to go to or swing by my neighbourhood Nature'sBasket to buy my cheese. Every since I first attended a cheese part back in Belgium - where I was exposed to 20 different cheese on a platter I realised what a big deal this whole cheese business it. We only knew of amul and Britannia and the cheese world came to a screaching halt !

My second host mom is an experienced cheese-maker and in the few months I lived with her an an Exchange Student, I've watched her play with curds and whey, experimenting with a vast assortment of exotic cheeses. It's definitely one of those things that gets better with practice. Many things can go wrong and they probably will. So I suggest starting with a simple cheese in the beginning, like mozzarella. Plus, it doesn't need to age. Instant gratification!

Here are the basic steps...

1 gallon of raw or unhomogenized whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
2 tsp citric acid dissolved in a ¼ cup of cool distilled water
½ vegetarian rennet tablet dissolved in a ¼ cup of cool distilled water
2 ml of calcium chloride (optional: some say this helps if using store-bought milk)
Salt to taste
5 to 10 ice cubes

Steralize all equipment with boiling water before use.
Poor milk into a large pot.
Stir in diluted citric acid (and optional calcium chloride) into cold milk.
Heat slowly to 90˚F (32˚C), stirring gently.
Take pot off burner, stir in diluted rennet, and let sit for 30 minutes.
When solid, gently cut curds with a long knife into 1 inch cubes (should make a clean cut).
Put pot back on stove and slowly heat curds to 90˚F (42˚C).
Take pot off burner & prepare two bowls of water: one boiling, one cold w/ ice cubes & salt.
Using a slotted spoon, separate the curds from whey into a cheese cloth lined colander.
Scoop curds and submerge them in the hot water bowl (or you can microwave for 1 min).
FUN PART: Stretch and kneed curds with your hands until it has a smooth elastic texture.
Form curds into balls and place them in ice water bath for 10 min before eating. Or eat hot!

There is nothing better than a caprese salad with your own homemade Bocconcini. I mixed them in with yellow cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, lemon, olive oil, salt and lots of black pepper.

Here are 3 cheese-making kits I recommend for your very first batch, all of which I've never personally used or gifted to others but have seen in peoples home of on some famous blogs that i follow !!
Mad Millie
Urban Cheese Craft
New England Cheese-Making Supply Co.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cheese, Say Cheese, Cheese Please !

Hope you are going to aim at eating lots of CHEESE today... today is National Cheese Day, ofcourse that is in america! The good people of AMUL Co-operative are you listeneing ? We need a cheese day !!! I'll be marking June 4th on my calendar to celebrate properly next year with one (or ten) of these cheesy recipes.

You know these diamond ads kind of make you want to analyse your relationships !! I am not a diamond kind of a girl, but i do measure up Kunal's love for me. He who loves his cheese more than anything else especially when its slightly char/ burnt and is flaking from the top of his lasagne, he who keeps it on the side and savours it in his last bite, offered me his best part and let me have the whole thing !!! I had my AWWWW moment... nothing like a tear in those diamond adverts but something that lets me sleep with a smile on my face :)

Mignon Kitchen Cheese Bags
Coeur de Neufchatel Heart-Shaped Cheese
Kitchen Papers By Cake Cheese Markers
Quitokeeto / Jacob May Black Walnut Cheese Board

Ofcourse, watch this space tomorrow to learn how to make your own mozzarella! I am on a cheese-pedition !!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Happiness is Contagious !

Happiness is officially contagious! A Harvard study followed 5,000 people over the course of 20 years, and found that positive emotions spread up to three degrees removed from the original source. Which means, we transfer our happiness to people we interact with directly and to people we haven't even met. Like a chain reaction. When we feel good, you can bet a friend of a friend of a friend will feel good too. And the effects last up to a year. I absolutely love this concept, don't you?

So let's try an experiment....
Right now, make a conscious effort to spread your positive emotions to others.
Get happy. Do whatever necessary to raise your vibration and elevate your mood.
As you interact with people, visualize yourself transmitting a contagious "happy virus" to them.
Notice the positive effect you're having on others. And yourself.
Revel in the fact that your positive emotions will spread to people you don't even know and touch more lives than you ever thought possible.

It's JUNE 1... something crucial is happening in my life right now... it needs happinesss as an ingredient to help me through it ... Who's in? :)

{Original image by John Van Noate}


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