A Day at the Machine Shed

A day at the Machine Shed is filled with traditional farm-fresh cooking, mason jars, farm staples, and friendly service. Here are some pictures that represent our typical day at the Shed. We want to know what  your day at the shed would be like. Tell us what your favorite things about the Shed are!

MS- A Day at the shed

We’re on Pinterest!


That’s right! The Machine Shed is now on Pinterest! 

We’ve already created boards that celebrate Spring, Vintage Finds, Recipes and Do It Yourself Projects and will be adding more throughout the season.

Click Here to See Our Boards

If you haven’t signed up for Pinterest we’ll send you an invitation, leave a comment below mentioning you would like to join and we’ll send you an invitation.

See you over on Pinterest – and Happy Pinning!

Maple Syrup-Roasted Tomatoes

Many people reserve maple syrup for pancakes and sweet potatoes – but this versatile ingredient can be used for so much more! With tomato season fast approaching, we wanted to give you another way to prepare your favorite fruit/vegetable.  Serve these little goodies with toothpicks for appetizers or on top of pasta, salads, or pizza.

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We used maple syrup from the Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls, IA.


Maple Syrup-Roasted Tomatoes

Serves 4-6


  • 16 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oven to 250°F. Arrange tomato halves cut side up on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together syrup, oil, thyme, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl and then drizzle over tomatoes.
  3. Bake until tomatoes are half-dried and concentrated, 3-4 hours.

 To learn more about how maple syrup is harvested and made, visit the Hartman Reserve Nature Center for their annual Maple Syrup Festival!

*adapted from saveur.com

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Every Occasion Cheese Spread

We all need a back pocket recipe, don’t we?  A recipe we can put together without thinking (preferably memorized) that tastes good, looks good, and doesn’t require a run to the grocery store.  Enter the Every Occasion Cheese Spread.  Do you have mozzarella instead of cheddar? Use it.  Want to get rid some of the basil that’s taking over your garden? Throw it in.  Needing a little something extra?  Add handful of white beans or peppers.  While the recipe we have here is great just the way it is, it also has endless possibilities for all your last minute needs.

Every Occasion Cheese Spread

Every Occasion Cheese Spread

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, makes about 2 cups


  • 10 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if desired)
  • 1/4 heaping tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 to 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, as desired
  • hot sauce (if desired)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If you want a smoother consistency, add more mayonnaise.
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour and preferably overnight.

This can be put on crackers, piped into cherry tomatoes, made into finger sandwiches, served with pretzels or veggies, slathered on a burger – use your imagination!

*adapted from thekitchn.com

Nanaimo Bars

If you’re tired of the same old cookie bars, you’ve come to the right place! This no-bake bar originated in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and consists of a chocolate crumb cookie topped with custard and melted chocolate.  This recipe is the one endorsed by the city of Nanaimo, but there are numerous variations.  Enjoy!

Nanaimo Bars


Bottom Layer

  • 1/2 cup butter (margarine is a fair substitute, but butter is best)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 TBS cocoa
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup coconut
  1. Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler.
  2. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts.
  4. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.

Second Layer

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 TBS and 2 tsp milk
  • 2 TBS “Cook and Serve” vanilla pudding powder (NOT instant)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter, cream, pudding powder, and sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer

  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 TBS butter
  1. Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool.
  2. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator. We swirled our third layer into our second for a bit more flair!

And if you’re looking to take a delicious tour, check out the Nanaimo Bar Trail through the city!

Printable Fourth of July Sign

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Need a little extra something for your Fourth of July festivities or a gift for the hostess? Print off this sign, place it in a frame, and in less than 5 minutes you have a unique gift or patriotic decor.

Click the link to print Printable 4th of July Sign

Printing the sign on card stock is recommended, but your standard printer paper will work too.

Don’t forget to SHARE WITH US, here or on Facebook, how you used the printable sign!


Dulce de Leche

DULCEWe wrapped up dairy month yesterday, but we couldn’t resist one last recipe starring milk!

Dulce de leche is a caramel spread native to South America and can be used as just about anything – ice cream topping, cookie or cake filling, coffee sweetener, toast spread, and fruit dip are just some of the options.  Bonus: It’s super easy to make, and perfect for all the 4th of July celebrations this weekend!




Dulce de Leche

  • 1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • large cooking pot


  1. Remove label from can.
  2. Place can (unopened, still sealed) on its in the pot, and cover completely with water.
  3. Put pot with water and can over medium-high heat, until the water reaches a rolling boil.  At that point, reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 1.5 – 3 hours, depending on how dark and thick you want your spread.  Add water to make sure the can is fully summered at all times.  The dulce de leche in the above picture has been simmered for 1.5 hours, and its consistency is similar to that of a thick pudding.  A longer simmer will result in consistencies from peanut butter to fudge.

Now that you’ve made it, here are some recipes that use your delicious dulce de leche! Dulce de Leche Recipes


Barn Wood Welcome Sign

MS Blog Welcome Sign

Brighten up your outdoor or indoor space with this DIY barn wood welcome sign! It is sure to give a little extra character to any area you display it in.


  • Barn wood approximately 2ft wide x 1ft tall (If you don’t have a piece of barn wood no worries, use wood from a pallet or a wood from a hardware store)
  • Stain (We used Rust-Oleum wood stain cognac oil-based, but any shade or brand will work)
  • Paint- any color (We used a Valspar tester paint purchased at Lowes. They are only $3, come in hundreds of colors, and dry quickly!
  • Old rag to stain the board with
  • Thin paint brush
  • Charcoal stick
  • “Welcome” printable
  • Masking tape
  • Mason Jar
  • Wire
  • Drill
  • Pen
  • Brackets
  • Silk flowers


  1. Cut wood
  2. Attach a bracket to the back of the board to hang it from once completed
  3. Put a coat of stain on the board, let dry fully- you may want to do multiple coat if your board is not very aged to start
  4. Print MS Welcome Printable (Click to Print)
  5. Cut off excess paper above and below “Welcome”
  6. Using a medium amount of pressure, rub the stick of charcoal over the back of the welcome sign
  7. Position welcome where you would like on the board, tape to the board with the charcoal side down
  8. Using a pen, trace around the outside of the letters in “Welcome”
  9. Remove the paper, fill in the letters with paint
  10. Place the mason jar where you would like it on the board, make a mark on each side of the neck
  11. Drill a small hole on each of the dots
  12. Attach the mason jar to the board using wire, fasten wire together in back
  13. Place silk flowers in the jar


Cherry Burgers


Want something a bit different to mix up your Fourth of July cookout?  Once you make these cherry burgers, you’ll never go back!



Cherry Burgers
makes 8 burgers


  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cherry jam (The Shed’s Stonewall Kitchen version is what we used!)20150623_073401
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • one red onion, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Form the meat into 8 patties.
  3. Grill the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve on buns with mayo, lettuce, and sliced tomato.

Up for a cheeseburger?  It is National Dairy Month, after all!  Cherries go especially well with brie, chevre, young Gouda, Gruyere, and blue cheese.

*adapted from brooklynsupper.net

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