Category Archives: Cheese/Yogurt

Jalapeno Cheese Round

Jalapeño Cheese
Jalapeño Cheese

This homemade cheese doesn’t take any special ingredients.  Everything you need is in your kitchen cupboards.

If you have never tried making your own cheese, please give this a try.  I used dried jalapeños from my garden last summer.  Having an over abundance of jalapeños, I decided to use my dehydrator.  So happy I made that decision.

If you would rather use a different dried herb, example red pepper flakes, please go for it.  Add some black pepper, red pepper flakes, dried garlic.  Use what your taste buds are craving.

Supplies:  Large colander or mesh strainer, cheesecloth, large heat resistant bowl to collect the whey in. 3 quart stockpot, cooking thermometer, large mixing spoon, 1/4 measuring cup, 1 teaspoon, bowl or something to mold cheese in.  (I used a little colander).

Ingredients:  8 cups whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized) I use fresh cows milk, not everyone has that option.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt, flake salt or use regular salt
1 teaspoon dried jalapeños

  1.  Line colander with cheesecloth.  Place a bowl underneath to collect the whey.
  2. Pour mlk into the pot and heat the milk, on medium to 200F.
  3. Stir milk every few minutes to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the milk.
  4. When the temperature reaches 200F, add the apple cider vinegar and stir it in thoroughly.
  5. Coagulation should happen within seconds.
  6. Take the pot of the burner and very gently stir the curds for 1 minute.  Don’t break them up.  Moving the curds around will help shrink the curds and release the whey.
  7. Pour the curds and whey into the cloth lined colander.  Let the curds drain for 5 minutes.  Stirring gently to release whey, until the curds resemble thick oatmeal.
  8. Add the salt and jalapeños.  Stir thoroughly.
  9. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth to form a tight bundle.  Squeeze out more of the whey.
  10. Press the curd bag into your mold and fold the cloth neatly on top.
  11. Press down to form your curds into a cheese mold.  Let sit 15 minutes.
  12. Remove the cheese mold and unwrap your cheese from the cheesecloth.

You can eat your fresh cheese immediately.  The longer it cools the easier it will be to slice.

Don’t throw out the whey.  This is pure protein.  Pour the whey into ice cube trays and use in your smoothies.  Substitute for water when baking.  Use instead of water for all your soup recipes.  ENJOY!



Velveeta Cheese You Make

Yes you can make velveeta cheese.

Stop buying the expensive box version found in the stores.  One more item you don’t have to place in your grocery cart.  I love that feeling of saving money.  No preservatives, or strange additives you can’t pronounce.  Plus I honestly don’t know half of what they have added.  Four ingredients is all it takes to make  velveeta cheese.

Make your grilled cheese or favorite dip for chips.  Mac and Cheese, yes please.  Store in refrigerator for one month.  Come along, we have velveeta cheese To make.

6 Tablespoons dry powder milk, 1/4 ounce package unflavored gelatin, 1 cup boiling water and 16 ounces mild cheddar cheese.

Line a small bread pan with plastic wrap.  Make sure the plastic hangs over the sides, you want to have enough to cover the cheese when finished.

In a blender or food processor add dry milk and unflavored gelatin.  Pour boiling water over dry milk and gelatin.  Immediately pulse to combine.  Add cheese and mix until smooth and mixed.

Pour into lined pan.  Smooth out top and cover with plastic.  Press the plastic wrap against the cheese.  Refrigerate for 12 hours.

That is all there is to making your own velveeta cheese.  ENJOY!

Pepper Jack Cheese

IMG_0592If you love pepper jack cheese, here is your solution.  Not everyone enjoys hot and spicy.  Adding as much or as little spices as you like, turns this into your own speciality cheese.  Follow along as I show you how to make your own pepper jack cheese.

Ingredients needed:

1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid and 1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon rennet and 1/4 cup water
1 gallon whole milk (not ultra pasteurized)
2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeno peppers diced
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
Stir the citric acid into the 1/2 cup of water.
Combine the rennet and 1/4 cup water.
Pour the citric acid and water mixture into a non reactive pot.
Pour gallon of milk into the pot and with a wooden spoon stir everything.
Heat milk to 90 degrees F.
Remove milk from heat and pour in the rennet mixed with water.
Stir slowly to mix. Now walk away and leave the milk to set for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes you will see curds have formed.  Cut the curds into pieces.
Over medium heat return the curds and without stirring heat to 105 degrees F.
Next strain the whey from the curds.  Squeeze cheese with your hands, trying to remove as much whey as possible.
Microwave for 1 minute.  Pour off whey.
Add jalapeño peppers, black pepper, red pepper flakes and salt.  Using your hands squeeze and mix all spices into the cheese.
Microwave for 1 minute and repeat the squeezing and pouring off the whey.
Last time Microwave for 1 minute and repeat the squeezing and pouring off the whey.
The cheese should be glossy and firm.

