I’m not usually one for routines except for Tuesday mornings. Baron and I beat the sun up as we head off to school. In between drop off and me returning to spend the morning with 12 kindergartners reading about Zip the zebra I squeeze in breakfast for one at one of my favorite places in Seattle. Lingering over a Cappuccino I lean into a conversation with a dad and his young son. After they’ve debated the doneness of their eggs and ultimately switch breakfasts they talk of future plans; where they’d like to travel and what they’d like to see. They also talk of nothing but they do so together. The dad is engaged, listening and there is nothing more important than his son in that moment. Not even his Croque Monsier. I can’t help but smile while subtly watching the scene.

I’ve never been the one who has “the usual” but on Tuesday mornings I do. Cool yogurt, tangy and dripping off the spoon clings to toasted walnuts and a honey so floral and sweet my throat tightens a bit with each bite. There are days when I’m tempted to order the baked eggs with ham and gruyere or perhaps a butter-flecked croissant but it is always the yogurt that ends up in front of me. It’s a taste I now crave and love to enjoy slowly while silently chuckling to myself as the young guy next to me orders a Macchiato and explains to his friend that it’s a caramel flavored coffee drink. As the real Macchiato arrives you can imagine his confusion when an espresso cup with a smoky, black shot arrives with just a bit of foamed milk on top.

The sun pours in and illuminates my cup by the time I’m on my second. I may write a bit, edit some images, read one of the many books I’m well into or I may just sit and revel in the quiet moment alone. When the majority of my days are with three young and not-so quiet children these moments feel like a gift. During this breakfast I have a moment to catch my breath, linger in the quiet or the conversations of others in which I have no obligation to participate in. Walking away from that time I feel better equipped to take on the rest of the week, find joy in the loud days when I long for more quiet and already anticipating next week’s little cup of yogurt.





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Homemade Yogurt with Butter Toasted Walnuts and Honey

I realized a week is too long to wait for this taste so I determined to recreate it at home and am very happy with the results. It also solves my morning problem of not eating breakfast – which I’m known to do. The mornings are quite frantic and by the time I’ve got the kids their food I’ve little desire to make more for myself. But this is thrown together in less than a minute and packs the protein to satisfy until lunch. Of course you are welcome to skip the step of making your own yogurt, just substitute any plain yogurt. 

Homemade Yogurt
4 cups whole milk
3 T plain yogurt (with active, live cultures)

In a medium saucepan bring the milk to 180*F, or just to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to around 115*F. You can speed up this process by submerging the pan in an ice bath. In a small bowl combine the plain yogurt with 1 cup warm milk. Mix to combine gently. Add this mixture back to the rest of the milk.
For the next 5-10 hours (depending on how fast the yogurt is developing and how thick you want it) you will need to maintain the temperature between 110*F-115*F. I use a small slow cooker with a thermometer tucked into the milk. As the temperature drops I turn on the slow cooker for 5-10 minutes then turn it off and let it sit there until the temperature drops. You could also set the milk in a just warm oven with the pilot light on.
Let the yogurt sit undisturbed at this point. Once you’ve reached the desired thickness or flavor let the yogurt set up in the fridge for several hours. It will firm up quite a bit but still remain quite loose as homemade yogurt is.
Before eating I pass my yogurt through a strainer to get a perfectly creamy texture. If you’d like the yogurt thicker, like Greek yogurt, you could line a strainer with cheesecloth and let the whey drain off until the desired thickness is reached.

Butter Toasted Walnuts

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup walnuts

In a large skillet melt the butter and add the walnuts. Toast until butter browns and the nuts send off a toasty fragrance, about 3-5 minutes.
Let cool before topping your yogurt. Drizzle a good amount of honey over the walnuts and yogurt.


30 Responses to “Homemade Yogurt with Butter Toasted Walnuts and Honey”

  1. Megan

    Your writing is so beautiful! I felt like I was at the cafe listening to the conversations and enjoying this simple yogurt. It’s my favorite breakfast as well (with honey and granola most times) but I’ve never tried to make my own. You’ve inspired me to try!

