Cantaloupe PUPsicles

This quick, easy recipe was a hit with my dogs!

It is a great summer treat to help beat the heat – and is healthy for them!

And the other great part? It only has 3 ingredients!

You can use this recipe with either cantaloupe or watermelon.

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I actually was making a frozen cantaloupe sorbet for my hubby and I when I realized that if I just left the sugar out, I could make some treats for the pups while I was at it.

First, remove the seeds and cut the rind off, then slice the cantaloupe into chunks.

Next, toss them into the food processor or blender with about 1 tablespoon of cold water and a teaspoon of lemon juice.

(I personally love my KitchenAid food processor)

Blend until it is an even consistency.

I bought these cute dog paw silicone molds off Amazon a while back and I can’t believe this is the very first time I have used them! They were under $20 for a set of 4 molds.

Spoon the mixture into the silicone mold and freeze until it is solid.

PRO TIP: the molds are very flexible, so you should set them on a cutting board or baking sheet that you can place in the freezer with the molds before adding the cantaloupe mix. This will help prevent spilling.

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And viola! You just made the cutest, healthy dog treats ever!

And as I mentioned, the only difference in this recipe versus what I made for my husband and I is the sugar; if you want to sweeten this up a bit and serve it to guests, just add a tablespoon of sugar (the melon is already sweet, so a little sugar is all it takes).

Oh, and you can also use an ice cream maker to make it more of a sorbet slush consistency for the humans.

Recipe

  • 1 cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until it is an even consistency.

Fill silicone molds, then place in freezer until solid.

Enjoy spoiling your pet!

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If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to drop a comment and a photo of how it turned out for you! (Don’t forget to include your pooch in the pic!)

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Compound Butter

I have wanted to try my hand at compound butter for some time now; all the mouth-watering recipes on Pinterest are just sooo tempting!

This week I needed to prune my basil, but didn’t have enough to make a full batch of pesto so I decided compound butter would be the perfect way to use up the extra herbs.

And as long as I was softening a whole block of butter, I thought I would try a couple different recipes to see which I liked best.

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I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but one of the combinations I had seen was honey orange compound butter – and we have our own home-raised honey, so why not?

The first savoury recipe I tried was roasted garlic & dill with chives, which I plan to use on baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or perogies.

For the second savoury combo, I used the excess basil I had pruned, oregano, and some purple thyme flowers to give it a pop of color. Oh, and roasted garlic. Gotta love garlic in almost everything!

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I plan to use the herbed garlic butter for pastas, steaks, and buttering grilled cheesers (I’ve already used it on grilled cheese sandwiches and it turned out AMAZING). Hmm… And I’ll bet it would be great on grilled corn on the cob…

I found that making compound butter was really easy and fairly quick once the butter was softened. And the beauty of so many different combinations really leaves it up to your imagination as to which ingredients to add!

And how much to add is up to you, too… If you love garlic, add lots. If you want a hint of citrus, add a smidge of lime zest.

It is supposed to last for a couple weeks in the fridge (remember, this is my first time making compound butter and haven’t tested the shelf life myself yet); if you want to store it longer than that, just pop it in the freezer.

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The first step is to allow the butter to come to room temperature so it is nice and soft. (I used salted butter, but I’m sure you could make unsalted work as well)

I put my butter in the mixing bowl directly from the fridge so I wouldn’t have to try getting soft, sticky butter out of the packaging later.

I know at least a few of you are thinking you’ll skip the wait time by throwing your butter in the microwave – don’t do it!!!

Every time I have tried softening butter in the microwave in the past, I end up with at least part of it getting melted – and you want soft butter, not melted butter!

Once the butter is nice and soft, you get to start your gourmet recipe!

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Add your ingredients of choice and then mix everything together well until it is an even consistency.

I used an electric hand mixer, but you can also mix it with a whisk or spatula (the softer the butter, the easier to mix).

Once all the ingredients are well incorporated, spoon it onto a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap it, then form it into a log.

It won’t shape perfectly at this stage since the butter is still so soft, so place your compound butter back in the fridge for a while until it hardens up a bit, but isn’t completely hard.

Now you can roll it on the counter to get a more even “roundness” to your shape.

So now that you know the process, let’s get to the recipes I tried out!

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Honey Orange

As I mentioned, we have our own home-raised honey from our bees – and I had been looking for some fun recipes to use the abundance of honey we have on hand.

I don’t usually eat much sweet stuff, so I made this batch smaller than the rest.

Recipe:

1/2 cup soft butter

1/4 cup raw honey

Zest from 1 large orange

In the future, I think I’ll save some of the orange zest and roll the simi-hardened compound butter in it to give it a bit of extra “wow factor”

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I tried this out on pancakes and YUM! It had such a nice balance of sweet from the honey and fresh tartness from the orange zest.

It would also go well on cornbread, biscuits or even banana bread.

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Dill & Roasted Garlic with Chives

Dill and garlic are two things I use in sooo many recipes!

They work together so well to create a complex flavour profile in recipes like mashed potatoes, creamy green beans, and creamed peas & potatoes.

This compound butter will also go great on baked potatoes for BBQ season.

Recipe:

1 cup soft butter

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

3-4 cloves roasted garlic, diced

1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

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Herbed Garlic Butter

Basil, Oregano, and Thyme are staples in my herb garden.

I love using them in Italian dishes like lasagna, fettuccine or herbed olive bread.

I already used this compound butter on grilled cheese sandwiches with the olive bread and it was to die for!

Recipe:

1 cup soft butter

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

3-4 cloves roasted garlic, chopped

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Clearly, I need to hone my skills to get perfectly round logs – but hey! Once the butter is melted over a juicy steak, no one will care if it wasn’t perfectly shaped!

So what do you think? Which combos should I try next?

Drop a comment below!

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Egg Salad Sandwiches

Here on the prairies, seeding is in full swing.

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For those of you who don’t farm, that means many a long day (and often well into the night) spent in the field getting crops in the ground.

I have done my fair share of those long hours and am thankful to be able to get a full night of sleep, but want to do my part to help my hubby out while he is pulling the all-nighters running the seeder.

Hence sandwiches.

We live in the country, so picking up Subway or other fast food isn’t exactly convenient (or cost effective)…

I try to keep a good variety of sandwiches in the mix so Jake doesn’t get tired of just eating the same kind day after day.

(we also have chickens that have been laying like crazy, so egg salad sandwiches are a great way to use our farm-fresh eggs).

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Egg salad sandwich mix is pretty quick to whip up and stays good in the fridge for several days – and is sooo fast to spread on some bread and send out to the field!

The biggest thing is having an easy-peel method for the boiled eggs, otherwise it can be a huge pain to make. I do not have the patience to pick tiny pieces of shell off each egg, to my easy-peel method is a must!

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Once the eggs are all boiled and peeled, I either chop them into pieces or simply use a fork or potato masher to mash them up.

Then, I add about 1 cup of Miracle Whip (my hubby prefers it over Mayo, so if you are a hard-core Hellman’s person go with that!), 1 tablespoon of mustard, about 3 pickles (chopped), and sometimes even a bit of dill and stir it all together.

Obviously some salt & pepper to taste is recommended as well…

Depending on how “stiff” or “runny” you would like your mixture, you can take some extra time to really make sure the yolks are well mashed – or – you can add a splash of pickle juice for some extra zing.

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And viola! You are prepped for the next batch of sandwiches within minutes!

Ingredients

6-8 hardboiled eggs

1 cup Miracle Whip

1 Tablespoon mustard

3 pickles, finely chopped

Dill (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste

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Directions

Chop or mash the hardboiled eggs.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Add egg salad mix to bread and enjoy!

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Easy-Peel Boiled Eggs

Ever since we got laying hens a couple years ago, we have had a surplus of eggs; this pushed me to get creative with the ways we used them up without wearing out one boring, old recipe.

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I mean, 10 eggs a day for just 2 people is a lot!

Even with selling eggs, we always seem to have more than enough.

Of course you have breakfast options like scrambled, fried or poached eggs and some great lunch options by using boiled eggs on a Cobb salad, in egg salad sandwiches or potato salad.

Devilled eggs are a classic favourite, however the biggest deterrent for me is peeling the eggs.

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If the eggs are really fresh (like the home-raised eggs we get on our homestead), they can be a real chore to peel!

Poorly peeled egg with the old method

The quality and freshness of the eggs are unbeatable, however the shells tend to stick to the boiled eggs and I end up with ugly, marbled looking eggs. (Not to mention the waste of throwing away parts of the egg that are stuck to the shells!)

