Wheaties granola

I should tell you how carefully I planned this recipe.

I should tell you how I planned for substituting Wheaties for half the oats in an effort to enhance the texture, flavor, and nutrition of the recipe.

I should also tell you that the truth is I ran out of oats.


Regardless of how I arrived at this version, I do make it this way on purpose now and I eat it with my lazy yogurt every single morning. And even the Kiddo loves it. That’s kind of a miracle, folks. It’s based on the recipe from Creative Kitchen because she didn’t use seeds in her recipe; she’s speaking my language.

Wheaties granola


  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (the real stuff, not “pancake syrup”)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups Wheaties cereal
  • 1 cup Craisins or raisins (optional, obviously)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Melt butter and honey or maple syrup in a saucepan, then stir in remaining ingredients, making sure everything is well coated with the butter mixture
  3. Spread on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the oats are golden brown
  4. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then scrape in long strokes with a spatula to aid clumping. Store in a jar or zip top bag in the fridge

Yogurt, revisited (the lazy method)

I’ve been making yogurt for about three years now, and no matter how I do it one thing never changes: each and every time I am amazed that it actually turns into yogurt. Amazed.

My method has evolved a bit over the years, and my friend Vanessa pointed out recently that my super lazy method never made it to the blog; I’m here to remedy that. My sweet friend Ginger from Mars Hill (it’s huge; I’m sure you’ve heard of it) taught me this one, and it’s brilliant.

Yogurt, revisited (the lazy method)


  • You will need:
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. starter yogurt (1 Tbsp. of a previous batch, or of any yogurt that says live and active cultures; ideally one that does not have pectin)


  1. Turn your oven on to 350F for one minute and turn it off, and turn the light on in the oven
  2. In a heavy saucepan (I use an enameled cast iron one) heat milk to 180F and whisk in remaining ingredients (hold milk at 180 for about 15 minutes for super thick yogurt); let it cool to 120F and plop in the tablespoon of starter yogurt
  3. Put a lid on the saucepan and stick it in the slightly warm oven for 5-8 hours or overnight

THE. END. Do you see what I’m saying? Lazy and easy. Please to enjoy.

Apple cake muffins

Apples. Oats. Chocolate chips. How can this possibly go wrong?


My friend Vanessa came over while I was in the middle of winging these today, and they turned out to be the perfect dessert after our lunch of chicken and dumplings.  They’re based on Rick Bayless’ recipe for Grandma’s Moist Apple Cake from Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures. I tweaked and added and subtracted and adjusted and came up with these. And I’m not sorry.

You can add a chocolate glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar over the top of this, but I think they’re pretty great just as is. Let me know what you think!

Spring yogurt

Do you know the difference between winter yogurt and spring yogurt?

Spring yogurt is cuter.

The orginal how-to is here with all the details. But a quick run-down of the process, lest you be afraid:

  1. Heat a quart of milk to 180, add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 dry milk, plus vanilla or maple syrup to flavor
  2. Let it cool to <120 (assuming you’re using pasteurized milk, you can technically just heat it to 120 and go from there, but I find it doesn’t thicken up quite as nicely that way)
  3. Add yogurt starter: 2 Tbsp. of yogurt containing live active cultures (ideally, 2 Tbsp. you saved from your last batch of yogurt; it freezes great in ice cube trays) and stir
  4. Pour into your very cutest containers and incubate at around 115 or so for four to six hours — I do this by lining a dutch oven with a heating pad set to low, then setting the jars in it and putting the lid on. If you want to make super-cute spring yogurt, add a couple drops of food coloring in each jar, stir to combine, then proceed with your incubation

That’s it! This is worlds better and cheaper than store-bought, and you can easily strain it to make it Greek-style if your little heart desires.

Yogurt: it’s what’s for breakfast. And lunch. And supper.

The Kiddo has a nearly unholy love for yogurt. It is his failsafe, will-eat-anytime food even when he won’t eat anything else. I make it myself for two reasons:
1. It’s SO much cheaper. A quart of organic milk to make my own yogurt costs me $1.50. A quart of organic yogurt in the store costs me $3.59 (and the YoBaby packs are even more expensive than that).
2. MY yogurt has vitamin D in it; store bought organic does not. I absolutely could not find whole milk yogurt with vitamin D. At all. And since The Kiddo doesn’t eat much else, he needs all the fat for his growing little brain.

So, in a nutshell, here’s my method, adapted from Alton Brown’s method. It’s long but not as complicated as it looks. Tweak according to what supplies you have on hand.

I start with a 4-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup. I add 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup dry milk powder (the added protein thickens the yogurt), and a splash of vanilla or maple syrup.

Microwave it for three minutes at a time, stirring at the end of each 3 minutes to dissolve the milk and sugar. After two cycles, check the temp; you want it to get to 180 degrees. Add a third cycle if needed to hit 180.

Now it sits until it’s down to 119 degrees (120 is the temp that kills yogurt bacteria and cultures; this is bad). While it’s cooling, set out 2 Tbsp. of yogurt from your last batch of yogurt, or of store bought yogurt; just make sure the label says it contains live active cultures. Cultures are your friends.

Also take this time to set up your incubation system. I put a heating pad in the bottom of my gigantosaurus 6.75 quart Le Creuset oven, and put four glasses (just regular drinking glasses, but big ones) on top of the heating pad. Go ahead and turn the heating pad on to medium to be warming the glasses and pan so as not to shock the milk when you pour it in.

When the milk in the Pyrex is cooled to 1119, take a spoonful of milk at a time and stir it (gently!) into your 2 Tbsp. of milk till it’s thinned enough to be pourable. Then pour it all back into the Pyrex and stir well (gently, still).

Pour this mixture into your warmed cups and put the lid on the French oven. Drop a thermometer probe into one of the cups so you can monitor the temperature. Around 108-115 is ideal. 120 is death to yogurt, so set the temp alarm (if you have one) to 118 so you have warning and can change the temp if needed before all your work is lost.

Now you wait! The longer it incubates, the tarter it will be. Since it’s for The Kiddo and he likes it sweet, I only incubate for about three or four hours. After three hours I gently tip one of the glasses a bit and see if it’s mostly set up. If it is, great! Gently (do you see a theme here?) move it to the fridge and let it sit overnight to finish setting up. In the morning: voila! Yogurt. And it is SO good. I eat it with granola, The Kiddo eats it plain.img_4477