Our favorite dairy recipes

We're lacto-ovo-vegetarians, so we include dairy. (In fact, we also include some fish—mainly sardines and salmon.) We'd find it too difficult to be vegan, though it's fine for some people. We've decided that most of the value of being vegetarians—both environmentally and in terms of health—is accomplished by avoiding meat and poultry.


Yogourmet ©Janet Allen
Our Yogourmet yogurt maker

Of course, yogurt isn't always an ingredient, and we eat most of our yogurt as plain, unsweetened yogurt. Still, it's nice to have on hand to use in other recipes, such as our fruit smoothies.

We're fortunate to have Wake Robin Farm, a small, family-owned dairy, in our area. They sell the most delicious non-homogenized milk from grass-pastured cows. (We scoop off most of the cream and make butter in the food processor.)

One of our most-used tools is our Yogourmet Yogurt Maker—not the one with four little cups, but the one that makes a half-gallon at a time. This might seem like a lot, but if we each have a cup of yogurt most days, a half-gallon lasts only half the week. We're so used to using this handy appliance that it has become pretty routine and takes only a few minutes of actual attention.

The following list of instructions might look intimidating, but each step only takes a few seconds, and it quickly becomes routine.

Here's how we do it:

  • Put 8 cups milk into a glass container (we use an 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup with a handle)
  • Add to the 8 cups milk and stir well:
    • 1 to 1-1/2 cups dry milk (optional, but makes it thicker and has more calcium)
Yogurt ©Janet Allen
Delicious yogurt

Dump the starter (about a half cup of yogurt from the last batch) into the yogurt container (optional at this point but we figure it helps bring it to room temperature)

Heat milk in the microwave until it reaches 180° (in our microwave this takes about 13 minutes, but each microwave is different)

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Place the container of hot milk into the cold water (the container, not the milk itself!)

Wait until the milk cools to between 112° and 115° (This usually takes 15-17 minutes for us)

When milk is cooled, add a little to the Yogourmet container with the starter; mix well.

Add the rest of the milk and stir thoroughly.

Heat a little more than a cup of water to about 115 and pour into the heating unit.

Place the Yogourmet container of milk into the heating unit water and put the top on.

Set a timer for 4 hours. (Unfortunately, the new Yogourmet version doesn't have a timer reminder on the front.)

After 4 hours, it's done! Lift it out of the water and put it in the refrigerator. It will still seem liquidy at this point, but by the next day, it has thickened up. (Unfortunately, the new Yogourmet's container doesn't have the handy lip on the container so it's a little more difficult to lift it out.)

The next day, reserve about 1/2 cup or a bit more for the next batch.


Butter ©Janet Allen
Making butter

We buy non-homogenized (but still pasteurized) milk, and there's a lot of cream on top—more than we want to include in our yogurt. So we scoop off the cream and make butter. It's VERY easy.

Pour the cream in the food processor. I usually freeze the cream I scoop off and freeze it. When I have a couple of cups of cream in the freezer (or need butter), I thaw it in the refrigerator and make whatever amount of butter it makes.

Process it until it turns to butter. There will be a certain amount of liquid milk that separates out (the amount depending on how careful you are when you scoop the cream out of the milk bottle). This can take a while depending on how much cream you have.

Butter ©Janet Allen
Rinsing butter

After pouring off the milk, I rinse the rest of the milk out of the butter by pouring cold water on it until the water runs clear. If you leave the milk in the butter, it could go bad, since butter lasts so much longer than milk.

We buy non-homogenized (but still pasteurized) milk, and there's a lot of cream on top—more than we want to include in our yogurt. So we scoop off the cream and make butter. It's VERY easy.

Butter ©Janet Allen
It's butter!



Omelet ©Janet Allen
A beautiful omelet
  • In small fry pan, saute on relatively low heat
    • about 2 Tbs. butter
    • onion slices
  • Mix with fork while onions are cooking
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 Tbs. water
    • salt and pepper to taste
  • When onions are tender and a little brown, remove them from the pan and add a little more butter.
  • Turn the heat up to medium.
  • Slosh the butter around in the pan and add the eggs. Let them cook a little then use a spatula to pull the eggs back around the edges and let any uncooked egg fill in.
  • Add some shredded cheese, the onions and some salsa.
  • Let the omelet cook for a short time to melt the cheese and then fold it in half in the pan (that is, flip one half over the other half). Turn the heat off.
  • Using the spatula, loosen under the omelet and then slide it out onto a plate or, if preferred, onto a piece of buttered toast.