Meal Time

Brown Sugar and Maple Granola

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A couple of months ago I started to make my own yogurt from scratch in the crock-pot and have only been perfecting it since may I add. I have since discovered that using Greek yogurt as your beginning starter will make for a smoother and thicker yogurt in the end. I use a vanilla Greek yogurt and it is my opinion that the vanilla gives it less of a tart taste as well. Anyways with all of this homemade yogurt I wanted to add something to my yogurt besides fruit. I needed a granola recipe that was a perfect fit for me and my family, as I just wasn’t finding the right flavor combinations in other granola’s we tried. What better way to get exactly what you want than to make it yourself.
Below I thought I would share my granola recipe with you; we like it maybe you will too. I will mention that we don’t eat this every day as we only have yogurt once in a while when we have it and when we do it is not every single breakfast meal. The granola is sweet with sugar and maple syrup which would be way to much to have every single day for breakfast it is best as a once in a while kind of treat for our family especially my kids. It helps add another flavor note to our homemade yogurt besides the usual, enjoy!


Ingredients:

4 Cups Oats
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Oil of Choice (I used Olive Oil)
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the oats, salt, cinnamon, & brown sugar.
  • Next add in the vanilla, oil, & maple syrup. Mix well.
  • Pour mixture onto a large oiled baking sheet, then spread it out flat but even.
  • Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  • After the 10 minutes remove from oven and mix around with utensil, spread back out evenly.
  • Place back into oven for 10 minutes for a second time.
  • Take out of oven when done and set aside to cool completely moving it around while cooling to break it up easier.
  • Make sure to keep an eye on it while it is in the oven as some ovens can vary temperature wise. If that is the case turn your oven down a bit taking it out to let the oven cool down a little.
  • Once cool place in an air tight container to store or eat right away because it’s that good!
  • ( Eat by its self for a sweet treat, add into yogurt, or add into cereal. )



Meal Time

Made From Scratch Broth

Learning to become one with your kitchen is something that you will be thankful for even years from now. For me being able to explore & learn at a young age in our family kitchen helped me become the person I am today in my own kitchen. I essentially have become one with my kitchen. Everything has its own place & everything has a purpose. Over the years I have just learned how to cook lots of different things and some just came from inspiration & imagination. I can just see in my head what I wanted to cook/make and I did.

How to make made from scratch broth

The kind of broth will vary upon the type of ingredients that you have but the process is all the same. You will need a large stock pot to make a bunch of broth at once but you can use a smaller one as well. I make all kinds of broths and after they cool down I freeze them so I can use them in future recipes or to make flavor filled soups/stews.

Ingredients of Choice

Animal bones (chickens, cow, or pigs are what I use; but you could use deer, rabbit, turkey, or other game)
Vegetables or Vegetable Scraps
Water

As you see it doesn’t take much to make a broth, if you are making a meat based stock you can even add veggies to it or mix the flavors of other proteins together. It really comes down to what ingredients you have to work with. For me when I make a broth for my freezer or just to use right then and now I use what I have on hand. No need to go out and buy ingredients. When I am cooking & there is leftover bones or scrap vegetables I will put it all in a gallon sized bag or freezer safe container and just collect it in the freezer until I am ready to use it. The freezer keeps the ingredients from going bad until I can make a stock out them.

Directions

  1. Set your pot of choice on the counter.
  2. Add in the bones/vegetables your using.
  3. Then fill the pot up so that the ingredients are covered with water, I fill my stock pot up about 3/4’s the way full. (keep in mind as it cooks down some of the water will evaporate)
  4. Place pot on the stove top & set to medium low/medium heat. (you want it to boil on low so it doesn’t boil over)
  5. Cook everything down for at least 2 hours or longer.
  6. Once your satisfied that everything has gotten cooked long enough remove from heat and let it cool down so its not so hot to be able to drain it with out getting burned.
  7. Take a large mixing bowl & place it in your sink then place a large colander over top of the bowl. Pour the broth over the colander to separate the liquid from the solids.
  8. Empty the cooked vegetables/bones in near by trash bin or compost bin. The broth liquid is ready for use right away. If you want to freeze it instead it needs to cool down to room temperature.
  9. It needs to be cool enough to work with if you plan on freezing it. After it has cooled down you can either put it into freezer safe zip lock bags directly or put them in other containers to freeze that way. If you put it directly in bags you will then lay them out flat on a sheet pan that will fit in your freezer so they can freeze flat then you would take them off the sheet pan once frozen flat. I will freeze them this way sometimes but I have recently started freezing the broth in freezer safe containers first then putting them into my freezer safe zip lock bags afterwards. This helps when I want to remove it from the bag for use a lot easier. Some people will also use ice cube trays as a freezer safe container.

I apologize I did not get any pics of the process. The next time I do a broth which should be rather soon I will do an update post showing the steps in picture form as well as how I freeze the broth. Thanks for reading. Drop a like below.

