Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yogurt, Take 2

I have made yogurt before using a crock pot method. The flavor was great, but I didn't like the thin consistency that I kept getting. After seeing a blog post by Dig This Chick on her recipe and method for yogurt, I thought I'd give yogurt making a try again. I enjoying knowing that there are ways I can reduce the premade foods in our home, plus everything tastes a little better when it's made with LOVE.

We get WIC for the boys. WIC stands for Women Infant Children. It's a program designed to provide "supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five". We get an abundance of milk. So much milk that I often times don't take all that we are allotted. By making my own yogurt I'll have a chance to use half a gallon of milk that we otherwise would not consume. I do not consider the milk we get through WIC quality milk. I'd prefer local organic milk, which I'll switch to after we leave Alaska.


  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • Some pre-made yogurt
A little over a table spoon in each jar.

I thought I might need a funnel, but didn't have one. Brandon fashioned one for me. He's so creative.

Makeshift funnel.

The whole yogurt making process is really easy. You warm your milk up to 175F on medium heat. Let the milk cool to 115F and then add it to the jars with the pre-made yogurt. You give the jars one or two shakes and then add them to the oven with a towel wrapped around them and the oven light on.

The hardest part of this process was having patience for the milk to cool down to 115. I tried to find other things to do around the kitchen, yet I still had too much time to stare at the thermometer.

After being in the oven for 8 hours I put the jars of yogurt into the fridge. At this point I could have called the yogurt complete, but I decided to drain some of the whey out, to thicken it even more.

Before draining the whey.
I didn't have cheesecloth so I used coffee filters.

I didn't see a huge difference after draining the whey. It might just be a step I skip in the future. Besides, I read whey is some healthy stuff.

I use yogurt in place of sour cream, in baking and occasionally in smoothies. Tanner and I eat yogurt every night after Dillan goes to bed. We like it sprinkled with a little granola on it. I think having homemade yogurt in the house, that I can make for free, is going to be awesome.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Anchorage - Trip Home

The Anchorage area has the most breathtaking mountain views. I so wish that the mountains in their mountains were located around Fairbanks. Fairbanks has a slower, smaller feel that I like, but it lacks the beauty of Anchorage.

Brandon's cousin Christy lives in Big Lake, just north of Wasilla, with her husband and 3 daughters. Her mom, Peggy, was visiting so we were able to spend lots of great quality time them.


Tanner had so much fun playing with Natalie.

We had a great view of Denali, but somehow didn't capture it's beauty in many pictures.

The trip home was long. Both boys were tired yet would not sleep. Dillan was hysterically crying for almost an hour and wouldn't be soothed, even after we were home. Overall they did great on the trip. I'm thankful that we got to experience yet another Great Alaskan Adventure with them!


Anchorage - Iditarod and The Zoo

Brandon and I had gone to the start of the Iditarod twice before this trip, but this was the first time for the boys. Tanner was all about it at first, but he grew weary of walking and looking at the dogs after an hour or so.

This dog HATED Tanner's hat

After a nap back at the apartment, we went to the Alaska Zoo. The facility takes injured animals and rehabilitates them. The boys preferred the zoo over the Iditarod. Dillan made animal sounds throughout the visit and we couldn't keep up with Tanner. Christmas music polluted the air which I found it mildly irritating.

We stopped by Moose's Tooth for some Pizza to bring back to the privacy of our own place to eat. THE BEST PIZZA.


Anchorage - The First Day

To take a break from the normalcy of life, we hit the highway, bound for Anchorage.


The roads were at little sketchy at times, the snow flitted around, but we arrived safely.

Our first stop was Target in Wasilla. We didn't shop much, our main purpose was to use the bathroom facilities and get Dillan some tethers.

The only restaurant we ate in the entire trip was a little bar called Humpy's. It has a laid back atmosphere, great beer and delicious food. My halibut fish and chips, along with my raspberry wheat beer, definitely were worth the hefty price.

After dinner we hit up Chuck E. Cheese's. To get Tanner excited for the long road trip we had to make promises of a visit to the franchise to go play. He had a blast!

We stayed in Elmemendorf AFB housing for the 2 nights that we were in Anchorage. The place we stayed was a 3 bedroom apartment. Having the extra space for the kids to run and play was great!