Pumpkin Ginger Muffins with Orange Glaze & Free Halloween Printable!

Happy Fall!  We are definitely full throttle into fall here.  Kids are wearing the costumes and the car is covered in frost in the morning 🙂

First, here is a FREE printable care of Hannah from CustomLabels.net
The stickers are totally FREE and PRINTABLE!

There are a lot to choose from, so you can use them for parties, treat bags, or home decoration!

Now with the recipe!  This bread is from King Arthur Flour who makes the best flour and the best recipes.  Everyone in my family LOVED these and ate the whole batch in just a couple days!  I made them as muffins since that makes it easier to make into lunchboxes.  But, you can make this recipe as bread, mini loaves, as mini muffins, in a donut pan – anyway you like!

I love the added twist of orange flavor and I pretty much love anything with the flavors of gingerbread.  This will probably be what I make for our book club too.  I can’t wait!  I used applesauce and white whole wheat flour for a couple of nutritious swaps – the kids didn’t notice the difference at all!  But feel free to add butter and all purpose flour if you like that 🙂

Pumpkin Ginger Muffins with Orange Glaze & Free Halloween Printable!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 20 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter or applesauce
  • 1 and ¼ cup (9 and ⅜ ounces) brown sugar
  • 2 and ¾ cups (11 and ½ ounces) AP flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking sodea
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2Tb mini diced ginger, or grated fresh ginger or ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or chocolate chips (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tb. molasses
  • 2 cups (15 oz. can) pumpkin puree
  • 1 and ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tb. orange zest
  • 1-2 Tb. milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray or grease 18 muffin cups, or 2 - 8.5"x4.5" loaf pans.
  3. In a great big bowl, stir the brown sugar and butter until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Add the dry stuff: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, ginger and optional nuts/chips. Mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the eggs, molasses and pumpkin. Stir until everything is incorporated.
  6. Add the batter to the loaf of muffin tins and fill ¾ full.
  7. Bake muffins 17-20 minutes. Bake loaves 50-55 minutes. I use my toothpick to test the middle of the muffins to see if it comes out with no batter on it.
  8. Once done, cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pan and allow the bread or muffins to finish cooling on the cooling rack.
  9. To make the icing, mix the powdered sugar, zest and 1 Tb. of milk in a medium sized bowl. Stir with a fork and add the remianing 1 Tb. milk as needed. Remember a little milk goes a long way! Drizzle onto the cooled bread. Ta Da!
  10. This bread freezes well if you wrap it in plastic wrap and them seal in a freezer bag. Or store in an airtight container 3-4 days.
Notes
Recipe from King Arthur Flour

 

Cinnamon Raisin Morning Rounds

Happy 2018!!  I can’t believe we are already here!

Well, first thing is first.  I broke my foot on Friday… so I will be watching reading a lot the next two months.  Which is funny because I hopped out of bed to get a start on the day on the elliptical machine… only to break my foot rendering the machine completely useless for 2 months at least.

I finished the “Forget Tomorrow” series which was GREAT.  I do hope they make it into a series.  I felt like Allegiant didn’t do so well towards the end of the series whereas this one just kept getting better and better.

24804505

(Photo credit: Goodreads)

and starting on Grant by Ron Chernow.

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(Photo credit: Goodreads)

The whole Christmas was fantastic and kids were very happy!  One thing they have loved is a new breakfast item we tried at Costco: Morning Rounds.  Whole Foods also sells them.  It is a quick pillow of cinnamon raisin deliciousness.  No crust to deal with.  No bread crumbs.  No heals to fight over.  The kids heat them up in the microwave or toaster oven by themselves and LOVE them.  I have to limit them or they would eat the entire bag in two days.

Here is a photo of the original item.

It is like a slice of cinnamon raisin bread…. but better.  And since this is YOUR recipe, you can add or subtract whatever you like!  If you don’t like raisins, don’t add them.  Use diced apples and raisins, or dried cranberries and orange zest, or your favorite nuts and fruit.

Here is a side by side view of the copycat and real recipe:

 

These freeze well and keep for 6 months in the freezer kept airtight.  Just toast from frozen for a quick breakfast or snack.  The Whole Foods ones I read are quite expensive – but they are so tasty!  so here is a copycat recipe that I tweaked to make in the bread machine.

