Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guest Posting at MizFit Today! Plus Yogurt Recipe!

I want this outfit. While I’m wishing for things, I’d also like my waist back to wear it with.

To know me in real life is to know one thing about me. No, not my spunky gym craziness (which has sadly diminished since becoming preggo) or my bad dance moves that I will willingly showcase in any public setting or even the fact that I always travel in a pack of wild boys. No, what most people remember about me is my singular ability to ruin any food I come into close contact with. I’m a bad cook. The best part about it though is that I married a man who loves to socialize - as do I - and so we often have people over for dinner. So this “talent” is not one that stays hidden. Generally when I show up to a potluck, the first question people ask is, “Did you make that or buy it?” Domino’s pizza is by far the most popular dish of “mine” so far. To read more about my culinary adventures, check out my guest post over at the inimitable MizFit’s today!!

However, we do not eat out much. One meal a week at most. Which means that despite being really bad at it, I end up doing a lot of cooking. And I prefer to cook from scratch thereby saving on money and preservatives. So I’ve decided to let you in my new favorite cooking pastime: making my own yogurt.

I’ve long had an expensive greek-yogurt-a-day habit. I LOVE the stuff. And I like the whole fat, organic kind - which is not cheap - but I considered it an indulgence and bought it anyhow. All that changed when I read this article about making your own basic foods. The recipe for yogurt was so simple and cost effective that I will summarize it for you here: Pour a quart of milk into a pan. Heat to 180-190 F. Cool to 115-120 F. Stir in 1/4 c of yogurt (either the kind you buy at the store or leftovers from your last batch, doesn’t matter if it is flavored!). Remove the pan from the stove, swaddle it in a kitchen towel and let it sit for 4 hours. Scoop it into a container and refrigerate. Viola - YOGURT! That’s it! You don’t need a yogurt maker! It’s the easiest thing ever! Not even I can screw it up!

And yes, since I know some of you are thinking “But plain yogurt tastes like crap” and I know you won’t believe me when I tell you homemade plain yogurt tastes better than that grocery store junk, you can add stuff to it like jam, fruit or honey. I also use my yogurt to marinate chicken, make masala sauce for Indian dishes, and make savory dips by adding garlic, salt, and seasonings.

I did try all the other recipes listed in the article; it was a baking kind of weekend here. The granola was yummy but kinda time consuming to make and not really healthy. The bagels were delish but a total pain to make. And freezer jam is always a winner - can’t go wrong with freezer jam!

You guys have any easy healthy recipes to give me so I can ruin, I mean, try them? What other things do you make your own of? Dryer sheets? Baby wipes?

PS> For all of you who suggested that I start my own organic veggie garden, I am happy to report that last night we planted the first of our cold-weather veggies! We’ve got brussels sprouts, spinach and peas going on. We’ll add tomatoes, squash, onions and some other things when it’s not butt-freezing cold anymore. Here’s hoping they grow!