Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Documentry: In Debt We Trust (Video)

Just thought I'd share this very telling documentary with my blogger friend.

Feature Film (1:29:19)
The world depends on the economic stability of the United States. Yet, as its debt escalates, our connected global economy is at risk. IN DEBT WE TRUST, as timely and relevant as a film can be, delivers an urgent warning that can't be ignored.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Roku: My Christmas Present From My Son

I already have a Netflix subscription at $7.99  a month.  I would stream and watch from my computer.  (I connect to my son's  Broadband Internet Connection). Now it's even better because I can also watch Netflix movies, documentaries and TV series streamed through my TV.  Also there are more options because through The Roku box you can add channels through The Channel Store, some are free and some are premium.  I subscribed to a couple channels that only cost $1.99 a year.  Other's like HuluPlus costs $7.99 a month.  Still, a whole lot cheaper than Cable.

Broadband Internet can get pricy but there are new 4G Wireless Companies popping up with Unlimited data use like  Clear , Sprint

Currently I connect to broadband through my son's Verizon FIOS account, but once I move I will subscribe to 'Clear' as it looks to be the best deal.  

NOTE:  Just in case you're considering Comcast:   I canceled my Comcast  Internet account 2 years ago because they put a 250Gig  cap (not unlimited) on their data usage. Plus Comcast has been sued over Web Interference and blocking P2P sites.  Streaming Movies to watch online uses a lot of data, you will want to make sure your Broadband Internet Service is unlimited.

Conclusion:   A HD Antenna for your local Channels (that broadcast in HD for free), The cost of Broadband Internet Service with Netflix, HuluPlus through your computer or a Roku box  is still remarkably cheaper than Cable or Satellite. Plus, it's very easy to setup.  If you can't set it up yourself,  everyone has a  a Geek in the family, enlist his/her help.  It's worth it!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tip: Blender and Mason Jar

NOTE:  I have tried this it's works!!!   My Love-affair with Mason Jars continues.

Posted by Elise on Aug 24, 2005

Filed under How To

Did you know that many, if not most, blenders can be used with a standard mason jar, or wide-mouthed mason jar? This is a trick my mother taught me. Apparently 40 years ago or so, about the time this blender pictured was bought, manufacturers used to include a mason jar in the box with the blender. Mom recalls even a booklet that listed the many things one could make with the mason jar blender, including ground spices, whipped cream, and peanut butter. We use this trick most often to make whipped cream. The blender whips it right in the jar, so if we have extra, it's already in a jar for storage. And it is easier when it comes to making small quantities.

I was complaining the other day that I needed a spice grinder. My mother reminded me of the mason jar trick and it worked perfectly. Here's how to do it. I'm using walnuts to demonstrate, but you could use this trick with just about anything you want to blend, chop, or grind.


Step 1: Remove the base from the regular blender container.

Step 2: Screw on the base to the mason jar. Make sure it is nice and tight.

Step 3: Invert the jar and place on the blender.

Step 4: Use as you would a food processor. Pulse or blend to desired degree.

Make Designer Storage Jars

I love jars, especially Mason Jars but I don't want to short change empty pickle jars, mustard jars etc. There's room in my heart and pantry for all.

More Neat Things To Do With Mason Jars:

Making Easy Grape Jelly

Grape Jelly Grape jelly is easy to make

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

Liquid Hand Soap
Crystal Miller

1 bar Castile soap (traditionally a soap made with olive oil only, today it is often considered a soap made with vegetable fats only. You should be able to find castile soap in a health food store)
8 cups of water
3 T glycerin (found in drug store)
Fragrance or essential oils of your choice, as much as desired

Begin by grating your bar of castile soap. You can do this by hand with a cheese grater or if you have a food processor that will grate you can use this and it will go much quicker. Put your grated soap into a sauce pan and cover with water. Simmer until the soap has melted. Add glycerin and scent oils. Let this mixture sit overnight (or all day). Then pour into desired containers.

** Tea tree essential oil is considered to have good antibacterial properties

Some helpful ideas on this website: 

Stone Soup: Or~ What To Do With Vegetable Scraps

Ellen Kanner: Meatless Monday: Taking Stock

It's possible to save ourselves and the planet and money, all at the same time. Making vegetable stock is multitasking at its best -- you get to do all these things plus get a head start on dinner, too.

It's a bit like the folk tale in which a stranger comes to a village (one of your classic plot lines, by the way). There's been war, famine, poverty, in fact all the horsemen of the apocalypse have ridden through and it's made the townsfolk a little less than friendly. They suggest the man move along.

Right away, he says, but I'd like to stop for something to eat first.

Good luck, they say. You won't be finding any food here.

