This thing called the Instant Pot as been the rage now for almost ten years. I still have a love hate relationship with it! Let me explain myself further. I really in so many ways have developed into a minimalist. My good friends that read my blog are saying to themselves right now “that’s a big fat lie Wanda!” because guess what you own 4 sets of china plus one that you have just for Christmas. Well in my mind I want to be a minimalist ? Doesn’t that count? I do keep the number of kitchen gadgets I own to a minimum because I hate cluttered cabinets. I debated for awhile before purchasing this so called Instant Pot. Would I use it enough to warrant the space needed to store this rather large piece of equipment? Did I have other equipment that could serve the same purpose? But alas intrigue of this Instant thing got the best of me and I found myself on Amazon giving in to my weakness. Cooking chicken breasts for tacos was my first experiment and it was a big fat failure with a capital F! The time saved was none and they were inedible. Case closed and The Instant Pot was packed into it’s box for nine months and did not see the light of day or the darkness of night . Then the most appealing cooking experiment appeared in one of my favorite magazines using your Instant Pot to make yogurt. I had to try it! Out of the box it came to never be returned. I love it when it comes to making Greek Yogurt and mine is used every 7-10 days without fail. It is the best Greek Yogurt!!!
The money saved is worth it after the initial investment of an Instant Pot and glass jars for storage. You could totally make this without the Instant Pot and it can be stored in a large container. So there you go it is a win win! Homemade Greek yogurt cost .04 cents an ounce compared to .14 cents per ounce from say Kroger. That’s .90 cents of savings per container! At our house we eat about 25-35 containers a month. That’s a savings of almost $300 a year just on yogurt!!! Plus it taste better and you add your own sweetener!
I’m giving you the lowdown on making the best Greek Yogurt you have ever had. This has no sweetener at all. In fact, it is really tangy and we like it that way. Add your favorite granola for sweetener as well as whatever fruit is in season. So you will not have any unseen sugar added! Another win for you and your family. You can cook with this stuff, too. Use it in the place of sour cream anytime. I love to bake with it. Delicious.
Maybe you want to take this a step further than I do and use the 8 or more cups of whey that is drained and make yourself some homemade ricotta cheese. Go for it with my blessing! I’m afraid with just the two of us that my effort will be wasted. Let me know if you try it out though.
Pour a gallon of milk or half gallon into the Instant Pot. I use 1% or skim milk.
- Set the Instant Pot on Boil.
- The milk will need to reach a temperature of 185 degrees which will take about 55 minutes. Mine has never reached this temperature.
- Hit the saute button on the Instant Pot and start whisking the milk to keep it from scorching on the bottom and to get a true read with your thermometer.
- When the milk is 185 degrees take it off the heat. You can see that mine got a little hotter than 185. It turned out just fine though.
I cool mine in the sink with ice which takes about 20 minutes or just sit it on a trivet and let it cool for about 45 minutes. Make sure you whisk the milk before measuring temperature so you will have no hot spots. Temperature must be cooled to 110-95 degrees.
- Take out some of the cooled milk and put in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt with live culture. I started with Fage yogurt until I made my first batch. Wisk the cool milk with the 2 tablespoons of starter ( which is plain yogurt with live culture).
- Add the starter and milk back to your cooled gallon of milk.
- Put it back in the Instant Pot and set on the Yogurt setting and cook on normal. I set the timer for 10 hours. Do not Stir. This will give you a really good tangy taste.
- After 10 hours place in the refrigerator for 4- 8 hours. A spoon should stand up in the middle. Do not Stir!
- Now is the time to drain the whey. I have used several methods such as using cheesecloth, purchased bags that can be washed, but the one I prefer is lining a colander with a clean cotton dishcloth and placing in a large bowl. I usually let it drain for about 8 hours. Do not stir
Place in storage containers and refrigerate. Always keep 2 tablespoons for your starter. This can be frozen. I’ve never needed to freeze any because when I see that I have 2 servings left I will make more.
I was raised on grits. You know the kind that popped all over the range and stuck to the bottom of the pan. I love them with butter and cheddar cheese. Growing up my mother would make them with country ham and red eyed gravy. I can remember on cold afternoons my Dad would come home with Butch our bird dog and he would have Quail stashed in every pocket in his hunting vest. I knew then we would be having grits and gravy with Quail fried to a golden brown. Gosh it was so good!
Cinnamon Rolls can make a grown man cry! With that said make these for the favorite man in your life. You’ll be queen for the day or maybe for the week. This can be a no-brainer if you can make basic biscuit dough. If you’ve never made biscuits before just cut yourself a little slack and practice, practice, practice!
My students love this lab! I’m not such a fan. I’m more of a savory person, but really can go for one of these with a good cup of coffee. So get in the kitchen and whip some of these mouth-watering cinnamon rolls up for someone special.
