Recipe For Health
by Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: cheese Yield: Makes about 2 cups Learn more about cheese


  • 8 c. whole milk
  • 1 ¼ c. heavy cream
  • 5 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ½ t. kosher salt
  • ¼ t. fresh cracked black pepper


Combine milk, cream, and 1 teaspoon salt in a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat making sure to stir frequently so you don’t burn the milk.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to curdle, about 3 to 5 minutes

Remove from heat and let stand undisturbed for about 5 minutes. Line a strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth and set it in the sink. Carefully scoop the large chunks or curds into the strainer, and then gently pour the liquid into the strainer.

Set strainer with cheese curds in a bowl and move to refrigerator; let drain for 1 ½ hours. Transfer cheese to a clean, large bowl. Gently fold in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to finish seasoning the cheese.

Learn More About cheese

Smile! June 4th is National Cheese Day!

Cheese is made by heating milk (cow, goat, and/or sheep), adding mold for some cheeses, ripening with cultures, curdling with enzymes (rennin) or acidic ingredient (lemon juice, vinegar), and separating the curds from the whey.  

Cheeses made in America fit these basic categories: 

  • Fresh or slightly cured: mascarpone, ricotta, chévre, feta, cream cheese, cottage cheese 
  • Soft-ripened: brie, Camembert, triple crèmes 
  • Semi-soft: blue cheese, Colby, fontina, Havarti, Monterey Jack 
  • Firm/Hard: Gouda, cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere, Parmesan, raw milk cheeses (must be aged more than 60 days)  

The challenge of storing cheese is that naturally-released moisture accumulates on its surface. As the moisture evaporates, the cheese dries out. Plastic wrap keeps the moisture from evaporating but the surface grows mold. What to do? 1) Buy only as much cheese as you can consume within a few days. 2) Double wrap it in waxed or parchment paper plus a loose wrap of aluminum foil. Keeps an extra two weeks. 3) Freeze Camembert and low-moisture mozzarella, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to a month, maybe more. For other cheeses, freezing even for a few days mutes the flavor and changes the texture. 

Making cheese at home is magical and delicious. A fresh cheese such as ricotta is a good place to start. Just like other make-it-at-home activities—canning, preserving, brewing—cleanliness is the first step. Be sure to sterilize your work surfaces and all of your equipment before you begin. Then with a few ingredients and within a few minutes, your first curds appear.

Peggy Crum MA, RD

Featured Recipes

Recipe For Health

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crisp

Combine tart rhubarb with sweet strawberries, add a streusel topping, and bake until bubbly. Dessert doesn’t get easier—or more classic—than this. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’re sure to get rave reviews!

Recipe For Health

Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Chewy farro grains are delicious in this autumn-y salad. Recipe yields enough for dinner for 2 to 4 with some left for a couple of lunches. To do this, make the base with dressing, farro, and grilled veggies. Add fresh veggies to the base as you go.

Recipe For Health

Pecan and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Roasting amps up the flavor in everything including pecans. Chef Kurt's attention to detail takes a traditional chocolate chip cookie to another level of yum!

Recipe For Health

Onion Soup

Onions, the simplest of pantry staples, mingle with butter, broth, and herbs to become luxuriously smooth and delicious. Add "homemade" croutons and a blend of cheeses to make a complete and satisfying meal.

More Food and Nutrition Recipes

Find a Recipe

Browse all recipes

Find a Class

Browse all courses

Search Health4U

Food and Nutrition Counseling Services

Food and Nutrition Counseling Services provides you with access to accurate health and lifestyle information, helping you to explore new behaviors and skills, and identifying useful campus and community resources.

MSU community members eligible for food and nutrition counseling services include faculty, staff, graduate assistants, retirees and the spouses/partners of members of these groups.

To schedule an appointment with Health4U you are not required to email us from your MSU email address; please email us from the email address you are most comfortable with. 

Read More

Departmental Services

The goal of department based services is to provide work units and colleagues the opportunity to learn about health and wellness as a group activity or exploration.  

Read More

Health e-Guide

This guide has been discontinued and is no longer viewable.

Visit Health e-Guide