Showing posts with label yogurt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yogurt. Show all posts

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Homemade Granola

I love commuting on the train, but it's days like these that make me really wish I drove to work.  Or that I owned a car.  My imaginary car would have a fancy remote starter so that I could warm up the car (and of course its heated seats) while I finished primping for work. 

Instead, I pile on layer after layer of sweater, jacket, scarf, earmuffs, hats, gloves and mittens.  Yes, it takes me at least five minutes to get ready to go outside.  This is funny actually, because I spend as little time outside as possible.  NJTransit has this fancy "departurevision" section on their website.  It tells me how much longer I can stay in my warm apartment before the train rolls into the station.  Love it.

So what has this winter brought me?  A smaller pants size!  Seriously.  I spent two months out of this winter completely ill.  Bronchitis, sinusitis, cold after cold.  I spent two months eating soup and orange juice, or nothing at all because "eating takes too much energy."

The cold weather has helped me keep those ten pounds off.  How you might ask?  It's too cold to go out for lunch!  Why leave my cozy office and go outside to pick up a (fill in your favorite unhealthy lunch here) when I could stay in front of my (illegal) space heater eating a salad I threw together at home.  I'm thinking I'll put back on those pounds I lost during the summer, when it's warm enough to go and get piles of Thai food for lunch.

A girl does not stay full on salad alone though.  Around four o'clock, after running around the lab for a few hours, I indulge in... yogurt!  I know, I'm so bad.  But you should totally get yourself some yogurt and make this granola. 

Can you believe that in my year of homemade everything challenges, I'm only now making my own granola!  I feel like you can throw anything in with a whole ton of oats and you've got granola.  You could be all - "Hey, I made this macadamia nut, coconut and dried jalapeno pepper granola, it's so good for you!"  Or "What?  You haven't tried the new beef jerky and fried plantain granola?"  Just put some oats with anything and BAM - granola.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt Popsicles

The warm temperatures this week have me yearning for springtime.  I can't wait for long flowy dresses and wedge sandals.  I want to head out to the countryside and pick berries.  I'm ready for winter to release its grip from the Northeast so boyfriend and I can spend out weekends on our bikes, enjoying picnics under shady trees.

While giving our kitchen a good, post-new years cleaning, I came across my popsicle molds.  The day was cold and dark and I was sad to realize it would be months before I would be filling the molds with fresh berry purees and citrusy juices.  The molds went back into the cupboard, waiting for their chance to shine again.

It was this warmer week that brought the popsicle molds back to the front of my mind.  That, along with boyfriends Chobani week, gave me the inspiration to bring you these beauties - Chocolate chip cookie dough frozen yogurt pops.  Maybe with the first set of popsicles, spring will follow soon after?  Like the groundhog of the food world.  Let's hope, because I'm ready for floaty chiffon tops and trips to the farmers market.

These yogurt pops bring our Chobani week to an end, because you can't finish your day without a tasty dessert!  Boyfriend has taught us a little something about the grocery business and the secret world that is behind those swinging doors.  And he's learned quite a bit about yogurt and all the great things you can do with it!

Are you ready for spring?  Or maybe you live in one of those temperate regions of the world, where if it drops below fifty degrees people break out the winter coats.  Seems like we will have a few more chilly weeks here in the tri-state region, doesn't mean I won't be eating these popsicles, just means I'll be curled up on the couch under a blanket when I do eat them!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chobani Protein Drink

There is a whole secret world happening behind the scenes (or shelves) of the grocery store.  From Frozen Pizza to Bleach and even delicious bacon, there is an army of people who work to get the products you love on the shelf of your local grocery store - even more work to get you to buy them!

Boyfriends job title is "Food Broker."  In his role as food broker, he plays the middle man between the manufacturers of products and the grocery store buyers. From planning Sunday ads, to fighting for eye level placement on the shelf, it is his job to make sure the brands he represents get into your shopping cart.

I'm sure you also realize we live in a highly digitized world.  Manufacturers, grocery stores and brokers alike use the massive piles of data available to them to help sell to us, the consumer.  Here are some fun facts about how we spend our precious dollars at the grocery store.  I was surprised at quite a few of them!

- The average monthly budget for groceries is $311
- 37% of U.S. Shoppers use technology for grocery shopping
- Half of shoppers decide what to have for dinner the same day

Do you make a shopping list before going to the store, here's how the average U.S. shopper writes it:
- 45% write the product type
- 6% write the Brand name of the product
- 1% write the Brand name and specific type
- 29% write a combination of the above
- 19% don't typically write a shopping list

When you go to the grocery store, do you go alone?
- 46% Shop alone
- 32% Shop with their Spouse/Partner
-10% Kids under 5
- 8% Kids 6-12
- 6% Kids 13-17
- 5% Adult children
- 3% Other relatives
- 2% Friends
- 1% Roommate
- 1% Someone else

Next time you go to the grocery store and stand in front of that shelf of yogurt, you will have a new found understanding of all the work involved to get it there!

