The Ultimate Party Cake & Homemade Yogurt

Standard

Happy Blog-Day!!!!

No, this is not an”official” calendar celebration day (like National Peanut Butter Day or National Kiss Your Husband day….wait, are those real?!?!? Anywho…..), this is just a Favorite Family Foods celebration day!!!!! One year ago today, I started this little thing. I have not regretted it since. It has been fun.

NEVER in my wildest dreams (and, food nerd, that I am I have dreamed about food) did I EVER imagine I would have a blog. I am computer illiterate. We don’t really get along. It thinks it is smarter than me and I think I am smarter than it.  But, I do have a strong enjoyment for sharing recipes, collecting recipes and preparing recipes. So a food blog is right up my alley.

I feel as if I should give a speech. But I won’t. I will TRY to keep this short and sweet.

* THANK YOU for reading.

*THANK YOU for sharing your comments, thoughts, recipes and this blog with your friends.

* THANK YOU for dealing with my photography skills (or should I say “lack-there-of?!?!?)  My good ol’ camara has a hard time focusing in on food and I just am not a “food prop-er”. It is what it is.

* THANK YOU for not criticizing my grammar, spelling, punctuation and word inventing.  Spell check tells me something it wrong but if I like it, I leave it. See. I am smarter…… ;).

*THANK YOU.

All in all, this has been fun. You know I have questioned if it is worth it with so many blogs out there. Who really cares about mine? Well, I do and a good number of you do too, I hope.  I will continue to share cooking adventures as long as you keep reading and sharing and commenting, please!!! See, we are a team.  So, raise your glass * drink of choice* to many more years of blogging adventures.

Happy Blog-Day to you all!!!!

food 906

Oh, here is an outrageously crazy good cake to make for your next special day ~ whether it be, a Birthday, an Anniversary or just a Happy Day!!!! It does take time, I cannot lie, but it really really was good. I actually halved EVERY bit of this recipe to make it just a 3-layer cake, because I made it “just cause” and we did not HAVE to have that huge of a cake. It worked out good. Head over here to grab the recipe. (You have to see the pictures on her blog, seriously, mine does not even compare. Your mouth will water.) You will want to make it someday I am sure, and let me know IF you give it a go!!!

* Looks like I get a “F” for direction following, I put the cookie layer on the bottom. She put the brownie down first. Opps.

* A tip if you are halving. Next time I would put the graham cracker layer in-between the cookie and brownie layer. It got pretty soggy up there with the cheesecake layer.

* I had chocolate frosting in the fridge, that is what I used, that is why it looks different.

I hope you make this cake some day, it really IS the ultimate. When else do you get to eat a cookie, a brownie, cheesecake AND frosting all at once? I mean really??? Enjoy!!!

food 953

Cooking takes bravery. Sometimes.

IT does.

I was brave.

I made yogurt. Homemade yogurt. Much like having a blog, NEVER in a million years would I have ever EVER dreamed I would make yogurt. I do not like milk. I despise warm milk. (Those are pretty important parts of making yogurt.) BUT we do eat a LOT of yogurt on our granola or oatmeal. SO I knew I should try it and not be afraid of it.

A friend shared with me her recipe, and answered some of my questions and gave me the courage to try it. Well…… IT WAS DELICIOUS. Seriously. What was I afraid of?!?!?  IT takes  a bit of time and patience. But really, if you like yogurt you should try it.  My kids all enjoy it too. Bonus of ALL bonus’!!!   AND look at me getting strong bones eating all this yogurt!!!!

Tips. Tricks. Helps.

* The first time you make this you will need to buy a container of plain yogurt. You need 4 TB’s out of it. From then on you can use your own homemade plain yogurt as a starter for your next batch.

* We enjoy vanilla yogurt here, so I make mostly vanilla, taking out a bit of plain yogurt before adding the sugar and vanilla ~ I use this bit of plain for the next batch.

* Just like sour cream, your yogurt may develop a watery layer as it sets in your fridge, just pour that off before serving.

* After you pour the “yogurt” in the jars you can scoop out the bubbles with a spoon if you want, not necessary, but it does make it look nicer.

* As you are heating up the milk, it may develop “skin” (sounds gross, sorry) on top. That happened to mine once. I just poured it through a small fine strainer thingy I had. Worked fab. Stir often and don’t heat to high, to avoid this hopefully.

* When cooling your milk to 115°, you may either do this on the counter (good for the cold months) or speed up the process and cool it in a sink of ice water. Just place your pot in ice water and stir, and watch till it gets to the proper temp.

I guess that is all. The directions will give you more tips. tricks. helps as well. It may get wordy, sorry.  I can’t help it.

Homemade Yogurt
 

*Yields about 4 pint jars and 1-2 small jelly  jars*

8 c. 2 % milk (or whole would work too)
2/3 c. dry milk powder
4 TB. plain yogurt
1 1/2 TB. vanilla extract, opt.
1/2 c. sugar, opt.

