Goatee Christmas Cheer (Part 2)

On this day Our Savior is Born

During this special holiday season, we celebrate Our Precious Savior’s birth.  Mary gave birth to the most precious gift we could ever have; Our Lord and Savior. Lets take a look back in our vision of what this special time might have been like.  Joseph brought Mary, being heavy with child and riding on the back of their donkey to Bethleham.  Think how hard that must have been.  One of my own ancestors pulled her very sick husband in a handcart (not Christmas time) and when they arrived at their destination, she gave birth. Lets continue to think what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to assume they would have a place to stay. …. Remembering that Mary is great with child.  … But… there is no room in the Inns for them.  So Mary gave birth to her precious son; the very son of Our Heavenly Father. … Where… in a Lowly Cattle Shed.  Think for a moment about the little animals who were already housed in the stable, feeling how important it was for them to move over and give room for Mary to give birth to Baby Jesus.  What would it be like to lay in a bed of hay, while giving birth?  Could or would we, of today, do that?  Were those circumstances humble?  Oh yeah… very very humble.  And the Spirit that must have been present testifying that this little Baby Jesus was and is the son of our Heavenly Father and Our Savior of the World.  HIS life was one of dedicated service to others.

Celebrate Christ’s Birth with an enjoyable Christmas Dinner

One of the things I remember as a girl is how Mom and Dad would always gather our family and several single people who had no place to go for the holiday.  We (Mom and us girls) would cook and bake a humble home made meal.  It was a time of giving and service and very humble surrounds.  This was a time to remember Christ’s birth.  We would often sing Christmas songs.  Music was a huge thing in our family.

A few ideas for your Christmas dinner

Kefir Eggnog 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup goat milk kefir
  • 3 cups fresh milk, cow or goat
  • 4 egg yolks, from pastured chickens
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, plus more for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a quart jar, tightly seal the lid, and shake until well combined.
  2. Chill and serve with additional ground nutmeg and whipped cream if desired

 

  Raspberry Peppermint Kefir Smoothie

(I’m changing this up just a little bit from the original recipe.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup goat milk kefir
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or just do 1 1/2 cup kefir)
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract or a few drops of an edible peppermint essential oil

Instructions

  1. Blend everything together, until mixed well
  2. Top with candy cane and serve

 

Kefir Cheese Balls 

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Line a clean colander with cheese cloth and place it into a bowl. Pour the kefir into the lined colander and tie up the ends of the muslin to make a draining sack. Hang the sack to drain.
  2. Allow the kefir to drain for one day or until the cheese is the desired consistency and will mold easily into a ball in the palm of your hand.
  3. Once the cheese is ready, untie the draining sack and scrape the kefir cheese out into a plastic bowl or container.
  4. Mix in salt, and blend well with a rubber spatula. Add herbs and spices, if desired.
  5. Scoop the cheese out and roll it into small balls, about the size of ping-pong balls.
  6. Fill a clean quart jar with olive oil about halfway. Gently drop the cheese balls into the oil.
  7. Once all the cheese is made into balls, top the jar off with olive oil and seal tightly with a lid.
  8. Kefir cheese balls in olive oil will store well in the pantry or the fridge and will generally keep for months.
  9. If the cheese balls begin to crumble after a few weeks, the cheese was too dry. Try adding a Tbsp. of fresh cream with the salt in the next batch.

(Of course you can put whatever you want on your cheese ball.)

Kefir Snowman

(I’ve changed it up a bit from this Taste of Home Recipe.)

Ingredients:

  • Your kefir cheese balls as made in above recipe
  • Rosemary spring
  • A few black olives
  • A few cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Make your kefir cheese balls as in above recipe
  2. Put the desired number of kefir cheese balls together for how you want your snowman to look… eg/ 2 or 3 kefir cheese balls
  3. Glue the cheese balls together using some kefir cheese. 
  4. You may decide to ice the cheese balls with more soft kefir cheese… if desired
  5. Rosemary sprig around the head.  Put some cranberry pieces by rosemary sprig
  6. Carrot nose
  7. Eyes, mouth and buttons black olive slices
  8. For scarf, slice a green onion in half lengthwise and tie around your snowman’s neck
  9. Pretzel arms

(Note: You might decide to make yogurt cheeseballs, instead.  You would make them the same as kefir cheeseballs, except using goat milk yogurt.  Have fun!)

How about…

A Little Goat Milk Fudge

Source: Crooked Pine Ranch,
“Courtesy of ‘Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats’, this is one of the better fudge recipes that we tried. You will need a candy thermometer for this fudge.”

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
2 1/2 squares baking chocolate
1 cup fresh goat’s milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix the sugar, chocolate, goat milk, and salt in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Bring to 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer, or to a soft-ball stage (a few drops dribbled into cold water can be formed into a soft ball).
  4. Remove from heat, add the nuts, vanilla, and butter.
  5. Beat until thick and creamy.
  6. Pour into a buttered dish and cool. Cut into squares.

Soft Yogurt Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Incorporate the eggs, followed by the vanilla, and the yogurt, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add the dry ingredients until it all just comes together. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425, placing oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  (Personally, coming from a commercial baker’s point of view, I’d bake at 375.)
  5. Unwrap the dough and place it onto a floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour also. Roll the dough to 1/3-inch thickness. Cut the dough with a round cutter (about 2-3-inch size cutter). Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until just a smidge of color.  If you see too much color, they will be overdone.  (This notation added by Peggy)

A little easy Kefir or Yogurt Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of Kefir Cheese (or cream cheese) or yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon (if you want cinnamon icing), or maybe a little vanilla for vanilla icing
  • Pinch salt
  • Coconut nectar or Maple syrup to sweeten (optional), jam, etc… or leave it plain … Or if you want to thicken it up, put a little icing sugar in it

Instructions

Mix together and enjoy.  RE:  The flavorings and sweetener are your choice, depending upon the type of icing you want.

 Christmas Wish

We (Peggy and John) from Northern Dawn dairy would like to wish you a super safe Christmas Season.  We have shared some of these kefir and yogurt recipes with you, as they are so nutritious for us.

Next year (2017) we would lie to talk a bit about kefir, yogurt and some various types of cheeses.  Love to hear your comments, suggestions, etc.