 

Cinnamon Raisin Morning Rounds
 
:
Serves: 16 Rounds
Ingredients
  • 1 and ½ cups warm water
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 and ½ cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (or other mix ins to total 1 cup such as diced apple, dried fruit, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Bread Machine: Add ingredients into the bread machine per the machine's instructions. My machine has liquids added first, then pile up the flour. Finally, poke a whole in the top part of the flour and pour the yeast inside.
  2. Put the machine on the "dough" setting and sit back and relax.
  3. Once the dough is finished, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Divide the dough into two balls. Roll out one dough ball into a large oval. Then sprinkle the mix ins like raisins. Fold the dough over. Roll to about ½ inch thick and divide into 8 pieces or slices like a pizza. Roll each slice into a thin circle. Repeat 8 times with this dough ball and Repeat again with the second dough ball. You will have 16 rounds. Keep them covered under plastic wrap to avoid drying out.
  4. Once the rounds are ready, place in the oven for 4 minutes. Flip and bake another 4 minutes. Remove from the oven. The bottom should be slightly golden brown. Allow to cool and eat! Or Freeze.
  5. MIXER INSTRUCTIONS: If you do not have a bread machine, simply mix the wet ingredients into a mixer. Add the dry ingredients and knead with the knead hook for 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and rise for 1 hour.
  6. Once the dough is finished, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Divide the dough into two balls. Roll out one dough ball into a large oval. Then sprinkle the mix ins like raisins. Fold the dough over. Roll to about ½ inch thick and divide into 8 pieces or slices like a pizza. Roll each slice into a thin circle. Repeat 8 times with this dough ball and Repeat again with the second dough ball. You will have 16 rounds. Keep them covered under plastic wrap to avoid drying out.
  7. Once the rounds are ready, place in the oven for 4 minutes. Flip and bake another 4 minutes. Remove from the oven. The bottom should be slightly golden brown. Allow to cool and eat! Or Freeze.

 

 

Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie

Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie

Goooood moooorningggggg!!!!!

Welcome to a Whisk Together Original!!!

I hope everyone is doing AWESOME!!!!  Here is a new simple and easy recipe that we all loved!  I had some extra oranges leftover and didn’t want to make an orange julius copycat recipe for breakfast.  Instead, I threw some of my kids’ favorite items into the blender and they LOVED it.   And I loved it because they got a healthy dose of real oranges, mango and vitamins.  Since going back to work full-time this year, mornings are a little bit different.  No more coming home to clean up or finish a task.  We have 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches to make!  So I listed some ways to get these smoothies into your morning routine.  They would also make a great snack!

Here are some ways to make the smoothie:

  1.  Just make it!
  2. Freeze the ingredients into baggies.  Allow to thaw while you get ready or microwave them for 30 seconds.  Then add to the blender!
  3. Put them in real orange julius cups and see if anyone notices the difference 🙂

I know smoothies are not a “winter” type thing.  But oranges are in season right now and Aldi has them at $3.99 for a huge bagful.  If you won’t use them in time – just peel them and freeze them!  Yes it will work in a smoothie.  I wouldn’t recommend eating them after being frozen, but in a blender they will be just fine.


Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 2 large smoothies
Ingredients
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla unsweetened)
  • 1 cup mango, frozen or fresh
  • 3 packets of Stevia
  • 2 tsp. powdered egg whites (I use this to make royal icing; it is optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Instructions
  1. Wash the outside of the oranges with soap and water. Peel the oranges and place the segments in the blender.
  2. Keep the peel! Place a 1" square of the orange peel into the blender.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into the blender in the order given. If you are using large frozen chunks of mango, I usually microwave this for 30 seconds in order to give the blender a break.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Good Day!

My son has made this twice now and I realized I made it last year without ever posting it!  It is really good and if a 10 year old can make granola – YOU can too!  Granola is sooo easy to make and sooo expensive at the store.  Feel free to also check out our

Chocolate Granola or Oats and Honey Granola!

If you love peanut butter but have an allergy in the house – use sunflower butter instead.

