Archive | recipe

Simple Homemade Vanilla Yogurt

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1 gallon milk: heat to 180 degrees
Cool in kettle (about 2 hours) till it’s still warm, but not too hot to touch.

1/8 teaspoon yogurt culture  (found at health food stores OR 1 cup plain yogurt with live active cultures.
1/2 teaspoon stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons knox gelatin dissolved in 1/2 cup water (optional)

Put the yogurt mixture into mason jars and set inside an oven that has been preheated to 100 degrees. (Alternative method is to place inside an ice chest in 100 degree water). Let set in the oven 8-12 hours. Refrigerate.

Tips: I rarely use a thermometer anymore when making yogurt. But if you’re just starting out, you may want to! I just heat the milk til it develops that “skin” layer on top and then turn it off to cool. I also know it’s cool enough to add the culture when I can put my finger into it for a couple of seconds …. you don’t want it cooled completely, but neither do you want it too hot as it can kill the yogurt culture.

The gelatin is optional. In the early years, I always added the gelatin, but now I usually skip this step and it turns out beautifully. The richer the milk, like say Jersey cow milk for example, the thicker the yogurt! For Lancaster County locals, milk from Lapp Valley farms makes amazing yogurt!

For plain yogurt to use in cooking recipes, just omit the stevia and vanilla of course! :)

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Apples & Coconut Muesli

Last September Phil and I were gifted with a beautiful weekend at the Terranea Resort in California by Plexus. We had never stayed at anything so gorgeous on mainland USA in our entire lives! Absolutely stunning terrain and ocean views, beautiful weather, amazing food, and with wonderful people too! We were served several delicious meals during our stay, but on one of our free mornings, Phil discovered that the cafe downstairs was serving Bircher Muesli! He was so excited and came back with rave reviews, so the next morning we both got a bowl and enjoyed from our ocean-view veranda.

Now I’m sure the ocean breezes made this breakfast taste even more amazing, but I think it’s safe to say that my duplication of this recipe as best I could has brought rave reviews from our children and others back home too.

So without further adieu…..Musli Terranea // That’s the fancy name we’re giving this simple and delicious variety of muesli. Food like this isn’t easy to find in East Coast Amish country, but we’ve suggested it to our local coffee shop/cafe a few times! I’m pretty sure there are others who would love it as we do! Maybe soon we’ll see it on their menu!?

Now really, there isn’t much you can do to “mess up” muesli. Just add the following ingredients into a bowl and play around with it! For our family of six I usually start with four generous cups of oats. If making for one or two people, I start with one cup of oats.

Almond or coconut milk
Shredded Coconut
Apples finely diced (tart green apples are great, but any on hand will do!)
Favorite Sweetener ~ Honey is amazing, maple syrup is great . . . I usually do a little of either of one of those and then add extra stevia just because my family loves the sweet!
A few drops of coconut extract make this dish taste exactly as it should!

If using regular oats, you can soak at least an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator)… We sometimes use quick oats too because we enjoy the texture and eating immediately. Of course, adjust the amount of milk according to your preference. More milk added as the oats soak of course, and all depending on how “sloppy” you prefer to eat cooked oats or regular cereal.

Let me know how you like it~and if you think a local cafe would be able to see this by the pans-full as the cafe in California does! 😀

Oh, and if you are wondering just WHAT in the world muesli is, THIS ARTICLE some interesting history and recipe ideas as well!

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Pizza: A Weekend Tradition

Does your family eat pizza on the weekends?

I have so many great memories associated with weekend pizza from my growing up years. From extended family get-togethers with my aunts, uncles and cousins~pizza every Saturday to be sure or with my own immediate family on our own in later years when we moved across the country . . . to now building the pizza tradition into our own small family life.

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Our family eats pretty much anything, but when the weekend rolls around, at some point we usually eat pizza in some shape or form! We *love* the New York Style available on nearly every corner here in Pennsylvania~delicious!! But there’s something so satisfying to me about making our own pizza too! Building a business for the past 3 years definitely saw us ordering in more pizza than usual, and now that I have been taking more time for the things I have always loved~one of them being the kitchen~homemade pizza is back on the menu!

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I don’t stick with one particular dough recipe because I like to try new ones from time to time, but I do like Pioneer Woman’s pizza dough recipe or a similar one from a Mennonite cookbook on my shelf. Lately I have also loved using the ever-wonderful crusty bread recipe as a great “sour dough” crust. Typically I use the pizza sauce that we canned during the fall with the tomatoes from our garden, but there again I appreciate variety and I’ve been *loving* this new twist on sauce, once again, using among other things, the balsamic vinegar that I have been loving and using on many foods.

Pizza Sauce from Scratch:
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
6-8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or if you’re like me, MORE!) 😀
olive oil

Combine and blend in food processor, use fresh on pizza for a great taste! OR cook in pan, leaving tomatoes in chunks . . .and spoon onto crust.

So wherever your weekend takes you, I hope delicious pizza is part of it! :) Maybe you’ll want to try this sauce recipe?? And if you’ve got a great pizza tip or particular way you like to eat it, I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Weekend!!


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