Category Archives: Featured

Making Butters

A few weeks back I saw on Pinterest how to make butter by shaking it in a jar. I tried it. It turned to whipped cream but nothing more, so I finished it with the mixer instead. It worked alright, but would have been better if I had a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  But it still turned out okay.  I mixed in some Cajun seasoning to some of it. Not bad for my first go.

Homemade Butter  Homemade Butter And Buttermilk  Homemade Cajun Butter

Last weekend we were visiting Chad’s family and they had seen my posts on Facebook about my attempt at butter making.  So I’ve been given a couple special family heirlooms that belonged to Chad’s grandpa, and his great grandma before that.  I’ve heard that Chad’s grandpa spent much time using this as a kid.

Antique Butter Churn Family Heirloom

I was also given two wooden butter molds with it. They’re pretty cool too.

Antique Family Heirloom Wooden Butter Molds

So I was pretty excited to give this stuff a try when we got home.  Got it all washed up, because it was all pretty dirty, went to the store and bought some cream and waited for Kaden to get home from school so he could help.

Kaden Churning Butter Churning Butter

I think I got a little too excited and put too much cream in at first. Just because the jar has a line marking 4 quarts, does not mean to fill it that full with cream lol.  So I took about half the whipped cream out and finished it in batches. Much easier.  We had worn ourselves out.

IMG_20170221_180354 IMG_20170221_180618

Kaden and I took turns churning (Chad took a few turns too) and after  a while and some sore arms later, all our hard work had paid off and we had butter! And also a lot of buttermilk.

Pouring Out The Buttermilk

Lots Of Buttermilk

Butter! Lots Of Butter

After I got all the buttermilk separated out from the butter, I divided it and made them into different flavors. I made chili lime, garlic and herb, Cajun, Italian herb, regular salted, and Sriracha.

Homemade Flavored Butters

I tried out the butter molds too. Although, I haven’t quite figured out the trick to these yet. The butter didn’t want to come out of them even after setting in the fridge for hours.  This is supposed to be a pineapple but it’s kind of hard to tell.

Pineapple Butter Mold

All in all, this was a fun experience to get to use something young grandparents and family members past have used. I’m not sure I’d make a habit of using the butter churn, I think I’ll retire it and find a nice spot for it as a decoration instead. I think one of these days I’ll invest in a stand mixer. :)

White Country Gravy

Idaho Style Chicken Fried Steak Strips

Okay, so I’ve had this recipe in my old school, ACTUAL cook book for years now. I have no idea where I got the recipe from, but it’s so good, I’ve made is many times. Served with mashed potatoes and white country gravy…so so so good.

Idaho Style Chicken Fried Steak Strips


  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 in. thin strips
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp.  grill seasoning (I used a sriracha rub I had on had, but your favorite seasoning will work fine)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups canola oil for frying

Beat together egg, milk, seasoning and 1/2 cup of flour in a large bowl. Add beef strips and toss until well coated.  Cover and place int the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Sift 2 1/2 cups flour with garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Remove steak strips from batter and allow excess to drip off.  Dredge each piece with seasoned flour and place on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until firm, 1 hour to overnight. Heat oil to 370 degrees in fryer or skillet. Drop a few frozen pieces into oil and fry until golden brown on the outside, about 5 minutes. Do no overcrowd the pan.

Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board Beer Tap Menu

Magnetic Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board

Chad’s birthday was a few weeks ago. I shopped and shopped, but couldn’t find anything that he might want or need. So like pretty much every other year, I had to resort to getting him lots of different kinds of beers. We enjoy the mystery cases from Goebel’s. So I got him one of those, and chose 2 six packs of random bottles from the beer wall. So I decided to get a lil crafty with the bottle caps this time. I saw something similar on Pinterest, so I thought I would give it a shot. I got a small chalk board from Michael’s for like $1.99, glued some magnets on the back and then glued on the caps.I had to glue in squares of cardboard inside the caps so I had a way to actually glue them onto the board. This got a little frustrating. I first glued them with my hot glue gun. They ended up not sticking. So I went and bought super glue thinking for sure, that that would do the trick. But I was wrong. It worked worse than the hot glue did. So I had to resort to using an epoxy. That stuff works on everything. So finally I got everything to hold in place, and voila!  Got some chalk pens, and made it a pretty beer tap menu. Although my writing isn’t the best, but oh well. It’ll do.

Chalkboard Beer Bottle Cap Beer Tap Menu

Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board Beer Tap Menu

Beer Bottle Cap Chalkboard Beer Tap Menu

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom Onion Gravy

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom And Onion Gravy

Tonight I was in the mood for some good ‘ol comfort food. For me, that’s pretty much anything with mashed potatoes and gravy. :) In this case is was sirloin beef tips in a mushroom and onion gravy. So much yum.  Happy tummy. Happy family.

