Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sick Day Sandwiches and French Onion Soup

We both ended up sick over the holidays, so soup sounded good to me, but soup is never enough for filling the Taste Tester's gullet, so I made him one of my favorite heavy sandwiches to go with, from the first restaurant I worked at.  Beef sandwiches + french onion soup = awesome excuse to dip your sandwich like an Arby's Au Jus.

French Onion Soup, quickie version:
3 red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic
4 cups water, mixed with whichever beef boullion you like according to its instructions
a stringy cheese, gruyere or swiss or provolone, in slices
baguette bread, preferably stale
1 cup sherry cooking wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a deep, heavy bottomed pot, saute sliced red onions in olive oil, throwing garlic in once they are very soft, then adding sherry before garlic burns.  Let sherry burn off the alcohol for ~5 min, then add the beef boullion and let simmer until the onions are soft enough to bend like noodles but not disintegrating.  Salt to taste.  When served, put a thick slice of baguette in bowl and top with slice of cheese, then spoon soup over it so it melts.  Gooey soggy cheesy bread wonder.

Beef and Baguette Sandwiches
2 small french bread rolls
mayo and A-1 or another steak sauce
sliced roast beef
provolone or swiss cheese
onions (unless you're already worn out on them, see above)
worcestershire sauce

Saute onions in a little oil, add a couple dashes of worcestershire sauce, and warm beef in that pan while bread toasts.  Melt cheese atop the beef and onions.
Spread toasted bread generously with mayo, then 1-2 tsp of steak sauce on top of the mayo.  I was not generous enough with ours and regretted it!  Plate open faced with beef.  Serve with multiple napkins, this is awesome but messy.

Schlotsky/Schmaltz's Have Been Hacked

In my hometown, there's this great sandwich joint called Schmaltz's, and for rookies it could be perceived as a Schlotsky's knock-off.  But in fact, the only thing in common is the funny sounding name and somewhat similar bread.  The family-run Schmaltz's is a gem (can't believe I said that) makes delicious sandwiches and amazing soups, my favorite being Wisconsin cheddar cheese soup.  It's so thick and rich I can hardly handle a cup of it.  And their bread, either in a little muffin-size bun with your soup or a larger 6 incher for sandwich, is amazing.  It's got the perfect thin but tough crust, a chewy crumb that never gets soggy when smeared with mayo or dipped in soup.  Seemed like sourdough to me, only no sour taste.

I think, however, that I've begun to hack their recipe.  We rushed home after Christmas, Taste Tester unexpectedly ill, and stopped by Schlotsky's to get him some soup.  I asked for bread on the side and began to rethink the recipe, did some research, and hit the key: the dough is 1) overmixed so the gluten is thick and creates that spongy tug to it, and 2) it's more batter than dough, heavy in water AND milk content.  That also helps the gluten.

And it was superfreakineasy to boot.  Which means 1) I need to buy more flour and 2) Taste Tester will be eating a lot of bread and sandwiches as I perfect this.  Currently, my crust isn't tough enough and my crumb needs to just be a little more chewy and white.  So I'm thinking I'll reduce the hydration ratio a little, mostly by the milk, then find a smaller loaf pan since it's risen and baked in a pie round.  And, I need to convert it to a proper ratio of lbs or oz.

So far, it's
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar, but I'm leaving the sugar out next time
Mixed in a blender till smooth, runny, and sticky, then split into 2 small pie rounds to rise for an hour (or till to the edge of the pie tin, depends on the temperature) and then baked at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Cornmeal on the base of the pie tin and a spray of oil on top helps the crust.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Test Post From My Itouch

I bought a new gadget that I'll be able to use when I'm cooking and posting, all while listening to podcasts about cooking and music!

This is my 1st post from it, after a failure at making apple cinnamon rolls. Turns out butter melts in a hot oven and puff pastry boiled in a puddle of cinnamon butter tastes like a dumpling.

