Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

I've posted these before, but they are pretty far down the How To Have A Gluten-Free Healthy Pampered Chef Party post, so I am re-posting.  We just made these again today. They are sooo easy and soo amazingly delicious!

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

10 Jalapenos, halved, with insides and seeds removed (the white pith & seeds are the spicy part)
1 block cream cheese, soft
green onions
garlic powder
sea salt & pepper

In a bowl mix softened cream cheese, chives, and seasoning to taste. Spoon mixture into peppers and wrap with half slice bacon (or a whole if you are a bacon lover!)  and bake them at 425˚F for 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thick and Creamy Yogurt Making with my friend Melissa

Welcome Melissa, my friend who has graciously agreed to blog here about her genius yogurt making; using pastured gelatin to make it thicker, and healthier.  I hope you enjoy her post! 

Thick and Creamy Yogurt Making using Gelatin!

So, with the help of a good friend, I have finally figured out how to make yogurt of a yummy consistency (THICK and CREAMY).  After perfecting my technique I have decided to share it with the world (ok, so maybe just my facebook friends).

Here goes!
You will need:
1/2 gallon of milk (makes a 1/2 gallon of yogurt)
1 Tbs of Beef Gelatin
1 small container (8 oz) of Voskos yogurt (for starter)
3 quart size mason jars

First take out your crockpot and fill it half way with water and let it start heating up.

I threw a fit when my husband bought the fanciest crockpot available, but now I am quite happy because it has a thermometer.  I had a candy thermometer and then I washed it in the dishwasher..well you can probably imagine how that went down.  

Your goal is to get the water to 110 degrees.  Since this takes the longest I suggest getting this going first. 

How pretty is milk in glass jars?!? (I did a gallon with these pictures, but in the end I realized that I couldn't fit 5 jars in my crockpot (its the milk plus the 8 oz of yogurt), so one jar went to the chickens. (do it in half gallon size to make life easier).

Pour your milk into a large pot.

Now, this is VERY important!  Add Beef Gelatin BEFORE the milk gets hot!
Here is the one I used, I believe its from grass-fed beef.

Add 1 Tbs of gelatin to COLD milk

Whisk in quickly, it will dissolve well if the milk is still cold.  

Now you wait for your milk to get to 190 degrees F.  

While you are waiting get a nice ice bath going for your yogurt, I usually empty out the ice bin and add water until there is plenty of coldness to go around.

Once your milk has reach 190 degrees bring to ice bath and stir frequently.

Let your milk come down to 110 degrees (same temp you want the crockpot!).  This doesn't take as long as you would think.  So keep checking.  (Ignore the white soap scum on my sink! eep!) 

Once its down to 110 degrees its time to add the yogurt starter (and you are almost done!).  I use Voskos because I was told to use Voskos and frankly Im scared to try something else.  I use a 8 oz container. If you use a different starter with the same results please let me know! Voskos is not available everywhere (Whole Foods, mostly).

Take your milk out of the ice and add yogurt.

Whisk it in as much as you can, it will still be a bit lumpy but thats ok.

Now pour your milk/yogurt mixture into your jars.  Only 4 quart jars fit into my crockpot so dont do more than 4!  It will make all yogurt, no whey and no waste.

She's ready to grow me some yogurt!

Put jars into the hot crockpot (100 degrees F). Fill it as high as you can without overflowing.

Put the lid on.

Cover with foil. This is where this crockpot is cool.  I poke the thermometer through the tin foil into the water so I can check the temp throughout the day.  

And now cover with blankets!  My husband not-so-fondly refers to this as "my blanket yogurt".

Now here is the real secret to this yogurt making business. You MUST keep the yogurt between 105 and 110 degrees ALL 10 to 12 hours!  I usually check it every few hours to see where it is.  I will turn it on for 5 min (set the timer so you dont forget!) and then turn it off again.  The thicker the blankets you use and the more foil you use the less often you will have to heat it up.  I always start around 7am so that its for sure done by 7pm (almost my bedtime!).  You can do 10 hours though and if you need to add an hour or two to that it should be fine as well.  

Happy Yogurt Making!  Let me know how it turns out!

Some of my own personal cuteness to make your day brighter: