Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Adventures in Yogurt Making

I found this great recipe/how-to on how to make your own yogurt without a yogurt maker, So I wanted to share with everyone. This Yogurt came out so smooth and creamy and the best part is I know where it came from. I promise that you will never buy Store Yogurt again!

You will need

A cooler
Candy thermometer
Jelly jars(or any kind of jars with lids)
Dry Milk
Organic whole milk
container of Stoneyfield PLAIN yogurt
towels or old sweat shirts and sweat pants

Now you will need to boil off a pot of water and fill your cooler, this will keep the cooler well insulated with warmth when you are ready for your incubation.

You will have to sterilize your jars and your lids, by boiling them in a pot of water, completely submerged and bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 10 min.

Next you want to mix a gallon of your milk with a 1/3 cup of dry milk(the dry milk is a thickener, so you get that custard like consistency ) in a deep pot and heat to 165 degrees,stirring frequently so the milk does not scald. You can now add in some honey or sugar to sweeten your yogurt( I used raw Vermont Honey, A gift from my Mother In law last year)

allow to cool to 110 degrees, I took it right off the heat and let sit on the counter and periodically checked it, after it has completely cooled you add 2-3 large tablespoons of the stoneyfield Yogurt. whisk well so the yogurt mixes thoroughly in with the milk.

Fill your jars and put the lids on tight, fill a few more jars with the boiling water(these will go in the cooler to give a even temperature for the cultures to grow and the milk to turn into yogurt.

Dump the hot water out of the cooler when you are ready and wrap your yogurt and boiling water jars with your towels to better insulate, place in the cooler and DON'T PEAK! you don't want to lose heat or your yogurt won't ferment. Leave in the cooler for 8-10 hours and then refrigerate and serve cold.

Save 2-3 tablespoons of your new homemade yogurt so you can keep making more! Also, if you want a more tangy yogurt to substitute as sour cream in a number of recipes than don't sweeten, people say the unsweetened yogurt has a similar taste as sour cream.

I fed my chickens the homemade yogurt this morning and they went crazy over it!
Happy Yogurt Making!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Journey for the Perfect Journal

Until I was 20 I always wrote in a Journal, It was my therapy. But as new crafts and hobbies and just plain life took over,my journal writing took a back seat.. I recently replaced this art with blogging..but there is nothing like writing in a journal, I don't have the luxury of a laptop so I'm not mobile with my blogging My book of life that I write can go anywhere with me, I could write on the beach, in my backyard, in some magical secret garden (okay..maybe not a MAGICAL one..but you get the drift)Anyhow, I miss this, I miss keeping my own private scrapbook..a best friend who's sole purpose in life is to listen when ever you need to vent or share, no matter how long you neglect, the journal is always ready to hear about your journeys.

So...I went searching for the "perfect" journal yesterday, I went to a few different stores and couldn't find anything that was "ME" and anything I liked was going to cost me an arm and a leg. This treasure hunt for a journal was looking stale and I was feeling discouraged, in the middle of my "woe is me, i can't find a diary" pity party I decided to buy a cheap $4.00 bright, ugly metallic journal and make it "ME"

I went home and tea stained some fabric and lace, I had some old handkerchiefs i had bought at Good Will earlier on in the week and tea stained one of those and hand embroidered the title of my journal, with a few other alterations I made something perfect for me, I'm not quite done but here she is

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running like a Turkey with It's Head cut off

The Holidays creep right on you when you're not paying attention, for so many weeks now I was suppose to start on my gift giving projects,clean out the back rooms,organize the garage and refurbish the beautiful china hutch my mother brought me, to go with the beautiful old vintage china that belonged to my late father's Aunt Lill. With Thanksgiving only now a few days away it looks as if those things will have to wait(as if procrastination wasn't my middle name..lol)I know, excuses, excuses!!

One of my friends posted on his facebook that he loves his Christmas tree and immediately after you see comments from people who think it's "too early" but what is it too early for?? is it too early to feel that warm Holiday spirit and everything that comes along with it? my motto for this type of baahh humbug talk is simple,Embrace it for it is coming whether we like it or are ready for it, These Holidays come once a year and before you know it they are over again, if you don't take it in with open arms it will just make your life miserable.I will choose to embrace, Thank you very much!

