Homemade and Simple

Your source for everything home made and simple to make.

Buttermilk or Sour Cream?

So, it has been a while since my last post. Since then I have been back to my home island to spend time during the Christmas time. It was very pleasant to be able to try traditional food from the island and being able to spend Christmas, New Years an Three Kings Day with my family. For those of you not familiar with the Three Kings Day tradition, it is similar to Santa Claus, except that the Three Wise men from the Bible who gave presents to baby Jesus, come to our houses in their camels and leave present for the kids under their beds. The kids in return leave water and grass for the camels to eat, kind of the traditional milk and cookies for Santa.

Anyway, since my last post I have prepare a lot more, yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream Now, my main problem with all those items is what to do with them before they go bad or before the bacteria in them dies and I can’t make more buttermilk or yogurt out of them. You see when ever I have a little bit left, I make more. So to solve that problem I have been making all sorts of Frozen Yogurt, Yogurt Cake, Sour Cream  and Buttermilk Breads.

That brings me to the issue of making buttermilk or sour cream, which I have not explained before. This are very simple items to make, requiring only two ingredients and one of them is share in common.

Contrary to yogurt, whose bacteria loves warmer temperatures, the bacteria needed for cultured buttermilk prefers room temperature. That is why making cultured buttermilk or sour cream is very easy. Here is what you need to make buttermilk:

  • 1 quart size jar
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 3 cups milk (I use 2%)

Here is how to make it, first sterilize the jar and the lids in boiling water for several minutes. Remove the jar and lid from the hot water and let them cool. Then pour the cup of cultured buttermilk, the fresher the better and top with the 3 cups of milk. Close the jar and slowly mix the ingredients in the jar and set aside in a warm place such as next to the stove. Wait 24 hour and you should have cultured buttermilk. I have used my buttermilk to make onion rings, bread, doughnuts, pancakes, etc.

For the sour cream, the procedure is similar except that you need half and half or heavy cream instead of milk. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 – 8oz jar with lids
  • 2 oz of buttermilk
  • 6oz of half and half or heavy cream (I have done sour cream with both)

Here is how to make it, first sterilize the jar and the lids in boiling water for several minutes. Remove the jar and lid from the hot water and let them cool. Then pour the 2 oz of cultured buttermilk, the fresher the better and top with the 6oz of half and half or heavy cream. Close the jar and slowly mix the ingredients in the jar and set aside in a warm place such as next to the stove. Wait 24 hour and you should have sour cream. I have used my sour cream to make mostly read or we use it on fajitas during dinner.

I always try to make use of my buttermilk within the week in order to be able to reuse it to make more cultured buttermilk. That way I can ensure I have bacteria still alive to start the next batch of either one, sour cream or cultured buttermilk.

As a side note, please do not confused cultured buttermilk from buttermilk. The first, cultured buttermilk is made possible thanks to a bacteria that helps ferment the milk by converting the lactose into lactic acid. That is why cultured buttermilk has a tart flavor . Its high acidity level helps fight any pathogenic bacteria that may accelerate the process of decomposing food, which is why buttermilk keeps well for weeks in your refrigerator.

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Yogurt Cake

Have you ever wonder, when reading a recipe, how did the chef or person preparing the recipe came with to the conclusion that it would take x amount of time to cook it in an oven at certain temperature. Well, this past weekend I decided to make two separate recipes that involved, obviously, some of my home made yogurt and both instructions stated that the recipes would take approximately 50 minutes to cook. Well guess what? They took me approximately 15 minutes less than what the recipe said. Thank God I was paying close attention to the food, otherwise I would have ended up with burnt food on both occasion.

But enough of complaining about cooking times and what not. Let’s get to the good stuff. This past weekend I prepared, as I said, two recipes that called for home made yogurt. One was a Yogurt Cake and the other a Banana Yogurt Bread. For today I will write about the Yogurt  Cake. This recipe was so easy to make and so good that I finished making the cake by 8pm on Sunday night and when I got back home from work on Monday afternoon, the cake was history. When I asked my two daughters and my son who ate the cake they all pointed at each other.

I found this recipe in my attempt to use my four quart size jars of yogurt. So far I have used 3 and I will make use of part of the fourth jar to make this cake. This is a very simple recipe. You don’t need fancy equipment; all it takes is a whisk and a mixing bowl (not to mention some measuring cups and spoons). Here is the list of ingredients:

  1. 1½ cups of yogurt
  2. 2/3 cups olive oil
  3. 1¼ cup sugar
  4. 3 large eggs
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 2½ cups all purpose flour
  7. 2½ teaspoon baking powder
  8. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. Pinch ground nutmeg

First things first. Turn your oven on and set it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9″ bunt cake pan and set aside while you prepare the batter. While the oven is heating, mix the first 5 ingredients in the list. Once they are all combined, add the other five  until there are no lumps in the batter.

