Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

I’ve wanted to try to make cottage cheese for some time.

Growing up, my family would visit the Amish. They had a real easy way of making cottage cheese. Which they loved… but, made me want to puke. I remember seeing the jar of milk, which they simply left to set on the cupboard till it curdled. This was then strained and called cheese. 🀒 Perhaps this is ‘real’ cottage cheese… and I need a stronger stomach, but, I am glad that a cultured cottage cheese, without a strong taste (or smell!) is also VERY easy to make.

I learned how to make this from another Amish lady, several years ago. I don’t know why I haven’t tried it before, myself. It has a very pleasant taste. Really much like store bought cottage cheese. My children were pleased! And so was I.

Cottage Cheese
Heavy bottomed stainless steel pan
1-1/2 gallons skim milk (cream removed and reserved) or fat free milk
1-1/2 cups buttermilk (I used 1%), or saved culture
Salt, to taste
Cream, reserved or 1/2-2/3 cup (optional)

Instructions:
Bring milk to about the temperature of baby bath water. (I actually started with cool milk…and didn’t warm it! πŸ™„) Stir in the buttermilk or culture. (I’ll tell you more about saving a culture, later.) Let set in a warm place, covered till it is set. This should take about 8-12 hours, I think. When I left it on my slightly warm cooktop in the evening, it was set by morning. When I left it to set in my cool kitchen, it still wasn’t set by the end of the day. Back on the warm cooktop, and the next morning it was set.

Cut the curd:
With a knife, score the set milk into about half inch squares. Cut straight down all the way through. Then turn your knife and cut again starting at the top and cutting toward the sides at an angle, towards the left all the way across, and then score again at an angle to the right. You should have rough cut squares or pieces.

Cooking:
Begin to warm the curd on medium low heat. Do not scorch. πŸ˜‰ Give it a gentle turn with a spoon here and there. The curds will begin to separate from the whey. Let it continue to cook on low heat till the curds have mostly shrunk into about 1/4″ pieces, and the curds and whey are hot. Let cool.

Strain:
Strain the curds from the whey. You can save the whey for other uses. Rinse the curds gently, but well, in cool water. Drain.

Finish:
Salt the curds. Surprisingly, the flavor of the cottage cheese is mild, but it really needs enough salt to bring the flavor out.

If you want a fat free cottage cheese, just add salt, no cream. This will be more of a dry curd cheese. There may be something else you can add for moisture/flavor, but I haven’t tried any fat free options for this, yet. I plan to use the fat free cheese in baking.

For a more regular cottage cheese, salt the rinsed curds and add cream. I added about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of cream to a batch. I started with fat free milk.

The Amish woman who told me how to make this removed and saved the cream from her milk before culturing it. Then after the cottage cheese was made, she had that cream to add back.

Below, I have three batches setting.

Another lady told me that keifer will work as a starter. I haven’t tried that yet, but that sounds neat.

My Amish friend would save some of the whey from each previous batch to use as a starter in her following batch.

I hope you try this. It really is much easier than it sounds!!

Red Curry

Red Curry

A very easy and simple, but extra delicious crockpot meal.

This was created by accident some months back. And I could not believe how delicious it was. I have repeated it quite a bit!

The aroma from this cooking in the crockpot is almost the best part! I have had visitors ask about what is cooking!

I buy a 10 pound bag of boneless, skinless chicken thighs from Costco. I use about 1/3 of the bag in this recipe – which ended up being about 8 chicken thighs, for me.

Here is the vegetable stir fry blend, also from Costco, that I use. If this is not available, you can sub a similar blend from what your store has available.

If you follow Trim Healthy Mama, you could enjoy this as a soup, or over mashed cauliflower for an S meal. I give my kids rice… but in this instance, they are missing out on the cauliflower! It seems to be the perfect compliment for this dish.

Red Curry
8 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or about 3 – 3 1/2 pounds).
1 large onion, chopped
3 – 13.5 oz cans full fat coconut milk
2 – 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
2 cans tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 bag frozen stir fry vegetables

Instructions: Assemble all of the ingredients in your crockpot, except for the frozen stir fry vegetables. Let cook in the crockpot all day. About 1-2 hours before serving, break the chicken up with a fork and add the frozen vegetables. Continue cooking till the vegetables are just done and hot all the way through.

I will repeat that this is absolutely wonderful over mashed cauliflower! I’ll post my variation of that soon!

