Monday, June 30, 2014

Fourth of July shot gun shell wreath

Anyone besides me LOVE to decorate for the Fourth of July? It's my second favorite holiday to decorate for, after Christmas, of course. I normally make huge plans to decorate but, since Harlee's birthday is only a few day afterwards, I end up scaling back in order to focus on birthday awesomeness.

This shot shell Fourth of July wreath is super easy to make, but it will take you an hour or two, so put on a good movie or Duck Dynasty reruns and bust out that hot glue gun.

All you need is:
shot gun shells (shoot them first!), in this case red, white, and blue
hot glue gun and glue sticks
straw wreath form

Okay maybe you need clay pigeons too. You'll need quite a pile of shells!

Photo courtesy of Snow Capped Dreams photography, AKA Crafty Honey Badger Mia.  She took the picture because she is awesome (obviously) and the wreath was a homemade Christmas present, that my husband made for her.  Yes, you read that right, my husband made it for her, isn't he the best? I helped him shoot all those shot shells though, and taught him to be a hot glue gunning machine.

Doesn't the smell of hot glue just improve your mood or is it just me?  Just knowing that something amazing is about to be born gets me excited to see the result! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Family ties and Garlic Fries!

Our blog was recently contacted by a representative from Fanatics , a sport apparel site. Their site is a great one stop shop for all your fan gear for your favorite teams - whether your looking for MLB hats to NFL jerseys, They've got it all! With a wide selection at great prices you can gear yourself up to cheer on your team in style very conveniently. Anyways, they were searching for bloggers to share their experience with sports and how it brought their family together.

Did not take me long to know that I had plenty of stories to share along these lines. I mean c'mon... when you can sit down as a family and ALL cry like babies at the end of the movie Rudy, sports has brought your family together. No ifs, ands or butts! 

My childhood was full of Giants baseball & Niner football! My mom, dad, uncle, Nono & Noni (Grandpa and Grandpa) watched every game; whether it was from the stands or the couch at home. We were proud fans and cheered on our teams through the ups and downs. We had season tickets to 49er's stadium, Candlestick Park, for home games. Although life wouldn't allow us to go to every game since we lived a few hours south of San Francisco, we would still make a point to go to a few and those are times I won't ever forget. Especially times watching games with my Nono as he is now passed on. He loved the 49ers and was a true fan.

Earlier years I can remember tailgating out in the parking lot of Candlestick Park. The crowd you would find yourself surrounded by was thrilling. All the fans getting pumped up for the game and already whoopin' and hollerin'. You can't help but get caught up in it. Then you start to head for the stadium and the anticipation builds... Crowds get louder... you get closer, closer, closer. The smells of garlic fries, beer, hot dogs fills the air... you keep climbing up steps to get into the main stadium. Once you have reached it you feel a breeze coming out of the tunnel. You walk through and your eyes lay upon a pretty awesome sight. Huge green field and red and gold everywhere. You're in NINER NATION and there's no mistaking it. You get goosebumps. Crowds fill in and music starts to play. Players getting loosened up on the field. You know what's coming! Fireworks, cheerleaders, crowds screaming as the 49ers take the field. National anthem plays and jets fly overhead. Oh yes. Major goosebumps! Coin toss, kick off.... the loudest part to a game you would think. Crowd goes CRAZY, screaming and cheering. Think that's loud? Try when your team gets a touchdown! People on their feet jumping up and down and passing high fives all around. Do you know these people? Nope! But when you're in Niner nation you're all family. 

Old photo's from our "Double Hitter Day"

The year of 2002 was an exciting one to say the least. To be exact, October 6th, 2002! Giants were in the playoffs and Niners were starting out their football season strong as ever. I remember talking to my Dad one night and him saying we're gonna go up to San Francisco here in a few days. I just bought division series tickets to watch the Giants play the Braves at Bell Park. My excitement exploded! Then he added, "But first, were gonna go watch the Niners play the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick!" WHAT? Same day? Oh yes! This was happening! Early afternoon football game and head across San Francisco to an evening Giants game!

