Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Cheesy Geek is now on FaceBook

I have decided to try using Facebook for  sharing my cheese making adventures and recipes. I have already moved the seven part "So, You want to be a Cheese Maker" series to the Notes section of the FB page. The Notes feature isn't very photo friendly and I'll have to edit the posts to reflect the absence of pictures as there are references to the pictures. So I'll still be posting here as well as on FB.

On the positive side, I'll be open to having you ask questions and I'll do my best to answer them or point you in the right direction to find the answer. The FaceBook format is a much more user friendly place for  such Q&A exchanges. Your comments and questions may inspire me to write an article to post here on this blog as well as on FB. I hope this will be an engaging, interactive community of cheese makers of all skill levels, sharing experiences, tips and tricks to making wonderful cheese products.

Thank you
the Cheesy Geek

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Very Berry Yogurt

                              photo from http://www.foodphotosite.com

Here in Florida we are past the strawberry season and into the blueberry season. It seems that no matter the season, fresh berries are always available but not always as inexpensive as when they are fresh and local. (At the end of strawberry season roadside vendors sell a flat of fresh strawberries as low as $5.00). Blueberry farms have U-Pick times and you can get a look of berries for not a lot of money. The same holds true for blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, mulberries or cranberries. To take advantage of this abundance, buy in bulk and freeze or can as much as you can.

Now, what does this have to do with Yogurt, you ask? Berries are the number one fan favorite compliment for yogurt.  Take a look at the yogurt section of your grocery store and you will notice there are over 80 different flavors on the shelves. Cost of these yogurts can be as high as .50cents per 4 oz. Making your own yogurt can cut that cost in half and not have any of the additives commercial products have.I also think the home made tastes much better.

Since I prefer the thicker Greek style yogurt, when I make a quart of yogurt I end up with 3 cups of the thicker yogurt after draining the whey. I broke down my recipe to a one cup quantity so it is easy to modify for any amount of yogurt.

Berry Yogurt Recipe

1 cup Greek style yogurt
1 Tbs of Honey. (I usually use a local wildflower honey)
2 Tbs of chopped berries.

Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate over night to allow the flavors to combine.
 For Blueberries I prefer to put them through the blender to chop up the skins better than by hand.
You may want to add some fresh fruit on top for texture and color.
Typically Strawberries don't need as much sweetening. Cranberries need more unless you like the tartness.

That's it. Berry Yogurt made easy.

As always: Your taste may be different and you can always change the amounts of honey and/or berries.

The Cheesy Geek

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tahini Cheese

Here is a non dairy cheese substitute you might like to try.
It has a flavor a bit like cheddar.
Tahini Cheese
3 C Water
3 1/2 TB Agar powder
1 1/2 C Tahini
5 TB Lemon juice
1/2 c Nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp Garlic powder
2 1/2 Tsp Salt

1. Mix water and agar powder in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-lo and simmer until the mixture looks somewhat clear (about 5 minutes).

2. Blend rest of the ingredients in a blender.

3. Add the cooked agar mixture to the blender and process for a couple minutes until smooth.

4. Pour into mold and refrigerate until the cheese is stiff.