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom Onion Gravy

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom And Onion Gravy:

  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 1 lb.  sirloin steak, cut into large dice
  • 1 medium/large onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz.mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1  1/2 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch


Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder together and combine with the flour. Heat the oil in a skillet. Dredge the steak pieces with the flour mixture.  Saute onions and cook until it is softened. Add the butter to the pan and then add the steak and saute until medium rare, about a minute. Then add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms begin to color, then remove the meat, onions, and mushrooms to a platter and keep warm.
Deglaze the skillet with the wine, making sure to loosen any browned bits, and let it reduce a little. Add the beef broth and bring to a boil, then return the reserved meat and vegetables back to the pan and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.Mix the cornstarch with a little of the cooking liquid to make a paste and add it to the simmering broth. When the sauce is thickened, serve the tips with rice or mashed potatoes, and a vegetable of your choice.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken And Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

Easy Kung Pao Chicken And Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

I made both of these recipes for dinner earlier this week. They both turned out really well. We ate all of the chicken, but the chow mein ended up being way more than two people need. So we still have quite a bit of that left in the fridge.  The chicken was pretty simple to throw together, which I love. I doubled the sauce ingredients, I like some extra saucy chicken. :)  The chow mein was pretty easy too. I got some Chinese noodles from the Asian grocery store, not exactly sure what kind they were, but they worked out alright. Hubs says the noodles were a bit too gingery, so may put less in next time. And maybe half the recipe lol. Other than that, dinner was a success! Definitely will be making these recipes again sometime, maybe even include them in this years annual Chinese Christmas stir-fry.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken And Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

Kung Pao Chicken:

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup corn starch + 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon water

Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces, place in a large plastic bag with ¾ cup of corn starch, lightly shake until all of the chicken is coated well.

Heat a large 12 inch skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat, pour in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cook chicken in batches, take care not to over crowd your skillet. I cooked about 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet in order to drain off as much oil as possible. Continue until all chicken is cooked.

Combine the next 6 ingredients in a small bowl or measuring up to make your sauce. Set aside.

Combine one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of corn starch and mix well.

Drain off any oil that is in your pan and wipe clean, heat to medium, add in soy sauce mixture and corn starch mixture, add in chicken and stir until mixture is evenly coated and heated through.

Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and crushed red pepper if desired.



Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein:

  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onions minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Chow Mein ingredients:
  • 14 ounces of lo mein noodles, or 2 packages of Yakisoba noodles (dry) prepared without seasoning packages
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (use vegetable, olive oil, or oil of your choice)
  • 2 cups nappa cabbage sliced
  • 1 large white onion sliced thin
  • 3 stalks of celery cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, green onions, and sesame oil; set aside.

Prepare  noodles by placing in boiling water. Cook according to package directions. When noodles are done, drain them.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes, the onions will begin to become translucent. Stir in cabbage until heated through, about 1 minute. Add noodles  and  sauce, stir until well combined and the noodles are heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately


Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce

Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Copycat Sauce

This past weekend, I ended up in a pinch to get a quick and easy dinner made. The sauce is supposed to be like the Spicy Garlic sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ve been wanting to try this out for a while now, so it seemed like a good time. I threw together the sauce really quickly and easily. I was pretty impressed that it really did taste like theirs. And it was super easy, so that’s a plus. I tossed some Tyson breaded chicken strips in it and we made wraps. It would have been better if I had had time to actually make my own chicken strips, but oh well. It turned out alright anyways.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce

1 cup Frank’s red hot sauce (I only had 1/2 cup of Frank’s so I used another 1/2 cup of other hot sauce)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

In a small sauce pan combine first seven ingredients. Heat over medium heat until sauce begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk egg yolk and water together. Add cornstarch and continue to whisk until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Slowly add warm hot sauce mixture to egg mixture. Continually whisk to create an emulsion. Cover sauce and chill until needed.

Makes 1 1/2 Cups

Thumbtack buck head art

Wood And Thumbtack Buck Head Art

I started this project some months ago. It ended up being waaay more difficult than I had thought. The thumbtacks did not want to push into the plywood as easily as I’d hoped. Go figure.  After many broken tacks and two very sore thumbs later, I decided to start hammering a nail in first to make a hole then hammer in the tacks. Much, much easier but still very time consuming.  In the end it turned out well.  The tacks do poke out the back of the wood since it’s such thin plywood. I had planned on covering the back with something before hanging it, but ended up just leaning it against the wall. I was just ready for this project to finally be done.

