Monday, May 17, 2010

Home Made Yogurt!!!!!!

i blame the Activia commercials. There's something innately wrong about people sitting on a big comfy couch talking about their digestive health. so of course i had to try it. and i'm not going to get into why i'm still eating yogurt every day, ut suffice it to say i'm spending a small fortune in yogurt every time we get groceries.

since one of my mottos is 'if you can't make it yourself, you don't need it' i ebayed different yogurt makers. there were a couple of different brands out there, and since i'm only buying it once i wanted to make sure i got the best one i could. so where do you go when you want to ask an opinion or solicit advice?


that's where andi aka judgementalhippy (and yes, very nearly hippy is a nod to her. i am half the hippy she is. not even half. 33%, tops) told me about a blog that had instructions on making yogurt in your crock pot. i read through the instructions, and they seemed simple enough, so i gave it a try.

the scaled down version (and please, click HERE for the blog itself, it's amazing) goes like this:

take half a gallon of whole milk (i used vitamin d) and put it in your crock pot on low for 2 1/2 hours. turn it off and let it sit for 3 hours. then take 2 cups of the warm milk, and whisk it into 1/2 a cup of yogurt that has live active cultures. add it back into the crock pot, mix it all up, and wrap it up in a towel. still leaving it unplugged leave it sit for at least 8 hours.

PHENOM!!!! it tastes 100 times better than the store bought yogurt. it's not super sweet, and there's no weird after taste that you get with most commercially bought yogurts. if you don't notice the weird after taste, try home made yogurt, you will!!

i've been eating it for a few days in the mornings, and even made yogurt chicken a couple of nights in a row. i am never going back to store bought yogurt. and while i haven't figured the numbers yet, i KNOW it's cheaper to make it yourself.

and for good measure, here's the recipe for yogurt chicken (yummy):

2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
2 tbl oil
1/2 cup of home made yogurt
2 limes

put the oil in a dutch oven and add the salt, pepper and the shredded chicken. quarter the limes and add to the pot, crush the limes as best you can. add the yogurt, stir and cook on low for 30-40 minutes, stirring every once in a while. spoon into a bowl and enjoy!!

*** added May 31 from a question on facebook**

From Jen P:
Curious if you've had issues with hot and cold spots in your yogurt?? I was just eyeballing a yogurt maker and it said "eliminates hot and cold spots" so I want to know if those are even an issue.
Are you using pasteurized milk?
Yogurt is one of those mystical things to me. We eat tons of it!! (plain stuff from WF but it is still expensive)

From VNH:
i've never had any problem with temp 'spots'. and i'm using the pasturized stuff i grabbed from the grocery store. i finally crunched the numbers, and a 1/2 gallon of milk from Super Target cost me $1.79 and a 1/2 cup of greek plain yogurt cost $1. it made 12 half cup servings. for the same amount of the cheapest yogurt i could find (yopliat) at .50 each, I saved just over $4. if the yogurt lasts me two weeks (at slow yogurt consumption, i'll run out before that) at the end of the year i will have saved $104, and reduced not only my consumption of chemicals and preservitaves but saved oddles of pounds (not sure how many) of waste from going to a landfill.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I got off work today, rushed home to my baby. my father is cool enough to watch the manchild in the time between when hubbs goes to work, and when i get home. it's not every day, but it's enough to make life way easier in the VNH household. and for once when i walk in the door, manchild is still sleeping (he'd been quite fussy today and didn't get his naps in). so i took this gift of time to do something i haven't done since manchild was born...


i'm a huge fan of yoga. but i haven't kept a regular practice since i got pregnant. up till then i'd been doing bikram (hot) yoga and that's just not do-able while preggo. i'd meant to keep a 'flow' practice going, but i was so miserable while pregnant, that i just didn't.

but today....ahhhh, today. i popped my favorite barron baptiste dvd in and just stayed in the moment. my butt was kicked, i was dripping sweat, but it was the most calm and centered i've been in.... a year. i'm fully planing on keeping up the practice, even if it's just a sun salutation a day.

and on that healing/positive energy vibe, i'm getting my first level in reiki tomorrow. i can't wait!!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oh Compost, My Compost

i love compost. there's something about taking stuff that you were just going to throw out anyway and turning it into what is ultimately the most useful thing you can bring into your garden. i'ts one of those things that completely satisfies my inner hippy.

my compost bin however, really kind of sucks.

i'm currently using the trash can method of composting. i'm sure it's a perfectly valid method. i just don't think it's a good fit for me. so i've been researching different methods of composting to see which will will work best. and i have to say, i'm leaning towards the "pile" system. composting takes longer there, but hay, it was taking forever with the trash can method anyway. (to be honest, i'm not sure i really set it up right to begin with)

the only problem i foresee in putting in a compost pile is, were not going to live at this house forever. i'm hoping not to even live here a couple of years from now. so do i put in the pile and hope that the next people to live in the house are as big of hippies as i am, or do i just keep working with my crappy trash can?

and while were talking about yard stuff, here are is a pic of the garden. told you i needed to weed.....

Monday, May 3, 2010

The garden is mostly done. now, when i say that, i lie. it's not even close. but every thing that's an actual plant and not a seed, is in dirt. most of it in pots of course, the garden itself is damn close to being overgrown, but i can't really get out there to weed at the moment. speaking of the foot...the manchild is having a hard time adjusting to not being moby'd ever day. i can't wait till my foot is better and i can moby him all the time again. i miss that closeness.

i'm very proud of myself. i brought home a microwave meal box for recycling. of course my goal for this week is to not buy ANY pre-packaged meals. i want to make all my lunches for work, and even eat at home for all dinners this week. that way there's less waste to be pitched.

on the witchy front, my "butter warmer" arrived. i can start making magical oils here soon. i can't wait. i think the first thing i'm going to make is a healing oil. i know a lot of people that can use it at the moment. healing vibes are in pretty short supply. one thing i know will help with the healing is that i'm supposed to be getting my first level of reiki this month. i've done a lot of energy work before, and i think that reiki will be a good fit for me.

ok, you're up to speed.