I'll spare you the photos.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Taste Tester Sets A Rib Record

These are the 15 racks of ribs that Taste Tester is smoking today for the annual family post-Thanksgiving Day party.  We spent an hour rubbing them all with his famous recipe.  He'll be managing 3 smokers, doing a huge smoked salmon also, and letting me in the way for some grilled veggies.  Every year at this time, and several more at different BBQs, people request these smoked ribs, and it wasn't until this year that we admitted to each other we don't really like smoked ribs that much.  It's just that he's so good at it, it's become a burden he has to bear.  I do love his sense of responsibility.

Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict

While I didn't take photos of this, the recipe seemed worth sharing because it was actually delicious. I didn't have any bacon or sausage to serve with breakfast, so I found a can of crabmeat in the pantry and went to town.

Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict with Lemon Cayenne Hollandaise

Part 1: Crab Cakes
1 can crabmeat, 1/2 cup crushed breadcrumbs or crushed crackers, 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 chopped green onions, dash of garlic salt, dash of pepper
1 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp mayo, juice of 1/2 lemon

I formed these into 3 patties, could have done smaller patties and made 4 with the same recipe though.  Then I pan fried them in a few tablespoons of olive oil till browned on each side.

Part 2: Hollandaise Sauce
4 tbsp butter, juice of 1/2 lemon, 3 tbsp Fage (or other Greek-style) yogurt, 2 egg yolks, cayenne pepper

In a double boiler (for me, a metal bowl perched on a small pot of simmering water), I melted the butter with the lemon juice.  I threw in the Fage to sub for more butter/egg yolks but it made for a great base that's ultimately healthier.  I whisked these till they were well blended, then threw in 2 egg yolks and about 1/4 tsp cayenne and kept whisking.  Hollandaise is basically an emulsion of eggs and butter, so you can't walk away from it.  It took about a minute to thicken up, then I took it off the heat and whisked a little more and put it aside while I moved onto...

Part 3: Bread and Poached Eggs
3 eggs, 2 toasted English sourdough muffins

The pot of boiling water for the hollandaise became my poaching water, and it's recommended to add vinegar to the pot to help the egg proteins cook.

Your water should be simmering, and you crack the egg right into the water.  With a slotted spoon, pick up the egg after 3-5 minutes and check for doneness: the white should be only 3 inches across and done, but the yolk will still be a soft bubble of runny goodness.  While the eggs poached, I plated the muffins and the crab cakes onto them - Taste Tester got 2 and I had one, they were filling.

Then I ladled out the eggs onto the crabcakes, and spooned the hollandaise over it.  Incredibly good!

Here's an image of how mine mostly looked, but my hollandaise is thicker.  I seriously will hang my camera in the kitchen from now on, I've missed 2 great meals and people are going to think I'm a liar.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fleece Winter Hats for Unfortunate Kids

I made this for a friend's kid, and I'll be making more to embarrass other people's kids.  They can't avoid crazy Aunt Rachael.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Eric's Salsa

I made salsa for a birthday party this weekend, and the party man liked it enough he asked me to post the recipe.  The photo's kinda lousy but atleast you can see it's red.

Ancho Erico Salsa

6 halved tomatoes
2 quartered red onions
2 fresh jalepenos
2 garlic cloves
3 dry ancho chiles
1 bunch cilantro
salt to taste

I roasted the first 3 ingredients at 500 degrees until the tomatoes were somewhat blackened and the onions were getting charred.  The anchos were softened up in a bowl of water in the microwave, I set it for 3 minutes and let them sit.  They will only soften if the water can reach inside their skins, so you might use scizzors to snip them lengthwise.

While the anchos softened, I used the hand blender to blend up my initial ingredients in a big bowl.  Then I added the anchos (less the water they soaked in), the garlic cloves too, and blended them in.  I put this in the fridge overnight to be sure the anchos are completely softened, and then I reblend in the morning to get rid of any chunks leftover.  Salt to taste, then finish with the cilantro.  I think cilantro's fresh flavor will get pretty weak if added to a hot salsa.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baguettes and Paper Balls

This felt like my first real success with bread, even if I've posted success before; it just finally felt less intimidating and more natural this time.  The recipe was so simple and a great base for future experimenting.