He smiles. No problem. Got everything I need with me. I'm in the mood for stone soup. He builds a small fire, fills a beat-up pot with water and drops in what he says is his magic soup stone.

Magic and soup are both appealing things to those suffering hardship, and within minutes, the whole ragtag village has assembled to watch. The man stirs the pot and smiles.

Love a good stone soup, he says. But you know what really makes makes stone soup special is a little bit of cabbage.

One of the villagers rescues a sorry-looking head of cabbage he was going to feed to his pigs and offers it to the stranger.

Great, the stranger says, adding the cabbage to the pot. You'll have some soup with me when it's ready, won't you?

The villager is thrilled, also hungry. He agrees.

So, says another villager. What else goes into stone soup?

Carrots are lovely, says the stranger. Perhaps an onion, a potato, and I always like to add some greens like the ones you've got growing wild around here.

Pretty soon, every person in the village has anted up a vegetable or two. Everything goes in the pot with the magic soup stone, and it all comes together to be a rich, life-sustaining soup that feeds them all. No one eats the stone, either, which would make for a very bad ending.

The moral is, we are capable of sustaining ourselves but only by working together. Which brings me back to making vegetable stock and being green.

Rather than wasting precious scraps and the odd bits of vegetables leftover from cooking, throw them all in a bag, like a gallon-sized resealable. Extra points if you use environmentally-friendly bags. Put scraps in bag, throw bag in freezer. Add scraps every time you chop fresh herbs, peel an onion, tear up greens for salad. Carrot, tomato and potato peels, green bean tops and tails, cabbage cores, woody broccoli stems, slightly past-its-prime produce, everything goes in the bag. When it's full and you've got a few minutes, it's stock-making time.

Dump veggie bits into a large soup pot. Add a quart of water -- a cup or two more if you've reached vegetable scrap motherlode. Put the lid on the pot, set the burner on high and let the water come to a boil. Turn off the heat, leave the pot in place for half an hour (or longer), you're done.

Meanwhile, the veggie bits and hot water coalesce, providing gorgeous vegetable broth. Known as passive cooking, it may look like you're doing nothing, but you're making broth and saving energy, both yours and the electricity or gas necessary to heat the soup. Keeping on the lid means the heat doesn't escape and does the work for you.

Let the mixture cool, then strain broth. Vegetable stock can be frozen until you're ready, then use as the base for soups or stews or to add nutrients and flavor when cooking whole grains. Taste varies based on what goes into the broth. However, it's always better than the purchased stuff. There's no salt unless/until you add it. And you never have to lay out another penny for vegetable stock again. For extra points, compost cooked and cooled scraps, as long as there's no animal amongst them.

In a greenwashed world, making vegetable stock is really, truly green, good for the planet, good for you and something from nothing. If it's not quite stone soup, it's still pretty close to magic.

Indian Red Lentil Soup

So what do you do with vegetable stock? Substituting stock for water when you cook beans or whole grains imparts extra flavor and vegetable goodness. It's great in a gazillion recipes, including as a base for soups, like this warming Indian-spiced one. It's cheap to make, quick to cook and fab, nourishing and warming to eat.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch red pepper flakes or one dried red chili, crumbled
2 large onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1-1/2 cup red lentils
6 cups vegetable broth (see?)
1 28-ounce box or can chopped tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add dried spices and chili or pepper flakes, stirring for 1 minute, or until the oil darkens and turns fragrant.

Add onions, garlic and garlic, stirring until onions soften and become translucent, about 5 minutes.

Pour in lentils, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, or until lentils deepen in color and are coated with the seasoned oil.

Add the vegetable broth (homemade is cheapest and best) and chopped tomatoes.

Simmer, covered for half an hour, or until lentils are tender, but not mushy.

Stir in lemon juice and cilantro, season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Free-Form Vegetable soup master recipe with variations

Vegetable soup Master recipe-- The Recipe Box -- Ellen's Kitchen


Free-Form Vegetable soup master recipe with variations

I think of vegetable soups as basically tomato-ey and otherwise. There is a tendency, especially when you start experimenting with soups made from stocks, broths, and juices, for them to taste all the same because they have pretty much the same things in them. Make them different! Take the lists below as suggestions, using different bases, vegetable combinations, and garnishes at different times. 
Each quart of finished soup requires about 3 cups of raw vegetables and/or cooked beans or noodles and about 3 cups of some flavorful stock. A quart of homemade soup only serves about 3 people unless they are being polite.
Plan your additions so that the tenderest items go in last, and so that nothing will be over-cooked by the time the soup is ready. If you are making a very thick soup, simmer over low heat and stir it frequently to prevent scorching. If you use a meat or chicken broth, skim off most of the fat on it, the fat is what gives it the heavy taste many people dislike. However, if you are making a vegetarian soup without other fat, about 1-2 T of high quality vegetable oil per quart stirred in toward the end of cooking will improve it. 

Stock possibilities

Water left from steaming or simmering vegetables; green beans or corn are especially goodb
Water drained from cooked noodles or beans (is thick, needs seasoning)
Stock made from bones or scraps--you can use already cooked bones if that's what you have--strain it well, do not try to serve the exhausted scraps as part of the soup 
Water mixed with soy sauce or miso, 2 T soy product per cup of water 
Gravy (thinned with water or juice if very thick)
Pureed vegetables thinned with water or juice 
Water in which meat has been cooked 
Water with powdered vegetable broth added 
Tomato juice and/or carrot juice 
Juice from canned tomatoes or other canned vegetables sauces or pastes 
Soy, grain, nut or dairy milk
Yogurt or sour cream is a good base for cold soups or if added after cooking

Soup Making Notes:
About the cabbage family: long cooking or high heat cooking of cabbage, broccoli, mustard, kale, brussel sprouts or cauliflower, or their cooking waters, causes a breakdown of their sulfur compounds, which givesd that familiar, undesirable cabbage-y boarding house smell. 
The flavor, texture, and cooking time of the soup can be varied by changing the shapes into which you cut the raw vegetables. Leftovers should be added near the end or used to make stock. 
Ingredients, especially vegetables, may be sauteed in oil or butter before adding, may be steamed or may be added raw. This changes the flavor of the finished soup.

Soup Vegetables

all types of summer squash: zucchini, crookneck, pattypan, marrows
tomatoes, fresh or canned: can be peeled and seeded for a lighter effect
peppers, green or red
chilis (small amounts)
peas, fresh or frozen
green onions, shallots, leeks

all types of greens:
mustard, chicory, sorrel
broccoli leaves
carrot tops
beet or turnip greens
celery tops
beets (color the whole soup) cauliflower broccoli asparagus cabbage

Starches and other vegetables

These absorb liquid while cooking, thickening the soup, and will cook apart to a thick soup if left for a while. If you want them whole, add the pre-cooked starch the last 10-20 minutes of cooking. Potatoes
turnips, parsnips, rutabaga
winter squash and pumpkin
noodles and pasta
cooked or partially cooked beans
lentils or split peas
canned peas
cooked grains

Texture Accents

These ingredients stay solid or chewy throughout cooking water chestnuts
celery root
Jerusalem artichoke
nuts of all kinds
cooked barley
bamboo shoots
cooked soy beans or grits

Thickening ingredients

Add these near the end of cooking, just early enough that they are completely cooked before serving. The soup will thicken. Start stirring. flour (before adding mix with cold liquid)
nut meals of all kinds (ground up nuts)
sesame meal- whole seeds can be used but are not well digested by the body
wheat germ--especially good in tomato-base soups
mashed potatoes
bread crumbs
corn meal

Soup meats

Raw meat, other than ground or minced meat, is a good broth base. If added to the soup, it should be added very early so that it can be thorough tender by the time the rest of the soup is cooked. The tougher, cheaper, bonier cuts are preferable because they have stronger flavor. Keep cooking temperatures at a simmer after meat is added. If you boil, rather than simmer, soups containing meat, it will toughen the meat. oxtails
neck bones
Stew meat
bones from roasts or other raw meat
chicken, esp. backs, necks (only if organic), wings
squid (low heat or it gets rubbery!)
turkey, especially carcass and dark meat
poultry gizzards and hearts (after cooking, remove, trim, slice, and return to soup)
tripe (see menudo recipe)

Before serving, remove the bones and skin from the meat, chop the meat and return it to the soup. Don't leave bones and skin, or too much fat, in the soup.
Seafood, fresh fish, shrimps, clams and oysters need only 5 to 15 minutes to cook in soup. If you plan to leave them longer, be sure to keep the heat very low to avoid a really fishy taste.
Ground meat also takes only a few minutes of cooking before it toughens.

Soup seasonings

1 tablespoon fresh cold-pressed oil per quart. Soy sauce
curry powder
fresh or dried green herbs
most spices, including cinnamon and other "sweet" ones
vegetable broths and seasonings

Best I've found is a vegetable-soy bouillon called Dr. Bronner's Balanced Protein Seasoning. Not the mineral broth, but the protein powder bouillon.

