Farmhouse Cream Cheese
If you feel daunted by the task of making cheese from scratch, this recipe is a good place to start. Cream cheese is super simple to make compared to other fresh cheeses -- and the end result is delicious. Your bagels and your belly will thank you!
There's no need to worry about cooking curds or setting up an aging chamber; all you need to do is heat the dairy up, add culture, rennet, and calcium chloride (for reliable texture), and let it incubate overnight. Then you only have half a day of draining between you and cream cheese bliss. Eat it on a bagel if you can wait for your toaster to heat up, or else lick it just straight off a spoon. I won't tell.
Photo by Ed Anderson