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Welcome! We are a homeschooling family of 12 living a smallish home, with a Lab named Samson, a Morkie named Cookie, and square foot gardens. Loving the Lord and learning as we go!



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yogurt..more homemade goodness

It's been over 3 years since I've blogged about making my own yogurt. I do it a bit differently now...it's SO easy though. There are many different ways to go about it..but here's what I do:

I use whole or 2% milk. It makes a thicker yogurt.

I do about 3 quarts at a time. I slowly heat the milk in a pot, checking the temperature and stirring occasionally, till it reaches about 180 degrees. Then I remove it from the burner and let it cool to below 110. If it's too hot, it will kill the yogurt starter.

I used Dannon plain yogurt as starter when I don't have my homemade yogurt on hand. I add about half a cup or so into the cooled milk and whisk well. Then I pour the milk into 3 clean quart jars.
I put the jars somewhere warm..right now that is on my counter near the heating vent in my kitchen. I cover them with a warm towel and let sit overnight. They'll be set up by morning. You do not want them to get too warm, or you will kill the yogurt starter. In the winter, I keep the jars covered inside my oven, with the oven light on overnight.
You can let them sit a bit longer if you want it thicker, or more tart.
Cover and store in the fridge.

I use it in homemade smoothies, or over frozen blueberries, and drizzled with honey.

Good stuff! Easy. Much cheaper than store bought.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Homemade bread..

Nothing beats homemade yumminess. I've recently started baking homemade bread on a regular basis. I'm not sure it's actually saving us any money, since the kids eat MORE bread now :) But I enjoy it. I love the smell of fresh bread in the house, too.

Here's how I make my bread, using the rolls recipe I've been baking for several years already.

3 1/2 C warm water
1 C honey or sugar
1 C oil
4-6 TBSP yeast

Mix in Kitchenaid or by hand and let rest for 10 mins or so.

It may look like this...

Must be happy..it's smiling! (creepy!)

3 eggs
1 TBSP salt
9-10 C flour (I used 2 cups whole wheat and the rest as all-purpose flour)
When I reach about 7 cups it becomes too much for my Kitchenaid, and I have to dump it on the counter to knead the rest of the flour in by hand. This is when a Bosch mixer, or an Electrolux would be handy. But they're soo pricey....

I divide the dough into my four new bread pans, which are sprayed lightly with oil.

and let rise about an hour...

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. I remove them from the pans immediately to cool on a wire rack.
They didn't rise as much this time..either from the whole wheat I added, or when I bumped the oven on accident..it may have made them fall a bit. Still yummy!

*tip...a friend mentioned not allowing the bread to rise too much, which may be why mine fell. So allow it to rise to just above the edge of the pan, and it will rise to the correct height while baking. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our sweet baby

Meet our sweet baby..lying on it's side, looking straight at us, with the left arm up and waving!
And for my birthday..my sister sent me some beautiful flowers!