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Vera Kuznetsova makes her own ricotta using milk, lemon juice, a sieve and cheesecloth.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Baking powder

Whisk together one part baking soda, two parts cream of tartar and one part cornstarch.

Source: Jennifer Perillo injennieskitchen.com

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Vegetable bouillon

Combine 4 chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery ribs, 1 sliced leek (white part only), 1 small quartered onion, 10 sun-dried tomato halves, 1 1/2 cups quartered crimini mushrooms, 2 cloves garlic, a handful of fresh parsley, 200 grams salt and 1 teaspoon black peppercorns in the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse until it forms a wet paste.

Store in small containers in the fridge or freezer.

To use, combine 1 tablespoon bouillon with one cup boiling water.

Source: Jennifer Perillo injennieskitchen.com

Vanilla extract

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Combine 10 vanilla beans and 1 cup vodka in a 1-pint canning jar.

Seal jar and place in a dark cabinet for three months, shaking every few days.

Source: Amy Maltzan eggsonsunday.wordpress.com

Ricotta

Combine 2 litres whole milk, 1 cup whipping cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large pot over medium heat until it reaches 180F.

Add 1/4 cup lemon juice. Stir.

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Bring to low heat until curds form, but do not let mixture boil.

Remove from heat, let stand 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer cheese into sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth and let drain over a bowl for an hour.

Place in a lidded container and put in the fridge.

Cheese will firm up after several hours and will keep for two days.

Source: Vera Kuznetsova bakingobsession.com

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About the Author

Dakshana Bascaramurty is a national news reporter who writes about race and ethnicity. She won a 2013 National Newspaper Award in beat reporting for her coverage of changing demographics in the 905 region. Previously, she was a feature writer for Globe Life. More

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