Soft Cheeses

Learn to make soft cheeses, and you have so many choices. Get soft cheese recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’ve always loved the tang of goat cheese, or chèvre. Unfortunately, goat milk is hard to find in my area. Local stores tend to carry one ultrapasteurized brand or a powdered version—neither of which works for cheese. Regulations for selling milk directly to individuals are so strict, convoluted, and enforced that it feels like a black market. I occasionally trade with friends who are milking goats (and have momma and babies willing to share), but mostly I gave up on making soft cheese.

That changed when I took a chance on fromage blanc. I’d written off this cow’s milk cheese as too mild for my tastes. But it has a surprising amount of tang and flavor. Best of all, the technique for soft cheeses really does work across milk types—cow or goat, reduced fat or whole milk or cream. It can be soft and spreadable or drained until it crumbles. It can be shaped or molded, and it absorbs flavors like herbs, zests, and spices. Learn to make soft cheeses, and you have so many choices. You can do it!
Learn to make Homemade Fromage Blanc and other soft cheeses

Cheese: You Can Do It!

The first thing to know about cheese making is that you can do it! Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Spring is working its way into Montana. This means 4 weather cycles in a day, plenty of mud, the first harvest of walking onions, and baby animals in the barn. At the farm where I garden, two baby cows have arrived, with a third on the way. Although the mommas will keep their milk for their newborns, it always seems like the perfect time to explore home-fermented dairy and cheese.

I’ve spent little time making cheese over the past year. A year ago, I skipped my planned cheese posts to extend the sourdough giveaway and share ways to eat well when stuck at home. Then I co-opted my “cheese cave” (aka mini dorm fridge) for pickles while I was launching my new book.

But last month, while filling pierogi with potatoes and Lemon Cheese, I was reminded just how easy it is to make cheese and other dairy products. Here’s your reminder too.
Read more about making cheese

Steamed Buns

Homemade steamed buns make you wait, but your first bite is worth it. Get dumpling recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
In the realm of stuffed foods, Chinese steamed buns seem like the crown jewels. They’re made with a yeast dough, rather than the comparatively simpler flour-and-water wraps for Scratch-Made Pot Stickers, which means more waiting time. The steaming may require tools you don’t yet have in your kitchen—or some improvisation. And you’ll have the nicest buns if you master yet another rolling and pleating technique.

But the first time you bite into a homemade steamed bun, you’ll know it was worth it. The magic that happens with some basic ingredients, time, and care will keep you practicing until you’ve perfected your technique. As with all homemade dumplings, there are some shortcuts. But most of these stretch out the work rather than shortening the timeframe. It’s best to approach steamed yeast buns with a relaxed schedule and mindset.
Learn to make Scratch-Made Steamed Buns with homemade fillings

Pierogi

You say pot sticker, I say pierogi: It can be all one dough. Get dumpling recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When I traveled in Eastern Europe and lived in Russia, I ate a lot of pierogi but never learned to make them. Some were homemade—my favorites came from Russian women who carried pots of them from their kitchen to meet the train as we rode the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok. Plus, commercially packaged frozen pierogi were as widespread in Eastern Europe as frozen pizza is in the United States, and they could be dropped in boiling water for a quick meal.

Once I returned to the States, I tried many variations on pierogi dough, attempting to recreate those mild yet somehow tasty dumplings. Available dough recipes varied widely on both ingredients (egg, milk, butter, sour cream, even cream cheese) and ratios. But once I mastered homemade pot stickers, I realized I’d strayed too far from the frugal kitchens that prepared my favorite pierogi. So now I use the same dough for both types of dumplings; how I prep that dough, fill it, and cook the dumplings determines whether they’re labeled pot stickers or pierogi.
Learn to make Scratch-Made Pierogi with homemade fillings