1 lbs flour
0.6 lbs water
2 and 1/4 tsp of active yeast (or a packet if prepackaged)
1 tsp salt

I mixed it all in the AKAM and then oiled the ball of dough and let it rise in an oiled bowl.  Then I split it into two loaves and stretched them into rectangles, rolled the rectangles into tubes, and rolled the tubes into skinnier lengths like playdough strings.  They rose again in my baguette tray (a flat pan is fine too) and after an hour long rise, they were ready for 30 minutes in 375 degrees.  I think my oven is cold, as it took me 40 to 45 before they got crusty and sounded hollow.  The slashes I made on the top allowed air to escape and create a nice pattern.

And in the back, the fine final product of my sick-day-paper-mache'-experiment.  

Whatever's In Your Fridge Lasagna

My brother called for advice on lasagna the other day, right after Taste Tester warned me to clean out the fridge, so I got the idea that I could possibly find lasagna ingredients in there.  I had the basics: tomatoes, noodles, mozzarella, parmesan, and tomato sauce.
In the fridge I found baba ghanouj, pecans, rutabagas and okra.  And feta.

And I made a lasagna from it all.  And it was actually good!  The bottom was roasted rutabagas, tomato sauce with chunks of tomatoes and mozz.  Maybe a little parm too.  Then noodles, then baba ghanouj and feta and pecans. 

Noodles.  Tomato sauce,  grilled okra, and mozz and parm.  It even looked pretty at the end.
I only posted this to show that recipes are just concepts on paper, and things can taste great without them.  Also, go leftovers!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Banana (and other stuff) Bread

This is one of those things that embodies fall to me, even if bananas are tropical.  And not just banana bread, but all vegetable-based breads, like zucchini and pumpkin and coconut.  Well, coconut is technically a fruit. So is pumpkin. Damnit, so is zucchini.

That is REALLY not the point.  They are all things that unexpectedly make great tasting bread that I like for breakfast.  In Barbados, coconut bread was a dense, crumbly, amazing local specialty that I ate with a little cream cheese.  I've never been able to recreate it.

And zucchini bread?  Who thunk that up.  Probably a desperate Pilgrim, those crafty frugal pragmatists.

This new banana bread came past a colossal failure with the texture of tofu. Following a recipe closely helped, although* I did add** a few drops of orange oil. *And half a teaspoon of coconut extract.  **And pecans on top, to avoid complaints from Taste Tester who doesn't appreciate my obsession with nuts.

Coconut Banana Bread

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

I used 3 bananas, and my coconut was toasted.  I also used less sugar because all things in moderation/weight watcher's suggestion/processed foods are bad/the hell ever you like.

After mixing all the wet ingredients, stir in the dry (easiest to premix those in another bowl too) and bake in a loaf pan for 1 hour at 350.  Check for a toothpick to come out clean to be sure it's done.

Sick Day / Halloween Preparations

So my pumpkin patch failed epically.  All the babies died in our summer heat.  Maybe next year.

Consequently, I have to decorate for Halloween without the benefit of a pumpkin patch yielding gourds of all shapes and sizes.  I shopped but, on a budget, these craft stores--and even Big Lots!--want so much for everything.  So it's back to basics--do it yourself or don't bother.

And then Rick gave me his flu, so I was stuck home today and the Hallmark channel wasn't cutting it.  I paper mache'd.  Or papier mache'd, if you want to sound like a snobby Gallic artist.  Point is: Martha Stewart would never be this creative on a sick day.

Paper Mache Pumpkins
Stage 1 Get messy with balloons and paper, flour, and water
Recipe for glue: 1 part white flour (wheat tears the paper), 2 parts water
Dip the newspaper pieces, use your fingers like a scizzors to squish off the excess, and stick to a balloon.  I read advice about what direction to lay the paper, but there's no rules.  Just stick it to the balloon and do it again.

Tomorrow I'll either have to re-layer or paint them!

