Lime Honey Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Ok, this is easy.

The Recipe comes from “playing around” with food in the kitchen.  No “cooking” so it’s safe for all ages, even you non cookers.

The recipe would work better in an ice cream freezer but I literally just tossed the mixed yogurt in the freezer.  It was a bit “Crunchy” but it tasted awesome.

I guess it would be fine not frozen too, maybe I’ll try it that way.

At about 220 calories for 9 ounces, it’s a saving over the usual 400-800 calories for a regular ice cream of the same size.



Add all ingredients to a container and mix until smooth.

  • Freeze until solid, about 3 hours.
  • Hint: If you mix it while it is freezing it will be smoother and less ice will form
  • Chip away and enjoy.

The Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice is common in drinks and bars.  I know I got it at one point for some drink recipe but it was lingering in the fridge.  It’s basically simple syrup flavored with lime concentrate.

If Lime is not your favorite, Lemon Curd (recipe) would work as well as other favorite flavors.

This reminds me … I need to make more Lemon Curd since I have Grapefruit for that task!

The Yogurt Recipe That Brings My Dog To The Kitchen

First, the recipe.


Seed Yogurt: Go to the store, buy yourself a small container of plain unsweetened and unflavored yogurt that you enjoy.  There are multiple types, each culture has a different flavor.  But make certain that it says “Active Cultures” or what ever your nation says for active or live bacteria in this yogurt.   I personally use a “Greek Yogurt” and what I make with it tastes just about like what came out of the Seed Yogurt Cup.

Even better, if you have a neighbor that has a yogurt that they have been making out of their own cultures, get a couple tablespoons of that.  It’s bound to be better than anything commercial.

Jar for your yogurt:  Get an appropriate jar with a sealable lid.  Approximately a quart/liter in size.  Sterilize the jar – wash and make sure it is as clean as you can get.  You don’t want this stuff to spoil.  I use a Mason Jar with a wide mouth and a large plastic lid.  This jar must fit in your microwave.

Milk.  I use 2%.  Whole will taste better but will give more calories.  Skim Milk will taste “milder”.  The Calorie Count will be the same as that of the milk that goes into it.  It’s up to you.


Add milk to your jar until it is about 3/4 filled.  750mL or 3 cups.  Or so – it does not have to be exact.  My Mason Jars have vertical lines on the side that I fill to the top of, below the narrowing for the neck.   You just want it to have some room for bubbles to form if it goes to boil in the microwave.

Heat the milk slowly to at least 180F/82C.  This can be done in a sauce pan if you do not have a microwave.  I heat the milk in the Mason Jar, in the microwave at High or Full Power for 4 minutes, then give it 30 second bursts until it begins to bubble.  This will kill off anything that will make things spoil.

Pour the milk into the Mason Jar.

Move the Mason Jar to a warm spot in the kitchen, on the counter where it won’t be disturbed..

Allow the milk to cool for about two hours in the Mason Jar.

When the milk is below 105F/40C, add two tablespoons of the plain yogurt that you got for this purpose.

This is your Seed Yogurt.

Finish the rest of the seed yogurt, I suggest with either honey or a good jam.  This is your treat for the job.

Stir the seed yogurt vigorously into the milk.

Cover the Mason Jar with your lid, and allow it to sit at least one day.

Check the Mason Jar periodically.  It will be done when the yogurt begins to gel when you tip the container to the side.

Refrigerate and use within about a week.

Remember – since you already made the stuff here, you can take a spoon or three of your current batch and use for seed yogurt for the next batch.  The taste will change over time, certain bacterias will express themselves stronger or weaker within the food.  If you don’t like that, go get more seed yogurt at the stores.

So… about my dog?

Rack, the McNab SuperDog sits on his mat in the corner next to my recliner.  It’s off in the distance so he can’t see what is going on in the kitchen from that spot.

There’s just enough noise in the house that I personally would not be paying that close attention to what goes on in the kitchen, but I would be wrong to ignore that completely.  Ceiling fans and clocks are all making a constant racket.

In fact, just putting on noise canceling headphones is a nice change of pace from hearing all that din.

