Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


Usually in Minnesota we still have snow right now so I am savoring every 50+ degree day that we have had the last few weeks.  Everyday we are outside.  We don’t even care if it is raining.  We just want to be outside either running around, playing with the chickens or doing yard work.  It just feels so good to be outside.

Yesterday while shopping we encountered a teenager who was totally red from the sun.  I felt so bad for her.  Us Minnesotans are not use to using sunscreen this early in the year so I guess that I couldn’t blame her for not thinking of bringing sunscreen to her track meet earlier in the day.  She did tell me that she learned her lesson and was telling others to start wearing sunblock and to protect their skin.  She is a wise teenager.

I haven’t yet found or created a sunscreen recipe that I feel works great, but I do have a summer face wash recipe that includes Carrot Seed oil which is by nature, a sun barer.  I like things to be easy so adding oils that help my skin into my face soap just makes sense to me.  Here is the recipe so that you can try it at home too.


1 Foaming Pump bottle (you can reuse the one that you were just about to throw out because it ran out of soap)

2 TBSP of Dr. Bronner’s Mild Castile Liquid Soap (an additional TBSP can be added if you like a thicker foam, but it is not necessary to cleanse your face)

3 Drops of Youngliving Carrot Seed Oil

5 Drops of Youngliving Melacueca Oil

3 Drops of Youngliving Frankincense Oil

2 Drops of Youngliving Lavender Oil


April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016-2

April 25, 2016-3

April 25, 2016-4


And there you have it.  This recipe is easier and faster than running to the store to buy a container of face soap.  The whole recipe comes together in less than 3 minutes.  You gotta love that!


15 years ago smudges on my windows and mirrors would have driven me insane. Four kids later I actually love seeing my kids little handprints and nose markers on the window. There does come a time when I have to say good-bye to the little marks the kids leave for me and to clean the windows and mirrors. Today was one of those days.

I went to our cleaning closet and learned that I was almost out of my favorite window cleaner so G helped me whip some up. The recipe is really simple and takes less time to make than it does to walk to the isle at Target to pick up Windex. Here is the recipe:

1 Cup of warm water
1/8 cup of Vinegar
1/8 cup of Rubbing Alcohol
1.5 tsp of Cornstarch

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour them into a reusable spray bottle. Make sure to give the spray bottle a shake before each use. The cornstarch likes to settle to the bottom.

March 04, 2016

March 04, 2016-2

March 04, 2016-3


Prep Time – 20 Mins
Cook Time – 1 to 1.5 hours + preheat time

Requires –

Applewood Chips


Ingredients –

About 6-8 lbs of boneless chicken breasts.
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons brown sugar

1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl and rub onto all sides of each chicken breast. I usually combine about a third of the seasoning mix and chicken into a 1 gallon ziploc bag and rub the seasoning around to get it evenly spread.

2. Place the ziploc bag(s) of marinaded chicken breasts in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 12-24 is recommended.

3. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees fahrenheit. Make sure there is a pan of water in the smoker to help keep the chicken moist during smoking.

4. Once the smoker is preheated, add a small amount of Applewood chips to the smoker.


5. Place the chicken breasts on the racks and insert your temp probe if you have one.

6. Turn the chicken breasts over after about 30 minutes or when the chicken hits 130 degrees farhenheit.

7. Add another small batch of Applewood to the smoker right after turning the breasts over.

8. Remove the chicken from the smoker racks when the temperature of the breasts are 160 to 165 degrees fahrenheit. Place the chicken breasts in a large, covered pan and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.


9. Shred the chicken and enjoy! This tastes great with your favorite barbeque sauce and bun.


It is a warm 33 degree day here in Minnesota. That might not impress you, but usually this time of year we can expect -20 degrees at any moment in time. So when my little girl wasn’t feeling well because of a fever, we decided today would be a good day for homemade ice cream.

Homemade ice cream is a comfort food to me. The first time that I ever realized that you can make ice cream without going to the grocery store was way back in my childhood. I was probably around 7 or 8 when my Grandma Millie brought her hand cranked ice cream maker to my awesome cousin’s party. I remember turning the crank over and over again with my Grandma as my excitement grew from my anticipation on how yummy that ice cream was going to taste. All of my hard work paid off. I can still remember how delicious that ice cream was and I remember begging my Grandma to make it again with me. Every time we make ice cream I think of that moment and my Grandma. It makes my heart swell with lots of love.

It is no wonder why I want to share that same feeling with my children. They loved Grandma Millie too so anytime that I can bring a piece of her to our conversation, I go for it. Sadly, I don’t have the exact recipe that Grandma Millie use to make, but I am certain that she would find my recipe delicious. Here it is:

2 Cups Organic Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Cups Organic Skim Milk
1 Cup Organic Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 drops of Mint Extract or Peppermint Oil
1 cup of mashed chocolate chips.

Mix the heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and mint in a mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the mixture into your ice cream maker. (I use a Rival Ice Cream Maker). Layer the Ice Cream Maker with 2 inches of ice and a layer of Morton Ice Cream Salt until you reach the top of your container. Start the machine and let it run for 15 minutes. Once the ice cream turns into a mixture that looks like soft serve ice cream, add the mashed chocolate chips. Then restart the ice cream maker and let it mix for 20 minutes. Next transfer the fresh ice cream into a freezer safe container (I use my canning jars) and place the ice cream into the freezer to solidify. After chilling the ice cream for 2 hours take it out to enjoy.

Honestly, I usually cannot wait the whole 2 hours. It usually ends up being 30 minutes before we take out large samples of the ice cream. It is still on the soft side, but it sure tastes yummy.

January 28, 2016

C is mixing the liquid for me with her new whisk.

January 28, 2016-2

G is mashing the chocolate chips. This is one of her favorite cooking jobs.

January 28, 2016-3

This is what the ice cream will look like after 30 minutes in the freezer.

October 29, 2015-6


Years ago I realized that I had failed to teach my children what carrots actually looked like.  They could tell you were to get baby carrots at the grocery store and would gobble an entire bag of them in one sitting, but they didn’t know that carrots grew with green tops out of nutrient rich soil.

Farmer N

One day N told me that he wanted to be a farmer for Halloween.   I was so excited to buy him overalls and a handkerchief for the outfit. Then he decided that he wanted to pass out fresh vegetables to houses instead of getting candy. I personally loved the idea so I set out to find farm fresh carrots in our town. I checked the usual locations, the 2 grocery stores, Walmart and Target. None and I repeat, NONE of them had any carrots with green tops. Right there and then I decided that we would grow carrots in a garden the following summer. We did just that.

The next summer we planted a small garden in the back of our yard on top of the hill. It was the perfect size for us to learn on. We were able to plant a few rows of carrots, some green beans and 2 rows of corn.

The kids and I were excited everyday to weed the garden and to see what plants had grown over night. The food didn’t’ last long that year. Most of our garden was consumed for “snacks” that summer. The kids loved being able to walk into the garden, pick a vegetable and to eat it a few minutes later.

The best part about creating a garden for our family is that it gave us another activity to do together and it helped us discover how much better fresh heirloom vegetables taste compared to the items we were buying at the store.


This is the first post on Coopin It Real. Dedicated to my lovely and talented wife, Katie!

Tour de cure 2015