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How to Make and Freeze Homemade Ricotta Cheese

How to Make and Freeze Homemade Ricotta Cheese

A lot of people are fond of Ricotta cheese. From cannoli to lasagne, this is one of the key delicious ingredients in most Italian dishes and other delicious recipes too. As we all know, it can be quite expensive – but it’s a healthy food (and it’s delicious) so you probably cannot afford not to buy it. Do you know that you can make ricotta cheese in your kitchen? Yes, you can. With just a few simple ingredients and a short amount of time, you can make a fresher, lighter ricotta cheese than you would get in any store.

How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Here are some useful tips and steps to help you make simple homemade ricotta cheese in your own kitchen and save money.

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This is so simple that you need only three ingredients and 30 minutes and you are done!

The 3 ingredients you need to make the Ricotta Cheese:

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  • Salt
  • Lemon Juice
  • Milk

Equipment:

  • Saucepan
  • Cheesecloth
  • Fine-mesh strainer

Here is the simple procedure you need to follow to make your own homemade Ricotta cheese:

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  • In your saucepan, place the milk, lemon juice and salt.
  • Set the stove to medium high heat and place the mixture to heat.
  • Allow the mixture to boil and when it is hot enough, lower the heat and let it simmer.
  • While it’s simmering, stir the mixture to prevent it from scorching on the bottom. Keep stirring until a creamy curd starts to form from the mixture.
  • When the curd is separated from the liquid, this means that your Ricotta Cheese is done.
  • Place cheesecloth of about 5 layers or more on a strainer, then start straining the curd from the Ricotta Cheese. Be mindful that the infiltration process would be better if you use more layers of cheesecloth.
  • Wait for a period of time to make sure that your Ricotta Cheese has been properly strained. You should never press down on the curd while straining the mixture (doing this will harden up the cheese and you don’t want that).
  • When it is completely drained, you now have your homemade Ricotta Cheese, which is ready to use. You can use it in your cooking, serve it as it is or store it in the freezer.

How to Freeze Ricotta Cheese

Now you have your Ricotta cheese and you are wondering if storing it in the freezer is a good ways to store it

A few people sometimes wonder if Ricotta cheese can be frozen, especially in situations where you have more than you need or have leftover Ricotta you intend to save. It’s only natural that you would inquire about how to preserve it. Well, yes, you can freeze your Ricotta cheese. Although you can freeze it for a period of time (3 months), it is unfortunately not the best way to preserve it because the taste may change after such extended period of freezing. Although you can still use it after thawing, it can be watery and soggy when compared to its original state before you froze it.

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However, there is a way you can still salvage the situation. You can blend the cheese to make its components come together, then drain it.

Sometimes, freezing Ricotta cheese is not the best option, but if you decide to freeze you Ricotta cheese, you should complete the following checklist:

  • Seal the cheese tightly in a plastic container or bag and put it the freezer.
  • If you intend to freeze the cheese for a long time, seal the cheese in a package, then place in a freezer bag too.
  • When you want to thaw it, you can do this in a cooked dish or by placing it in the fridge.

Featured photo credit: Anita Peeples via unsplash.com

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Kyra Taylor

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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