YO YO YO YOGHURT!

Two Sundays ago, my dear cousin Maricel, gave me a Yoghurt Maker which she was raving about last Christmas Eve. She made me try her homemade yoghurt and it was surprisingly good but a bit too watery for me. There were no instructions in the box but with the advent of the internet, you can find ANYTHING and EVERYTHING with only a few clicks of the mouse.

My two references for this “experiment” are RECIPE GEEK and FEED the TRIBE primarily because they had the same maker as I had. Thank you very much!

We didn’t have any plain yoghurt at home when I got the maker. I had to wait a few days. Come Monday, a friend from the Stables, gave me two packs of EasyO Yogurt Mix. Wasn’t sure if I could use my yoghurt maker with this yoghurt mix. But, oh well, experiment experiment. I mixed a pack of Vanilla EasyO and 600ml of water and 600ml of milk. Transferred into the jars and turned the maker on.

EasyO Yoghurt

Lumina Yoghurt Maker

Based on the recipes I found, one said 6-8 hours, cool, then refrigerate for a few hours after. Being a bit impatient, I went for the 8 hours which yielded a drinkable yoghurt. It was good but I was aiming for a thicker and creamier consistency. My son and I ended up just drinking it all. This is where I realized that the refrigrating time will not give you a thicker consistency. It’s all in the WAITING.

Experiment number 2. I bought a 200ml tub of Plain Creamy Yoghurt from Hacienda Macalauan and mixed it with 1200ml of fresh milk. Poured the mix into the jars and made a mental note to leave it on for 13.5 hours. Let cool and refrigerated for at least 8 hours after. Yes, it takes long but it’s worth it. Hmm, much as it is in life? The WAIT? Hmm, let’s not get carried away with other matters. Haha. I should put a DO NOT DISTURBED sign next time. Haha.

My son and I were eager to try the yoghurt so that was our dessert after dinner last night. A tablespoon or two (yeah we like it sweet) of honey and mixed enough. Hmm, yummy, creamy and thick. There was a watery substance which I learned was the whey which can be used for other purposes. If I strained that yoghurt further, I would have Greek Yoghurt.

Super excited to have my yoghurt for breakfast this morning, I asked for honey and whatever jam we had on hand.

YOGHURT

Topped with Strawberry Jam (a heaping teaspoon), admired it and dug in. DELICIOUS (Scraping the bottom of the jar delicious!) Oooh my son will love this….

YOGHURT

I have been thinking of what other yummy goodness I can make now that I know how and can make yoghurt. Sauces, Dips, Marinades, it’s endless I tell ya.

Happy TUM Happy Me!

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EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA

Don’t ask me what goes through my head when I hear the word “eggplant” or “talong”. Teehee. It’s years of … oh never mind. Snap out of it Bettina, it’s NOT going to happen. Hahahaha. Moving on… Oh yes, Eggplant. Thinking of ways that I have eaten eggplants. Not too many. Grilled, Boiled, Fried with Teriyaki Sauce, Tortang Talong, Baked? Nonetheless, still yummy! I promised a friend that I would make Eggplant Parmigiana. I used to get food orders for this long time ago but stopped since everything was just getting too expensive. But this is special.

When I make a special dish or dessert, I really spend time planning for it. Of course, I start with having the basic recipe on hand and just tweak it if necessary. Usually, the recipes have been tried and tested it’s just a matter of sourcing the ingredients. As I have mentioned a million and one times, I really prefer to use our local produce & products. I was able to find local Ricotta Cheese from Hacienda Macalauan. The recipe calls for cottage cheese. Well, from the Nutrition Facts found on the label, Ricotta Cheese has less calories, less sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat but higher fat calories. So, of the lesser “evils”, Ricotta is better in the long run ya?

I’m still fixing the recipe but here is a visual treat for the meantime.

Assembly Line

Assembly Line

Assembly Line 1

Layering

Layering

Ready for the OVEN

Ready for the OVEN

Ready to EAT! Dig In!

Ready to EAT! Dig In!

P.S. There are a total of 3 1/2 cups of cheese combined. Happy tums!!

Happy Tum Tums

Some time ago, maybe a month ago, my mother and I had another shouting match over the grocery bill. From that time on, I made it clear and known that I was NOT going to do the grocery for the household anymore. I made sure I had witnesses (her yaya and the cook) and I made sure everyone else heard it. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than willing and very happy to do the grocery for the household. BUT I do not want to be shouted at and accused of buying unnecessary items which will be used or consumed in the long run anyway. I will shout back and stand my ground no doubt, especially when I know I did not do anything wrong. I was simply following the list that the cook gave me. In fact, I even brought the cook because she knows more of what is really needed. I do my own groceries at my own time which I stash in my room and keep perishable items in the kitchen ref. I label some things if need be. I admit I did buy sachets of a new brand instant coffee for myself and a big bottle of cologne for my son. The rest was on the two column intermediate pad paper that the cook wrote. It’s NOT my fault if my mother did not look at the list again. It’s not my fault if the cook and yaya added more and more items. I was really there just to bring the cook and pay. I was doing my mother a favor. But shout at me I will shout back. The Libra-Scorpio-Dragon in me has never been so alive. Haha.

So, my mother has been on her annual European vacation with her best friend. Meaning, no groceries and meats, chicken, fish etc are from her last grocery run before she left. The only I will buy for the household is bread (2 loaves, 2 packs of pandesal, 1 loaf with the household help) and eggs. I give the itemized receipts to her yaya for her to keep and show so that I will NOT be accused and shouted at again.

My son and I are the easiest to please when it comes to food. We don’t need the whole food chart in one meal. I have trained my son to eat what’s on the table. Don’t like the food? Don’t eat. Simple. I thank the heavens that my son was never a picky eater. He will eat and try anything. It’s just important to rotate the variants so that he does not get “sawa”. I usually eat alone during lunch and just eat what the household helpers have prepared for themselves. Usually 100% healthier than what I was going to be served. Mostly fish & chicken cooked steamed or boiled with lots of veggies.

Yesterday, there was absolutely no food for dinner. A quick run to grocery after football and horses, picked up a pack of linguine, a can of anchovies, a tub of cream. I knew that I still had a pack of fresh sliced mushrooms, some bacon, and asked the cook to prepare slivers of garlic. Viola…Dinner topped with fresh lemon zest. Simple. Quick. Fast. Satisfying and filling as my son had two huge servings and said that he couldn’t breathe. Hahaha. Happy tums.

Life is already complicated as it is. Why add to the stress? Inevitable at times, but there is always a less complex way to go about it. Problem is, there are just difficult people to deal with or more of live with. I know I’m right. Don’t worry, I’m not referring to my mother. Mothers are mothers that’s just the way it is. Haha.