Proceed to pour the batter into the greased bunt cake pan and place in the oven for 35 minutes or until you can insert a tester and it comes out clean. The original recipe calls for a cooking time between 50 to 60 minutes, but mine was done within 35 minutes. You can eat this with some berries and whipped cream or you can top it with sugar glaze as I did. To make the glaze mix 1 cup of powder sugar and 3 tablespoons of milk and a few drops of vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly until not sugar lumps are visible and pour over cake. Eating this cake right out of the oven is an unforgettable experience, ask my kids.

Next recipe will be the Banana Yogurt Cake. so stay tune.

If you have any recipe that use yogurt as one of its main ingredient, please share it with us. Until then have a fun baking.

For more information on this recipe, visit the original site where I found it at http://www.thekitchen.com/quick-and-easy-recipe-yogurt-c-1183665 .

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Homemade Strawberry Frozen Yogurt (with no Ice Cream Machine)


As i mention on my prior Frozen Yogurt post, I said that I was going to post how to make Frozen Yogurt without having to use an ice cream maker. As I did my search on the internet I found a recipe for making frozen strawberry yogurt in a blender and it only calls for 5 ingredients (well 4 as ice it also made out of water). With that being said, here are the ingredients you need:

  1. 1 cup of water
  2. 4 cups plain yogurt. (Please referred to the blog about Homemade Yogurt)
  3. 1 cup strawberry syrup
  4. 2 cups frozen strawberries
  5. Ice as needed

The initial step for this recipe is to combine the cup of water, 2 cups of yogurt with a cup of frozen strawberry and to make sure to set up the blender speed at its highest setting. This will help freeze the frozen yogurt mix.
Add the remaining cup of frozen strawberries and the remaining 2 cups of yogurt along with the cup of strawberry syrup  and combine in the blender. Once again make sure to set the blender to its highest speed.
Add more water to thin the mix and add ice to freeze the mix as needed. My mix ended as soft serve frozen yogurt,  but I opted for putting the final product in the freezer. An hour later I had real and completely homemade (don’t forget that I did the yogurt from scratch) frozen yogurt.

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A post is better than no post.

So it has been almost two weeks since my last post and there is a reason for it. In my attempt to prepare the most recipes using only one gallon of milk, I prepared several things. I started with a gallon of milk and I turned it into 4 quart size jars of yogurt and then in turn used those jars to make different things. Unfortunately the last jar, which I intended to use for making a yogurt cake was in part eaten by my daughter who taught it was a great idea to mix the plain yogurt with some of her Mom’s homemade apricot jam. At that point I decided to make use of the remaining yogurt in different ways, without using any recipe, just mixing things together.

First I pour some dry french onion soup mix on a container and added yogurt to taste to make a French Onion Dip and ate it with some Lay’s chips. Then I took what was left over of the yogurt and added some sugar, a whole banana and a few drops of vanilla extract and poured it in the ice cream machine maker for a banana frozen yogurt.

Other things I made during that period were queso blanco, which we deep fried and ate with a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup (known in Puerto Rico as Mayo-Ketchup or in Utah as Fry Sauce). The left over milk from the cheese making process we used for making mashed potatoes. I also made mayonnaise from scratch, but I started using one recipe and it didn’t work; then I started using a second recipe and once I saw that it was turning into mayonnaise I added the mixture from the first recipe. I would like to share those recipes here today, but because I couldn’t master those recipes at the time I will wait until later when I can prepare them and finish with a better product.

I have also been working on my home grown square foot garden, where I have been fighting with a bunch of caterpillar so that they don’t eat my vegetable plants. So far we have been able to use the lettuce from my garden; like last weekend when we had a BBQ and had hamburgers made from scratch and were able to use a few lettuce leaves and the home made mayo to enjoy our lunch. Right now I have some tomatoes growing, carrots, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, mung beans and red beans. So soon I will post some pictures of my garden. Until then or until the next time I make yogurt out of a gallon of milk and put a post, have a wonderful time.

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Frozen Yogurt

Ok, so here we are; day four of our one gallon milk experiment. On day one we turn a gallon of milk into 4 jars of milk. Day two we turn a jar of yogurt into cheese. Day three we combined the yogurt cheese and a jar of yogurt into Yogurt Cheesecake and today we will turn a third jar of yogurt into yogurt ice cream.

In order to make this recipe, you will need an ice cream maker. I will post a recipe for a frozen yogurt made without an ice cream maker at a later time.This recipe is very simple to make and it requires only two ingredients (three if you opt to add vanilla extract). Here is our list of ingredients:

  1. A quart size jar of Yogurt
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. Vanilla extract (optional)

In a mixing bowl combine the yogurt with the sugar. If you prefer you can add vanilla to taste. Pour the yogurt mix in the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. Enjoy as soon as it has the desire consistency or store in an air tight container and enjoy at a later time.

I told you, it was that simple.
You can find this recipe by visiting the following address in the internet: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/a-frozen-yogurt-recipe-to-rival-pinkberrys-recipe.html

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Yogurt Cheesecake

So, in my attempt to use all the Yogurt I made from my original gallon of milk, I embarked in a quest to find recipes that required yogurt as the main ingredient. I perform a Google search for the term “recipes with yogurt” and I came across a very interesting recipe for a Yogurt Cheesecake. What caught my eye from this recipe was its simplicity and the fact that it called for yogurt; which I had plenty left and cream cheese, which I took the liberty of substituting for the Yogurt Cheese I made the prior day and for which you can find instruction on how to make it in my prior day post under yogurt cheese or Labneh.

