Sour Cream

You easily get the best flavor from the fewest ingredients by making sour cream at home. Get homemade sour cream and cookie recipes at cream is one of my guilty food pleasures. I eat it regularly, sometimes daily. I eat it at breakfast with crepes and baked into Sour Cream Scones with Tart Cherries. It goes in creamy dressings for potato and other salads. It’s the base for dips and midday snacks. I put sour cream on baked potatoes, tacos, and empanadas. And I use it in desserts, including cookies.

I call sour cream a “guilty pleasure” because it can be high in calories and fat. Most commercial reduced-fat and nonfat versions are primarily whey, modified food/corn starch, salts, stabilizers, and artificial gums—not a good alternative. So if I’m buying sour cream, I read the labels closely and buy full-fat versions that only list “cultured cream” or something similar as the ingredient. But you can easily get the best flavor from the fewest ingredients by making sour cream at home.
Learn to make Sour Cream and Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies



Cultured dairy is an easy, no-fuss first step to cheesemaking. Get buttermilk recipes at
When I started sharing cheese and homemade dairy recipes and teaching workshops on making cheese last year, you learned how to use a simple starter to make yogurt and an acidic kitchen staple to make cheese. But to expand the range of dairy products and cheeses you make in your kitchen, you’ll need to become familiar with powdered starter.

These magical little packets of bacterial cultures do the same thing as yogurt and lemon juice: they acidify, or ripen, warm milk, letting the good bacteria grow. But the beauty of them is in their specificity. Each starter culture has particular strains of bacteria that create different flavors and textures from the same milk. The range of available cultures is impressive, and I recommend reading about them in Mary Karlin’s and Gianaclis Caldwell’s books to really understand how they work. Here, I’ll give a quick intro that will let you make and use cultured buttermilk.
Learn to make Cultured Buttermilk and Honey–Chili Buttermilk Biscuits

Making Better Yogurt and Cheese

Making new styles of cheese has taught me a few tricks that apply to my homemade standards. Learn about making better yogurt and cheese at
Each April, the recipes on Twice as Tasty focus on making cheese and other dairy products at home. Between the information on the blog and the workshops I’ve been teaching to everyone from adults to kids, the pool of home cheesemakers has been growing steadily all year.

As I wrote last year, yogurt was my first homemade dairy product. It’s still the milk-based product I make most often, partially because it’s so easy and partially because it’s so versatile that I eat it all the time. This also means I’m constantly finding news ways to improve my yogurt-making skills.

I’ve also been playing with variations on acid-based cheeses and delving into new cheese styles and new dairy products. Some of these will be the focus of blog posts in the coming month. But these styles have also taught me a few tricks that apply to my homemade standards. So before So before I offer you new recipes, here are some things I’ve learned in the past year about making yogurt and cheese.
Read more about making better yogurt and cheese

Cheesy Baked Pasta

I’m a sucker for homemade mac and cheese. But my mom’s original version is a perfect intro but just the beginning. Get mac and cheese recipes at
Although my comfort food list includes a lot of nontraditional dishes, like crepes and Hot and Sour Soup, I’m a sucker for homemade mac and cheese. It was a household standard when I was growing up. As little girls, my sister and I sometimes begged for forbidden junk foods, but we were always willing to go homemade when it came to Mom’s baked macaroni. I’d take leftovers to school to eat cold for lunch, not caring what my friends thought. It was that good.

Over the years, I’ve come to love other flavors in my baked noodles: the bite of garlic and dry mustard, a burst of flavor from cherry tomatoes and basil, and always extra-sharp Cheddar. Since I started making cheese, it’s been my preferred way to use whey. But my mom’s original version is perfect for introducing kids—and adults—who’ve only had boxed macaroni & cheese to the real deal.
Learn to make Childhood and Tomato–Basil Mac and Cheese