Mom Knows Best : June 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

How To Make Yogurt With A Slow Cooker And A Electric Blanket, Even Works With Chocolate Milk


A friend gave me a gallon of chocolate milk, and being that we already had plenty of milk in the house, I decided to make some yogurt with it. I searched Google to see if it was possible to make yogurt from chocolate milk and did not find any searches to answer my question. The only search that came close was someones concern that the carrageenan in the chocolate milk might interfere with the thickening of the yogurt. So I decided to try making yogurt with the chocolate milk and I am happy to say it worked.

 I also decided to try a new method of making the yogurt with a slow cooker and a electric  blanket. I first had to find out what setting on the electric blanket was equal to 110 degrees,the temperature needed to cure the yogurt at. I did this by plugging in the blanket and sticking a thermometer in the bunched up blanket. For each dial change on the blanket I left the thermometer in for 15 minutes. My blanket reached 110 degrees at number 4 on the dial.

 Then I heated up the gallon of milk on the stove until it reached 185 degrees. I stirred the milk often to prevent scalding of the milk. To make the yogurt thicker,add a cup of powder milk to the milk before heating it.


Once the milk got to 185 degrees, I placed the pan in a sink of cold water until the milk temperature reached  110 degrees. Make sure to not get any water into the pan.


Once the milk reached 110 degrees, I added 1 cup of vanilla yogurt to the chocolate milk and stirred well.






After I stirred the yogurt into the milk, I placed it into my slow cooker crock, that I took out of the base, and placed the cover on it. I then placed the crock on the electric blanket and wrapped it up. I turned on the blanket at my setting number 4. Your blanket might maintain 110 degrees at a different setting so find out as directed above before making the yogurt. I left the crock under the blanket for 8 hours. 




After 8 hours, I placed the crock in the fridge for another 12 hours before taking the lid off. I was very pleased with the way the yogurt turn out and it tasted great too.


You can also make yogurt with plain milk too. I  also made a batch with 2% milk and added 1 cup of powder milk to it before heating up the milk. I then followed all the same steps but, left it in the electric blanket for 12 hours this time. The powder milk and longer cooking time makes the yogurt more creamy. 

To make the yogurt greek style, you need to strain the yogurt after all the above steps for about 2 hours. There are several ways to do this. You can use two coffee filters in a colander with that placed in a bowl or buy this cool strainer I found on Amazon. Place the yogurt in the fridge when straining it.


You just put the yogurt in it for 2 hours, while in the fridge, and you will have greek yogurt.


I love being able to make yogurt for less money than in the store. A gallon of milk costs $2.50 for me and a cup of yogurt is $1.00 so $3.50 for 4 quarts of yogurt is a awesome price. To make 2 quarts of yogurt just cut all the ingredients in half.

Homemade Yogurt

1 gallon milk
1 cup powder milk
1 cup plain yogurt( take out of fridge the same time you take out the milk)
cooking thermometer
electric blanket set to 110 degrees
slow cooker crock and lid

Pour milk into a pan and stir in powder milk. Heat milk over medium high to 185 degrees and stir often. 
Remove from stove and place pan in a sink of cold water, make sure not to get any water in the milk mixture. Let the milk cool too 110 degrees, this takes about 10 minutes or so. Pour the milk into a slower cooker crock and stir well. Place lid on the crock and wrap with preheated electric blanket. Leave crock under the blanket for 12 hours. It is tempting to look at it while under the blanket, but no peeking, just leave it alone.Then place crock in fridge for another 12 hours. It is important to not stir the yogurt or move it while it is in the fridge for those 12 hours. This will disturb the process, just simply place in the fridge and leave alone.After the 12 hours, spoon yogurt into containers. This yogurt will be good for about 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Make sure to save a cup of yogurt for your next batch.

I am always amazed that my milk turns into yogurt. I saved quart yogurt containers from store bought yogurt to store my yogurt in. This recipe makes 4 quarts of yogurt or 16 cups.



