Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

I posted the other day that I was "trying" to make yogurt for the first time & haven't reported since then.  So let me say, the process & recipe were a HUGE success!!  Here's my afternoon snack.
Here's the link to the website I used.  I highly recommend you trying it for yourself if you have the time & eat alot of yogurt.  Our family can eat two large containers of yogurt a week plus I cook with alot of Greek yogurt so it has ended up being a huge savings for us.  

If you use the recipe from this website here's a couple of things I did differently.  
I didn't add the honey to the entire batch because I like plain yogurt & I use plain Greek yogurt for cooking.  When members of our family fix their yogurt they just add honey to it individually as needed.  

Secondly,  I didn't make the entire batch into Greek yogurt. Most of it is still in it's basic yogurt form in the refrigerator now.  I did strain some of it to make Greek & it was super easy.  I will make more Greek yogurt as needed from the regular batch.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deep into fall - pumpkins & pork

I have been the happiest of happy this afternoon in the kitchen.

I have worked on making my first-ever batch of homemade yogurt, baked herb bread & roasted pumpkins.

I roast my pie pumpkins whole.  Just like they look sitting on our windowsill.

I place them on a baking sheet for a little over an hour.  You can smell when they are done.  After slicing them in two, I scoop out the seeds in the center & then scoop out the roasted pumpkin. Here's a small bowl of it straight out of the shells. I've reserved this small amount for some biscuits in the morning.  I will add a little sugar & cinnamon to it when it's warmed up in a skillet.
I've used most of it to make pumpkin soup.  Following the recipe at this website.


Bacon makes the perfect final addition to the soup with a small scoop of sour cream.  Here's some of our fresh bacon from the three pigs we raised this year.

The herb bread that I made this afternoon is my favorite bread recipe of all time & this will be the first time that I have posted it.  I use the bread machine to knead the dough, then I take it out, let it rise & bake it in the oven.  You can either make one large loaf or two smaller loaves.  Today I divided the dough up for two.

So here's the recipe:

10 to 12 ounces water
1.5 teaspoons salt
1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil (today I used olive)
3.5 cups of bread flour
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried onion (today I chopped up some green onions out of the garden instead)
.5 teaspoon dried basil (today I chopped up fresh basil from the deck)
.5 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

I load all the wet ingredients into my breadmaker first, then mix the flour & all dry ingredients (except yeast) together well before placing them on top.  Then I create a little well in the top of the flour mixture for the yeast & get it started.

The yogurt I'm in the process of making is from the recipe on this blog:

Right now I've got it all wrapped up & am waiting patiently.  I'll try to blog about my results tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One final summer dish - Ratatouille

As our garden is hanging on as best it can after the frost, it feels honoring to create one last great summer dish, Ratatouille. It is basically roasted vegetables with Parmesan cheese. And smells creamy & wonderful in the oven on a nice cool fall day like this. These are the final remnants of our summer vegetables. Plus our onions, which should last a while longer & some garlic I bought from the store. The bell peppers looks a little frosty because I just pulled it out of the freezer. I slice it like this & freeze it in a ziploc bag where I can just pull out what I need for any dish throughout the winter.
The recipe I've always used for this dish is here:

The hardest part of the dish is chopping up the vegetables & satueing the eggplant first. Other than that is just roasting in the oven. I've discovered that I'm a huge fan roasting. I love the intensity of flavor it creates & the time that I don't have to spend standing over a pot or skillet!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall is delicious

Temperatures here have fallen & the weather combined with the foods ready for harvest have inspired me today. Here's some of the things I used.
I sauteed the basket of mixed greens from the garden. The butternut squash, pear & a small onion were chopped up like this.
I tossed them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper & then started them roasting in a 400 degree oven. After about twenty minutes or so I pulled them out & tossed them with some fresh raw honey from the farm of some friends.
This is what the final roasted dish looked like right out of the oven.
I also made some sage butter from our fresh sage & sauteed the pork in that. It was heavenly.
And then last, but certainly not least, was the pear honey made by my mom. She uses a Paula Deen recipe that is fabulousness itself.