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Cottage cheese – I like it in a bowl, but not on my thighs

Sadly, I only have the choice in one of those matters.  Ahem.

Growing up, we often had cottage cheese topped with fruit during dinner.  I was never a huge fan, and one day (probably around 6), I just stopped eating it.  I’ve had nothing to do with it ever since.

Then two weeks ago, I was at a breakfast meeting, and someone had brought a tub of cottage cheese.  I thought to myself, “self, it’s been about 24 years since you ate this stuff last.  Try a small bite”.  So I did.

And then I had a bigger bite.

And a bigger bite!

And pretty soon I was growling at anyone who tried to eat some of my precious.*

*That didn’t happen.

Last week, I bought some cottage cheese, topped it with sliced tomatoes, and sprinkled salt and pepper over it.  Troy and I had some with dinner one night, and then couldn’t stop eating it.  We then bought a tub of it from Costco two days later, and promptly ate it in about three days.

After searching for and not finding an organic version of cottage cheese in my little town, I set off on an online search for a recipe to make my own.  I found this one by Alton Brown.

When you can’t do anything about your thighs cottage cheese
*the ingredients below have been halved from the original version
1/2 gallon of milk (I used our local raw milk)
1/4 cup + a few tblsp of vinegar
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
1/4 cup of half and half or heavy cream (I used the cream on the top of our milk!)

1) Heat the milk in a pan (my beloved dutch oven) on medium heat until it reaches 120 degrees.

2) Remove the pan from the heat, and gently pour in the vinegar.  Stir slowly for 1 to 2 minutes.

3) Cover, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

4) Pour the mixture in colander lined with a tea towel for 5 minutes.

5) Rinse the mixture in the towel under cool water for 3-5 minutes.  Make sure you’re squeezing and moving the mixture until cool. (that’s what she said).

6) Squeeze dry and transfer to mixing bowl.  Add the salt, and stir to break up the curd.

Add the half and half or cream right before serving.  Top with your topping of choice.  I prefer to treat this as a cheap version of creamy mozzarella for caprese salad.

I thought this was pretty good!  I’ll probably continue buying some from the store because this recipe doesn’t make nearly enough to serve our needs.  It’s a great use for milk that might go bad if not used immediately.

Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

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25 comments on “Cottage cheese – I like it in a bowl, but not on my thighs”

  1. Yum! I love cottage cheese. I’m hooked on the Friendship California Style. It’s just not quite as liquidy as the other brands/styles I’ve tried. My favorite way to eat it is with some salt and pepper. But I’ve also tossed a spoonful onto salad, used it in place of Ricotta, added cinnamon and a little honey for a sweet treat, and so on. I wish I could make it for cheaper than I buy it, but it never occurred to me to make cottage cheese with milk that needs to be used up. Our son drinks 1/2 gallon a day, but there’s been 3 or 4 times that the milk we grabbed from the gas station up the street was actually a day or 2 past the sell by date and didn’t smell ‘sweet’ enough for me to give it to him.

    • I’ve never heard of that brand before. Where do you get it?

      1/2 gallon of milk a day? Oh my goodness! We go through that a week, but we’re not milk drinkers. Thirsty boy! ;-D

  2. I love cottage cheese, but after reading the ingredient label on most, I pass 🙁 I will have to give this recipe a try!

  3. Have you ever considered adopting a vegan lifestyle? It’s the ultimate in frugality. Think about how affordable dried beans and rice are. Add to that some seeds and nuts, more whole grains and of course, fruits and veggies, and you have a complete diet. You’re so great about preserving, freezing and canning. Maybe one of your weekly meal plans can be vegan foods only? It’s not as complicated as people tend to assume, and it’s good for all stages of life, so Jack can be a healthy vegan, too:) Oh, and if Troy is concerned about getting enough manly food, you should look up all the extreme athletes whose performance improved once they adopted a vegan diet!

    • I 100% respect your diet choices, but they wouldn’t work for us. I was actually pretty much vegan (well for dairy) when jack was nursing and he had his dairy allergy. I was so lethargic, my skin and hair were dull, and I felt miserable. Additionally, I was WAY too skinny. I’m 6 ft tall and my “normal” weight ranges from 145-150. When I wasn’t eating dairy, I was 135. It was not attractive in the least.

      We do have a vegan meal on the menu for this week – Wednesday!

    • Sounds really delicious. I’ll try it later this week:)

  4. How much would you say you got from the 1/2 gallon? BTW, love your website 🙂

  5. Can you also post your solution for cottage cheese on thighs? THANKS!

  6. I use this for “paneer” when I am making Indian food. Love it!

  7. Girlfriend – throw some of that homed canned fruit on top of the cottage cheese – it’s the BEST! I may try this – I’m the only one who really eats it here at my house so usually one carton goes bad before I can eat it. Your recipe just make a perfect amount for just me. Thanks for sharing!

    • The thing is, I think I stopped eating it growing up because we put sweet stuff on it. I’ve found I love it with the tomatoes. I’ll give it a shot though!

  8. When I was growing up, it was a family affair can peaches, pears, cherries, applesauce, plus just about anything that grew in Washington state. My favorite way to eat cottage cheese is topped with canned fruit. Peaches are my favorite. I am no longer do any canning. However, when I get the craving, I buy canned peaches packed in fruit juice and top my cottage cheese. For a lunch I also like plain cottage cheese stirred into my mixed lettuce salad. No need for dressing and it makes me feel full and satisfied.

    • I’ll have to try it on salad!

      My BIL loves it on spaghetti. Weird!

    • I get it with spaghetti. I use cottage cheese in place of ricotta whenever I make lasagna or stuffed shells. I grew up eating it with peaches or pineapple, and that is still my favorite way to eat it. I also like it with scrambled eggs.

  9. I LOVE cottage cheese. But, since I’m in the middle of making the switch to organic or natural products I cannot afford the organic cottage cheese at the store. It’s $4 for a small tub! Yikes!!! I guess I would rather buy another product to stock my kitchen with instead of some dumb ass cottage cheese right now…..although, it is super tasty. I also rarely buy it cuz I’m the only one that eats it in our house. The hubs thinks it is DISGUSTING. 😉 Glad you gave into your childhood “fears” and ate up! It is a good source of protein!

  10. If you can find the brand “Daisy” for your cottage cheese. It has no additives, just three ingredients and I know what all the ingredients. I was buying the stuff at Costco until I read the label. Ucky!

    I’m in S. California so I find Daisy at Superior Grocery (they had the best price), Stater Bros, and Ralphs.

  11. Ohhh! Thank you for this! We live in Spain, and I cannot get cottage cheese!…well, there’s a lot of things we can’t get. :). I’ve gotten good at making all the stuff we miss, but this is the first time I’ve seen a recipe for cottage cheese! I’m so excited to try it. It’s been 3 years since I’ve had any!

  12. Do you have any idea how this compares price wise to store bought?

    • He got 2 cups from 1/2 gallon of milk. As an example I can get a gallon of 1% milk for $3.70 (1/2 gallon = $1.85) and 24 oz. of 1% cottage cheese for $2.70 (2 cups = $1.80).
      So, making it yourself is more expensive.

    • @Rolo, if you have milk that is about to go bad ANYWAY, and choose to make some of this, then the cost becomes different as you’d be using a product that would go to waste.

      As with anything homemade, the prices may not always be cheaper than storebought, but in some cases it is hard to argue with the taste.

      The eggs from my chickens cost twice as much as generic eggs from the grocery store, but the taste makes me willing to pay even more than that.