Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daring Bakers: Polvitica

In a "celebration" of past Daring Baker and Daring Cook challenges, Lisa (CEO of The Daring Kitchen) challenged all of us to search through the Daring Kitchen archives and pick any one we'd like! The REAL challenge was picking which delicious recipe(s) to try!

Even if it is kind of a non-challenge - what a great challenge.  I almost went back to last months pie challenge that I missed since I really like pie and I really did not want to miss that one.  Looking back though, I found many challenges that I missed or were before I was a member that I wanted to try.  I have no idea why I didn't do this one the first time around but the Povitica from back in October 2011 really caught my eye. The original challenge was from Jenni of The Gingered Whisk.   Povitica is an Eastern European nut bread with many names depending on what country it came from.  It is a sweet bread and usually served around the holidays.

It is not the holidays now but we had a picnic potluck to go to with a bunch of other international adoption parents.  I thought, what better than an international dessert.  While making the dessert I figured out I was out of white flour.  I ended up using  a "white" whole wheat flout and I don't think it hurt it one bit.  Delicious sweet bread with lots of swirly nut goodness.  It was well received at the potluck and the whole family liked it too.

Thanks to Lisa for the challenge and to Jenni for the original challenge.  Check out the challenge recipe and all the other challenges in the Daring Kitchen archives.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Daring Cooks: Yogurt

Wow - I haven't managed to post since April - it has been such a busy summer.  Well this months Daring Cooks challenge is something I have always wanted to try - and it turns out it is very easy as well - at least it is not time consuming.

The lovely Cher of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler was our July Daring Cooks’ hostess and she asked us to create homemade yogurt in our own kitchens! No incubators needed, no expensive equipment or ingredients, just a few items and we had delicious yogurt for a fraction of the cost and a whole lot healthier than what you buy in the stores!

You might think making yogurt is tricky to do, or that it takes a long time, or that you need to buy some fancy yogurt machine.  Well it turns out none of that is true.  The trickiest part or making yogurt is keeping it warm for 5-12 hours and our host gave us several ideas on how to do this.  I chose to use the warming drawer in my oven and cracked it open just a bit.  I put a thermometer with an alarm on it set to 120F so I would know if it got too warm but it was not an issue.  The temperature barely moved all day, at least not until the warming drawer automatically shut off after 5 hours.  I didn't know it did that, but I caught it fairly quickly so no disasters.

Mine was not thickening much so I did end up leaving mine warm for 12 full hours.  Even after this time it was still very runny but I decided to  try it out.  I put it in the fridge to see if it would thicken up more in the fridge.  It might have thickened a little more but it was still very thin. 

I was worried the thin consistency meant that my culture was bad.  I used a store-bought local brand yogurt as my culture so I wasn't really sure how it would work.  Turns out the consistency was no indication of the taste.  It tasted just like I would expect - nice and tangy.  I actually like the runny texture - just not what I was expecting.  Will definitely try this again now that I know how easy it is.

If you would like to try to making yogurt yourself check out the recipe in the Daring Kitchen recipe archive.