The day came for the big games! We had a hotel room in downtown and took advantage of the bus service in San Francisco! There was a street where buses were lined up to head to Candlestick; the streets crowded with Niner fans. We got on the bus and people were already chanting, "Go Niners!" and phrases like that. I knew it was gonna be a good day! The game was amazing! Niners blew the Rams away and put them to shame. The atmosphere was absolutely amazing. Being there with my parents made it all the more special! A little excited girl sitting between her parents. I loved the side of my parents I'd see at the games. My mom was crazy even if she was sitting on the couch at home watching, but in the stands her spirit is wild. My dad is the same way. To cheer on the Niners and have them score usually turned into a big family hug! Smiles all around. The game left my ears ringing and my voice cracked and we had not even made it to the Giants game yet! 

The Giants game was ohhh so much more intense! This was the division, people! The big game is in sight! Do or die. We were sitting in the bleachers up against the outer field. Oh yes... hit them home-run balls right to me! No doubt the 49er game was filled with excitement but the crowd at the Giants game was totally different. These people knew the World Series was at stake and were cheering with every bit of themselves! Including us! Voice? Oh yeah.. totally gone! We stress ate our weight in garlic fries at both games. They smell so good! So that makes it okay right? Ha! The haunting smell of garlic fries that you can't say no to. Anyways, the Giants beat the Braves in a sweep! There were a few home-runs and some balls came into the bleachers we were in! It was amazing and a thrilling experience. Hitting both games and our teams winning both. A day to go down in the books for sure! I had a blast with my parents that day. We finished off the night lumbering back to our hotel and ordering room service and watching a funny movie! Sports hangover the next day? Totally!

Sports was always and will always be a part of our family. Sitting down and screaming at the T.V. in excitement to see our teams win. Celebrating with jumping up and down and hugging. Its different when you're in the atmosphere where it all goes down but memories can really be made sitting at home rooting on your favorite teams from the couch! Memories made with my parents and family that I'll never forget. Sports has brought our family closer in so many ways and left me with memories I'll cherish forever! Take your family to a live NFL game or a baseball game! Stock up at first though!

Below is a recipe of one of our favorite ball park snacks! With a fun twist, this recipe will have your house smelling like the stadium! Watch out! That was a warning! Cook at your own risk! Addiction will occur! 

Lick your screen, You know you wanna! Don't try and take a bite out of it though.. been there tried that. OUCH!


6-8 medium sized potatoes. I used gold potatoes. 
Oil for frying
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3-4 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Teaspoon parsley
Dash of sea salt

Using a mandolin slicer with julienne attachment slice down your potatoes into fries. Lay them out on a single layer of paper towels and dab over with more paper towels to dry. While drying,  heat oil in deep fryer or pot to 375 degrees. While oil is heating saute garlic with oil in a pan until it becomes fragrant and gold. Add butter to pan and melt in the the garlic mixture. Add half teaspoon to mixture leaving some for to garnish with the salt. Fry your french fries in small batches for about 5-6 minutes or until golden. Let drain and transfer to a deep platter. Repeat frying process until no potatoes are left! 

Once finished frying all your potatoes its time for the magic to happen. Pour your heavenly buttery mixture over the fries and toss around to get them all coated.  

Sprinkle a little parsley and salt to your taste over everything and enjoy! 

My only tip for this recipe is that it goes PERFECTLY with an ice cold BEER! So sit back with one and enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed this post. I certainly enjoyed letting you in a little of my personal life. Sports has left me with cherished memories and I have thoroughly enjoyed letting you in on some of them!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pearl Pasta Salad

Ahh summertime side dish searching.. what to make, what to make, what to make! 


Pearl pasta salad is a fun twist on a traditional pasta salad with a fresh crisp taste that keeps you coming back for more. I love having it in the fridge to have for a perfect side to a lot of our meals. Ready to go and so fitting for this time of the year! Perfect for 4th of july cookouts coming up!

Give it a try!

Pearl Pasta Salad

1 Box pearl pasta (Acini De Pipi)
1/2 Purple onion chopped
1 Bunch cilantro chopped
1 Cucumber chopped in small pieces
1 Packet italian dressing seasoning
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Cup lemon juice
Dash of sea salt & pepper!

Boil your pearl pasta. Once cooked drain and rinse with cold water to cool pasta. Once cooled add chopped onion, cilantro & cucumber. In a separate bowl whisk you oil, lemon and italian spices together. Pour over salad and stir until combined! Add salt & pepper to your liking. This is a light mild salad so you can kick up the flavor as much as you like! 