Monday, June 24, 2013

A New Use For A Old Crib Mattress


My boys were sick this past week with fevers, so I pulled out the old crib mattress from the garage for them to lay on in the living room. Now that they are feeling better, they found out it makes a great trampoline also.
After five kids, the crib mattress is not in great shape to pass down to anyone. I discovered last winter, when they were sick with the stomach bug, that I could lay the mattress in the bathroom. That way they could sleep in there and be close to the potty.  I then stored the crib mattress in the garage for those sick days. You could also store your old crib mattress under a bed too. 
I am so glad they are feeling better and will let them have fun with the mattress for a couple of days. 
What item did you re-purpose after you kids out grew it?


Kroger Makes Outdoor Grilling Fun




As a Bzzagent, I get to try new items and tell my friends. My family enjoyed having an outdoor barbecue with Kroger. For my Albuquerque friends, Smiths is a part of the Kroger chain. We got to sample the new slider burgers from Kroger. They also make buns that are the perfect size for the slider burgers. The slider burgers come frozen and grill up very quickly so your family can enjoy them right away.

 I was also sent coupons to buy the Kroger brand of chips and soda.. Those items taste just as good as the other name brands. I like that they are priced less. Saving money is a plus for me. Kroger also makes great tasting ice cream,another summer favorite for my family.
 July 4th is next week and Kroger sliders along with chips and soda will make your barbecue great. Don't forget the ice cream!

"These opinions are my own and I was sent coupons to buy the items mentioned to do my blog post."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fun At The Mall




Just some pictures of Kodi and Jesse at a mall event having fun.

Bob's Red Mill Quinoa


This is my first Bob's Red Mill grain that I tried from my Grains -Of- Discovery box.


Quinoa is pronounced keen-wa and is a "pseudo-grain"-actually a gluten-free seed, but used in cooking like a whole grain.  Quinoa, being a nutritious whole grain, has per serving 7 grams protein and 3 grams of fiber. It also is high in iron. Quinoa is a traditional grain of the Andes. Quinoa is delicious on its own and has an earthy flavor. It is a great nutritious alternative to white rice and couscous in most recipes. It is also very easy to prepare.


This is what Quinoa looks like. Cooking Quinoa is simple. 

1 cup Quinoa 
2 cups water or broth
Rinse the Quinoa in a strainer under water for 2 minutes. Then boil the water in a saucepan. Add the Quinoa and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork.




This is what the cooked Quinoa looks like. You can enjoy it plain or use in these delicious recipes found on Bob's Red Mill website I like to eat my grains with beans, salsa, and guacamole over it.

"These opinions are my own and I received the above product to share with my readers."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bob's Red Mill Grains of Discovery


I received a awesome package today from Bob's Red Mill. It was boxed up like a suitcase and inside was 9 packages of whole grains from around the world.


There are some cool whole grains that I have never tried and some like chia and millet that I already use. All of these grains are very nutritious and high in fiber and protein. I am looking forward to trying all these new grains and learning about the places they came from. So join me on my whole grain quest with Bob's Red Mill as I cook up some new dishes.
 I love Bob's Red Mill products as they are healthy and great tasting. My favorite products are his rolled oats, flax meal, and chia seed. To see all the wonderful products Bob sells go to http://www.bobsredmill.com/



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spring In Your Step Mom Meet-ups sponsored by Children's Claritin


 I am Children's Claritin mom crew member and they send me cool stuff to help my friends learn about Children's Claritin. They sent me a "Spring in Your Step Mom Meet-up" box so I could have a get together with my friends. Inside they box there was some samples of Children's Claritin and these cool hot/coldpacks that are great for allergy headaches.

These packs are very cool! They have these gel balls in them and they can be put in the refrigerator or warmed in the microwave. You then place it on your head to help with allergies.


I decided to share my goodies with my helpers of my church nursery. Below is a picture of our church nursery. I could not pictures of the workers because of policies. The kids in the picture are mine.

The nursery workers were very happy to receive the cold/hot packs. One worker wanted to use it right away as her allergies were acting up. I was able to tell my nursery workers,who also have kids, how wonderful Children's Claritin works with seasonal allergies. My boys take Children's Claritin everyday for allergies and they have no symptoms like sneezing or drippy nose.  I also love that Children's Claritin is non drowsy.

"These opinions are my own and I received the above products to write this review."





Friday, June 14, 2013

Another Great Dinner For A Hot Summer Night


 It is still above 95 degrees here in Albuquerque, New Mexico and there is now rain in sight. I don't feel like cooking so I found a great dinner idea for spring rolls on Face Book. So I searched Google for recipes and found one and made some changes using ingredients that I had in the house. Here is my version of spring rolls. I used fish that I made in the microwave.


