Friday, October 30, 2009

What would you do to save a buck?

Would you load up your baby in 38 degree weather and head to Old Navy at 8:00 in the morning when they don't open till 10:00????

Well I WOULD!!

Today they had a sale to beat allllll sales!  Whitney and Jolyne came with me (so nice to have some company to help me scowl at all the line cutters).  The first 50 in the door got a special little bag.  Anything you could fit "in" that bag was 50% off.  Thankfully they accepted our "loose" interpretation of "in"... we thought, if you can pull the handles together it's alllll good.  Still, can you believe I got it alllll into that puny little bag??  I ended up saving 257.59 and spending 153.50... that's 411.09 worth of items for the bargin price of 153.50!!!!  

Might I add that I got 63 items.... which breaks it down to 2.43 per item!!!

I love a good sale *grin*

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tanner Bruce Marchant

Favorite Song:  Life is Like a Jump Rope - by Blue October
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Toy:  Bakugon
Hobby:  Collecting things: cataloguing, sorting, classifying anything

Tanner Loves animals.  He still wants to be a field biologist when he grows up.  When he's not tormenting his sisters he loves to torment the cats.  The boy is still horrible at making decisions... but he's learning this about himself and is inclined presently to practice the fine art of delegation.  This year he got a camera for his birthday and is determined to take a photo of every animal he sees... so he can remember them all.  He's enjoying the math club and gifted programs that he's involved in at school.  They are working on making a hovercraft among other things.  Tanner is very loving, full of energy, bright, caring and compassionate.  We've had a very FULL year of memories.  Thanks for the laughs Tanner!  We love you!!  

halloween 2008:  Alien Abductee

Easter egg decorating

Tanner at his first spelling bee! 

Up at the microphone

We spent a LOT of time in the sprinklers this year

Going for second!

Llamas in Logan... wait, their alpacas!

A summer full of bowling in Filer

Shoshone Ice Caves during our June "staycation"

Snakes at the Live History Days in Jerome

Sometimes he gets frustrated 

But in the end he's such a good big brother to all his sisters

One of the resident "Pretty" Mantises (as Jocelyn calls them)

Tanner's New Camera

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yogurt 101

This is an absolute MUST try.  

Ever since I saw someone making home-made yogurt on her blog... I've been intrigued.  

Mainly it was the idea of producing a gallon worth of yogurt from a small little container of starter.  I have to admit though, there's something about the pictures that just make it appear delicious. 

So... when Whitney tipped me off to this recipe from 365 crockpot cooking, I had to try it.  Easy doesn't even describe it.  If you can pour a glass of milk, leave it on the counter and forget about it overnight... you can make yogurt! 

That's right... you've probably been making it for years right?  
Well, there's just a few more steps, but really it's very simple. If you like your yogurt thick like in my picture, you'll have to strain it through cheese cloth as well.  Amazon sells something called a cheese maker for yogurt that I want to purchase.  It basically does the straining for you in a container... I think it would be a bit less messy than the cheese cloth.

We've enjoyed putting on big scoops of failed jams and mashed fruit syrups from this season's canning.  Also a bunch of granola adds a great bite to it.

Anyways... ENJOY, the result is YUUUUUUMMMMMMMo-lishious!  


--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

--thick bath towel

The Directions.

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.