Protein Foods

Must be added at the very end or they will become curdled or stringy.
beaten egg--if you want this to blend without lumps or "egg drops", beat some of the hot soup into the eggs, then beat the liquid into the soup. However the Chinese have made a culinaryreputation adding the egg directly to the soup so it forms the little shreds called "egg flowers"
nutritional flake yeast

Other last minute additions

sprouts of all varieties
chopped parsley or Chinese parsley/ cilantro
left-over vegetables or soup
dumplings, either meat or grain

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Use an Paper Clip to Put On Bracelets the Easy Way

Use an Paper Clip to Put On Bracelets the Easy Way

Use an Paper Clip to Put On Bracelets the Easy WayDespite thousands of years of use and design, women's bracelets can be pretty tricky to put on, often requiring some tricky maneuvers or a two-person effort. MacGyver's favorite tool, the paper clip, to the rescue.

Reader Dale3h dropped off this little tip in the comments, and it looks like a great thing to keep in mind when a stubbornly tiny bracelet hook or catch refuses to cooperate, and time is running out as you're trying to head out the door. All you have to do is bend the paper clip once, and it should be much easier to hook things up.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Homemade Dog Food: Why?

NOTE: MY interest in making my own kibble and dog food was for two reasons. 1). Proper  nutrition to keep my furry friend healthy and happy. 2). To be able to afford to afford to supply my furry friends with the proper nutrition to keep  them healthy.  With all of dog food recalls over the past 4-5 years I don't trust dog food companies. I love my dogs and I can't bear the thoughts of them suffering poor health from garbage that's in manufactured dog foods and outright  poisons and unhealthy fillers. Poor nutrition means  high vet bills/ early euthanasia/ shorter lifespan/ more food allergies . I want to keep my dogs around for as long as possible

Homemade Dog Food: Why? (Part 1) 
Being retired breeders, we have used a few different commercial dog foods over the years. The best we have found is Flint River Ranch Dog Food. This food is not sold in stores and is not filled with all the preservatives and chemicals that the store brands have. Store brand dog foods have a shelf life of 12-14 months, thus filled with preservatives and chemicals. Incidents of the past few years have caused us to be seriously concerned about the safety of the commercial pet food that we were using. With the pet food scares and recalls that have been all over the news recently, more and more, we began our research and found Flint River Ranch. Many dog owners expressed interest in how to prepare nutritious homemade dog food. The pages to follow is the result of our research. 

NOTE: If you feed a homemade dog food, to be sure your dog gets all the needed minerals, etc., you might want to consider feeding half Flint River Ranch and then the other half with your homemade recipe. That way, you can be sure they are getting necessary vitamins, supplements, etc. Remember, variety is the key!
Feeding homemade dog food, you must always be concerned that you provide them with a balanced diet. We discovered quickly that a balanced diet for us is not the same as the one required by our dogs.
Their nutritional requirements are slightly different and these differences need to be taken into consideration for them to have a healthy balanced diet. In my research, I discovered the 3 major ingredients that are absolutely necessary:

(1) Protein
Dogs require a significant quantity of protein in their diet. This will be the meat source or some additional vegetable protein source. This is the most important ingredient in a dog's diet. Examples of good protein sources would be chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, organ meats, as well as fish, eggs, and cheese.

(2) Essential fatty Acids
The next most important requirement is fatty acids. Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) is the most important since it is the only one that dogs can't make themselves. Examples of good Omega 6 sources would be vegetables, vegetable oils, grains, and fruits.

(3) Calcium
Calcium is also an important requirement for dogs. They actually need significantly more than we do. Bones are not a good source of calcium because of the risk of choking. Good sources of calcium are cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, canned salmon with bones, and many vegetables have calcium, but in a lower dose.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods which are edible for humans, and even other species of animals, can pose hazards for dogs because of their different metabolism. Some may cause only mild digestive upsets, whereas, others can cause severe illness, and even death. The following common food items should not be fed to dogs. This list is, of course, incomplete because we cannot possibly list everything your dog should not eat.
According to ASPCA, these foods are to be avoided when making meals for your dog. 
Items to Avoid
Reasons to Avoid
 Alcoholic beverages
Can cause intoxication, coma, and death. 
 Baby food
 Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources
Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Cat food Generally too high in protein and fats.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine
Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.
Grapes and raisins Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys and liver. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract
Human vitamin supplements containing iron Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Large amounts of liver Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones
Macadamia nuts Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Milk and other dairy products
Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Moldy or spoiled food, garbage
Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder) Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.
Raw fish Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
Sugary foods Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Chocolate and cocoa products chocolate contains theobromine which can be poisonous to dogs when eaten in large quantities 
Avocados the plant and the fruit are toxic to dogs 
Yeast dough  Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Cooked poultry bones these bones can splinter and kill your dog. 
Raw meat Many people advocate giving raw meat to their dogs. However, there is a chance that your dog (and you) will get sick from food-born parasites. Remember, if you do feed your dog raw meat, to practice safe food handling procedures. Also practice safe handling of your dog's waste as, although salmonella rarely affects dogs, they can pass it in their feces. 

