Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When you are feeling grumpy

When I'm feeling out of sorts, I focus on myself:
"Nobody cares about me."
"Nothing goes right for me."
"I don't like myself when I snap at my loved ones."
"I should choose to be happy, but I don't feel like it."
"Pity poor me."

Are you getting the picture? It's all about me!

But! My study in Psalms 40 showed clearly where my focus ought to be.

Psalm 40:3-4 NLT He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD. Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.
Psalm 40:16 NLT, But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!”.

Instead of trying to stop feeling grumpy, fill your thoughts with adoration of the Savior!

The morning after I wrote this post, I stumbled on these inspiring posts.
How to be a good mom on a bad day.
Breaking the negative cycle.

What do you do when you're grumpy?


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Make your own Yogurt!

Yogurt is really easy to make, especially now that I've learned a few tricks.

2 quarts milk
1 cup dry milk, optional
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup water, optional
3/4 - 1 1/2 tablespoon plain gelatin, optional
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt

Pour the milk into a large pan. Stir in the dry milk. This makes a thicker set, but isn't totally necessary.

Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the milk. Place on the stove burner. Turn the heat to Med-Hi. Cover with a lid. Turn on a timer for 11 minutes. Do not stir! If you stir just once, you will have to continue stirring until it is finished. So don't stir. And don't worry, it won't burn to the bottom because the sugar acts as a protector.

Meanwhile, combine the water and gelatin. The 1/2 cup water and 1 1/2 tablespoon gelatin will set thicker than the smaller amounts. DH likes it somewhat runny, so I use less.

Find a container with a sealing lid to pour the yogurt into. I use a whale-of-a-pail ice cream bucket. Several canning jars would also work. Place the 1 cup of yogurt inside. I buy vanilla yogurt, but any flavor yogurt will work as a starter as long as it contains live active culture (the label will tell you).

Put 3-6 inches of hot tap water into an insulated container. (as hot as you can get out of your faucet. It doesn't have to be exact) I use my 5 gallon drink jug or my cooler chest. An insulated lunch box would also work (make sure your other container will fit inside). If you don't have any of the above, find a non insulated container and wrap towels around it. I've even used my oven as an insulator.

Run 1-2 inches of cold tap water into your sink.

After the timer goes off, take off the lid. Watch to make sure it doesn't boil over. Do not walk away! When it begins to foam (just before it boils over), remove it from the heat. This may take 3-4 more minutes, depending on how hot your burner is.

Stir in the softened gelatin. Add the vanilla. Place the pan in the sink of cold water. The object is to cool the milk as fast as possible.

When the milk is cool enough that you can easily hold your finger in it, pour a little (about a cup) into your yogurt starter. Whisk until blended. Now pour in the rest of the milk. Stir. Put the lid on and place the whole thing in your insulated container.

Leave set undisturbed for 4-5 hours. The yogurt is set when you can take out a spoonful and it leaves a dent.

Place in the fridge overnight. At this point, If desired, you can add 1 quart any-flavor pie filling, any kind of chopped fruit, 1 cup flavored jello gelatin, or applesauce, etc. We like it plain, too.

Enjoy as a stand alone dessert or over pancakes, coffee cake, fruit, or granola.

This will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Haystacks is a wonderful dish. It can be ready to serve in 20 minutes, or prepared a day ahead. I've even frozen it. Everyone can assemble their own plateful or all the ingredients can be thrown into one serving dish. Fast and easy!
I forgot to take a picture... Maybe later.

(Egg-free, wheat-free, gluten-free)

Layer the following on 2-3 plates:
A handful of Crushed tortillas chips
1 can Chili beans or refried beans, heated in microwave till warm.
1/2 lb Ground beef, fried with taco seasoning or chili powder
1/2 c. Cooked Rice
2 handfuls Shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1/2c. Salsa
1/4 c. sour cream
2c. Shredded cheese

Other toppings: olives, jalapeno peppers, onions, corn chips, cheese sauce, etc.

Feeds approximately 2-3 adults

Alternately, layer in a 8x8 (all except tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream) and refrigerate. To eat, bake 350° 30 minutes. Add toppings and serve.
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