Thursday, December 23, 2010

In the kitchen this week

 We've been busy in the kitchen this week. We make a batch of fruit leather almost weekly with whatever fruit is around and needs used up. I often sneak in some vegetables, usually kale, carrots or beets. The fruit leather always has yogurt in it, and sometimes I toss in some fresh ground flax seed. Noah likes to spread the wet concoction on the drying sheets. This batch was mango kale with coconut milk yogurt. The kids love the fruit leather. As long as it isn't just fruit, I don't feel bad about them munching on it throughout the day.

 We made one batch of sugar cookies, just for the kids. They had come home with some sugar tubes from a kid's craft day. They have been wanting to make cookies with the colored sugars ever since. So, thankfully we used up all the tubes, and now we have Christmas cookies with artificially colored and flavored sugar topping.Lovely.  Can you feel my enthusiasm? I use to go into full cookie baking mode for gift giving, before the kids came around. I'm sure we will get back to mass production cookie baking some day. For now, I baked a batch of russian tea cookies to have on hand for myself. The kids have their sugar cookies. I'm looking forward to getting cookies from two individuals who make to die for cookies- you know who you are. Other than that, I don't see the need to have bags and bags of cookies around for the next couple months.

I did make a batch of Feta this week. I usually age it for a while before giving it away or using it. Finding myself low on fridge room, I thought I'd just give it with the recommendation of keeping it around for a few weeks before eating it.
 Cutting the curds

Draining the curds

 Big ball of cheese

 Salted chunks of Feta ready to cure
After a few days of curing, I made a salt brine and packed the chunks into jars. Voila; Feta.

 With the kids playing indoors so much, we've been changing it up a bit. I've been bringing in and cleaning up outside toys that the kids haven't played with since fall. Jumping on the couch cushion usually provides a couple hours of entertainment.
Avery and her babies.


Buttons said...

Emily I would love to be able to make fruit leather. Your cheese looks delicious. You are a good Mom your kids look very happy. Have a nice Christmas.

donna said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family. God bless.

Kimberly said...

I just noticed you are from Fairbanks, I grew up in Anchorage, am now living in northern virginia and taking a trip to AK this summer to show my husband around as his free tour guide. :) I am also married to a conspiracy theorist and consider myself to be one as well. I own a high-speed blender and an excaliber dehydrator. I am experimenting with recipes. Just recently got my own kefir grains and kombucha scoby. I would like to start making cheese with the raw goat's milk I get from my neighbor. Do you have any recommendations/recipes? Thank you so much!

Emily said...

Kimberly, here is a post I did a while back on making chevre. We make this cheese daily most of the year. It is more versatile than any other cheese I've yet to make.