Caramelized Onions in a Slow Cooker

By Monica at http://www.theyummylife.com/Caramelized_Onions              Servings: 4 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 6 large yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
Cut the peeled onions in halves and then quarters from pole to pole. Cut each quarter, pole to pole, in 1/4 inch slices. Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Add sliced onions and olive oil to slow cooker; toss with tongs or 2 forks to separate slices and distribute olive oil. Cover and cook on high for approx. 12-14 hours, until browned to desired color. Keep an eye on them during the last few hours of cooking time; if they begin to burn around the edges, stir, recover, and continue cooking until caramelized throughout.

Cooked onions may be eaten right way or frozen in small portions for future use.

Suggestions uses for caramelized onions:
–as a pizza topping (mushrooms and –caramelized onions are a perfect pairing)
–in an omelette
–on a burger, in a grilled panini or hot sandwich
–on a baked potato
–as a topping for grilled or broiled meat
–stirred into mashed potatoes
–mixed into sauteed greens
–tossed with pasta
–as an appetizer topping (a cracker spread with soft cheese, topped with caramelized onions)
–stirred into dips
–stirred into soups

Refrigerate or freeze. I like this Crock Pot method because it makes a big batch that I can freeze in small portions for use in future recipes. They’re great to have on hand to add some quick pizzazz to many meals. I use small 4 oz. (1/2 cup) mason jars and ziploc freezer bags for freezing mine. I also keep the onion broth that remains in the bottom of the slow cooker. It has amazing flavor that is great to add to soups, sauces, and gravies.

Nutritional information. These are a low-calorie way to add a big flavor boost to your food. For 1/4 cup serving: 28 calories, 1.6g fat, 3.4g carbs, .6g fiber, 1.6g sugar, .4g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 1


Cetaphil Lice treatment

To treat lice, Cetaphil skin cleanser is applied liberally to the hair and scalp. Use a blow dryer after application. (It will form a hard shell on the hair.) Leave the hardened Cetaphil on the hair overnight and shampoo it out the next morning. All the lice should be dead (Pediatrics, September 2004). The procedure can be repeated a week later, if needed.

In addition to avoiding toxic chemicals, this “shrink-wrap” method that suffocates the lice eliminates the need to comb out the nits by hand, a tedious procedure for both parents and children.

Making Greek Yogurt from regular yogurt

Strained Yogurt (Greek Yogurt)
By Monica
Ingredients
  • regular yogurt – whole, low, or no fat
  • metal mesh strainer or colander
  • large bowl
  • cheese cloth, or sturdy paper towel, or basket-style coffee filter
Directions
Line strainer (or colander) with double layer of cheese cloth (or a paper towel or coffee filter). Place strainer over a large bowl, making sure there is space between the bottom of the strainer and the bottom of the bowl to catch drips. Pour yogurt into strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until liquid has dripped out to desired consistency. 
–drain for 1 hour to remove 20% of the liquid.
–drain for 3-4 hours to remove half of the liquid.
–drain overnight (8 hours or so) to remove all of the liquid. (closest to consistency of sour cream)

Use strained yogurt as full or partial substitute for sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise.

Raspberry Vanilla Refrigerator Oatmeal

This easy, no-cook “summer porridge” has make-ahead convenience and is packed with nutrition to get your day off to a healthy start. Make it in individual mason jars for a perfect serving size and an easy grab-and-go breakfast straight from the fridge (it’s eaten cold). Take it along to work or anywhere. Great to serve on a breakfast or brunch buffet. High in protein, calcium & fiber; low in fat & sugar.
(See original post for detailed instructions & photos plus 5 additional flavor varieties; or, to leave a comment or question.)


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam, preserves, or spread
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberries (cut each berry in half), or enough to fill jar


Directions
In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, vanilla, and raspberry jam. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add raspberries and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or as long as 2-3 days. Eat chilled.

Nutritional Info: 230 calories, 4g fat, 51g carbs, 8g fiber, 11g protein; Weight Watchers PtsPlus: 7

Simple Flour Tortillas

Simple Flour Tortillas
*yields approx. 40 soft taco-sized tortillas


printed from penniesandpancakes.blogspot.com

(Note: This recipe is easily doubled or halved.  I usually mix together all the dry ingredients, then make about 2 cups worth of the dry mixture into tortillas, and save the other half of the dry ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag to use another day.  As with many of my recipes, I added some of my own home-ground whole wheat to to the mix to make the tortillas pictured above.)

INGREDIENTS

8 cups flour (up to half whole wheat)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups HOT water (not boiling, but hot enough to melt the shortening)

DIRECTIONS

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands. (I use my hands)
Make a well in the center of the mix, and slowly add the hot water, mixing until you have a soft dough that pulls away from the edges of the bowl when you knead it, and is only slightly sticky.

Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. (A couple minutes should do it)

Cover and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.

Pre-heat a griddle or skillet on medium-high heat. Temperature might take some time to get right… not hot enough = crispy, un-pliable tortillas. Too hot, and the middle won’t get cooked before your tortilla turns black. Medium-high is about right on my griddle for the first couple tortillas, then I end up turning it down closer to medium heat.
 
Pinch off golf ball-sized balls of dough, place on a clean, very lightly floured surface, and roll them as thin as you can… cardstock paper thin. It takes a few tries to make them evenly round, so don’t get frustrated. They taste amazing no matter the shape.