*Tips* For draining your pearl pasta you will want to use a VERY fine strainer! It is seriously some of the messiest pasta and trust me straining it and finding out all falling through into the sink isn't very fun. Now! Its time you learn my big downfall... I am not a huge fan of tomatoes. Raw ones that is. With that being said, sliced grape tomatoes would be delicious in this recipe. I have just rebelled and not added them to this recipe! Bulgar is a great alternative starch to use for this recipe as well! One thing you need to remember about my recipes is that I have simple recipes... Have fun with them! Be creative. Its what I love about cooking is my opportunity to be creative! Do so!

Click here to print! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cilantro Lime Rice

Summertime inspires me to try and come up with recipes that just go along with the season. Cilantro lime rice is a light fresh side dish that just brings summer to the table. A perfect side to mexican meals, or even a compliment to a piece of marinated chicken. I love cilantro so any opportunity I have to use it in a dish I do so. The fresh crisp taste to this herb mixed with fresh lime juice brings plain ole rice to a whole new level of YUM! 

Give it a try with your next meal!

I could just spoon it out of this picture! 

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 Cups uncooked rice
1 large onion
1 Bundle of cilantro chopped
3 Cans chicken broth
4 limes juiced
Zest from 2 of the limes
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add garlic and chopped onion and cook until fragrant and caramelized. Add rice, salt and stir constantly so it doesn't burn. Let cook for a couple minutes. Add chicken broth and lime juice with zest. I add 1 and 1/2 can of broth and let rice simmer over medium heat and covered. As rice absorbs it add more broth to keep from burning to bottom of pot. Stir occasionally but let the the steam do its magic under the lid. Cook until rice is cooked through, 20-30 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and any more lime juice if desired. Stir in majority of chopped cilantro leaving some for garnish. 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Apple Donut Bites

 With summertime among us that brings fair season. A lot of fair food that is oh so sinful but oh so good. Cinnamon rolls, funnel cake, crepes, burgers, fries, nacho's, hot dogs, BBQ, tri-tip sandwiches, deep fried pickles, sweet potato fries, DEEP FRIED ANYTHING! Ugh! Must I say more? 

Anyways apple donut bites is my twist on a fair snack that is so yummy for a summertime treat when your craving your fair style bites. With a greek yogurt batter this recipe is a little different then your normal batter you would make. So give this recipe a try next time you have that crazy craving! 

I did NOT just lick my screen.. I swear... Oh my! 

Apple Donut Bites

4-5 medium sized cooking apples
1 Cup flour
1 Cup Greek Yogurt
1 Egg
1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup water 
Canola oil for frying
1/2 Cup sugar
1-2 Teaspoons cinnamon

Using an apple slicer slice down your apples you can peel if you wish but its not required. Mix dry batter ingredients. Add egg and yogurt in a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Add to flour and stir. Mixture will be thick and dry because greek yogurt is very thick. Add water until mixture takes on a thicker pasty batter consistency. You may need more than 3/4 cup. Add water and use your judgement. You want a cake like batter!

Heat your oil to 350 degrees either in a skillet or your deep fryer. Once heated grab your sliced apples. They will still be in apple shape so just start pulling off rounds in halves or smaller pieces if you want. Gently dip apple pieces in your batter and lay in the hot oil. Repeat in small batches until apples are gone. The batter will be sticky so it may look like a lot on your apple but thats what puffs up and makes it donut like. Fry for 40 seconds to a minute or so on each side if your skillet frying. For a deep fryer keep an eye on your apple bites until they are golden brown. 1-2 minutes. Once fried drain on a paper towel. 

Mix your sugar and cinnamon and shake over drained apple bites and gently shake around to get a coating all the way around your bites.

Once coated you can sit back and enjoy this delicious sweet bite! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ducks are messy messy messy and how to combat it

Our children talked us into getting ducks. They begging and whined until we couldn't take it any longer.  I'm afraid it wasn't all that hard for them. We are total pushovers.

We were actually thinking of adding ducks to the farm next year so speeding up our plans a bit wasn't that big of a deal.  We originally planned to have them live in our chicken coop with the chickens so this new animal thing was going to be no big deal right?


Ducks are messy.  I know this has been said before. I didn't haphazardly get ducks, I did my research. "Ducks are messy" has been stated on countless poultry boards. But this is a terrible understatement. I felt lied to. Never once did someone actually say how messy ducks are.  I read plenty of times that ducks are messy.  But I never once read the truth about ducks and their messiness. We got 35 chicks and our brooder space worked fabulously. So four ducks should have no problem in the same space. 

