Homemade Plain Yogurt and a Vlog Post

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

One of the hardest things about food blogging is that because I am the photographer and the cook, it is often hard for me to 'interact' with the food (Adam took the photo that you see below).  Taking photos of yourself eating, chopping, or holding your food can be kind of awkward and challenging. Particularly when your husband is gone during the best light of the day, and your baby doesn't use a camera responsibly.

I think interacting with food is the most interesting part, whether it is preparing, cooking, or eating, and I'm often sad that you all miss out on seeing that part of the process. I also find that describing the process of certain cooking techniques can be tedious or difficult. Often I wish I could just invite you all into my kitchen for a live tutorial, and show you what I am doing.  And so, a YouTube channel is born (there is also an embedded video below).

I will be vlogging (a blog post in video form) about once a week.  Some videos will be cooking tutorials, some will be about my food planning process, and some will just be about my life. If you have any questions that you want answered, let me know.

I am also happy to take suggestions for cooking videos, if there is a particular technique you are interested in learning, or can't find a good video for.  Here is for hoping I have something good to contribute to the YouTube cooking community!

I hope this is something you will enjoy, because we are having fun filming them!  Fox particularly enjoys being filmed.   Hope you are having a good week!  Happy Wednesday!

Homemade Plain Yogurt
recipe from Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen
(makes 32 oz)
*As a quick disclaimer, I am still perfecting this yogurt recipe in the crockpot.  I typically use a yogurt maker to ferment the yogurt and using this appliance, works like a dream (this is not sponsored, I just like this yogurt-maker).  It keeps it at a constant temperature for the 8 hours of fermenting time.  A crockpot will work, but it is more temperamental, and has a harder time maintaining a constant temperature.  There are a few other ways that you can ferment your yogurt, and I will mention them below.  You can do whatever works for you!  Let me know if you have questions!  

4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 Tbs plain yogurt (with active cultures)

In a very clean, large heavy pot or saucepan, very slowly heat the milk over low to 185°F using a thermometer, whisking constantly.  Once the milk has reached this temperature, remove the pot from the stove and place in an ice bath in the sink.  Let the milk cool to 110°F -115°F, whisking occasionally.

While the milk is cooling, turn your crockpot on to warm and let it heat for about 5 minutes, then turn it off, letting it sit off for about 10 minutes prior to putting your mixture in.  If your crockpot has a temperature setting, set it to 110°F.  You can also let the yogurt ferment in an oven warmed to 110°F, or put it in jars and put the jars in a warm water bath in a cooler.

Remove your milk from the ice bath.  Slowly whisk in the powdered milk, and the yogurt.

Pour your yogurt mixture into the warm crockpot, put the lid on, and cover with two thick towels, once over the lid, and one around the body of the crockpot, to keep the heat in.  Let it sit, undisturbed for 10 -12 hours.

Once it is finished fermenting, put it in the fridge for about 4 hours, until it has cooled all the way.  Eat with granola, with chocolate granola, in a parfait, or plain with jam, maple syrup or cinnamon and brown sugar.

You can use 2 Tbs of this batch as a starter for your next batch of yogurt! Enjoy!  


  1. LANDEN! I loved your first vlog! I definitely think you guys are so cute, and it's always fun to hear other bloggers actual voices! I can't wait to see more videos that you make.

    1. Thanks, Paige! I am super excited about future videos too! It is fun to have finally launched this project!!

  2. I loved this... You're cute, classy and a fab mum

  3. This is so cute!! Looks like a lot of work to put together, but I sure enjoyed it and hope you do more! Your video editing skills are awesome!

    1. Lots of work to put together! My super fabulous husband, Adam, actually did the editing! He has great skills! Currently his job requires quite a bit of video editing, so he has gotten pretty good!

  4. Fun! I'm a friend of Janssen's. Video blogging is something I've wanted to try but haven't known where to get started. What mic are you using? And what camera for filming?

    1. Emily! Thanks for commenting! Isn't Janssen fantastic? Any friend of hers is a friend of mine :) Video blogging is definitely intimidating. We have been talking about videos for months, and just finally made one that I felt comfortable posting (We have made maybe 4 already that didn't get posted?).

      For a great video blogging resource, look up Casey Neistat on YouTube. He does a daily vlog and has lots of tips and is great at editing. He is all about telling a good story rather than having the right equipment. However, good equipment can be super important, even it if isn't top of the line.

      We used a lavalier mic for this project (http://www.amazon.com/Lavalier-Condenser-Microphone-Camcorders-Cameras/dp/B00PQYMFU8/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1444996245&sr=1-1&keywords=vidpro+lavalier+condenser+microphone), but we just bought a shotgun mic that will hopefully work better for some videos where I am moving around a lot in front of the camera. We bought this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GQDORA4?keywords=rode%20vmgo%20videomic%20go%20lightweight%20on-camera%20microphone%20super-cardio&qid=1444996454&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1.

      For the camera, we use a Canon 70D, which is a great camera for filming (I actually also used my MotoX smartphone for a few of the shots). We have been really happy with it so far. I trade off between the 18-135 lens and a 50mm 1.4, depending on what I am filming.

      Not the best equipment that you can buy, but not bad and great for what we are doing, and not a total break the bank! I hope this helps! Good luck!!!

  5. Hi Landen! I don't usually comment on blogs but I wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog for several years now and that it's one of my favorite blogs! You seem like such genuine, sweet, unpretentious and down to earth person. I enjoyed your first vlog post very much and look forward for more videos. I'm not much into cooking but I really enjoy reading your posts on life, traveling and minimalist living - I hope you post/vlog more about that in the future.

    1. I am SO glad you posted this! Sometimes posting feels like talking to a black hole, and you have no idea what people think, or are looking for in your blog (I always appreciate comments, because of this!)! I try my best to have beautiful, honest content, but sometimes I need to switch it up the focus for a bit, and I am thrilled to hear that my vlog, focused more on my life, is speaking to people! I have two more in the works already (one is cooking related, and one is not), and it makes me feel like I am going in a good direction! I also have a few ideas for minimalist living posts that will be coming soon! :) Thanks for reading!

  6. I loved your vlog Landen! Way to start a new project.


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