Shape into any form you like.  I usually form the cheese into a roll and slice the roll of cheese to serve.

TIP:  If you want to make different kinds of herb cheese.  Change up the spices.  For example onion chives and red peppers.

The sky the limit, so be creative.  ENJOY!



Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella Cheese Homemade

Making cheese might be little scary at first.  Don’t worry, you can do this.  The first batch you make probably won’t last long.  There is plenty more where that came from.  Come along, we have mozzarella cheese to make.

You will need a non-reactive stockpot, candy gauge, wooden spoon, lid for stockpot.

Ingredients:  One gallon of whole milk (make sure it is not ultra pasteurized)  Fresh cows milk is best, not everyone has a source for fresh cows milk.

1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid powder or tablets
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet, combined with one cup of water

Sprinkle citric acid powder into non-reactive stockpot.  Pour 1/4 cup of water over the citric powder, stir to dissolve.

Pour milk into citric acid solution and stir.

Medium to low heat, heat milk to 90 degrees F.

When the milk reaches 90 degrees, remove from burner and pour in rennet mixed with water.

Stir mixture with gentle, circular and up and down motion for 30 seconds.  Use spoon to stop motion of milk.

Put lid on and walk away for minutes.

After 5 minutes the milk should resemble soft custard.

Cut curds into a one inch checker board pattern.

Put on Medium heat, stir gently until the whey reaches 105 degrees F.

Use spoon to transfer curds to colander set over a bowl.

Squeeze cheese draining off the whey.

Microwave cohesion high for ONE minute. Pour off whey.  Do this 3 times pulling and stretching to remove more of the whey.

The cheese should start to get glossy and firm.  If you want to add salt or any spices to your cheese during the pulling process is the time to do this.

Makes approximately one pound of cheese.

Don’t throw all that good whey away.  Whey is pure protein.  Freeze it in ice cubes trays.  When your making your smoothies use a cube. Use it in your homemade soups and baking.  Substitute the whey for the water.  You can use it in the garden.  Cut the whey with half water and half whey or it will burn your plants.  Don’t put it directly on the plants.   I give it to my chickens to drink.  Tons of ways to use whey.  ENJOY!

Yogurt Homemade

Yogurt Homemade
Yogurt Homemade

Fresh homemade yogurt with peaches, or blueberries, granola, strawberries, well you get the picture.  You don’t need a yogurt maker or any special tools. Come along and lets make some yogurt. You will have a quart of yogurt when you are finished.

4 Cups of whole milk ( if your lucky enough to have fresh cow’s milk go for it).
1/4 Cup live culture plain yogurt.  (go buy some plain yogurt for the first time making this.  You can use your homemade yogurt for the starter from then on.)

IMG_0477Pour the milk into your stockpot and bring it to a simmer between 185F to 195F.  Stir from time to time to prevent the milk from forming a skin on the surface.IMG_0478 Remove from the heat and put the pot into your sink filled with cold. Cool to 110F.

Whisk in the 1/4 cup of starter yogurt into your cooled milk.  Immediately pour the milk into your clean quart canning jar (or larger jar) Now it is time to let your milk culture.

I use a styrofoam cooler.  Put your yogurt and a quart jar filled with hot water into the cooler.  I then wrap a towel I have warmed up in the dryer around the jars.  You want to ferment your yogurt in a warm place for at least 4 hours.  I ferment from 4 to 6 and up to 10 if I have been busy and forgotten about the yogurt.

After the yogurt thickens you will want to refrigerate for at least couple hours before eating.  The longer the better.  If you want more of a greek type yogurt then place cheesecloth in a strainer and pour your yogurt in to strain more of the whey out.

TIP remember to keep 1/4 cup of yogurt so you can make a new batch.  I usually double the batch and make a 1/2 gallon (8 cups milk).

Stop buying that expensive store bought yogurt.  You can do this!

Cooler with quart jars ready to sit in the sun with the lid closed and soon you will yogurt.
Cooler with quart jars ready to sit in the sun with the lid closed and soon yogurt.