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23 September 2013

Braised Broads

Homemade Yogurt!

     Yes, that's right, homemade yogurt. This is something I've been wanting to try for a while now. I mean, I've been making my own detergent and started making my own granola, why not yogurt too? So this started me browsing through all of internet land looking for a recipe I liked.
     
     I guess I really shouldn't say recipe, as this implies differing ingredients.  The recipe for yogurt is pretty universal: milk and starter.  Starter being yogurt with active cultures in it.  If it has it, it will say somewhere on the container.  If you do not have this you will not make yogurt, you'll only make milk that has been heated, left to sit, and cooled.  Not very tasty.  Now there can be additions like dry milk powder or even gelatin for extra thickening if you're using, say, skim milk.  

     The biggest difference really is how many ways people make it.  They find what works for them.  Some make it using a crockpot, their oven, a heating pad, a cooler with hot water and many more.  I picked the cooler with hot water.  The time it needed to sit wasn't as long as other methods and I was anxious to see the end result.  Check out this recipe and then search for some more to find what fits you.  Here is a link to the recipe I used on the site "the frugal girl" :  
http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2009/10/how-to-make-homemade-yogurt-2/#comment-386477 
    
     The basic gist is heat the milk to about 180°(to kill any other bacteria, etc.) then cool it down to around 120°.  At this point you whisk your starter into the cooling milk.  Pour it into your clean jars(any size, try to keep them the same size) and put on the lids.  Place them into a small cooler, fill with 120° water up to the yogurt line in the jars, close it up(I covered mine with a towel as well) and let it sit undisturbed for 3 hours.  Then refrigerate.  Done.

     Some recipes are just as easy but they leave theirs sit for anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.  The longer it sits, the more tart it becomes so for your tastes 4 or 6 hours might be better.  Mine sat for the recipe stated 3 hours, though I added a touch of vanilla and a little sugar, this wasn't tart at all.  Play with it and see what you like.  For thickness, whole milk is best, I used 2% and it came out fine.  You can use any kind but the less fat the thinner the yogurt, which is why people using skim and such will usually add some dry milk powder to thicken.
    
     I ate some with homemade granola(also easy-peasy) my youngest put some apple butter in his, and the hubby ate it with maraschino cherries(he thinks it might have been even better with pie filling cherries).  I'll ask hubby when he gets home, I put some strawberry jam on it this morning for his lunch.  If you want fruit in yours it is probably best to add it at the table, rather than as it's being made or it could make your yogurt turn out runny.  You could also use food flavoring oils like orange or lime.  I'll try it out in the freezer and let you know how it does there, too.  For those, like me, who freeze the kiddies yogurt for school.

     All in all, I'm completely glad I did this and I'll definitely be doing it again.  Probably tomorrow, seeing as half of it is gone already. Sigh.


  

16 September 2013

Uhh....Seriously, we're waiting!!

      I know, I know.  You've probably been wondering where we have been.  Well, truth be told, your guess is as good as mine!   Wandering around the corridors of reality and looking--in earnest--for the emergency exit.  Real life has a way of derailing our engines and putting them on a completely different track.  
      
     During the spring, my kids happened.  From sports to plays, the driving is endless.  During the summer, my kids--again--happened.  Though, in Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen.  (Sorry about that, I had a moment.)  In the fall....do we see the pattern here?  Good.  So, between the kids' activities and school, hubby's work, my work, still remodeling the house, and my newest occupation as college student, I have very little room on my plate for cookies.  But damn-it, I like cookies.  I would love to roll naked in cookies!  Only metaphorically, I have no wish to explain those crumbs at the next gynie visit.  That, ladies, is called thinking ahead.  
Just a tip.
     
     I was looking over some past posts and had to chuckle.  Alright, I guffawed.  I really think I'm funny.  (The vacation post was a good one.)  I got to thinking, "you know," I thought, "it's really mean spirited of him to drink that coffee in front of me like that.  Does he have to be so smug about it?!"  I thought this because I was currently in class, and, my instructor was, indeed, being smugly superior about his current state of coffeed bliss.  I did not neglect to mention to him that this was hurtful.  He merely smiled, I almost threw my shoe at his head.  I was, fortunately for my g.p.a., too tired to remove my tenny. 
    
     Anyhow, and to get back on topic, in all our cases(Moira and Willow, too.) real life got in the way.  Moira has been wrestling her own family train and Willow is consumed with school.  She is a senior this year and has a full load of classes, including Calculus and college English.  She's looking at colleges and studying for the S.A.T.s.  Yikes!  Hopefully we can get back to posting for you, our loyal readers, on a somewhat regular basis.  I know for all of us reading has been a valued, if meagerly managed, pastime.  At least we can try to post little anecdotes about the happenings in our harried lives.    

     So, in closing, I would like to say "Never taunt a lady who has no coffee!"  Safety first, you know.
     

21 January 2013

XVI

XVI
By Julia Karr

     Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world - even the most predatory of men - that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past - one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

     I absolutely loved this book.  It is a good portrayal of how the future could turn out, but it also gives an exciting story.  It is a bit of an unnerving blast of  foreshadowing, forcing you to really think on how our world is going.  I couldn't stand to put this book down, wondering what was going to happen next, and how the story would turn out.  It is scary how real this could turn out, so I think this book is a great story, but a warning too.  It is exciting and full of suspense and drama.  I would recommend this book to a more mature audience, if only because of the theme.  XVI is well worth the read, and the money to buy it if the local library doesn't have a copy!  Keep reading and stay safe and MODEST.  Watch out for my review of the sequel Truth 

~ Willow Naveen♥

Overall Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥

02 January 2013

My Cheers and Apologies



Hello out there!  This is Willow, saying that we are sorry to be gone for so long, but we are back now. Happy new year, by the way!  2013 is looking good, even if just for the fact our impending doom isn’t written in at the end.  I give it about a week until there is a new plot to destroy humankind.  But anyways, how have you all been?  It has been good over here, but a little hectic.  School, holidays, and simple family life have been crazy, all with the purpose of keeping us away from you wonderful people.  Like I said though, we are back now.  My Christmas was a good haul, bringing in more books than I have room for, so there should be some reviews coming your way from my end of the ring.  I am not sure I can speak for anyone else, but don’t worry, I think I can convince them that there is simply no way they can put off their lovely readers for any longer.  I hope you have a wonderful day, full of good books, wonderful ideas, and lots of green tea (my personal brain juice).  Cheers!


~ Willow Naveen♥

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