Monday, November 26, 2012

Dairyland Review: 1% Cottage Cheese

 Do you have some overripe or leftover fruit? That you can't figure out what to do with.Well I have a simple recipe where can use any fruit that you like and create your own fruit spread.Its a unique idea where the recipe is so basic that you easily put you own creativity towards it.Meaning If you don't like the fruit to the original recipe then you can easily change it and even put your own additions.Its simply your choice in flavor and texture.

Now for this recipe,its the quickest and easiest way to use up your fruit,especially after you made  a syrup from "The Artisan Soda Workshop". For me, I dislike wasted food so I think its great that I'm able to put fruit towards another recipe.So for this spread I used up my leftover crushed peaches and combined it with 1% cottage cheese.That's all was needed to create this condiment that can be put on toast, replacement to yogurt with granola or just have it as is.Its exactly the same to cottage cheese fruit cups; however your able to make it your own.

This spread on it own may not be that great to look at, but its the flavor and texture that work so well together. It has a combination of creamy rich flavor from the cottage cheese and then an enhancement of sweet peach flavor. I can imagine even blueberries,strawberries or any other fruit would be great in this spread and its healthy as well.Nothing can be bad to say about this adapted recipe from Martha Stewart.Its really easy to make and you can even down size the recipe to make just enough for your toast in the morning.

Overall, I really like how simple I can make this recipe.The 1% Dairy land cottage cheese and peaches work so great together.The Dairy land product definitely delivers in this recipe and with even 50% less fat it still as rich and creamy as the original.All together Its a quick and healthy condiment for breakfast or snack time.Definitely recommend it along with the products to use.

Enjoy and stay tune for a new review!

The Recipe

Cottage Cheese Peach Spread Adapted From Cottage Cheese Fruit Spread

1 cup Dairy land 1% Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup crushed peaches(any fruit)

 Puree 1 cup of Dairy land 1% Cottage Cheese and 1/2 cup of crushed peaches (Sweetened or unsweetened) in a blender or fruit processor.It will be thick and spreadable.Serve immediately.

Their will be quite a bit, so if you want less cut the recipe in half.

 I spread it on whole grain toast and it was sweet and creamy.Very filling in the end!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Artisan Soda WorkShop: Peach Syrup


This chapter,from the Artisan Soda Workshop is all about taking advantage of seasonal fruits to create unique and healthy syrups.So,the recipe that I chose to make from "Seasonal Studs" was a simple peach syrup.

The syrup recipe itself had pretty basic directions and only needed three simple ingredients to make it.The most important part to the whole recipe was boiling,mashing and straining of the juice.The one part however that I think is a fault in the directions is to throw away perfectly good fruit that can be used toward a recipe.This could of been easily fixed by giving the reader a tip or suggestion.For me I used the leftover peaches towards a recipe that I'll be reviewing next.Overall the recipe was quick and easy.

Now the flavor for this drink,well I'm told about this recipe that the syrup is subtle with a mild peach flavor.Well with this info I knew I wasn't getting my bold peach flavor that I wanted so when I tasted the soda with the recommend tbsp it was pretty weak.I tasted more of the carbonated water then the peach itself.So I felt that the amount of syrup was to little for me so even after that I tested it and began adding more to make it slightly stronger.In the end, the drink was very weak and I was surprised how much syrup that I had to use for one drink to get some flavor.Overall I would say the flavor gets a poor mark from me.Maybe it will be better with a little bit of rum to create a grown up tropical drink. 

Anyways, stay tune for my next recipe review that uses the leftover peaches.

The Recipe

Peach Syrup


2 cups sliced peaches.Fresh or frozen.
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup raw cane sugar


 Add 1 cup of sliced peaches( Fresh or thawed) to a medium heavy pot.


 Add 1/4 cup of raw cane sugar to the peaches.


 Then lastly add 1/2 cup of cold water to the fruit.


 Bring the fruit to a boil over high heat and stir to dissolve the water.


 Bring down to medium heat and simmer until the peaches are very tender,about 10 minutes.


 Remove the pot from the heat and use mash the peaches with a masher.


 Let the mixture cool down.If the fruit sauce is moved to an container like below it will help it cool faster.


 Once its cooled use a fine mesh strainer or sieve to strain the juices.Be sure to press fruit against to extract the juices.


