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…… ;).
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!!!!
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!!!
Cooking takes bravery. Sometimes.
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.
*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.
Skimming of the gross top, if there is any.
Filling up the pot.
Wrapped cozy, ready for incubating.
Yep, it is ready! (I keep a sticker on the “plain” jars, for easy identifying.)
I put together “mini” jars…….that is strawberry jam…..
….. so in the morning we can enjoy a parfait!! (The kids chuckle at that word….wondering if I made it up…….)