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Steak and Pepper Burritos

I served this recipe in my wraps! I’ll link the wrap recipe first, in case you would like to use it. It will take six wraps for this recipe. I used the coconut flour version.

Wraps

The wraps are easy, and can be made while the steak and veggies are cooking.

This recipe fills six wraps. I found two of them to be a nice serving size, so I will consider that this serves three, although you can eat more or less, of course.

Steak and Pepper Burritos

Ingredients:
1/4 cup oil
2-3 cups of steak, cut into pieces (I used venison, but beef would also be fine.)
12 mini peppers, topped, seeded, and quartered lengthwise
1 onion, sliced into rings
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tablespoons Montreal Steak seasoning

I got the seasoning from Costco, it’s basically salt and cracked pepper plus a few other spices. Here is what the container looks like.

Instructions:
Heat the oil till it is hot, then add the meat. Brown on the bottom, then stir occasionally till they are browned on most sides. Add the peppers, onions, garlic and Montreal Steak Seasoning and continue sautΓ©ing till the onions and peppers are soft.

I decided to freeze four of these. First, I wrapped them in Saran. I placed a piece of Saran across a plate, put the burrito in the middle of it, then folded the bottom end of the Saran up over the burrito, and wrapped the Saran around the sides.

Here is what they looked like at this stage.

I figured this will be the easiest way to hold them to eat them after they are thawed. I don’t have a microwave, but if you were going to thaw them in a microwave, I think you would want to remove the Saran first. You could probably then thaw them in the bag, if you made sure the ziplock seal was partially open.

Here are the four ready to freeze!

And the other two were my lunch!

Banana Blueberry Spinach Shake

This has become my new favorite shake! It’s so easy to make and helps to get those greens in! I love it for an afternoon snack, around 3 when I need a pick-me-up! But, it’s also great for breakfast!

I do sell the stevia and collagen, so check out my store, too!

If you are following THM, this is a great E meal or snack! πŸ˜€

Note: all of the following were fresh ingredients, except for the blueberries which were frozen. You could also freeze the banana and/or the spinach… or add ice cubes, for more of a frozen shake. For the kids, I will use an extra banana, replace the almond milk with whole milk and replace the stevia with either honey or maple syrup. I also leave out the collagen if it is for one of the little ones. I don’t think it is harmful, I just think it is rather expensive if they don’t need it.

This makes 1 large serving for an adult or teen, or several for a younger child.

Banana Blueberry Spinach Shake

1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 small banana (or 1/2 of a large one)
1-2 handfuls of fresh Spinach
3/4 cup blueberries
1 scoop collagen
2 doonks THM stevia (optional)

Instructions:
Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend! That’s it. 😊

If you’d like to help support my blog and our family, a great way to do that is through purchasing my products. 😊 I do have a flat rate shipping of $10, so take advantage of that and save money on the shipping by stocking up!

Thank you, for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Have a great day! 🌺

Custom Collagen

Pure stevia extract, 1 oz.

Peppermint Tea

My husband’s all time favorite drink! (Yes, I think he even likes this better than Dr. Pepper! 😳) Peppermint tea is easy to make, but it goes way too fast! I make two gallons at a time, as that is about what it takes for a drink, for one meal, for my family. The recipe here is for 1 gallon.

Here is the tea I use. You can get this from many grocery or health food stores. Or if you’d like to support my small business, you can order it from me. πŸ˜‰ Make sure to take advantage of my flat rate shipping and stock up on some other things while you are at it! Like the stevia for sweetening this!

Peppermint tea, 40 bag, Celestial Seasonings

Peppermint tea
About 2 cups of water
7 tea bags
3/4 teaspoon THM stevia extract
More water to equal a gallon

Instructions:
Bring a couple quarts of water to a boil. Add the tea bags. Turn off the heat and cover. Let set for at least 1/2 hour. Remove and squeeze out the tea bags. Be careful not to break them! I do this by putting them into a cup and pressing them with a spoon. Pour the tea into a gallon size jar or pitcher. Add the stevia, then add water to fill the gallon. Chill.

We like to serve this over ice. image

I used to make this with 1 cup of loose, dried peppermint leaves. I find that these tea bags seem to be stronger, though.

I also used to, and sometimes still do, sweeten this with honey for my husband and kids. It takes a cup for a gallon.