Wrong again.

When I say ducks are messier than chickens please understand that I don't mean one duck is messier than one chicken. I don't even mean that one duck is messier than three chickens.

What I am trying to tell you is that one duck is about as messy as 100 chickens.

This is not an exaggeration. This is the truth.

Ducks poop on average 6,000 times more than a chicken (okay that might be an exaggeration). Our four sweet ducklings had a three gallon poultry waterer. I had to fill it twice a day.  And not because they were drinking it either.  They splashed it out.

Breakdown of facts:
4 duckling
6 gallons of water
24 hours

They are also messy eaters.  They just fling the stuff everywhere. No matter how hard I tried to keep the food on the dry end of the brooder they drug it down to the wet end.  Now you have mushy duck food to go with your tons of water and poop. And ducks do not eat mushy food.

We started herding the ducks to the pond on nice days and back to the garage at night just to give our stinky garage a break. Ducks are really smart and after a couple of days they knew where to go and it wasn't hard at all but it was silly to herd ducks!

After working our butts off on our chicken house there was no way I wanted the ducks to even go near it. I wasn't even sure I wanted to keep the ducks to be honest.

Clearly, the ducks needed their own space and they were not allowed to have water in it.  Ever.

After some research I found that many people where having good luck by only feed their ducks once or twice a day and not allowing them to access to food or water in the house.  Since the ducks are only shut in their house at night this isn't a big deal and our ducks are now happy and healthy and only being feed once a day.

Feeding them only once a day also forces them to get out of their pond area and go poop in other places in the yard, eat some grass, poop under the trampoline, and eat my flowers.

After some trail and error I have found what works for best for us and our ducks.

I tried feeding them twice a day once in the mornings and once in the early afternoon but it was a pain to get in the early afternoon feeding if we planed to be gone for the day and then they ended up being feed before they where put in their house and that increases the mess. They also never left their pond area to go find anything else to eat. And going out and eating plants and bugs is the best thing for them!

Now, I feed my ducks once a day. In the morning. It's important that they eat the bulk of their food in the morning so the bulk of their pooping is done during the day.  It took a while to figure out how much to feed them but now I feed them about a cup of food each.  They also can eat as much as they can forage all day.  I will have to change this in the winter time when there is less foraging and they will need more calories to stay warm.

I feed the ducks in a big wide dog food pan.  It's big enough for them all to get around it and too big for them to flip it over.  They also have access to water all day.

At night they go in their duck hut with no food and no water. They have a nice hut though and are let out first thing in the morning.

Now here is the inside of the duck hut after one month without cleaning it, without adding more straw, and without stiring the straw.  I have literally done nothing to it.

Not bad huh?  What are your tricks for dealing with the messiness of ducks?

And stay in touch! Coming soon is how to make that beauty I call the duck hut.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Time flys when you're watching chickens grow

This post has been a long time coming, we got our chicks back in March and somehow I haven't posted a single chicken related thing. Shame on me.

Aren't they just so cute! We ordered 35 day old chicks from efowl, I was very surprised when every single chicken came alive.  This was my first experience mailing chicks. One little gal did appear to have a few chicken seizures but she is happy and healthy now, maybe she was just really clumsy and would freak out when she fell? Who knows.

Chicks are way more fun then you would think. (Adult chickens too!) Sure they are cute and fluffy and as much as you'll have fun holding them you will have way more fun just watching them. These cute little guys had fun multiple times playing keep away with a wood chip.

Even your animals will get entertainment from these chicks.

We had our chickens in our house for the first month or so, March in North Dakota is cold! Even our heated garage is a bit too chilly for the little guys. It was also more fun for the girls and I, when could watch them whenever we wanted.

Aren't these guys the cutest?

But soon the day will come when you will be so excited to get them out of your house.  And soon after that, you will be so excited when they moved out of the garage and into the coop.  No more stinky animals in your space...and then you get ducks.

And when they move to the coop and are big and not quite as cute, they will still be lots of fun.  I find myself having 'reasons' to go to see the chickens several times a day. I never thought it would be so entertaining to watch lettuce get eaten one small peck at a time.

I'm really not sure what this guys problem with me is but he only has a problem with me.  Not my kids and not my husband.  But if I go out he seeks me out and tries to eat my entire foot and sometimes my calf too. I can't wait til he is big enough to eat. If he doesn't knock it off I'll be having myself a really small roasted chicken next week. He is mighty lucky he doesn't go after my kids.

