Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Food Storge Week In Review- Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, & Bulk Spices

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This week I was able to bake a little and add a little to my food storage.  Having basic baking ingredients on hand, like powdered milk, keeps me from running to the store for that one ingredient I need for dinner.  And buying spices and other basic ingredients in bulk really does save money, especially when I can save the bulk of it in mason jars with my foodsaver. 

Here's what I did this week that related to my food storage.

My kids have been begging for lasagna for dinner so we finally got around to having it.  I started the noodles cooking and then realized that I didn't have enough cottage cheese for the filling.  I only had about 1/4 C left and I needed a whole cup.  Not to worry....making a quick batch of cottage cheese is easy.  Plus, it uses powdered milk!

Easy Homemade Cottage Cheese
I followed this recipe in the link from Tactical Intelligence

I warmed the milk, added 1 T vinegar, let it sit to create curds, and then drained the curds in cold water.  You are left with basic cottage cheese type curds.  When I added them to the store bought cottage cheese you couldn't tell the homemade from the store bought.  It only took a couple of minutes for the whole process!

I must have had powdered milk on my mind because I made yogurt too this week.  I haven't used acidophilus as a starter for awhile, so I wanted to make sure that this process would still work for me. Usually a small amount of yogurt is used as a starter for a batch of yogurt, but I have found that acidiphilus tablets also work because they have the live active cultures in them.  I followed the recipe HERE from my previous post on yogurt, except I used my yogurt maker and not my thermal cooker.   I blended the powdered milk and water in my blender, added sugar, vanilla flavor, and three crushed acidophilus tablets.(using powdered milk also eliminates the need to heat up the milk and cool it back down because it is already pasteurized) Then let it incubate in my yogurt maker.

It took about 12 hours for the yogurt to set up in my Yogourmet yogurt maker and then I cooled it in the fridge overnight.  

 This picture is after I scooped out a little bit to make yogurt cheese.  The finished yogurt is smooth and creamy, perfect!

The yogurt that I scooped out is now draining over my sink in a cheese bag that came with my yogurt maker.  Cheesecloth or a clean t-shirt would also work over a sieve.  I only tried a little of the yogurt to see if we really liked it as yogurt cheese.  This cheese will be soft like a cream cheese, hopefully. We're going to eat it on bagels...yum!

Update on the cream cheese, aka yogurt cheese.  As I was putting the yogurt into the cheese bag I remembered that I had flavored the yogurt with sugar and vanilla.  So the yogurt cheese came out a little sweeter then I would like on crackers.  And I am also thinking that making yogurt cheese will take some practice.  I let it drain too long and was kind of dry.  It was still spreadable, but not as moist as cream cheese from the store is.  Next time I will check the yogurt cheese sooner.  But it was edible and kind of cool to know it works!  Especially knowing that it started out as powdered milk, water, and acidophilus tablets!

Spices in your food storage are almost as important as the basic ingredients.  Have you ever had to eat plain rice, or potatoes, every night without any flavoring.  It would be beyond bland and the family would probably rebel!  I like to keep many spices on hand for a variety in our cooking.  I finally made it to Winco this week to stock up on spices, and a few bulk items that I was running low on.  I bought basil, cinnamon, cumin, cocoa powder, and garlic powder. After refilling my smaller spice containers I sealed up the extra with the foodsaver to keep them fresh for much longer then sitting in my spice drawer.

Transferring from bag to bottle. 

Notice that I use more than just mason jars.  Old spaghetti sauce jars and any other glass jar with a metal lid will work with the foodsaver. 

It may not seem like a huge deal, but these small things make my food storage usable and manageable.  It takes a little organizing and some time to get used to a food storage system, but when you find what works for you, food storage becomes part of your every day life. 


  1. So your acidophilus tablets worked on this! I'm so torn back and forth on the tablets. They've worked for me in the past, but I've heard back from others that they haven't worked. I've wondered if they might have changed the formula of their strength...or maybe it's a brand thing(??) Do you mind sharing which brand you used here that was successful? Thanks!

    1. So far they have worked every time I've tried it...fingers crossed. I bought a brand from Now called acidophilus three billion on Amazon. I was going to buy some at Wal-Mart this week and try a cheaper brand to see if it works too.

    2. And it works much better in my yogurt maker them when I tried it on my thermal cooker. I really think temperature is key. When I hear that someone's yogurt didn't work I think it's because they didn't keep it warm enough.

    3. That's interesting. Thanks for the hint about the higher temperature making the difference. I'm going to have to try it again and pay close attention.

  2. Thanks for this post. I have always wanted to do the homemade yogurt using powdered milk it never worked out with the heating up the milk part. Nice to know I can skip that all together.

    1. You are very welcome! When I learned I didn't have to heat up the milk to make yogurt I made it more often :-)


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