Rack does not need that.

There are certain noises that get him up from the corner and to the kitchen.  If I grab ice cubes, he comes in asking for one.  Luckily he is not brave enough to take liberty to press on the ice dispenser on the refrigerator.

He will get one when I make my first mug of coffee, but only the first one.  The second one he stays put and ignores whatever else is going on.

Or so you think.

Certain kitchen noises may make him pay attention like crumpling a chip bag or rattling the doors on things in there but this is one thing that sends him running to the kitchen.

I store the Mason Jar with the plastic top and the wide mouth on the “Breakfast Shelf” in the fridge.  I’m tall, 193CM/6’4″ and it’s at chest height.

Nudging the jelly, yeast, and cottage cheese aside, I grab that yogurt jar.  If he’s in the room, he expects some.

But I tend to play tricks on my dog as it keeps his mind going.

Waiting for him to be in the corner, out of site, I get the Yogurt Jar out of the fridge.  Since I move things in and out frequently, he hasn’t figured out that specific jar’s noise.

Quietly stepping out, I see he’s not watching and blissfully sleeping.

Turn the lid just a quarter turn and he leaps off his bed and runs to the kitchen sliding into my right leg with a skid.

Mind you he’s not a Labrador Retriever but this is the closest to the Lab Feeding Frenzy that I get with my own McNab Dog.

He then gets his 1/2 cup of yogurt in his bowl.

It’s gone so far that I can’t use the word Yogurt in the house without having 46 pounds of black dog with white tips and highlights glued to my leg.

So yes, if you want the Yogurt for your recipes that will make the dogs come running, this is how you make the stuff.  The only time I buy yogurt is for seed if the original spoils.

Teaching The Dog To Beg For More Breakfast

“He knows who to go to, you’re the soft touch in this house!”

Yes, I am.  Everyone in this house begs food from me.

Oscar, my orange wing parrot, knows that if he says “Hello?” enough, I’ll probably cave and give him a sample.  Mango Season is starting, the neighbor’s Hagen Mango tree is beginning to drop fruit.  They gave me permission years back to hit the tree for my Mango Needs.  It helps the people who live there because nobody wants a two pound fruit falling from 30 feet up smacking into their car.

It will leave a dent.

I must eat about 200 pounds of Mangos each year.   Strictly speaking I also pass them out to friends I know who enjoy them, and I make jelly which uses up a lot of them.   Mango puree with a bit of lemon is wonderful to bake chicken in, and the puree itself is tasty.  Recipes use up a lot of Mango in sauces.

Oscar knows that and he starts chattering, and moving to the end of the cage nearest me when he sees me making up my breakfast bowl of Mango Chunks and Yogurt.

I really should just add that to the blender and make a Mango Lassi, but this is easier.

What shouldn’t have surprised me was when Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM), began to beg for it as well.

I was having a bit of an Indian themed breakfast that morning.  A bowl of cereal was long forgotten as I grabbed the egg, mayo, and Curry Powder from the fridge.  Making a Curried Egg Salad Sandwich was easy, mash it all up in the cereal bowl, spread on the toasted English Muffin, and enjoy.  Just a dusting of Curry Powder on top.

Rack was there, boring holes into me with twin brown laser beamed eyes.

*Sigh* Rack, at least wait for me to get the stuff finished before you glue yourself to my side.

The toaster announced it was finished with a thump and I made my sandwich.  Surprisingly good this morning.  Time to add mayo to the shopping list.

That left me with a bit of curried egg at the bottom of the bowl.  I could rinse that out in the sink…

Nope.  Ok, Boy, here you go!

He proceeded to try to lick the white off the glass.

Some dogs are truly aggressive with begging.  Pawing your leg or arm.  Barking incessantly like Oscar and his “Hello” routine.  Other behaviors which are truly unacceptable.

Rack is like Lettie was.  Sit down nearby, in sight, and stare holes through you.  If he hears the dreaded “Not For Dogs!” he heads out to the other room, mopes, and stares from a distance.  I guess that’s the McNab Dog Way.

