Do you like the taste of chocolate and peppermint together? Then you should enjoy this easy chocolate mint extract recipe. It's made in a similar manner to the vanilla, almond and lemon extracts. (Check out the other homemade extract recipes here.) I use the chocolate mint plant as the basis for my extract, but peppermint will also work in combination with cacao nibs. Homemade extracts are great for holiday gift giving. The flavor gets stronger the longer you allow the extract to steep, so make sure to plan for at least 6 weeks of infusion. I haven't purchased commercial mint extract in years. [Read more…]
Looking for creative, easy ways to use homegrown herbs, or maybe you've tried some herb flavored oils or herbal vinegars and wondered about making your own? In this post we'll cover how to infuse herbs in oils, vinegars, alcohols and honey. With just a few simple steps, you can make your own delicious flavored cooking oils, such as garlic olive oil, quickly and inexpensively. [Read more…]
My friend, Julie, was visiting this past weekend and brought some gigantic lemons with her, so we decided to experiment with some lemon recipes, including honey-sweetened lemonade, and some honey-lemon ice cubes that are great for iced tea or lemonade. (It's a funny thing. Julie likes to watch cooking shows, but she only does more “experimental” cooking when she visits me. Maybe it's because I have teenage boys to help eat the results in case it doesn't go well?) [Read more…]
I recently decided to try my hand at home cheese making with friends, and it came out delicious! I used the “30 Minute Mozzarella Cheese” recipe from Ricki Carrol's book “Home Cheese Making“. Ricki also features this recipe on her website at www.cheesemaking.com.
This easy mozzarella cheese recipe works best with whole milk. Since I have a friend with a cow, we used raw milk, which worked just fine. You may use skim milk, but the yield will be lower and the cheese will be drier. You cannot use UHT (Ultra High Temperature) pasteurized milk. The extreme heat damages the protein in the milk and it comes out looking like ricotta, no matter what recipe you use. Try switching brands of milk if your cheese fails.
I was looking for something a little different to do with the rhubarb bounty this year when I came across a fruited pudding cake recipe in the Favorite Recipes of America – Desserts cookbook from 1968. The original recipe calls for “any fruit, fresh or canned”, so I figured “Why not rhubarb?” Thus, rhubarb pudding cake was born. The recipe is quite sweet, even with the tartness of rhubarb. You could cut back a little on the sugar in the sugar/cornstarch mix if you like. [Read more…]