Be sure to put  the syrup in an airtight covered container.It can last up to 5 days.When you want to use it.Add about 2-3 tbsps to every 10 oz ( 1 1/4 cup) of carbonated water,which is the recommend amount.Add more to taste,which I definitely recommend!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Artisan Soda Workshop:Strawberry Syrup

The Artisan Soda Workshop:Chapter 3:Cherries & Berries 

Have you ever thought about making your own natural soda by utilizing the flavor and health benefits of berries.Well this chapter is all about this idea,to use our favorite berries to create syrups. 

So to get started it says to receive the best results in flavor is to use berries at their peak season.However when you want a fruity drink in winter, frozen can create a good result as well.So with this info, I tested out a recipe for strawberry syrup.These berries were in season at the time so I was able to use fresh and are one of my favorites.It seemed like a great fit for me.

So when I made this recipe it was pretty simple to follow.All I basically had to do was boil the ingredients,mash the berries and then strain the juices. I can see anyone being able to make this recipe and others in this chapter. However I do have to mention that their was one direction in this recipe that I disliked and that was discarding the berries.I felt that this was such a waste of food so Instead I use it for a cottage cheese parfait.So besides that one part I had no difficulties with making this syrup.

The ingredients to the recipe were also pretty basic such as strawberries, lemon juice,water,carbonated water and raw cane sugar.Some people may have a hard time finding the sugar;however I was pretty lucky to find some at a good price.The ingredients get a thumbs up for simplicity.

Now for the moment of truth, the flavor, which is the most important part.So,when I first tried out this drink with the recommended tbsps it wasn't to bad. It was a refreshing bubbly soda with a great appearance of vibrant red.However it had a very mild strawberry flavor with the lack of sweetness.I was quite surprise by this because I would of thought the berries would of created a strong flavor.In the end though I felt that it was the strawberries themselves that lacked flavor and I think for next I'll use locally grown strawberries at their peak season.They are so delicious and I betcha I'll get better results.

Lastly, I have to mention that the amount of syrup (2-3 tbsps) really wasn't enough to create a balance of flavor with the carbonated water.So when I had leftover strawberry syrup I used it all up to test out on one drink and it actually had a stronger strawberry flavor.I may of got better results this time, but I ended up using way more syrup then expected and that really isn't good when you want to make soda's for your guests. So I feel that this drink wasn't that bad and could be a good candidate for a grown up drink.Did someone say strawberry daiquiri!

My second attempt at the soda.Way more vibrant red color and more bubbly.
Overall, the drink recipe and ingredients do get a good mark from me for their basic direction and simplicity.The flavor however gets a in between mark from me.The flavor with the recommended measurements get a poor mark and the second attempt gets a good mark, but ends up using way more syrup for one drink.Its a refreshing soda, but for me I like strong berry flavors.

In the end if you like light tasting natural soda's that are healthier then try out this recipe.Its your choice anyways.The alcohol element might even work for this syrup.

Anyways, keep tuning in,I'm reviewing Dairy land in my next post! A simple recipe to use for breakfast. 

The Recipe

Strawberry Syrup

1 1/2 cups strawberries,hulled and halved
1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 water
1/4 cup raw cane sugar

Wash the strawberries. Remove stems,hull and halve. 

 Add the prepared strawberries into a medium heavy bottom pot. 

Measure and add the raw cane sugar to the strawberries.

 Halve a lemon.Squeeze 1 half of the lemon for the juice.Get about 1/2 tbsp

Sprinkle onto the sugar strawberries.

Add 1/2 cup of lukewarm water to the fruit mix.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium or low and simmer until strawberries are very soft about 10 minutes.

Once it as simmer for about 5 minutes, smash the strawberries with a masher.

Once the syrup is done cooking, remove from heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the fruit against the strainer to get as much juice as you can.
 (My Tips)
Keep the leftover smashed strawberries, let it cool and place in an airtight container.Use it for yogurt,smoothies or fruit with cottage cheese.

Be sure to cool the syrup before use. Refrigerate in a covered container.This syrup can last up to 5 days.

First attempt with the 2-3 tbsps.Less vibrant red and lacked bubbles.Less flavor.
 When you want to make the soda the recipe ask for 2-3 tbsp of syrup to ever 10 ounce glass of club soda.I recommend a lot more, depending on how sweet the strawberries are.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dairyland Review & Recipe: 2% Cottage Cheese & Sour Cream

Do you want to impress your friends & family with your appetizer skills at an upcoming dinner party? Well then I have just the recipe for you, where simplicity and flavor run together.This dish can be served to hold everyone over before that delicious feast and everyone will love you for it.