Help show your support of BF's job campaign by tweeting Chobani:

Let @pitchCHObani sell me @Chobani yogurt so @WildeKitchen keeps posting delicious Chobani inspired recipes #InterviewOverYogurt

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yogurt with Raspberry & Mint

You may have read yesterday that Boyfriend is trying to land an interview for a great job at Chobani.  As a part of his "research," we have dedicated the week to exploring the wide world of Greek yogurt.  Today we take a trip to the Chobani SoHo shop in New York City.

That's right!  In the summer of 2012, Chobani opened up its first shop in Manhattan.  Located right in the center of SoHo, their storefront offers up a healthy option for someone looking for a quick breakfast, afternoon snack, or late night treat.  It's also one of the only things I can usually afford in this fancy section of town.

With gourmet flavors like Fig & Walnut, Chocolate & Pistachio and their new Bagel & Lox, and some not-so-gourmet ones like PB&J, I had a hard time deciding which one to get.  You'll notice I went with my kid side and ordered PB&J.  You might also see that it came in this fancy Chobani container!  I want to head back time and time again so I can get a full set.

Since boyfriend and I don't live right next door to the CHO shop, I decided to make my own gourmet creation, in my CHO bowl!  Raspberries, fresh mint and a touch of sweet agave, I was in 3:00 snack heaven! 

And our tweet of the day - I'm loving @WildeKitchen 's "research" recipes!  Keep @PitCHObani in the job hunt so we can enjoy @Chobani 24/7/365 #InterviewOverYogurt.  Let's help boyfriend make friends with Chobani, so we can move to Brooklyn and I can have a commute that is only 1 hour instead of 2!  (Such an added bonus, because Brooklyn is pretty awesome all on it's own)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fudgy Waffles

Normally my cooking is driven by a story or experience, this week I am letting my cooking create an experience.  Here's the background...

For those of you who don't know, there exists a complex network of people whose job it is to get the right products on the shelf of your favorite grocery store.  One of those people is Boyfriend.  To explain to you what he does would probably take a whole post to itself.  Simply put - He works with the brands to get their product on the store shelves and make sure they sell to people like us.

As we enter a new phase in our lives, buying a house and setting roots, Boyfriend is looking for a new job.  He found a job at Chobani Greek Yogurt that he thinks would be the perfect fit (and seriously, I'm all for more CHO in the house!).

Never content to go the traditional route, he asked me to help out (with my cooking talents) to help get him an interview.  Over the next few days, I will be posting some delicious meals we prepared (yes, we!) using Chobani.  Let's all band together and help Boyfriend and Chobani get together!

Then make some waffles, they are delicious.  I'd recommend eating them for breakfast AND dessert.  Afraid of baking?  You can totally do this, Boyfriend made these waffles!  I just gave him the recipe and told him to excessively spray down the waffle iron with cooking oil.

If you feel so inclined, head over to twitter and help boyfriend out!  Just copy and paste this tweet and hopefully he'll be on his way to his dream job and we'll be buying our dream co-op in Brooklyn!

If backing @PitCHObani for Category Mgr-SoHo means more @WildeKitchen @Chobani recipes - I'm In! #InterviewOverYogurt

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pesto-Yogurt Chicken

It's been almost a year.  An entire year at my new job.  A full loop around the sun living with boyfriend.  And it's nearly my anniversary of doing a double-river commute through Manhattan.  Whenever I tell anyone where I live and where I work (my commute being from New Jersey to Long Island) they gasp, wince or give me a look of pain.  Everyone feels sorry for me and my long commute, but I have learned so much in this past year.  I have also read A LOT of books (and cooking magazines!).

What have I learned?  Having the right attitude about being a commuter is half the battle.  Being positive and relaxed about my commute helps to make the days go by easier.  It can also be a lot of fun if you look at it as a casual observer. 

Commuting has the inevitablity of being very predictable.  Here are a few things you can always count on...

~ Someone is always late.  Inevitably, at almost any time of day, there will be someone running through Penn Station to catch a train.

~ That guy next to me is in a hurry.  How can I tell?  As soon as the track number for his train is called, he takes off running.  Usually swearing out loud if it isn't on the track he's standing near. 

~ When I need to be at a 9:00 meeting, the trains will conspire to make me late.  Always.

~ Trains can be late for a wide range of reasons.  Each more ridiculous than the last.  The LIRR is often prone to "rain conditions," "heat conditions," "police activity," "wind conditions," "signal problems," and my favorite "DELAY."

~ The Starbucks near the ACE subway has a shorter line than the one in the center of the station.  Don't tell everyone my secret!

~ People riding peak trains are quieter than those riding off-peak trains.

~ The person who sits down next to me thinks their headphones contain the extremely loud "music" to their earbuds.  The "music" is terrible.

~ If there is only one train line that is delayed, re-routed or cancelled, it will be my line.

Are you a long time commuter or are just starting out your weekly treks to work? What have you learned in your time on public transportation?  Do you find yourself a magnet for talkative types?  Does your train always have a few empty beer cans rolling around?  Does your bus driver think he knows your name?