So here is what you will need for this cheesecake:

  1. 1 packet of honey graham crackers
  2. 3 tbsp sugar
  3. 4 tbsp butter, melted
  4. All the cream cheese made using the Yogurt Cheese or Labneh recipe https://homemadeandsimple.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/yogurt-cheese-or-labneh/
  5. 16 oz (half quart size jar) of home made yogurt using the recipe found on https://homemadeandsimple.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/how-to-make-plain-yougurt-from-store-bought-milk/
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 4 large eggs
  8. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  9. pinch of salt (I opted for not using the salt since I was using the Labneh cheese and we added salt to is during the cheese making process

The first thing is to make the cookie crust. For that, crush all the graham crackers either in a blender or a food processor. Combine with the butter and sugar and spread on a 9″ springboard pan. Baked at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Take out of the oven and let it cool while you make the cheesecake mix.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a blender and pour unto the cheesecake crust. Cook at 350 F for 50 minutes or until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean. Let it cool. I like it served cold so I always refrigerate before eating it. My kids loved it. It is not your traditional Cheesecake Factory cheesecake but it is almost as good if not better because it was made from items made in your own kitchen.

By this point you should still have 2½ jars of yogurt from the original batch. Tomorrow we will use one of them to make frozen yogurt using an ice cream maker machine. Then we will use some of the whey from the cheese making process to make a loaf of bread using a bread machine.

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Yogurt Cheese or Labneh

This is another recipe from Professor Fankhauser. It is a very simple recipe to follow. Here is what you will need:

  1. One of the prior quart size jars of yogurt made from the prior recipe https://homemadeandsimple.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/how-to-make-plain-yougurt-from-store-bought-milk/
  2. Salt
  3. Muslin or cheesecloth
  4. Pan or dripping pan
  5. Strainer

To begging mix the quart size jar of yogurt with a teaspoon of salt. Place the cheesecloth in a strainer over the pan or dripping pan and pour the mixture. Bring the four corners of the cheese cloth and tie with a rubber band and hang over the pan to collect all the whey from the yogurt. After 24 hours or when the cheesecloth stop dripping your yogurt cheese is done.

Do not discard the way from the yogurt. Save it in your empty jar for future use. I will post some very simple recipes of items that you can make using the whey, such as bread with a sourdough flavor or refreshing drinks.

Save the cheese because on the next recipe I will teach you how to make a very simple cheesecake by combining one of your yogurt jars and the cheese you just made.

For reference, don’t forget to visit Professor Fankhauser webpage at http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Making_Laban/Labneh.htm

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How to make plain yougurt from store bought milk

I found a very easy and simple recipe for making yogurt, while doing a search on the internet for how to make cheese. This recipe belongs to Professor David B. Fankhauserr from the University of Cincinnati Clermont College.

For this recipe you will need the following:

  1. Four quart size jars and a 8oz jar.
  2. One gallon of Milk
  3. 1 cup of yogurt
  4. Two cooking pots (1 for sterilizing the jars and one for heating the milk)
  5. A thermometer
  6. An igloo cooler
  7. A measring cup

The first step in the process is to sterilize a 4 quart size jars and an 8oz jar in hot boiling water. Then scald a gallon of milk by heating it between 185° F and 195° F. While the heating the milk, heat a small size cooler (such as an igloo or foam cooler) by heating water to 122° F and 130° F and pouring it in the cooler. Once the milk has reached the desired temperature bring it back down to 122° F and 130° F. To do so, you may place the pot with the milk in your sink and fill the sink with cold water. Once it reaches the desire temperature remove a cup of the scalded milk and mix it with a cup of yogurt (I used Greek yogurt). Then add this mixture slowly to the rest of the milk. Once thoroughly mix pour into the jars including the 8oz jar. This last one will be your new starter for your next yogurt batch. Place the jars inside the cooler (you may want to turn a cup upside down inside the cooler and place the 8oz jar on top of it so that it is not submerge in the water), and let them rest for  hours. After 6 hours, if the starter was alive (meaning that the yogurt had live cultures and assuming that the temperatures were correct the product should have gelled. Take the jars and place them in your refrigerator and let cool.


For more specifics on this recipe go to the Professor’s page at http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/yogurt_making/YOGURT2000.htm

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Hello world!

Welcome to Home Made and Simple! On this blog you will find information and recipes of simple things made at home with items that are available in your kitchen or that are easy to find at your local grocery store.
Most of the recipes you’ll find on this page have been previously made by me for my own use and consumption. It will be important to note that while most of the recipes have been tested at my own house, the majority of the recipes have been found on the internet and on a few books that I have in my home.
I hope you enjoy the recipes and items you’ll find on this blog as much as my family and as much as I did while preparing them.

Enjoy and have fun!

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