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435
NOTE: If you are thinking of changing your dog's diet to a homemade one, you should consult with your veterinarian before a major change. He/she is your best source of information on pet nutrition and can advise you on creating a balanced home diet. Dietary changes should be made gradually as rapid changes in diet can cause stomach upset. Just remember that to stay fit, healthy, and active your dog needs a nutritious and well balanced diet.

Homemade Dog Food: (Part 2)  
What ingredients and their amounts do I include in my dog’s homemade food? We have already determined there are three essential parts to a wholesome homemade dog food diet: Protein, Essential Fatty Acids, and Calcium. Several books are helpful in learning about a homemade dog food diet.
Protein Requirements
Dogs require a significant quantity of protein in their diet. This will be the meat source or some additional vegetable protein source. This is the most important ingredient in a dog's diet. Examples of good protein sources would be chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as fish, eggs, and cheese. The typical meat ratio that we use is around 35 - 50%.
Protein requirements for dogs are an important and often misunderstood aspect of pet nutrition. All of us want to feed a high quality diet to his or her dogs.  No two dog owners seem to agree as to which dog food is “the best”.  A large part of the disagreement regarding “the best” food to feed centers around the misunderstanding regarding the substance we call Protein. Let’s get the facts straight about the importance of protein in the dog’s diet. Then we can better judge which food would be “the best” for own dogs.
Many people continue to feed their dogs commercial dog food. Some do not have the desire nor time to take on the task of making your own homemade dog food. There are a lot of good quality commercial dog foods that can be purchased locally or shipped to your door. Just be sure you use the food that best fits your dog's nutritional needs. See this list for good quality commercial dog foods: Dog Food List
Dogs can survive on a diet of either plant or animal origin if it is balanced and diverse.  But to thrive and not merely survive, dogs should have a source of animal protein - MEAT - in their diets.  There is a huge difference between survive and thrive! For that reason dogs thrive on diets based on meat.
I have heard many vets report, “Many dogs are not thriving because Nature's rules are not being followed. Overweight dogs, dogs with itchy, flaky skin, dogs with coarse and brittle coats, dogs with poor energy levels, and resistance to infection. . .  95% of the time these dogs will be consuming diets low in animal origin tissues and high in grain-based products.  Inexpensive, corn-based diets are some of the worst.” (The Internet Animal Hospital)
Several years ago, I got really interested in a raw meat diet. I was on my own. Linda would not help because it was so messy! She was afraid of bacteria! The dogs loved it, but I soon gave it up because it was so time consuming and I basically had to bathe the dogs after each meal. Boy were they a mess! I have since learned that an all-meat diet can actually be harmful because it is not balanced. In the wild, carnivores (wild dogs, wolves) eat animals, but also get their fatty acids, calcium, and grains from the stomachs and bones of their prey. My plan was an all-meat diet, so I was on the wrong track. My intention was noble, but I was misinformed.
Essential fatty Acids 
The next most important requirement is fatty acids. Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) is the most important since it is the only one that dogs can't make themselves. Examples of good Omega 6 sources would be fats in meat, egg yolks, vegetables, vegetable oils, wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, corn, barley, potatoes, corn, honey, and fruits. Since many dogs are allergic to certain products such as wheat and corn, you will leave those out of your recipe.
The essential fatty acids ratio we use is about 30 - 35% veggies and 15 – 20% carbohydrates.
Calcium is also an important requirement for dogs. They actually need significantly more than we do.
Bones are not a good source of calcium because of the risk of choking. Good sources of calcium are cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, canned salmon with bones, and many vegetables have calcium, but in a lower dose.
NOTE: If you are thinking of changing your dog's diet to a homemade one, you should consult with your veterinarian before a major change. He/she is your best source of information on pet nutrition and can advise you on creating a balanced home diet. Dietary changes should be made gradually since rapid changes in diet can cause stomach upset. Just remember that to stay fit, healthy, and active your dog needs a nutritious and well balanced diet.

Video: How To Make A Simple, Balanced Fish & Sweet Potato Home Diet For Your Dog

Because I am a Vegetrion and want to keep my dogs on a healthy vegetarian diet I am looking for a suitable vegetarian dog food recipe. I have so far found one but I want to make sure they are getting enough calcium. My previous post that has a recipe for home made kibble calls for bone meal which doesn't seem like a very good idea.
due to mad cow disease.

In this video Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM from the Nelson Animal Hospital in British Columbia, Canada shows how to prepare a simple homemade dog food recipe and discusses the use of supplements to ensure a healthy diet.