  2. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    I recently discovered the magic that is butter toasted nuts — I put a handful of them on my soup the other day and it was SO delicious. I love the idea of pairing them with tangy, homemade yogurt — especially on a quiet, leisurely morning with a cup of coffee. 🙂

  3. Stacy

    Those quiet moments are to be treasured, indeed! I love a solo morning at a restaurant or coffee shop, and there’s such comfort in being a regular. Also: one of my more lighthearted resolutions for the year is to make yogurt from scratch — because I cannot think of one good reason not to do so. I’ll surely refer back to your method!

  4. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Beautiful! Love the white on white on white. Yogurt making is one foodie project I have yet to try. I was researching at one point, but gave up after I realized my oven didn’t have pilot light! I’ll have to give your crock pot method a try 🙂

  5. ami@naivecookcooks

    Love love the post and pictures!! In India my mother used to and still makes yogurt at home everyday. I also feel like making it at home now. 🙂

  6. la domestique

    Why have I not had a go at homemade yogurt yet? I must try it soon. Your Tuesday routine sounds lovely. I always look forward to the weekly morning at my favorite coffee shop, sitting there quietly as grad students debate with intensity and trying not to say anything when the retired couple next to me gets stuck on the crossword.

  7. Kay

    Homemade yogurt is the best! Once you get the hang of it is really is easy, isn’t it? Your Tuesday mornings sound glorious. I love those quiet moments, alone but not alone, lingering over a great cappuccino while people watching. I can’t remember the last time I had an uninterrupted cup of coffee. This post makes me want a vacation!!

  8. victoria

    I share your enjoyment of a quiet moment in a cafe, without the girls, feels like such a luxury. I’m not a huge yogurt person, but this appeals to me. When I scrolled down to make a comment there was a link to another on apricots, which made me think it would be nice with a few roasted apricots.

  9. Caroline @ Pink Basil

    I’ve never tackled homemade yogurt before, but this just looks delicious. Especially the walnuts, I may be trying this tomorrow with the yogurt I have in the fridge!

  10. Jess

    Gorgeous photos, as always, and I just love this description of your morning ritual. The white on white is breathtaking.

  11. sara

    simply perfect. I felt like I was part of your ritual for just a moment. So glad you have that time, sounds lovely. Must try the buttered walnuts asap.

  12. Kathryn

    This really was a lovely post – your description of your Tuesday morning ritual was just perfect. And the photographs are just stunning; they fit just right with you words.

  13. Anna

    I am expecting my first child in June so while I don’t have the chaotic mornings yet, I still love the idea of taking time out of your routine at home, sitting quietly in a favorite spot and enjoying some time in the morning. Sounds like such a treat. I’ve been making yogurt at home for a few years, but the walnuts I must try!

  14. thelittleloaf

    The images in this post are so beautifully white and cleansing, just like I imagine the yoghurt would be. Love the idea of buttered walnuts, just gorgeous.

  15. Eva | Adventures in Cooking

    I’ve been wanting to try making homemade yogurt since it’s so much more cost effective than buying it at the store. Thank you for the guide! I love eating mine with honey and walnuts, too. My dad is from Greece and that’s the favorite way to eat it there. It really complements the tanginess of the plain yogurt, and the walnuts help break up the smooth texture. Just perfect.

  16. elizabethranger (

    You have absolutely transported me away to the land of perfect yogurt! There is nothing else like that moment of realizing you’re in the middle of it. I can’t wait to someday try making my own, and definitely with some set aside for honey and buttered nuts to mix in (that just sounds too good).

  17. Brenda

    I wish we were neighbors. Butter-toasted walnuts? oh yes. God has really gifted you…beautiful photography and writing, as usual. I must say you’re an inspiration to me.

  18. Rachel

    I recently received two new cooking books, each with several homemade yogurt recipes. I was skeptical about making yogurt using store-bought yogurt as the starter, but after you shared this I think that may be the way to go!

  19. molly

    oh, butter toasted nuts, butter toasted nuts! butter toasted nuts are the best.

    atop yogurt, and honey? better still.

  20. Dana Tucker

    I think people thought you made this from milk kefir crystals. When I read the recipe there was no mention of kefir crystals. Am I wrong?

  21. Sherri

    I would love to know the name of the restaurant you visit every Tues. I live in Sammamish & am always looking for new places that come highly recommended. Thanks!