Welcome to my kitchen! Sit right down and join me for something yummy!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Crockpot Yogurt

--8 cups (half-gallon) milk

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter.)

--thick bath towel


Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add all 8 cups of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation. I have an insulated carrying bag for my crockpot, so I use that. I do place a few dish towels on top of the lid before zipping up the bag.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8-10 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

Neal likes to add honey and blueberries to his yogurt. I add Truvia and grape nuts and sometimes mini-chocolate chips. The kids add honey or sucanat with honey and grape nuts and chocolate chips.

** I usually like to start my yogurt around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. That way I'm finishing up with my part around bedtime. **

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

(sorry...the picture's a little blurry, but you get the idea!)

I don't have the exact measurements for this recipe, because I didn't measure anything. I'll tell you what I put in it though, and I'll approximate some of the ingredients. Most of the ingredients are really "to taste" though.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

One large rotisserie chicken (I get mine at Sam's club)
1 medium onion, diced
1 to 2 stalks celery, diced small
Reduced Fat Mayonnaise, approximately 1 cup (or to taste)
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
slivered almonds -- 1/2 cup
1 cup grapes, sliced in half

Pull the chicken off the bones, and cut into bite size pieces. Place chicken in large mixing bowl. Add onion and celery. Mix well. Add mayonnaise, lime juice, curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Gently stir in almonds and grapes.

Serve on a salad or on a bun. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bean and Kielbasa Soup

It was cold out yesterday...definitely a day for soup. I had beans and turkey kielbasa on hand, so I came up with this soup. It was a winner with my family, so I thought I'd share it here! You can substitute your favorite beans for the ones I use, or keep it the same.

Bean and Kielbasa Soup

14 oz Turkey Polska Kielbasa (slice down the middle lengthwise, and then cut into small bites)
2 - 15.5 oz can Great Northern Beans (do not drain)
2 - 15 oz can Chili Beans (do not drain)
2 - 15.5 oz can Chick Peans, drained and rinsed
2 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 - 4 oz can green chiles, diced
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chicken broth (or enough to reach desired consistency)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic
dash of cinnamon
dash of worcestershire sauce

Combine all of the above ingredients in crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A New Year

I posted this on my family blog yesterday, but thought since it deals with food that I would re-post it here.

2009! Wow!

Last night our pastor's sermon was entitled "Spiritual Tools for Success in 2009." I have many areas I want to work on this year, and his sermon last night was very motivating for me.

Two of the areas I want to work on this year are physical and spiritual wellness. I need to be more consistent in my daily time with God...both in prayer and in Bible reading. I've been doing much better in these areas, but there is definite room for improvement.

I also need to lose weight, but beyond that I need to get healthy! I've been working out on the Wii Fit for almost two weeks now and I can already feel the difference in my body. I've only lost two pounds, but I have improved my strength and I can see improvement in my knee pain.

The following verse really spoke to me last night:

Job 23:12 "I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread."

If I'm honest with myself and with God, I know that I do not put His Bread (the Bible) before my bread (my food). Food is like an idol to me in the sense that I eat too much and put too much emphasis on our meals and eating. With food, my focus needs to be on feeding my family healthy, well-balanced meals. period. That doesn't mean they can't taste good, but it means they need to nourish my family, not just fill them up.

So, these are two of my goals for 2009. These are not my only goals, but they're the ones I want to share now with you.I pray that 2009 is a good year for all who are reading this! God bless you!

Chicken Joke

Chicken Joke is not a "joke," but it is a recipe. Sort of...

Sunday morning before we left for church, I put some rice and water in my rice cooker and set the timer so that it would be ready when we got home. I laid out some chicken breasts to thaw with plans to grill them.

After church we stopped by Sams Club to pick up a couple of items, and while there I saw Chinese food in the freezer section. We were just saying how we would like some Chinese, so I started planning in my head what I could do with the rice and chicken at home to make it "Chinese."

After we ate our pseudo-Chinese meal at lunch, Neal and Beth said I needed to put it on my blog. I told them I really couldn't because I didn't know how much I put in of the ingredients. Well, they don't want me to forget about this meal, so I'm going to do the best I can.

Chicken Joke
3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, just a dash
Ginger powder, to taste (probably a couple of tbsp)
chopped garlic, to taste (probably 1 to 2 tsp)
red pepper, just a dash
curry, to taste (I know that isn't Chinese, but we added it anyway)
1 granny smith apple, cut into bite-size pieces
Chicken broth (about 3/4 cup)
cold water and cornstarch to thicken
Heat oil in skillet and add chicken and salt. Cook until chicken starts to lose its' pink color and then add ginger, garlic, red pepper and curry. Coat chicken well, and then add chicken broth. When the chicken is just about done, add the apple. Let it cook for a few more minutes and then if it looks dry add some more chicken broth. If it's kinda juicy that's good, go ahead and add the water/cornstarch mixture to thicken (this is so that the spices coat the chicken). Serve over rice.
Chicken Joke Rice
All I did was make my rice in the rice cooker. I use brown basmati rice. I took it out of the cooker and put it in my wok (with melted butter). I seasoned it with lite soy sauce and added sesame seeds. I cooked it for a short time and then added steamed veggies (I get a big bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrots from Sams).
That's it. This is really for my benefit, but if you can follow along with my poor attempt at writing down this "recipe" then by all means, give it a try! It really was good....and that's no Chicken Joke!
(The name Chicken Joke came from my children. One day something happened and Ben looked at Beth and said "and that's no chicken joke!" Since then it has become a joke in our family, and Beth thought I should name this dish Chicken Joke in honor of Ben's silliness). If you're interested in reading about the origin of Chicken Joke on Beth's blog click here!