Fried green tomatoes.

I had so many tomatoes this summer, I actually got kind of sick of them. I didn’t know that was possible.
Anyway at the end of the season I still had tonnes of fruit that wasn’t ripe yet, but it was starting to freeze at night, so I picked it all.

Then I made fried green tomatoes!

I’ve always wanted to try fried green tomatoes, because I love tomatoes and I love that movie. I’ve just never had a bunch of green tomatoes before I guess.

They were sort of weird, but pretty yummy. I mean, I don’t think you can really go wrong with anything fried.

I’ll totally make them again next summer.

P.S. I found the recipe for this on allrecipes.com of course.

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Breakfast from scratch: homemade greek yogurt with granola.

We eat so much yogurt in this house, it’s crazy. Sometimes I spend $20 or more just on yogurt on my weekly grocery shopping trip. That’s a lot. Lately I’ve really been lovin me some greek yogurt. Except the greek yogurt costs even more than the regular yogurt. I justify it because it has more protein and less fat but then I end up eating twice as much of it so it’s gone twice as fast and costs twice as much.
Anyway, I decided to try to make my own yogurt.
And it worked! I made about two litres of homemade greek yogurt and it cost me about $6. That’s a savings of about 50-75% depending on what brand of greek yogurt you buy at the store. Next time it will be even cheaper because I’ll use my own yogurt as the starter instead of a little bit of store bought yogurt.
Besides saving a little money, it tastes really good and I feel good about eating it because all that it’s made of is milk (and a little bit of yogurt from the store). No sugar or any of those weird ingredients you can’t pronounce.
To be honest, I didn’t make homemade yogurt to be healthier or just to save money. I just wanted to try it out. I thought it might be kind of fun to make my own yogurt, and it was. I’m not a hippie or anything like that, but I do like making things from scratch if I can. I’m a stay-at-home mom and I’ve got the time to do it, so why not. I’m not sure that I’ll forever be making my own yogurt, but maybe I will from time to time, just for the heck of it.
What do you like to put on your yogurt? Sometimes I like to put a drizzle of honey and a handful of crushed walnuts. I also like it topped with some crunchy granola and fresh fruit. I decided to make my own granola because it’s yummy and also because I have a 50 pound bag of oats in my possession. For reals. My father-in-law works in an oats plant. I have no idea if that’s the proper term for his workplace, but anyway, he supplies me with loads and loads of oats, for free! So great!
So what do you do with 50 pounds of oats? Make granola! Even if you don’t have 50 pounds of oats, you should make some. It’s soooo good!

And when you’re sitting at your kitchen table eating your lovely thick fresh greek yogurt topped with your deliciously crunchy granola, you’ll feel pretty proud of yourself.
If you want to be a hippie for a day and make your own yogurt and granola, here’s how:

Homemade Greek Yogurt (Or just regular yogurt if you like!).

You need:
A crockpot
2 litres of whole milk
1 cup of plain yogurt that contains live cultures.

Making yogurt is easy but takes a long time. I started mine at about 5 in the afternoon and it was ready in the morning. Perfect.

1) Pour your milk in the crockpot. Cover.
2) Turn your crockpot on low for 2 1/2 hours.
3) Turn your crockpot off. Don’t open the lid. Leave it for about 3 hours.
4) After 3 hours, stir in one cup of your plain, store bought yogurt. If you made yogurt before, just save one cup from your previous batch and use that.
5) Wrap your covered crockpot in a nice big towel for about 12 hours. Go to bed.
6) Open your crockpot. Yogurt!

At this point your yogurt is done if you want just regular yogurt. It will be a little runnier than regular store bought yogurt, and it won’t be as sweet, because you didn’t add any sweeteners. You can add fruit or jam or honey or whatever you want if you like.

If you want to make your yogurt into greek yogurt:
7) Line a strainer with a cheesecloth or coffee filters (I just used coffee filters) and sit it over top of a large bowl.
8) Pour a bunch of your yogurt into the strainer. Put it in the fridge and wait a few hours.
9) Greek yogurt!!

The stuff that strains from the yogurt is the whey. You know, like Little Miss Muffett eating her curds and whey. You can keep it or toss it. Apparently you can use whey as a substitute in baking, like instead of buttermilk and that sort of thing. I haven’t tried it. Google it if you want.

Granola

2 cups oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/8 cup sunflower seeds, if you feel like it
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if you want
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup honey (melted or use the liquid kind of honey)

1) Combine all the dry ingredients.
2) Mix together the milk, oil, and honey, and then add to your dry ingredients, stirring till combined.
3) Spread on a baking sheet so it’s about 1/4 ” thick.
4) Bake at 300 degrees 20 – 30 minutes until browned. Stir 2-3 times during baking.

I doubled this recipe when I made it a week ago and we’re almost out already. So what I’m saying is, double it!
This is my mom’s granola recipe, and yes it has oil and honey- I’m not a health food nut or anything. You can try to substitute something healthier if you want. Or just make it like this and see how yummers it is.

Now you know how to make yourself a delicious breakfast from scratch. One that isn’t toast. Enjoy!

Breakfast for supper.

Tuesdays are busy for us because the kids have swimming lessons at 6:00pm. Neil doesn’t usually get home until about 5:20 or so, and we need to leave by about 5:40 to get to swimming on time. So we need a fast, yummy supper.

