Sunday, November 8, 2009

Frugal Tips for Cheese and Yogurt Making

Just a couple tips:

* You can buy cultured buttermilk WITH active/live cultures from the grocery store and then use it to make "ice cubes". Store in a freezer container or freezer zip lock baggies. I'd suggest you label the bag and date it. You can use these cubes to make your own buttermilk (and more cubes) and for making cheese! Just store them so they don't freezer burn as you can make more as you go along and you want those original store ones to keep well.

*You can buy yogurt that has active/live cultures (plain, vanilla and lemon are best) and do the same. Yogurt and buttermilk are different cultures so will produce different tasting cheese! You can then make your own yogurt too and it's really easy to grab out a few cubes.

*If you have yogurt that is aging and you want to get it used up, make cheese out of it. Drain it like making cheese and you'll have a bit of a soft, fresh cheese for spreading on toast, crackers, pb & j sandwiches (an extra treat with a bit of cheese in them), stuffed french toast, or for adding to another dish calling for cream cheese. It's great in cheese cake and can also be mixed with cool whip for a fruit salad dressing. It makes a great fruit dip too using a recipe calling for cream cheese.

*If you have bits of cheese that are drying out, do NOT throw them out. Cheese is expensive and you can be frugal and save them for a dish calling for cheese such as augratin veggies or potatoes. It's great grated on a dish of soup or chili, etc.

*Don't forget that the cheese you buy such as the cheddars, colbys, etc are aged cheeses that developed a mold during their aging process. Those mold spots we occassionally get on a cheese don't make the whole cheese bad. You just trim the bits off and use the cheese. It'll continue to mold if you don't use it up but you can cube it up and freeze it until you can use it for a cheese sauce or dish. Those cubes go great in a broccoli or potato soup!

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