I bought these cool rice papers at Talin Market  in Albuquerque but you can find them at oriental markets also.


I had some baby carrots and thawed frozen broccoli that I shredded in my food processor. The top plate is seaweed that I had left over from a sushi recipe.


First I got both sides of the rice paper wet, just place in a bowl of water for a couple of seconds. Lay the wet rice paper on a clean surface and layer all the ingredients in the middle of it. Since my fish was already seasoned I did not add any. If using unseasoned fish, just sprinkle it with salt and garlic to taste.


Roll up the rice paper like a burrito

Then wrap the spring roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.


I them made a sauce to dip the spring rolls in.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
combine all ingredients in a dish. 


My husband enjoyed his with some wasabi also. These were great for a main course but they also make great appetizers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's Too Hot To Cook Dinner


Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico it is 95 degrees and hot. I love summer but hate that it is too hot to turn on the oven. So I cook using the microwave and stove. Last night I made breakfast burritos and it took less than 5 minutes to make. I always have the ingredients on hand to make some kind of mexican food.


The ingredients to make breakfast burritos are very simple. 

Tortillas - this is a New Mexico staple as it is our bread

a dozen eggs

shredded cheese- I like cheddar but we were out so I use mozzarella

salsa

potatoes

guacamole- I like to keep Wholly Guacamole in the freezer for quick meals,it thaws quick in a bowl of cold water

I scrubbed the potatoes and cooked them in the microwave. As the potatoes where cooking, I scrambled the eggs. Once the potatoes were done, I cut them in cubes and pan fried them in a hot pan with no oil until they turned brown.



Then I place all the ingredients on the counter and allowed everyone to create their own burrito.


Here is how I made mine. I place eggs, potatoes, salsa, cheese, and guacamole on the tortilla. Then I folded up the tortilla. I also microwave a package of frozen broccoli to go with the breakfast burritos. This is a easy dinner to make on a hot summer night.



What are your favorite meals for summer when it is too hot to cook? Feel free to link your blog post here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fresh Squeezed Summer With Kroger



 Bzzagent sent me some wonderful coupons to have a barbecue with. They sent me the coupons and I went to Smiths and bought the items pictured below.

For dinner tonight we will be having slider burgers,wavy chips, and vanilla cola. The Kroger slider burgers are frozen pre-made burgers that are individually wrapped and they also sell slider buns too. My boys already  sampled the chips and soda, as they could not wait.




Monday, June 3, 2013

Secret Outlast Clear Gel


I got a sample of

 Secret Outlast Clear Gel from Influenster to try and it is great. I love that it is clear and does not leave white marks on my clothes. It also smells wonderful.

Check out this funny video about Secret Outlast Clear gel

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cookies For Breakfast!





My boys like eating those Quaker breakfast cookies but I don't like how much they cost. So I made a homemade version. I think the recipe I found is also better for my boys. I love that I can sneak nutrition into my boys with cookies.. The recipe I found is packed with fiber through oatmeal, whole wheat flour, and flax meal. The flax meal also adds omegas into their diet. The nuts add protein and the fruit adds vitamins making these cookies nutritious. Just add a glass of milk and you have a great breakfast that kids and grown ups will enjoy. I love these cookies for busy summer mornings for a quick and easy breakfast.


oatmeal and flax cranberry cookies

  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 3/4 cup flax meal
  • 1  cups dried cranberries
  •  1 cup chopped nuts, optional; walnuts or pecans are tasty (I used sunflower seeds)

directions

1) Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment.
2) In a large bowl, soften the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, and egg and stir until well mixed.
3) Mix in the flour, oats, flax meal dried fruit and nuts or seeds.
4) Let the dough rest for 30 minutes or so at room temperature, for the oats to soften. Towards the end of the rest period, preheat the oven to 350°F.
5) Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball of dough slightly.
6) Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool them on the baking sheets for 15 minutes or so, to allow them to set. 
Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

You can also make a chocolate breakfast cookie too. Just omit the cranberries and add 1 cup chocolate chips. These are also great to pack in lunches and afternoon snacks.





Mom knows best