Home brewed ginger ale

home brewed ginger beer

When the weather gets warm, I start craving refreshing, carbonated, cold beverages. Gin rickey? Don’t mind if I do! But some people may frown on having an alcoholic beverage so early in the day, or so often, which is why ginger ale comes to the rescue.  I had a bunch of ginger laying around the house and instead of waiting them to dry out or mold, I decided to put them to good use.

Two large pieces of ginger, pureed in the Vita-mix blender, some water, a couple heaping table spoons of sugar, and  a pinch of baker’s yeast was all it took to make this simple beverage. Oh, that and some time, since you need to wait for the yeast to turn the drink fizzy during fermentation.

The hardest part was figuring out where to put this ale while it fermented. At first, I put it in a glass soda bottle with a rubber gasket top, but I was scared that the carbonation was going to make it explode, so I wrapped the opening with plastic wrap instead of making a really air-tight seal.  I let that sit overnight, tried it in the morning, and it tasted sort of like ginger ale, but with a stronger yeasty taste than the commercial kind. Mission accomplished, kind of!

Poured in a glass with some ice and topped off with soda water (I made my concoction TOO sweet and needed to dilute it some), it got the job done.  You can even pour it into a stemless wine glass (or a mason jar!) for extra yuppie points.

Cafeteria Food At Home

After the disappointment of Class 302’s food, I tried my hand at recreating Chinese cafeteria food at home. It was pretty easy to make since everything was quickly stir fried.

Chinese Cafeteria Food

Snow cabbage with edamame and baked tofu, bamboo with baked tofu, and a vegetarian version of the ground meat thing (mushrooms, pickled vegetables, tofu) that seems to be in a lot of cafeteria type plates.

Home-made Ricotta

The BF got me a cheese-making kit and a book about cheese-making for Christmas.  Pretty big step for a sometimes vegan!  The book had some pretty advanced cheeses which required special bacterias and what not, so he suggested I try making something simple like ricotta first.

Well, my first try was edible and tasty, although a bit dry.  I’m not sure if I strained it a little too long in the cheese-cloth or what. I guess real ricotta is made from the leftover whey from the cheese-making process, so I skipped that part by just making it from whole milk straight.  Either way, not bad for a first try, I have to say.

my first ricotta

Luckily, I had some fresh, tender mesclun greens growing in a few pots that were ready to eat. Trimmed a few leaves, tossed it with a little olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and ricotta and I made myself a little snack.