Last Camping Meal

I made this breakfast on our last morning camping, and was really quite proud.  First I layered bacon like a pie pan in a cast iron skillet, then topped that with very thin slices of potato.  On top of a 2-slice thick layer of potatoes, I piled in the green chile + mashed potatoes + bleu cheese we'd had the night before, and created wells in them.  In the wells, I broke two eggs, then nestled the whole shebang into an open fire of coals, topped  with another cast iron.

In about 15 minutes, all was warm and done like a potato layered pie.  I wish I could cook everything in cast iron.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Camping Cuisine #4: Failed Fishing Excursions and Steak Night

When you travel to another state and intend to fish, you ought to buy a fishing license and learn the regulations.  I did.  I bought a 5-day pass (read the entire rule book) and some new lures,  even though I knew my best lure would be the magic one because
  1. It was made in Hood River, Oregon
  2. It was named "Krocodile"
  3. It was previously embedded in the dog's paw.
However, Taste Tester lost this lure on our 2nd day of fishing from both the shore and the kayak (named Mango).  I never got nibbles until we were tipped off to add corn niblets to our hook, and even then I kept getting hung up on the rocks below surface.  When I did, I used Mango to help me get behind the rock and save the lure.
Me and Mango

However, TT felt it was a better technique to just pull.  Real hard.  The line broke and Krocodile was lost.  So was my $31 fishing license money and any chance at landing a trout.  So he showed his guilty remorse by cooking me a steak and sweet potato whilst I crafted a new lure from a beer can.

Steak medium rare, roasted hatches and bleu cheese on top, baked sweet potato with sour cream and chipotles in adobo sauce

So with such an amazing meal, I forgave him his trespasses against my lures.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Diary of Camping Cuisine #3: Pizza on the Grill

View from dam to other side

View from our campsite.  Looked like the ocean!

So this wasn't so much of a success as a learning experience.  Now that I've finally mastered my dough, I made enough for 4 pizzas and froze them after the 2nd rise to go with us.  Little did I know that even at very chilly temperatures, yeast will keep on truckin'.  I opened up the dough (previously rounded orbs) to find a sticky, bubbly mess exploding out of the bag I had stored them in.

  Brilliant Scott had advised us to grill them lightly first, then top them, then grill again, which I did.  However, I think the lack of a pizza stone caused the burning of the pizza bottoms.  Next time, I think I will bring a stone to put on the coals themselves, or maybe you could be super-crunchy-granola types and get by with some natural stone.

We did a pesto base and toppings of a variation of onions, tomatoes, and pepperoni, plus mozzarella and arregiano cheeses on one and goat cheese and mozz on another.  Still good, but the burnt crust risked a chipped tooth.
Witness the charred remains

If I had my druthers, I would have added smoked lake trout, but because Taste Tester discouraged me from fishing on our first night, I never caught any fish.

Next chapter: failed fishing excursions...

Diary of Camping Cuisine: Family Cooking (cheating) in the Best Kitchen Evah

(Rigatoni used because Taste Tester hates penne. Penne. Who hates penne?)

Sam(...and the awesome stove)
Now I admit this is not truly camp cooking, but it was before the official campout began and an exceptionally fun meal to make with the amazing New Mexico relatives in their belongs-in-a-magazine kitchen.  Giant kitchen range, great island to work at, dogs underfoot (as I've said before, it's a type of seasoning to have dogs in the kitchen), and lots and lots of iiiitty bitty chairs. 

We made this recipe (designed for a 2-person meal, though I overshot the target and made enough for about 10):
Chipotle Mushroom Penne
  • 1 seared (and then chopped) ribeye steaks--leftover steaks are great for this
  • 1 to 1.5 cups cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups penne cooked al dente
Saute garlic and onions in oil, stop them from burning by adding the cream.  You may want to water it down or use half n half instead, some heavy creams are thicker than molasses.  Add mushrooms to simmer and soak up the cream and add the chipotle, but go easy on it if you're a pansy about spice.

The sauce should simmer a little and get a nice orangey shade when it's time to add the pre-cooked pasta and beef. (Chicken tastes good in this also.)  Simmer another minute so the pasta is finished, then plate.