Well, no more!

I had heard that the InstantPot makes for the quickest, easiest “boiled” eggs (although they aren’t actually boiled in water, rather steamed) and I decided to give it a shot.

Instant Pot

Sure enough, the first batch turned out great.

And then the second batch had the same amazing results.

And then the third batch proved this method was, indeed, a consistent winner.

It still helps if the eggs are at least a few days old, but it isn’t necessary.

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Start by adding a cup of water to the bottom of the pot, then add the eggs on top of the metal rack (I make sure mine aren’t touching the water).

The egg setting automatically is set for 5 minutes, however you can adjust it to less time if you would like soft boiled eggs.

If you have never used an Instant Pot before, you need to make sure the lid is securely fastened and the vent on top is in the “shut” setting (it is marked on the lid).

The timer starts once the pot is pre-heated. Once it has finished the cycle, I do a quick decompress.

Some people say to allow it to naturally decompress for 5 minutes before releasing the steam, however I find that it cooks the eggs more than I would like that way.

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Once all the steam has all been fully released, carefully open the lid and immediately plunge the eggs into an ice water bath.

If you are only doing a few eggs at a time, you can use a bowl with ice water.

For larger batches, I find it makes less mess to just run cold water into my sink, add ice, and chill all the eggs at once without worry of overfilling a bowl.

Once the eggs are FULLY cooled, you can remove them from the ice water and start peeling them.

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Egg shell peeling properly

The egg shell should pull away from the egg completely and easily, often in large pieces of shell.

I like to peel them into the sink so I can rinse the eggs under running water to make sure there are no small pieces of shell left on them (I hate that gross “crunch” of egg shell when I am eating).

I should also mention that I gently tap the boiled egg against the sink or counter to slightly crunch the shell before I start peeling them.

With easy-peel boiled eggs, it really should only take a few minutes to peel a dozen eggs – and you are set for whichever recipe you are making.

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Oh, right! I forgot to mention that pickling eggs is another great way to use up excess eggs.

At the moment, I am experimenting with different pickled egg recipes to see which ones come out as the approved winners by my hubby – I’ll be sure to share them with you later!

Have you tried this method? Drop a comment below!

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Krupsua (aka Dutch Baby)

Here I go again… sharing all our secret family recipes!

Okay, I did ask my mom if she was okay with me publishing our family recipes and she was more than happy that I was able to share them with the rest of the family – and all of you!

One of the biggest weekend breakfast treats for us was Krupsua.

I can’t remember whether the origin was from our Swedish or Norwegian roots, but it certainly has “heritage” written all over it.

Most people would likely call this type of food a “Dutch Baby.”

In any case, it always goes over well with our family – and we rarely have leftovers!

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That being said, the reason this is a weekend favourite is because it takes about an hour of bake time. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in getting up an hour early on a work day just to get breakfast going!

Krupsua is one of those foods that immediately brings to mind memories for me; so often, when we visited Grandma and Grandpa Plate, this was a meal I would help Mom and Grandma make…

There was a smell of fresh coffee in the kitchen, Grandma’s tidy counters ready to cook, and the sound of their grandfather clock gently chiming every 15 minutes…

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Side note – I make no apology for being “that blogger” who has a big story with each recipe. Each of my blog posts are tied to something very important to me – and let’s be honest here, I’m doing this more for me than for you. 😉

But let’s get into the recipe!

I always start by adding the milk and flour together, then whisking well so they are a nice, smooth mixture.

This has proven to be a very important step, because the times I have skipped it and added the eggs right away, things just weren’t as good as usual.

Next, I crack all the eggs into a separate bowl (or more often, a measuring cup) and beat them until they are an even consistency.

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Then I add the eggs into the milk-and-flour mix, along with the salt, sugar, and (sometimes) a splash of vanilla extract.

All the while, my oven has been pre-heating to 400° and a baking dish with about 1/4 cup butter have been heating as well.

Ideally, the baking dish should have tall sides to give the Krupsua a nice, high rise.

Once the oven is fully heated and the butter in the baking dish has melted, the batter gets added and then the wait begins!!

Mom’s recipe says to bake for 40-60 minutes (uncovered) – I find it typically takes the full 60 minutes to finish cooking properly.

