Yogurt!

Yogurt!

During my pregnancy, I ate a lot of yogurt. A LOT. It helped me from gaining a ton of weight. I craved shakes, which I did indulge in, but one cannot have a shake every time you crave one pregnant or not. When I craved a strawberry shake, I had a cup of yogurt. Creamy, fruity, and cold, it satisfied. I also didn’t feel guilty when I had two in a day-which was almost everyday. Calcium anyone? My daughter’s bones aren’t complaining.

My favorite were the Chobani cups. I worked in a restaurant, and when the hunger pains came, there was no ignoring them. Eat or throw up is the way of pregnancy. The cups of yogurt were easy to grab, quick and satisfying to eat, and kept me out on the floor where I needed to be.

My husband would lightly hint that he wasn’t happy about the price we were paying for the individual cups of yogurt-especially since I was consuming a large amount every week. He also was eating tubs of plain yogurt with his muesli in the mornings. So when my mother offered us her unused yogurt maker, he jumped on it.

And then it sat in the corner…as we talked about all of the money we could save from making our own yogurt. And how about the health benefits! No preservatives or added sugars!

And still it sat, until we finally broke down and took the effort to find where we could get the starter cultures (which is practically any grocery store). That same weekend fate blessed us at the bookstore where I found a yogurt recipe book in the “Discounted Gotta Go!” section.   The directions for each recipe were not too involved, and not too many ingredients. Perfect for my budding cooking skills.

The first recipe I made from the book was chilled ginger and lime soup. It was delicious. Rave reviews. Perfect on a summer evening with some grilled fish, this soup was cool and refreshing yet had a kick to it. All freshly grated ginger, garlic, and coriander melded perfectly with the lime and creaminess of the yogurt. The only thing that really took time was the chopping of the vegetables, and that really didn’t take a lot of time. It can be made in the morning or even the day before cutting your cooking time in the evening drastically.

We ate it up before I thought to photograph. So here is a picture of the bowl I served it in garnished with some coriander.  Take a page from Peter Pan and imagine the coriander floating on top of a thick white soup speckled with bits of green.  Fabulous, yes?
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Next I made some scones. While in the past I detested cooking, I loved to bake. Maybe because it was on my terms. I was not required to do it every day, and when I did it always (and still does) please and delight. Who doesn’t like the surprise of walking in the door and being greeted with the aroma of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven? Or knowing that waking up in the morning a fresh croissant with melted butter is yearning to be drizzled with honey and enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee? Oh, there’s chocolate tucked inside of the croissant?  I’ll go to sleep early, thank you.

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Other than the scones being baked in a muffin pan and so resembling muffins more than scones, they were a hit, too. They called for a tenth of the sugar my blueberry muffins use which made me happy with how much healthier they were.  (A side note-I had to promise my husband I would not stop making the blueberry muffins no matter my excitement for the yogurt book or the fact I could make them with blueberries.)

I am so taken with this book that I have decided to work my way through all of the recipes. Ty expressed his doubts, as I am new to cooking I have not experienced that most recipe books contain a few great recipes, mostly moderate ones, and a few not-so-great ones. Each recipe I have made beginning with the post to follow of Sole with Spinach and Lentils continues to satisfy and amaze with the flavors that shine through.

The recipe book I am using is Yogurt by Sarina Jacobson published in 2008 by Sterling Publishing Company. I encourage you to check it out as I have been thoroughly delighted by each recipe. I did find it on Amazon for a cent. A CENT. You have to pay more for the shipping for a total cost of $4.00. You can use the money you save to buy a good quality quiet yogurt maker-because ours runs a lot in our house!

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