Friday, February 12, 2010

Twist on Yogurt

I have to say first, that I tried to make yogurt in a crockpot...  It was a dismal failure.  I think maybe my crockpot was too large?  The recipe called for a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and I had purchased a whole thing of plain yogurt because that's what was available.  I didn't want to use an entire eight cups of milk again, so I wanted to think of a way to eat the plain yogurt. 

I could have made a yummy Greek dish, but I was missing too many ingredients to make the special sauce (I'll post the recipe sometime in the future, ha ha), and we're constantly broke, soooo... I used some frozen strawberries I had purchased for a different recipe.  And so it began....

Categories: Yogurt, Strawberries, Breakfast, snack
Preheat: --

1 large container plain yogurt (I'll have to post ounces later, but you know what size I'm talking about, right??)
1 cup sugar (You may find this edited next time you access this recipe to be less sugar...)
1-3 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and cut up

1.  In a sealable container, mix together the container of plain yogurt, the sugar and the strawberries.  I used my huge Pampered Chef batter bowl as the container.  It's 8 cups and perfect.  Also, I just threw in the frozen strawberries whole.  The next morning, I took my scissors and cut up the strawberries before we ate it.

2.  Refrigerate.  I can't rave enough about "making" our yogurt this way!  It's delightful, and the strawberries are not mushy, they're firm and delicious.  Also, there's no added coloring (although I guess you could add color if you really wanted to).  FINALLY, you control how much sugar goes in. 

Mexican Lasagne

THIS. IS. THE. BEST. NEW. RECIPE.  You have to try it.  If you use my yummy homemade refried beans-in-a-crockpot recipe, it's soooo easy and inexpensive!

Preheat: 375*
Categories: Mexican, Lasagne, Casserole, Freezeable

1 pound (16 oz.) Ground beef
1 teaspoon Cumin
2 teaspoons Chili powder (I skipped the cumin/chili powder combo and used taco seasoning.  In fact, I made two pounds of taco meat the day before and used one pound for burritos and one pound for this.  It's just a friendly, helpful tip from me, the not-fabulous chef, ha ha.)

2 cans Chopped green chilis (I used one of the larger cans they've come out with.  There's a little more than what you would get in two cans of chopped green chilis, but it's LESS EXPENSIVE to do the one larger can.)
2 cans Stewed tomatoes, drained

Refried beans
Mexican shredded cheese (Puh-leeze.  Do you think I did anything more than use my extra-sharp cheddar cheese from Sam's Club.  You're right.  I didn't. :))
Sour Cream
Corn Tortillas (I used corn tortilla chips, and it was sooooo good)
Lettuce, chopped (honestly, this...
Tomatoes, diced (and this... are optional.  We ate it without these toppings (on accident, ha ha), and it was still good)
(opt.) Salsa
(opt.) Sour Cream

1.  Cook ground beef.  Season it while cooking with the cumin and chili powder.  Drain.  I added the refried beans at this step.  I know, I know, it's cheating, but it was so much easier than trying to spread the darned beans later on.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together cooked ground beef, chilis and tomatoes.  Um, I'd like to say that the chilis make this dish spi-cy.  My husband is so happy and grateful and the rest of us are drinking lots of water.  I'd say that's a win-win dinner!  :)

3.  Layer the bottom of a glass pan (yes, the recipe said glass pan.  There's no reason you can't use something else)  with 6 corn tortillas.  Again, I just used tortilla corn chips.  I think it would be delicious either way, but I'm partial to the chips.

4.  Cover with half of the meat mixture, then sprinkle cheese to cover.  I know this is a little confusing not having amounts of shredded cheese to work with.  I think they're expecting you to purchase a large package of cheese.  Personally, I used about two cups of grated cheese.

5.  Layer refried beans, meat, and cheese once again.  
6.  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375*.  It needs to be bubbly-hot.  I like to use the broiler to brown the cheese for a few minutes, mmm.

7.  Serve with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.

Basic Yellow Cake - Wilton

This is such a yummy, dense, moist cake.  Jonathan wasn't crazy about it, but I think it was soooo good.  We added strawberries (frozen, rinsed, cut up) into the mix and it turned out great!

Preheat: 350*
Categories: Cake, Dessert

3 cups Flour, sifted (I used all-purpose--do as you will)
2 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 3/4 cups Sugar
2/3 cup Butter (I melted mine)
2 Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 1/4 cup Milk

1.  Grease a baking pan with butter.  I used a 9" circle pan.  Circle cake just tastes better than rectangle cake, don't you think so?

2.  Mix together dry ingredients into a large bowl.

3.  Whisk together the wet ingredients.  You don't want to move on until the lumps are whisked out!

4.  Combine the wet ingredients into the large dry ingredient bowl.  Stir together well.

5.  Pour batter into baking pan.

6.  Bake at 350* for 30-50 minutes.  I could have poured my batter into two 9" circle pans, but I really quite like putting it in just one pan... so much less work for a beautiful, circular cake.  I ALWAYS check my cake at about 30 minutes, even though I KNOW it's not going to be done yet.  I usually add on 7 minutes onto the timer after checking a still-jiggling cake. 
7.  Frost, if desired.  Also, if desired, use my favorite Better Homes and Gardens frosting recipe!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Camera's Charged!

 lost my camera charger and found it tonight!  (It had fallen behind our big freezer, of all places!)  So I'm a little camera happy--and since my kids, the primary camera targets) were in bed, I took pictures of what I'm making for dinner tomorrow--I'll post the step-by-step pictures on their individual recipes:

Homemade rolls:

And for breakfast tomorrow, I made some of our favorite Breakfast cake: