"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"I Totally Made Yogurt!"

Those were pretty much the first words out of my mouth when I woke up yesterday morning. I was so excited I nearly cried.

Okay, just for clarity, let me take you back to the beginning . . . It was only about two weeks ago that I tried plain yogurt for the first time. I had a couple of recipes that called for sour cream and decided to go with the plain, nonfat, Greek yogurt as a healthier substitute. I absolutely fell in love with the stuff. I knew I had pinned a yogurt recipe or two, so I put the ingredients for them on my shopping list and figured I'd test the recipe the next time I shopped for groceries.

The big secret ingredient? Milk. That's it. Cross my heart. You have to have a slow cooker and a couple of towels or a blanket. But pretty much all you need is milk. Oh, and half a cup of plain yogurt. Make sure it's the kind that has live cultures in it (I think they all do, but just in case). Then go here. Now follow all of Stephanie's instructions. I started around 4:00p.m. on Monday and let it go overnight.

I awoke Tuesday morning to the richest, creamiest, tastiest yogurt I've ever tried. I'm sure that's got to do with the fact that I used whole milk. You see, I was afraid I wouldn't get great results, so rather than take the chance of trying any alternatives, I went with Stephanie O'Dea's basic whole milk version. I'm no chicken in the kitchen, but this was just a completely foreign concept to me, so I played it safe.

However, I did buy almond milk specifically so I could try making a dairy-free version. I was very tempted to pick up rice milk and coconut milk as well, but, long story short, my cart was way too full by the time I hit the dairy section. I promise an update after the dairy-free experiment.

In the meantime, try your homemade yogurt as a substitute for the sour cream in this recipe. I sort of cheated because instead of grilling the chicken, I poached it in canned chicken broth (because I needed to poach some chicken for another recipe anyway) and I just wasn't up to pulling out the fry pan to saute it or sticking it under the broiler. (I don't have a grill.) Besides, it's not so much the chicken that's the star of this show, it's the fruit.

The verdict on this one isn't as exciting. I would definitely make this for a crowd. The dressing is fabulous and it's a nice alternative to the typical berry coulis or vinaigrette, but I really prefer my fruit salad completely naked. Although, I would consider stirring the dressing into a cup of plain yogurt. Maybe that can be Wednesday's breakfast.

Happy Cooking!

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