Monday, June 28, 2010

Making Greek Yogurt

Mmm, this was my breakfast this morning and I enjoyed every bite. I had some extra milk that I had bought on sale and needed to use up before it expired so I made yogurt.  I had made it before, but this time I decided to try making Greek yogurt.  I had heard it was thick, creamy and very good.   Well, what I had heard was right, this yogurt was delicious and now I'm hooked.  I felt like I was eating a fattening, rich dessert, but it was all in my head as I had used low fat milk and no sugar. A wonderful way to start the day!
I took half a gallon of low fat milk, heated it while continually stirring so it didn't burn to a temperature of 180 degrees.  Took it off the burner, covered and went for a nice walk.  Returned and had time to read awhile until it cooled to 110 degrees.  Then I added about 6 tablespoons of store bought yogurt and stirred well.  I poured into clean canning jars with lids and set in my Excalibur dehydrator and turned it on to 115 degrees, leaving it alone for about 12 hours.  Before I had the dehydrator I used to make regular yogurt by wrapping the jars in a heavy blanket and putting it in a styrofoam ice chest and leaving it for the same amount of time, it worked.  After the 12 hours I took a strainer, lined it with a coffee filter,  I then placed the strainer over a bowl, poured one of the jars of yogurt into the filter and covered with a dish towel.  So the yogurt didn't sour, I put it all in the refrigerator and let it drain until all was left was a thick yogurt.  I had read that the liquid that had drained was very nutritious so I froze it in ice cube trays for adding to smoothies later.  To sweeten I added stevia which is an herb that is very sweet and has no calories, but honey would be good, also.  Adding berries or other fruit makes it extra good and nutritious, I'll be making this often.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Does He Look Like He Likes His New Job?

I laughed when I saw this picture my husband took of Alex on the first day of his first job.  Alex needs to smile at his customers!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My New Mill

I was visiting with my son and daughter-in-law, recently, and was given a piece of her delicious homemade bread.  Jessica had purchased a mill and used it to grind her own wheat for the bread giving it a great flavor.  So, I had to have one!  I've been determined to make my own bread for quite some time, but after making some I wasn't impressed with the flavor and consistency, neither was the family!  I'm a visual learner and so Jessica made some while I was there and then I knew I could do it, too.  I did some researching on the type of mill I would like to purchase and I came across this one and it had wonderful reviews.  It's called the Wolfgang mill and is made out of solid beech with tongue and groove, making it a pretty appliance to display in the kitchen, not taking up much room.
I was so excited in receiving it today that I got busy and made three loaves of bread and lots of waffles. I used hard white wheat and  I'm very pleased with the results and so is my family.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chicken Talk

We've had our chickens since early spring, now, and we are happy with our brood of eight.  They are giving us at least 6 eggs a day, sometimes on a good day, seven.  We have so many that I've been able to give some away to family and neighbors which they have been happy to take.
We have a coop in which they sleep and lay their eggs, then a fenced enclosure where they can take their dust baths and that is also where our compost pile is and they love hunting around in it.  You can tell when they tire of that and start hanging around the gate to be let out into the grass yard which is where they spend most of their day .They enjoy wandering the yard, scratching, looking for worms and fighting over the big ones.  When they see Chuck digging with a shovel they'll run over, hoping for more worms, it's really funny as he often has one climb onto his shovel as he scoops.  We cook them corn on the patio in a crock pot and when Chuck whistles you should see them come a running from wherever in the yard they are, making us laugh.  We've had some problems to deal with.  One of the chickens found his way into the neighbor's yard several days in a row resulting in Chuck having to climb over the fence to try and retrieve him.  One night he couldn't catch him and the chicken spent the night in the bushes.  He finally learned his lesson, though, after getting chased by two dogs till he had no energy left and was finally rescued.  He now stays in our yard.  Another problem was I decided to extend the garden and plant some vegetables and herbs in the upper yard where they wander.  They scratched my newly planted vegetables up, so we put a temporary fence around it and they found their way into there.  I finally gave up and put another bed in the lower yard.  Another day they got in the front yard and scratched in the flower bed around our waterfall and clogged it up with bark and dirt, resulting in three hours of draining the waterfall and cleaning it out. We tried another temporary fence which worked this time as they haven't gotten out in the front, again.
We had one of the chickens, the littlest one which is a banty chicken, decide to stay on her nest for days.  We got concerned as we had read about chickens becoming egg bound.  After calling for expert advise we were told she probably had a strong nesting instinct and was trying to hatch some eggs.  The other chickens were laying their eggs right by her and she was sitting on all of them trying to keep them warm.  Since we don't own a rooster, it's not going to happen, poor girl!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Loves, Likes and Hates

