Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Pops

The strawberries we have been getting from our CSA are so delicious.  I probably eat a pint on the drive home!  Luckily, they are having a great year for strawberries and there are always plenty to go around.  
 I wanted to make some into frozen yogurt.  I didn’t really make a specific recipe.  I just put a bunch of strawberries into the blender with yogurt…
Blended it…
Poured it into the ice cream maker…
And froze it!
Unfortunately, I found it a little too icy for my taste.  I still wanted to eat it, though, so I let it melt in the fridge.
I poured the melted no-longer-fro-yo into ice pop molds and refroze it…. Perfect!  It was a great pre-work snack!
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Black Forest Milkshake

When I made this milkshake and took pictures of it, John looked shocked and said, “You are going to post that?!” You’ll see why shortly. 
First, I filled up a cup with John’s home made chocolate ice cream (so good, by the way!)
Then, I added in some home made yogurt.
So far, so good, right?  Well, to make it a black forest I added in maraschino cherries and the liquid in the jar.  John was so shocked, because of the fake sugar and fake food coloring, and all that junk, but I’m not militant about it.  Sometimes, something’s got to give.  With all the other goodness in this milkshake, the little bit of junk in the cherries isn’t going to kill me.
Anyway, I blended it up with my immersion blender.  AND I enjoyed it.  Immensely.


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Yogurt

Making yogurt is one of those things I never thought of doing.  On the other hand, it was one of those things that John’s mom had always made for him growing up.  He started making it for us when we began eating in a more whole, traditional way, and now he’s taught me!
We make our yogurt from gently pasteurized, non-homogenized whole milk.  We don’t use our raw milk for this because it is more expensive and the milk is heat up anyway.  I buy a quart of milk, and add it to the double boiler (a pot full of water with a smaller pot in it.  It keeps the milk from scalding since the steam from the water is what is actually heating the milk.). 
When the milk is above 170* (I usually aim for 180*), remove it from the heat.  Allow it to cool down to about 110* and then add some yogurt (2T?).  I use yogurt from the last batch, but if we haven’t made any in a while, I use store-bought.  Make sure the temperature of the milk is not above 115* or you risk killing the yogurt bacteria!
Stir the yogurt well into the milk.  Now, all you have to do is keep the milk at about 110* for 8-12 hours so the milk can do its magic!  We used to put it into a cooler with a hot water bottle, but we lucked out at a garage sale and got a yogurt maker!  Basically, it is just little individual cups that you put the milk into and it incubates it for you.  Not something I would have bought full price, but considering we make yogurt weekly, it was a great $5 used purchase!
 After 8-12 hours, you can put the yogurt in the fridge and enjoy it! 


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Breakfast Buffet

In my family, the fall is full of birthdays.  While that is super fun, it is also super busy.  It is hard to make time for everyone to feel special and to be given their own day.  This year was especially challenging, because we had my grandfather’s 85th birthday celebration on the same weekend as my father’s birthday.  I wanted to do something to recognize my dad’s day, but there are only so many nights that everyone can get together for dinner.  My solution?
Breakfast buffet!
On Sunday morning, my parents arrived at our house. 
The granola/yogurt station was set up.  (Home made granola/yogurt, dried bananas/cranberries/pinapples/strawberries/coconut/pomegranate seeds, walnuts, pecans, local honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar)
The fruit appetizer platter was constructed. (Starfruit, kiwis, and strawberries)

The pancakes were mixed and ready for their add-ins. (My not-so-secret mix recipe that I will share someday, if you are lucky.  The add-ins were the same choices as for the granola.)

The eggs were waiting to become omelets. (Pastured eggs with your choice of raw mozzarella, raw cheddar, tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, and/or onions)

I manned the electric griddle flippin’ pancakes…
While John handled the eggs.
 The finished products were customized for each person!  I apologize for the shadow-ey photos.  It was very early, and very bright. 
It was such an easy (and inexpensive!) way to celebrate his birthday.  He got a delicious home-cooked breakfast customized to his tastes.  We all got to enjoy time together without having to rush home from work to make it to dinner reservations.  All in all, it was a win!

This post was featured on Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Monday and Let’s Do Brunch!