So far we have made this FOUR times!  They just can’t get enough and been trying different combinations of sweeteners and additions.  My kids cannot wait to add chocolate chips and we end up with melted chocolate clusters of granola instead of “chocolate chip” granola.  I am pretty sure nobody else minds though.  🙂

Make a banana yogurt parfait, pour in some milk, eat it as a snack, top ice cream with it, make some cookies or muffins with it – the list is endless!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola
 
:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats (or gluten free oats for gluten free)
  • 4 Tb. sugar
  • ½ cup olive oil, grapeseed oil or coconut oil
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ⅔ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Optional: pecans, almonds, or dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep a large rimmed cookie sheet or two small rimmed cookie sheets. You can line them with parchment or nothing at all. I use silicone mats for easy cleanup.
  2. In a great big bowl, mix up the dry ingredients: oats and sugar.
  3. In a medium microwave safe bowl, warm the oil, peanut butter and maple syrup for about 30 seconds. Stir until well combined.
  4. Drizzle the warm mixture over the oats. Stir and fold gently to coat the oats.
  5. Pour the oats now onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Gently stir every 10-15 minutes. Sometimes the granola will take longer. It should be a little darker and fragrant. Watch closely at the end because it burns fast. When I do a big batch, I have to bake it for 30 minutes since it is not spread out.
  6. Once golden brown, take it out of the oven and cool. Add the chocolate chips while warm if you want them to melt. Or wait for it to cool to have in tact chocolate chips. Store in an air-tight container in the pantry. Or freeze if you will not need it for a few weeks.
  7. Enjoy on yogurt, with milk, in a smoothie, on a smoothie bowl, with bananas or even ice cream!
Notes
Recipe adapted slightly from Minimalist Baker.com

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Dip

It’s strawberry season!  My favorite food in the whole wide world!

My 6 year old daughter made this chocolate cream cheese dip with some leftover cream cheese we had and it was DELICIOUS!  So quick and easy!  Plus it pairs well with all kinds of fruits and graham crackers.  The kids are sometimes hungry after playing outside or after school and this will fit the bill nicely.  Lots of fruit and protein and chocolate 🙂   It sounds weird, but pineapple tastes really good with chocolate, too!

Book:  The newest book I am reading is a textbook for my class starting next week:  Comprehensive Curriculum for Gifted Learners.

 (photo credit: Amazon)

It is the best book on Gifted instruction that I have found in regards to teaching and curriculum.  This book is not necessarily full of printables and handouts.  The text is a firm grounding in the research of gifted education and how to set up the curriculum and goals for the class.   If you homeschool gifted children or teach some in your classroom, this textbook is a GREAT resource.  It goes into depth on the goals of many gifted classes:  critical thinking skills, research skills, and problem solving skills.  I believe addressing the affective needs of these students by adding a goal of self-understanding of their strengths and weaknesses as well as high level oral and written skills should be added.

Recipe:  Since this recipe involves chocolate, I recommend the Rodelle Dutch Cooca.  Costco sells it during the winter time and I stock up.  Amazon also carries it and Hy-Vee.  I have heard great things about Ghirandelli as well.  It is not necessary, but the chocolate products seem darker and richer when using higher quality cocoa instead of Hershey.  Dutch cocoa also blends better with liquids – which is a nice perk when making this or hot cocoa!

The recipe makes a 4 serving amount of dip, so you may want to double or triple the recipe for a party.  Or keep it small like this for that family dessert or afternoon snack.

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Dip
 
Prep time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or neufschetal cheese (like cream cheese but fewer calories)
  • ⅔ cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder (baking cocoa powder)
  • 6 T powdered sugar
  • 2 T mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, allow the cream cheese to sit and come to room temperature. Or, put the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds to soften.
  2. Add everything except the mini chocolate chips and mix with a fork until well combined.
  3. Top or stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Serve with strawberries, graham crackers, pineapple, kiwi or bananas.

 

Chicken Melts

chicken melts recipe, homemade, copycat

Good morning everyone!  It has been for- EV- UH!  I wish I could post more 🙁

I have been working 50-60 hours per week between substitute teaching and photography while the hubby looks for a new job.  The cleaning and cooking still need done… so the blog was put on the back burner.  Currently, I will be working toward applying for a full-time job when the new school year 2017-2018 opens up.