Today I will embrace every moment of the baking, cleaning and romping in the woods behind my house for fresh cut greens! We can't get back to Cape Cod to spend Thanksgiving with our family because hubby's job is so demanding(he has to be up at 3:30 am the next day to run a restaurant and prepare catering orders..uugggh) But we have a family of great friends that we will be spending Thanksgiving with. My close friends Marissa and Bob(who will be getting married 2 days after Thanksgiving and having a baby shortly after that) and also our close friend Brian. Great friends, great food, a warm house and many people that love me(or at least i like to think so) I feel like the luckiest girl,I am truly Thankful for all of these things, even the days when I'm running like a turkey with it's head cut off!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MJF recipe swap

I received my recipes from Kelly in Montana, one of my farmgirl sisters from MJF a few weeks ago, the theme was Holiday recipes. It's intresting to see what other families traditional dishes are from around the country. I got a scalloped oyster and corn recipe, it was like Kelly knew exactly what i loved! Oysters are one of my absolute favorite foods and any member of my family can tell you that every Christmas Eve everyone has to hoard their share of smoked oysters before I find them..lol

I also got recipes for Christmas Strata and Cookie dough truffles!!! doesn't that sound so Christmasy?? Hubby and I are always looking for new recipes to add to our Holiday feast so this swap was perfect! As an added bonus Kelly knited me a beautiful Holiday dish rag(which i have already used and washed several times already! Thank you so much Kelly, I can't wait to make these recipes and will think of you everytime I make them!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My lady became a Woman today

I haven't blogged in a while now and i apologize to my followers :( But i have some happy news and i thought I'd share :) One of my chicken ladies became a woman today!! She layed her very first egg and i couldn't be a happier Mother Hen right now :) Holiday baking will definatly have a new twist this year and for the years to come. I honestly wasn't even expecting anything when i checked and i was beginning to think they were going to be late layers. what a wonderful surprise and right before the Holidays too!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Series of life's little moments

Lately I've been experiencing life's little moments, the one's that give you this natural high on life, the kind of moments where you stop and live in the moment. It's these live in the moment type feelings that always stay in you memory and when and if dark times come you can relive these little moments and you'll realize that maybe they're not so "little"
The type of joys I get over the smallest things may seem mundane to some but to me it's all the small joys over time that add up to a grain tower full of happiness, bottled away and ready for you to open and take a peak, relive things like, taking an evening walk and watching the moon creep over the tree line and the light breeze on your face and the smell of fresh cut grass, enjoying your neighbors hard landscaping work )cause let's face it, i just don't landscape for me but i also do it for my neighbors and passer byers to enjoy as well.) ,The deer and her young grazing in your yard in mid day and watching the lively mother stomp her feet at you trying to protect her young(even though i was just taking pictures), watching my garden grow and picking the blueberries from MY blueberry bush, eating the fresh veggies from the earth , the seeds i sowed and the plants i cared for also watching my chickens grow into pretty little ladies and watch their personalities bloom and shine before me, going on a small road trip and finding the most beautiful farm land and realizing it's only 8 miles from your home. These are some of my little moments i live in, i roll around in them and get them all over me like a mud bath but unlike a mud bath these little "mundane" things can't be washed off. I urge everyone to roll around in life's greatest pleasure...living in the moment.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

You're turning violet, Violet

I went out to the garden yesterday and picked some fresh blueberries and of course I had to stop myself cause i found that I eating more then i was dropping in the basket, I could picture myself turning into a blueberry like the girl from Willy Wonka. This is our first harvest of blueberries and i got one pint from all that i had harvested (went to the sotre for a few things later that night and saw that my local gorcery store was selling pints of blueberries for $3.29) i made a wonderful blueberry sour cream coffee cake and it was so delicious and moist i had to share my recipe. so here it is

Blueberry sour cream coffee cake
2 cups flour
1 tsspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tspoon vanilla
3 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
2 cups blueberries

Stir together flour,soda and 1/2 tspoon salt, set aside. combine brown sugar,nuts and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter on med. speed for 30 sec. Add sugar and vanilla, beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. By hand, fold in blueberries.

Spread half of batter in a greased 13 by 9 by 2 inch baking pan. sprinkle half of brown sugar mixture evenly over batter. dollop remaining batter on top; spread the rest of brown sugar on top. bake for 40-50 min on 350