Dips with Yogurt

Homemade cheese and yogurt are delicious not just on their own but also when featured or even a footnote in other recipes. Bring a tray of homemade dips, cheese, and sourdough bread to a potluck or party (or house concert), and guests immediately compliment your tasty contribution. Then when someone asks what’s in the dip, say, “homemade yogurt”; eyes brighten, jaws drop, and people dig back into the bowl. At least, that’s my experience.

I’ve long been a fan of tzatziki, and it’s among my favorite ways to showcase homemade yogurt. A tangy fresh batch makes the dip pop—so much so that I cut back on the lemon juice. Although traditionally made with sheep’s or goat’s milk, draining a cow’s milk yogurt until it’s thick works beautifully. Just a tablespoon or two of the same thickened yogurt gives a surprising creaminess to other dips, especially ones featuring beans.
Learn to make Tzatziki and Asian White Bean Dip

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Cheese and Yogurt

Queso blanco, panir, whole-milk ricotta, farm cheese, lemon cheese—they’re the same cheese by different names. Even where recipes for them may vary, they share two features: all form curd through the addition of an acid, and all coagulate because they are heated above 176°F, the temperature at which the milk protein casein “sets.” This makes Lemon Cheese, my preferred name because I like to use lemon juice to form the curd, surprisingly simple and easy to make. This recipe is also a great first cheese because you need few special tools or ingredients: just cheesecloth, a thermometer, and ideally cheese salt. You can make about 2 pounds of cheese from a gallon of milk, but I prefer to use some of that gallon to make yogurt.
Learn to make Lemon Cheese and Fresh Yogurt

Fresh Homemade Dairy

My first experience with making dairy products at home was yogurt. Long before Greek yogurt was popular in the United States, my travel bug had given me an insatiable craving for the thick, creamy fermentation. A hostel owner turned me on to a local maker of sheep’s milk yogurt, which I then ate mixed with honey and topped with fruit almost every morning I was in Greece.

American yogurts paled by comparison, so back home, I searched for an alternative way to get my Greek yogurt fix. I could strain almost any yogurt to approximate the consistency, but only expensive ones got me in the right flavor neighborhood. Then I learned all I needed was a little bit of good yogurt and a gallon of milk: Even with cow’s milk, homemade tasted better and was more affordable than anything I could buy. Which of course led to the question, Could cheese be this easy?
Read more about homemade cheese and yogurt

New Workshops and a Road Trip

People love to gather in kitchens. Whether you’re feeding a family or hosting a party, the scents of good food being prepared draw people to the room. It’s part of what makes a Twice as Tasty–catered house concerts special: live music in an intimate setting is coupled with delicious appetizers and the scent of baking cookies for intermission. It’s also what is making Twice as Tasty workshops so popular: instead of trying to keep people from hovering while you cook, you gather your friends in your kitchen. Then I teach everyone how to prepare a fabulous dish, make a favorite from scratch, or use a new technique.

Twice as Tasty workshops have been so popular that I’ve taken them on the road. My recent road trip to the Pacific Northwest was such a success I plan to repeat it in the future. Workshops are always available locally in Montana’s Flathead Valley.
Read more about the current topics and scheduling a workshop