Making yogurt

This morning I have a gallon of yogurt straining on top of my stove.  I’d had several unsuccessful batches or too small batches so I wanted to make new yogurt and record exactly what I did so that if it worked I’d have a process for future batches.  I did follow some instructions from a blogger but I will not share that link because it was probably the most annoying blog post I’ve ever come across.  Over 30 pictures with many of them being almost repetitious and that wasted so much time.

First, I “sterilized” my pot. Even though it was clean, many people suggest you do this to make sure there is no bacteria present that could interfere with the bacteria needed to make the yogurt.  I put in a couple of cups of water and hit “Steam”, reducing the time to 5 minutes.  While this was going on I went and took shower and got dressed.

I added a gallon of Cooper’s Hilltop Farm milk and pressed the Yogurt button.  Then did the Adjust so that the “boil” function started.  I took a look at the clock and it was 9:45.  At 10:40 the IP beeped that the boil was complete.  I checked the temperature and it as 181°.  The blog I was reading (and several others I’ve read) said that if you want extra thick yogurt you should raise the temperature to 185° and let it sit at that temperature for 5-10 minutes.  After this step, I stirred the milk and turned the pot off.

I’d left the milk in the inner pot but took the pot itself out of the Instant Pot to just sit on the stove top to cool.  It took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for it to cool to 110°.  I have only cooled to 115° at times, but I followed the instructions I was using explicitly.  I added 1/4 cup of Fage Total 0 (which is what I had in my fridge) and set the pot to incubate for 8 hours.  I often have “yogurt” after 5 to 6 hours,  but I left it at 8 knowing I could stop it when I decided it was ready.

At 5 hours it still appeared to be very runny and I was a bit nervous.  I checked at 6 hours and there seemed to be a bit of whey separating so I left it longer.  Actually, I forgot about it and it was at 7½ hours by the time I remembered.  At this point there a good amount of whey and taking a spoon from the yogurt I could see the good consistency that I was hoping for.  So I covered the pot and put it into the refrigerator.

This morning I had some really good yogurt.  It’s been draining now for about 4 hours and I am going to put it into jars now.  I am going to save the whey and see if I can use it as a starter next time.  And I am going to use some of the whey as liquid in a recipe I plan on making later today.


Fast Forward to Monday!

monday-071I don’t think I’ve ever been one to hate Mondays.  They are days full of promise to me, and since I’ve chosen Monday as the first “fast day” of my week, I have started really looking forward to them.

I had a nice weekend.  Probably ate too many sweets yesterday, but I tracked it all and didn’t come in too far over my My Fitness Pal goal.

Today as I am sitting here sipping my Fire Cider that I purchased at the farmers’ market on Saturday, I was surprised to find a recipe for it online.  I don’t know that making it would be less expensive than just buying it though.  I do like it.  The kick from the habanero is awesome!

We are not doing a CSA this year so I will be a regular at the farmers’ markets nearby.  Saturday I also bought some fresh eggs, asparagus, rhubarb, and a rhubarb plant.  I hope next year to be able to pick a stalk of my own!



Burgers and “fries”

Turkey Burger

I found these at Trader Joe’s and they only contained turkey, kosher salt, and rosemary.  A simple set of ingredients, and they are only 180 calories for a quarter pound burger.  We didn’t have fries.  But I found some “tater tots” in the freezer, also from Trader Joe’s.

Sweet Potato Tots

I’ve had four good days here and tomorrow is weigh in day.  I am never sure what will happen.  For starters I did not weigh after last Friday and I had a pretty heavy meal on Easter.  So it’s possible that I have lost weight these past 4 days but may be relosing from a gain on Sunday.  I MUST have a good weekend.

I know we are eating lunch out tomorrow, so I just need to make good choices.

Today was so windy that we only got out for a short half mile walk.

I’m posting from my iMac, not my iPad that I normally use. I :heart: Blogsy, but I have completely lost touch with the WordPress editor, so I need to at least try it from time to time.



Monday, Dec. 10

Not an original title. I’m all out of original ideas on this Monday. I managed to come in under my calorie goal today, with 6 to spare. Busy all day, no exercise. Twelve hundred calories is not a lot!

Thankful I had leftover Balsamic Chicken Thighs, and only had to add some quick sides. Instant mashed potatoes, and I omitted any butter or margarine so I could make that calorie goal. But I could eat my weight in broccoli.

Now tonight we have a condo annual board meeting. I’d skip, but then we would complain that we are unaware of what is going on. Talk of figures, and budgets — not my idea of a fun evening. Don will be watching the clock. He has a football game tonight. Some say it’s the biggest game of our year.


Where did July go?

I am not sure where the month has gone, but it’s August 1 already. If you look closely at the picture you can see Don’s skinny legs. I know he likes the early morning walking because he gets out before he puts those awful long elastic stockings on. I know they must be so uncomfortable, especially in the heat of the summer.

