Homemade Yogurt, the easy way!

I noticed a few months ago I was spending over $20 per week on Greek yogurt from the grocery. That was just NOT acceptable, especially when a gallon of organic whole milk is $5.00! I did some research and found that it's really really easy. I have this super neat slow cooker that make the process even more simple. It came with three different sizes of bowl so I can use the large bowl for a whole gallon or the medium bowl for a half gallon, LOVE IT!
Hamilton Beach 33133H 3-in-1 Slow Cooker, White

Here's how I make our yogurt :  
  • Place desired amount of milk in crockpot, cover and turn on low for three hours.
  • At the end of three hours turn crockpot off, leave lid on and let sit for two hours.
  • After two hours has passed take out 1Cup of warm milk and place in small bowl, wisk in 1/2 Cup of store bought or previously made PLAIN whole fat yogurt.
  • Add milk back to crockpot and mix thoroughly.
  • Place lid back on crockpot bowl, remove crockpot bowl from base and place in oven.
  • Turn on light inside oven and let set for 8-10 hours, until set. Congratulations you've just made yogurt!
You can refrigerate what you've just made and eat it as you wish but I prefer to use a cheesecloth lined colander to strain some of the whey out and make a thicker 'Greek Style' yogurt. Keep in mind you will also reduce the volume by straining some of the whey. If you strain it too long you will end up with yogurt cheese which is kind of like cream cheese, YUM!

Tomorrow I will discuss how I like to top my yogurt and some recipes that I add yogurt to.


She's baaaack!

I'm not totally sure what happened to my computer this week but something happened and I had to take it to the shop on Wednesday. My local computer repair shop of choice is GT Professional Services, they really do rock! I delivered my laptop to them after lunch on Wednesday, they called before the end of the day with a diagnosis - fried harddrive. I talked it over with The Hubs and called them back Thursday morning with the okay to repair and it was finished by today (Friday) at noon. That's just under 48 hours!!  I really can't say enough great things about them, they're all super nice, affordable and don't hassle like many retail stores.  Anywho, that's how I spent my week. I'm glad to be back, I'll be posting this weeks' crafts/recipes later this weekend.


Bling for the boy

A few weeks ago I used some diluted bleach to create a design on a t-shirt for the kiddo. I knew that I wasn't finished with it, just too boring. A friend suggested adding rhinestones and I just happened to have some spare 'hot fix' rhinestones laying around from a past project. How convenient!!

The ones I had were from Hobby Lobby and quite affordable. The only tip I have is to make sure you don't iron them too long, the adhesive melts away from the rhinestone and into the fabric.
Now I think we're ready to rock!! LET'S ROCK!!


Granny's Black Magic Cake

This recipe has been a favorite of mine for years, it is one of the many that I love in the cookbook my grandma gave me, I'm pretty sure Bo likes it too.
Black Magic Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together in the order listed. Pour into two 9" round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Carmel Icing
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
Mix butter, milk and brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture boils, continue stirring at a boil for two minutes, remove from heat and add vanilla. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Icing should be stiff and form peaks.


My Favorite Cookbook

This cookbook was a gift.
It was published when I was two years old, in 1983.

It contains recipes from Jim Tressel's relation. You know, Mr. Ohio State Football with the sweater vest... yeah, his family.

It also has several contributions from some local celebrity chefs. Miss Thelma is the county fair pie contest winner from waaaay back.

But I believe my most favorite recipes in here are the hand written ones, the ones my grandmother wrote especially for me before she gave it to me.

Thanks Grams!!


Rockstar Toddler Suspenders

Last week I made the lil' man a reversible vest, which thankfully he LOVES :-) I thought he needed some matching suspenders, there's something about dressing little boys like old men that makes my heart smile. Even if they are grumpy lil' old men.
You'll need fabric about 2"x40" and two packages of vest adjusters - the have suspender clips on each end and elastic in between. The length of your fabric may vary, depending on the height of your little old man.
Stitch down the sides of youfabric to create a tube.
Turn tube right-side out by attaching a safety-pin and pulling through.
Iron tube right-side out and flat with seam centered, now cut in half. I also used starch to add some body since I didn't want to mess with lining or fusable web.
Disect your suspender clips, take a seam ripper to ONE end of the elastic. Open it up and remove the clip, leave the opposite end attached.
Press one end of each piece of fabric inward and insert elastic from where you just removed the clip. Do this to both pieces of fabric and elastic.

Pin and stitch elastic to fabric.

Press opposite end of fabric to a point.

Add clip you removed from the elastic. For some reason I had trouble making sure the clip was on correctly, make sure the back of the clip is facing the seem on the back of the fabric. Pin and double stitch.

Now lay one piece of fabric across the other, pin and stitch in place. The fabric should cross right above or at the seam where the elastic meets the fabric.
Now you're all done! Put them on your lil' guy and enjoy your work.

Better Than Baked Potatoes

The in-laws came over for dinner last night, this is usually an excuse to try something fancier than our usual boring vegetables. I chose to spruce up some lame little potatoes by making them into crispy, crunch baked potatoes - and it was SUPER easy!
Use a sharp knife to slice your potatoes about every half inch but not all the way through, stop about a quarter inch from the bottom. Then cut a stick of butter into eighth of tablespoon lumps, shove those into the slices to hold your tater open. Now drizzle with olive oil and some Adobo Seasoning (or whatever you prefer), like this :
Place on a baking sheet in a pre-heated 400' oven for 45-60 minutes. My spuds were pretty small so 45 minutes was perfect. When they are finished the seasoning on the top will be crunchy and the oiled skin will be nice and crispy as well.
Give it a try and let me know what you think, I'll definately be making these again!


