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Summer Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet

Strawberry Sherbet

This recipe is super easy and could be a frozen drink or a frozen dessert, depending on how much liquid you use in the recipe.

I squeezed the juice of one lemon, and blended it with half a cup of frozen strawberries and about six ice cubes in my food processor.

I added about 10 drops of Berry Sweet Leaf Stevia to it, as well as about 10 drops of the Lemon Drop flavor (to taste).

Next I used a spatula to scrape it all out into a bowl and enjoyed!
If you would like to make it a frozen drink instead of a thick dessert, just add a little water to the mix.

The perfect end to a good day of dieting!

Enjoy!

If using the Iherb.com, be sure to use my coupon code to get $10 off your first perchase:  RKW560

Homemade Cheese Please!

Growing up, my mom always made lasagna with cottage cheese. The lumpy texture in y mouth while eating the lasagna was so good.  I have to admit, I love cottage cheese.  It is salty and delicious!  However, in Korea, it is hard to come by.  I guess not impossible anymore, but difficult if you are not in the right place at the right time.  So, I learned how to make a substitution   Instead of cottage cheese, I learned that I can easily make ricotta.  It is so simple, and can be just as thick and creamy with an awesome texture in lasagna.   I had borrowed a cook book from a chef around the corner, and it just so happened to have the recipe.  I don’t remember the title of the book, or I would give it credit here.  Anyway, let me tell you how I did it, and then I will post the recipe.

First you dump your milk into a soup pot.  Iusually use atleat 2%  and maybe a bit of cream, just to make my cheese really creamy, but this time I only used non fat milk.  This time, I used about 3/4 of a gallon of milk.

Next you heat it stiring often to prevent scorching.  You add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice while heating to 185 degrees.  As you heat first it gets foamy,

Then as you turn off the heat, and give it ten minutes to rest, the protein continues to separate from the whey, and cheese starts to form.

Let it keep sitting and cooling if it is not separating very well.  If it does not start really separating, add a little more citrus juice. Once it really starts separating, you can pour the pan into a cheese cloth, or a straining bag, and let it strain it from 1-3 hours, until it is aa dry as you want it.  Leaving some whey in, is a good way to keep it a little creamy.

Once it is drained, you can use it.  I used a cup of it right out of the bag.

It is creamy cheese, and works well with filling for pastas, and is wonderful in lasagna!  This one is non fat, and this process works very well!

For weight watchers one cup of cheese is is 5 points

The actual recipe is:

Ricotta cheese

Here is the recipe. i actually just came across it in a book loaned to me by a chef friend. the hardest part might be getting the citric acid.
Here is the recipe:
1tsp/5mL citric acid
2fl oz/60mL water
1gal/3.84L whole milk
2tsp/10 g salt

Desolve the citric acid in the water.

Heat the milk, citric acid solution and salt to 185 F or 85 C stirring often to prevent scorching. Skim away the scum as it rises to the surface.

When the milk reaches 185 F remove from the heat and allow it to set for ten minutes.

Drain the curd for atleast 1 and up to 3 hours under refrigeration in a cheesecloth linned collendar or a muslin bag set over a towel.

The cheese is now ready to use. Alternatively, transfer to a storage container and hold covered under refrigeration for up to one week.

Fall Cozy Comfort…

In doing all this baking the past few weeks, I realized that using applesauce instead of oil would take Weight Watchers points off of anything I baked.  I started thinking what a wonderful idea that was except for one thing.  As far as I know you can’t just go to the store and buy applesauce in Korea.  So, since I had some apples laying around my house, I made some.

first I peeled and cored six red apples.  I have no idea what brand they are though.

Next I put just enough water in the bottom of the crock pot to cover the bottom, sliced up all the apples and put them into the crock.

Next put one tablespoon of cinnamon, one sprinkle of nutmeg, and one sprinkle of allspice, and 1/8 tablespoon of vanilla into it.

Then I closed the lid, turned it on to high, and let it simmer for 4-5 hours.

It looked like this when it was done

It is a little watery, but the texture is really good.  I am hoping if I cook it a little longer without the lid on, it will get a little thicker.

It is not sweetened, but honestly it does not need it.  It is sweet and delicious.

Because there is no added sugar to this, and you are not removing any fiber from the apples, there are ZERO weight watchers points in this recipe!  YAY

“Sun” Dried Marinated Tomatoes

Okay, so I call my tomatoes “sun” dried because it just sounds better than dried tomatoes, but in all honesty  I use a food dehydrator to dry them.  I have enjoyed more dried tomatoes in my food dehydrator than probably any other fruit or veggie!

This recipe is beyond easy, and honestly, I don’t even remember where I found it (although I have change it from the original recipe)

I usually dry cherry tomatoes, because they are easy, you don’t have to peel them, and they are easy to throw into dishes.  That being said, when I went to Costco last weekend I bought a large container of grape tomatoes.  They are a little bigger than cherry, but probably would have been just fine halving and marinating and drying, although I quartered them this time.

Next I put 1/2 of a cup of balsamic vinegar into the jar, and filled it up with water.