I've been tagged by Julie over at The Hopple Family  I have to list 12 likes, 1 love and 8 hates.  Thanks Julie, this will be fun and challenging.  Here they are:

I like laying in bed at night listening to my waterfall, a nice walk, morning coffee, a clean house, organized cupboards, a good hair day, a whole day to spend with my husband, hearing my children laugh together, a good movie, reading to my grandchildren, good conversation, spending time with my kids.

I love my family.

I hate having to rush, being stuck in traffic, camping, abuse of any kind, big bugs, long meetings, ill fitting shoes, and being cold.

The likes were the easiest and I could have listed a lot more.  Now, I'm suppose to tag three people.  I'm choosing Jessica at ~Working On A Full House~   mommyx12 and  Six Parris Kids And Counting

Monday, June 7, 2010

More Saturday Treasures

This is what we've been dealing with here in Boise.  Cloudy skies with lots of rain for days on end. Not good weather for yard sales, so I was so pleased to wake up to clearer weather on Saturday. I was on the road by 8:00 a.m. after picking up my mom anticipating some fun finds.  Typically, our husbands are with us, but they had other plans, which means we buy what we want!!

           I spotted this lamp with a $10.00 price tag and liked it's leather lamp shade, color, design and uniqueness.  It is taller than a regular table lamp and gives some added height to a side table downstairs.  Plus, I got it for $5.00!

 This candle holder is attractive and I thought it would look good on  my mantle.  It also had a $10.00 price tag, but after bargaining, I got it for $5.00.  Then I went looking for a candle to go with it and ended up with this pretty teal and butterscotch one for 25 cents.
After seeing this plate, I had to have it for my plate holder in the dining room.  It is a sweet picture of two sisters and says at the top, "Sisters are Blossoms."  Great price at $1.00.

Another find for $3.00 and I don't even know what to call it.  I thought it would add character somewhere in my house.  It has four drawers that open up, I have it on our landing right now at the bottom of the stairs.  Not sure if it will stay there, but I'll find a place, anyway, I really like it.
These finials were only $1.00.  Had a store tag on it for originally $29.00 and then a 50% mark down on that price so $1.00 was a steal! I thought I'd put it away for a future project.  I'd like to add some drapes or curtains downstairs and it would dress up a rod after adding stain.
As you can see it was a successful yard sale morning.  Had a good time with my mom, lots of laughing and enjoying one another's company.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Best Salad Recipe

My daughter introduced me to this wonderful salad and it's now a favorite with our family.  She found it on the Pioneer Woman Cooks website. It's packed full of vegetables with linguine noodles and an Asian type dressing.  Basically, you just cut up Napa cabbage, purple cabbage, spinach, package of bean sprouts, any color bell peppers you like, cucumber, cilantro, honey roasted peanuts, linguine noodles.   I like to add grape tomatoes, slices of apple, a can of mandarin oranges.  The sauce is 8 tablespoons of soy sauce, 8 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, juice of 1 lime, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 3 tablespoons of fresh ginger, 1 to 2 chopped jalapeno  peppers.  It's a lot of chopping, but it's so very good.  We had our son, Chad, and his family for dinner and served it along with chicken and potatoes.