Place the thin tortilla dough on the pre-heated griddle. Watch it shrink up and thicken up and cook till multiple bubbles appear on the surface, and a little browning occurs underneath. It will depend on the temperature of your griddle, but 10 seconds is about right. Flip it over and cook the other side. Avoid over-cooking them, or they’ll become dry, and brittle particularly around the edges. There is a learning curve to this, so don’t be dismayed if a couple of your tortillas have black spots. Adjust the heat/cook time as necessary.

Place cooked tortillas on a plate and cover with a dish towel to keep the moisture locked in.

Serve warm. Store cooled tortillas wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator or freezer for longer keeping.

~ The Savings ~


Cost Breakdown: 

25 lb all-purpose flour – $6.78 = 94.5 cups = $0.071/cup = $0.568 
12 oz baking powder – $1.69 = 70.875tsp = $0.024/tsp = $0.144 
26 oz. salt – $.42 = 122.75 tsp = $0.003/tsp = $0.009 
48 oz. vegetable shortening – $4.28 = 227 T = $0.019/T = $0.304
Total recipe cost = $1.03
Per tortilla = $0.03

The Contender: 
10 ct. Mission Soft Taco Flour Tortillas$2.69 
Per tortilla = $0.27
Savings:  89%

“Over a Year” Scenario: 
Simple Flour Tortilla recipe 10 times = $10.30
buy equivalent Mission Soft Taco Flour Tortillas = $107.60 
*Money saved annually: $97.30

Yogurt in the Crockpot

Crockpot Yogurt Tutorial


*yields approx. 3 cups of yogurt

INGREDIENTS
4  cups fresh not-about-to-expire milk (Whole milk will result in thicker yogurt… skim
a lot runnier… if it’s about to expire, your yogurt will be on the sour side. Trust me.)
2  tablespoons plain yogurt… this is your “starter” (MUST contain live active cultures
try Dannon, Oikos, or Chobani. You can use more starter if you want your yogurt more sour-
tasting. After you make this recipe, you can reserve some for later use as a starter if you
wish. After about four times of re-using your own yogurt for a starter, it gets a little too sour,
and you might want to go buy a new starter.)

DIRECTIONS
 1.) Plug in your crockpot, and turn it on LOW. Leave it alone. Place 2 tablespoons of plain
yogurt into a bowl to warm up a bit.
2.)  Pour 4 cups of milk into a saucepan, and heat on medium. (Any hotter, and the milk will
burn to the bottom of the pan.) Stir every few minutes, (not constantly) and keep a close eye
on it. I know a lot of people are very technical with thermometers and such to get the yogurt
to a specific temperature. I’m not that way. I prefer to eliminate that step and just watch for the “almost
boiling over” point, which is the right temperature.
3.) While the milk is heating, plug one side of your sink, and fill it with 2-3 inches of cold
water. 
4.)  When the milk is bubbly, frothy, has a skin on top, and is just about to boil over, (which
will inevitably happen around 20 minutes later) it is hot enough. At this point, you can
remove it from the stove, and into the cold water bath in the sink, OR you can slightly
decrease the heat, and keep the yogurt heated and simmering for up to 20 more minutes
for a THICKER yogurt.
5.)  Allow the milk to cool for about 10 minutes. When you dip your pinkie in, it should be
the temperature of a warm bath… not hot. I set my microwave timer so I won’t forget about
it and let it get too cold. 
6.)  Pour about 1 cup of the warm milk into the bowl with the yogurt starter. Pour the rest
into the heated crockpot. Gently stir the milk and yogurt starter together in the bowl, then
pour that into the crockpot, and stir as well.
7.)  Unplug the crockpot, and wrap it in a large towel to keep it warmer longer. The yogurt
works its magic as it incubates the warm environment. Let it sit there for 10 – 12 hours.
Overnight is a good way to do it. Waking up to fresh yogurt is a pretty nice way to start the
day…. ahem… back on point: The longer it sits, the firmer the end product.
8.)  After 10-12 hours, unwrap your crockpot, and check out your yogurt. Go ahead and
have a proud moment… dance, squeal, pump your fists in the air, but Do NOT stir it! It will
 not set up well. Put your crockpot bowl in the the refrigerator. Let it set for at least 4 hours.
9.) Serve and enjoy! If you don’t want the liquid on top of the yogurt (the whey) you don’t
have to stir it in. You can carefully pour it out. (Or strain it with a cheesecloth if you have
one… which I don’t… you can strain it for a few minutes to hours depending on how thick
you want your yogurt.) This yogurt will stay fresh for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

TIPS: If you make this and decide it’s still not as thick as you want it. OR if you don’t have a
cheesecloth to strain out the whey (me) and want thicker yogurt, you can try adding:
a.) 1/2 c dry milk per quart of milk used. Mix it into the milk before you start heating
it on the stove.
b.) 1 teaspoon of gelatin per quart of milk used. Mix it into the milk before heating.
Allow it to set for a few minutes to start working its magic before you start heating it.

*As previously stated, my girls like different flavors. I don’t recommend adding flavors to
the yogurt while you make it, because it may mess with the bacteria culturing. You can add
honey and fruit or vanilla afterwards as desired. As with any yogurt, adding flavorings or
fruit and stirring it a lot will break the yogurt down and make it less firm… but  tasty
nonetheless!

Brownie Mix

Mix Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix and store in plastic bags or mason jars.

Before baking add:

2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes in a greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan.