Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekly Menu - 9/4

This week is light on cooking.  I'm planning a frittata for breakfasts and leftovers for lunches.

Sunday - Family dinner

Monday - Cook-out

Tuesday - Chopped salad with black beans

Wednesday - Tomato cream soup with grilled cheese and spinach balls

Thursday - Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps

Friday - Breakfast tacos with refried beans

Saturday - Date night = Dinner out!

For more menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Queso Blanco

 We had some extra milk a few weeks ago, so I decided to try something new.  Queso blanco is a mild white cheese and is frequently used in Mexican dishes.  It's not a melting cheese, so it's a good cheese for stir fries, soups and deep frying, according to my trusty copy of Home Cheese Making.

I heated 1/2 gallon of milk to about 190 degrees then slowly stirred in 2 T of apple cider vinegar, about 1 tsp at a time.  You only want to add enough vinegar to curdle the milk.  If you add too much, you may be able to taste it in the cheese.  Once the curds started to separate from the whey, I spooned them into a sieve lined with butter muslin.    

Next, I gathered up the corners and used a rubber band to hold them closed.  Then I looped the rubber band over a cabinet knob, and let the cheese drip into a bowl for about 2 hours.

The result was a soft yet slightly crumbly cheese with little flavor.  This cheese definitely needs some salt and/or herbs added to liven it up a bit.  We used the cheese as a topping on black bean burgers; we also mixed it with garlic powder, oregano and mozzarella and used it to make a stuffed crust pizza!  I think next time I would not let the cheese drip quite so long so as to keep it more moist.