Monday, September 30, 2013

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

What do you do with ricotta cheese other than make lasagna? I only buy ricotta cheese when I plan to make lasagna or something similar, like stuffed shells.

Last summer I bought ricotta cheese to make lasagna for the extended family. So I bought the 2 pound container. Then we ended up not making lasagna. So that ricotta cheese sat in my refrigerator until today, with its "use by" date of July 20, 2013. It appeared to have no spoilage, though, so, at the suggestion of a friend, I decided to make Lemon Ricotta Cookies. (I also had some not-so-fresh-anymore lemons that needed to be used.)

I found the same recipe at three different websites, so I decided that must be the recipe to try. Find it here, here, and here.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe. Instead of all-purpose flour, I used whole wheat flour. I had some hard white wheat flour and some soft white wheat flour. I needed a bit more, so I also used some hard red wheat flour. The recipe calls for whole milk ricotta cheese. Mine was part skim. I also made them bigger than suggested.

The cookies were easy to make and tasted very good. Even my son, who isn't particularly fond of lemon and couldn't fathom why anyone would make cookies with ricotta cheese, liked them.

I still have a pound of ricotta cheese left. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 2, 2013

My New-to-Me Wheat Mill

My friend gave me her Magic Mill.

These don't appear to be manufactured any more, but at one time they were the wheat mill of choice for people who ground their own flour. My friend bought hers in the 1970's. So did my parents. My oldest sister had one. I knew a lot other people who owned them, too.

My K-Tec Kitchen Mill next to the Magic Mill:

The size difference is obvious! Believe me, there is a corresponding weight difference as well. I don't mind moving the Kitchen Mill from its home to the counter to use it. The Magic Mill is too big to live on the counter where it is used, but too heavy to lug around easily.

I will put up with its inconveniences for its benefits.

The Magic Mill is a stone grinder. Here you can see the stones. The wheat feeds into the hole and then is ground between the stones.

The metal plate that fits over the stones makes it a lot easier to feed the grain into the hole!

Here's the pan that slides into the bottom drawer to collect the flour:

It's really easy to collect the flour and then go on with more milling. With the Kitchen Mill, I have to brush off all of the surfaces after each batch of flour. With the Magic Mill, I can wait until I'm completely finished milling before brushing everything off.

The Magic Mill doesn't mill flour quite as fine as the Kitchen Mill does.

But it has a wider milling range, so it can crack wheat. Up until now, I've just been using my hand mill to crack wheat.

If I had to choose one over the other, which would I choose? I'm not sure.

If you are interested in learning about grain mills, Pleasant Hill Grain is a good place to start. We (my former husband and I have joint custody of the Kitchen Mill) bought the Kitchen Mill in the early 1980's. Pleasant Hill Grain doesn't sell it, but you can go to Harvest Essentials to learn about the current version. (Other than the addition of Blendtec in its name, I can't see any difference.)

Here's my dream mill!