Cranberry Pink Drink

Cranberry Pink Drink

I set out to make a nutritional drink for a couple reasons. One simply because I like to get in at least 2 quarts of liquid or more in a day. The other happens to be my blood pressure. No matter what I do, or how well I eat, I can’t seem to get it down where it needs to be. I have tried several different herbal products and vitamins. Nothing moves it much. I am hoping this drink can be an affordable aid in lowering my blood pressure. It may not be finished, so if I add to it I will edit and add those changes. But it is SO GOOD! That even my stevia hating son and husband like it. In fact I have to either be selfish, or make a lot… because all the kids like it!

This would be a FP drink if following Trim Healthy Mama

Cranberry Pink Drink
2 lemons, juiced
4 Tablespoons 100% cranberry juice
1 teaspoon vitamin C powder
1 juniper berry capsule
1 hawthorn berry capsule
1/2 teaspoon THM stevia extract powder
2 Tablespoons liquid probiotic, berry flavored is good (I used this one)
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Instructions:
Juice the lemons. Empty the herbs out of the capsules and throw the capsules away. I plan to try using the tincture later, but for now, capsules are what I have. Add all ingredients to the blender, except for the probiotic. Blend to mix in the herbs and stevia so there won’t be clumps. Then add the probiotic and stir gently. Pour into 2-1 quart jars, adding water to fill the jars. Also add ice if desired.

Warning: The probiotic contains a warning on the jar. Not to shake and to open slowly. I failed to open slowly… and half my jar quickly escaped! 😒 I don’t want you to make the same mistake!

When traveling, I just shake up the ingredients in a quart jar. You can then divide it between two jars, and add water and ice and the probiotic if you have it.

This is an easy and quick drink!

Zucchini Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins

Zucchini Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins!

Yes, that’s a mouthful. πŸ™„ I couldn’t come up with a shorter name… Anyone have any ideas? πŸ˜€

I kind of stole this idea from my oldest daughter. She developed and came up with a zucchini chocolate- chocolate chip raspberry bread. Of course that recipe had wheat and honey and etc. Very yummy, but not something I can or should eat!

This same older daughter has been sampling my muffins from her idea. She always tells me, just for the fun of it that everything is yucky… But she won’t quit eating them! πŸ˜‰ So, today when she got home from work I asked her if she wanted to sample one. She wanted two… with yogurt. My little ones think they also have to have two a piece! 😊

These are dairy free if you use Lily’s dark chocolate vegan chips! They are also gluten free. And nut free!

Makes 1 dozen.

If following THM, these would fall into the S category.

So, here is the recipe!

Zucchini Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins

Wet Ingredients:
1-4 oz. 100% cacao baking bar
1 cup packed, finely grated zucchini
6 Tablespoons Pyure
6 Tablespoons xylitol
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 eggs

Dry Ingredients:
4 Tablespoons coconut flour
4 Tablespoons oat fiber
2 Tablespoons golden flax meal
2 Tablespoons collagen
1 Tablespoon psyllium husk
1 Tablespoon glucomannan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Other Ingredients:
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup Lily’s dark chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt baking chocolate in a double boiler. I actually just sit my metal mixer bowl over a pan of boiling water until the chocolate melts. Saves one more dish, and I don’t waste any chocolate!

When the chocolate is melted, add the zucchini with the melted chocolate in the mixer bowl. Start mixing and add the sweeteners 1 Tablespoon at a time, beating as you add them. Then add the vanilla. By this time it should be cool enough to add the eggs. (You don’t want to cook your eggs!)

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate small bowl. Then stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture by hand. Add the raspberries and chocolate chips and mix again.

Fill 12 paper lined muffin cups with the batter. They will be pretty full. Place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until done.

Yum!

And if you would like to purchase from me, I sell the oat fiber, glucomannan, collagen and psyllium husk! My store link is https://lotsalittlelambs.com/shop/

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy these muffins!

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Dairy free, nut free, gluten free, sugar free, this would be an S if following the Trim Healthy Mama plan.

This reminds me of a cinnamon roll. But, in a cake. I will post another recipe, later of a variation of this recipe. Cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing! But, for now, here is this recipe. Update: will link the buns at the end of this post!

