Homemade Ricotta Cheese

IMG_5077

As promised, here is the recipe for homemade ricotta cheese. Before you stop reading, just know that it is super simple, as in only three ingredients (and a few tools)!!

I am a huge cheese lover and recently discovered that I can use Nigari instead of the traditional vinegar or lemon juice, as the acid.  What is Nigari, you ask?  Nigari (Japanese for “bitter”) is the mineral-rich mother liquor that remains after salt is extracted from seawater.  It contains sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, and magnesium bromide.  Realizing that you may not have Nigari on hand, unless you live close to me, so the recipe below also includes other acids that can also be used.

What you’ll need:

IMG_4938

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 1 tsp of Sea Love Sea Salt (more to top)
  • 3-5 tbs of Sea Love Nigari (or 3 Tablespoons of white vinegar or 1/4 cup of fresh, strained lemon juice)

Kitchen Tools:

  • thermometer
  • cheese cloth (or kitchen towel)
  • strainer
  • thick bottom, straight-sided pot with lid

What you’ll do:

  1. Pour milk in a heavy bottomed, straight sided pot.  Add 1 tsp of salt and gently stir until dissolved. Heat over medium-high until it reaches 200 degrees.
  2. Add 3 tbs of nigari and stir well with a slotted spoon. You should begin to see the milk curdle. If nothing happens after 20 seconds, add an additional 1/2 tbs of nigari and gently stir. (Add additional nigari as needed by the ½ tbs until the milk curdles…

IMG_5078

  1. Once it begins to curdle, turn off heat, cover the milk and let it sit for 15 minutes to fully separate curds from the whey.
  2. Line a strainer with cheesecloth over a large bowl.  If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Using a slotted spoon move the curds gently into the strainer. Slowly pour the whey through the cheesecloth, careful not to break up the curds.
  4. Gently tie the towel and let the curds drain for 45 minutes.
  5. Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to 5-7 days.

It is delicious warm with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Sea Love Sea Salt.  Also delish dolloped on top of pasta or on in a salad, like here…

10698699_10152716697984855_1567307067373782914_n

A Tip:  As the cheese is draining, you are draining out whey.  Save this, as there are many ways to use it from feeding plants in your garden, adding additional nutrition to your pet’s meals, smoothies, using it as liquid to cook beans or rice.  If you want more ideas, check here or here.

IMG_4975

Next up: Homemade tofu, using Nigari, of course!

xo

B+W = Perfect Combo

I’m a fan of colors and am not afraid to wear them.  However, the black and white combo is super classic and perfect for any occasion.  Here are my two fave B+W pieces in my closet now:

Day:  L Space Wild Child Top and Boho Bottom Classic Fit  Spend the money, get a good bikini.  It will last longer, it will look better and it will feel like buttah.  Monica Wise knows a woman’s body and combines that with a whole ‘lotta style…

10686706_1542639979299973_478792446726348986_n

Night: Mikoh Mavericks Side Slit Maxi Dress (on sale right now on Swell.com, btw) Mikoh should be another addition to your bikini arsenal.  The designer sisters also carry super cute clothes, like this dress…  IMG_4962

I love everything that L Space and Mikoh carry.  Literally.  Treat yourself.  You deserve it.

xo

 

Overcoming Injury

Clickity, Clack, I’m back… at least until the next injury.  Clickity clack has been the noise coming from my back.  I hurt it while putting up my farmers market tent two weeks ago.  Thankfully, after laying in a puddle of tears, the chiropractor husband of a local Wilmington Road Runner met me at his office (during off hours!) and saved me.  I have since seen him twice and am feeling much better, as in pain has gone from a 12 (off the charts) to a 1.  If you are local and in need of chiropractic work, check out LeRay Chiropractor.  He rocks.

Which leads me to my 10-day break from running.  Yesterday was my first run in a week and a half and it was bad.  When I say bad, I mean, I felt every step, I had to remind myself to breathe and I wanted to turn around and go home.  There was no dazing off and coming up with creative ideas in my brain.  There was no room for creative ideas because negative talk filled my brain space.  It was so bad that I almost finished mid-mile, until my OCD thankfully kicked in and made me finish out the full last mile.

