Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homemade Yogurt and a few other things

We love yogurt around here and eat a lot of it. I'm always trying to find ways to save in our budget and so when I saw that you could make yogurt in the crockpot, I definitely wanted to try it!

The recipe for crockpot greek yogurt is HERE

This is super easy and fun to make. It was kind of cool to see that it actually thickened up when I woke up in the morning after having it sit all night. I have made it twice and it doesn't last long. I'm not usually a fan of just plain yogurt, but this is addicting. It's tangy and rich. The first time I ate it, I mixed it with sweetened berries and drizzled honey over it. The second time I made some freezer jam and mixed that with it. I think my kids liked the jam better because it tasted more like the yogurt they were used to. Either way, its like my dessert. I love it.

I don't know if it's because I've been doing Insanity or what, but I have been really productive lately and have had lots of energy. Maybe I'm hungrier, too :) because I baked a lot last week! Here are some other things we made with great success.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
I doubled the recipe since I had a lot of cheap strawberries that wouldn't last. I couldn't bear to put that much sugar in, so I cut some out. It still tasted pretty good, but noticeably less sweet.

Dinner Rolls Tutorial
I've never been very comfortable making rolls. But these were easy and insanely good.

Best caramel type popcorn I've ever had. It's a fun thing to bring as dessert to a party.
Her inspiration was a ding dong. Although there were a few steps, these turned out great.

Banana Bread - I have made a ton of different recipes trying to find the best banana bread. I've decided my favorite is the one my mom made growing up.
1/2 C vegetable shortening
1 C sugar
2 eggs
3/4 C mashed ripe bananas
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 C macadamia nuts - *I always throw in milk chocolate chips instead
pinch of cinnamon

Preheat to 350 degrees. Oil and flour a 9x5x3in loaf pan. With an electric mixer, cream the shortening and sugar. With mixer running on medium, add eggs one at a time. Add bananas and mix well. Add baking soda, salt, flour, nuts (or choc chips) and cinnamon andmix thoroughly. The dough will be sticky. Pour dough into prepared pan and bake one hour or until the center is brown and set.

Don't worry. The desserts I made to take to functions, although I still got to taste a little of everything. :)

Insanity is going great. I actually look forward to doing it every morning. I can't keep up with them, but I'm staying with it, even while jumping, or jogging across the room to help one of my kids! I like Shaun T. He doesn't yell at you or act tough (like Jillian) and the other people working out look like real people who can't keep up all of the time. There are also frequent 30 second water breaks which I of course love. :) I also like that there is a schedule with a different DVD each day. I'm just doing the best I can with it and am actually enjoying it and feeling a lot more energized and happy to start the day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

For your listening pleasure

Madeline may be a little reserved but she'll belt out a favorite song anytime. She has been singing this one lately, even with her scratchy little voice. (has anyone else had cold after cold this winter?!)

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Cassi just finished doing the Insanity Workout and she's letting me borrow the set of DVDs. This was her experience with it. Honestly, I'm a little terrified. I've been feeling in a rut with exercising and this will definitely change things up! I'm blogging about it so I will stay accountable. I hope in 9 weeks I will have stuck to it and feel healthier and more fit. Here goes nothing. I start Monday. Eek!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Starting the Morning out Right

This morning Matt needed to go in to work a half hour later than usual, so we took advantage and made a quick run to the donut shop around the corner. The kids were super excited. Although not entirely healthy, it was a great start to our record high 78 degree March day. Bring on summer. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Busy Fun

We have had a great couple of weeks.

Madeline has been having a preschool with a few girls from church. We take turns hosting at our houses. With Dr. Seuss's birthday at the beginning of March, we had a Dr. Seuss birthday party where we read some of his books and talked about rhyming. They loved it. I also made the girls Cat in the Hat hats. They were easy and lots of fun. Maybe a cat in the hat halloween costume could be in our future? Check out the tutorial HERE

Next up was a very spoiled week in Salt Lake City. Matt had a week off, so we visited his family. It consisted of great conversation, amazingly good food, movies, Matt's 30th birthday, wedding dress shopping, and more good food. :) To save money, we booked not so convenient flights: an airport 2 hours away, getting up at 4:30am, and getting home at 2am after the long drive. It was a little rough on the way there with a packed airport, almost missing flights and connections, a very windy flight to SLC, which made us all sick, especially Madeline who got to try out the barf bag! The kids were sick while there and grumpy and tired because of the time changes and now trying to readjust to being home......but of course it's all worth it and I would do it again and again. Living away from family really makes you grateful for them and we loved being with them.

Today, Matt is working, but I wanted to do something fun with the kids since the weather is gorgeous and we've had kind of a rough week adjusting to normal life. We found a little zoo about an hour away. It was no San Diego Zoo, but it was cute with a variety of animals and it was FREE today which is always great. We went with friends which made the trip even more fun.