Jan 30, 2009

Spice It Up

When the weather outside is snowy and cold I get in the mood to make chili. I recently found a recipe on the Internet for chicken black bean chili that sounded really good but one of the ingredients it calls for is dried chipotle pepper.

I tend to use a lot of herbs and spices when I'm cooking and our cupboard is full of a wide variety of them. But no chipotle pepper. I probably could substitute something else, but I don't usually need much persuading to make a trip to my favorite spice store to get the proper ingredient.

Penzeys is a foodie's delight. They have a limited number of retail stores across the country and we just happen to have one here in our area. Can you see the big snowflakes falling...that's lake effect snow.

They sell just about any herb, spice, or seasoning you could want.

Spices don't stay fresh forever and can lose their potency after a few months so I like to buy them in small jars.

Now that I have all the ingredients I need, it's time to make the chili.

Just in time for the Super Bowl.

Jan 28, 2009

Dodging the Storm

We dodged another snow storm last night.
A major storm went just to the south of us and we only received a dusting of snow. Enough to coat the trees. Beautiful.

Jan 26, 2009


Today is our daughter Michelle's birthday. She lives in Portland ,Oregon and we don't get to see her nearly as often as we would like to.

We hope you have a wonderful day Michelle.
We LOVE you.

Jan 24, 2009

The Cottage Cheese Challenge

Yes, I made cottage cheese.

It looks like cottage cheese, it tastes like cottage cheese.

I did it. And the best part is it wasn't hard.

The mere thought of making homemade cheese was intimidating to me. I assumed it was complicated and required lots of fancy equipment. Mostly though, I was afraid it wouldn't turn out.
Many of us have never been around anyone, or watched anyone, make their own cheese.
I know I haven't.

Ricki Carroll says in her book Home Cheese Making, Recipes For 75 Homemade Cheeses
"... there are few mothers indeed who can be counted on to hand down the techniques of cheese making to the next generation."
Now, I'm not picking on my Mother. She never learned either.

So with the attitude of 'if it doesn't turn out I'll try again' I took on the challenge.

One large pot, one gallon of milk, a package of mesophilic starter, a few drops of liquid rennet, a thermometer, and I was ready to begin.

After adding the rennet and starter, the milk needed to set for
4-6 hours until it began to curdle.

I then followed Ricki Carrolls' instructions and less than an hour later I had real cottage cheese.

Way cool.

Mozzarella, your next.