Chickens are good for a lot more than just eggs and meat, they are also good entertainment. Both for the girls and I. I love our little farm on the prairie.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Grilled Steak Salad

Tis the season to be grilling! Fa-la-la-la-LA-la-la-la-LA!

I love to grill! Flavors that the grilling process brings out of food is just something my taste buds can't say no to. You can bet majority of our summer dinners are made on the grill. Sometimes in the winter, too. Oh its snowing? No problem hand me a jacket I'll be fine! With all the wild game in our freezer I'm always getting out packages to defrost, marinade and await their time to hit the grill. Having all the wild game year round leaves me always trying to be creative and come up with a different recipes to try with it other then steak, steak, steak. Not bashing steaks. I could eat them all the time. Putting a twist on just a plain ole steak makes for something new and fresh on the dinner table.

Grilled steak salad is abundant with flavor but yet a light dinner perfect for those hot summer evenings! So get your hands on some steak and lets get crackin'!

I could eat this picture... Literally... No Joke...

Grilled Steak Salad

2 marinated Pounds of steak. I use McCormick Smoking sweet tea marinade
Head of Lettuce *Romain, Iceberg mix is what I use*
1/2 Cup chopped tomato's 
1 Bell pepper chopped
1 onion chopped
1/2 Cup shredded cheese 
 Ranch dressing
Crispy Corn strips
Salt & Pepper

Salad directions

Heat your grill. While heating slice all your veggies and put in a large salad bowl. Grate cheese and sprinkle over the top. Toss ingredients together! Once grill is heated throw your steaks on and cook until desired temperature. I am a medium rare gal so just a quick couple minutes on both sides and set them aside for a little resting period just a couple minutes or so is all they need. Once rested I take the steaks and slice them down into strips. Layer starting with your lettuce/veggie mix and lay desired amount of steak over the top. Sprinkle desired amount of crispy strips and drizzle ranch over everything and enjoy!

Directions for the crispy corn strips

Slice 15 Corn Tortillas into four triangle pieces. Take each triangle and slice down from the edged into skinny strips. Fry in deep fryer or in a pot on the stove at 375. Be very careful with hot oil. Fry until they begin to feel crisp and have a slight golden color using metal tongs take them out and place on a paper towel lined plate. They will brown more as they drain so take them out before they get dark. Sprinkle some sea salt over and boom! Crispy corn strips!

 For beef eaters I would use a flank/skirt steak cut. For wild game eaters I would use back-strap steak cuts. I usually allow my steaks to marinate for about a day or so. As for cheese I use cheddar or pepper jack but any cheese will work in this recipe. Marinade choice is up to you but the smoking sweet tea marinate is what I have found that fits this salad the best and has the best flavor. McCormick marinade mix's are amazing I use them religiously! I hate bottled ranch dressing, so I recommend using homemade. Even if its made from the powder packets you buy it tastes so much better than the bottle specially if you add some red pepper flakes to your dressing after its made! A vinaigrette works good on this salad as well for a lighter choice! As for crispy strips.. Use lots... lots of crispy strips! Their addicting! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kale Chips

So I have been trying hard to behave lately when it comes to meals and snacks. I know, I am the one that just posted Kool Aid Ice Cream last week. Let's get real though who doesn't like ice cream? It's okay to have a cheat treat every once in a while. Makes you appreciate your clean eating habits!

I got a bunch of kale in my Bountiful Basket.... Usually when I get a bunch of kale zuppa toscana soup is going through my mind. That soup is delicious and all but its 90 degrees outside here. I'll pass on soup. Anyways! I am a snacker. It's my downfall. So I try to be cautious of what I snack on. Nothing more than headway when looking at the scale and in the mirror sparks wanting to eat clean! You just feel so proud of yourself and your body is fueled not fed. Kale chips is a healthy quick snack that will leave you with NO guilt! Well one time I ate a whole bunch of kale turned into chips. It bakes down, That makes it okay right? Fine, extra few reps of mountain climbers! HEY better than eating a whole bag of potato chips!!

Anyways, Give this recipe a try and enjoy a healthy snack!
Turn your oven to 350 and let's do this!

