Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Birthday to Paula with a Poem & A Recipe

Today is my oldest daughter's 52nd birthday, so I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAULA! She has 4 children: Kelly (who has her only grandchild, Omari), Jamie, Phillip, and Jon. They are all grown up now. It is a nice time of year to be born and I hope there is a celebration in Tennessee today! My gift is already there, but I'm going to give her a little poetry here that reminds me of her spirit. And my favorite poetry is the Psalms. So here is Psalm 121 that says God is the help of those that seek Him, which Paula does:

Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the hills--
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going
out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even

Blessings on you, Paula, especially today on your birthday!

Homemade Yogurt with A Yogurt Maker

You will need:
1 saucepan
1 tablespoon plain yogurt as a starter or 1 tablespoon of commercial yogurt culture
1 quart of regular or 2% milk
Yogurt make with cooking thermometer. (Mireille uses the Donvier with 8 jars.)

Yield: 8 servings (4 ounces each) I prefer to fill up my little jars to the top and measure my milk by filling a cup with milk 8 times.

RecipeWarm up milk on medium-low until bubbles appear around the edge and steam rises from the surface. Remove saucepan from heat and place thermometer stirrer. When temperature hits 110-115 degrees F, add starter to one of the jars. Add some of the heated milk and stir until well-blended (tempering). Pour the mixture back into the saucepan a little at a time, stirring well. The point here is not to kill the bacteria with hot milk.

Pour into 8 jars, cover securely with lids and place jars into the yogurt maker. After putting the jars into the yogurt maker, follow cooking instructions, which will be to time the yogurt to at least 10 hours. Some people allow their yogurt to "cook" for 24 hours, some 15 hours. The longer you "cook" it, the firmer and more tart it will be. When done, chill jars in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before eating. You can keep yogurt for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Some people recommend using 1/2 cup of dry milk powder to produce a thicker yogurt. Here is a recipe from a man on

1 quart milk
1 cup non-fat dry milk
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt as a starter
Set machine for 15 hours to get a nice, thick yogurt.

Someone else say that they put their milk into a large Pyrex measuring cup and microwave it for 6 minutes. (I wouldn't use a microwave myself.) Test the temperature before adding the starter and be sure not to kill the bacteria with milk that is too hot. Pour into cups and cook.

As you make yogurt at home, you'll figure out what you like and what works for you. There are tales on about what doesn't work and what does work. So it's up to you!

There are lots of recipes for using yogurt in many different ways. Jamie got up every morning and made a smoothie. She used about 8 ounces of yogurt in a smoothie maker, then added some coconut oil, coconut milk, some fresh fruit, and some honey. Anything that you like in a smoothie could be added. I will put some actual recipes on here at some other time. For now, good luck with making your own yogurt!

To carry on with a theme...Jamie is Paula's daughter, and she was just here for 3 weeks. We had homemade yogurt almost every day, a fact that made Paula want to make her own. Paula hasn't purchased her own yogurt maker yet, so I'm going to give a recipe for making yogurt without one. Then I'll give a recipe for making yogurt with one. And if I have space, I'll talk about other recipes using yogurt. I have mentioned Mireille Guiliano's "French Women Don't Get Fat" books. She has inspired many women to eat yogurt in place of more fattening and unhealthy foods. And the recipes I'm giving are from her website. She even has a video of herself making yogurt, so if you want to see the process, go to her site. I've never made yogurt without a yogurt maker (I have a Donvier, which Mireille recommends because it's French). I think I would like to have glass cups, but they aren't available in the U.S. to my knowledge from Donvier. sells yogurt makers of several kinds and I would advise you to read all the reviews and make up your mind about which one you'd like to try. I've been happy with mine, but the lid is plastic and has cracked without being dropped or misused.

Homemade Yogurt Without A Yogurt Maker

You will need:

1 saucepan
1 large bowl
1 small bowl
1 tablespoon yogurt starter or plain yogurt (I use yogurt)
1 quart regular or 2% milk

Yield: 8 servings (4 ounces each) I prefer using more milk & making more yogurt.

RecipeWarm up milk on medium-low until bubbles appear around the edge and steam rises from the surface.
Pour into large bowl to cool until temperature hits 110-115 degrees F on thermometer, or if you don't have one, use your index finger to test the must be able to stay in the warm milk for 10 seconds. The point is not to kill the bacteria that makes yogurt with the hot milk.

Put starter in small bowl, add some of the heated milk, and stir until well-blended. Pour small bowl mixture into large bowl a third at a time (this is called tempering), making sure to stir and blend well before each addition. End with a final stir, making sure all is well-blended. Cover with a thick towel and keep in a warm place 4-6 hours until set.
Refrigerate for 8 hours before serving.

If you read the reviews on, you'll read a review by a woman using her oven with just the light on. She leaves the yogurt mixture there overnight. It seems to work!


  1. Thank you for the lovely birthday greeting! I really love the Psalm that you gave me. That's a beautiful description of dependence on help from God. My preserver, my keeper & my help in times of need-which is very often! He never lets me down & does more to care for & preserve me than I thought possible, even if life or others let me down. Love, Paula

  2. You're very welcome! I think the Psalms help us understand that other people will always let you down compared to Him. Realizing what He does and how much He cares is overwhelming, if you think about it. Problem for many is that they don't think at all in a deeper way. But showing others God in us might get their attention. Hope you have a wonderful year.