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How To Make Greek Yoghurt

How To Make Greek Yoghurt

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homemade-greek-yoghurt 2

Today’s post will show you how easy and economical it is to make your own Greek yoghurt. Greek yoghurt never used to be popular with the masses like it is today but our family has been eating it for years. Beautiful home made Greek yoghurt made with love for many years by my grand mother who was half Greek. Rest in peace my beautiful yiayia miss you so much. I’m very proud to share my grandmother’s recipe with you all today. You will be making your very own fantastic thick and creamy yoghurt in no time, improving your health and saving money while you are it it. Sounds perfect to me. You can serve this yoghurt with home made sesame bread like my grandmother used to do, with fresh fruit and honey or just enjoy it plain. Oh it is also wonderful with healthy toppings like chia seeds, flaxseed or linseed. You cant really go past a bowl of this greek yoghurt in the morning it is a wonderful way to start your day off on the right note.

I have seen lots of recipes that claim to be for ‘Greek’ yoghurt but many are not for authentic Greek yoghurt. With my grand mother’s recipe you strain off the whey which means you have a beautiful yoghurt with less sugar, fewer carbs and more essential proteins and just as importantly a yoghurt with a delicious thick texture.

I did a little research and I just wanted everyone to know some of the amazing health benefits of eating greek yoghurt. Did you know it contains as much protein as eating red meat ? A medium sized cup of greek yoghurt contains as much protein as a chicken or lamb cutlet! Protein is really important in your diet as it keeps your muscles strong and can help you feel fuller for longer. Greek yoghurt is also an amazing source of probiotic bacteria which are absolutely essential for digesting what we eat, making sure we get the all the vitamins and minerals from our food and boosting our immune systems.

Lets get started shall we. Here is what you need to make your own greek yoghurt.  It is very easy and once you start you will never get your yoghurt from the store again. The only slightly tricky part is sourcing the live yoghurt culture but if you cant find it locally(which you should be able to) you can easily order it from Amazon. Click Here To Order Live Yoghurt Culture From Amazon. This will last you a long time deepening on how much yoghurt you or your family eat. Regardless it is much much cheaper than buying store yoghurt which is the main thing. Saving money AND getting healthy – yay!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of either full cream or low fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons of live yoghurt culture (see link above)
  • some cheese cloth for straining

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan and add your milk. You need to use a saucepan or pot that you can place in the over. Bring to the boil over a medium to high heat. When you see bubbles forming around the edge of your saucepan you know it is time to remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and let cool for about three quarters of an hour.
  2. After half an hour warm up your oven to 110 F. Your milk needs to be about the same temperature. Use a thermometer or test with your finger.
  3. Stir your live yoghurt culture into the milk, recover the pot or saucepan and place into your warm oven. make sure the temperature does NOT get above 110 F.
  4. Now just simply leave for five to ten hours until the mixture begins to thicken. You should check on your yoghurt mixture every now and again to look for signs the thickening process is occurring and to check the temperature is ok. My grandmother never used a thermometer she would just check with her finger tip.
  5. Place the cheesecloth over a bowl and tie it firmly. Once your mixture has completely thicken remove from the oven and pour through the cheesecloth.
  6. Leave in the fridge overnight and the next day you will have nice thick very yummy yoghurt. Just discard the liquid whey and place your yoghurt in a nice bowl or container.
  7. Eat every morning for breakfast and both your body and budget will thank you.

If you enjoyed this recipe for making your own Greek yoghurt please share it amongst your friends and followers. Thanks so much.

Savory Beef and Vegetable Stew

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Beef Stew with Vegetables 2

This recipe is slow cooking but the every bit of it is totally worth the wait. If you’re like me who likes beef stews, I know you would appreciate the process of why beef has to be cooked slowly over a long period of time. If you have no patience for waiting, then you’re better off ordering your beef stews from a restaurant or let someone else cook for you.

This is the dish where the first bite or smell gets you hungry immediately. And it also makes you remember what it was like to taste it for the first time as a child. For me, it was my grandma who made it for dinner. She let us sit on our chairs and wait as she ladled on this steamy sauce onto our plates. Nothing beats that first bite into the soft and moist meat.

