Wednesday, September 11, 2013

DIY Greek Yogurt

**Disclaimer - This is not about making your own yogurt.  This is about making Greek yogurt out of plain yogurt.**

We love Greek yogurt in our house, but really don't like the price.  My hubby tried some Key Lime Greek yogurt a few weeks ago and finally realized what all the hype was about. We're all hooked!

But, it's so expensive!  It's hard to find it for less than $1.00 per serving.  I heard from a friend of a friend that it's possible to make your own Greek yogurt.  And it's easy!  I've made it a few times now.  It's so much cheaper this way.  And easy.  Did I say easy already?  Oh, sorry.  Well, it is.

You'll need:
- Cheesecloth
- Plain Yogurt (I use Balkan style, but you can use whatever you like)
- Big Sieve
- Big Bowl

Set your sieve in your big bowl.

Cut some cheesecloth, a double layer.  You don't want your yogurt oozing out.

 Cut your cheesecloth so that it will hang over the edge of the sieve.

Pour your yogurt into the cheesecloth, sieve and bowl.

 We eat this stuff like it's the last one we'll ever have, so I make two at a time.

Set it in your fridge, uncovered.

Let the yogurt sit for 6-24 hours.  After about two hours you may need to drain the whey (that yellow liquid that runs off.)  You can save the whey to use in baking or smoothies.

After 6-24 hours (however long you're willing to wait) gather the corners of the cheesecloth, lift it up and turn it over into a resealable dish.  Discard the cheesecloth.

And you've got Greek yogurt!

Add honey or your own flavouring (if necessary) and enjoy.  

When my hubby tasted this for the first time he said it was so much better than the Greek yogurt that costs more in the stores.

Try it and see!  It's so easy...  you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Brownie + Cookies = Brookie!

My daughter has been asking for "brookies" lately.  One part brownie, one part cookie.  She said that her cousin makes them and she just had to try them. 

Since I'm always up for a baking challenge, I did some internet searching and didn't find a recipe that I wanted to use.  I needed something that would be chocolatey and ooey-gooey and melt-in-your-mouth soft without falling apart in our hands.  Instead of "reinventing the wheel" I stuck with my tried and true recipes. 

So, without further ado, here is my recipe for Brookies, Brownies and Cookies smooshed together.


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Brownie Batter:

1/2 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix margarine and cocoa well.  Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.  Spread evenly in a buttered and floured 9x9 baking pan.
Cookie Batter:

1/2 cup soft margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Mix margarine and brown sugar.  Add egg and vanilla and mix briefly until just combined.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix briefly, leaving some white flecks of flour visible.  Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.  (White flecks of flour should be gone and batter has not been over-mixed.  Yeah!!!)

Dot cookie batter over brownie batter.  Pat and spread cookie batter so that it evenly covers the brownie batter.  Bake in 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes.  Do not over-bake or it will be too dry when it cools.

This is the hardest part...  Let them cool for at least an hour so that they will be set before you cut them. Cut into 16 (or more or less, depending on how many people you have to share with) and enjoy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Civil Rights Chicken - Crock Pot

My old(er) sister, MA is slightly crazy.  But in a good way.  Not necessarily important information, but good for you to know.

Anyway, I was canvassing social media looking for some good crock-pot recipes involving chicken.  MA came through with a recipe she had just recently made up - Civil Rights Chicken.  I guess she had a dream that  little black beans would be able to join hands with little white beans as sisters and brothers.

Anyway, I've finally managed to make it AND take pictures. While it's cooking in the crockpot, I'll share the recipe with you.  (It just so happens to be gluten-free too, but don't hold that against it if you're not a fan of such things.)  This was a hit at the last church lunch.

Civil Rights Chicken
(serves 6-8)

You will need:
1 can of drained black beans
1 can of drained white beans
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar salsa
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 c chicken broth
2-4 chicken breasts

Civil Rights Chicken

Place in your crock pot:
1 can of drained black beans
1 can of drained white beans
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/2 jar salsa
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 c chicken broth 
(Add a handful of whatever veggie you have on hand - zucchini, peppers, corn.  I had mushrooms today.)

Place 2-4 chicken breasts on top.  
Top chicken with remaining 1/2 can of tomatoes, 1/2 jar salsa salsa and one more cup of chicken broth.

Cover and cook on high for about 6 hours.

About an hour before you serve it, you can get a couple forks in there and shred the chicken a bit.  It lets the chicken absorb the flavour of the sauce.

Mix and serve over rice.