how to

Homemade Yogurt

While fresh plain yogurt is widely available in the Middle East it may not be as easy to obtain in the Western countries so I thought I would show you all a simple recipe for making it at home. I have made this several times and it worked out flawlessly each time. There is something special in making something yourself, isn’t there? As I told you all before yogurt is a pretty popular staple here in Saudi. We eat it with every meal practically and I personally adore in plain with a bit of honey drizzled on top for suhoor.

I always use full fat milk and yogurt starter because they are much creamier but you can use what works best for you. If you would like much thicker yogurt you can reduce the milk to 3 cups instead of the 6.
6 cups milk
3 tablespoons yogurt
1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat add milk bring to a full boil then reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
2. Allow milk to slightly cool until mixture is no longer hot just warm. Mix 3 tablespoons of starter yogurt then add to the milk, stirring mixture with a wooden spoon. Cover with a lid then wrap entire pan in a towel to keep warm.
3. Allow to sit in a warm place for 8 hours not disturbing. When finished refrigerate overnight then serve.
Yields: 6 cups

Homemade Sugar Cubes


Who ever knew making sugar cubes was so easy? If I did I would have been making these years ago. I have always found that serving sugar cubes instead of sugar with coffee or tea is so much more appealing. I have even loved buying cubes that are colored and shaped. Unfortunately sugar cubes are not cheap due to their pure elegance. You can really do so much when you make your own cubes at home. You can add a variety of pure extract  just think how tasty one with lemon extract or rose water would be in tea or cardamom infused for coffee. I bought natural food dye to use for my kitchen endeavors because I have a hard time eating food that I suspect has been dyed with unnatural products.
1 cup white sugar
2-3 drops natural food coloring ( I used yellow)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons water
1. Line a cookie sheet with a non-stick baking mat, wax paper or parchment paper, sit aside.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl add sugar, food coloring and vanilla. With a fork mix well until everything is evenly mixed. Add water a small amount at a time until mixture is damp; it should not be too wet.
3. Carefully dump sugar into a pile on cookie sheet. With damp hands form sugar into a rectangle making about 1/2 cm tall. With a sharp knife carefully line up and down making cubes easy to extract later.
4. Place cookie sheet in an unheated oven to store in overnight.
5. The next day take a sharp knife and carefully extract cubes and store in a covered container in a cool place or the refrigerator.
Yields: 2 cups sugar cubes

Growing Scallions

About a month ago on Pinterest I saw a post
where a woman tried growing her on scallions at home. I personally use
scallions a lot when cooking. They are not expensive here but I really just
wanted to see if this worked so I tried it out for myself. If you want to try
it for yourself here is what you do. I took my scallions and placed them in a
small jar and added enough bottled water to only cover the roots and bottoms.
Every day I wash the roots in the sink and add fresh water to them. I also sit them
outside my window seal in the daytime for sunlight.
I am really shocked at how green they have
stayed and how fast they have grown. All you do is snip what you need making
sure to keep the bulb and root intact. When growing the top will look a bit
dead and all you do is snip that but not all the way to the bottom, just
keeping a bit. It’s really important to change your water daily because it
would get gross just sitting all the time. When I first started this process I
was using a small glass jar but as time passed I moved them to a larger one
since they grew. I think a clear jar works best so sunlight can get through.

Vanilla Coffee Creamer

When I was back home a cup of coffee was
not complete without Coffee Mate vanilla creamer however since moving to Saudi
it can be hard to find since great things seem to come in bulk and are quickly
gone until next time. I have started relying on nestle powder coffee creamer
and found that I have become quiet attached to the taste. I decided to try to
make some sort of replica of my favorite vanilla creamer in a small amount. This
recipe is actually pretty close and what I love the most about it is that it
does not have all those nasty preservatives and other weird ingredients’ that
we do not need. You can make a larger amount if you will use it I personally prefer
a smaller amount since I am the only coffee drinker in my home.
90 grams condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.In a small
jar add condensed milk, milk, cream of tartar and vanilla. Tightly close the
lid and shake until well combined, refrigerate.