Otherwise, when I finish, I tend to leave a little morsel in the bottom of the bowl for him.  I do this because his stomach was quite unsettled when he was a puppy.  When we got him, he was severely underweight due to worms, stress, and the trauma of being an Owner-Surrender.  He simply would eat only under certain conditions, and certain foods only.

If I ever met the guy who had Rack before, trust me, I’d have a “conversation” with that man.

Two courses are done.  Final course.  This was what got Oscar talking at me.  You simply can not out-shout a parrot.  No way, No how.

I began to slice some mango chunks into the orange bowl.  Rack came back sniffing.  The first time I gave him a mango chunk he walked away, I thought I was safe.

That mango was a bit under ripe.  A little sour, a little on the Yellow side instead of the bright orange I was hoping for.  I sliced the flesh away from the skin with the butter knife and piped up:  “Oscar?  Mango?”.


When he learns how to say Mango, I am truly in trouble!

Rack feigned studied indifference.  I padded across to the living room, dropped a mango skin with a bit of sweet and sour yellow Mango flesh still attached.  May as well give him the bits I don’t like.  He will work on that fruit, skin and all, through the day.  I gave him something to keep him busy.

All the gloves were off right about now.  Rack realized I was giving Oscar Mango so he wanted some too.  I heard a deep humming and realized that Rack was glowing with antici… pation!

I filled the bowl with 8 ounces of mango chunks, and 1/2 cup of plain homemade yogurt.  Lost in my own sweet reverie I was wondering if there were any more trees around ready for the picking.  It’s still on the early side but have Mango Pole, Will Travel.

Rack didn’t care.  Laser Beams were boring a hole through my mind saying “Feed Me, Seymour!”.

I was in trouble.  “Let me finish my breakfast, will you?”.

Rack doesn’t like being told no, so he did his avoidance act.  Looked away just enough that I was in the corner of the eye.

I laughed at the pitiful display as I finished all but the last couple spoons of yogurt and one small bit of yellow mango.

“Here you go, Rack, Two treats today!”  I dropped the orange bowl on top of the curried egg bowl earlier.  You’d think he was starving with the gusto he tore into the yogurt.

I finished making up my coffee, quietly, as Rack tried to lick the orange off the plastic bowl.

The thing with him is the Social Aspect Of Feeding.  He’s a weak beta dog.  Rack will eat only when asked, and invited.  If he’s eating, he’s very easy to disturb.  However if I am eating, being the pack leader, he will power through the meal and make it a point to finish.  After all, he’s used to me giving him that last bit of food when I finish my meal.

I’m making a good approximation for how a pack of dogs, or even wolves, eat in the wild.  The Alphas eat first, the Betas get the leftovers.  I’m speaking dog.

He understands.  Finishing the last bit of yogurt, I lift the two bowls from the top of his purple food bowl.  “I’ve got to rinse these for the dishwasher, boy.”

I turn to my work and he proceeds to try to taste the purple to see if purple plastic tastes different from orange plastic.

All in all it’s a good day to be a pet.

How to Fail At Pizza Crust Without Really Trying

I have a lot of recipes.  Many of them I share, some others I don’t.

Oh come on, you know you hold back one or two of your favorites if you really like to cook or bake.  After all, how would you know what to bring to a party?

My chocolate chip cookie recipe is one of those.  I’ll let you in on a secret though.  Churn your own butter.  It really makes the flavor pop!  Five minutes in the cuisinart later you have butter and buttermilk.  Make biscuits.

But the thing is that nobody ever tells you of the failures.

For every successful cook, there is a trash can full of fallen souffles, burnt biscuits, and wooden roasts.  Things that got undercooked, or overcooked.
Things that got the wrong proportions.
Things that went into the oven and the power went out.
The yeast might have been bad.

Any of those things!

The recipes I share are tested.  I have done them more than once.  I don’t do them rushed.  I take pictures.  I marvel at the color of the crust, the flavor of the crumb, and the mouth feel of the flake.

But I have done them before.

Some of them I have done many times before.

Many many.

Really, that many.

But I am on a quest.  The quest for the Grail?  No Monty, not the quest for the Grail, for Camelot is a very silly place.

The quest is for the simplest recipes I can find for a given menu item.  They may take a little extra time or be quirky, but once I get it figured out, they’re golden.

Fudge, for example, is dead simple.  Three ingredients for the basics, then toss in your goodies and you’re done.  It can even be done in the Microwave by a bright five year old as a treat for mommy.  Doesn’t even need daddy’s help, and may even be better without it.  You really just have to “warm up” the chocolate and stir it until smooth.

My friends that are non-cooks or even anti-cooks are those who I find the simplest recipes for.  Cooking is one of those things that everyone, without fail, can learn, but they do have to at least try.

I went onto a search.  A quest!  No, not for that damn Grail, Monty, go sit down in the corner.

I was searching for “Three Ingredient Recipes”.  Those usually are the ones that you mash together with a fork in a big bowl and then toss in the oven at an appropriate temperature.

Usually 350F.

For about 30 minutes or until done.

I found a lot of them.  Just go to your favorite search engine that doesn’t track what you are doing, type in “Three Ingredient Recipe” and find what you are looking for.

At least that was the theory.

I was planning on a two ingredient pizza crust.  It was easy they said.  A cup of Self Rising Flour and a cup of Greek Yogurt.  They warned it will be sticky and they warned to make sure you used the real Greek yogurt and not the crap that has corn starch to thicken it.

I have everything on hand on a daily basis for that. 

The whole weekend I was thinking about trying this.  Seriously.

Ok, I don’t have a life.  So give me one, I’ll make failed pizza crusts for you, honest!

Finally I decided it was time to do it that day.  I waited until it was time.  I even had someone here who wanted to watch.  “Drop In” friends will do that.  They will help you if you have a task to get done if you make a hint.

So I got out the mixer. 
Dough hook. 
Self Rising Flour. 
Proper Greek Yogurt that was one step removed from Cream Cheese.
The dog got interested and joined us in the kitchen at this point.
Turn the bloody mixer on.
Get the parchment paper and line the cookie sheet while I’m watching the magic happen.
Dust the cookie sheet liberally with flour so it doesn’t stick.

They always tell you that when you make a pizza.  Pizza crusts tend to be drier than bread dough.  Put down a lot of flour and knead well.  It is like playing with clay, you have to work it.

Blah blah blah, this is two ingredients, right?

Finally I get bored with watching it spin and switch off the mixer.

I end up with something that looked more like biscuit batter.  Thick and sticky.  I could use it to spackle a wall.

No, really.  I have a hole in the wall I could have slapped this puppy into and it would have sat there on a vertical surface just drying out and …

Pouring the batter out onto the flour I began to roll it out.

That would be when I found the problems starting.

It stuck to the paper so I added more flour.

It stuck to the wooden rolling pin so I added more flour.

It started making holes in the crust so I added more flour.

At this point it was about a cup and a half of flour total.  This wasn’t right.  The parchment paper was turning into a wet sticky mess and fully bonded with the bottom of the pizza dough.

After about 5 minutes more of this silliness, I got another piece of parchment paper and dusted it heavily with more self rising flour.  I was expecting, that, if I ever got this in the oven, it would burst open in a scene that I Love Lucy would have been proud of as the crust would fall out onto the floor and ask for asylum here in South Florida.

Taking the dough and parchment paper, I flipped it on top of the new parchment paper.  A parchment paper sandwich now, I began to peel the dough off the older paper onto the new.

I began to grumble at this thing.

Cursing everyone from the Doughboy on the commercial to the inventor of commercial yeast, I started to pick at the sticky goo.

Thirty minutes later, I was still picking.  I had peeled about a half of the dough off the paper and I simply gave up.

You see, life is a learning process.  You win some, you lose some.  I’m sure you heard that before.

In this case I probably should have simply added more flour to the mixer until I got to where I could work the dough.  At least that was what my baking skills told me.

I didn’t.  I wadded up both layers of parchment paper, the glue like batter, and tossed it unceremoniously into the trash bin.

With. A. Thump.

We had Chicken Parmesan sandwiches instead.
With Home Fries since they cook well with no fuss.

