Just call me Master Cheesemaker. On second thought, don’t. But I would like to inform you that I have officially made homemade ricotta. Twice. Yep, you read that right. I am officially crossing “make your own cheese” off the bucket list. And guess what? You can, too! After several years of carting my plastic wrapped, brand new cheesecloth from apartment to apartment, I finally busted it open and took it for a test run. Watch out Cowgirl Creamery, here I come. No, I joke. I could never do anything that required molding or resting, aging or brining. But what I can do is this. Add milk, cream, and buttermilk to a pot. Heat for 15 minutes. Let sit for 30. Drain in cheesecloth. Eat. As my Food Network leading lady, Ina Garten, would say, “how easy is that??” It is ridiculously easy indeed, Ina.
So, I don’t know about you, but I am pret-ty excited about this royal wedding. After watching every single special on television this week (and taping a few others), I feel incredibly knowledgeable about the big day. While most of you out there are completely over all of the hub-bub, I simply can’t wait. I get it. Who are these people? The idea of a monarchy is sooooo 1540. How terribly borrr-ing. Blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it all. My husband likes to mock me constantly over my endless fascination, and now, I think he simply is starting to feel sorry for me. For the past week, he has insulted Prince William’s looks (okay, okay he used to have a better hairline but he absolutely does not look like a horse!) but in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with him that a little whitening gel and Invisalign from Tom Cruise’s dentist couldn’t fix. This has been a nightly
argument discussion this week.
Segmenting an orange (or any other citrus fruit you choose) is one of those techniques that can seem pretty intimidating. But, really, it’s a breeze and will make you feel like a pro in no time. Here is a simple step-by-step guide that will give you beautiful citrus segments every time. The jewel-like pieces can be tossed in salads and side dishes, reduced into jams and marmalades, or folded into baked goods (look out for the blood orange olive oil cake later this week!).
Others (chef types and foodies) call this technique “to supreme a citrus fruit” which just means to remove the peel, pith, and membrane from the fruit separating it into segments. Why go through the extra trouble of segmentingt? The pith of the fruit can be pretty bitter so removing this white part guarantees sweetness without that bitter taste which can be especially important in jams. Plus, I mean they just look so fancy.
There is really nothing better than a middle of summer tomato from the farmer’s market. And after tasting one, it is even harder to eat mid-winter grocery store tomatoes. So what’s a tomato-loving girl to do during the winter months? Why, make slow roasted tomatoes, of course! These jewels are fool proof and provide the perfect flavor pop for your winter tomato blues. They take less than 5 minutes to put together then slowly caramelize and shrivel in the oven for most of the morning (or afternoon). If you have never tried slow roasted tomatoes before, you will be shocked by the change of flavor from simply roasting super low and super slow.
In honor of peach season and to tease a few peach recipes coming down the pipeline on Plum Pie, I thought I’d post a quick tutorial on how to easily peel a peach. Seriously, it’s a cinch. Start by bringing a saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
Next, wash your peaches. Cut an “x” with your knife on the bottom of the peach.
When your water has come to a boil, carefully drop one or two peaches into the pot of water. Don’t overcrowd the pot because you want it to keep boiling. When you add the peach into the water, you cool it down a bit so only drop a few at a time. Boil the peach in the water for approximately 1 minute. We aren’t trying to cook the peaches here so when you start to see the skin peeling a bit then you know it is ready. Grab a spoon or colander spoon…