Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crockpot Yogurt, because you asked...

Take this:

Put it in this:

To make this:

Yummy, creamy homemade plain yogurt made in your crockpot!

I know Karen posted a great yogurt recipe here, but I'm an absolute chicken when it comes to measuring temperatures with a thermometer. I go for easy. Seriously easy.

Here's the secret recipe, which I adapted from the one found here. You can easily 1/2 this recipe for a smaller family, or one that doesn't eat as much yogurt as we do.

Homemade Crockpot Yogurt

1 gallon whole milk (I've only used whole, but this week I'll be trying it with 1%, I'll let you know)
1 cup store bought plain yogurt with live cultures (or if you've made it before keep a starter)
frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring
blanket or large towel

I typically start this process mid-afternoon. This allows me to do all the steps before I go to bed and I wake up to a crockpot full of nice creamy yogurt. Trust me, it's the best way - unless you want to get up really early.

Turn crockpot to low.
Pour milk into crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
Leaving the crockpot lid on, unplug crockpot and let sit for 3 hours.
After 3 hours scoop out 4 cups of the milk and stir in one cup of yogurt starter/store-bought plain yogurt.
Pour mixture back into the crockpot and stir.
Put lid back on crockpot, leave it unplugged, and wrap the entire crockpot with a heavy towel or blanket to insulate.
This is where you can go to bed for 8 hours...or you can just wait.
After 8 hours you'll have yogurt. Easy, eh? It is thinner than store-bought yogurt, but it has all the same nutrients with less of the bad stuff, like sugar. If you want, you can add a packet of unflavored gelatin after you add the starter to thicken it up more. You can also try adding some powdered milk to thicken it.
You can blend fruit into the yogurt after it sets up. I keep mine plain and add flavorings upon serving it.
The yogurt will store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Remember to keep 1 cup for a starter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Oatmeal... in pie form

You're welcome.
1 oatmeal pie crust, prebaked
4 eggs
3/4 c sugar
2 T flour mix (like Bisquick)
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c corn syrup
2 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla
1 c rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs well, then add sugar, flour mix, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine, then add maple syrup, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Fold in oats, pour into prepared pie crust and bake 45 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour (I used oat)
1 1/2 cups Quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1 1/2 cups Brown sugar packed
1 cup Butter softened
1 cup Walnuts chopped, optional

Combine flour & baking soda; stir in oats & brown sugar. Cut in softened butter, mixing well, using your hands if needed to combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Press into two 8-inch pie pans or a 9x13-inch baking pan.
If using precooked filling, bake pie at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Will make enough crust for TWO 8-inch pies or used as a crust for bars (apple, lemon, etc)
Recipe can be halved or doubled easily.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Popcorn Popping In the....

Freshly revived, circa 1985? hot air popper, recently acquired from the in-laws...


Seriously. Other than last week, when my Mother-in-law introduced me to this recipe and popped popcorn on her STOVETOP...I couldn't tell you the last time I had air (or stove) popped popcorn.

I don't eat a lot of popcorn anyway. My husband doesn't care for it, the babies might choke on it, and the kids just wipe their fingers on anything other than their napkins. We don't eat a lot of it. But it's good. And I'm all about easy. Like microwave popcorn easy...

But last week we had Caramel Corn. Homemade, really good, sticky, chewy caramel corn. And the kids needed a snack tonight, so I brought out the air popper for some fun and an encore of Shane's cousin's easy recipe.

Look good? It is.

Want easy? It is.

Caramel Corn a la Nicole

5-6 cups popcorn
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup

Bring butter, sugar and corn syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over popcorn. Stir, and serve.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

I have a new favorite Cinnamon Roll recipe. Beware! You will not be able to eat only one. That is why I don't even have a picture. They disappeared.

I made this recipe with a cream cheese frosting.

Yummy in my Tummy! Thanks Ree!