Three things helped and I would highly recommend:

  1. Create a running loop vs. and out and back route.  This makes it harder to turn around go home sooner than you want.  It doesn’t hurt if you’re running route is inspiring as well, like here…IMG_4934
  2. Cute running attire.  It was the perfect evening to pull out my new Oiselle shorts.  My Chevrona Distance Shorts are my new fave.  They have a good amount of pockets, are super light, non chaffing and most importantly, have a a super cute chevron pattern.  IMG_4894
  3. Good tunes in my ears.  Some runners are against running with music.  I am far on the other end of the spectrum… unless I’m running with friends, obvi.  Tonight the tunes occasionally helped me forget the personal hell that I was experiencing.  I wasn’t exactly singing out load like I usually do, but that’ll be back soon.
  4. Having something yummy waiting for me at home.  Pizza.  Enough said.

While the first step of my run was just as hard as the last step, I felt so amazing afterwards.   Next up is a 5k race tonight.  Not sure I’m ready for a speed, but not everything worth doing is easy.  Get laced up and go for it.

xo

Inspiration via Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson… forward-thinker, founder of over 200 businesses, philanthropist, animal-lover, elephant-saver, Sea Love inspirer. richard-branson-quotes

Branson was featured on The Today Show talking about his latest book (out today), The Virgin Way.  He couldn’t have come at a better time.  I get so excited about the many ideas swirling around in my brain about growing Sea Love, beyond sea salt, and sometimes I need to just slow down.  One thing at a time.

Branson

Branson may be a billionaire now, but would you believe that he stopped his schooling at age 15 and suffered with dyslexia?!  Not a single business class or college degree.  Just a whole ‘lotta creativity, motivation and good peeps surrounding him.  If you need a bit of inspiration on starting a business, following a dream, having more fun, check out one of his bad-ass books. Or go see him in space, for that matter.

xo

Breakfast Sandwich Heaven

I’m a BIG fan of the breakfast sandwich and breakfast burrito.  You can fill it with so many yummy options.  It’s filling, yet healthy and pretty darn easy to make!

IMG_4868

The majority of my morning sandwiches contain a combo of the following items, depending on what is in the fridge:

  • avocado
  • cheese
  • spinach
  • egg
  • cucumber
  • tomato
  • onion
  • Morning Star veggie bacon or sausage patty
  • pesto (recipe to come soon)
  • sautéed ‘shrooms

…all piled onto an Ezekiel english muffin or wrap.  I didn’t say it would be a non-messy breakfast, but it is most delish!  Give yourself 10 minutes in the morning and will be happy you did.

Dig in!

xo

Super Simple Baked Tofu

IMG_4499Many people are either scare of tofu or buy it and have no idea what to do with it!  I use it all the time, as scrambled eggs, on loaded nachos, in burritos and in stir fries, but this is a super simple way to prepare tofu: baked.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 16 oz package firm/extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • olive oil spray
  • Sea Love Sea Salt
What You’ll Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray a non-stick baking sheet with oil.
  2. Gently press excess water out of tofu (I wrap in kitchen towel with book on top for 10 minutes).
  3. While tofu is draining… stir together all of the above ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Cut sliced tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Gently stir tofu cubes into sauce. Cover, and marinate at least 5 minutes.
  5. Place the tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray tops with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn tofu, and bake until the tofu turns golden brown, about 20 minutes more or until develops a nice crisp crust.
  6. After you pull out of oven, sprinkle with a bit of Sea Love finishing salt.  Now you’re ready to add to salads, stir fries, burritos or save for an easy snack.  I personally like to top with some chopped green onions and add to a rice salad.

TIP:  If you like things a bit spicy, add a dash of red pepper flakes to the your mixture.

This baked tofu is especially yummy in this raw noodle salad.  However you chose to use your baked tofu, you have a delish, protein-packed meal/snack; an awesome food to keep on hand in your fridge.
Enjoy,
xo