Stir together the milk and powdered milk in a pot and heat to 185°. I have a thermometer that attaches to the side of my pot. I keep a whisk near by and every few minutes I check the temp and whisk it a bit. Don’t take your eyes off it for TOO long as the milk will scorch on the bottom of the pot rather quickly. ESPECIALLY if your heat is TOO high. I learned. I was impatient. I  start with the heat at medium for about 5-10 minutes, stirring a lot, then I drop it to med-low for the rest of the time it takes to get to the proper temp.  (This heating up should take about 1 hour, depending of course on your stove-top.)

Take the hot milk off the heat and set on counter (or is ice water in the sink to speed the process, especially in the warmer months!), cool to 115°. This should take 1/2 hour – 1 1/2 hours, depending on the temperature of your house. I stir this occasionally as well.

Add the plain yogurt (this is the yogurt “starter”), stir this in well.

At this point I pour my “yogurt” into  my large measuring cup (8 c. size, it has a lovely pour spout) and I pour some plain “yogurt” onto a jelly size canning jar. Put on the lid and ring top.

To the rest of the “yogurt” I add the sugar and vanilla. You can skip this if you want to keep it all plain. The last batch I made, I kept about half of it plain as I had some recipes that called for plain yogurt. So do as you want.

Pour into pint size canning jars (you will need about 4, plus maybe another small jar) and top with lid and ring. I usually wash my jars in hot water first and dry well, so they are warm,  this is not necessary I don’t think ~ but it is what I do.

I set my oven to “warm” about 170°. TURN IT OFF before putting the yogurt in.

In a large pot put on your yogurt jars. Carefully pour warm water around jars, about 1 1/2 inches up the side of the jars.  Cover with lid. Wrap the whole thing up in a towel. Put in a warm oven. . This is so the yogurt can incubate.

Now, ignore it for 4-12 hours. At about 3 hours in you can turn your oven light on for a few minutes to warm it up a bit in there, then turn it off. I have checked at 6 hours each time I have made it and it was ready every time. It is ready when the yogurt is firm in the jars. (See picture below.) Chill overnight. Serve or use as you want too. Enjoy.

Thanks Carrie for the recipe!

Some pictures to maybe help you on your way to begin making yogurt. Have you made yogurt before? Any tips are tricks you use? Do you do it a whole different way? Have you tried other flavors? Let me know if this seems interesting to you or if you give it a try and how it goes!!!

Bringing the milk up to temperature.

food 957

Skimming of the gross top, if there is any.

food 928

Filling up the pot.

food 936

Wrapped cozy, ready for incubating.

food 959

Yep, it is ready! (I keep a sticker on the “plain” jars, for easy identifying.)

food 967

I put together “mini” jars…….that is strawberry jam…..

food 964

….. so in the morning we can enjoy a parfait!! (The kids chuckle at that word….wondering if I made it up…….)

food 965

Enjoy!

Advertisements

About Bobbi

I am a wife to my wonderful husband. I am a mom to 5 wonderful/busy/crazy/noisey/happy snappy boys. My hobby is cooking and baking, I love to read recipes and organize the recipes I have. I enjoy making food for people and sharing recipes. My husband is not picky and will eat almost anything, my kids are not quite as easy, they can be picky eaters, which has lead me to try to make more “favorite family foods”. I am hoping that through this blog some of my friends and family, or anyone for that matter, will share their favorite recipes too!!! Feel free to email me at favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com if you have any questions, suggestions or recipes you would like to share. I look forward to hearing from you! Bobbi

23 responses »

  1. Love your blog! Thanks for all the great recipes and tips to go with them! Making your/Cassie’s Fiesta Corn Dip today for a party today. Yum yum!

    • Oh, THANKS Laurie, you are too kind! By the way, that dip seems to be one of the more popular recipes found on my blog! Good choice! Go Cassie! 🙂

  2. that yogurt looks fantastic! definitely going to try it! and that cake looks great! I made some bars kind of looking like that and they were GOOD, but almost to rich for me. Which is a shock because I have a huge sweet tooth!

    • I feel like I need to put a cap on my sweet tooth, NOTHING seems to be too rich for me….. 😉 Though yeah, a small slice of this is plenty! Yum, those bars sound good! Let me know if you try the yogurt!

  3. Hi Bobbi,

    I just wanted to congratulate you on having your blog going for an entire year! I know that I have enjoyed reading it and trying some of the recipes! I feel like I have gotten to know you a little through this blog and have truly enjoyed that aspect of it.

    I saw a recipe that was posted on pinterest the other day and tried it. It was very good and simple so I thought you might want to try it. I can’t tell you who originally posted this recipe, however.

