Will you brie my valentine? Adventures in cheese making!

Tis the season for couples and love. It’s all wonderful yet still enough to get a single gal down but it’s also important to remember that anything a couple can do on Valentine’s day you (and I) can do too! YES! I really wanted to spend this Valentine’s day doing something special and came across Farm Steady’s DIY kits and knew this would be the best way to celebrate! Seriously- no single sadness this year, just cheese, lots of cheese! For all the couples out there too- grab a kit and get making together. You’ll win bonus points for doing something other than making a reservation and enjoy every bite that you made together!  The kits they have are the cheese kit, an everything bagel and cream cheese kit and soft pretzel kit (all of my favorite foods).

Farm Steady is from our friends at Brooklyn Brew Shop (who makes the most amazing brew at home beer kits) and they also have the best description about the company on their site and their mission: “For lovers of all things handmade. For devotees to great food made simply. For fans of getting their hands dirty. For the curious. For would-be know-it-alls and practicing scientists. For chefs. For followers of recipes and creators of new ones. For those who wing it. For keepers of window boxes and curators of raised beds. For weekend believers. For rooftop, urban and backyard farmers. For those taking their crush on farming to the next level, there’s FarmSteady.”

Wow. Isn’t that great? It’s easy, accessible and for everyone and I love that because good, easy food should be for everyone too!  Like a good relationship, good food shouldn’t be hard. I just realized I related a successful relationship to food but it’s so true isn’t it?

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The kit comes with enough supplies to make four types of cheese! YES- FOUR. Dream, I know. Ricotta, marcapone, mozzarella and burrata.  I already had a special dish in mine for my solo Valentine’s day celebration so decided to make some ricotta. The best part is there is still leftover supplies for when I want to make another batch! Here’s what you need:

Additional Equipment

  • Stock Pot
  • Rubber Spatula

Additional Ingredients

  • 1/2 Gallon (2 L) Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Cup (59 mL) Heavy Cream (Optional)

STEPS


1.

Combine milk, cream and 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cheese salt in a pot. Mix thoroughly.

Note: The addition of cream makes a more indulgent cheese, but it can be left out.

2.

Heat slowly on medium-low until milk reaches 185° – 195° F (85° – 90° C), occasionally stirring with rubber spatula and scraping the sides and bottom of the pot.

3.

Once at temperature, remove from heat, add 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) citric acid to milk. Mix thoroughly and let sit while milk separates into curds and whey, about 10 – 15 minutes.

4.

Line a cheese basket with cheese cloth, and place over a large bowl.

5.

Pour curds and whey into lined cheese basket. Discard whey (or reserve it for another project).

6.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cheese salt over draining curds and gently stir to incorporate.

7.

Drain 15 – 20 minutes or until desired firmness is reached.

8.

Transfer finished ricotta to a bowl. Enjoy right away or store in the fridge.

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My beautiful ricotta! Oh FarmSteady, will you be my valentine? Here’s hoping and I already have a super easy recipe I’m going to whip up tomorrow night and share with you for Valentine’s day using this cheese so I hope you’ll be back tomorrow to check it out then.

 

You can get these awesome kits here 

 

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Tis’ the season for sweets, treats and cookie exchanges! I am so excited to share with you a family recipe {from my great aunt} for lemon sugar cookies that I’m posting in honor of Fresh Direct’s 12 days of cookies on Instagram! I love these cookies so much because they are light and a great addition to a season filled with decadent treats plus they’re really easy to make!

Fun fact: My favorite part about making these cookies this time for this post is Fresh Direct had the prettiest pink lemons that I used in the recipe! I had never used them before but they have a really refreshing taste of a grapefruit and lemon combination and really were fun to use. I love being able to slightly change a recipe just with one ingredient. I think that grapefruit or orange sugar cookies would be an amazing type to try with the recipe too and will keep you posted how they turn out when I make them in the new year.

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

Makes: 4 dozen cookies

Prep time: 5 minutes (plus chill time 5-10 minutes)

Cook time: 8-10 minutes

4 1/2 cups unsifted flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup butter softened

1 cup regular sugar

2 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp. lemon extract

The juice & zest of 2 lemons

 

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add oil, lemon extract, lemon juice, and peel.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix well. Chill dough until firm. Roll into small balls and then roll the balls into sugar. Flatten with your palm and add to the baking sheet.

 

Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown and the cookies are baked all the way through. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle more sugar on top before cooling. Let them rest on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Once cooled store them in an airtight container.

 

What’s your favorite holiday cookie to make and eat? I ‘d love to hear your favorite recipes and it can be like our own little cookie exchange on here!  Fresh Direct’s blog has more fun and festive recipes for the holiday and 11 other cookies from my favorite fellow instagrammers! Check it out here !

 

 

 

BOURBON BROWNIES for National Brownie Day, YAY!

In honor of National Brownie Day my best friends at Four Roses sent me the most delicious box of brownies and a jar of ooey gooey caramel sauce to celebrate. YES. Rich and decadent and the only thing that makes it better is both the brownies and the caramel sauce have bourbon it in! Best brownies ever? I’m almost finished eating them all and want to share with you guys too so they were so kind to send me the recipe.