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

1 Bundle fresh kale
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil (Give or take)
1 Teaspoon sea salt

Heat oven to 350. Cut your kale off of the main stems leaving just pieces of the leaves behind. Cut into bite sized pieces. Spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and drizzle/spray your olive oil over the bed of kale. Sprinkle salt over it all and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Watch out for your edges burning. It won't take long so keep an eye on it while its baking. 

*TIPS* I use a Misto Oil Sprayer for spraying my olive oil over bed of kale. Works like a charm! I have also added other flavors to these as well. Red pepper flakes for a spicy twist. Parmesan for an cheesy spin. Even just seasoned salt if you desiring more than just sea salt. I use coarse ground sea salt when making this recipe but whatever you have on hand will be fine. Be creative and come up with other varieties to flavor up this healthy snack! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bacon cheeseburger salad

Call me crazy but I love salads. Side salads, meal salads, potato salad, pasta salad, okay those last two aren't really salad but they sure are yummy.

I know it has the word cheeseburger in it but it also has the word salad in it, so lets focus on that and call it a health food. You're welcome, your summer just got that much awesomer.

This salad is so easy to make too! Easy is my favorite thing to make for dinner, so we have this often.

Brown 1 pound hamburger (shown here with elk hamburger) with 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped, and 1 TBS chili powder.

Then layer lettuce, meat mixture and top with tomatoes, cheese, chopped onion, small pieces of cooked bacon, and homemade thousand island dressing.  Add a pickle and eat.  Yummy yummy salad.  I only wish I had some avocados to put on it.

Now when I say to use thousand island dressing, I mean it! If you use ranch then your just going to have a meaty still good salad but it will NOT be a bacon cheeseburger salad.

Click to print 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Homemade thousand island dressing

So I wanted to make a salad but it called for thousand island dressing, and ONLY thousand island or it would not be the same. But we don't eat thousand island and if I bought a bottle then we would eat it on this one salad and never ever again.  So I made my own.

Whisk together 1 part mayo and 1 part ketchup and 1 part dill pickle juice, more or less depending on how thick you want it.

Oh ya baby, this stuff is good! Way better than store bought because it doesn't have chunks! If you happen to like chunks of random stuff floating aimlessly through your dressing, than use some dill relish instead or in addition to the pickle juice. I don't like chunks.  Chunks are gross, I also don't like jam, because it has chunks.  Maybe that's why I never liked store bought thousand island.  This is a no chunk household.

Do you know that ''secret sauce'' some restaurants use? It's mayo, ketchup, and pickle juice, oops! Did I just spill the beans? My bad...

Click to print 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Compost bin from pallets

Okay, okay, you got me.  It's not all pallets.  But it is all up-cycled materials! That's still cool right? No? It's okay I get it; pallets are awesome!

Pallets are so awesome I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to them.  Follow my pallet Pinterest board. Then make sure you're following this blog so you can see all the awesome things I make from the pallets I just can't quit bringing home. Seriously, when I go to town I feel deep regret if I'm driving home without a pallet in the back of my truck. I may need to lighten up on myself a little; we do have quite the stack going on right now.

I totally failed to take pictures during the process of making this but it's pretty simple. The basic concept is to make a box-like shape out of stuff that is laying around.

I used two pallets for my bin. One for the back and one for the bottom.  I tried to find a couple where the wood slats were closer together than some pallets.  For the sides, I used scraps from an old play set that was left here when we moved in. The front is a piece of wood that blew into our yard one day.  I have no clue where it came from.

Underneath the bottom pallet I put some garden edging pavers.  It keeps the bottom pallet up off the ground and will make it last longer.  It's also possible that it was a completely unnecessary step and a waste of time. But the pavers were laying around and taking up space in my garden shed.

 See how here in present day North Dakota everything is lush and green and beautiful?

I ended up having to add another piece of plywood much more quickly than I thought.  I seriously underestimated the amount of compost we make.  Between the chickens and ducks bedding, the lawn and our household waste it really adds up quickly.

I can't wait for all the good compost to come.

For inside the house, I have THIS compost pail. It's amazing.  The carbon filters do wonders. You can take the lid off and it can stink like crazy in there but with the lid on you can't smell a thing! I highly recommend one if you plan to compost and don't think you will empty your compost bin at least daily and preferably twice a day.  And I will never be that on top of things.

