Saturday, April 17, 2010

cooking & baking makes me happy (so does sewing & taking care of a husband) - being a wife suits me well :)

I bought a new (old) cookbook last night at an antique shop in Salisbury. It is over 1600 pages and was published in the 1940s. It is one of the best cookbooks I have ever read. I read cookbooks like novels. They are like old dear friends to me. I read them and I reread them. This book only has a few pictures, but it is classic. I bought in and a Singer dress making book from the 1950s (complete with adorable hand drawn figures - I love that era of illustrations) for only $5.00. I thought it was a pretty sweet buy. It is in great condition, unlike some of my cookbooks so far.

The whole book is good home cooked food. I become hungry just reading through most of the recipes. I want to cook huge home cooked meals for my family when I have children. Cooking for one is no fun. Cooking for two is nothing new (and a lot of eating leftovers). I will treasure this book for a long time. It makes me happy. A lot of modern cookbooks are filled with pretty pictures and fancy meals that I would never prepare. What is wrong with chicken pot pie, lasagna, tacos, roast chicken, beef stew, and many other classic foods?!? Nothing!

P.S. Betty Crocker is still my favorite basic everything cookbook. It has everything to start off a good cooking career. This new book goes into details about healthy eating, canning, sauces, how to cut meats, how to set tables, how to garnish plates, and so much more. The dessert section is almost half the book. It makes me happy. I love it. I had just made it to the potato section when Jared wanted to run over to SU to post his, “What a friend we have in Jesus” video from the coffeehouse last night. I felt like I was putting down a good book. I wanted to finish!

P.P.S. If you want to see the video, it is below (hopefully). If not, search Jared Shelton on youtube and I think it will come up. That is how I found it. I think it was the second video in the search results.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

A few updates on life...

Thanks to Sarah Meadows Foley, for the great worship music cds she gave me for my 21st birthday.  They are a staple of the music that I listen to at work (along with all of Indelible Grace's hymn (check them out if you haven't ever heard them because they are AMAZING!!  I own all seven cds they have put out.  Thanks to my mother for having the last one shipped to my house as a great surprise).  This is one of the songs that have been stuck in my head all week.  


Give me one pure and holy passion

And give me one magnificent obsession

Give me one glorious ambition for my life

To know and follow hard after you


To know and follow hard after you
To grow as your disciple in your truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you
Lead me on and I will run after you



Last night, while Jared was at the men's retreat, I made granola and yogurt.  They both turned out wonderfully!  I have tried several different granola recipes and they have all turned out terribly. They are all very floury and gross.  I've gagged down a lot of them, but in the end I have just had to throw them away.  Sigh.  I was so happy to find this recipe.  It seemed to simple when I first read it, but I really like the flavor.  These are going to be a staple in my house from now on.  I mixed the yogurt with peaches today and brought it to work for my breakfast.  I sprinkled the granola over the top.  It was so good!!  I also tried a little bit of the granola with milk last night; it was also good.   I am thinking of adding a few more things to my granola and also, I want to try to make it a little for clumpy (if that is even a word).  Right now it is just very loose granola.  But this way I won't ever break a tooth trying to eat it.  :)


In case you want to try to make either, I have included the recipes below.  The recipes are from one of my favorite websites, The Frugal Girl.  If you haven't ever visited her delightful little site, please do.  She is incredible.  And for all my Salisbury readers, she lives just on the other side of the bay and is in a PCA church…. How cool is that!?!


I have added some of my own comments in throughout the recipe.  I fourthed both the granola and yogurt recipe.  I will probably half both of them next time.



2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup salted sunflower kernels
2 cups raisins


(I left out the sesame seeds and sunflower kernels, (like the frugal girl, but I would really like to add the sunflower seeds, I think they will be a really nice addition).  I also didn't have almonds, but I they are on my grocery list now so I can make another batch of this yummy granola. 



1)In a small saucepan, combine honey, oil and brown sugar; cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat; add vanilla.


2)In a large bowl, combine the next five ingredients.(note: This does not include the raisins.)


 3)Add honey mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Spread onto two ungreased (I sprayed PAM on mine) baking pans. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring frequently (let's just say, I stirred it four times the entire 40 minutes I had it baking…). Stir in raisins. Bake for 10 minutes.


4)Cool, stirring occasionally. 

Store in an airtight container. Yield: 10 cups.



Homemade Yogurt (makes 4 quarts, which will keep for at least a month in the fridge)

For vanilla yogurt directions, see the bottom of the recipe.  I made the vanilla recipe.  I didn't add a lot of sugar because I figured the fruit would be sweet, but I ended up having to add more sugar to my yogurt when I ate it today.  But my plan is to wean myself off super sweet yogurts.


1 gallon of milk
1 cup yogurt starter(you can use a small cup of plain Dannon or Yoplait yogurt, or you can use a cup from your previous batch.)  I used Dannon because it was on sale at Super Fresh this week (starting yesterday).  I bought containers for 29 cents!  Woohoo.


1. Place four quart glass canning jars, four lids, and four screw-tops in a large pot. Fill with an inch of water; cover with lid and heat to boiling. Boil for ten minutes. Leave the lid on the pot and move it off the heat until you are ready to use the jars. I sort of do this… I usually dunk them in hot water and let them sit there for a while.  I stuck in a saucepan last night and let the water boil around it.


2. Pour one gallon of milk into a large, heavy bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven. Heat the milk to 185-195 degrees Farenheit(90-90 Celcius).  I wisk the milk as it heats up. 


3. Place the pot in a sink filled with cold water and let the milk cool to 120-130 degrees farenheit(50-55 degrees celsius).  This part is really awkward for me to hold the pan down in the water and wisk (but probably only because 1 quart of milk isn't heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the sink).  This happens really fast. 


4. Stir one cup of yogurt starter into the cooled milk, using a whisk. Stir well to ensure that the starter is thoroughly incorporated into the milk.


5. Pour the milk into jars, and put the lids and bands on. Place them into a cooler.  I put the jars in the sink (after I have drained it) and pour into the there because otherwise I make a mess.


6. Heat one gallon of water to 120-130 degrees F(50-55 degrees C) and pour into cooler.


7. Shut cooler lid and leave in a warm place for three hours. When the three hours are up, place the yogurt in the refrigerator.  I left mine overnight (about 8-9 hours) and it was finished in the morning.   I put it in the refrigerator before I left for work and it was quite thick.  I drained some water off the top before I packed some in my lunch/breakfast. 


To make a delicious vanilla version of this yogurt, add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar to the four quarts of milk when it's cooling in the sink. Then stir in 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla, depending on your preference, and proceed as usual with the recipe. Remember,  I 1/4thed this recipe: I put in about 1/8 of a cup and ½ a tsp of vanilla.   I think I would put in more vanilla next time.


Other than that I have simply been doing a lot of cooking and reading.  There isn't anything too exciting to report.  I might be teaching two chemistry labs at SU next semester.  If I do, I will have more access to internet and I might post pictures.  :)  


Easter was a lot of fun because my parents had a bunch of people over including, the Taylors, Seips, Mae, and Jared and me.  I love being a member of a large family and an even larger church family.  It makes me so happy.  I made lemon meringue pie and key lime pie.  I think they are two of the easiest pies to make.  Anna and Andrew taught me how to play tennis afterwards.  I never knew tennis was such a fun game.  I would really like to learn how to play it now. 


God is good. He has been very faithful to Jared and me.  We feel very blessed.