The Weekend Whisk – 11/2/13

by Kate on November 2, 2013

Halloween 2013

Happy Saturday! Did you all enjoy your Halloween? Hope so! Halloween is definitely a favorite holiday of mine. I love dressing up and how excited the girls get. Molly really understood this year and was thrilled when the big day finally arrived. I cannot believe how much candy these two girls got!! Even Murphy got in on the trick-or-treat action. He didn’t get any treats but he dressed up and we brought individual packets of treats to give to other pups along the way. The girls loved when they would arrive at a house that had a dog. They would get so excited, dig into the bag I was carrying to present the pooch with a treat all their own.

Halloween 2013 4Yesterday was Molly’s 2nd birthday!! I cannot believe she is 2 already. I feel like all my girls are growing up way to fast. We had a little family party for her last night. Just a few simple decorations, some sprinkled cupcakes and presents, of course! Next weekend we’ll be having a big shindig with all our family to celebrate Molly’s 2nd birthday as well as Madelyn’s 4th birthday which is a week later. I cannot wait!

Molly's BirthdayIn other news, I attempted to make cheese this week. I’ve made fresh ricotta from scratch before and that’s a breeze. This time around I wanted to up the ante a bit and give mozzarella a whirl. That involved cultures, precise temperature management and even testing pH levels! All was going along well until I had to step out for a bit to help with Maddy’s class Halloween party at school. I told Mike that the temperature couldn’t rise higher than 95 degrees but when I returned home it was 120! Not to be deterred, I decided to keep going and see if it could be salvaged.

Mozzarella Fail

I had curds. Curds became more solid and able to be cut at the appropriate time. Curds were drained and ultimately looked like they were binding together pretty well. But they never became the solid mass they should have nor did the pH ever drop to the level where it would have been ready to stretch. Sadly, it never made it to truly becoming mozzarella but I learned a lot. Making mozzarella reminded me very much of a high school science experiment and it’s definitely something I’ll revisit again soon. It will need to be a day when I can be home the entire day to closely monitor its progress though.

Draining cheese

I hope you all had a wonderful week and a fabulous weekend ahead. As always, you’ll find a recap of what recipes were a success this week, unlike mozzarella cheese.

Enjoy!

~K

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen November 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I just got a cookbook written by cheese makers in California. They say that mozzarella is actually one of the hardest cheeses to make. I have always wanted to try my hand at cheese, but cream cheese was as far as I got.

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Kate November 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Yikes! I had no idea what I was getting myself into 🙂 I didn’t think it would be that hard and I definitely want to revisit it. Thanks to you though, now I’ll know exactly what an accomplishment it will be if I get there. Now I want to try cream cheese too! I’ve never made it before. Just ricotta. I love homemade ricotta! And so easy to make.

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Emily November 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm

i’ve made mozzarella before…it’s definitely one of the most challenging recipes i’ve ever attempted. it came out perfect, but mozzarella really is something you can’t walk away from. it needs to be watched very closely. good for you for trying it. i’m sure the next batch will come out perfect.

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Kate November 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence Emily! And the good advice. I’ll definitely keep a watchful eye on it the whole time next time and not leave anything to chance.

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suzanne November 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

Making mozzarella scares me, you are brave to try it. Like you have made ricotta many times, it is a breeze but all those restrictions and guidelines and stuff scare me. That said I love fresh mozzarella and wish I could make it. Good for you and If there is a second time I bet it will come out perfectly. Love the family Halloween photo!

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Kate November 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

Thanks for the support! I think I need cheerleaders in the kitchen next time. Confidence always helps me succeed 🙂 Hoping for better results next time!

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ChristineM November 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm

love the girls and Murphy in their costumes! oh my gosh so cute!!!!
Make cheese, hmmm….. that is on my to do list once I master yeast… LOL

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Anna (Hidden Ponies) November 8, 2013 at 12:40 am

Well, your curds look a LOT better than mine did at least 🙂 It definitely felt like a science experiment!

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