Fresh garden peppers roasted for an app!
Caesar salad on the side

Hannah :)
They also served a breakfast to die for: smoked salmon from Seattle on schmeared bagels with onions and lemon.  That was wonderful, and it got me in the mood to fish.  Little did I know that Taste Tester would jinx my luck at fishing the next day...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Diary of the Camping Cuisine: 1st post: Ceviche Superwoman

Well after a week of lavish camping in beautiful New Mexico state parks, we are exhausted and a bit fatter from all the great eating.  I'll post all the best meals over the next few days with recipes and photos, all at once would just be TOO EXCITING.
To begin, our first night on Heron Lake and the gorgeous sunset.  The fish were jumping everywhere and Taste Tester discouraged me from fishing, therefore I never caught anything our whole trip.

For this evening, I roasted green NuMex chiles and made a green salsa with tomatillos, onions, garlic, and lime.

Then I made a ceviche with crappy Walmart tilapia and crappier Walmart shrimp.  It was actually uncrappily fantastic, limey and fresh and cold and creamy.  I know creamy doesn't sound like a descriptor for ceviche, but after a nice sit in the lime juice, the juice thickens and coats the fish like a sauce.

Walmart Tilapia and Shrimp Ceviche
3 filets of tilapia, diced
handful of shelled shrimp, sliced lengthwise in half
2 chopped jalepenos
1/2 diced white onion
juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon
handful chopped cilantro
Diced avocado
Better photo:

A nice dish for camping because it's really just a chop and mix dish, but I do let it refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour with some stirring to fully coat the lime and lemon acid on each piece of fish so they cook evenly.  In hot weather, nothing is more satisfying, every time we try a new ceviche I want to open a cevicheria in a food trailer.  I'd move it to wherever is having the hottest weather.  Like a ceviche superwoman.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prep Week for Camping Week

We're going to New Mexico if we can survive this week, and it'll be an all-camping vacation.  I'm planning to attempt some non-traditional camping cooking, so far I've set these goals:
  • Campfire pizza (fresh frozen dough brought from home)
  • French toast
  • Paella (or something closely resembling it)
 Pictures will be shared.
*...this last one will depend on the supply, rather than my cooking abilities.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Updates

It's still growing like crazy.  Something like 55 babies and they are getting kinda crowded!  I've been cooking but forgetting to photo and post.  If something interesting happens, I'll share.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Beginnings

We tilled up the section of our front yard between the sidewalk and the street and spread all of our compost in two long lines, then planted jack o'lantern pumpkins, ghost (grey) pumpkins, acorn squash, and spaghetti  squash. Or atleast I think it's spaghetti squash, I saved the seeds last year and didn't label where they came from.  Definitely a gourd-like plant.
Now, 4 days later, we already have babies shooting up.  This is meant to be a pumpkin patch for the neighbor kids to enjoy, too.  I'll post our progress.  Update from day 5: I counted 38 seedlings coming up!  We're going to be overrun with vines.

Calling Pet Protective Services

Our smallest dog, Sadie, is recovering from a fishhook getting caught in the top of her paw.  This is the drugged up version right home from our vet.  It's a long story but the highlights are she's afraid of doors, I only own one fishing pole, and she's the only live thing I've ever caught with it.

I think the real tragedy about all this is that Sadie, beloved by all who meet her, is not so beloved by the man of the house.  With this injury, she's getting special attention from him: trips to the vet in his car, helping her get around, checking bandages.  She's convinced he loves her now.  That's the truly sad part.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pizza Success

Holy crap this was good pizza.  After so many fails, we finally had a winner with the same damn pizza dough I'd been cursing all along.  It's from the Silver Palate New Basics Cookbook, and it turns out it just needed a longer bulk fermentation and another fold.  So many of my cookbooks are filled with corrections in the margins that I really think there's a market out there for a cookbook editor who checks more than just grammar.