Last spring GI Joe and I were in Halifax on a very cold, blustery day and walked into a very busy coffee shop Cabin Coffee to be exact. Guess what we found? Cinnamon rolls going like hot cake made with biscuit dough not the usual yeast dough. They were cooked in a huge muffin pan and as soon as they came out of the oven they were flying out the door. I’ve never seen anything like it. So here you go – my Cinnamon Rolls in a Muffin Tin. Yes, this is something else that you can enjoy with your family in this coming week of frigid temperatures.
This blueberry yogurt loaf is just what you want with your morning coffee or at the end of a great meal. It’s a dense, lemony, buttery loaf of goodness. I’ve made it at least six times in the last month. It’s that good.
Don’t get the wrong idea and think it is a blueberry pound cake. It’s not. It’s a cross between a pound cake and a quick bread. It’s a lovely thing because you can use two bowls and you need no mixer.
School’s been in session for three months. Really? I’ve been in a whirlwind of what? Where have the days gone? Am I the only one that’s wondering what’s happening to time? Let’s slow time down. Do you agree? I want to enjoy, just soak it all in, live each second before it slips away. I don’t want to miss a thing! What about you?
I love sausage balls for breakfast. When Syble told be about this recipe that she got from her sister Sue I knew that I had to try it. It’s another easy one that anyone can do. Make and freeze so you can pull them out anytime. My freezer is my friend for so many baked goods. Let it do some work for you. You’ll be that much more organized in the morning when it is crunch time to get out of the door.
My students absolutely loved these!!!! A couple of my friends told me that I should try this recipe in my class. It is quick and easy! Just right for a 45 minute class period. When I started doing a little investigation about baked eggs lo and behold they are everywhere. I missed out on this one earlier, but now I am on the bandwagon. Perfect for a quick breakfast. My students came up with endless ideas making these the almost perfect food. That is what eggs are anyway – the almost perfect food! So now go get your muffin tin buttered and cook up some eggs for breakfast. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (if they last that long) and pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Eggs are a great protein source that will keep you satisfied all morning.
I found one of the easiest brunch recipes today. Your’re going to either hate me or love me. Especially when we’ve all made our New Year’s resolutions to be more healthy. It won’t hurt to indulge in just one small piece, though. The recipe is from one of my favorite recipe sources Pillsbury. It is a bake-off winner from 1998 and so simple that if will leave you wondering if you have done something wrong. I just bet that you have all the ingredients right there in your kitchen to get this started at your earliest convenience. You’ll need a Pillsbury pie crust, light brown sugar, softened butter, chopped pecans, and powdered sugar. While to pastry is coming to room temperature you can measure all your ingredients. In a mere 30 minutes you will have one of the best pastries that you could buy anywhere.
Now here’s how to put it together.
I hate it when I find just the right shade of lipstick and you are standing at the cosmetic counter glaring at the salesperson as they say to you with a smile “Sorry, but the color has been discontinued.” What? Tell me you are kidding? It has been brought to my attention many times that I should buy two of everything that I love. You know that special t-shirt, sweater, jeans, and the list goes on. So you know where this is going. I am a granola girl. I love it with cold skim milk in the morning, for a snack, or dinner. More than once or twice I have fallen for a certain brand and out of no where production of this wonderful product stops. No one calls me. No one asked my opinion. It just stops appearing on the shelf. It’s sad. Now I’m doing what I should have done a long time ago and I am making my granola. Well, really it’s not mine but thanks to Katie Workman I can have my favorite granola anytime I want it. So can you and you will love it!
Filed under Breakfast, Snack
I know that I am preaching to the choir when I say this, but it has come again to my attention that some parents of teenagers think that my food’s class is frivolous! Ha! I have witnessed first hand during our second lab that basic cooking skills are needed. These include knowing the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon, measuring dry ingredients correctly in a dry measuring cup, and that a skillet must be preheated before pouring pancake batter in the pan. Nothing ceases to amaze me in the food’s lab after so many years of teaching. What does amaze me that some parents don’t think that being able to prepare nutritious meals at home is a necessary skill. Well, I am not going there today! But, I was pleased to see this article in Cooking Light last month Bring Back Home Economics to Schools! If I get on my soap box today I will take up way too much space here and too much of your valuable time. Let’s get to the light version of the pancakes we made last week. They were delightful!
When I was giving my demonstration I tried a new recipe using sour cream and melted butter. While I loved the taste I was not pleased with the texture. I am a lover of light and fluffy pancakes, not the thin crepe type. So after giving the students the basic instructions of putting pancakes together I changed the ingredients to make a lighter and fluffier version. The one that I used came from Cooking Light. The recipe calls for much less fat than most recipes.
The results in most groups were fantastic, but we were not without a few mishaps from using the wrong measurements, preheating to the wrong temperature , or in some cases not preheating the skillet at all. Some students did admit that they should pay closer attention when I am cooking for them. Well, yes that is the whole idea behind demonstrating. Here is the recipe for you to try on a beautiful fall Saturday morning.
Buttermilk Pancakes from Cooking Light
Yield 18 medium pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
- Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture.
- Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
- Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.