Thumbtack buck head wood art

I used a big piece of  quarter inch thick plywood that I had leftover from another project for this. I stained it with an ebony color wood stain we had lying around. It took several coats to get it the color I wanted.

thumb tack buck head art - staining the board

I let that set for a few days until it had completely dried. Then I cut out and taped on the silhouette that I had printed at FedEx Office. You can get large black and white prints on their blueprint paper for pretty cheap.  I figured that was the way to go since my drawing skills never developed properly.

Buck head silhouette thumbtack art

I put the tacks in around the outline, and then took the paper off. In hindsight, it would have been easier to have just traced it instead of taping it on. Some of the paper got stuck under the tacks when I took it off and it was hard to get it out. Oh well. Live and learn.

Buck deer head thumbtack art

Once I got done with the outline I just had to fill it in. This. Took. Forever. Not gonna lie. I will never ever try to put this many tacks in wood again. Ever. But hey, nearly 3,300 thumbtacks and 2 very sore thumbs later, it looks good!

Thumbtack buck head art

Beer glass nail and string bar art

Beer Glass Nail And String Art

I made these beer glass silhouette nail and string art for Chad for Father’s Day. They were much easier than the other’s I made for Father’s Day. You can read that post for a detailed tutorial. For these I used leftover pieces of a 1″x8′ board that I had, so I used 1 inch nails instead of  the longer ones I used with the 2″x8′ boards. We ended up hanging them back behind our basement bar. Pretty snazzy.

Beer Glass Nail And String Bar Art

Beer Glass Nail and string bar art

Beer glass nail and string bar art

Beer Glass Nail And String Bar Art

Elk and moose nail and string art

Wildlife Board, Nail And String Art Projects

I made these back in June as Father’s Day gifts and am just now getting around to posting about them.  I know, I’ve been slacking off. I’m a slacker. But anyways, the first one I did was the elk for my dad. It turned out better than I had expected it to since most of the new projects that I try end in failure. So I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out actually looking like it was supposed to.  I decided to make another moose one for Chad’s dad.  It was slightly easier than the elk since the elk antlers were a bit of a pain in the butt. I also made Chad some beer glass ones that we hung behind our bar.

Elk and moose nail and string art

I went to Lowe’s and got an 2″x8′ board and had them cut it into equal sized sections for me and I sanded down the rough edges when I got home.  I stained my boards with ebony colored wood stain. It’s what I had on hand, but you could use any color you want. I only put on one light coat because it didn’t want it to be too dark. Then I let that dry over night and then got to work.

Nail and string art board

I searched Google images for silhouettes of what I wanted and edited the image to make sure it would print out to be the right size for me boards. It’s okay if when you edit them image it’s low quality and really pixilated, remember that you really just need the basic shape. Then cut out the image and tape it in place.

Moose silhouette

Moose silhouette on board

Then the fun part. You get to smash your fingers while hammering in nails around the edge of your picture. I used 1 1/4 inch long nails. You want them to still be sticking out about 1/2 – 3-4 of an inch. I left about 1/2 inch spaces in between each nail, but put some closer together in some areas like corners so the shape would be right once I went around with the string.

Moose nail and string art

Once you have all your nails in, it’s time to string it. I bought a big spool of crocheting thread from Hobby Lobby. Tie the end on to a nail and then go around each nail, looping it around so it stays tight in place.Go all the way around your picture and then loop it around the last nail.

Moose nail string art

Moose nail and string art

Once your done with that, you’ll want to take off the paper, then take your string and just start zig-zagging your way across the whole thing. Make sure you loop all the way around each nail so it stays tight.

Moose nail and string art

Moose nail and sting art

Once you’ve got it covered to your liking, just pick a nail to tie it off on, cut your thread and violi! Not too terribly difficult.  Although I had quite a crick in the neck by then time I got done.

Moose nail and string art

Pan seared lemon caper chicken

Lemon Caper Pan Seared Chicken

I tired out this recipe for dinner last night. It ‘s my first time cooking with capers since I found out what they were. They are in fact, not small fish like I thought. 😛 This chicken was really simple to make and really good. I will probably not put in quite as much lemon juice next time though. I doubled the pan sauce. I like sauce.

Pan seared lemon caper chicken

The Recipe:

Pan Sauce:

  • 6 Tablespoons chicken broth 
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers


  • 4 trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Combine the pan sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with ample salt and pepper. Put a handful of flour in shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour coating well.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Before adding the chicken, test the heat of the pan by flicking in a little of the dredging flour. If the flour sizzles enthusiastically and immediately turns golden, the pan is ready. Add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes without moving the breasts. Then, turn them over and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes on the other side.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Add the pan sauce ingredients to the hot pan and boil, stirring and scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and whisk until smooth and glossy.Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.