OKAY: So the good doctor is a wee bit on the dramatic side (like an infomercial) with all his difficulty crushing vitamin tablet with a glass ( dangerous and not very smart). I would use my Mortar -and- Pestle then dump it in the bowl instead of scooping and sliding crushed vitamin tables 2 feet to the end out the counter and dumping into my hand. Also a good brand of Cold Pressed Virgin Olive Oil is an excellent source of Omega 3 that can be measured by a spoon. You can also buy Flax-seed Oil in a bottle but it's expensive for even a small bottle where Olive Oil is far less so. The doctor wants to sell his product and there's nothing wrong with that if you you live in Australia and you can afford to buy it. I don't -and- I can't. But I do have a Mortar and Pestle. If you don't you can put your vitamin tablets in a baggie and crush them with a hammer then dump them in the dog food bowl.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Powdered Milk

Hillbilly Housewife » Powdered Milk » Print

Powdered Milk

Posted By The Hillbilly Housewife On April 22, 2009 @ 9:27 pm In Frugal Living, Powdered Milk | 61 Comments

With the price of milk soaring through the roof lots of folks are reconsidering powdered milk for it’s economy. The dairy price hike hasn’t affected dry milk much yet, making it the best dairy bargain currently available. Through an informal investigation I’ve discovered that fresh milk costs between $3.50 and $4.50 a gallon in most places. Dairy towns still have it available for between $2 and $3 a gallon, but the rest of us are paying considerably more. Fresh milk is a delicious, versatile staple when it can be purchased inexpensively. Until the price drops off to a more moderate cost however, my family will be making do with powdered milk.

Instant nonfat powdered milk is to the urban dweller what the family cow is to the homesteader. True, powdered milk doesn’t taste as good as fresh milk from the cow, but it is a darned site more convenient to procure, and much easier to store. Additionally, it is a readily available source of protein and vitamin D. It’s also high in calcium which is good to know if you are pregnant, nursing or have osteoporosis in your family history. Since powdered milk has no fat, it’s low in calories (about 80 per cup of liquid milk) and completely cholesterol free.

Powdered Milk is available in two common forms: Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder and Regular Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder. Regular dry milk is sometimes referred to as “Non-Instant”. It doesn’t dissolve as readily as instant milk powder and is a bit more troublesome to locate. Dry whole milk powder is available too. It doesn’t last as long as non-fat dry milk because the fat in it can go rancid over time. When it is fresh however, it has a very pleasing flavor. Dry whole milk can be difficult to find. I buy it in small tins in the ethnic section of a large grocery store. It costs a little more than instant non-fat dry milk, but it’s good to have on hand, for young children especially. All of the recipes and ideas that follow are made using Instant Nonfat Dry Milk. It is the cheapest and generally the easiest to find. Read the box label to be sure this is the kind you are buying.

Once reconstituted, powdered milk tastes a lot better than it used to. If you haven’t tried it in the past few years, it’s worth another taste. When mixed correctly and chilled overnight, it has a pleasant, sweet flavor that tastes especially good with homemade cookies. Reconstituted milk doesn’t taste the same as fresh whole milk. If you are already used to skim milk though, you won’t notice much difference in the flavor of reconstituted milk. In cooking, powdered milk performs flawlessly. It can be substituted for fresh milk in almost any recipe with excellent results. Many budget conscious women cook with powdered milk exclusively. This is smart use of resources because the results are so good.

Drinking powdered milk is another kettle of fish. Some folks find the flavor objectionable even after chilling it because they are accustomed to fresh whole milk. You cannot fool anyone into thinking that reconstituted dry milk is the same as fresh milk when used as a beverage. There are things you can do to make powdered milk taste better. Mixing it with fresh whole milk for body and flavor is a good alternative.

To get good tasting powdered milk make sure you start with fresh dry milk. If your box of dry milk is a year old, then buy a new one and use the old one for cooking exclusively. Mix up the milk following the package directions. If your box doesn’t have directions then you can use the ones below.

Large 4-pound boxes of powdered milk are available in most markets. A box this size will make 20 quarts or 5 gallons of liquid milk. At an average cost of $8 to $9 per box, this is the equivalent of less than $2 per gallon, making it fully half the price of fresh milk at this time.

Reconstituting Powdered Milk

To equal this amount of liquid milk

Use this much
Fresh Water

And this much Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder

1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1-1/2 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/3 cup 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup 1/2 cup 3 tablespoons
1 cup 1 cup 1/3 cup
1 quart 3-3/4 cup 1-1/3 cups
2 quarts 7-2/3 cups 2 -2/3 cups
1 gallon 15-1/2 cups 5-1/3 cups

The table above will help you work out the amount of powdered milk you will need to prepare a specific measurement of liquid milk. Here are some tips to help the milk turn out as fresh tasting as possible:

  • Fill your pitcher or container with half the amount of water you will be using. Measure in the appropriate amount of dry milk powder. Stir to dissolve. Fill the pitcher with the balance of the water called for above. Stir again and chill.
  • Use cool water when possible. The powder tends to dissolve more readily in cool water.
  • Stir the milk a lot, to dissolve the milk powder. Then let the milk sit for a little while and stir again. The protein in the milk powder blends most easily if it gets a chance to stand after mixing.
  • Powdered milk may be used immediately after mixing if desired. For the best flavor chill the milk for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Store the milk in a refrigerator if you have one. If you don’t, then wrap the milk in a wet towel. As the water evaporates, the milk will cool. If you have a root cellar or basement, you may want to keep the milk there, or even outside in the fall and winter.
  • If you store the milk outside be sure that it is protected from critters who may be thirsty. A box with a large rock on top is sufficient to keep out most animals.
  • If you do not have refrigeration, then only prepare enough milk to last the day. I prepare it the night before, so it has a chance to blend and chill overnight. About 2 quarts will be enough to last a family of 4 for most of the day. If you continually find you have some left over, then prepare less the next day. If you find yourself running out, then prepare more.
  • Some people add a drop or two of vanilla to their milk to improve the flavor. Other people add a spoonful or two of sugar for the same purpose. I don’t use either of these ideas, because we are accustomed to reconstituted milk, and prefer it plain.
  • Pitchers and wide-mouthed jars are the easiest to use for mixing and storing reconstituted milk. I used to try to use apple juice jars, but they are difficult to keep clean and awkward to pour the milk powder into. If you must use a narrow mouthed jar to mix your milk, then use a funnel. A chop stick or spoon handle is handy for poking down though the funnel tip when things get clogged up.

Products to Make with Powdered Milk

Sweet Vanilla Milk: Run a little hot water into a 2-quart pitcher. Add 1/4-cup each powdered coffee creamer and sugar. Stir well to dissolve. Add 1/2-teaspoon vanilla. Fill the pitcher half full with cold tap water. Add 2-2/3 cups of instant nonfat dry milk powder. Stir well. Fill the pitcher the rest of the way full. Stir again. Chill and serve. This milk is more palatable to some folks than straight reconstituted milk. The powdered coffee creamer gives the milk a rich fullness, while the sugar and vanilla make it taste sweet and almost dessert-like. If you must switch to powdered milk, and are having trouble with the flavor, this recipe can make the transition easier. For a gallon of milk use: 1/2-cup each powdered coffee cream & sugar and 1-teaspoon of vanilla flavoring. Add a dash of salt too if desired. Be sure to dissolve the creamer and sugar in hot tap water first. They do not dissolve readily in cold water.

A Very Rich Gallon of Milk: Measure 3-1/2 quarts (14 cups) of water into a gallon size pitcher. Add 5-cups of dry milk powder and a 12-ounce can of undiluted evaporated whole milk. Mix all together. Chill and serve. This makes about a gallon. It is richer than plain reconstituted milk. If you must use powdered milk, but prefer a richer product, this is the recipe for you. Children will sometimes tolerate it better than straight reconstituted milk, especially if they are already used to fresh 1% or 2%.

To Mix with Whole Milk: Powdered milk is easily mixed half-and-half with whole milk. When combined and well chilled, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between fresh milk and mixed milk. To do this, use an extra, clean milk jug and two 2-quart sized pitchers. First reconstitute 2 quarts of milk in each of the pitchers, using the chart above. Then, using a funnel, pour half of the whole milk into the clean empty milk jug. Using the same funnel, pour the reconstituted milk from one pitcher into each jug, making a gallon of mixed milk in each jug. Both empty pitchers then have to be washed, but they are pretty easy to keep clean. I used to try to reconstitute the powdered milk in the milk jug, with the whole milk, but it never worked as well as I’d hoped. Now I find it much easier to reconstitute the powdered milk in the pitcher first, and then pour the liquid milk into the jug with the whole milk. Like regular powdered milk, mixed milk tastes best if well chilled.

Sour Milk: To sour reconstituted milk, just add a little vinegar to it and stir it up. For instance, if a recipe calls for 1-cup of sour milk or buttermilk, then measure a tablespoon of vinegar into a measuring cup. Add reconstituted milk to reach the 1-cup mark. Stir the milk gently. In a moment or two, it will sour. This can replace soured milk or buttermilk in baking recipes.