If you're not a commuter, enjoy the quiet solitude of your car.  And don't pity us commuters, we read a lot of books.  Or take a lot of naps, try doing that in your car!  Wait, don't nap while driving.  It'll be better for everyone.

One Year Ago: Baked Pasta Casserole

Pesto-yogurt sauce
Inspired by Easy Everyday

I always have a container of Greek yogurt sitting in my fridge.  It's useful in so many different recipes and I reccommend getting yourself a container of plain yogurt as well!  This pesto yogurt sauce can be used to marinate chicken or you can toss cooked new potatoes in it for a tangy side dish.
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp basil pesto
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients and use!

Pesto-yogurt chicken
Inspired by Easy Everyday

This dinner was very fast to put together.  I left boyfriend a note to put chicken in a bag with the sauce an stick it back in the fridge.  That way the chicken was marinated and ready to go in the oven when I got home.  The sides you see on the plate are simple glazed carrots and sauteed spinach.  While I went with chicken legs this time, I would definitely use chicken breasts next time around!

6 Chicken legs
1 batch pesto-yogurt sauce

Toss chicken legs in pesto-yogurt sauce and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate. 

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil, then parchment paper.  Place chicken legs on top, being sure that they aren't touching.  Bake for 30 minutes, turning over halfway through cook time.  You want the meat to reach 165 F.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Yogurt

The dairy section of my local grocery store contains at least a hundred different varieties of yogurt.  I'm thinking that this is not unique to my corner of the world.  I'll bet that your local store has a similarly large selection of yogurts.  From fat free to full fat, organic and chemical-rich, flavors varying from strawberry to chocolate to key lime.  With this endless sampling of yogurts it was a big question to answer this week, why make your own yogurt?  I can give you not one, but three reasons.

1. It's so cheap!  That's right, making your own yogurt with save you money.  This is especially true if you want organic yogurt.  Let's do the breakdown.  (All prices are taken from my local Peapod site, prices will vary by region)

1/2 gallon of organic milk - $3.69
1 single serve plain organic yogurt - $0.99
1 single serve plain organic Greek yogurt - $1.99

From my experience, a half gallon of milk will yield approximately six servings of Greek yogurt and 8 servings of regular yogurt.  If you decide to make the entire half gallon of milk into Greek yogurt, you save $8.25! 

If you decide to go the non-organic route...

1 gallon 2% milk - $3.69
1 serving plain yogurt - $0.50 (on sale this week!)
1 serving plain Greek yogurt - $1.25

Servings from 1 gallon of milk - 16 regular yogurts & 12 Greek yogurts
Savings - $4.31 (regular), $11.31 (Greek)

Put that money in your piggy bank!

2. It's so easy!  If you have a food thermometer, this is a breeze to do.  If you are without thermometer, do not worry.  You can still do this.  The hands on time for preparing this yogurt was so minimal, I was able to do several other things at the same time.  If you can put milk in a pot, the transfer it to a jar, you can make yogurt. 

If you own any of the following - an oven, a towel & a pot, a yogurt maker or a heating pad - you can make yogurt.

If you have a container of yogurt in your fridge, you can start making yogurt right now.

3. It's so delicious!  I was a little skeptical at first, thinking that my yogurt would come out all funky and I would be wasting my time.  However, once I popped open the jar of my freshly made yogurt, I was a skeptic no more.  I dipped my spoon in and tasted the fresh yogurt and active cultures and was pleased at the yogurty flavor.  More intense than most store-bought varieties, you can't get fresher than this.

The flavors options are only as limited as your imagination.  Keep it simple and drizzle on honey, sprinkle with walnuts and cinnamon.  Make it fresh and puree seasonal fruit for a topping.  Take it over the top and blend it with a little sugar and cream cheese. 

There we are, three wonderful reasons to start making your own yogurt!  I have been enjoying fresh Greek yogurt all week with my breakfast and I couldn't be happier.  Would I do it again?  I already have. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fruit and Yogurt Jars

The heat of the summer is starting to hit most of the country and I’m very excited. I’m the type of person who will not put on shorts until it’s at least 80 outside. And that’s a humid 80. When I lived in Colorado, it routinely got up to 100 degrees during the summertime. However, you would still see me going to work in jeans. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s totally true! It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity, blah blah blah…

Well, I’m back on the coast and there’s definitely humidity here. Lots of it. I can see all the humidity hanging in the air when I open my blinds in the morning. My mornings have been going like this… Alarm goes off – I wake up, excited for a new day. I walk to the windows and open the blinds. My day turns to bad as I realize my hair is going to be crazy today. I’m going to look like Einstein, minus the snazzy mustache.

With all this heat and humidity, I have also been avoiding turning on my oven. Mostly because I’m too cheap to turn on my air conditioning. It was the exact opposite in the winter, when I baked a lot because I was too cheap to turn on my heat. What can I say, I’m a postdoc, we are a cheap bunch. So, instead of baking, I’ve been churning ice cream, making no-bake candies and tossing salads. Today I give you a light, refreshing snack. It’s full of vitamins and topped off with a bunch of protein-rich Greek yogurt. Enjoy some and stay cool!

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