Mozzarella, Ricotta, and farmers cheese (Lactose free)

Attention all Lactose intolerant people!!! I have tried nearly all of the Lactose free cheese and they are…ummm ok but lets face it if you are someone who loves cheese and you are lactose intolerant the only thing you want in a nice large slice of pizza or  lasagna…why because it is the thing your body tells you that you cant have. So the first thing you do is try to work around the fact that you can’t eat these things. You take pills and you buy the tofu stuff and you just deal with it. Well I have something to share. I have talked about the lactase drops on here before but I will share again. What I do is buy a regular gallon of milk and then put these drops into the milk. Once the milk has set for 24 hours you can drink it without a problem.

lactase drops

I recently went to a local dairy and bought raw milk (straight from the cow). This also makes sure that there are no preservatives in the milk and makes sure that your milk is as fresh as you can get it. I bought 2 gallons in order to make cheese. I am starting with easy ones and plan to get slowly to the harder ones. My first one that I tried was farmhouse cheese. It was so easy you would not believe it. I poured half a gallon of milk in a large stainless steal pot and brought it to 180 degrees then poured a little over 1/3 cup vinegar in the pot. You then turn the heat off and wait 15 minutes once that is done you strain all of the whey off of the cheese and press it together with your hands or you can use spoons. Try to press as much juice off of it as you can. I poured mine through a small mesh strainer and it was lined with cheese cloth. I then placed it in a plastic container. I was so excited about my first homemade cheese. I made spaghetti and then chopped up small pieces of this cheese and threw it into the sauce. This cheese will not melt and holds it shape. This is the website that I got the recipe from. http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/breakfast/homemade-farmers-cheese/. Let me just say it was amazing to be able to eat cheese in a meal and not have to worry about it making us sick!

farmhouse cheee

Moving on….

Today I made Mozzarella. I was really worried about this one because I have read if your milk isn’t fresh enough it wont turn out at all. I would hate to waste my time making something that doesn’t work but I figured it was worth a try. So after my drops had been in my milk for 24 hours I tried it. One full gallon of milk poured into my large stainless steal pot and add 1tsp citric acid. I turned my heat to medium low and waited until the heat reached 90 degrees.  While that is heating up you dissolve 1/4 rennent tablet into 1/4 cup water and once your milk reaches 90 degrees your pour your mixture into the pot over a slotted spoon. Turn the heat off immediately and stir in mixture for 30 seconds. Wait 8-10 minutes then go cut your curd into a grid. Then stir slowly for 1 minute. Take your slotted spoon and place in a microwave safe bowl…I used a large measuring cup. try to get as much of just the curd as you can and pour off any excess that ends up in your bowl. Once you have most of the whey out of your cheese place it in the microwave for 1 minute. Pull it out stir it and pour excess whey off it again and place in the microwave for 40 seconds. Put it back in the microwave for another 40 seconds and pour excess off again. At this point your curds should be sticking together and becoming sticky. At this point you will need to salt your cheese with 2 tsp cheese salt. You will kneed the salt into the cheese and then stick it back into the microwave for another 40 seconds. When it comes out it will be hot but at this point you will need to start stretching it and kneading it so that it will become shiny and stretchy. Once it is shiny and stretchy place it in a ice water bath for five minutes. This is amazing Mozzarella, it’s taste is wonderful and the fact that it is lactose free is amazing. I am making Lasagna Saturday for the first time in over a year.

http://allthingsblog56.blogspot.com/2014/11/homemade-mozzarella-cheese.html

mozzarella

Finally last but not least all of the drained off whey from your Mozzarella that you just made can also make Ricotta. But it has to be made within 3 hours of the Mozzarella or it cools down to much and it wont work. Take the whey and place it back into the stainless steal pot then add 1 quart milk to the mixture and heat it to 200 degrees. After it hits 200 degrees turn off the heat and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for five minutes. Then in a cheese cloth lined strainer pour the liquid through. You can let it drain in the sink or use a pot to catch the whey. I use the leftover whey for bread and pancakes…or anything that calls for milk or water in the ingredients. The ricotta will have to drain for a while mine took 45 minutes. After it was done I placed it into a container for my Lasagna that I am making Saturday.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is nothing more this week that I am more excited over than tasting my lasagna…that wont make us sick. Yay to being able to make my own cheese for recipes that is Lactose free! As always enjoy…I hope this is helpful to someone.

Neptune science project Paper mache

Hayleigh had a project to do Neptune any way she could figure out. So after looking at pinterest and feeling like i could do anything we decided to tackle paper mache….which I have never done.

So we blew up a balloon and mixed up paper mache liquid.

Paper Mache paste recipe:  Mix 1/2 cup flour and 3/4 cups water. 1/4 tbs. salt for mold prevention and/or 2 tbs. white glue for strength which is optional but we did it.

Then we dipped paper into this liquid and placed it on the balloon.