Next I throw on 2 tablespoons of garlic and put the lid on.  Then I shake like crazy to mix the vinegar, water, and get the garlic into the mixture.

Then I refrigerate fro two days.  I take it out and shake it up about once a day when I remember to.

After refrigerating, I dump the jar into a colander  over the sink.

They go straight from there to the dehydrator racks. I  spread them out, and try to put the skins down so they don’t stick too badly.

And they come out looking like this!

You leave them in until they are still a little leathary, but not crunchy, and not juicy.  I love these!  They are flavorful, and delicious.  I usually throw them into pastas or bread dough.

The original recipe also had olive oil in the marinade, however, I choose to leave it out, both to keep the calories down, and to keep the oil from turning rancid.  I have kept it out.  And because they are not packed in oil, they are 0 points per serving, they are a great way to dress up an easy pasta.  I would say maybe 1/4 of a up would  be about a serving…but at zero points, have as many or  few as you want!  🙂

Whole Wheat Hoagies

I have baked almost all the bread we have eaten since March.  I try to make low sodium bread and I only use organic stone milled whole wheat flour from Bob’s Red Mill.  I have to be loyal to my home, as the mill was down the street from my old house before moving to Korea, and it is the easiest to get here that I have found.  For months I have been scouring the internet for recipes of 100% whole wheat flour that are light and fluffy.  I had almost given up.  A few weeks ago, when I was out of whole wheat flour, and I actually broke down and bought some white flour for the first time in months.  I could not believe how fluffy it was and I dreamed of my whole wheat bread being so fluffy. I was also blown away by how much yeast one loaf recipe required.  Normally I put in 2 1/4 teaspoons (the amount in one packet) or double that.  This particular white flour recipe called for six tablespoons!  YES SIX!!!!!! and my bread blew up!  It got me wondering if I am a little more generous on the yeast, if my whole wheat dough would puff up more.  I tried a few weeks ago with half white, have wheat flour, and it was okay.  It was still dense, but not nearly as much so as previous whole wheat experiences, and not nearly as fluffy as just white.  So today, I wanted to get a hoagie recipe, because I have intentions of making Philli Cheese Steaks later this week.

I found an easy recipe online that was simple, and I had all of the ingredients, however, it was white flour.  I figured oh well, why do I only have to find ONLY wheat recipes for my wheat flour?  And I tried it!  The recipe I found was at food.com.  I followed the recipe for the most part, only deviating a little.  That is more what I do than make up my own recipes, I deviate from ones other people have made.  My changes were mostly for flavor…

While mixing the wet ingredients, I added 1 tablespoon of garlic bread seasoning, 1/3 cup of finely grated cheddar, and 1/3 a cup of chopped pickled jalapenos.

One more change however was in the amount of yeast.  I figured if that one recipe I made several weeks ago could ask for six tablespoons, It would not kill me to add a little extra to my recipe.  So, instead of 4 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, I would add two tablespoons.  I made sure I had enough time for my dough to rise to it’s full potential, and then baked it.  I have to say, I am highly impressed!  I will admit my rolls are a bit more dense than I was hoping for,  but they are still pretty light and airy compared to past experiences.  I will be making this recipe again, and I have to admit, I might just add a little more yeast and play with it.  Next time, I might make a whole loaf though, not just sandwich rolls.

They do make the perfect size rolls for sandwich rolls, as a breast of chicken fits on one just about perfectly!

Oh, and this bread also makes some pretty incredible toasted garlic bread!!!