Meal Time

Homemade Crock-Pot Yogurt

There’s always something new to learn even when you think you are not capable of learning. Recently I have been challenging myself to learn new things; coincidentally you have a lot of time during a quarantine. One of those things, making homemade yogurt in the crockpot. I have been thinking about it for sometime reading through recipes trying to find well the courage to just go for it! I like many other people am afraid of failing; it’s silly but if I failed I would have wasted and I don’t like to waste things especially food.
I went ahead and made this recipe once already because I wanted to make sure I did it right! Seeing to how I am now sharing it with you guys must have turned out great! Now there are a variety of ways to make homemade yogurt with all sorts of fancy gadgets; the fanciest gadget I have for cooking in is a crockpot. I will start off by saying this is not my recipe; I found it on pinterest and will leave the link at end of this post to credit the owner of the recipe I used. I am sure that like me some of you are skeptical about making food at home that is just so easily bought at the store; that is why I felt like a post needed to be written. Someone needed to test it out, showing that its not that hard to do! And yes it is easier to buy yogurt from the store by the larger amounts but in the end this will save money & you can make it healthier because its tailored to you.
In order to start your own yogurt you will need 1/2 Cup of store bought yogurt with live cultures, but after that as long as you keep at least a 1/2 Cup of the yogurt that you make for a starter for the next batch after and so on you won’t have to buy it at the store. Imagine one less thing to have to purchase at the store. Sounds pretty great to me! Let’s get started.


What You Need

Crockpot (the recipe calls for a half gallon of milk)
Big Blanket/Comforter or Large Beach Towel
1/2 Gallon Milk (whole milk works best)
1/2 Cup Yogurt With Live Cultures (you can use plain or flavored)

Quick Notes

After doing quite a bit of research I found that this may be the easiest recipe out there; this makes a good yogurt but it is a bit thinner than other recipes out there that require a few more steps. I found that this is an enjoyable recipe since I don’t like really thick yogurt anyways.
Something else to note is that if you use a flavored yogurt starter there may be an after taste to it. I used a container of the Cherry Starburst yogurt with live cultures for my first batch and have not noticed an after taste; I also added strawberries to it and a little sugar to sweeten it. If you want a plain yogurt I would use plain yogurt; it is up to you. (Note: I made this second batch of yogurt using a starter from my first batch where I used a yogurt that had a color to it because it was cherry so that is why my yogurt is pink in color; I did notice that the second time round the color has become less noticeable in the final product.)

Making Crockpot Yogurt

1) Add the 1/2 gallon of Milk to your crock pot; I put a crock pot liner in before hand just a preference of mine when using my crock pot.

2) Put the crock pot on low & cook the milk for 2 hours 45 minutes

3) When the time is up, turn off the crock pot and unplug it. Keep it covered with the lid.

4) Let it cool down for 3 hours Just leave it on the counter in the crock pot with the lid on it.

5) When the 3 hours are up take a small bowl and add the 1/2 cup yogurt starter & a few spoonfuls of the heated milk to it; stir together until well incorporated. (just a small amount of milk)

6) Next add the mixture back into the crock pot and mix it into the rest of the milk. Mix well. Put lid back on.

7) Now wrap the crock pot up with the blanket/comforter or large beach towel, making sure it is unplugged and the lid is on it. I set mine on the kitchen table. (make sure it won’t get knocked over or messed with) It will need to stay wrapped up for 8-12 hours, from the time you wrapped it up. (overnight works best)

8) After it has set for 8-12 hours it should be thickened. At this step you can strain out the liquid which is the whey or leave it in its your choice. I left it because I don’t have any cheese cloth to strain it through. Cheese cloth is what you would generally use for that step. If you google alternatives for cheese cloth you may find something that will work. (Here’s an updated Cheese Cloth Hack)

9) Put it into what ever airtight container you will be using.

10) Let the yogurt cool in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

It will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Be sure to save 1/2 cup of this yogurt for the next batch.
After it has cooled you can enjoy it as is or add fruit & something to sweeten up a bit like honey or maple syrup. You can even freeze it for a summer treat. I am hoping to write a post about making homemade frozen yogurt so stay tuned in.

I hope you enjoyed this step by step recipe by Crystal Paine. Make it, Share it, Enjoy it!
Thanks for reading. I hope I can encourage you to try new things and share them with others. There is nothing like learning something new!

Original Recipe HERE.


I am also linking video to Jamerrill Stewarts Video on how to do this in both crock-pot or instapot. Then I am linking another video from Our Tribe of Many doing their homemade yogurt. These are just to show you some extra steps and I love watching these ladies cook they really know their stuff!

Thanks for reading; Check me out on social media help me get some followers! Drop a like below.

Meal Time

Homemade Meatloaf

What You Need:

1 lb Ground Meat (I use ground Beef)
1 Onion Diced
2-3 Cloves Garlic Minced
1-2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Oats
BBQ Sauce or Ketchup
Other Seasonings Optional
Salt/Pepper

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl add your 1 lb of ground meat.
  3. Then add 2-3 cloves minced garlic & 1 diced onion. Mix well.


4. Next add in the 1 1/2 cups of oats.
5. Stir in the eggs.(I used two eggs; 1 will work just fine.)
6. Add in about 2 Tbsp of Ketchup or BBQ Sauce into the mixture.


7. Then salt & pepper or other seasonings for added flavor. Make sure everything is mixed well before next step.
8. Grease your pan. I used a 9 x 13 cake pan; but any loaf pan or sheet pan that is big enough will do.
9. Form the meatloaf mixture into a loaf on your greased pan.


10. Place in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
11. After 30 minutes take out the internal temperature should read 160 degrees at least.


12. Then pour about 1 cup of Ketchup or BBQ sauce over the top, you can even mix them together like I did.
13. Place back into oven for an additional 15 minutes.
14. After the 15 minutes; your meatloaf will be ready to enjoy.
Be careful though it will be very hot.

Recipe