Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cooking From Scratch

So January's resolution was to try to make things from scratch that I would normally buy packaged. The hope was that something would stick, and I would start making it from scratch from now on after discovering how easy/cheap it was. It was worth a shot...

First up, I looked through the cupboards and looked for packages. I found spaghetti and granola. When I was looking for other ideas, I thought "I made naan last month, I bet I could make bread and pie crusts!" That may have been a bit much since I don't really buy much bread or pie crusts. So, neither of those happened. But, I did attempt focaccia rolls. And, I attempted to make yogurt.

First up - pasta! 

The recipe sounded really easy, and it was. It was also pretty tasty. However, I did not have a pasta rolling machine type thing. So, here's the result:

Those noodles were way too big. It was a good experience, though. I chopped up the remaining noodles and they were a little better the next day. I likely won't attempt this again unless I get a machine made for pasta. I was using a rolling pin, and that's as thin as I could get it.

Second attempt - granola!

I eat yogurt and granola for breakfast almost every day. It made sense to attempt my own granola since I kept hearing it was so easy, and I was spending $5 a week on a bag of granola from the grocery store.

Granola was super easy and really yummy. I am going to make my third batch this afternoon. I made chocolate granola, which makes it even yummier! This will definitely be something I will continue to make from scratch.

Third - Focaccia rolls

Who knew that a handful of ingredients left to rise for a day could make such a tasty roll? I ate two of these straight out of the oven. When they first came out, they were the perfect texture - soft, warm, and crunchy on the bottom. I've got four more in the freezer, and they thaw pretty well. Not quite as good texture as they were straight out of the oven, but still really tasty.

Fourth - Yogurt

I kept hearing that you could easily make your own yogurt, and while skeptical, I decided to try since I'm tired of paying $4 for a small tub of Greek yogurt that lasts maybe a week. Maybe, if I scrimp on how much I scoop into my granola.

I attempted a very small batch (only one cup) since I was skeptical. There's a lot of preciseness that is necessary for this recipe (heat to the right temperature, cool to the right temperature, leave sit for such a length of time) that I was doubtful I'd do it right. I prefer estimates, and I may have not been as precise as I could have been for this one. Here's how it looked this morning after a night in the fridge.

I was dubious. I tasted it, and it doesn't taste like my usual yogurt. However, I attempted a small taste, mixed with some (homemade) granola and strawberries about 45 minutes ago.
So far, I'm not sick, so maybe it did work. It didn't taste so bad with the granola and strawberries. And, I hadn't strained it to turn it into a greek-ish yogurt, so maybe that's why it was off. Or, maybe I needed to let it sit longer. I'm not sure, but I'm not so sure I'll attempt that again. I might, however, try straining my own regular yogurt to make a thicker yogurt.

All in all, it was an interesting month of making things from scratch. I still will attempt to make other things in the future from scratch. I'm thinking of bread, pizza crust, tomato sauce, hummus, pie crust, and another attempt at pasta once I have the right tools. It was a fun month of the new resolution. February will include something active, so it will be good for me, but not as much fun, I expect!


  1. Well done. I have always wanted to try making yogurt - I have made cheesecurds once, they turned out OK. I also have a pizza crust recipe I can share if you like. Easy and tasty.

    1. Yes,please on the pizza crust recipe! I think the yogurt would be easy if you had a bigger batch. It was tough to get an accurate reading of the milk temperature when it was only one cup. Too hard to not hit the bottom or side of the pot...

  2. Wow! Good for you, Angela! I'm jealous of the yogurt!