Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sarah Brown Wessling-National Teacher of the Year 2010!

I apologize for another post without a recipe but a celebration is called for....

Sarah Brown Wessling was chosen as the
2010 National Teacher of the Year!

Sarah is a very close family friend and the sister of my brother in law Mike Brown! Couldn't be happier for Sarah and her family! What an amazing achievement!
She is currently an English teacher at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa.

Off to the Rose Garden to receive her award!

Sarah made a wonderful speech that can be viewed from this link on CSPAN:

this is my favorite can see how passionate she is

Congrats to Sarah and thank you to all our amazing teachers out there!
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

I was in a yogurt crisis. I sick of eating yogurts with fake this and fake that and I was tired of eating yogurts with ingredient lists that were as long as my grocery list.

For is an ingredient list from a popular kind:
Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Colored with Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.

First, what are some of those things!? Second, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an ingredient that I tell my clients to AVOID (Sara B Consulting Principle #3) and third, if the yogurt doesn't contain high amounts of added sugar it usually contains some type of "fake sugar."

Of course, I had my favs amongst the "clean" yogurts...Stoneyfield, Fage Greek Yogurt, Cultural Revolution (made right here in Kalona!) but they were just too darn expensive to buy in the amount that I LOVE yogurt. So I needed a solution.
Fage O% ingredients:
Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus)

While visiting my brother Matt and his wife Dorcha in Montrose, CO I enjoyed eating loads of his creamy homemade yogurt.......I then thought to myself "why wasn't I doing this!?!?!"
I could enjoy the many wonderful health benefits of active cultures for digestive health, calcium for our bones and possible reduction of fat storage, protein for our muscles...without the nasty stuff and in a cost effective way!

So I jumped on the computer and bought myself a Yogourmet!

I was giddy the day it arrived at my doorstep!

Ingredients and instructions to make yogurt:
There are a TON of ways to go about this and I encourage you to research some, but here is the way I went about my second batch (my first batch did not turn is a trial and error recipe)

You need a "starter" can buy yogurt starters

OR you can start with a yogurt that has no "binding agents" in it like pectin or gelatin. I used Fage Greek Yogurt 0% (on sale for $.99 and will be multiplied into a gazillion servings!)

Temperature in VERY important in making yogurt so PAY attention while cooking.
Pour 2L of milk (I used Robert's 1% because you need some brother uses whole) into a double boiler or pot.
A note on Robert's Dairy: they are hormone free AND local!
Heat milk till it gets to 180F or just to a boil.
Allow milk to cool to 108-112F. You can speed this up by placing the pot in the sink filled with cool water.
Pour chilled milk into the inner container of the yogurt maker. Add the starter (yogurt). Stir until mixed in. (You can add powdered milk here for a creamier yogurt...haven't tried this yet)
Place lids on the yogurt maker, plug in (red light on), and ferment away!

Mine took about 10hours (overnight) to get to the desired thickness. To stop incubation place inner yogurt container in fridge for about 8 hours. There is a layer of liquid on can either stir this in for a thin yogurt or drain for a thicker.

Yogurt stays fresh in fridge for about 3 weeks!
You can also drain yogurt with a cheese cloth for a cheese/sour cream/dip substitute.

Now you can flavor your yogurt to your desired taste by adding your OWN health benefit sweeteners such as honey and agave nectar and fresh or frozen fruit.

cinnamon, Watkins vanilla, honey from Matt's beehives, and black berries

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Monday, April 26, 2010

Boston Bound Part IV- the sights, the sounds...the food

So J and I did do other things in Boston beside run 26.2 miles...we explored the many historic Fenway :) and ate our way through the Freedom Trail.
Here's a little recap of our trip:
Day 1
We treated Carl and Julia to a Italian feast aka "Carbo load"
at Allora Ristorante in Marlborough, MA (suburb of Boston)

Mediterranean Salmon stuffed with spinach, feta and sun dried tomato over fennel and arugula salad

Lobster and Ravioli chunks of lobster, baby spinach, red onion and zucchini simmered in tomato alfredo sauce
Day 2
see Boston Bound part III
Day 3
Boston Marathon
Day 4
it was time to say "good-bye" to Carl and Julia and head to the city to explore the sites

they dished us up with a lovely home, comfy bed, and awesome home cooking

Downtown Boston

J had to get in on the Dunkin' Donuts craze while we were out there
they are EVERYWHERE on the East Coast....not sure I'm sold on the coffee

More baked goods at Bova's Bakery in the North End
The Freedom Trail:
directions...follow the red brick line to see Boston's historic sites (approx.2.5 miles)
warning...this may not be the best thing to do after running a marathon

Here we go!

we saw the State House...ooooooohhh

the site where the Declaration of Independence was read....ahhhhhhh

Paul Revere's grave and home...

a large steeple and clock....more ooohhhs and ahhhs

"hey...I didn't know they had Starbuck's back then....did you J?"

and OF COURSE we found some historic food....the oldest restaurant in America...
Union Oyster House est 1826
we finally got a table after making our reservation in 1856

New England Clam Chowder...YUM...coming from someone who doesn't typically like this soup

J ordered oysters....not me

but after J's persuasion and my hesitation I tried one and...........was done

we made it all the way to Bunker Hill aka the end of the trail

we were exhausted...J looked like a British solider defeated at Bunker Hill

and I fell asleep in the hotel lobby waiting for our room

Boston Common
the oldest park in the country...lots of "oldest" stuff in Boston

I felt like I was taking my senior pictures

Fenway Park

J and I finally had our celebratory drink...cheers!

Red Sox's WON!

Day 5
Boston Duck Tour

J made me sit in the driver seat....can't wait till we have kids so I don't have to do the korny pics anymore

a slice of heaven...I mean Boston Cream pie at the site it was created, Omni Parker House

Regina's Pizza, this has to be where pizza landed in the US because it was GOOOOOD

of course, I had to get one with veggies on it

a few random pics:

wish this was my spice rack

J picked up a new cellphone out's called the Banana Berry
I receive Bible Verse emails every day....this just happen to be the one I received the morning of the marathon (pretty appropriate):
Put no high value on your wisdom: let the fear of the Lord be before you, and keep yourself from evil: This will give strength to your flesh, and new life to your bones. -Proverbs 3:7-8
Until next time...

look good, feel good, do good