Overnight Buttermilk: To make your own buttermilk, you have to start off with 1/2-cup of fresh, store-bought buttermilk and a quart (4-cups) of reconstituted milk. Combine the fresh buttermilk and reconstituted milk in a pitcher or jar. Mix it really well. Allow it to stand at room temperature overnight, or for about 8 hours. The milk will have thickened up and cultured into regular buttermilk. Refrigerate or chill and use anywhere fresh buttermilk is called for.

Easy Evaporated Milk: To make this you only need dry milk powder and water. Measure 1-1/3 cups water into a jar or bowl. Add 1 cup of instant dry milk powder. Stir or shake to combine. This is the equivalent of a 12-ounce can of evaporated skim milk. To make evaporated whole milk, you will need to add some fat to replace the milk fat in whole milk. Do this by preparing evaporated skim milk and then adding 2-tablespoons of vegetable oil to the milk. Stir it up vigorously to emulsify the fat with the milk. It will separate on standing, so mix it really well right before using it. This is best used in cooking and baking. A spritz of nonstick spray will help the emulsification process.

Sweetened Condensed Milk: [1] On the stove, bring to a boil 1/2-cup of water, 1-cup of sugar and 3-tablespoons of margarine or shortening. Add a dash of salt. Stir the mixture every now and then. When it comes to a full rolling boil, remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool slightly. Add a cup of instant dry milk powder. Use a whisk to stir it smooth. A fork or a spoon will not work out all the lumps. You really need a whisk, or egg beaters. There, you are done. This is the equivalent of a can of sweetened condensed milk. This will keep unrefrigerated for a day or two because of the sugar. I have never kept it longer than that without refrigeration. In the fridge it will keep for 2 weeks. For longer storage than that, I freeze it.

Quick Whipped Topping: [2] This recipe is best made if you have electricity. Put 1/2-cup of water into a large bowl and place it in your freezer. Whenice crystals form around the edges remove it from the freezer. Add 1/2-cup instant dry milk powder. Whip the mixture with electric beaters until it is light and fluffy. This will take a couple of minutes. Add 2-tablespoons sugar, 1-teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1/2-teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until thick enough to spoon like whipped topping. Use immediately.

Molasses Milk: High in iron, with a caramel-toffee flavor this hot beverage is quite delicious. Heat 3/4-cup of reconstituted milk in a cup in the microwave. Stir in a spoonful of molasses. Serve hot. My kids love this stuff.

Chocolate Milk: Fill a cup with reconstituted milk. Squeeze in a couple spoonfuls of homemade Chocolate Syrup. Stir to combine. Serve to thirsty children who object to plain reconstituted powdered milk. Cold chocolate milk can be heated in the microwave for hot chocolate. This is also great in lunch boxes. If you want to be really nice to the kids then make up a whole gallon of reconstituted chocolate milk at a time. They will brag to their friends and your reputation will become legendary.

Homemade Yogurt: [3] Reconstitute a quart of milk in a very clean container like a wide mouthed canning jar. Add another 1/2-cup of milk powder for body. Whisk in 1/4-cup of commercial yogurt with active cultures. Read the label to be sure the yogurt has active cultures. Stash the milk in a warm spot, between 80° and 110°. Allow it to sit undisturbed for 6 to 8 hours. It should be thick and creamy, like commercially available yogurt. Chill your yogurt and use anywhere you would regular yogurt. It makes a great substitute for sour cream. Or mix it half and half with prepared mayonnaise for your own homemade low-fat mayo.

Yogurt Cheese: [4] Line a colander with a clean, damp piece of cloth. Pour prepared yogurt into the cloth. Allow the yogurt to drain overnight. In the morning the remaining solids will be yogurt cheese. They can be used anywhere you would use cream cheese or thick sour cream.

Curds & Whey: [5]In a large pot combine 6-cups of fresh water and 3-cups of dry milk powder. Stir to dissolve. Heat the milk over a medium flame until it is very warm, about 120°. This is hot to the touch, but not scalding. Stir in 1/2-cup of plain white vinegar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. There should be a large mass of curds in an amber pool of whey. If the liquid is still milky, add another 1/4-cup of vinegar. Stir and stand again for 10 minutes. Line a strainer with a clean cloth and drain off the whey. It can be used as the liquid in bread or muffins or biscuits. Rinse the curds under cool water and store in the fridge. This recipe makes about 1-1/2 to 2-cups of curds.

Ricotta or Cottage Cheese: The dry cheese curds from the above recipe will work for ricotta cheese in most recipes. To turn it into cottage cheese add a little evaporated milk or yogurt to “cream” it and stir to combine. You can divide the mixture in half and make some of each if you want to give them both a try.