It makes me feel all warm and nice when I accomplish a recipe that my ancestors before me have perfected long ago. It’s like I have passed the test. Now I am ready to make my kids feel the same way. I want them to experience the sensation of tasting a good home cooked meal that would satisfy them completely. I know they’ll never forget that. And to me, that would be mission accomplished.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed beef broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 small potatoes, quartered
  • 6 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Description

  1. Warm up your large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Place in the beef and Italian dressing and cook until the meat is browned. That should be about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, add 2 cups of water, beef bouillon, diced tomatoes, beef broth, tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper and oregano to the skillet. Bring this one to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover it up and simmer until the meat is tender. That takes about an hour and a half.
  4. Then, add in potatoes, carrots, bell pepper and onion into the stew. Cover this and simmer over low heat this time. This takes another 45 minutes.
  5. Mix flour and cold water in a small bowl. Then add this to the stew mixture and stir slowly. Bring this to a boil and cook until the stew sauce has thickened. Give this about 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Best served hot.

Beef Stew with Mushrooms & Peppers

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Beef Stew with Mushrooms & Peppers

Ingredients

For the Marinade
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1.3 lbs. chuck steak, cubed
For the Stew
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red capsicums, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 oz. tomato paste (double concentrate)
  • 10.5 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Italian Parsley

Description

  1. In a big bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Add the cubed beef and mix well.
  3. Cover the bowl with cling warp and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours (I usually keep it overnight).
  4. In an oven proof casserole brown the beef in the extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Add the sliced capsicums and onions and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the tomato concentrate, mixed with 2 tbsp of water. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bring to a boil, cover and cook it in pre heated oven at 300°F for about 3 hours.
  9. After the first 2 hours have passed, add the sliced mushrooms to the pot and continue cooking for the remaining hour.
  10. Add a little water if required or reduce the sauce on the stove if too runny.
  11. Garnish with parsley and serve hot with steamed rice, boiled potatoes or mash and bread!

Caramel Corn

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Caramel Corn 2

I had a very good friend come over one day and insisted we watch a girl flick together. She seldom comes to visit so when she knocked on my front door one day and brought home a DVD, I was elated. Who wouldn’t be? My best friend and I together again and watching a movie would mean only one thing: Prepare the tissue and some popcorn. It would be a very long night.

That day I made her feel extra special by making her favorite popcorn. Personally, I love mine with salt and extra butter. This friend, however, insists on a caramelized one. But you know me; I just don’t put two things together. I always give it a little extra which is why I added dark syrup and vanilla on the mixture.

With that, every bite is aromatic and deeply sweet to the taste especially if you take the time to coat each morsel of corn with the caramel syrup. Somehow I think this is the reason why she took the time to come here today. I suspect that she’s having one of those cravings. Whatever the case, I appreciate the fact that she picked our favorite movie and brought it to me.

On your family movie time, have this sweet treat. Plain old popcorn can be quite boring and dull. Once you’ve had one to many, you’re going to want something else. Adding some sweet into it and perhaps some nuts (optional), it could elevate the taste. Trust me, it would give you that nice sweet kick!

Ingredients

  • Cooking Spray
  • 4 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter OR margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Description

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Next, prepare a large shallow roasting pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Add the popcorn kernels and cook until the all of them pop.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, dark corn syrup (light is an option), butter and salt. Heat up this mixture until it melts. Stir constantly while bringing this to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Then leave for 5 minutes on a boil without stirring. Remove from heat and add in baking soda and vanilla then mix well.
  5. Take the syrup and pour over the popcorn while it’s still warm. Stir a bit to coat evenly.
  6. Lastly, bake this for 45 minutes on the oven. Stir occasionally and remove. Spread over foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  7. Allow the popcorn to cool down so the caramel would harden. Then break apart and store in a container if not to be served right away.