I was beaten but not done.  I know I will have that pizza.  Just with my fool proof yeast risen dough.  After all, it is my sister Pat’s pizza dough, and I know that recipe like I know the back of my hand.

All the way down to the piece of dried pizza dough that I found stuck to my fingers when I was eating that Chicken Parm Sandwich.

Mmmm Chicken Parm on Home Made Rolls.

Let me tell you the story of Pat’s Pizza Dough….

Is Yogurt Dog Approved? Of Course! How About Some Other Ffoods?

My old dog, Lettie, was never fussy with food until she got quite old.  I used Yogurt to wake up her taste buds for a while.  She’d tear into it with a puppy like energy and really seem to enjoy the stuff.

Rack, my year and a half old Mc Nab Dog, has always been fussy with food.   So I tried the yogurt trick with his food.  Big surprise, he prefers his food with a bit of yogurt on top.

I got the old Doubletalk recently.  The question was: Since Cheese is not a good idea and milk is just a bad idea for a dog, why yogurt?

It turns out that Yogurt brings its benefits to aid digestion.

Pretty much the same reason why you should be eating the stuff is the reason why your dog could use yogurt in their diet. 

Assuming that you’re not giving the dog massive doses of yogurt, only a tablespoon or two are recommended for your dog, it may help with some of your dog’s more annoying dietary byproducts.

The rule is simple.  Plain yogurt, no sugars, definitely no artificial sweeteners like splenda, and you’ll be fine.

What it does give your dog, and you, are a healthy payload of “probiotic benefits”.  Good bacteria as well as some extra calcium and protein.  So make sure that the yogurt you feed your dog has Active Cultures or Live Cultures. 

If you don’t have live cultures, give that brand a miss.  You’re basically eating pudding.  Pudding may be nice, but it doesn’t bring many benefits to the table for you or your dog.

If you make your own, you are guaranteed to have the right stuff at a fraction of the price.  I make about a quart of yogurt a week. The recipe is simple.  Warm your milk to just below boiling, allow to cool to lukewarm (105F/40C or less) and add a tablespoon or so of active culture yogurt to the now cooled milk.  Stir vigorously and allow the mix to “brew” on the counter in a warm area for a day or two until it sets.  Cool and serve.  No weird machines, no trips to the store, and you can use your old yogurt to make new yogurt. 

My own yogurt recipe is linked here, and there’s a jar of the stuff I just put into the refrigerator the morning I wrote this piece.

If you’re making your own, you can use any kind of milk you prefer.  Skim or 1% is best, since everyone benefits from less fat in their diet, and that includes your furry best friend.

While you are considering tweaking your dog’s diet, you can also introduce some specific dog safe fruits and vegetables instead of those pre-packaged treats.  Dogs can eat blueberries, bananas, apple slices, and melons.  Some raw vegetables that I have found are safe are carrots which are great raw to keep their teeth clean, zucchini slices, green beans, and frozen peas.   All of those vegetables are low in calories and help with keeping a pudgy dog more fit and definitely more regular with all that dietary fiber.

You can even slip in some oatmeal to the dog’s diet.  Oatmeal is great for humans for the same reason.  Soluble dietary fiber will cleanse your arteries and lower cholesterol.  It will aid in digestion, and your dog will love it too.  Just be careful not to give yourself a payload of extra sugar that you both don’t need.  Try serving it with fruit and fruit juice instead of milk.

Bill, Why Are You Eating Mangoes in the Laundry Room?

It all started with a hello.

More like a couple hundred hellos.

I was safe with the first course.  I guess Biscuits and Gravy wasn’t interesting or he was just distracted.

Rack, my dog, doesn’t really care.  He knows that typically I will stand at the kitchen sink or sit at the small table in the kitchen and stare out of the windows while stuffing my face.   Once through, he may get something if he doesn’t beg.   He will go to the backdoor and stare at me through the glass into the kitchen and go out to water the plants and sniff the dog on the other side of the double fence.  Besides I’m not having yogurt today.  That’s when Rack gets insistent and I eat all of my food under cover.