What is your compost bin made out of?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Kool-Aid Ice Cream

Oh yes... This is for real everybody! No fancy Ice-cream equipment needed either. Just plan a little ahead you can have a sweet summertime treat ready to go for a hot day. Wanna be the cool mom on the block? Or are you like me and YOU JUST WANT ICE CREAM.... Well then this recipe is probably for you! Your kids will go wild for this though, I promise! Great idea for kid's birthday parties, too!

It is easy and tastes delicious! So why not try? You know you wanna! Its okay. Made it for the kids? Psshhh... Yeah right! This is for me! I don't judge... My husband & I still fight over otter pops! 

I didn't eat all of this...... I swear.... What did I say about judging?!

Kool-Aid Ice Cream

1 Packet of Kool-Aid. Any Flavor you desire. (Pictured is cherry flavor)
3/4 Cup sugar
2 Cups whole milk
1 Cup Half n' Half

Mix packet of kool-aid with sugar in a metal bowl. Add Milk and Half n' Half and stir until sugar mixture is dissolved. Pour into shallow freezer container cover with foil and freeze for 1-2 hours. 

After 1-2 hours have passed pour slightly thickened mixture back into metal bowl and whisk until smooth. Once smooth return to shallow baking container and freeze for 8 hours

*TIPS* I use a metal loaf pan for freezing my ice cream in. Use your Kitchen Aid mixer with wire whisk attachment for your mixing. Specially after it has slightly thickened. Or get buff arms and do it the old fashioned way. Your choice! 

Hope you try this summertime treat and enjoy! Thanks for reading!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sweet Onion Saute

Need a quick last minute dinner idea? Need a fast dinner save? Sweet Onion Saute is a quick save for late evenings where we need a quick dinner! Lets not kid ourselves it is hard to beat a meal in under 30 minutes! Rachel Ray has the right idea thats for sure! 30 minute meals are my favorite. Specially with being outdoor junkies my husband & I are usually not getting home until after dark so I'm usually thrashing for a quick dinner idea if I forgot to throw something in the crock pot!

Sweet Onion Saute is a yummy last minute save for getting some grub on the dinner table when were running a little behind! Hope you give it a try and LOVE it! I sure do!

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy!
Sweet Onion Saute

1 Pound chicken breast 
1 Pound asparagus
1  sweet onion
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic salt

Chop your onion finely and your asparagus in 1 inch long pieces. Saute in pan over medium high heat. Once onions are caramelized and asparagus tender transfer to plate. Slice your chicken in strips or small chunks (Your Choice) Saute in pan with butter and spices until chicken is cooked with a nice golden look on the outside. Add veggies back into pan with chicken and stir in your onion dressing and let cook for a couple minutes and serve!

TA~DA!! Super chef just whipped out a tasty dinner in a quick amount of time! Boo ya! Pat yourself on the shoulder, now! Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grilled peaches

It's grilling season folks, and this girl is excited! Last summer the AC went out in my rental house and to avoid making my 103 degree house any hotter I grilled everything. I mean everything.  I grilled eggs for breakfast, avocados, quesadillas, you name it I grilled it or we didn't eat it.

Unless it was ice cream, then we ate it and I didn't grill but I bet I could figure out how to grill ice cream too. Just let me do some research, and by research I mean pinteresting. 

So grilled peaches, eat them for dessert or side dish, your choice my friend, but I like 'em for a side dish and then again for dessert. Grilled peaches are yummy yummy yummy.

You will need:

olive oil
halved peaches
brown sugar

I use an olive oil mister to spray the peach halves with olive oil, or you could just pour a little bit on them.

Grill face down for 3-5 minutes.  
Flip and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of brown sugar.  
Cook til the brown sugar is liquified and golden and gloriously delicious. 
Proceed to eat them all before anyone else sees them.
Or share if you're feeling overly-needy for a pile of compliments, because you're about to get overloaded with them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Soda bottle splash park

My kids are odd. They love the splash park, but don't really like playing in sprinklers or being splashed...unless they are at the splash park, and then they love being splashed and playing in sprinklers. So I decided to create some at home splash parkness, because I am a hermit crab and like to stay home as much as possible.

All you need is an empty soda bottle and  male to male 3/4'' hose connector. Mine was $6.99 and my local hardware store is a bit on the expensive side.

Drill holes in your bottle with a small drill bit and let er rip.

Added bonus #1 if you hang it from a tree your kids will play in the shade. 
Added bonus #2 you don't have to store the bottle when winter comes.

Bring on the summer!

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