I've learned from diligent studies of breadmaking (or reading one really good book about it, anyway), that our mother's lesson of "punching down" dough during successive rises is a great outlet for domestic fury, but not the best method to maintain a well balanced dough.  Instead, during the rise (or bulk fermentation), I fold the bread to release gas.  It's basically like trying to fold bedsheets that have the elastic--not really exact or pretty, but there's some semblance of organization there.  I pull from the top and fold in, from the side and fold in...and so on for four sides folded into one seam that is then turned under in the bowl for the next rise.  This is s'posed to improve the organization of the gluten matrix.

Like anybody's doing electron microscope studies of gluten in dough.  Really, where do they get this stuff?

In any case, this recipe calls for 2 one-hour rises, but I added a third and the dough resulted being much more elastic and with less tendency to tear when stretched into a shape.

Pizza Dough:
1 cup warm water
1 packet of active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil

The water should be around 75 degress, and the mixer can do the rest.  Proofing the yeast isn't necessary, but I always dissolve it in the water first to help the spores break open. Let the mixer run at a low-medium setting to knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes or until it is smooth and only clinging to the bottom of the bowl but clearing the sides.

Place in an oiled bowl in a warm spot and cover, allow to rise until doubled (~1hr) and then fold, repeat for another rise and fold, then rise again one hour and work into your pizza shape.  This recipe made two ~14'" pizzas.

Our toppings for Taste Tester's were pesto, spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese plus mozzarella.  Our toppings for mine were a lite schmear of tomato paste, rosemary, red onion, bleu cheese, fresh garden cherry tomatoes, and some shredded mozz and pepperoni.

The oven should be already at 500 degrees, and your pizza stone should be that hot too.  (Careful kids!)  I still want to master Chef Scotty's version, but I might just settle for letting him make that for me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dairy Maiding: Goat Milk Ricotta

Once in college, I applied for a student job and was placed at the Texas A&M Dairy farm, where I expected to be interviewed and shown around.  I wore shorts and flip flops, and they asked me to go to work that night.

I ended up in overalls and flip flops, stomping through manure, slapping cow's asses to steer them to the dairy.  There they lined up in an aisle, had each teat washed with an iodine dip, and I learned to attach the milking machine.  By about 930pm, I thought I had the flow down, then someone supervising me realized I had missed something (I don't recall what, but it was vitally important) and they had to drain out about 20 gallons of milk and waste it.

I found another job editing a professor's book.  Thank GOD for English AP tests.

I have struggled and overcome my fear of fact I want a milking goat but Taste Tester wisely refuses.  One day, though, I'll get my goat.  (Why is "you really got her goat" a phrase with a negative connotation?)  Goat milk is easier for humans to digest, does not cause allergic reactions, and is naturally homogenized--you don't have to separate the milk after milking.  And I love all goat cheeses.

This was my first making-of run, next I'll try to make something cultured, but this turned out nicely tangy and great for a spread.

I boiled a half gallon of goat's milk to 180 degrees then let it rest.  I couldn't find fresh goat's milk, only pasteurized, but that would be fun to try.  I then added 1/4 of a cup of lime juice, but lemon or apple cider vinegar were also recommended.  I let that sit for ~20 min to curdle.  Above is what curdling looks like.  I expected more clumps but it was reminiscent of watching grits boil. Except more boring.

Next I ladled this into a colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth.  Next time I'll buy some loose-weave muslin, the cheese cloth eventually wasted a lot of cheese.
If yogurt making was easy, this was remedial easy.  If I had kids (and I liked them) this would probably be a fun activity.  After this, all I had to do was wait.  Once it drained low enough to tie up the bundle of cheesecloth, I let it drip over the sink for half an hour, then let it drip over a bowl in the fridge for another half hoour.  Then I turned it into a bowl and added chopped rosemary, 1 crushed clove garlic, and a dash of salt. 

I'd made some fresh French bread also, and we toasted that and schmeared the cheese. Good times.

I'm going to start adding what I thought were my overall costs to make things, and to be honest this was ~$4.00.  In reality, buying your own goat cheese would be about the same.  But if you could buy a couple gallons of goat milk for a better rate than I got, it might be a savings.  Time to consider dairy maiding again.