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homemade yogurt

i started making my yogurt this way too and it does take forever! now i still use the crock of my slow cooker but only for incubation. you dont need powdered milk or a thermometer - i spent a lot of time (and milk!) fussing over time and temp when you dont need to.
bring any type of milk to 180 (i use pastuerized 2%) on the stove top. you dont have to do this on low, i actually do this on a medium setting. if your not using a thermometer, watch for bubbles forming along the sides of the pot and it should thicken up to lightly coat the back of a spoon. dont worry if it goes above 180.
then put the pot in a sink with cold water with or without ice cubes. the amount of time it takes to cool doesnt matter but you want it to get around 110 - when you can stick your pinky in it and it doesnt burn its ready.
take out a couple scoops of milk and mix it with your starter and combine well. put everything in your crock with the lid.
after so many failed batches, ive finally found my secret weapon: an old heating pad i found in the basement! 10-12hrs set on med-low under my sink while i sleep and i have perfect, thick yogurt every time!
i thought at first i was using the wrong milk, the thermometer was broken, maybe there was other bacteria interfering?...but no, i finally realized that my good batches were made in the summer and now its winter. duh. so for me, the whole trick was keeping it at the right temp during incubation - i live in WNY and this time of year, there arent very many places in my house where it stays at a constant 110...
so in short, dont fuss over it. bacteria will find a way to thrive no matter the type of milk or how long or how fast you changed the milks temperature. but you do have to keep them happy - or in other words: warm. good luck!

Feb 11, 2012
bflobear in Home Cooking

Homemade Yogurt -- why is it stringy?

I have had this problem too and it looked more like ectoplasm than yogurt and was not really strainable. the dogs loved it though...anyway, i have finally cracked the code! no powdered milk or yogurt maker! loooong story (and many failed batches) but a heating pad makes my yogurt thick and perfect EVERY time. i put the inoculated milk in my slow cooker crock and place that on top of the heating pad for 10-12 hours in a warmish place (i use under my sink). i usually set it on medium-low. hope this helps!

Feb 11, 2012
bflobear in Home Cooking

Blue cheese mystery

Nice! Thanks, I'll check it out. I did do a search but there were 260 some-odd pages and admittedly I got lazy...i thought about the vinegar but dismissed it because its used it in emulsions all the time but (duh!) not with cheese.

Jul 16, 2011
bflobear in Home Cooking

Blue cheese mystery

Just wondering of anyone has encountered this: I made a batch of blue cheese dressing with some olive oil mayo and a hunk of cheese, a few spices and a splash of vinegar and water. It was perfect. I had it out for about an hour and the next thing I know is that it's turned into a liquid - as in the consistency of milk with blue chese crumbles. Anyone have any idea why this would happen?

Jul 16, 2011
bflobear in Home Cooking

Who cooks in a hotel room?

That is genius!

Jul 08, 2011
bflobear in General Topics

What New York food could you not live without? A Q from CHOW

jing fong's dim sum. buffalo needs to get on that.

Oct 29, 2010
bflobear in Outer Boroughs

Best Ricotta Pie?

anyone have a recipe for this?

Feb 22, 2010
bflobear in Manhattan

The Basics: How to Make Pumpkin Pie

i agree this is this the recipe from the back of a can but it was the one i was looking for. im not sure what brand i will be able to find this year and im a procrastinator. there are a ton of variations (like the one on libby's - which is different) and the condensed milk is very sweet and adds the perfect amount of sweetness sans sugar. i prefer to use it instead of evaporated milk and sugar which is what is called for in a lot of recipes.

Nov 23, 2009
bflobear in Features

"fresh fruit"

there was a product i found a while ago that kept foods from browning called "fresh fruit." I understand that this is essentially vitamin c. aside from using citrus, can ground up vit c pills be used? if so what dose? how much? and can you use too much?

Nov 01, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

ideas for pulled pork

awesome, thank you!

Oct 31, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

ideas for pulled pork

despite having the makings of pasta bolognese on the stove im salivating over tacos and nachos. i think it might be a shoe-in for sunday. thanks everyone!

Oct 28, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

ideas for pulled pork

anyone have any ideas for leftover pulled pork? other than freezing it (the freezer will explode if i put one more thing in it) i was wondering if there was something else besides a red sauce, pot pie or hash - though if anyone has a good hash recipe, i have been looking for one.
it does have some bbq essence but its not overwhelming and i still have the braising liquid...any ideas for that too?

Oct 26, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

Help with braised spare ribs

check out anne burrells recipe. its for short ribs but im sure its interchangeable for spareribs... http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking...