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Wet ingredients:
4 eggs
6 Tablespoons coconut oil
3 Tablespoons xylitol
3 Tablespoons Pyure
2 Tablespoons vanilla
6 Tablespoons water

Dry ingredients:
4 Tablespoons oat fiber
4 Tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons golden flax meal
2 Tablespoons collagen
1 1/2 teaspoons glucomannan
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

Cinnamon Sprinkle:
1 Tablespoon xylitol
1 Tablespoon Pyure
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Topping (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Icing:
1 package Let’s Do Organic Coconut Cream
1 Tablespoon Powdered Sweetener (either Gentle Sweet or my powdered sweetener recipe…)

https://lotsalittlelambs.com/powdered-sweetener/

Directions:
Chop the pecans if using, and set aside. In a separate small bowl, mix up the cinnamon sprinkle. Lightly grease a 9×9 baking dish. Mix the dry ingredients together in another bowl. Put the wet ingredients into the blender. Mix by blending, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. Drop a few spoonfuls of the batter into the baking dish, then sprinkle with some of the cinnamon sprinkle, repeating in layers, till you have used up both the batter and the cinnamon sprinkle. Place chopped pecans on top of the cake batter, if using. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until done.

While the cake is baking, place the unopened plastic bag of coconut cream into a bowl of warm water. Periodically change the water and squish the coconut cream package with your fingers. By the time the cake is done, it should be totally melted.

Now for icing the cake! Don’t you hate it when you have to wait for your cake to cool? Me, too…I can be impatient! This cake should be iced while it is still hot! Open the bag of coconut cream, and mix in the powdered sweetener. Pour over the hot cake!

I like to place this on a potholder and refrigerate it just till the icing hardens… then serve it warm. Enjoy!

And check out my store at https://lotsalittlelambs.com/shop/ to see the products I offer, including the coconut cream, collagen, oat fiber, glucomannan, sweeteners and flaxmeal I use in this recipe! πŸ™‚

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Cinnamon Buns

Mint Roses

Mint Roses

This is a companion recipe to my last one, Cacao Hearts, https://lotsalittlelambs.com/cacao-hearts/

Like the other, it uses creamed coconut. You can either make this in your vitamix or other strong gadget, or you can start with the equal weight, 14 ounces, of creamed coconut. I have made it both ways. I used the Let’s Do Organic brand of creamed coconut.

If you want to cut the recipe in half, I would encourage you to go with the already made coconut cream from the box, as my vitamix seems to need the bulk of the full 14 ounces of coconut to pulverize it.

I believe you could easily sub the boxed creamed coconut in place of making your own in the previous recipe, as well.

You may need to adjust the peppermint oil, according to the brand you use. I used Aura Cacia. Which says right on it that it is not intended for internal use. I just figure, it is from peppermint. Nothing else. Not like all these food colorings and dyes approved for our food! I know they have to put disclaimers on things. But you should not do as I do! Do as I say, and use a food grade oil! πŸ™‚

And by the way, you can mold these in any shape you like. I like the roses, because I think they are pretty. But, I make stars for my husband. You could even just pour them into a dish and cut into squares after they harden.

My husband loves these! But then, he loves mint. I do not know why he told the little girls they are soap! But he did think it was funny when I was puzzled as to why they kept asking for, “More soap, Mommy!”.

Here is the recipe:

Mint Roses

14 ounces dried coconut or 14 ounces creamed coconut, softened
6 Tablespoons Pyure
30 drops mint essential oil (use a food grade! πŸ™‚ )
1 cup finely shredded coconut (do not blend-stir in whole)

Turn the 14 ounces of coconut into cream, using your vitamix. Or if you are using the creamed coconut, just mix all the ingredients together. Put into molds. Set into the freezer to harden. Remove from the molds and store in a bowl or a container in the refrigerator.

Pretty easy!

Introducing Collagen!

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I’m so excited to introduce you to a new product!

Collagen is a naturally gluten free product. And this particular brand is kosher, as well. It is sourced from beef.

Some of the many benefits of collagen are said to be healing of painful joints, supporting skin tone, and increasing hair and nail strength. Many claim it has relieved their arthritus symptoms, and aided in the healing of broken bones.

I love to use Collagen as a source of protein. Sometime I stir it in my tea. It is also great in a shake. (I really don’t think there is much flavor). And I’ve heard it gives a good texture added to baked goods! I am still experimenting, but over all, I have been impressed with the baked goods I have added it to.

But the best part? I’m putting this on sale ($2 off) to give you an extra good deal! And not only that, but whoever orders collagen during the sale will receive a free jar of my homemade jam! πŸ™‚