Monday, May 16, 2011

Season's bring about some changes in my cooking

Beyond the changing flavors of the produce that we will be eating now, my cooking changes dramatically between hot and cold weather.  In the winter, I like to bake things, keeping the house warm and cozy as well as keeping our tummies nice and warm.  In spring and summer I like the lighter brighter flavors, and the baking is left behind for soups, salads, and ice cream.  I think I will also have to make my own yogurt again.  I had been thinking about it, and then as if by design my sister-in-law asked about it over the weekend, and today I noticed that InCyst was discussing making your own Greek yogurt.
 
So this weekend I put making yogurt on my list of things to do.  I found two new recipes and I was going to try them, but went for my yogurt makers vanilla yogurt recipe instead.  It's tart, and maybe I should have used honey instead of agave, that way I might be able to resist adding honey to it for additional sweetener.  Right now I'm enjoying dunking my lemon splashed sliced apples into it, and letting the tang from the lemon and the yogurt fight it out.  It's deliciously addicting, even though it's a bit mouth puckering.

101 cookbooks.com: Yogurt
101cookbooks.com: A Frozen Yogurt Recipe To Rival Pinkberrys Recipe

This weekend I was busy making yogurt, jello for lunch snacks, deodorant, and salad for the new couple of lunches.  Of course I made hubbys lunch as well, did laundry and the dishes.  The one thing I have not yet done that really needs to be done is washing, cutting my dogs hair and nails.  They escaped the other night, and really freaked me out, and now I'm torn between their much needed bath time, and not upsetting them any further. :(  I'm just glad that DH and I were able to track them down and bring them home without spending hours and hours shouting into the dark streets of our quiet neighborhood.  I started to plan ahead for the week, and I will need to put those meal plans together during my lunch time.

I never talk about my work here, it seems to defeat the purpose of using this as a bit of an escape, but I am slowly catching up and that is encouraging.

I've also been pulling out the crock pot to make beans from scratch. I've found a new tutorial for you to look at if you need further convincing in order to try this yourself, she even includes the cost break down. crockpot365.blogspot.com: Cooking Dried Beans in Crockpot I'm not sure how to calculate my cost savings since I bought a huge bag at Costco.  We had a month where we had no money, and we were running out of staple in our pantry.  I had one of those moments, the Scarlet O'Hara fist in the sky "I will never go hungry again" moments  and I purchased some staples when we did have money, the kind that last for a very long time.

 Beans, rice, and canned tomatoes were at the top of my list of things to get.  They last and last, and together they form a complete protein, so if we had to we could live on them for a while.
If you need assistance in  knowing how long things will  last, click here:  Stilltasty.com

Or even FoodSafety.gov There are other things that last forever when stored properly, and other food times that one should always keep around. Sturdy Staples: 9 Foods That Can Outlast You And then there is another article about foods you can freeze that maybe you hadn't thought of before 10 Surprising Foods You Can Freeze  I would add cooked beans to that list, especially if you cook a big batch in your crock pot and can't use it all right away.

update May 18, 2011
I made a second batch of yogurt, the first batch became a bit to sour for my taste, the first bit I ate was enough.  So, I made another batch with the good milk, yep a local organic Dairy that delivers to the Nugget here. Straus Family Creamery I used the 1% and did not add the powdered milk, I think that's one thing that changes the flavor of homemade yogurt that makes it not my favorite.  I had the new yogurt today, and it was delicious.  So, as with all cooking, the quality of the ingredients matters!  The other store brand milk is more watery, and this was not.  I've used this milk for our homemade ice cream, and now it will be what I use for yogurt as well. No growth hormones, no watered down milk, no antibiotics, no pesticides. 
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