Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meal Plan Monday 12-8-08

Not sure what my deal is with making yogurt...I've successfully done it three times and messed it up royally twice. I've tried two different recipes, both use the cooler method which I find very appealling. This last time I used the recipe at Heavenly Homemakers and trust me when I tell you I know there's nothing wrong with her recipe (all of her recipes are very clear, concise and super yummy - the trouble is operator error), I'm pretty sure the mistake I made was that I used 2 quarts of milk and poured it all into a 2 quart container (after heating and mixing in the yogurt culture), instead of like the directions say: pour into a quart container. The yogurt was still very watering after 7 hours so I poured in more hot water and left it for another 12 hours. The final result was a VERY sour watery I'm thinking it was the huge amount of milk in one big container (?). I'm going to try again tonight.

We use raw milk from a local farm. It's like white gold. So here I am with 2 quarts of watery sour yogurt that I refuse to throw out. Sour yogurt is kind of like buttermilk so I figured I would try making some muffins to use up my failed yogurt.

This recipe for Cream Cheese Apple Muffins from A Simple Walk (a wonderful blog) is one that I've used - modified slightly. Here is what I did today:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c agave nectar
2 eggs
1 c yogurt
1/4 c coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c spelt flour

1 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 medium apples, peeled and diced

Soak the flours with the yogurt overnight. The next day, mix together cream cheese, agave, eggs, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to the soaked flour and then stir in the liquid mixture. Fold in apples. (this time I also added cranberries we dried that do not contain any sugar or sweeteners). Bake for 35 minutes in 350 degree oven or until toothpick comes out clean.

The other muffins I'll be making tomorrow morning are Soaked Apple Cinnamon Muffins from The Christian Moms Outlet. The flour is soaking with the sour yogurt right now.

B - Eggs & Toast
L - Leftover Pizza
D - Sticky Chicken, Sweet Potatoes & Brussel Sprouts

B - Baked Oatmeal
L - Turkey Sandwiches
D - 1 Skillet Sausage & Cabbage

B - Leftover Baked Oatmeal
L - T.B.D. (to be determined, usually leftovers)
D - Coconut Chicken Fingers & Acorn Squash Casserole

B - Breakfast Casserole
L - T.B.D.
D - Black Bean Burgers & Big Salad

B - French Toast & Smoothies
L - T.B.D.
D - Chicken & Broccoli Fettucini Alfredo

B - Omelets
L - T.B.D.
D - Taco Salad

B - Bacon Mushroom Tomato and Cheese Strata
L - T.B.D.
D - Pizza Night

I'm also going to try making sourdough bagels this week. Superman is getting really bored with our selections of breakfast foods.

For more great menu ideas check out! Any yogurt making wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to keep trying so I can provide my family with good healthy yogurt - I just hope I don't end up making muffins every time - :)
Enjoy the day -Wonderwoman

Chickens' First Snow

The lake - partially frozen

What a surprise this morning when I woke up to a winter wonderland! I pretty much never know what the weather is going to do because we don't have TV. Usually my mom will call me and give me the weather report everyday, but she's been busy with her wreath making business for Christmas.

Whenever is snows, it's so quiet outside first thing in the cars...just peaceful quiet....and on this morning it was not any different...until -

...I opened the chicken coop door. New things are scary for people, nevermind chickens who are sure that death is around every corner. Our morning routine did not go as usual. Usually, I open the doors and they all come rushing out. This morning, a few stood by the door where there was no snow and the rest of them just peaked out in scary disbelief thinking, "where did the ground go?" (I narrate all the time for them - usually out loud.)

They pretty much are sure that all new scary things are my fault. Like the time I was carrying the Brown Umbrella of Death or the time I threw the Empty Feed Bag of Fright over the fence. Scary times!

"Where did my feet go?" say Butternut and Ixie

The ones who did venture away from the door only stood in the snow for a few minutes and then when one of them decided to fly like mad back inside - the others did too - squawking like mad.

This is the worst chicken feed she's ever bought!

It took four hours before they decided that there was no imminent danger and venture outside of their house.

"Mom, can you please OPEN the door?" Zoe & Evie on the back porch.

Even my herding dogs waited by the door to their house while I did the morning chores! How many days 'til spring?

Enjoy the day - Wonderwoman