My Experiences Within Motherhood, & my Attempts to Maintain a Personal Life Outside of It.

My experiences within motherhood and my attempt to maintain a personal life outside of it.
...Here I record my own self discipline: My commitment not to "let myself go". My promise to seek my God and follow my passions.
My attempt to do so despite and amidst the chaos of chasing around my high-energy kids while learning the French culture...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: turning everyday yogurt into something special.

As promised, though perhaps a bit delayed, here is my first post of "Making the Ordinary Extraordinary", and I'm super excited about this one!  It has been an insanely busy couple of weeks, so this is the soonest I have managed to get to this post, but here it goes!

Today I want to tell you all how you can make simple, ordinary yogurt into something special with incredibly minimal effort.  Now, I cannot lie, I totally stole this trick from my mother, but it has become a recent staple in my house; I love it that much.  I prepare a new batch of this yogurt almost every two weeks, and I just finished my last one, so it's time to create another one.  This is what you need:
  • 2 Parts Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 Part Lemon Yogurt (I like to use yoplait for both)
  • Orange Zest**
  • Ground Ginger (to taste)
Pretty much all you do is mix all of these things together, and viola!  You have just turned your ordinary yogurt into something extra special!  Then just put it in a sealed container and stick it in the fridge and you're good to go for whenever you need it!!

The quantities of ground ginger an orange zest really depend on how much yogurt you use and your taste preference.  For example, if I make a small batch of this yogurt, the zest of probably half an orange is just fine, but if I do a larger batch, zest the whole orange.  Similarly, when I am using say two containers of vanilla yogurt and one container of lemon, then I usually put in roughly 1/4 tsp of ginger, but I would start with a light sprinkling of ginger and see how you like it.  But believe me, this is such a simple recipe that you will use over and over again, I just love this stuff!

**Now, I want to take a minute to comment on the orange zest.  I want to speak to those who have never zested anything before... In my few years of cooking, I have found that for whatever reason, some people tend to be really intimidated by zesting.  I think it appears fancy and complicated, maybe even a little unnecessary.  Let me tell you, all of these concerns couldn't be farther from the truth!  Zesting a piece of citrus fruit is just like grating cheese!... and we've all done that before, haven't we?  It really works best if you have a handy-dandy zester tool like a microplane grater (pictured right).  But if you don't have one of these, simply use the fine side of your box grater.  The only other thing to keep in mind is that when you zest the skin of your orange, you are only skimming the surface! You don't want to grate off the white pith, as this part of the fruit is bitter.  But believe, me, this little touch is so worth it, and you will find that you will soon be using your zesting skills in all kinds of cooking!  (Try a little lemon zest in chicken or over your green beans, for example).  In fact, it is known that there is more flavor in the zest of a citrus fruit than in the juice itself!  So don't be intimidated to zest that orange!

Serving Suggestions:
I am surprised at how many things I can add this yogurt to.  Aside from simply eating it as a yummy snack, this yogurt has so many uses!  It makes a granola and fruit parfait so yummy!  Or just try it mixed with fresh berries or fruit--so good!  I also love simply drizzling it over some applesauce for an instant, healthy snack.  And lastly, one of my favorite things to do is mix this yogurt up with some cottage cheese.  I know this may sound strange to some people, but believe me, it is so good.  Even if you don't like cottage cheese, you probably will if you try it this way!  It instantly becomes a rich and creamy treat that is so good for you too!

Alright friends, hope you enjoy whipping up your yogurt and surprising the world over with just how easy it is to make something so seemingly plain, so very fabulous!  Enjoy!

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