I am still reading Ron Chernow’s Washington and it is STILL one of the best biographies.  Which probably explains that little Pulitzer Prize that it won.  The most recent tidbit I did not know is that Washington really wanted to go back to Mount Vernon and be home after the Revolutionary War.  He was happy to help with the Constitutional Convention and get the new government on its feet.  From his personal letters, it can be deduced that he only really expected to be president a couple of years.  He was there to get the ball rolling so to speak.  If Washington had known he was going to remain president for 8 years, he may never have volunteered in the first place.

chicken melts recipe, homemade, copycat

Recipe:

This recipe has a short story!  So, about 6 months ago the kids and I discovered these delicious Chicken Melts at Costco.  “Really….Really Tasty Sandwiches” is their motto and they are right!  For the price and time, they are really good and really tasty.  There are 15 chicken melts in one box and all 4 of us really like them.  Plus, they are so tasty and low in calories that we want to eat one or two!!  A box of 15 of them goes super fast!

So – I decided to try and make a copycat recipe.  It would taste almost exactly the same, but perhaps have more chicken so that it felt more like a meal than a snack.

The kids gave them 4 thumbs up!!

Woo hoo!  Eureka!

What do we do with this recipe??

  1.  You can freeze them like the Sandwich Bros. do!  Just seal in plastic and reheat in the microwave (out of the plastic bag of course!).  Start at 60 seconds per sandwich and wrap in a paper towel first with the cheese side UP.  Or you will have a cheesy microwave!
  2. Eat them for lunch!  The kids are in school and cannot heat up their own meal.  So, I send the sandwich cold to school and they still love it.  More like a deli type feel.
  3. Eat them for dinner!  Yum!
  4. Have the fixin’s stashed in the fridge for any time.  I make a large batch and then keep the chicken with cheese in a large container in the fridge.  If someone wants to make a chicken melt, they just have to add the cooked chicken to the pita pocket.
  5. Easy and cheap and tasty!  My favorite triad 🙂

Here is a photo of the whole wheat pita pockets that I purchased for making the chicken melts.  You can purchase pita pockets almost everywhere now!  Since Trader Joe’s avoids preservatives and such, I try there first.  **IMPORTANT** When opening up their pita pockets, heat them first a little.  I store my bread in the fridge and the pockets would tear when I opened them up.  BUT, they won’t tear if you heat them up for like 15 seconds in the microwave!

trader-joes-pita-pockets

This recipe is a new staple in our household and I hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Melts
 
:
Serves: 16 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 1-2 Tb. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • (about) 1 tsp. garlic powder (add to taste, we like it and I cover the flour with a layer of garlic powder)
  • (about) 1 Tb. paprika (I used smoked paprika and increase or decrease based on how fresh it is)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices of American Cheese
  • 8 round pita pockets
Instructions
  1. To start, I heat up my large 12" cast iron skillet on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. I add more if it doesn't cover the bottom of the skillet.
  2. While that heats up, slice the chicken in half LENGTHwise. You now have 8 chicken breasts. Now, cut those to fit you pita pocket. I cut mine in half again the other way to fit into the pita pocket. Now, I have 16 pieces of chicken.
  3. In a shallow bowl or baking dish, mix the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour mixture on both sides until coated. Repeat on all the chicken.
  4. Add chicken to the skillet one layer at a time. Mine holds 4-5 pieces of chicken. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Flip. Cook another 3 minutes and make sure the chicken is cooking nicely. About 2 minutes before it is done, add the cheese. Melt the cheese for 2-3 minutes and remove the chicken from the skillet onto a wire cooling rack over paper towels. This will keep the chicken crispy on the bottom and the top.
  5. Repeat by adding a little more oil to the skillet if necessary and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  6. Heat up the pita pockets for about 15 seconds in the microwave. This will allow them to open easier.
  7. Slice the pita pocket circle in half to get two half circles. Fill the pita pocket with the cooked chicken and eat while hot!
  8. Or assemble and freeze in the freezer. To reheat from frozen, wrap in a paper towel and place in the microwave with the cheese side on top. Heat for 60 seconds and check to see if it is done. If not, add a few more seconds until heated thoroughly.
  9. Or keep separated in the fridge and assemble any time you are hungry.

 

 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

whole wheat chocolate zucchini bread snack dessert

Howdy!

