We are a cheese loving family. It was actually my husband who taught me to really appreciate cheese. I grew up eating American cheese in sandwiches. After being introduced to a variety of cheeses, I was hooked and left American cheese behind. I came across a blog post about making homemade cheese and was intrigued. It was certainly something I wanted to try. I’ve helped churn milk into butter before, why not make cheese?
I received the 30 Minute Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company to review. The kit comes with almost everything you need to make cheese; milk, pot, and cooking utensils excluded. I briefly read the booklet that came in the kit, but used the step by step instructions on the website as my guide. The video tutorials were also helpful for a beginner like me, and I watched them more than a handful of times. I really tried to follow the directions to a T since I didn’t want to mess up and waste a whole gallon of milk. The kit comes with enough ingredients to make many attempts, but I cringe at the thought of waste.
I can’t believe that I made mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella is one of my favorite cheeses so I’ve tasted a selection of brands. Mine came out well enough, but there is definitely room for improvement. The first thing I used it on was a caprese salad. See recipe below. The next day, I used it for a bacon and spinach omelette. The cheese was creamier than the night before. According to the booklet, the cheese should last two weeks in the refrigerator or can be frozen until needed. It is definitely cheaper to make mozzarella cheese than to buy it. I spent about $3 on a gallon of milk for over a pound of cheese. I could never get mozzarella that cheap even when on sale. Even if I splurged and bought organic milk, I would have spent about $5. That is still cheaper than a pound of mozzarella.
The next time I make cheese will probably be a more enjoyable experience. I was so consumed in following the directions and taking pictures that I didn’t appreciate the process as much. It actually took a bit longer than 30 minutes since I had to wait a little longer for the curd to look like custard (step 4 on the website) and for the cheese to heat up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (step 12). Next time, I will be a pro, sort of. After all was done, I gave my husband a taste and he thought it was pretty good.
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Homemade superfood pesto
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup kale
1 cup basil
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor, blend spinach, kale, basil, walnuts, and garlic, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Slowly add olive oil until incorporated.
3. Blend in parmesan cheese.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Skewer cheese and tomato on a toothpick.
6. Place a dollop of pesto on a plate.
7. Put skewered cheese and tomato on top of pesto sauce.
You can add the parmesan cheese along with all the dry ingredients before adding oil. I tend to add it after the oil is incorporated since I usually use a Magic Bullet and it pretty much will purée the mixture. By adding the cheese last, I retain the gritty texture of pesto.
UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed.
Disclosure: Sponsored post. All opinions are my own.