Chocolate Ball

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Ingredients

Description

Chicken Curry

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Here’s a tidbit: Chicken curry is not just native to Indian cuisine. The thing with curry that’s most interesting is the combination of these wonderful spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, red pepper, mustard seed and ginger. I don’t think I’d be very good at making this mixture from scratch even if I tried. What I usually do is to buy a curry mixture over at an Indian spice store in order to be authentic on the taste.

There are instant curry mixes that come in sealed packets. While other people prefer to use this one on their curry dishes, I have my qualms about it. That’s because it doesn’t taste authentic and the dish ends up looking too dark yellow, close to that mustard yellow we’re familiar with. Others appear reddish in color with the intense peppery taste which isn’t good for everyone. Buying a curry mix is totally up to your taste. It’s why I chose to go out of my way and look for a spice store to get mine.

I find other versions of this dish falling short of expectations maybe because I demand to taste the coconut cream in the dish and the kick of the spice mixture. Others incorporate their own style and would use alternatives which is the main appetite killer for me.

The best part of the dish isn’t the chicken at all but the spiced gravy. If I don’t like how that tastes, I always give my opinion – something that drives my family crazy. But in this recipe I found my peace of mind. Despite having none of the authentic ingredients I always look for, I’ve been convinced. Fresh ingredients do matter. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup golden raisin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Description

  1. Combine the flour, cayenne pepper and salt in a Ziploc bag and add in the chicken, one piece at a time, to coat the pieces really well.
  2. Take a large skillet and heat up the oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and cook until well-browned before adding in the curry powder. Give it a good toss to make sure every piece of the chicken is coated in the curry. Then remove from the pan.
  4. In the same pan you cooked the chicken with, put in the onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes, only adding in more oil if necessary. Then pour in the broth, raisins and tomato paste.
  5. Next, add the cooked chicken into the mix and let this simmer for a good 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Garnish this dish with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt (more if you prefer) and serve with rice but only if desired. Best served hot.

Beef Bourguignon with Vegetables

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Beef is one of the world’s healthiest foods. For being so spectacularly rich and nutritious, beef is best with vegetables. With that, you get about enough omega-3 fats, calcium, Vitamin E and proteins.

This dish sounds fancy and meals like this tend to make my family a little giddy about how it’s made. They drill me about every detail of the dish because they like to test me especially on the name. My friend Google saves me a lot.

I found out that Beef bourguignon or bœuf bourguignon and boeuf à la Bourguignonne is also called beef Burgundy. The recipe (not the beef) is named after Burgundy, a region in France. This steaming red meat cooked on the best sauce and paired with vegetables is a traditional French recipe. Personally, I think their beef recipes are brilliant and should be on every dinner table. Trust me, you’ll agree with me on this one a hundred percent.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 cups dry red wine
  • 4 thick bacon slices, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless beef cross-rib roast, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 large fresh sage sprigs
  • 3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups (or more) canned beef broth
  • 12 ounces pearl onions
  • 3 bunches baby carrots, trimmed, peeled
  • 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, quartered

Description

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Then take a large piece of foil and place the garlic on it. Add the 2 tablespoons of wine and wrap the foil around to enclose it. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Let cool after. Press garlic between fingertips to release from skins and set aside.
  2. Warm a large pot and then cook the bacon for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. Remove and dry over paper towels. Save the drippings into a small bowl. Take about 2 tablespoons of it. Increase the heat and cook the beef in batches. It takes about 7 minutes to cook per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a large bowl.
  3. Reduce the heat this time to medium-low. Next, add the chopped onions and carrots to the pot. Sauté this for 5 minutes. Then mix in the flour and add the cooked beef including its accumulated juices. Stir in tomato paste and herb sprigs, bay leaves, roasted garlic and 2 cups of wine. Simmer this mixture for 15 minutes. Add 3 cups broth, cover and then simmer again for an hour and a half. Stir occasionally. Uncover and then simmer for another 1 and 1/2 hours. Remove the herb sprigs and bay leaves.
  4. In a large saucepan, cook pearl onion on salted water for 2 minutes. Then transfer the onion to a medium-sized bowl using a strainer. Cool slightly and then peel. Bring water to a boil and cook carrots for 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to the bowl of iced water. (Bacon, stew and vegetables can be prepared a day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
  5. Heat up the 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings on a large skillet using medium to high heat. Add the mushroom, sauté until golden brown for about 6 minutes. Next, add in the pearl onions, carrots and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Bring this stew to simmer, thinning with more broth. Stir bacon and 2/3 of the vegetables into stew. Transfer to large bowl and top with the remaining vegetables.

