Homemade Farmers Cheese

Farmers Cheese

  • Half gallon of milk
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Seasoning of choice: olive oil, lemon zest, fresh herbs

Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add salt and stir occasionally to avoid burning the milk. As soon as the milk starts to simmer (about 180-190 degrees), pour in the lemon juice and vinegar and stir. The milk should begin to curdle – if not, add in a little more lemon juice or vinegar. Turn off the heat and let the milk rest for about 10 minutes. Line a colander with at least two layers of cheesecloth. Pour curdled milk into the cheesecloth, tie cloth and hang over a bowl for a 1/2 hour – hour to ensure all the whey has drained (be careful not to let it hang too long, as the result will be too dry).

Farmers Cheese Cheesecloth

Once drained, open cheesecloth and either refrigerate cheese immediately or transfer to a plate to serve. If serving immediately, season with your favorite items: olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper and/or favorite fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and oregano.

Farmers Cheese

This mild cheese is great on crackers or on your favorite crostini. I recently served it up over a crostini topped by tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

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Bucatini Carbonara with Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Aprons Bacon Brussels

While planning my friend’s Bridal “Meet and Greet” on Pinterest, I came across this easy-to-make pasta recipe from How Sweet It Is Blog, the perfect dish for a rainy night in.

Traditional pasta carbonara is made by coating pasta in a rich and creamy sauce of whole eggs, Parmesan cheese and pork. We elevated this traditional dish, by adding one of my favorite vegetables – Brussels sprouts! The sprouts added a nice rich, sweet and nutty flavor to the pasta.

Aprons Pasta Prep

  • 1/2 pound Bucatini (I love the thick noodles, but you can also use spaghetti)
  • 6 slices thick Applewood smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped*
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese

aprons_pasta

Fry the bacon in a large skillet over gentle heat until crisp. While bacon is cooking, begin boiling the water for the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Once bacon is crisp, transfer pieces with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Remove half of the bacon grease with a large spoon and set aside in a bowl.

Add Brussels sprouts to the same skillet and cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes. (You want the Brussels sprouts to caramelize a bit, so cook without stirring for at least 4 minutes. Stir and continue cooking for 2-4 minutes). Add the minced garlic to the sprouts and cook for one more minute. Remove sprouts and set aside in bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and gradually add the cheese. Add a small dash of salt and pepper (you can add more later to the cooked pasta).

When the bucatini is cooked, drain pasta (reserve some pasta water, just in case **), add the reserved bacon grease to pot and heat on low. Add cooked pasta back into pot and coat with grease. Remove pot from heat*** and add the egg/cheese mixture, tossing several times until fully coated. Quickly add the bacon, Brussels sprouts and additional pepper / salt if needed. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.


*In the spring, try replacing Brussels sprouts with peas
**If needed, add a few splashes of reserved pasta water to help loosen the sauce.
***It’s important that the pot has been removed from the heat otherwise the egg/cheese mixture will curdle. The heat from the pasta is sufficient to cook the egg mixture.
Thanks to Jessica Merchant from How Sweet It Is Blog for the beautiful recipe. Yield 4 servings.

Gypsy Pasta

pasta wood After a long day at work, home alone and not one inch of me wanting  to shop or order take out resulted in this dish. Which I can say was easy, delicious and pretty, so naturally I fell in love and now make it all the time.

The best part  of this dish is that it can be different every time. Keeping a box of pasta in your pantry at all times is a must for this reason! Then add in any veggies or protein you have for a quick satisfying bite.

What you need: (For this version)

  • Box of your favorite pasta (gluten free or regular both work)
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 Italian sausages
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Micro greens (topper)
  • Cheese
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder and chili flakes

What to do:

Pasta-

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil
  2. Add salt
  3. Add pasta
  4. Drizzle a lil bit of olive oil and cook pasta for about 6 minutes (if gluten free) to al dente

pasta fun

In another saucepan:

  1. Drizzle olive oil and start to heat slivered red onions – on med-high
  2. Add in chopped up sausage after onions start to brown a lil
  3. Turn down heat to medium
  4. Then add in chopped shitakes
  5. Sprinkle salt and chili powder to liking (not too much cause you can always add more)
  6. Mix til everything looks about cooked and turn to low heat
  7. Throw in micro greens

pasta acc

Time to combine:

  1. Drain pasta and let it sit while all the mixings cook
  2. Add pasta back into the  pot and add milk
  3. After the milk starts to boil and your pasta starts to get coated add in your toppings and mix til you get a good balance of everything in one bite

Serve with fresh herbs sprinkled on top and a pinch of cheese

pasta

xo

Stiletto