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My newest kitchen toy... - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
skywhisperer
skywhisperer
My newest kitchen toy...

My company gives out gift certificates for all sorts of things. Everybody completes a survey? Get a gift certificate. Help someone out with a project? Gift certificate. You can redeem them all over the place, but I always get mine at Amazon, so I usually have a good bit of credit on my account there.

So last month, when all the cooking blogs started raving about making your own yogurt, I splurged on a yogurt maker. This one got the best reviews, and I figured at $40 it was worth a try.

It makes amazing yogurt. You're supposed to boil the milk (any kind, from cream to skim, will work), let it cool, put in the starter (either powdered or just yogurt from the last batch or the grocery store), then put it in the 7 jars, put the lid on, and leave it alone for 12 hours. When it's done, you put the lids on the jars and put them in the fridge.

The first time, I boiled the milk in a saucepan, but I ended up with that awful mess of burnt milk sugars on the bottom of the pan, it dirtied a pan and multiple bowls, and it took half an hour. So the next few times I've been smarter - the milk goes in a microwave safe bowl, boils in 8 minutes in the microwave, I take the bowl out, let it cool, mix in the starter, and pour it into the jars. Way less time and only dirties one bowl.

The first and third batch used yogurt from the store as a starter, and it was nicely creamy with just a little bit of bite. The second batch I tried using the powdered starter, and it was way too strong. It was good, but the tartness would knock you over. So I used it last night to make The Best Onion Dip Ever.

To flavor the other batches, I bought a few bags of random frozen fruits - cherries, peaches, and a strawberry/mango/pineapple mix. I threw one bag at a time into the blender, and put them in little bowls in the fridge. In the morning, I dump a jar of yogurt into a bowl, add as much fruit as I want (Mike likes his with a bit of honey, too), and take it to work. The book says you can flavor or sweeten it before you put it in the machine, but that it will take longer and not set as firmly.

Anyway, I'm not sure it actually saves any money over buying Yoplait, but it comes out tasting better and without all the preservatives. Well worth the $40 in gift certificates.

Current Mood: chipper chipper

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Comments
rattleback From: rattleback Date: January 23rd, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Neat gadget. I'm going low-carb for awhile - in the process I'll probably learn more about straight yogurt than I want to. The lowfat Fage and fresh blackberries worked out well this morning, though.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: January 23rd, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
We eat a lot of yogurt. It's my default breakfast. I throw it in the ice cream maker and make frozen yogurt. The new book I have says that you can strain the water out and make 'yogurt cheese', mix in a handful of herbs, and it becomes a great topping for baked potatoes or bagels.

Heck, it's probably so good for you that it'll just suck all the carbs right out of the bagels! :)
alsatia From: alsatia Date: January 23rd, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, neat. When we finally get around to remodeling our kitchen, maybe we'll have enough space to use this sort of thing. Currently our kitchen gadgets are scattered all over the house and we don't even use half the things we normally would...I haven't touched a blender since we moved in, for example, because I'd have to go fetch it from the basement every time.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: January 23rd, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's exactly why I keep putting off remodeling my kitchen. :) I have a few friends who are doing it alongside post-Ike repairs, and it just sounds like a horrible process.
alsatia From: alsatia Date: January 23rd, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I thought it was an argument in favor of remodeling! We intend to basically eliminate the "dining room" (which is not really a room, just a part of the big open space that also includes the living room) and extend the cabinets and counters into that area, pretty much doubling the size of the kitchen. Mom's just not convinced she's ready to spend the money on it. I'm itching to do it though, as the current situation really makes me quite miserable and discourages me from healthy eating.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: January 23rd, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy with the amount of space I have in my kitchen. I've got a huge pantry, and while it's pretty full, I try to get rid of things as I buy new things. The next thing to go is likely the deep fryer, which is very nice, but I haven't used it in the 3 years I've lived here. The whole point of that deep fryer was that it allows me to reuse the oil, but honestly, if I'm only going to deep-fry things once every 5 years, I can't reuse the oil anyway. At this point, adding more space would only allow me to accumulate more "stuff", and the last thing I need in my life is any more "stuff".

On the other hand, I'd like to do something like that to my bathroom. I have this huge linen closet that just takes up space, and I'd love to tear it down, replace it with an equivalent number of cabinets on the walls, and put in a big bathtub. But it's going to be expensive.

stdsle01 From: stdsle01 Date: January 24th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)
So this is another appliance I have. A couple of suggestions, the bulgarian yogurt is a great starter, its in the glass jar at the HEB. Also, try making the yocheese, where you drain some of the "whey" out of the yogurt. Great stuff.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: January 28th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I saw that last night at Rice and picked up a jar. I'm going to try it for tonight's batch.

I've done yocheese - I want to try it on bagels next time I get a bagel-making urge.
oshawapilot From: oshawapilot Date: January 31st, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
My sister had one of these in the early 80's. I didn't realize they were still around.
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