Paneer

My freezer holds all sorts of vegetables ready to mix with homemade paneer for Paneer Tikka Masala. Learn to make cheese at TwiceasTasty.com.
Every April, I’m focused on two things: what I’m going to grow in my garden this year, and how I’m going to eat up everything I saved from last year’s harvest. Last week’s post used up not just the whey leftover from making yogurt but also the potatoes starting to sprout in my storage bins. This week, I dug deeply into my freezer and found all sorts of vegetables for an Indian dinner: cherry tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and cilantro pesto. Flavor them with my dwindling supply of home-smoked chilies and homemade curry powder, toss in some freshly made paneer, and the flavors explode.

There are several other fabulous things about this week’s recipes. If you already make Lemon Cheese, you don’t need to learn to make paneer: you just need to learn how to press your cheese. If you don’t yet make this cheese, which also goes by queso blanco, whole-milk ricotta, and farm cheese, you have another reason to learn how.
Learn to make Fresh Paneer and Paneer Tikka Masala

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Yogurt Whey

Baked goods and potatoes easily absorb yogurt whey. Learn how to use whey at TwiceasTasty.com.
Let’s be honest: you’re going to have the most fun with this week’s recipes if you’re making your own yogurt at home. You generate a fair amount of whey every time you make yogurt. The simple step of pouring yogurt, homemade or store bought, into a strainer and letting it sit creates thick, creamy Greek-style yogurt by separating out the watery whey. As you read last week’s post, you waste that whey by pouring it down the drain. Instead, use the whey left after draining yogurt as a replacement for buttermilk or even regular milk, like I do in this week’s recipes.

If you’re not yet making yogurt at home, you can still get in on the fun. My recipe for Fresh Yogurt and my tips for making better yogurt will set you on the right path. For a hands-on experience, bring me into your kitchen for a workshop. Once you discover how easy and affordable it is to make good yogurt at home, you’ll be all set to stir your leftover whey into amazing mashed potatoes or bake it into flavorful muffins.
Learn to make Yogurt Whey Berry Muffins and Mashed Potatoes with Yogurt Whey

Gnocchi

Gnocchi is easier to make than you might think: you just need some basic ingredients, a few tricks, and time. Get gnocchi recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Italy ruined gnocchi for me, much in the way Morocco ruined couscous: After tasting the real thing, I’m no longer impressed with the convenience-food versions that dominate in America. Although potato dumplings and steamed semolina seem vastly different, they have a surprising number of things in common. Both have reputations as difficult yet delicious delicacies. This has led companies to manufacture replacements you can grab off a shelf in a box. Neither vacuum-packed gnocchi nor instant couscous comes close to its freshly made counterpart.

Fortunately, both are easier to make from scratch than you might think. They take time, and some special tools help give the best results, but you really only need some basic ingredients and a few tricks to create the real deal.
Learn to make Homemade Potato Gnocchi and Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi

Garlic and Chives

Make the official transition from winter to spring with Roasted Garlic Soup and Savory Herb Scones. Get spring recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
The official transition from winter to spring has arrived. At my house, that means both waiting for snow to melt and reveal my garden’s buried herbs and digging deeper into the freezer and dry-storage boxes to use up what’s left from last year’s harvest. So this week’s recipe pairing seemed apt: a light soup using the last stored garlic to offset still chilly evenings and savory scones using frozen herbs—or if you’re in a warmer zone than mine, the first spring cutting of herbs.

I start making garlic soup as soon as crisp fall nights arrive and continue throughout winter to the end of my stored stash in spring. It’s joined my arsenal of comforting soups, along with Hot and Sour Soup and 30-Minute Cherry Tomato Soup. I make these when I have a cold bug, because they help bring me back to health. I make these soups when I’m busy, because they’re easy and use ingredients I keep on hand. But mostly I make them because they taste so good.
Learn to make Roasted Garlic Soup and Savory Herb Scones