Flavoured stevia + plain yogurt = beyond yum!

As a follow-up to my post about making yogurt, I’d like to mention that there’s a natural sweetener you probably know nothing about. It’s called “Stevia” and it’s from the leaves of a plant.

Stevia contains absolutely no sugar but is 200 – 400 times sweeter than sugar. It’s not a chemical concoction that burns holes in your brain like aspartame. Stevia’s been used for years… centuries probably by the locals.

So… why haven’t you heard about it? The gov’t is holding it back from the general public as a sweetener. Why is up for debate – they say they don’t know for sure that it’s safe. On the other hand it hasn’t been massively tested because it’s not highly profitable. As a plant extract it’s unpatentable. Unpatentable means no monopoly on it’s production.

But you can get your hands on it if you look in the “herbal suppliments” section of stores. Where I live there are even flavoured varieties – vanilla creme, raspberry, orange, etc. Most people put it in their coffee, but as it’s heat stable you can cook with it too!

You can’t say that about aspartame.

And don’t get me started on Splenda – it gives me gas that’s more painful than labour.


Frugal cooking – neverending yeast / yogurt

One of the things that annoys me about our culture is that it assumes that everything is a one-off use – especially in cooking.

Mainly I’m talking about yeast. Yeast isn’t like a whole bunch of seeds that grow until you’re ready to use them and that’s it… yeast is a micro-organism! This means that you don’t have to buy a lot of yeast if you’re going to be doing a lot of baking in a short amount of time.

Just double up the starter solution (usually water, sugar and salt… occasionally flour) and add the yeast – wait a bit longer and there you go! Keep feeding it sugar-water and you could have one batch of yeast last, well, forever.

Make sure to stir it, though – there are molds that feed on yeast if left still for too long.

Oh! And you can do the same thing with yogurt! Grab some plain (or flavoured, I don’t think it really matters) yogurt and add a dab to just-boiled-and-cooled milk. Leave it in a relatively warm place and you’ll have unflavoured yogurt in days for just the price of milk!

If you’re wondering why I recommend boiling the milk it’s to kill off anything that would compete with the yogurt-making micro-organisms (I think they’re a bacteria)

Self-Googling – nearly 3000 results!

I decided to try the vainest thing to do on the net – google myself.

I have nearly 3000 references for amandakerik!

But something strange happened – as I was looking through them (and found some long lost sites and blogs) it started to say I was at the end of my search. Google suddenly started claiming there were only 55 or so results… even though just hitting the back button to the previous page of results gave links to over 19 pages of results with promises of more.


I’ll be putting screenshots on here in a bit.

WordPress.com has a backdate option

This is a follow-up to my first(?) post.

Looks like wordpress.com does let you set the date and time for entries… Good! One less step and I might actually get stuff moved/copied over.

Yahoo: Show thumbnails please


Yahoo Mail has some settings that say to hide the text of e-mails until Javascript knows to let them show. But sometimes something doesn’t work quite like they expect.

This is not Firefox’s fault, nor any of the add-on designers. This is Yahoo’s problem because they know about it.

There are always workarounds, of course. Read the rest of this entry »

Room cleaning – shovel not included

Ok, I figured I might as well put this out there…

While I was a teen my room was beyond a mess – you couldn’t see the floor except in pathways. Very messy indeed.

Every few months I attempted a purge of various areas by doing the following:

  1. Grab a handful of grocery bags
  2. Clear a place to sit (this usually meant shoving stuff aside with my foot) Read the rest of this entry »

Who knew Linux was a girl?


I almost woke up my little one watching these I was giggling so hard!


I can spell, really!