It usually gives me time to have the majority of breakfast.

Oscar, on the other hand, is weird.

My parrot has realized that me in kitchen means food.  Food can be in a bowl or on a plate.  He’s starting to realize that I’ll give him something just so he will shut his beak.

Hello in a shrill little girl voice repeated can be quite obnoxious especially when repeated at a volume that reminds me of my neighbor’s motorcycle.

On the other hand, it is Mango Season, so I can’t completely blame him.  I have had the first harvest of these sweet orange fleshed sugar bombs and am wondering when I can get the next one from the tree.  That tree is a neighborhood gift.  The owner doesn’t eat mangoes so we pick the fruit so it doesn’t fall from the sky. 

A two pound mango falling from the skies can leave quite a dent when accelerating at 32 feet per second squared.   Two seconds from the top of that 60 plus tree.  Pick with a long pole, and don’t stand under the fruit.

It just got weird in the kitchen.  I did tell him that he shouldn’t be begging for what I had.  Really I did.  It’s just too strange when a parrot is begging for a piece of egg salad sandwich. 

No, Oscar, this is your cousin from Maryland.  Eggs are not good for birds.

Second course had him fully warmed up, repeating Hello constantly.

I sliced up 12 ounces and set aside the broad flat pit.  It’s a deal, Oscar, you get the skin and a block of the fruit, plus the pit and some more orange flesh.  That should keep you quiet for a bit.

Walking to the cage, I open the door with sticky hands.   Orange drops of mango juice hit my right foot and splatter on the recently cleaned floor.  I’ll have to mop that up, it will only be the second time today that the floor gets attention. 

Oscar’s eyes pin.  The pupils shrink down to almost invisible.  His excitement is obvious.  I put the skin and the pit on the paper in the bottom of the cage commenting “I hope this shuts you up for a while”.

Grabbing the bowl, I take my mango into the laundry room and finish it while looking at the video feed from the security camera systems.  The night speeds by in a few segments where cars pass by the house in the wee hours.  No, nothing strange happened, and it really is a safe neighborhood.  The strangest thing that happened overnight was a moth that tried to mate with the camera over my Jeep.  No cats to catch and rehome, no dogs lost, no weird neighbors having a party at 3AM.

At least for now, the neighborhood is quiet.

My mind flashes to the week.  I’m having house guests so I have to make bread.   Sourdough rolls take a longer rise time so I have to make the pre-ferment.  Add everything but two cups of flour to the standard recipe, then let it sit for a half hour.  If I see action in the mix, it will rise, if not add yeast.

Adding the sourdough starter to the bread machine’s bucket I hear it as I feed Mother for her trip back to the refrigerator.


Bloody freaking hell… Oscar you have had enough, eat your mango!

Add sugar, oil, salt, lukewarm water…

Hello, Hah Hah Hah!

No Oscar, you don’t want this!

A cup of flour, press start to mix the pre-ferment and walk out of the kitchen.

Oscar stops.   Just like a light switch.  Life goes quiet and back to the routine.  Late 90s Pop playing on the internet radio and the clock ticking loudly in the background.  Back to normal.

Except… time to add those two cups of flour…


It’s going to be a noisy day.

My Yogurt Passes The Dog Test

I guess you can call me Pavlov.

If I go into the Kitchen, Rack may follow.  If Yogurt is involved, Rack is relentless.

It is my fault.

I make a lot of my own food from scratch.  It saves a lot of money.  It gives me food that has no preservatives.  It tastes better because it is fresh.  It also tastes better because it co-evolves – I make it to my own tastes.

Rack has learned if he follows me around and stares me down, eventually I will cave.

There is one exception.  If I say “Not For Dogs” the ears go down immediately, the eyes go into “avoidance mode” and he slinks out of the kitchen.

I need to use that tactic more often.

We do have a routine.  On a morning I will walk into the kitchen and get my second mug of coffee.  As I begin to prepare my breakfast, Rack springs to action.

He walks into the gap between the kitchen and the dining room and stares at me.  Eventually I’ll take notice.

“Rack, show me what you want!”

