Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Real, Whole Food~ Homemade Yogurt & Mayo!

We are on a 'real food' journey in our home. We are slowly moving toward eating only real, whole food that promotes health in our bodies. Moving completely away from processed foods. We have never been a 'junk food' family, so the changes are not drastic. However, we have decided to start making some of our regularly consumed foods from scratch, e.g., bread. My hubby started making our bread about 6 months ago. He has it down now...the consistency is amazing and it taste so yummy!! The health benefits of making your own bread our HERE. It is hard for me to eat store bought bread now, even the 'healthy' kind. 

I have wanted to try homemade yogurt for a long time. I have fond childhood memories of my mom's delicious homemade yogurt! I'm sure I'm not alone here, didn't EVERY 70's kitchen have a  yogurt maker?   I think it came standard, like the avocado-green dishwasher. Ours looked like the one above (I know someone else is saying, "YES!"). Seeing this picture makes me feel fuzzy and warm's amazing how pictures can instantly trigger our memories!

Anyway, on my quest to find a good yogurt maker, I came across a recipe for 'crock-pot yogurt' and I got so excited that I squealed! Crock-pot?!...I can do that ~! I asked my hubby if his mom made yogurt and he quickly said yes [he, too, grew up in the 70s], but he thought it was disgusting. Perhaps his mom should have called my mom! ;)

I found the recipe HERE.  I was a little hesitate, perhaps skeptical, to try it because it seemed too easy...could it be good? But that's a silly reason to not try something, so one day this past week I decided to go for it!  And boy am I glad I did! It was to set for 8+ hours, so I made it late in the day and left it sitting out overnight. I woke early and could hardly wait to 'test taste' it. The results were perfectly amazing! My consistency was a little thinner than I wanted, so I drained out the whey [using a colander and coffee liner]. I ended up with wonderful, thick greek-style yogurt! And as a hubby used the whey to make homemade mayonnaise! 

Turns out you can do a LOT with whey. It's very healthy...full of protein, vitamins, minerals, & enzymes! The Prairie Homestead, another blog I love, gives you 16 ways to use whey! And this is the homemade recipe for mayo:

2-3 egg yolks (farm fresh are best!)
½ tsp. mustard
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice 
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. celtic sea salt
¾ c. oil- hemp or grapeseed (I use grapeseed)
2 Tbl. whey

1. Combine everything EXCEPT the oil into a container large enough for your stick blender to go into. *You will need a stick blender for this recipe (you can make it in a food processor, but it's a LOT harder and the results are not as good). It's a great kitchen tool that I put off buying for a long time, now I can hardly live without it and I wish I would have got it sooner! 
2. Use your stick blender to mix until creamy.
3. While blending, add the oil in small (teaspoon at a time) increments and mix until it’s homogenized. Pour oil with one hand and with the other lift the blender up and down as it’s blending- the quick up and down motion helps the mixture to homogenize, and it will thicken right up. That's it! 
Important: Leave out on the counter for 7 hours to make it lacto fermented (friendly bacteria)...the lactobacillus probiotics in the whey will multiply and change the mayo from a simple condiment into a probiotic!  After the 7 hours, store in the refrigerator.  It will last for several months with whey and about 2 weeks without.

Please note: my recipe does not include partially hydrogenated soybean oil and phosphoric acid! Thank goodness!! ;)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Booklist

My theme for 2012 is '12 for 12', so guess how many books are on my book list? 22! I guessed 12, right? So why 22? Well, today is February 1st and my goal is to read 2 books each month, so that makes 22; simple!

Here's my LIST on Pinterest, which gives a picture of each book. 

To make my list attainable, I've placed 2 books in each month:
1. Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes
2. 21 Days to a More Disciplined life
1. Tell Your Time
2. A Praying Life
1. Born to Run
2. Boundaries with Kids
1. The No-Cry Sleep Solution
2. Getting Things Done
1. The Money Saving Mom's Budget
2. Raw Milk Revolution
1. A Charlotte Mason Companion
2. For the Children's Sake
1. Pocketful of Pinecones
2. Real Learning
1. Dancing with My Father
2. The Mom Walk
1. Crazy Love
2. Organized Simplicity
1. Calm My Anxious Heart
2. Good Health
1. Becoming A Woman of Influence
2. Raising Great Kids

Charlie "Tremendous" Jones said, 

    "You are the same today as you'll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet."

So make that list and get to reading! 

EnJOY! ~Kristi

12 for 12 ~Goals for the New Year!

12 for 12! That is my plan for 2012!

Every year I set goals for the new year and they always seem to be too big and too broad, (e.g. never yell at my kids, run a half marathon, and eat ONLY organic food). And while it is perfectly fine to 'think big' and dream,  it does no good if you become overwhelmed and give up. This year I will use two words to streamline  my goals: simple and attainable. These are the two words that guided my goals below.  I concentrated on four areas of my life and included three goals in each area; simple. And I'm building on and strengthening habits that already have a foundation; attainable.

Ready? Here are my 12 goals for 2012:

1. Quiet time [Bible reading, prayer, journal] (30 min.) & other reading (30 min.),  each morning. [I already wake early and  have a quiet time, but I want to work on consistency and add the reading time].
2. Read 2 books/ month that encourage my 4 'life areas' (2012 Book List).
3. Blog 2X week to 'scrapbook' our life.

Family Relationships [people living in my house]:
1. Date night w/ Hubby every 2 weeks [put in budget]
2. Monthly 'birthday' dates w/ each child (rotate 2 children/ month for Greg & I)
3. Weekly family game or movie night.

1. Use the 'Couch Potato to 5K' plan to train & run a 5K with Katelyn.
2. Pilates 2X a week at gym.
3. Eat more fruit & veggies: Using the 'Dirty Dozen' & 'Clean 15' Lists!

Home Learning:
1. Monthly field trips.
2. Weekly Nature Study.
3. FIAR [Five In A Row] w/ my littles (2 books/month)

So that's my plan! My next step is to break each goal down for each month, week, & day. If I break it all down into tiny, bite-sized steps I will be able to reach each goal. Again, I will be striving for simple and attainable. I'm currently reading the '21 Days To A More Disciplined Life' series by Money Saving Mom and she says,
To intentionally cultivate discipline in your life, you must have goals. Not just dreams, not just lofty ambitions, but specific, realistic, achievable goals. If you don’t know where you’re aiming, you’ll lack direction and purpose." 
That really hit me, because I usually write down my dreams and good intentions, but I have never written my 'ambitions' down as specific, realistic, achievable goals.  How about you? Think of 4 areas and write out 3 goals for each OR 3 areas with 4 goals...either way you will end up with 12 for 12! EnJOY!