The big cheese

Wellllll … I did not so much work on the group presentation today. As usual, I took a quick break from homework to do one thing in the kitchen, and now it is three hours later. While preparing my yogurt for the week’s lunches, I helped myself to some of the overflow:

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The yogurt has fresh pumpkin, dates, prunes, banana, apple, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, whole cloves, almond extract, and golean crunch mixed in. And pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top, of course.

Quesadillas were in order for dinner. I made my tortillas the same way I made whole wheat wraps here, but I used half whole wheat flour and half blue cornmeal. (I love this blue cornmeal that I have because it is very coarsely ground and adds texture and crunch to everything. It’s especially amazing for coating chicken or fish before browning in a pan, mmmmmm.)

Anyway, once the tortillas were done, I layered on the filling:

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  • last 1/4 cup salmon
  • last 1/4 cup black beans
  • salvaged rotten roommate scallions and grape tomatoes, sauteed in canola
  • last 2 oz. fat free feta

The other tortilla went on as a lid, and everything went into the oven for a melting session.

Meanwhile, I decided it was time to disrobe my parmesan cheese!! I have a small dairy-making hobby with weekly yogurt (which you know already), occasional cottage cheese and ricotta, and even more occasional hard cheese. Yesterday, I finally finished the round of blue cheese cheddar that I made in the fall. I call it blue cheese because it tasted sort of like blue cheese and had a penchant for turning blue from mold. Nothing a damp paper towel can’t fix, though. Before and after:

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Making your own cheese will do wonders for your mold tolerance.

Anyway, the blue cheese/cheddar was a thing of the past, so it was time to move onto bigger and better things with my parmesan! This parmesan has been aging in my fridge for nine months. That’s right — it takes at least as long to make parmesan as it does a baby! When I made the cheese last summer, I remember thinking that it would never be ready, but the day has finally come! Here it is pre-wax removal and post wax-removal:

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Of course, I had to taste a hunk right away:

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Success!! It’s salty like the Dead Sea, probably from all the brining it had to survive, but quite tasty. And very hard and crumbly, mmmm, perfect for grating. So that’s exactly what I did! It went on top of my quesadilla, along with salsa left over from a work meeting last week, steamed asparagus, and freshly ground black pepper.

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(Btw, that’s 1/2 the quesadilla. The other half is planned for tomorrow, depending on what kind of food I come across throughout the day.)

Inside:

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Mid-demolition:

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Dessert was more homemade fro-yo — I’m hooked! This mix contained scrapings from the batch of pumpkin gingerbread crockpot oats I made today, plain yogurt, and a tsp of peanut butter. Mmmmmmm! Again, I topped it with light whipped cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, sprinkles for flair, and a baby raisin walnut toast:

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And then, because I needed some extra love to pump myself up for the week, a chocolate heart:

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I’m in bed now with a mug of sugar cookie sleigh ride tea and a book, and I am pretty sure that sugar plums will start dancing through the room any second …

What’s your hobby? And is it food-related?

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15 thoughts on “The big cheese

  1. carolinebee says:

    that is totally awesome!! I think my microbio teacher would have minor things to say on your mold tolerance- but i’m totally down with it 😀 My hobby is DANCING DANCING!! Buut I eat a lot snacks before/during/after so ya i guess it involves food.

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  2. snackface says:

    Sorry, I just caught up on the last two posts. You breakfast cookie turned out beautifully! I eat mine with a spoon, for I forget about the freezing step. YOU MAKE YOUR OWN CHEESE??? This is spectacular! It seems to be a scary thing to do, but you talk about it with ease and comfort. My hobby? Baking when I can. AND reading magazines. Love,love,love them. Oh, and sitting on my ass all day.

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  3. Erin says:

    I can’t believe you made that cheese! That sounds intense! Those wraps look and sound really good too. The whole dinner is beautiful and makes me want some, even though it’s 5 AM.
    I understand your kitchen/studying dilemna since I just posted about it! Kitchens are more fun.
    Food is definitely my main hobby. Cooking, eating, thinking about it…it pretty much overtakes me life!

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  4. marafaye says:

    HOW COOL that you make your own cheese!!! Thats awesome!!!

    My hobbies are cooking and crocheting… I try to not do them at the same time, as I get yarn in my food, and food on my projects!

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  5. Yasmin says:

    My hobbies are baking and reading. Yesterday I baked chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin walnut cookies. Currently reading Things I’ve Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi.

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  6. fitforfree says:

    I’m so impressed with your cheesemaking! And I really need to try that tortilla recipe . . . I get so excited every time I see it.

    Hobbies = music, and recipe-less baking 🙂

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  7. verbalriot says:

    You make your own aged cheese?! We should hang out. Cause I want some!

    Ummm…hobbies, hobbies…I love to cook and eat, I’d consider those hobbies. And maybe collecting cookbooks even though I don’t use them much, but I love having them (especially if I find one in a thrift store that’s from like the 1980s). Yeah, all of that is food related!

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  8. mom says:

    Sorry I didn’t call back yet, too busy making our breakfast cookies last night for this am,what with the snow storm and all. they were delicious,tho I changed the process a bit. An egg fell in,so they had to be cooked,and no pumpkin, so mashed swt pot, but a success! We nuked them so the chocolate chunks were melty-really felt decadent. They could be made ahead and frozen,just like other cookies,since cooked,and Ican’t wait to experiment more. Crockpot chicken is cooking, with every veggie in the house. Yum. Your tortilla looks very desirable. Is it still snowing there Love,Mom

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  9. janeterin says:

    I am so impressed with your homemade tortillas and cheese! That reminds me that I want to get more into baking my own bread products – no plastic required. I LOVE your dedication to not wasting a thing!

    Like

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