Posted in Edible Awesome

It’s Greek to Me: Greek Yogurt how-to

There are a lot of health benefits to eating yogurt…but if I’m honest, I just eat it cuz I like it.  My favorite way to eat it is in the morning as a milk substitute with my cereal (call me weird but I don’t like how milk splashes if cereal falls off the spoon) with a little honey.  But store-bought yogurt can be expensive (especially if you eat as much as I like to now that I’m no longer going 100% dairy-free) and I like to keep a pretty low food budget.  I will buy the Yoplait for my hubby to pack to work because it’s in serving sizes, etc., but for myself I make a whopping batch of plain yogurt.

It’s not that hard though I started with fear and trepidation.  If I can do it and not mess it up too badly, you can too!  Lately Aldi (blessed store I shall miss incredibly…) has had gallons of milk for $1.89!  I use a half gallon to make a batch of yogurt so that’s a lot of yogurt for under a dollar!  A couple months ago I bought some plain greek yogurt on sale and used that as the starter (the live cultures in it “inoculate” the cooked milk and grow more yogurt cultures), then with every batch I just reserve 1/3 cup as my next batch’s starter.  You can freeze it if need be and then thaw for use next time if you won’t be making yogurt again soon.

Amy’s Stovetop and Oven Yogurt Routine
(I start in the evening so it sits overnight).

1. Prepare supplies: 1/3 c. plain yogurt, whole milk, plastic wrap, candy thermometer, big pot, metal whisk, glass jars big enough for the amount of milk I’m cooking, a cookie sheet with a towel on top for wrapping in the oven to keep warm, sink filled with ice water.

  • Heat your oven to 250 degrees, then turn it off.  Turn the oven light on to maintain heat.

2. On medium, cook milk (stirring occasionally) until it reaches 180-185 degrees.  This takes about 15 minutes?

3. Cool the milk quickly down to 115 degrees by floating the pan in the sink filled with ice water.  This takes a few minutes  and you’ll want to stir occasionally and watch it, ready to pull it out before it goes below that temperature.

4.  Whisk in the yogurt starter, then pour inoculated milk into the jars.  Cover the mouths of the jars with plastic wrap and then set them on the towel-covered cookie sheet, wrap them up, then set the pan into the pre-warmed oven with the light on.  Leave there minimum of 6 hrs…18 max, then refrigerate.  Longer time=more tartness.

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(I tend to leave mine in longer so it’s more like Greek yogurt thickness, and I use it as a sour cream substitute, too).  If it appears runnier than you’d like, wait a few hrs after it has been in the fridge to peek again, and it should have thickened. Mine always comes out smooth and not chunky with this method, and I don’t have to strain off the whey to make it thicker. Not sure if using the Vitamin D milk has anything to do with the outcome.

Posted in Quick Project

A friend had a microwave cart that needed some lovin’.  I’ve always loved doing makeovers, and I couldn’t resist this time, even though I should have been packing.  (There might be theme going, here.  “Packing Procrastination” or something.)   The cart used to have some doors on it, but the magnetic latch parts were still there.  BabyHandyMan helped remove them so they were no longer distracting to the eye.  Then I took a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to the top and removed most all of the stains (except some barely noticeable marker (?) coloring) and tape and brightened the whole thing up.  Oooo.  Aaaaand then I noticed it also removed the wood-shine and made it look sunbleached.  Oops.  Magic Eraser worked a little too well.  So I wiped over it all with vinegar to remove any extra stuff and rubbed in some baby oil.  Tadah!!!  Lookin’ new again!

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Posted in Quick Project

A Big Move

Goodness gracious, great boxes overflowing with stuff!  We are preparing to move from flat, rolling Ohio to a very mountainous part of North Carolina.  And I’m pretty sure we will be living near the Cliffs of Insanity, at least for the next few weeks.  Lord, sustain us.

When I should have been packing one morning, I decided I needed to rescue a shirt.  I stained it the first time wearing it during a very long car ride in which I ate a chocolate bar and didn’t notice a little chunk of it melting in the folds.  This makes me sound like a big slob.  Oh well, I’m human.  Then, while attempting to remove the stain I ended up somehow putting two lightened spots elsewhere on the shirt.  But I JUST bought it and it was so comfy and fit just right!!  I had this big green paint marker I’d gotten at a thrift store (new in the package!) and wanted to take a shot at designing something to wear, since I really couldn’t ruin it any more. 🙂

Well, I’m not sure how I feel about it, other than that it was fun to doodle and it reminded me of being a little girl living in Panama with the rainforest critters!