The DMA and how to make yogurt (and yogurt for kids and their picky parents)

It's funny that I had this lined up to blog about today, because just a bit ago, my sister Evelyn sent me a message on Facebook, asking how to make yogurt. It's so easy you'll feel silly!!! I have looked a billion websites, but my version is most like the one on Hillbilly Housewife. The author, Susanne, is brilliant and her ideas appeal to my practical sensibilities. I had been making yogurt and "kid yogurt"for years from corrupted versions of recipes i found in a magazine, but Susanne's method is pretty good (and similar) to mine. She uses reconstituted powdered milk, though, for a fat free (and cheaper!!) version!

For my plain, full fat yogurt (for my kids to eat) I use a glass measuring cup with a lid. I LOVE the one from The Pampered Chef for this. It's called the Batter Bowl and it holds 2 qts. It's huge!!
I put 4 cups of milk in this, and microwave to boiling. This takes about 8 minutes in MY microwave but yours may be different (you know how that goes...). From there, I remove it, cover it with it's handy lid, and let sit until lukewarm. Then I whisk in 1/4 c or so of plain unsweetened unflavored yogurt with live cultures. You can get this from the store, or from your last batch of yogurt. If you use your own yogurt, you may find over time that the cultures weaken and become incapable of "culturing" your milk.
I like to buy a BIG container of plain yogurt (plain ol' dannon works fine) and freeze it in ice cube trays. Remember those? they look like this

and then dump them all into a Ziploc bag for future use. You don't have to thaw them out.
Anyhow, from whatever source, whisk in your cultures. If using frozen cubes, set a timer for 30 minutes and come back and whisk again.
To make it turn into yogurt do one of these things:
1. leave on the counter overnight
2. set in the garage in the summer overnight (ours is HOT!!)
3. put in your gas oven with the door closed, pilot light lit
4. put in your electric oven, with the light bulb on.

in the morning, take out, and VIOLA!!! You have yogurt. That's it!!!
* organic milk is a pain in the ass to try to make yogurt with, in this method. I wouldn't try it. There are other methods that work better (google)
*you can just let milk become room temp w/o boiling, but your yogurt will be stringy. Gross.

That's all!! Store in fridge. To make a cream cheese like spread, drain whey from the yogurt w/a lined strainer. Use it in place of cream cheese for most things. it's YUMMY!!
To make kid (or picky adult) fruit flavored yogurt, follow the directions below.

Kid Yogurt
1 small package of flavored jell-o (I use generic, and you can use sugar free, if you prefer)
1 c water
3 c yogurt
1/3 c sugar (or artificial sweetener) optional
1/2 c chopped fruit, optional
8 small lidded containers, 1/2c capacity

I like to put mine in some kind of pan, because it makes it easier to transport them to and from the fridge when full. Also, it makes clean-up easier. Do this first.

Then get all of your other tools and ingredients. You'll need a bowl, a whisk, a measuring cup, and a pan for boiling water.

Set water to boil in your pan, and add the contents of the gelatin package to the bowl. When the water boils, stir it in with the whisk. continue stirring until totally dissolved. Add 1/2 c of the yogurt to the bowl, stirring to incorporate, then add the remaining 2 1/2 cups. Stir until totally smooth. Add sweetener and/or fruit next if desired. Add 1/2 c to each of the individual containers.

See how the pan caught that mess?? That could have been on my counter!!

Place in the refrigerator uncovered. Do not cover until cool, or condensation will form and repulse children and ultimately discourage them from eating it. Right, Amanda??

Enjoy!!! cheap, and YUMMY!!! My favorites are peach and lime. Also raspberry. And cherry.

Dallas Museum of Art!!! Fun times!!

The DMA has programs for preschool children on the first Tuesday of every month. This month I met a couple of friends at the Starbucks at West Village shopping center to ride the McKinney Avenue free trolley to the DMA. FUN!!!

First there was a craft project that I didn't get pics of, but was fun. Well, it was fun for me. William preferred sorting all of the crayons, skinny markers, fat markers, and colored pencils into their correct bins on the table. I made a lovely picture frame in the shape of a star while he did this, and Aldous inspected his feet while lying in the stroller.

Afterward, we went to one of the children's play areas (there are TWO play areas, and TWO craft areas...awesome!!) to build with cardboard blocks, read books, color and draw, and play "match match"

William playing "match match", which involves putting magnetic discs onto the circles in the corresponding pictures of artworks.

This kid is a bookworm, just like her mom.

This was a "touch box", where kids can touch an unseen item and try to guess what it is. I suspect that William prefers not to guess, as he's stuck his entire head right into the box.

It was a pretty good morning, and we rode the trolley home after eating lunch in the cafe there at the museum. And William got to see some "are werks".


meshell said...

I've been meaning to try my hand at making yogurt for ages, but have always wussed out. But I do have that exact same pampered chef glass measuring cup/bowl, so maybe I'll finally give it a whirl!

Anonymous said...

YAY!! i did it! i am soo proud of myself. i made cherry and added chopped cherries to it. it tastes very good!! thanks for your help!!


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