IMG_9328

Then because I had never done this before we waited…and waited…and waited….seriously why does nobody tell you paper mache takes so long to dry. You have to wait to do a next layer until the first one dries…..so fast forward. IMG_9335

We got all of the layers done and made sure the entire thing was really dry and hard. Then we poked a hole into the paper mache and popped the balloon that was inside of it…it made the best sound and I really wish that I got a picture of Hayleigh’s face when we did it. From there we took 2 days to paint it so that our colors would not run and combine.

IMG_9336 IMG_9340

Once it was painted and dried we cut the top of a gallon sized ice cream bucket around the ring and spray painted it silver for the ring on Neptune which consists of small dust particles and rocks.We placed that around our Neptune ball and connected it with hot glue and toothpicks. The we took one of my cake boards spray painted it black and Hayleigh added white and yellow stars….ta da you have Neptune!

IMG_9341IMG_9342

This took us two weeks! After we were done Hayleigh told me about the other kids projects….one kid brought a bouncy ball…..Nothing like feeling like an overachiever on a 3rd graders project…Oh well we had fun. 🙂

Apple Nachos

Okay this one came about because Hayleigh decided that she needed to enter the cooking contest. You have to come up with a healthy snack. You can’t have to much sugar and it does have to be considered healthy but a snack. It can’t be to easy or to hard. You can find a recipe online but make it your own.

Here is the recipe that we found.

http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/caramel-apple-nachos

Because this one had caramel on top of it we decided to make it a little different.

What we did:

We got a LARGE apple, you could do a few small ones but we just happened to have the hugest apple in the world on our hands that day. We sliced it into thin apple slices and I think we got 12 to 15 pieces.

From there we spread peanut butter on each one.

Then we threw 2/3 cup walnuts and 1/3 cups mini chocolate chips into the food processor and chopped it until the walnuts were a small flaky consistency.

Sprinkle half of the mixture on top of the apples.

Drizzle honey on top of the apples

Then use the remaining mixture of nuts and chocolate on top.

You are done. These were so good. Not overly sweet and everyone in our family loved them…enough to do them fairly often now.

As always enjoy 🙂

IMG_9329

Whew! December is over :)

Happy new year….a week late. 😦 Let me start by saying I love December but I am so happy it is over. With Three Birthdays, and Anniversary and Christmas we are all just done in my house. I feel like once January starts we all take a month off to recover. I realize it has been awhile sense my last post so I figured I would fill everyone in on our December.

So to start off our December we made our yearly sugar cookies. The girls love making these and just cant get enough…my dad can’t either 🙂 Everyone has fun, there is always a huge mess but there are memories made.

IMG_8910

Once we were done with cookies that afternoon my oldest was in a parade so it was time to get dressed and fix our outfit for soccer so that we could watch the parade. Our town puts on a wonderful parade that they just started 2 years ago and it was great. I swear almost all of the school aged kids are in it for one thing or another.

IMG_8915

The next week end was my youngest’s birthday and she wanted a Maleficent cake…so I worked my best on a thorn wall and got sleeping beauty and Maleficent on her cake…..it was a hit and they loved eating the chocolate wall. IMG_9000 IMG_9001

Then we were headed to Oklahoma to visit grandparents and fish at the pond. Our Anniverssary passed while we were there but we decided to celebrate after we got home 🙂

IMG_9112

We then headed back home to Texas and I did my last minute finishes on my wood burning projects that needed to be done by Christmas, and BOOM Christmas day was here and we had way to many gifts like usual 🙂 IMG_9232

In the middle of all of the Christmas activities we had to do a science experiment for my oldest science fair project. IMG_9273

Finally to round of December we had yet another maleficent birthday party for my oldest.  IMG_9284 IMG_9305

When all of these things were done I was exhausted hence just getting back to my blog more than a week after January started. But in order to not just glaze over our Anniversary we went out New Years eve and had an amazing dinner in Austin and went to see a movie…..yep that’s right we brought in the new year watching a movie at an actual theater. I can’t tell you when the last time just my husband and I went to a movie but we did it new years eve and we loved it. So Goodbye to 2014 and welcome 2015…I know i’m late but i was sleeping!

Creamy Salad with Garlic and herb Chicken

letuce

Last night I decided we needed to eat a large salad! It just felt like we needed more veggies than normal. So I set out to make a new kind of salad that we could all enjoy without feeling like we were compromising taste. I started by chopping up two heads of Romain lettuce, five Roma tomatoes, two avocados and threw it into a large bowl.

I chopped up a whole raw chicken and threw it in my cast iron pan with a tablespoon of butter. When it was done I threw in 1/8 cup of Garlic and herb seasoning and then added a cup and a half of milk. I got all of it incorporated together and then threw in 1/8th cup cornstarch to thicken it up. When it looked like it had thickened up enjoy to make a dressing, I then threw the chicken stuff over the lettuce mixture. It needed a little salt but it was very good and everyone had seconds!

As Always ENJOY!