Knitting + tacos + the last of the ice cream 

Joining Nicole from Frontier Dreams


I am now officially knitting shrug #3.  Got started Friday night, then on Saturday my dear husband took care of the kidlets while I went to my local yarn store and had several hours of uninterrupted knitting time.  It was so nice to get a fair amount done, and I’m now feeling a bit more confident about getting finished without a mad rush before the wedding on April 22.  I did figure out I made a mistake on shrug #1, which should be easy to fix, but I literally need to be making every minute count.

A row here, a row there.. during nap time, and sneaking in a few rows sitting on the front porch while the kids played outside riding bikes and carving various wooden utensils with knives.  It felt good to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and late afternoon breeze.

I’m still reading “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripken, probably 2/3 through. It’s still gripping me, swirling in my mind and awakening, digging, convicting, and a whole host of other things that are good and hard at the same time.

I can’t wait to continue learning more about crochet… for now I have a sweet little coaster that I look at fondly and think of all the glorious crochet things in my future.

Tonight I made these Barbacoa Tacos and I have only one bad thing to say about this recipe.

There are no leftovers.

I mean, we licked the platter clean.  They reminded me so much of Chipotle, and seriously were so easy.  Just throw the meat and sauce in the crockpot, cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, shred meat, and cook again for a couple hours on low.  I  added chopped lettuce and stir-fried peppers and onions, (–I feel all frugal because these peppers had seriously saggy and wrinkly skin, and I used them anyways. They were just fine.  Yay for cleaning out the fridge!) chopped cilantro and onions, and then whizzed up some sour cream/lime juice/salt/sauce from the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  Everyone else ate them on tortillas, and I didn’t bother – just ate mine bowl-style.

I don’t usually cook stuff like this very often… even though it was really easy.  My go-to suppers trend towards soups, eggs, pancakes, and spaghetti.  And hot dogs.  Cooking like I did today actually requires forethought.  As in, the meat must be gotten out in the morning, instead of at 4:30 thinking oh phooey, right, I need to fix supper for my family because in an hour or two they are going to want to eat.  Again.  

So …yay for today because. 1.) being frugal and using the peppers instead of throwing them to the chickens and 2.) having forethought. 

And yay for right now, because my dearies are all in bed, (not quiet yet, but in bed, nonetheless) I have a cup of Lady Gray tea beside me, and it’s the time of day when I can relax a bit, knit a few more rows, and enjoy the end of the day.

Oh. And also, there is this.   

I do believe I will, thank you. 


making homemade greek yogurt

I have made yogurt in the past.

And I just have to say, that it’s one of those things that just always makes me feel like I have somehow conquered the domestic world. Thank you very much.

Something like this sounds like it ought to be hard.

But it’s not. You even do it in the microwave.

Basically, you need three things:  milk, plain greek yogurt, and a kitchen thermometer.

It goes like this:

Homemade Greek Yogurt

-Put 8 cups of milk in a microwave safe bowl. (I use my 8 cup pyrex measuring cup)

-Heat for approx. 16-20 min-until it tests at 180-190 degrees F

-Place bowl with milk in a sink with cold water and ice cubes to cool it down to 110-120 degrees F

-Stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of plain greek yogurt. (I glopped a couple spoonfuls in) and stir well.  It’s even better if you take a little milk out and stir in the greek yogurt to that so it’s easier to mix.

-Turn oven on and count to 10 and turn it off to let it get just a smidgen warm, then turn oven light on.  Put suran wrap on your bowl of not-quite-yogurt-yet and place in oven for 8-12 hours. Or until it looks yogurt-ey and not like milk anymore.  As in, you can stick a spoon in it and take out a spoonful.

-If you want runny yogurt, you are done at this point.

-If you want greek-style yogurt, the next step is to line a colander with a paper towel or cheesecloth and set in a larger bowl. Dump in your yogurt and let it strain for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. The longer you strain the thicker it will be… and the less yogurt you will end up with.  I like ours thick, so it usually sits for about a half hour and I end up with about 4 cups of yogurt out of my 8 cups of milk.

-Spoon into glass jars and place in fridge. It will even get thicker in the fridge.

-Sweeten to taste with whatever you like… I love to use stevia and maple flavoring, and put fresh or frozen berries on it. My kiddos like honey, stevia, peanut butter, cinnamon sugar, berries, mini chocolate chips, jam, you name it.  I typically sweeten it when I get it out, because I like to use it as an alternative to sour cream sometimes.

**Some people take out some yogurt to use in their next batch.  I do this sometimes, but I find that when I use storebought yogurt for my starter it seems to ensure a better result.

***Also, the whey that strains out of the yogurt can actually be used in place of milk in various recipes.  With no noticeable taste difference.  So far I have used it in egg casseroles, meatballs and meatloaf, and bread. It can be frozen and gotten out whenever you remember that you have it in your freezer. haha!  The times I remember it’s in my freezer is when I am NOT doing all the aforementioned things.  But I will say it’s great if you are one of the types who would, in fact, remember. And I have, just a couple times, done just that. Yet another way to feel that I have single-handedly conquered all things domestic.  Well, that and getting laundry put away.  I had three loads of the girls clothes that   Tonight. Applause, please?    Ah well, I digress.  (I’ve always wanted to write that. Anyhoo.)

There.  See how easy that was?  Amazing.

Now go do it.

You will feel probably feel like the mouse who was given a cookie and needed a glass of milk… you’ll need to make granola next to go with it.  Aaaaand you just might be inspired to buy a cow for your very own fresh milk.  And before you know it? Cheesemaking, here we come!!   So far I feel really great just with making yogurt.  And if I manage granola too? Well, let’s just say it must have been a super awesome day where all the kids were playing happily for longer than a half hour stretch.  Which if you combine that with granola and yogurt making.. yeah.  That’s just a whole bunch of warm fuzzies all wrapped up in one day.

Have fun!