So you must want to know, what this might be?. Well, its a quick and easy homemade dill dip that can be served with any choice of veggie.Its made with very simple ingredients such as Dairyland's 2% Cottage cheese and Original sour cream.Along with dill,green pepper and mayo.That's all you will need to create this flavorful dip that is excellent with baby carrots, broccoli,celery and even regular chips.

This recipe broken down has layers of different flavor and textures.Every ingredient helps each other out to enhance the dish.The dill weed has it strong flavor, while the mayo brings a sweetness and tang that just works with the herb. However we cannot leave out the green pepper when it  brings just enough spice,sweetness and crispness to the overall dip.Then we have the cottage cheese and sour cream that are so important to create a creamy and thick texture.The flavors also work well together because sour cream is quite strong on its own, but the cottage cheese helps balance that all out.

Overall,  the dip was refreshing,flavorful and healthier.It's great served with almost anything and you can easily add your own ideas to the recipe.
Now for the Dairy land products,they were excellent in this recipe.The 2% cottage cheese was the best choice for this dip since its thick and creamy.The the original sour cream brought more creamy texture and flavor. So the products in this recipe get two thumbs up from me.

So try out the recipe below! Stay tune for more product reviews.I have a couple more recipes that include cottage cheese,sour cream etc.  

The Recipe

Dilled Dip:

First off I wanted to make the Dairyland 2% cottage cheese a little creamier for this dip.So,I added 1/2 cup of the c.cheese to a blender and whipped it till it reached the consistency of creamy and slightly less lumpy.Then I measured it out and set it aside,until use.

Next, I measured and added the 1/2 cup of Dairy land Sour Cream, to a large glass bowl.

Then, I added the whipped cottage cheese to the sour cream.Then mixed it with a rubber spatula.

Then I finely chopped some green pepper and added it to the mixture.The recipes asks for 1 tbsp, but you can add more If you like.The picture below shows more then I actually used.

Then I measured out 1 tbsp of dried dill weed and added it to the dip mixture.This is where the flavor starts to begin.

Then to add a little bit of tangy flavor to the dip, I added 2 tbsps of mayonnaise, but salad dressing can be used too.

Mix it thoroughly and then cover with saran wrap and refrigerate to blend the flavors for about 1 hour.Then choose your favorite veggies for the dip.I recommend baby carrots!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Artisan Soda Workshop:Pineapple-Basil Syrup

Soda Adventures With Herbs & Spices.

In the introduction of this chapter, I am told that these soda recipes are more fit for the grown-up palate.With this information, I knew that these soda's would be less sweet with more natural flavor.So when I chose a recipe to test out I knew I was in for something quite different.So the syrup that I made was for pineapple-basil syrup that is to resemble a tropical flavored drink,which is the one recipe that I tested out from this chapter.

The recipe for pineapple-basil syrup was very simple to follow in directions and only needed three ingredients to create it.However when I made this soda I was quite surprise by the flavor.I knew that these recipes would be more for the grown- up palate, but I wasn't at all expecting a weak flavored drink.This syrup even threw me off because I thought pineapple juice would of created a strong acidic flavor against the soda water.However it came out to have a really light pineapple aftertaste with detection of any flavor from the basil.Even adding more syrup it still came across as very weak.I wasn't at all pleased with this recipe in its flavor;however it was simple to make and was very attractive.

I am disappointed in this recipe and expected better since I had such great success in the other two soda recipes.I only wish it had more flavor because it seems like such a waste of ingredients.But I know you can't win them all so I'll still keep reviewing.

In the end,this recipe gets a thumbs down from me because If the flavor doesn't cut it then simplicity and appearance cannot win.However if you like weak drinks then try it out yourself or maybe add a little rum to that the pineapple soda.It might fix it self!

So here's the recipe.You might like it, but if you like strong bold flavors then I don't recommend it for you. Anyways, I'm off to write the next review for the next chapter.Maybe I'll have a better experience with "Cherries and Berries" section.Stay tune!

Pineapple-Basil Syrup

 2 cup pineapple juice
12-15 fresh basil leaves
Carbonated water

In a medium heavy pot.Pour in 2 cups of 100% pineapple juice and add 12-15 fresh basil leaves.

Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat and let it reduce to 1/2 cup, about 10 -15minutes.

Once that is done remove from the heat and use a fork  to remove the basil leaves.Discard the leaves.(Slotted spoon is simpler)

Let the liquid cool and refrigerate the syrup in a airtight container for up to 5 days.

When you want to use the syrup add 2 tbsp of the syrup to 10 oz (1 1/4 cup of soda water). I highly recommend adding more syrup or adding a stronger element to the drink such as rum or any other alcohol.