Some people may choose to bake it with a lid or tin foil for the first 20-30 minutes, and then remove the cover for the remaining time.

Either way, you NEED to make sure you leave enough room for the Krupsua to rise without touching the top of the oven (or lid, if you choose to use one) so it doesn’t burn!

I usually put mine on the second-to-lowest rack to leave plenty of room, while also baking evenly.

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As the Krupsua bakes, the sides will begin to rise first, getting a golden-brown finish on the edges.

Once the center begins to rise, as well, you are almost there!

I have made the mistake of trying to rush the process and take the Krupsua out before the center had risen fully. Don’t make that mistake. Just wait!

You want the center to get a golden-brown finish before you pull the Krupsua out of the oven.

Oh! And the center will fall again as soon as you take it out of the oven!

Don’t worry; that is perfectly normal.

Some people in my family love the crispy exterior of the Krupsua, whereas others love the soft, custard-like interior.

I’m pretty sure there is an agreement between a few of them that one person gets all of the crunchy parts and the other gets all the soft, buttery middle parts.

Grandma Plate often had rhubarb sauce or strawberry sauce on hand, which we would drizzle over our individual servings.

Some in my family prefer to eat their Krupsua plain…

… And others prefer to use syrup!

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Ingredients

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1 cup flour

2 cups whole milk

5 eggs

1 t salt

2 T sugar

1 t vanilla extract, optional

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400º and place a large bowl with the butter inside.

Next, mix the milk and flour well so there are no lumps left.

Beat the eggs and add them to the flour mixture.

Add the salt, sugar, and vanilla extract to the mix.

Once the oven is preheated, pour the mixture into the bowl with the melted butter.

I typically find that I need to bake it for 60 minutes to ensure the centre is fully cooked, though if you would like to speed up your bake time, you can use buttered muffin tins instead of the large bowl.

Remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes before serving.

You can serve it plain, with syrup or with fruit.

Enjoy!

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Mom’s Baking Powder Biscuits

What is better than Mom’s home-cooking?!

This is a recipe I grew up on and still love making to this day!

These tasty biscuits are great with butter, hot out of the oven.

Or you can add fresh, homemade jam…

… or you can make biscuits and gravy…

… ooor, you can use the dough to make Pigs in a Blanket!

This recipe is the foundation for so many yummy options.

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Start by mixing the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Then cut in cold butter using a pastry blender.

Depending on how flakey you would like your biscuits, you can add anywhere from 1 – 3 tablespoons of butter. The more butter, the flakier the biscuits.

Pro Tip: Using cold butter helps make the biscuits fluffier and flakier.

Next, add the milk and gently mix until the flour is fully incorporated.

Make sure not to overwork the dough.

Then roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into biscuits.

This recipe makes 6 – 2 1/2 inch biscuits, which I find is a perfect serving size.

I use my biscuit cutters from Amazon to get perfectly shaped biscuits with pretty scalloped edges.

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Pre-heat your oven to 400º and bake your biscuits on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

I personally like to line my baking sheet with parchment paper so I have as little clean-up as possible.

You can cover the biscuits and allow them to cool or serve them hot!

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Recipe

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon cold butter (up to 3 tablespoons)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

Directions

Mix dry ingredients, then cut in cold butter.

Stir in milk and incorporate ingredients (do not overwork dough).

Roll out dough on floured surface.

Cut & bake at 400º for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Makes 6 – 2 1/2 inch biscuits

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Be sure to join my mailing list to get my recipe for the gravy I make for biscuits and gravy as soon as I publish it!

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What is your favourite way to eat biscuits? Drop a comment below!

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Arched Garden Trellis DIY Build

During the long, cold winter months I tend to binge-watch DIY YouTube gardening videos – everything from how to grow blueberries, to composting, to building a greenhouse!

This past winter I came across the idea of expanding growing space by building an arched trellis using cattle panels.

I was intrigued!

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I love mixing “functional” with “decorative accent…” if you follow my blog, you’ve already seen the DIY garden arbor we built this spring for that very combination!

An archway in the middle of my garden, covered with vining foliage and flowers sounded like such an elegant, whimsical idea.

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First, we started off by building two matching raised beds as the foundation of our arched garden trellis.

