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Sunday morning confession: I love eating.  Yes, I’d definitely describe myself as a foodie.  Growing up in an Italian family that was blessed with many talented cooks, it was next to impossible to not have a little (or big) soft spot for food.  And as I’ve gotten older and have now become a mother, I want to make sure that the things I put into my body and into my son’s little body are healthy and delicious.  As a Type I diabetic, I read labels to check the carbs all day long.  However, as I have become more conscientous, I read labels even more closely for sodium. And folks, I’m here to tell you, that it can be frightening!  Why do all things delicious have to also contain mass amounts of sodium?  Oh wait, they don’t!

I recently came across homemade recipes for two of my all time favorite things in life:  goat cheese and a good Bloody Mary.  Life really wouldn’t be the same without these things.  The problem?  Well, Bloody Mary mix can be loaded with sodium!  And therefore, while I could drink a few every weekend, I don’t for this reason.  Goat cheese? Well, it’s just pricey!

So, I feel compelled to share the following recipes to bring some resolution to these issues.

Homemade Goat Cheese {source}

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 clove freshly grated garlic
  • A few pinches coarse salt
  • Herbs (up to you) but recommended: Rosemary, chives, parsley, herbs de Provence, fennel fronds, dill, and other non-herbs like dried apricots.

Directions

1.  Fill a medium saucepan with goat’s milk. Heat gradually until it reaches 180°F. Watch closely. You can run in and out of the kitchen, but don’t get too distracted. It shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes.

2.  Once it hits the magical temperature, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let stand until milk starts to curdle, about 20 seconds. Don’t expect curdles, like cottage cheese curdles. As you can see in this photo, slight clumping will occur, but nothing too drastic. Don’t go pouring in a bucket of lemon juice, thinking nothing has happened. But you can add a few extra droplets if nothing is actually happening. Also: blood orange isn’t as effective as lemon in creating the right curd texture, just sayin’.

3.  Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth—really, several. Otherwise you’ll lose precious goat cheese through the soggy cloth. Place over a large bowl to catch the whey drips.

4.  Ladle milk into colander. Pull up and tie the four corners of the cheesecloth together and hang on the handle of a wooden spoon. (This was my favorite part, second to eating it of course.) Set over a very deep bowl.

5.  Allow whey to drain (drip, drip, drip) until a soft, ricotta-like consistency is reached inside the cloth, about 1 to 1.5 hours.

6.  Transfer to a bowl and fold in salt, garlic, and flavors of your choice. Serve on fresh bread, salads, with fruit, or just straight-up. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, but after a few days, the consistency isn’t as lusciously smooth and spreadable.

7.  Eat it on everything.

8.  Repeat. Make as much as possible.

Elizabeth’s Heirloom Bloody Mary Mix {source}

  • 8 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered (about 6 lb.)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

PREPARATION

1.  Place tomatoes in a Dutch oven, and mash with a potato masher until chunky. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 20 to 25 minutes or until peels are wilted and most of juices have been released.

2.  Press tomatoes through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing with a wooden spoon to squeeze out juices; discard solids. Return tomato juice to Dutch oven, and stir in Worcestershire sauce and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Pour into 2 (1-qt.) jars; chill 2 to 4 hours. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days.

I promise these things will do your body good. Have a great week y’all!

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