Sep 04, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

Lunch and Dinner in Buffalo New York?

andersons, teds and anchor bar are typical lunch spots that are inexpensive but i agree you need to be more specific, i think theres more restaurants here than people.

best crunch factor on chicken fingers

if your frying, AP flour/bread crumb (1:2) and cornmeal work well (maybe 3:1?), if your baking it would still work but i just tried the cornflakes mixed with a little bread crumb last night (the crushed flakes were probably a little larger then they should have been, i was lazy), spice and some grated romano. it turned out pretty crunchy (and tasty). an FYI, parm or romano is good with the bread crumb/cornmeal too but it can burn easily and make the breading almost tough if you use too much.

i also find that with the flour/ bread crumb/cornmeal (i havent tried it with the flakes) makes a nice coating if you dip the fingers in the flour, then the eggwash (seasoned) and then in the flour again and let it rest for a few minutes to make sure they arent soggy (if they are, i usually just sprinkle some crumb on top to soak up the extra moisture)

Jul 22, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

Your latest 'addiction'?

yes! absolutely delicious - but i prefer no pepperoni and franks instead of tobasco.

Jun 22, 2009
bflobear in General Topics

Quiche with Egg Beaters?

but still delicious ;)
my BF has a nasty egg sensitivity which isnt so bad with the eggbeaters, although weve had some luck with farm fresh eggs (under 60 days old).

Jun 22, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

Quiche with Egg Beaters?

i make my quiches with eggbeaters all the time - i have not noticed any adverse effects on the finished product. i think 1/4c equals one egg so use the same amount as eggs called for - there are a million recipes if you google it and a few different techniques (mostly egg quantity variations, off the top of my head) which probably lead to denser, fluffier or custardier versions so i would test a few out (its a pretty cheap to make, especially with left over veggies and cheese).

Jun 22, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

freezing brined and marinated meat

so you place the meat into the marinade and freeze immediately? do you notice a difference over time (eg a cut in the freezer for 1 wk vs 3 mos)?

Jun 17, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

freezing brined and marinated meat

thanks, ill definitely give that a try - especially since the dry aged steaks are wayyy more expensive than i care to pay :)

Jun 17, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

freezing brined and marinated meat

Thats a good point about the turkeys, i think i may experiment this weekend b/c brined pork especially is so delicious and it would be awesome to have a supply of it...
but can you explain the dry brining a little more? im imagining a dry rub but what do you mean by "letting it dry out"?

Jun 17, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

freezing brined and marinated meat

just curious if anyone has:
1) brined meat and frozen it before cooking to have on hand
- did you drain the brine or freeze the meat in it
2) marinated meat and frozen it - in or out of the marinade?

there is previous post from 2006 discussing freezing previously frozen meats vs fresh meats but i am more curious if this affects the texture or taste, more specifically for brining. any tips or advice would be appreciated.

Jun 16, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

Stupid easy recipes you really love

a recipe i pirated from giada de laurentis - mascarpone and pasta.
its as simple as preparing an pound of pasta al dente
sauteeing onion and garlic
about 1/2 - 1 lbs of fresh sausage (meal or side dish) -add to softened veg until browned
1 tub of mascarpone into veg/sausage mix
drain pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of cooking liquid
add pasta to veg/sausage and liquid for desire consistency
i dont recall the original recipe - i think it may have been just sausage? - but bell pepper mixed in is really good, as well as smoked sausage (vs fresh), brocolli rabe, zucchini, sundried tomatos...you could put pretty much anything in the mix and it would be creamy and delicious. i also add a nice grating of parm and romano...

Jun 16, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

butchering whole pork loin

no, that was well described - thank you very much. that clears up some confusion :)

Apr 19, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

cuisinart food processor issue

i do not want tot operate it without a top - rather i would like to disconnect the movable "slider" so that i can insert things bigger that a silver dollar. i apologize, its a little difficult to explain without a visual...ultimately, i would like to leave the lock in place but be able to completely remove the larger slider and use that as a pusher,
this is what mine looks like: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/imag...
and this is what i would like to use mine as: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/imag...

Apr 19, 2009
bflobear in Cookware

butchering whole pork loin

i thought that there were 2 tenderloins on either side of the spine beneath the rib cage - and the inside of certain cuts of chops was the tender loin (versus the smaller piece of meat on the other side of bone-in chops)?

Apr 19, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

cuisinart food processor issue

i recently received a newer model cuisinart food processor and the feed tube for chopping has a built in "safety" insert. this only allows for food about the size of a carrot to pass through for chopping, shredding, etc. and everything else needs to be cut down. i was wondering if anyone knows how to disable/remove this piece without breaking the attachment? it drives me nuts!

Apr 19, 2009
bflobear in Cookware

butchering whole pork loin

im actually asking which part to cut out for the tenderloin - and would it be worth my money to just buy the tenderloin already butchered if i cannot get the cops etc. out the whole loin...

Apr 19, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

butchering whole pork loin

thanks for the tips...but one more question: can i get an actual tenderloin out of this and still use the other bits or would this be a waste? i was thinking of chunking it up for stew or stir-fry, etc.

Apr 18, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking

butchering whole pork loin

i recently purchased a whole pork loin and am wondering the best way to divvy it up. its boneless with a nice fat cap and tapered shape. from what i gather, i can cut some roasts, chops and lardons, but which part is best for which?

Apr 14, 2009
bflobear in Home Cooking