It’s funny how these things work.

by atrezzi

I’ve been in a cooking/baking frenzy recently and also discovered that my mood is directly related to my kitchen production. When I find myself in a slump I tend to stray away from the kitchen and occupy that space as little as necessary. But sometimes to get out of my slump I return to kitchen to make everything better and that’s when I know all will be right in the world. A little while back I was inspired by my mother to make Ricotta cheese which turned out brilliantly. It was so tasty. In the spirit of cheese making I ventured on to another recipe I stumbled upon (read: saw on pinterest) and thought it would be worth a try. My oh my am I glad I tried it. Ladies and gentleman, I give you mascarpone cheese in all of it’s glory.

I found the original recipe on this brilliant blog and while I haven’t tried it with broiled peaches yet, I wholly intend to once they come into season: Not Without Salt .

This cheese, much like the Ricotta, was fairly simple to make. The ingredient list consisted of heavy cream and lemon juice. Heat the cream to 190 degrees first and then add the lemon juice.

The process then becomes more of a waiting game. The curdled cream has to cool overnight. Once it is fully cooled it then has to be strained in cheese cloth.

Once the cream has been all bundled up, the waiting game resumes and it has to strain for about 24 hrs. This cheese doesn’t produce nearly as much whey as the Ricotta did so I didn’t do anything with it this time.

The waiting totally pays off though and this cheese is delicious. I ate it on some strawberries with a little bit of fresh mint. The other night I had a hankering for cupcakes and tried to make a mint cupcake with a strawberry mascarpone frosting. It didn’t turn out as I had hoped, but I may have to revisit this idea. Either way I am glad I made this cheese and you will be too 🙂

Along with cheese obsessions, I’ve also been on a coconut oil kick. I’ve been finding lots of ways to cook with it and even bake with it in place of butter. I know I know, I would never try to replace butter in my life, but coconut oil is putting up a good fight. It gives my stir fry’s a nice little extra flavor, and I have a pretty darn good recipe for chocolate chip cookies made with it. That might have to come out later. Anyways, to get the point, I made a coconut oil granola that is delicious. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly as I used whatever seeds and spices I had on hand and that did not include shredded coconut sadly.

The full recipe is on this gal’s cute blog which is chock full of goodness.

So there you go. Some people say music frees your soul, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually cooking.