Last week we had Apple Puff Pancakes.
You really need to make these. They’re soooo good. Everyone loves them so much, I just started doubling the recipe. Neil says it’s one of his favorite things to eat.
Want to give them a try? Here’s what you need:

Apple Puff Pancakes

1/4 c. butter
4 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp brown sugar
1 c. milk
1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
6 eggs

Got everything? Here’s what you do:

Melt your butter in a pan/pot/whatever. Throw all your sliced apples in there and mix in the cinnamon and brown sugar.

Cook them until the apples are softened- but not so mushy they’re falling apart.
Once they’re ready, pour everything in a big pan, 8×10 or something like that.

Then mix up everything else. It’s okay if there are few little lumps, no big deal. Because I doubled it I had to use a whole dozen eggs. (That’s why I need chickens, Neil. To feed you and your sons.)

Since Neil won’t let me have chickens, I’ve started buying eggs at Costco instead. So far 2 1/2 dozen lasted us a week, so I think that was a good move. Anyway, after you’ve got it all mixed up, pour it over your apple stuff.

Because I doubled it, I had two of these:
Put your pan in your oven (that is preheated to 425F) for about 25 minutes. When you take it out, you’ll impress everyone with the lovely apple puff pancake you made.

If you want to impress them even more, sprinkle some icing sugar all over the top. Cut it up and serve it with syrup if you want. Your kids will gobble it up. Guaranteed.

These do make an excellent “breakfast for supper” but they sure make a delicious Sunday brunch too! Try them, you won’t be sorry!

Making gnocchi.

Seth is obsessed with gnocchi. It’s been the only form of potato I could ever get him to eat, and he usually eats it like it’s his last meal. He frequently asks if he can have “me-oki”, even for breakfast sometimes.
I usually just buy gnocchi from Superstore right by where the dry pasta is. It’s good enough I guess, but I thought we should give home-made gnocchi a whirl. My grammy makes it all the time. I asked her how and she told me, “Just use leftover mashed potatoes. That’s all.” I was pretty sure there was more to it than that, but you know how grammy’s are- they don’t actually know any “recipes”, everything’s in their heads and hearts because they’ve made it so many times they don’t even think about it anymore.
Anyway, Grammy’s gnocchi is yummy. We wanted to try it ourselves. We didn’t have years of experience backing us up, but we did have Google. So I did some research and then sort of winged it. I had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge. We added a beaten egg, some flour, and some parmesan cheese until it looked and felt like a dough, and then we went to town.
The kids had a lot of fun and were actually really helpful. Although many websites described gnocchi as “fluffy little pillows of potato goodness” and ours were more often flattened like sheets, it was fun to make.
It didn’t take too long until we had a plate of little gnocchis.
I was feeling pretty pleased with myself (and my children) and Seth was really excited to eat supper. Maybe I should have put the gnocchi in the fridge until we cooked it, or laid them out single file instead of in a pile, but when I went to put them in the boiling water they were sort of stuck together. They did fall apart in the pot but they were still pretty mushy. Anyway, no pictures of the finished gnocchi because it just wasn’t very photogenic. It DID taste yummy though and Seth gobbled up two plates full. I think we’ll try gnocchi again sometime, but maybe we’ll have a training session with Grammy first!

Oats and Molasses Bread

Even though I’m sad summer is basically over and I’m shivering in the much-cooler temperatures, I do love baking and cooking in the fall and winter. I do bake bread over the summer too, but there’s something so nice about fresh, hot bread with a steaming bowl of soup in the falltime.

One of my favorite breads to make is the oats and molasses bread from Canadian Living. It’s just so yummy slathered with butter hot out of the oven and it’s also so yummy toasted with some jam. It’s just goodness.

See?


I need some. Right now.

You want some too, right? Well go make some then!

Oat and Molasses Bread (adapted from Canadian Living)

1 1/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup large flake oats (I just use whatever I have around, which lately has been quick oats. Still works!)

1/3 cup fancy molasses

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup warm water

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

4+ cups of flour (I use a few cups of whole grain flour and a couple of whole wheat)

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

topping:

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons oats

Okay, here’s how to put it all together….

Stir boiling water with oats. Let stand 15 minutes. Then stir in molasses, butter, and egg.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water, and then sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Then stir in the oat mixture.

At this point you stir in about 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, and stir until it makes a sticky dough. Then turn it onto a floured surface and keep sprinkling the rest of your flour onto it, kneading it in. Keep adding flour until you have a nice smooth and elastic dough. I actually pretty much let my kitchenaid stand mixture do all this work for me. I find I usually need at least five cups of flour, maybe even more, until my dough is nice and smooth and not too sticky. I read somewhere that when making bread with whole wheat flour it’s always a little stickier than regular white flour breads, and you want it to stay a little tiny bit sticky otherwise it will get too dry.

ANYWAY, once you have a nice, smooth, and elastic dough, place it into a large, greased bowl, turning it over once so the whole ball of dough is greased. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let it rise until it’s doubled in size (about an hour or an hour and a half).

Once it’s doubled in size, punch it down, let it rest a few minutes, and then divide it in half, form loaves, and place it into your bread loaf pans (I think I usually grease the bread pans). Let it rise until doubled again.

Brush the loaves with the beaten egg and sprinkle with oats (I pretty much always forget this step. It doesn’t matter.)

Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes.

Then eat your lovely bread with the very delicious broccoli and cheddar soup you just made. And be happy.