Once they were in place, stained, and filled with a combination of compost and soil, we drove 4 metal t-posts into the ground so they were good and solid.

I wanted to have about 6 inches or so on the inside of the trellis so I could plant bush beans inside the archway and runner beans on the outside to vine upward.

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Next, we gently curved the cattle panels into a consistent arch and secured them to the t-posts; in some of the YouTube videos people used zip-ties to secure them, however we found they weren’t sturdy enough and used wire instead.

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The cattle panels were about $65 CAD from our local farm supply store, which was more than we had hoped they would cost but decided that it would be worth it in the end.

We added sand between the raised beds to avoid ending up with a muddy walkway when we got a heavy rain.

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(The archway seemed nearly invisible as just bare wire)

I planted bush beans inside the archway, as planned, and scarlet runner beans & purple runner beans on the outside of the trellis.

Check out my blog on how to grow green beans here.

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The raised beds were large enough that I had space to plant zucchini, summer squash, patty pan squash, and small rows of lettuce, spinach, kale, & arugula in the part of the beds away from the trellis.

And then the long wait began!

Slowly, I could see progress… vines crept upward inch by inch as I trained them to wind around the wire.

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By late July the beans were almost as tall as me – and by mid-August some of the vines had finally grown all the way up and over the trellis!

The whimsical tunnel of lush foliage, covered in flowers and peppered with fresh green beans was everything I had envisioned!

As far as the functional part of this DIY build, the cattle panels gave us an additional 128 square feet of vertical growing space!

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And as everyone knows, extra growing space = extra production!

(yes, we live on an acreage where we have plenty of space to grow veggies, but keeping everything as compact as possible makes weeding, watering, and harvesting easier)

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Over the last few months, we have had more than enough green beans to eat with every meal if we wanted AND lots left over for canning & pickling.

What innovative garden builds have you done? Drop a comment below!

Don’t forget to check out our DIY rain barrel that was *almost* FREE!

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Bagel BLT

We don’t usually have sandwiches for dinner, but when I have a fresh batch of bagels straight out of the oven it is definitely a tasty option!

Quick and easy dinners are a welcome thing when we have projects on the go, and bagel BLT’s hit the spot!

If you don’t know how to make your own homemade sourdough bagels, check out my recipe here!

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You can also find my homemade sourdough starter recipe here.

Sourdough bagels have the perfect flavour and chewiness to add something a little extra to a sandwich.

My personal favourite kinds of bagels to use for bagel BLT’s are jalapeño cheddar or sesame seed bagels.

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Slice a fresh bagel in half, then spread mayo to the bottom half and old fashioned mustard to the top half.

The old fashioned mustard adds a little extra crunch and I personally love the tangy flavour.

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Next, layer a generous amount of crispy bacon, then tomato, and lettuce.

(If your veggies are homegrown, all the better!)

You can even add a thinly sliced layer of red onion.

And viola! A classic sandwich is ready in a matter of minutes!

Sure, this is a pretty straight-forward meal to make – so why add it to my blog?

Lunch & dinner ideas! It is easy to get stuck in a rut of making the same few meals each week and it is nice to be reminded of outside the box options.

You’re welcome! 😉

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Loaded Stuffed Potatoes

If you’re anything like us, you’ll been firing up that grill all summer long!

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than the smell of the BBQ wafting through the yard… except for the tasty food that comes off the grill!

Baked potatoes make a great side for steak or chicken, so why not try this loaded version that takes it to the next level?

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The creamy inside is packed with flavour, the crispy bacon adding that “WOW” factor, and the gooey cheese topping it all off… YUM!

As with most of my recipes, this is easy to make and bound to impress next time you host dinner on your patio.

Baked potatoes typically take about an hour to cook fully, so you will have to plan ahead a bit.

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First things first: choosing the right potato!

Russet potatoes are my first choice to use for baking because of their thick skin and starchy insides.

I have used Yukon Gold potatoes for baking as well, but the skin isn’t quite as thick and doesn’t get as crispy, which is part of the beauty of a baked potato.

I start by poking several holes in the potato in a few spots to help keep it from exploding while it cooks and allows steam to escape the skin.

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Grill on medium heat (or bake at 375º) on the top rack for about an hour.

Some people say to wrap them in tin foil, however I just pop the potatoes in by themselves; this helps with that crunchy skin.