    Crock Pot Apple Oatmeal

    Throw 2 sliced apples, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in the bottom of the crock pot. Pour 2 cups of oatmeal and 4 cups of water on top. DO NOT STIR. Cover and cook overnight for 8-9 hours on low.

    Here’s to another year of food blogging!

    Aunt Penny

    • Thanks Aunt Penny! I really enjoy that you are reading, it means a lot to me! Thanks! That recipe sounds delicious 🙂 I have been enjoying crock-pot oatmeal a lot this winter, I will have to try that soon! Thanks!

  4. Happy Blog-day Bobbi! The cake looks fabulous! The yogurt is very charming looking in the jars, esp. with the granola and strawberries but I cannot tell a lie the whole process is a little scary for me…seeing as how you got your dislike of milk from me the thought of warming all this milk for hours is daunting….I do however like yogurt now so someday maybe I will try it at your house, don’t think I will ever make my own but I do believe you that it is good because if it wasn’t I KNOW you would not have ever mentioned it again!;)

    • Yes, my dislike came from you! Thanks for just ANOTHER wonderful quality!!!! 😉 Just kidding! You know I have been talking about this for weeks now and have made it 3 times in just a few short weeks, SO, yes, it is good. Scary at first, but not anymore. Come over for breakfast some day! Fun!!! Then you can try it!

      • Oh, silly me, the granola fruity things would be a good snack or dessert as well! Come over, whenever…… just remind me about it! Ha! Short memory……I have!

  5. I have been wanting to make homemade yogurt for such a long time but have been hesitant because I have no clue what I’m doing. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks so much! Congrats on blogging for a year! It’s been fun trying your recipes and getting to know you a bit through this blog. Keep those recipes coming! I love them! Thanks so much!

    • I really didn’t do any research on making yogurt, so I am sure there are many ways of doing it. I just did this way cause a friend said it worked well for her, and it IS working well for me too! I was hesitant too, but one day I just did it. You can too!! I included a lot of pictures, hoping that it would make sense and not seem crazy difficult. If you try it, let me know what you think! Thanks, it has been fun getting to know you as well, THAT is why I enjoy the comment section so very much!!!! THANKS to you for reading!

  6. Happy Blogiversary! I’ve definitely enjoyed getting to know you through your blog, and have also enjoyed some great food as a result of this blog 🙂 I’ve made homemade yogurt a couple of times too, but “my” version used a hot pad. I’d like to try the oven version soon! And that cake looks amazing!

    • THANKS, that is a fun word “blogiversary”!!! I have enjoyed getting to know you through our blogs as well! 🙂 Humm, a heating pan? Sounds interesting. Now that you say it, I remember you talking about making homemade yogurt, maybe in your “31 days” series? 🙂 I actually remember reading that you made it and I was impressed, but then choose to ignore it cause I could never make homemade yogurt. Too hard….I assumed. THAT is why we should not assume……ha!!! Anyways, thanks for reading, seriously. 🙂

  7. It’s been a year already!!!!! Can NOT believe that! CONGRATS! So fun, and that cake….what can be better than ALL my favorite desserts put into one! Didn’t get through the yogurt making stuff, but looking forward to reading that soon!

    • I know, right? TIME flies! Yeah, that cake it right up your alley too!!! I was so very wordy in this post, no wonder you couldn’t get through the yogurt section!! 😉 Cannot WAIT to hear if you try it!

  8. I have a little note book that I keep by the computer and jot 95% of your recipes in it!!!!I cant wait to try the yogurt!!!!! and the cake!!!! that will be first–hahaha…love ya, Bob and thank ya!!!!

  9. You inspired me to make yogurt, with great success. I did go about it a little different b/c I had no dry milk powder in the house. I used 8 cup milk (whole milk) brought it up to temp (15-20min) maybe the difference btwn. a gas stove and electric??? Cooled off the pan in a ice water bath (5 min) and then I added vanilla yogurt, sugar, and vanilla. Poured into jars. Wrapped the jars in a towel and put in a warm oven overnight. Worked like a charm! Thanks 🙂

    • Good to know that it can be made without the dry milk powder! That is not something I ALWAYS have! (and it not really cheap ;)!) Yes, I do cook mine on an electric stovetop ~ and it is touchy, so I end up going a bit slower so it does not scorch. Gas might be quicker. Maybe I will try to heat it at a higher temp next time to see if it goes quicker for me! THANKS for commenting and I am glad you guys liked it! 🙂

  10. How long you think this yogurt would last? Like any regular yogurt you buy from store, which I think I say about a week or maybe longer? Not sure Regan and I could a whole batch before it gets bad…maybe I should start with half batch.

    • I would say that the yogurt would last about as long as the store bought, like you said. I would say a week and a half or so. Yes, you can half it, it would work GREAT! Probably yielding about 2 1/2 pints-ish. Which is a little bigger than the large container from Aldi.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s