Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the end the end (for reals)

So friends, as my blogging becomes more sparse, I have decided to end the health nut. It's been a lot of fun to write, and the blog has provided a great outlet over the past couple of years, but it is time for me to move on.

So thank you so much for reading, and all the best to each of you in whatever adventures lie ahead.



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

adventures in yogurt making

One of my culinary goals this summer has been to make my own yogurt, especially after being frustrated with the lack of organic options at the store (Stonyfield Organic is actually owned by Dannon).  

I browsed through numerous blogs with complicated steps from ovens to coolers to mini incubators...but this method is the simplest and has worked every single time (ok, so twice). 

  • crockpot (I got mine at a thrift store for $10)
  • kitchen thermometer
  • heavy saucepan
  • cloth canning bag or cheesecloth
  • half gallon 2% milk
  • starter-plain yogurt of your choice (must have live, active cultures)

1) a:  turn crockpot on high. b) use local//organic milk- 2% or higher is better 

2) heat milk on medium until it reaches about 185-190 degrees F. 

3) place pan in a sinkful of cold water (apparently there was some dishsoap hanging out in my sink) and let cool until at ~100 degrees F. 

4) stir starter into 1 cup of milk. you need 1 T starter per 2 cups of milk (usually about 4 tablespoons). pour the remainder of the milk into heated crockpot and switch crockpot off. 

5) add starter + milk mixture to milk in crockpot and stir. place the lid on crockpot and cover with a towel overnight.

6) in the morning, take the whole crockpot and stash in the fridge for 2-4 hrs. You can strain the yogurt after this step if you want to. I use a cloth bag I found in the canning aisle to drain about half the yogurt before mixing it all together. 

7) add fresh fruit, cinnamon, and agave or toppings of your choice. 

I like this recipe because I can control the sugar content and customize flavors based on my fruit preference of the day. The Michigan peaches have been amazing and are my favorite addition lately.

Let me know if you try this! It seems like a lot of steps, but it's really not, and once you've done it a couple of times you won't even need the recipe anymore. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

breakfast in 2.5 secs

I've never been a huge fan of french toast (maybe it's the weird texture the cooked egg forms on the bread?), but I had a request for stuffed french toast and this recipe popped up quite conveniently on the g.reader earlier. I'm trying to be more adventurous with new recipes, so french toast making began...

stuffed french toast (starring farmers' market peaches)

     3-4 tablespoons cream cheese
     2 teaspoons cinnamon
     1 tablespoon powdered sugar 
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 slices bread (I used cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
fresh peaches (or other fruit of your choice)

Warm cream cheese and stir together with remainder of filling ingredients. Whisk egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together. 

Dip 1 slice of bread into egg mixture. Spread filling and place peaches on top. Dip another slice of bread into egg mixture and place on top of first piece. Cook evenly on both sides in frying pan until desired doneness. 

The verdict? Pretty delicious, even for a non-french toast fan. And the recipe takes about 10 minutes, so  you'll be off to the beach in no time (way waay before anyone else gets there). 

Or the farmers' market. After which you may decide to make sandwiches featuring all the vegetables you just bought with fresh bakery bread, homemade hummus, and red pepper aioli

I love summer; as much as some of the weather has been borderline unbearable, I know I'll be complaining when it's -3 with 2 feet of snow. So thankful to be able to take advantage of fresh food and  days full of beach and sunshine. This mostly happens on the weekend, which is part of the reason I look forward to Friday so much.

Happy weekend. Hope you are outside and eating something delicious!