Check the “done-ness” by stabbing a fork or knife through the centre; it should slide easily into the potato with no hard parts left inside.

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Once the potatoes are fully cooked, cut them in half long-wise and scoop out the insides (making sure not to damage the skins).

Next, whip the insides with cream cheese, garlic (you can use Garlic Plus or, as I prefer, roasted garlic), and crispy bacon (or bacon bits).

Salt and pepper to taste, then fill the skins with the mix.

You can top with your cheese of choice – I use cheddar as it browns so beautifully!

Place the potato halves on the top shelf of the grill again and allow the cheese to bubble into a nice golden-brown.

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Once you remove the potatoes from the heat, garnish with green onions and/or fresh parsley for an extra-fancy presentation.

Enjoy!

Stuffed mushrooms go well on the side or as an appetizer.

Pro tip: These also freeze well to be pre-made and thawed before hosting dinner; just allow enough time so they are fully thawed and place on the grill long enough to heat them thoroughly and finish browning the cheese.

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Recipe

2 large Russet potatoes

1/4 cup cream cheese

2 slices of bacon

2 roasted garlic cloves *or* 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Plus

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

Green onions (garnish)

Parsley (garnish)

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Directions

Pierce potatoes with fork or knife in several places, then place on pre-heated grill at medium heat (or in oven at 375º) on top rack for 1 hour or until tender in the centre.

Cut potatoes in half long-wise and remove insides, making sure to leave skins intact.

Mix insides well with cream cheese, bacon, salt & pepper.

Spoon mix back into the skins and top with cheddar cheese.

Place back on grill (or in oven) until the cheese has turned golden-brown.

Remove from heat and garnish with green onions and parsley.

Enjoy!

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Makes 4 halves

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DIY Rain Barrel *Almost* for Free!

Did you know that rain water is much better for plants than tap water?

It contains nitrogen, which actually feeds the plants!

That is why things seem to grow like crazy right after a good rain (of course the thorough watering helps, too).

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Plus, rain water doesn’t contain chlorine and the tepid temperature is far easier on your plants than frigid water from the house.

And then there is the water bill. Yuck. Who needs more bills in their lives?!

Living in the country with well water, we don’t have to worry about a water bill – however a lot of people do have to take that expense into consideration.

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And I can’t tell you how many times I have seen notices in the city for “odd/even” watering schedules, which cuts down on how much water folks can use to keep everything green.

With all these factors in favour of a bit more self-sufficiency, rain barrels have become increasingly popular.

(Yes, I am aware that there is controversy in some States trying to regulate people collecting rain water – but thankfully that is not the case up here where I live)

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Did you say this DIY rain barrel was almost FREE?

Yep. You read that right.

We repurposed an old water softener barrel, weathered wood planking, leftover stain, and only had to buy some hardware for the tap!

The repurposed materials were things we already had on the acreage, however they wouldn’t be difficult to get for free (or cheap) for someone who doesn’t have these items sitting around their yard.

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Obviously this project required tools, which were not free, but with all the renovations we have been doing on our huge house we have accumulated many tools that will last us a lifetime.

(Check out our laundry room renovations here!)

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Where to start

Once you have collected a barrel, some wood planking, and hardware for the tap – and perhaps some rope as a decorative accent, you can get started!

Some people use an adhesive like PL Premium to “glue” the boards to the barrel, while others will use that rope as more than a decorative accent and have it tie everything together – literally.

For our rain barrel, we used drywall screws (once again, supplies we already had on hand from other projects) to secure the tongue-in-groove planking together at the top and bottom (making sure not to puncture the barrel).

We drilled a hole near the bottom of the barrel for the tap.

Installing the tap, the hardware had to have a good seal on the inside of the barrel so it didn’t end up losing water with a leak.

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A nice stain finished the look nicely; we used stain left over from the greenhouse, which makes the rain barrel look like a perfect accent piece in the garden.

The hole in the top of the rain barrel should only be large enough for the waterspout and protected with a fine screen to keep debris from getting into the rain barrel and clogging the tap.

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Once the rain barrel is in place and get your first good rain, you’re set!

No more relying on a mandated watering schedule and extra cost on your water bill!

And of course, enjoy the added benefit of water perfect for feeding your plants!

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Do you already have a rain barrel or want to get one? Drop a comment below!

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