Snow Ice Cream

We have gotten plenty of snow this week so I thought it would be fun to make some snow ice cream with our 2 year old son, so we did!

Our recide was :

8+ cups CLEAN snow
1Tbsp vanilla
1 can sweetened and condenced milk
1 cup whole milk.

Mix ingredients together in bowl and ENJOY!!


Homemade Laundry Detergent

I didn't realize until I looked back at a post by my friend Sarah that I have been using homemade laundry detergent for over six months. At first I thought it would be inconvenient but I suppose it has just become part of my routine to make a batch every couple of weeks. I'm borrowing a photo and recipe from Sarah's blog, be sure to check out some of her super cute crafts too.

1 Bar of Dr. Bronner’s Organic Bar Soap
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Baking Soda
Grate the bar of soap using the finest side of the grater.  (You can also chop up the bar and drop it into a food processer.)  You’ll want very fine soap flakes especially if you use cold water for laundry, so it’s worth the time it will take.  Then simply add the other ingredients and mix until well combined.  Use one Tablespoon per load, two for a very large or heavily soiled load.  This recipe makes enough laundry soap to fill two pint sized canning jars.


I've been featured :-)

I usually start my day by reading the new blog posts on the RSS feed, today I got a HUGE surprise. The vest I made yesterday is FEATURED by Allison on A Glimpse Inside!!!! I'm pretty excited that a seasoned blogger thinks my project is cool enough to show all her friends.  Make sure you stop over and check out all her cool projects, maybe even surf around and take a look at her sponsors too. Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend, I hope to be crafting my weekend away.

And because we have a foot of snow on the ground and I'm dreaming of tulips in the spring, here's Bo smelling the tulips last spring.


Rockstar Toddler Vest

I have to admit that I often get frustrated at the oodles of cutsey stuff there is for girls compared to what is available for boys. Many times when I DO find something for our son that is super cute it is also super expensive, that's just not my style! I rely on this here Interweb for my crafty inspiration and yet again a blogger has come through for me.

Today's inspiration came from Make It and Love It , Ashley made an adorable reversable vest for her son and it was so cute I needed to make my own. Go on and click that link, I'll wait here. Welcome back, here's a finished photo of my version :
Cute, huh?!?

I used much of Ashely's instructions but I also called my Momma, The Master Seamstress. She used to make me Barbie colthes, have YOU ever tried to stitch something so small? It's hard, people!

I began with a vest I found on the clearence rack at Children's Place, it fits but it's really not all that big on the kiddo. I used two cotton fat quarters for the backs, a suit material for one front and some light courdoroy for the other front.
For the back I used a washable pen/marker to trace around my vest and create a back piece, I did this on a fold. Then I used the one cut out to cut the second back.
Next I used some brown packaging paper I had laying around to make a template for my front. I felt this was nessecary here because the original is darted and lays kind of funky.

I cut out my brown paper template, pinned it to two layers of my cordouroy fabric that had matching sides together. This created a left and a right for one front pair. I did the same for the suiting fabric to create a pair for the reverse side. Now pin your sides (right and left fronts) to a back.

 Sew down side seams ONLY. Do this to both sets of sides and backs, you will now have two vests.
  Lay your vests with right sides together and pin. This is where my pattern differs from Ashley's. Sew all along seams EXCEPT the shoulder seams and a bottom 1/3 of one armpit. This armpit seam is where you will turn your vest rightside out.
Once you have your two vests sewn turn inside out through the open armpit. No
w nip your curves and corners, this allows your fabric to lay flat when you turn it rightside out.

Now use a seam ripper or wooden skewer to help push the seams open from the inside while you press them. This was difficult to show but trust me, it really helps get everything straight.
Now, to work on that armpit seam. I'm really not a good handstitcher so when my Momma suggested doing it this way I was all over it!
Use your iron to press your raw edges inward, one at a time and pin them that way afterward. TADA!!
Leave this alone until until after this next step, I'll get to it I promise.
Now you need to put your shoulder seams together. Simply press one the seam of your back inward and stuff your other seam inside it, pin and sew. Like this :

Okay, now comes that pesky armpit seam. I found some bright blue thread that Momma had given me in my stash. I know it's from her because it has a pricetag on it from TG&Y, that's where she worked when she made me all those awesome 80's Barbie clothes! Seriously!?! $1.08 for a spool of thread!!

Anywho, I topstitched around the armholes. This added some embelishment AND took care of that armpit for me. THANKS MOM! I thought it looked cool so I went all the way around the whole vest.

Then I added some buttons and bright blue button holes, a couple felt buttons on the lapel and a white star on the reverse. ALL DONE!
Now, if he ever wakes up I'll try to get some pics of the vest ON the kid! Wish me luck!


Sewing PSA

I see all kinds of posts about super cute projects to sew but it is rare that anyone mentions sewing maching maintenance. Call me Debbie Downer but this is important, people! While making my Valentine's Table Runner  I noticed that my bobbin was squeeky so I decided to dig into the situation a little deeper. First remove your bobbin, then find a flathead screwdriver or my machine came with a handy little 'screwdriver' thingy, it looks like this:
I have two screws, one on each side of my presserfoot, unscrew those to remove the entire plate from under the presserfoot. LOOK AT ALL THAT FUZZ!!

My machine also came with a mini-seamripper with a brush on the end. You can also use a small paintbrush to pull the lint out of the machine but be careful not to push the lint further into the machine. This is how much lint that was in mine. That's as big as a bobbin, people! YUCK!

See, doesn't that look much better?

By doing this you can also cut down on maintenance of your machine and who enjoys taking their machine to the shop? NOT this girl!

This concludes my Public Service Announcement, please return to your regularly schedule crafting :-)