Dairy is expensive here. Sour cream is almost non-existent (it's imported from the States). When they do have sour cream, it's not affordable ($4-$5 for the standard size). Cream cheese can also get pricey. As a result, we substitute a lot. When we can find yogurt that is non-flavored and non-sugared, we buy it and make yogurt cheese. To do this, I take my strainer, line it with a coffee filter, and pour in the yogurt. It takes all of 30 seconds. Then I stick it on top of a sauce pan and put it in the fridge. I leave it overnight or for the day. When it's the consistency I like, I pull it out (the yogurt here is drinkable, so it probably takes longer than in the States). For a cream cheese substitute, I make it a little thicker than for sour cream. Unfortunately, I sometimes cannot find yogurt that does not have sugar or vanilla. I used to make my own yogurt, but I'm not sure if it's worth the time for what money it saves- powdered milk is expensive here too, especially skim milk (here most powdered milk is full cream, they only recently started selling skim in our town). If anyone has tips on how to make yogurt quickly, I would love to hear it!
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