Feasting

Yesterday I turned 44.
Gray hair, creaky bones, failing eyesight and now a harsh reaction to rich dairy products round out all the reasons to despise getting older. Not being able to eat cheese is the newest issue and it completely sucks. If you know me, you know I love cheese and use it in and on everything. Well, not anymore. I get sick now every time I eat it…even small amounts. How sad… tragic really that as you grow mature enough to fully appreciate things, you can’t have them. Just another evil twist of fate.
Anyway, despite the slow deterioration of my body, I still love cooking. And eating. Brad knows this and offered to take me out for my birthday dinner, but I wanted the whole family to go. Taking all six of us out is cost prohibitive (unless we go to McD’s which is not an option), so I opted to make my own meal.
And make it I did…all my favorites and some new ones.

Menu:
Crostini with tomato bruschetta
Homemade goat cheese
Prime rib
Sauteed green beans with pearl onions
Baked potatoes
Fresh Italian whey bread
Triple layer chocolate peanut butter cake

The homemade goat cheese (flavored with fresh rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper) lusciously spread on the bruschetta and whey bread tasted amazing with everything. A wonderful alternative to give me my cheese fix. Definitely something I’ll be making often.
Prime rib is my favorite and frankly one of the main reasons (besides bacon) that I’m a carnivore. Roasted to perfection, every savory bite melted in my mouth.
Italian whey bread was another new recipe. As I researched the goat cheese I found several potential uses for the leftover whey created when the cheese separates. The best option to me was the bread. It was sooo yummy. Dense in texture with a subtle flavor is complimented the rest of the meal perfectly.
The dessert…well, for someone who makes cakes for a living, this wasn’t my best. The recipe is great. That’s not the problem. The issue was me on the phone while I was making it. I lost track of measurements twice and while it didn’t effect the flavor, it most certainly effected the consistency. The end result was not bad…but not great either.
So, the winner in the birthday meal menu?
The homemade goat cheese.

Sorry, I realize this post is uninspiring and I don’t even have pictures of the creations…I just wasn’t on top of it…maybe next time.

Prime Rib
I had a 6.5 pound prime rib roast and rubbed it with a paste of olive oil, thyme, garlic (10 cloves), coarse salt & pepper. I let it sit at room temp for about an hour.
I roasted it on 500* for about 30 minutes (your house will probably get smokey because of the drippings so be prepared). Then turned the oven down to 300* and cooked it until the middle internal temp was 140*–about another hour and a half. I then removed it and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Prime rib is supposed to be medium rare so don’t freak out about the red–just enjoy the melt in your mouth texture of perfect meat!

Goat Cheese
This was so easy it’s ridiculous.
*Heat 1 qt goats milk til it reaches 180*
*Add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
*Gently stir and it will curdle–slightly–it’s not chunky.
*Have 4 layers cheesecloth ready in a colander set in a deep bowl and gently ladle the liquid into it. Tie up the cheese cloth and hang on a spoon traversing the bowl and let it drip and separate.
*The whey ends up in the bottom and the cheese is in the cloth.
*Let it drain about 11/2 hours then gently fold in whatever flavors** you want and serve.
*I used the whey to make bread…just google “Italian Whey Bread” if you’re interested.
**I used garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper & a touch olive oil. Next time I’m going to go sweet and add clover honey and maybe a little cinnamon. I’m telling you this is rich, delicious, mellow cheese with the consistency of ricotta. Yum! My kids even loved it!

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