What A Crock…Pot Yogurt

I really enjoy making yogurt.  I have only done it four or five times, and it works really well for me, just about every time!  It is much cheaper than buying the same amount, although I do actually have to buy a four pack just to make it.  Food is very expensive in Korea, so having something that I can make cheaper than I can buy, really helps, especially when I use it so much in my cooking.  I have started making things like chicken salad, and potato salad with yogurt instead of mayo as a base. Anyway,  here is how I make crock pot yogurt. You can use any crock pot/slow cooker you have, the size determines how much yogurt you can make at once.  My pot will handle about a half gallon of milk.
The first step in making any dairy product, be it yogurt, or cheese, is to sterilize your instruments.  I do this by pouring boiling water into the pot and letting it sit for a minute or two.  I throw in the utensils I will be using while cooking, and don’t forget to sterilize the lid too!  Be careful not to burn yourself!
After everything is sterilized and ready to go, you pour in your milk. I used non fat milk for the first time, but was scared it would not thicken, so I chickened out and added about 1/2 cup of heavy cream to it.  The more milk fat you have, the thicker and creamier your yogurt will be.  Also, only use non pasteurized or pasteurized milk. Don’t use ultra pasteurized milk because the more pasteurized it is, the less likely it is that it will thicken.
Next, you turn your crock pot on to high, and you let it do it’s thing for about two hours. (insert Jeopardy music here)
Check the temperature every once in a while, and when you hit 180 F turn the Crock Pot off.  I lucked out and happened to check it on this day at the perfect temperature!  I have never done that before, and as you will see later, it probably will never happen again!
Remove the lid, and wait another 2 1/2-3 more hours.  Then check the temperature again.  Stir several times within that time, to help lower the temperature all the way though the pot.  You are looking for the pot to be at 115 F.  See, I didn’t quite get the temp right this time, but I was pretty dang close!
Once you have reached 115 F, you take a ladle, or a measuring cup, or something with a handle (that you have sterilized already, and scoop maybe about a cup of the warm milk into a separate bowl.
Once you have that, you add 1/2 cup-1 cup of yogurt with live active cultures to the small bowl and stir up the mixture.  It is possible to get live active cultures without using a yogurt starter like this, and if you have that, then this is the time to add it.  I don’t have access in Korea, so I have to start with some store bought yogurt.  Once it is well mixed, you stir it back into the crock pot.  The 115 degree(ish) temperature will allow the cultures to thrive on the milk and grow, but it is not too hot to kill them.
Then you put the lid back on tuck in your crock pot for the night!  You wrap a beach towel or something large and warm around and over the pot to incubate it so the cultures have time to thrive, rather than cool off too much to do anything.  I don’t really have any extra towels in my house, so I use a really heavy sweatshirt.
This picture reminds me of the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter!
Now that it is all tucked in for the night, I go to bed.
When I wake up, this is what I find:
It is very thick, and it is starting to separate from the whey.  Now it is time to strain.  I use the same filter bags to strain yogurt, that I use in my almond milk, only in my yogurt, I have to double up the bags, or the yogurt strains right out…
First I use my blender pitcher just to hold the bags open while I pour, but I don’t have the blade in the bottom.  I place it in a bowl, and put the two layers of filter bags inside of this.
 I carefully pour the yogurt into the bags, and tie up the top of the bags.  Then I put the bags into a mesh strainer.  then I put a bowl underneath to catch the whey coming out.  I knew it was going to be unattended for several hours, because I did this before work, so I had to put this in a deep bowl for straining.  So, I took this full bag, with the tops tied up, and in a strainer and just put it back over the crock pot, as it is the deepest bowl I have.
I left this all day, and when I came back home from work, the crock was half full with whey.  There was a little runny yogurt in it, but not enough to care about.  Until it gets thick, you have to expect a little yogurt to run out.
Once it is to the point it has been draining for hours, I give it a little squeeze.  Not too hard but to ring out any more whey that is hiding in the bag.  I get a container ready for the yogurt to go into, and then I untie the bags and take the outer bag off.  I usually tie the inner bag closed again once I have it down to only one layer.I get the yogurt into one corner, and over the canister I use, and then I use my kitchen sheers to cut off the corner like a pastry bag. I squeeze it into the container, and salvage as much as I can from the bag.  Most of it comes out with only a little bit that sticks.  I didn’t get a pic of this step cause I need both hands to do it, and my hands were really really messy!
 You can just see how thick and creamy it is!
Now your yogurt is ready for you to put in a bowl and add some honey, or jam, or in my case, it is ready to prepare meals with…like the tatzikiki I am looking forward to making with it this week!
Enjoy!!!
❤ Jessica

Almond Milk

Okay, so I don’t drink milk.  I eat milk products, but my allergy just does not like drinking straight up milk…so I don’t.  I do enjoy almond milk however.  At COSTCO you can buy raw almonds in large bags.  I love to make almond cream pasta, or my own almond milk with them.  It is super easy!  The milk is good for cooking, and in cereal! It does take a little planning ahead, so be ready for that.   Here is how it is made.

1.  Soak your almonds for 6-12 hours making sure that there is enough water to cover, and then some…I use a canister, but you can use a bowl, and cover it, to keep things out.

2. You peel the almonds.  Not everyone does this, but I have been told that if you make milk with the husks on , it tends to be a bit bitter.  After they have been soaking, all you have to do is put them between your thumb and forefinger, and squeeze.   The nuts should pop right out.

3.  Next, you measure in a measuring cup how many almonds you have.

4. Measure two times more water than nuts and add that to the blender.

5.  Turn on the blender! (with the lid on) You should leave it on for several minutes on high, as nuts can be harsh on a blender.  You might want to run it for a minute or two, turn it off let the machine cool down, and run it again though…most blenders don’t like nut milks or creams.

6. Once it is done blending, it looks like this:

7. Next your pour it into your straining system.  Personally, I use these filter bags:

However, you can use a nutmilk bag, a strainer lined with cheese cloth, or coffee filters.  I used this bag and strained it directly into the pitcher I wanted it in.

Once most of the moisture has run out, I hang it up, and ring out the rest.  I was making dinner and did not want to wait hours for it to drain.

So you wind up with the almond solid in the bag, and what really does look like milk in a container.  This is what the almond pulp looks like.  Normally you can dry it, and use it as flour in cookies or something, but my dehydrator was full at the moment, so that didn’t happen.

It looks like cheese doesn’t  it?!
Here is the finished product

Looks like real cows milk huh?  Before you drink make sure you shake it up a bit, as it is known to separate.  If you want to use it with cereal, maybe consider putting a little vanilla or honey into it to sweeten it up a bit.  If you just want to drink it, you could add some Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup!  This batch I used mostly for cooking.  You can replace milk in most recipes with nut milks as well.  🙂
Enjoy!