Here are some of the latest fairy photos from a park photo shoot last week.  I just love the sun behind trees and bushes!!!  Creates such pretty bokeh.

fairy photo, Wentzville, Family Photographer

 

fairy photo, Wentzville, Family Photographer

 

Book:  I continue to read “Washington” by Ron Chernow in hopes that no one else in St. Charles county will request the book.  It is 800 pages and no way will I finish it in 2 weeks!  Again, there are pieces of his life illuminated within just the last few years that never made it into the history books that we learned from as children.  It really goes to show that just because we learned something in school doesn’t mean it is 100% accurate.  Chernow has uncovered many new essays and letters in the past few years on some of these influential men in US History.

Another death has occurred in the Washington legacy  – this time it is his stepdaughter Patsy.  The poor girl had epilepsy and constant seizures.  She died and half of her estate went to her brother Jacky and the other half to Martha and George Washington.  This development was rather significant to our history in a number ways.  #1, Patsy was never ever left alone because of her frequent seizures and therefore Martha would never have joined George much – if at all – during the Revolution. #2 George now had the financial flexibility to lead the country in the American revolution without requiring a salary (which he didn’t take and Alexander Hamilton didn’t either… though he was so poor that after his death the family requested some of his pay just to buy food and such).  Without this financial security, George may never have left Mount Vernon for such a lengthy amount of time to attend the Continental Congress, lead the Continental Army in the Revolution or accept the presidency for two terms.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Recipe 3

Recipe:  I thought I couldn’t compete with the Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread that we have been making for years and years.  It is a favorite even among the pickiest of eaters.  But this one is just as good or better!  You see…. another favorite of ours is the recipe for Chewy Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies  🙂  Drool…..

Oh right.  The new recipe.

So, Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread is a combination of these two favorite recipes.  We used 100% molasses which gave the bread a dark color and deep, rich flavor.  It does taste wonderful with chocolate.  The flour is replaced with all 100% whole wheat flour.  The oil can be swapped out with applesauce.

Feel free to freeze this bread.  Make into smaller loaves.  Make into muffins, mini muffins, whatever!

The flavor is complex and not too sweet.  The texture is typical for a quick bread without being too gummy even when using applesauce instead of oil.  I’m sure the bread would last a few days, but I don’t think ours lasted more than 24 hours in this house.

whole wheat bread, zucchini, chocolate chip

 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
 
:
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs (large or 3 small/medium)
  • ⅓ cup molasses (or honey if you don't like molasses)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or applesauce
  • ⅓ cup (2.5 oz) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups (8.5 oz) white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded and unpeeled zucchini (choose a medium size one)
  • 1 cup (6 oz) chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Or convection oven to 325 degrees)
  2. Grease with baking spray, butter or cooking spray a 9x5" loaf pan.
  3. In a great big bowl, mix the wet stuff: eggs, molasses/honey, oil/applesauce, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir or whisk together until there are no lumps.
  4. To the great big bowl with the wet mixture, add in the dry stuff: flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well. Since it is whole wheat flour, we don't have to worry about gluten forming!
  5. Add in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Stir with a large spoon or spatula.
  6. Put the quick bread mixture into the loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes. (It may be done in 45 minutes with a convection oven).
  7. Test the center of the bread with a toothpick and you may get some melted chocolate, but there shouldn't be any bread on it.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and allow the bread to cool directly on the cooling rack.
Notes
Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Weigh the ingredients for the best accuracy!!! Or spoon the flour into the measuring cup. This is how KAF develops their recipes and provides the best match.

 

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt | Instant Pot Recipe

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt on Whisk TogetherI hope you had a fabulous weekend!

We had a lot of fun in the backyard this weekend with the cooler tempetures.  It was so much fun to watch the kids catch fireflies outside in the woods in the backyard.  Here are a couple of photos I took last week of the kids trying to catch them in jars:

Juliana1

Maddox web

My Instant Pot has a yogurt option that I had been wanting to try for a while.  Since it is summer and we don’t have school to run to anymore, I thought it would be a good time to try and make our own yogurt.  Plus, the kids like to eat it for breakfast and snack – which results in 2-3 tubs per week.  That equals to about $10-12 in yogurt!

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt 2 on Whisk Together

Instead, the Instant Pot will turn 6 cups of milk (less than half of a gallon or about $1.50) into 2 tubs of yogurt (instead of paying $6-8).  The kids and I all loved the taste of this yogurt and would make it again.