Usually I get out “Rack, Show” and he has already turned toward the glass door that leads out to the Lanai and the backyard beyond.

Fine, I can get my breakfast in but it is a race.  Letting my boy outside with bowl of cereal in hand, I start the first course with my hand on the door to let him out.

Final course usually is some homemade plain yogurt with some whole fruit cranberry sauce all mushed into the bowl and stirred into a pink milkshake.

I went about my business that day puttering with getting my laundry done so I was delayed. 

Walking past the kitchen window, I’m being stared at from outside.  Rack was bored with being outside alone having “watered” the light pole, the big palm tree, three or so plant pots, the giant philodendron and you get the picture.

While he was ready to come in, I absentmindedly hadn’t finished the yogurt.  The washer called for attention, the sheets and blankets needed to be moved to the dryer.

They tell you do to one thing at a time when you’re cooking.  I think that works with breakfast as well.

Going back into the kitchen I grab the bowl with the pink yogurt and begin to eat.

I’m being stared down from afar.

“Rack, what is it?”
Steps forward, gingerly.  I think he knows that I don’t like being stared at.
Taking a couple spoonfuls, I ask again.  “Show Me”.

That’s it, I’m done.

Rack walks over to where I was standing and sits down.  Laser beams are being stared through the Corelle bowl full of yogurt-y goodness as if to melt the thing and have the yogurt pour forth from the hole.

“Aww!  Where did I put that camera?”

I hold onto the bowl while I do a perimeter search.   “Someone” tidied up after me and put the camera’s chip away.   I had put the camera elsewhere, and it slid out of sight.

All the while that I am searching for the camera I am being followed.  From room to room, Rack continues staring at that bowl.

I give him no inkling that he’s going to get what he wants.

The search takes at least five, if not ten minutes.   Say what you want about dogs, a Mc Nab Dog will keep his mind on a task and not break until you tell him to.

Standing back in the kitchen gap, I take another spoonful of the pink goodness.

“Ok, Rack, what is it?”

He walks back over to me and sits down at my feet staring up at the bowl.

I quickly power on my camera and take the picture I wanted plus two more just in case the original didn’t work out.

“Fine, boy, you deserve it.  Have some yogurt!”

By the time he was done, the bowl that is made from the same material as the tiles on the outside of the Space Shuttle has been licked clean.  So clean that I swear he licked some of the glass off of that bowl.

This dog really does love that yogurt.  No wonder why I make the stuff by the quart!

Yogurt, The First Real Job, and NPR – Recipe

I was just past the Ramen Noodle and Cinder Block Bookshelf Stage of life.   Fresh out of University.  Money is never exactly flush at that point and you make adjustments.  I remember my first apartment being chock full of hand me down furniture and rather empty.

At work I was in a conversation, all those years ago.  Sue was a somewhat counter cultural person in my eyes.  Back then I never considered that people could make food for entertainment as well as hold down a job.  I was bemoaning the price of certain food and that I couldn’t fathom how “they” could charge as much as “they” would at the supermarket for staples let alone luxuries.

This what I considered yogurt.  It wasn’t “pudding” and back then it wasn’t as common as it is today.  Dessert food for me in my suburban raised post-college mindset.

Clearly I needed an education.

Sue gave me one.   She said “So why don’t you make the stuff, it’s easy!”.

She rattled off the instructions and I picked up what I needed to make it all work.  Work, it did!  Came out thick and creamy and tart.  Sue was right, it was easy.

She set me on my path of making oddball foods that most people don’t consider making in their own kitchens to this day.  Now people think nothing of stopping off at the supermarket to get a pre-roasted chicken for dinner and the oven has been cold since 2009.


I continued making Yogurt for the next 10 or so years until tastes changed and money wasn’t quite as tight.  The process became a dusty memory and getting good Greek Yogurt was something as easy as hitting the dairy case at the big box store.

I still buy the stuff as a treat, but not as frequently.  It became an ingredient that you buy.   Money is tight again since Consulting isn’t exactly the best way to make your living.  I’d much rather be a Project Manager or IT Director with an “Office with a door” as they say in the Pentagon.