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Four Roses Bourbon Infused Brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 8×8 pan

Ingredients

8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped

½ cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter

½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 teaspoons (3 grams) instant espresso granules

½ teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt

¼ teaspoon (1.2 grams) baking powder

¾ cup (150 grams) organic granulated sugar

½ cup (106 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk (125 grams), slightly beaten & at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cups Heath toffee bits

1/2 cup Four Roses Bourbon Single Barrel

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. In a medium heatproof bowl place chocolate and butter and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir frequently every 30 sec until nearly melted. Meanwhile, in a medium-mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso granules, salt and baking powder. Set aside. Wisk sugars, eggs and vanilla. Gently add Chocolate/Butter mixture till it’s combined. When mixed, gently mix in flour mixture just until blended (do not over mix). Fold in toffee and bourbon.

With a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

Use the parchment on sides of pan to lift brownies out. Peel away completely and discard. Chill the brownies in the fridge to make cutting them easier, about 1 hour.

Gooey Caramel Sauce:

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces

1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup Four Roses Bourbon Single Barrel

Directions:

Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.

Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.

Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.

Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.

Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ c bourbon

Allow cooling down before using.

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What’s your favorite brownie recipe? I’d love to hear!

Four Roses, I love you!

Class is in session: Chef Tom Douglas

With the holidays quickly approaching it’s time to stock up on tips, tricks and delicious recipes and what better way to do it then at Macy’s with chef Tom Douglas on Saturday 12/10. Your $25 ticket includes a seat in the class, a $10 Macy’s Gift Card and a copy of The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook at the event which chef Tom Douglas will sign for you personally.

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Who: James Beard winner and Executive Chef Tom Douglas

What: Delicious afternoon with Macy’s Culinary Council and a behind the scenes look at his favorite holiday recipes

Where: Chef’s Street at Macy’s Herald Square – 151 West 34th Street, New York, 10001 Located on the all-new “One Below” level in Macy’s Herald Square.

When: Saturday 12/10 at 1:00PM

RSVP: HERE 

 

Please note: Thought this post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I am happy to share and support this delicious event!

 

Mexican-Style Corn on the Cob

What says backyard bbq more than fresh corn on the cob? I had the chance to hang with chef Michelle Bernstein today at Macy’s Chef Street and she shared her favorite summertime recipes including this  one for corn on the cob.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 ears fresh corn, in husks
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup Mexican creme or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese, crumbled fine
  • 2 teaspoons ancho or chipotle powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Kosher salt

Preheat a grill to medium, or prepare a charcoal grill, letting the coals burn until covered with white ash.

cook the corn without removing the husk in simmering water for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the water, dry off excess water. Grill the corn turning frequently, about 4-5 minutes.

Mix the mayonnaise and the sour cream together, season with a little salt.

Remove the corn from the grill and carefully peel back the husks. (be careful, it will be VERY HOT)

Remove the corn silk and tie the husks in a knot so you can hold on to it like a handle. Cut the corn cobs in half.

Spread the cream/mayo mixture all over the corn. Shake some chili powder all over, top with a little cilantro and a sprinkle of cheese evenly all over the ears. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Serves 4

Just a note to let you know that this post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and my love for Michelle Bernstein and her cheesy corn is real.

I love working with the Culinary Council and you can find out about upcoming events on their site macys.com/culinarycouncil and their twitter @culinarycouncil

Summer soiree with Michelle Bernstein

Tis’ the season: What better way to kick off the summer season than with soiree from Macy’s Culinary Council Chef Michelle Bernstein at Macy’s Herald Square. Everything you need for the ultimate backyard bbq & bash.

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Who: Chef Michelle Bernstein

What: Recipes, samples & bites, live music, and shopping.

Where: Macy’s Herald Square 151 West 34th Street Lower Level, Chef Street, New York, NY 10001

When: Friday 7/15 at 1 PM

WHY: It’s FREE and who doesn’t love a summer BBQ and if you RSVP at the link below you get a $10 Macy’s gift card at the event!

RSVP: michellebernsteinatmacyshsq.eventbrite.com 

 

 

 

Just a note to let you know that this post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and my love for Michelle Bernstein is real.

I love working with the Culinary Council and you can find out about upcoming events on their site macys.com/culinarycouncil and their twitter @culinarycouncil

 

Summer lovin’ & cooking with Macy’s and Nancy Silverton

 

It’s almost summer and it’s time to celebrate with Macy’s Culinary Council & Chef Nancy Silverton an some of her favorite classic dishes at her upcoming Demo at Macy’s Herald Square!

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Everything you need to know about this delicious event:

WHO: Nancy Silverton

WHAT: Summer food demonstration

WHEN: Friday, June 3rd, 1PM

WHERE: Macy’s Herald Square  at the 8th Floor, Home Department

WHY: In addition to the demo itself there will be samples and music to go along with Nancy’s cooking! Also, any purchase of $35* or more in the Home department, will receive a special music gift and a copy of The Mozza Cookbook, which she will sign for you!

BONUS: if you RSVP  ahead of time you’ll receive a $10 Macy’s gift card** at the event: nancysilvertonatmacyshsq.eventbrite.com

NOW WHAT!? RSVP Here nancysilvertonatmacyshsq.eventbrite.com IT’S FREE!

 

Just a note to let you know that this post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and my love for Nancy Silverton is real.

I love working with the Culinary Council and you can find out about upcoming events on their site macys.com/culinarycouncil and their twitter @culinarycouncil