Here is a photo of what we store our yogurt in.  I throw these into the dishwasher when we are finished with them and use them for making different colors frosting, making yogurt and taking someone a meal so they don’t have to worry about returning the dishes.

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt 3 on Whisk Together

No Instant Pot?  That’s fine!  If you do not have a Instant Pot, you can still make homemade yogurt.  It will require a little more hands on, but nothing too bad.

I tried straining the yogurt with cheesecloth first and it ended up a large mess.  The yogurt likes to cling to the cloth.  Then, I tried my coffee filters!  These worked great!  The yogurt comes right off of them as well.

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt on Whisk Together

It’s summer and this doesn’t require the house getting hot.  Plus the kids can learn about bacteria and you get to save money!  It is a win-win 🙂

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt 4 on Whisk Together

Homemade Yogurt and Greek Yogurt
 
:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups milk (2% or whole or raw milk)
  • 2 Tb. plain yogurt (make sure it contains "active cultures" - most of them do)
Instructions
  1. First, scald the milk. In the INSTANT POT , add the milk and hit "yogurt" then "more" so that it says "BOIL" on the front. It doesn't matter if you seal or vent. It will beep when the milk is ready. In the SLOW COOKER, pour the milk and cook on high for 2 hours - make sure the thermometer says 180 degrees. Turn the slow cooker off.
  2. Second, wait about 1 hour. For both devices, allow the milk to cool to 115 degrees. Once at 115 degrees, stir in the plain yogurt. You can speed this up by putting the container in a bath of ice water.
  3. Third, push the INSTANT POT button on Yogurt until it says "YOGT". Place the lid on and toggle to "seal". It will count up to 8 hours. After 8 hours the yogurt is finished and ready to cool in the fridge. In the SLOW COOKER, cover the cooker with a large towel with the lid on. The machine is off for 10-12 hours. You will have yogurt now.
  4. Fourth, put the yogurt in the fridge and eat! If you want thicker or Greek yogurt, Add a colander to a larger bowl. Into the colander, lay the coffee filter or cheesecloth. Fill with yogurt to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. 1-2 hours later you will have Greek yogurt.

 

 

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie





Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie 4 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Smoothie time!  But before we get to smoothie time, here is a quick pic of the beautiful senior I had the pleasure of photographing last week.  The next day I learned that the park had mowed the grass  — so we got there right on schedule!

Molly50 For Facebook

Back to smoothie time!  I am a huge fan of peanut butter anything.  This recipe has peanut butter powder.  Every grocery store (well, except maybe Aldi) now carries Peanut Butter Powder.  There is PB2 and this one I used here is JIF brand.  Costco carries another brand that is organic.  You can reconstitute the powder with water to make peanut butter.  But, what I do is make peanut butter smoothies!  Only 3 tablespoons of powder is 70 calories and enough to flavor one drink.  I usually need 2 Tb. of regular peanut butter.  It was something fun to try and lowers the calories of the drink.  I think it would also be great in milkshakes.  🙂

This stuff is a dieter’s dream!  I know I stayed away from peanut butter the whole time I was trying to lose weight.  It just wasn’t worth the calories when all you could have is a small spoonful!  190 calories in 2 Tb. of regular peanut butter – or 70 calories in 3 Tb. of PB powder???  But the peanut butter powder tastes like peanut butter because it only has one ingredient: peanuts.

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

The powder blends very well in a smoothie.  The regular peanut butter can get stuck or clumpy in the blades of some blenders.

Or add it to your oatmeal.

Or add it to frozen bananas that are pureed to be like ice cream.

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie 3 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Or add it to muffins, pancakes, cookies, cakes or brownies.

Here’s a blog post with a lot of ideas.  I really don’t think I will be adding this stuff to my chicken though. … It also doesn’t taste good if you dip your fruit right into it.  Now, if you mixed it with some cream cheese and dipped that might taste better.

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie
 
:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups almond milk (I use vanilla unsweetened), or regular milk
  • 1 banana, cut in half (or frozen banana chunks)
  • 1-2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 6 Tb. peanut butter powder
  • 4-6 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Blend everything in the blender until smooth.
  2. -Add plain Greek yogurt for more protein!
  3. -Add strawberries to make a PB &J smoothie

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