Nonetheless, the conversation came flowing back to me when I was looking at NPR’s web feed the other day.  The title was “Yes, it’s worth it to make your own yogurt“.

You see, it’s one of those things that is all about the process.   Yogurt is just two ingredients.  Milk and Culture.  Culture is just some yogurt that has active cultures in it and frankly any yogurt will do.

Just look for “Active Cultures” in it. 

“Active Cultures” are what wine makers call “Varietal”.  Different Yogurts will taste different depending on the varieties of cultures added as well as the various milks used – and then there’s the “fruit on the bottom”.

I had some leftover Greek Yogurt from making a chicken dish the other day and thought why not.

  • Sterilize the jars.   Bring everything up to 180F.  Boiled water will help but remember to allow the jars to cool so they don’t crack when you add milk.  I boiled the water in the jar and in the microwave.
  • To the sterilized jars, add 1 pint of 2% milk.  Whole will work as well, and I had as good results with Skim.
  • Heat in microwave until the milk reaches 180F.  That will kill the nasties.
  • Allow milk to cool to between 105F and 110F.  Roughly 40C.
  • Add to milk 1 ounce of culture.
  • Stir until the culture has mixed smoothly.
  • Cover the top of the mix with a cloth or loosely with a lid.
  • Allow the yogurt to “brew” for at least 12 hours.  The longer it brews, the more complex and tart it will taste.  This latest batch went for 24 hours and was wonderful.
  • Chill for 3 hours before serving.

It’s a lot of waiting around.  My yogurt came out like a milkshake this weekend.   I added 2 parts yogurt to 1 part cranberry sauce leftover from last thanksgiving for a sweet and tart treat at breakfast.

Yes, it is November and Yes, I am trying to use that stuff up!

So here it is many years later and that one offhand comment is still paying off.  You never know how you will effect others, do you?

Dannon Oikos Yogurt – Close But Not Greek

Earlier this week, I hit the wholesale club.  I had to buy some of the weird things that I had ran out of that were only available there.  I also had a thick stack of coupons.  $25 worth actually.

One of them was for Yogurt.  I tend to have yogurt on top of dry oatmeal.  Mix it up into a paste and it brings some flavor back to the food. 

Wallpaper paste is not pleasant for long.

I really do like the taste of Activia Vanilla and had a coupon for that – or for Dannon Oikos.  It’s the same company.  

Oikos is their attempt to make an Authentic Greek Yogurt.   I think they came close to making third generation Greek yogurt.  In other words, sure, the grandparents might have been Greek, but that kid wasn’t really culturally Greek.

Maybe I’m mixing my metaphors.

You see, I prefer a “proper” yogurt.  It should not be a sweet “pudding”.  There should be a slightly acid tang to it.  The places you will find that is either in a health food store, if you make it at home, or Greek Yogurt that was… well, imported from Greece.  It is a different process to make Greek Yogurt as we call it here, it basically is strained to thicken it more.  On the other hand, yogurts made in different areas will taste differently just like Sourdough bread made in San Francisco will taste different than bread made from the same culture in a different part of the world.

I don’t get the imported kind often, it’s a bit too expensive to justify plopping on top of the half cup of dry “Quick Oats” in the morning but when I do, there is that taste I remember.  Thick, very creamy, almost like cream cheese and a nice little bite to let you know you’re not eating pudding that was made from a box.

Today I cracked the first of the Oikos open.  Blue and White tub to evoke the Greek Isles, a hint of “classical Greek” art on the wrapper and when you open it a thick plug of creamy goodness floating on top of a layer of black cherries.

Stirring the mix up I stuffed the spoon into my mouth, swirled it around and … Meh.  So-So.
Try again…. Meh.

Yep, Corporate America has taken another wonderful ethnic food and dumbed it down for the masses.   It was to Greek Yogurt as Mc Donalds is to Hamburgers.  Food, yes, but not as we know it.

I’ll finish the pack and we’ll go back to the Real Deal, the Fage that we got before when we need a Greek Yogurt.   I’ll switch back to the Activia for my oatmeal.  Like I said, they do have an excellent Vanilla!