Chilli Con Carne

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There are dishes you warm up to and there are those you can’t seem to forget. This is my relationship to chili con carne. I warmed up to it because my first taste at age 11 was unforgettable. Chilies are apparently my waterloo. I can’t stand them and on that particular dish, there was a lot an 11 year old had to swallow.

Thus, I vowed never to taste the same dish again but not until a year later when my Mom had me try her version of it. It wasn’t bad; in fact, it was the same reason why I changed my mind about it. It wasn’t easy for me to endure a swollen tongue and the killer heat from those chilies. I may have bitten more seeds than I can chew. It was traumatic, to say the last, but thank goodness for Moms who make life better.

In a way, that experience taught me a lot. I have a love-hate relationship with chili and dishes that are all about them. I don’t want my own kids to experience the same thing but I didn’t want them to miss out on this delightful dish either.

On this one, I compromised on the on the chilies because a balance has to be made between sour and hot. Chili con carne is good to have on its own. If you’re that kind of fan, you don’t need bread to tame the heat in your mouth. Personally, I like it on rice or garlic bread. How about you?

But if it’s plain and simple, it would taste just as good, if not better than having rice. It’s all about personal preference. I want my chili con carne with something else (remember the trauma) and a glass of lemonade to cool my mouth down. Tell me what you can suggest on drinks with this. I have an inkling you’ll be making this recipe on your own may times over.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 chile pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 (15.25 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Description

  1. Prepare a medium-sized stock pot and heat up oil over medium heat. Then sauté the onion, chili pepper and garlic until they turn soft.
  2. Next, add the ground beef. Cook this and stir until meat is browned well.
  3. Pour in tomatoes with liquid, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Lastly, add in kidney beans and stir the mixture. Cook this for another 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving. Best served warm.

Chocolate & Hazelnuts Cookies

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Ingredients

Description

Cajun Seafood Pasta

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Cajun Seafood Pasta

First, let me say that not all pasta dishes are created equal. In fact, the list of ingredients you can add to great pasta is endless. But when it comes to this particular dish, it’s as good as it gets. Among the healthy pasta recipes, this is also among the best; which is why this marriage of seafood and pasta works in a lot of ways.

First, the shrimps provide the crunch. Then the cheese provides the tanginess that cuts through the spices. And the al dente pasta just completes the taste. Together, they make a wonderful meal. If you haven’t made it, try using this recipe. While others don’t use cream for this dish, I beg to differ. I say life just gets better when there’s whip cream on any dish including pastas.

Plus, you’ll love the fact that Cajun recipes have always been really tasty despite being so simple to make with basic ingredients. Did you know that Cajun recipes have always been abundant with seafood? Also, jambalaya, gumbos and fricassees are some of the well-known dishes people love. For those who didn’t grow up in the South, we’re not familiar with Cajun tastes too well. I’m going to change all that.

Let’s start with the simple dishes like this one in order to get used to the taste. But I reckon after you’ve had a taste, it won’t be long until you crave for another Cajun recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound dry fettuccine pasta

Description

  1. Begin by cooking the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Remove when pasta turns al dente.
  2. Take a large skillet and pour the cream into it. Warm this up over medium heat. Make sure you stir constantly while it boils.
  3. Next, turn down the heat. Then add the herbs, salt, peppers, onion and parsley. Let this simmer for about 7 to 8 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  4. Add the seafood and stir. Cook this until shrimps are no longer transparent. Then add the cheeses and blend this well.
  5. Lastly, plate your pasta and pour over the sauce. Sauce must be served over noodles and not on the side. Best served warm.

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