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Day: July 24, 2008

I gotta try this, home made cheeses

Queso Blanco

This is by far the easiest cheese to make.  Called Queso Blanco in the Spanish speaking (it means “white cheese”) world it is used throughout the world by different names.  It can be eaten strait or mixed in with various dishes.  Try it in your lasagna recipes instead of Ricotta or in addition to it.  Yum!

1 Gallon Whole Milk
1/4 Cup White Vinegar**

  1. Heat milk to 180 F (82 C) stirring constantly.  Be careful not to burn the milk.
  2. While mixing with a whisk, slowly add the white vinegar.  You will notice the milk begins to curdle.
  3. Keep stirring for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Line a colander with a fine cheesecloth.
  5. Pour the curdled milk through the colander.
  6. Allow the curds to cool for about 20 minutes.
  7. Tie the four corners of the cheese cloth together and hang it to drain for about 5 – 7 hours (until it stops dripping).

The solidified cheese can be broken apart and salted to taste or kept unsalted.

Herb Cheese

1 gallon whole milk
1 pint half-and-half
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

Drill holes into the bottom of a round plastic storage container (approximately 6 inches wide and at least 4 inches high) and set aside. Line a colander with cheesecloth and set aside.

Put the milk and half-and-half into a large pot over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until it reaches 195 degrees F. (There will be a slight simmer and the top will be very foamy.) Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the vinegar. Put the colander into the sink and pour this mixture into the cheesecloth. When most of the liquid has passed through, add the tomatoes, basil, and salt and stir gently to incorporate. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and transfer the cheese to the plastic container. Set the container on a rack on a sheet pan to catch the whey. Put a plate on top and weight it down with some heavy cans to squeeze out the excess liquid. Let rest for 1 hour, remove the cheesecloth, and return it to the plastic container with the plates and weights. Put it into the refrigerator overnight. To serve, put the cheese onto a plate and brush with a little olive oil.

American Politics are Sexy

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans next week to slash the pay of more than 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum of $6.55 per hour to help ease the state’s budget crisis, according to a draft executive order obtained by The Chronicle on Wednesday.

Schwarzenegger’s staff would neither confirm nor deny that the governor plans to issue the executive order, but sources said he could take action as early as Monday. The state, facing a projected $17.2 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year that began July 1, has not approved a budget.

You see, WOW!  The Governator is going to actually destroy the earning power of thousands of people.  That’s some exciting politics,  it would only be more exciting if he announced it while “California Uber-Alles” was playing in the background.

It's hard to write about Canadian Politics

Some days, when I’m not writing about Miniature Popes and Singing Peas I look at the Google News Page for inspiration;  I’d like to write more about Canadian Politics but it’s far too dull and I simly can’t get excited about it.

For Example:  Dion sensing mood for an election

I hoped initially that this was going to be about Celine Dion and quietly replaced all of the references to Stephan to Celine in my head; thus:

OTTAWA–Canadians are increasingly in the mood for a federal election this fall, says Singer Celine Dion.

“More than before,” Celine Dion said yesterday when asked what he was hearing on the road about voters’ desire to go to the polls. “We have seen over the winter and the spring, more and more interest for federal politics and more and more appetite for an election.”

But it may be another election – the U.S. presidential contest – that will also help the Liberals in any electoral battle here, Celine Dion says.

Now we’re getting somewhere; you can actually imagine that animate skelton crooning these lines out on stage, butchering the English language while she belts it out.   That would make the whole idea of anyone named “Dion” running for Prime Minister that much more exciting.  He’s just not that much of a character.  Which is a detriment in politics (if one was to ask me).

Stephen Harper angries up my blood when he ISN’T the prime minister because he gets to say and do outrageous crap.  As Prime Minister, he has his cabinet to do that for him.  Sure, he has a shocking lack of humanity and the look of a “true believer” that is equal parts unnerving and creepy; but let’s face it being in the public eye has really mellowed him.  He’s no George Bush Jr. He’s George Bush Juniors monkey.