I enjoy getting out there before starting the day when my head is nice and clear, and there is really nothing moving except the rabbits and an occasional bird.  We do encounter one other walker who walks in the same neighborhood we do.  She laps us, but then she’s probably 20-25 years younger than we are. laugh

Today was such a hectic work day.  I am glad to be done.  I will be glad when the Olympics are over.  They are interfering with my normal television watching.    smile

Tomorrow I am going to make Roni’s Spaghetti Squash and Tomato Bake, or at least my version of it.  I am using some spaghetti squash that I’ve frozen.  I hope that did not ruin the texture of it.  I guess I will find out tomorrow!  I guess we are basically eating a pescatarian diet.  I still like fish from time to time, and we do eat eggs and cheese.  Just no beef or pork and certainly no chicken.  I don’t know that I can ever eat chicken again after reading this.  (Do not read if you want to continue to enjoy your chicken!)

We eat some meat substitutes, and I am actually looking forward to the time when our nearby Whole Foods will sell Beyond Meat.  It actually fooled Mark Bittman in a blind taste test!

Oh well, there is a rerun of  “The Middle” coming on.  I love that show!


Crispy Coconut Kale


Man I love this stuff.  Tonight I used some Lite Coconut Milk, because that’s what I had on hand.  It was okay, but I think next time I buy coconut milk, I’ll get the regular full fat kind.

The sunrise was so pretty coming up over the lake this morning, but I only had my phone to try to capture a picture, and it just did not come through.  As the days get shorter, I’ll have to try to bring my good camera out and catch some better shots of our mornings.

It’s been nice and cool early in the day, and that makes perfect walking conditions.  I must admit that I often want to just turn over and go back to sleep, but I know this is a good habit that I need to continue to pursue.

Today when I completed my My Fitness Pal journal I was almost dead on my target.  No wiggle room at all! :cwy:


(Almost) Meatless Monday


I was sort of disappointed to realize that my Vitamuffin top keeps me from having a totally “meatless Monday” – darn eggwhites!  :lol:

I was so excited to get a fresh eggplant last weekend, because I’ve been waiting a long time to make ratatouille.  I used the eggplant, one yellow squash, one zucchini, some fire roasted red peppers and onions from Trader Joe’s and fresh scallions from my CSA.  I added a can of diced tomatoes, a can of sliced mushrooms and a can of garbanzo beans to make this into a main dish instead of a side.  I divided the pot in half, and we have another meal all set in the fridge for later in the week.  I bet it is better than ever once the flavors have a chance to meld.  I cooked some brown basmati rice, and fresh corn on the cob.  A delicious dinner, for sure!  Those that wonder how one gets enough protein eating only plant protein might be shocked to hear that I’ve consumed 71 grams of protein today.   Well, I guess I should deduct 4 grams for that Vitamuffin and count it as 67!  There is plenty of protein to be had without eating one bite of meat.

We had a most lovely day today.  Nice and cool this morning for or walk, and, in fact, it was cool enough later in the day that we could turn off the A/C and open up windows.  Nice for July!

I don’t mind Monday, but I am glad it’s almost over.  My scale nicely gave me a plus .1 today so I am calling the weekend a successful “M”.  Now to hold on to that and drop a pound this week!  :w00t:


Crispy Coconut Kale


I saw a link to this recipe recently and it sounded like something I’d like to try.  Thank you, Karen C!  It was delicious.   I actually only cooked half my kale, and I have plenty of coconut milk left, so I’ll be eating this again this weekend.  I don’t think I cooked the kale long enough before I turned the heat up, so I want to try again and see if I can make it even better.  It was wonderful though!  ♥

This was a meal where the vegetable was the real star.  Leftover brown rice couscous and a Gardein Chicken Scallopini, with some vegan “chicken” gravy made from a mix.  Some of the coconut milk accumulated on the bottom of the pan and I scraped some of it up with my kale.  Yummy!

There is lots of discussion around about the healthy benefits of coconut oil.  I bought a pint of organic virgin coconut oil at Trader Joe’s and have been using it in cooking instead of olive oil.

I am still on the fence about calories / points.  I think I will give my tracking at MyFitnessPal another full week — a week where I do not take a day off here and there when I don’t want to record what I ate.  I know that is my problem.  Now I need to just stop doing it!


CSA Week 1


So I got the strawberries, of course.  And turnip greens, beet greens, baby bok choy, spinach, and kale.  I think that is all.  Oh, no — also a bag of mixed baby lettuces.

I cleaned most of it, and put the kale and turnip greens in those Debbie Meyers Green Bags, unwashed.  I need to do some research to see if I should wash it before storing or just wait until it’s ready to be used.

Sauteed the beet greens in some coconut oil for dinner.  They are there, under the salmon.  That meal is on a salad plate.  Doesn’t that make it look huge!  :lol: The side is some brown rice couscous.  I’ve never tried that before – gluten free.

So today, in an effort, to see if I can make the scale move downward, I skipped the bread.  We had a salad for lunch, and I put my scoop of “faux tuna salad” (made with chickpeas) on the salad instead of on bread.  And for dinner, we just didn’t eat bread at all.  Now let’s see that scale move!

I am still tracking in MyFitnessPal.  I am thinking that next week I may switch back to eTools and track points.  Something has to work.

We did get in a brief walk this afternoon. Our weather is simply glorious!