Don’t Throw Out That Yogurt

Look what I found in the back of the refrigerator? With all the holiday food and cooking over the last month, the fridge has been packed and now that’s it’s getting back to normal, I’m able to see some things that got shoved out of view.

Let’s see…December 22 is quite a while ago, right? Still, I let my husband take a whiff out of it this morning to see if he could use it on his granola (I’m so generous that way).

Umm, definitely no.

But what to do with it? Years ago I probably would’ve tossed it out with a loud and disgusted, “yuk!” But now frugal behavior has become ingrained (though I do still toss my dryer lint- should I be saving it for something?) and plus, the thing was still 3/4 full. If it had only a cup or less in it, I still might have just thrown it away (shhhh…that’ll just be our secret, OK?).

After doing a quick google search about using spoiled, ripe, sour whatever-you-want-to-call-it yogurt in baking, I didn’t find anything on yogurt, per se. What I did find was a consensus that modern pasturized milk and cream don’t “sour” like raw products do, they just “spoil” and some people thought you shouldn’t bake with them. I, however, have always cooked with things that were a “little off” when I smelled them and have had excellent results. Of course, chunky and really bad smelling milk just goes down the drain. So personally, I don’t have a problem with using up this yogurt (and the results were very tasty, so I’m glad I did). Feel free to skip this post if you think I’m dingy.

I can hear it now, “Oh that Jami, it must be that blond hair…she’s just a little off.”

Well, after looking through some recipes that called for sour cream or yogurt, I decided to start with scones, which go together and cook fast, then make some muffins while the scones cooked, finishing up with little sweet loaves that would take the longest to cook.

I found this scone recipe that used yogurt specifically, as I didn’t have a recipe that used either sour cream or yogurt. I decided to leave out the raisins, though.

It went together nicely in the food processor, but I’ve had some pretty dry scones in the past, and I was fearful that the heavy dough was going to come out dry.

I went ahead and put them on the baking sheet, and thought I’d brush them with buttermilk and sprinkle a little cinnamon-sugar on them.

The cinnamon was not coming out nicely, so I added a little more sugar.

It still was sprinkling weird.

I don’t know what made me check the label…

Uh, Oh. I just added sugar to the cayenne and sprinkled it all over the scones! I know there is a trend to add hot spices to chocolate…do you think it would go over with scones?

Oh, my goodness, talk about your blond moment. After a good bout of laughing, I used a wet towel to wipe off what I could, then used a butter knife to scrape the rest.

Then I got the REAL cinnamon-sugar from the cupboard. Notice no label. I gave it a taste test first this time, just to make sure.

And I put a little more than I usually do, just to cover any residual spiciness.

Ha! You didn’t think I’d throw them out, did you? In a post about not throwing out old yogurt?

Oh ye of little faith…

My fears of the heavy dough were unfounded, though. They were surprisingly moist and flavorful.

Sorry about the bluish cast to the photos. Surprisingly, it’s a rainy, overcast day here in Oregon.

Next up were these yummy Blackberry Muffins from Simply Recipes made with our garden marionberries. They are one of my favorite muffins mainly because they aren’t sickeningly sweet like so many muffins (cakes?) out there.

Oh, and the marionberries. :-)

Then I ended with these sweet little loaves full of fresh and dried cranberries. I’ve made these a couple of times and given them away in our Christmas goodie bags. But I decided to make them (just for us!) as a good way to use up some of the leftover cranberries from the holidays.

These are fun to have in the loaf size to split and share with someone over tea. OK, or to give out even though it’s not the holidays. :-) I’m sure they would work just as well as muffins, too.

I’ve got the pictures uploaded and will be posting the recipe soon.

“Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry,
When you get impatient, it only causes worry…” (I always forget the rest)

Anybody else grow up hearing this tune?

Misson accomplished.

Oh yea. MUCH better than sour yogurt, or throwing it away.

Sorry to all the alarmists. I’ll just take my chances.






  1. says

    Oh my goodness, your stuff looks delicious! And I really laughed about the cayenne pepper – it sounds like something I’d do. Love your blog!

  2. Renee says

    HI, Jami! I’m enjoying your column, as always. And I especially love that Elizabeth and I both read it! Did she tell you that she asked for (and got!) a canner for Christmas? Her gram, who is a real country cottage woman (stop by her home if you’re ever on Hwy 20 heading East through the North Cascades) was so happy. Anyway, I have two questions:
    1. What to do with 20 past date tortillas? They’re okay, but not great. And whatever I make shouldn’t be too fattening (David’s been “ordered” to lose weight).
    2. Where is the best place to start to learn about how to get/use the Rite Aid/Walgreen’s rebates, etc? I rarely go in there, but I would be interested in getting toothpaste for cheaper than I do!
    3. Do you shop at Costco at all?
    Hope you all are having a lovely January! :)

  3. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Thanks all, I appreciate your comments!

    Striving and Lauren- Wow, I should be saving my lint? And what is a 72-hour kit? Is it an emergency thing? My husband is always struggling to light our woodstove, could we use this here- would it make it easier?

    Ah, Laura, you caught me! That is the one thing I DID throw away. :-)

    Renee- You’re such an encouragement! Feel free to email me if you’d like, too, for more direct responses. :-) I hope I hear about E’s escapades with her new canner, too.
    1. My favorite thing to do with old tortillas is to make “enchilada pie.” I layer the tortillas with a salsa/tomato sauce mixture, meat and/or beans, olives, and sometimes corn, plus some grated cheese, ending with the salsa and cheese in a round cake pan/baker. Cook it for about 30 minutes- it’s yummy. You could use very little cheese to lower the fat. I use 5-6 tortillas this way, but you could make a couple and freeze the others. Also make rolled enchiladas with the flour tortillas- I like them better than the corn ones. Any recipe that will cook in sauce will make them soft.
    2. Check out my posts on Rite Aid and Walgreens (links on the left) that describe what I do and where you can go to find out more. Big savings, there!
    3. I do shop at Costco. We buy only certain items that are way cheaper normally than other places: gas, dog food, coffee, spices, peanut butter, organic tortilla chips, honey, olive oil. Sometimes produce, but it’s not always cheaper there.

    Let me know how you do at the drugstores, or if you need more info!

  4. says

    My goodness but I’m late finding this post. I just found your site a few weeks ago. This was the funniest post ever. Thank you so much for including all of the funny details of real life! I am sure we have all made boo boos like that. I am such a perfectionist that I would be tempted to throw it out and forget it. Glad you saved it! They look yummy.

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