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

Sass Dairy




What was it like growing up on a family-owned dairy farm?  Read below for an interview with Karen Sass, a 21 year-old college senior and proud member of Sass Dairy. 

Sass Dairy is a family owned dairy farm just outside of Chatfield, MN.   It has been in the Sass family for two generations, starting with my grandpa in 1958. We milk over 250 cows and have 1000 acres to grow corn and hay, mostly to feed the livestock.

I loved growing up on the farm.  All of my aunts and uncles, cousins, and my dad’s parents lived in the same location near the farm. My favorite part of it, besides being near my family, was being able to be outside all of the time. We had so much space to play and do just about anything outside. We also had a lot of freedom since all of our neighbors were family.

Growing up on the farm like I did completely shaped my childhood. In middle school, I participated in 4-H. I showed dairy and pigs and took a few non-livestock projects, but I liked showing dairy the most.  I am also extremely close to my family and consider my cousins to be like brothers and sisters. We were all raised similarly and were together a lot – I love going home to see them.


Lemon Ricotta Bars


When life gives you lemons, make dessert – lemon bars!




Lemon Ricotta Bars

For Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 TBS lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 12 TBS unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1-inch pieces, slightly softened plus extra for greasing pan

For Filling

  • 8oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk ricotta, drained
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3cups granulated sugar
  • 3 TBS unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBS lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice from 3 to 4 large lemons, strained
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. To make the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter paper, then lay second sheet crosswise over it.
  3. Mix flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt in food processor.
  4. Add butter and pulse in a food processor to blend; alternatively, cut in butter with a pastry blender.  Mix until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.
  5. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  7. To make the filling: Whisk ricotta, eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then stir in lemon zest, juice, and salt to blend well.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  9. Stir filling mixture before pouring into warm crust.
  10. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 30 minutes.
  11. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours.
  12. Transfer to cutting board, fold paper down, and cut into bars, wiping knife or pizza cutter clean between cuts.
  13. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

*Recipe adapted from Food52

Mason Jar Lasagna and Salad







Food in a jar doesn’t just have to be casual – it can be formal, too!

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Mason Jar Lasagna


Your favorite lasagna recipe, prepared, though not baked.  No boil lasagna noodles will work for this dish, too.



  1. Instead of layering your ingredients in a 13×9 pan as you normally would, layer them in 6 8-oz glass jars, dividing ingredients proportionally.
  2. Bake at 375° F on a cookie sheet for 45 min – 1 hour.
  3. Remove from oven, cool, and serve with salad below.


mason jar salads book

Balsamic Vinaigrette (from the book, Mason Jar Salads and More, available at the Shed!)


  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil


  1. Whisk together vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.  Slowly add the olive oil, whisking, until the dressing thickens.
  2. To serve: Put 2-3 Tablespoons of dressing at the bottom of a mason jar; top with your favorite greens.  Seal jar and refrigerate until you are ready to eat the salad – shake jar to coat greens with dressing.

Cinnamon Ridge Dairy Farm

Loads of 3 and 4-year olds swarm around the baby cow.  “What do cows say?” asks the tour guide, followed by resounding “moooooo”s.  To get us ready for National Dairy Month, we are touring the Cinnamon Ridge Dairy farm in Donahue, IA, along with a preschool class.  Owned and operated by Mr. John Maxwell and his family, Cinnamon Ridge is home to a world-famous herd of Jersey cattle (their brown color lends the “cinnamon” to the farm’s name).  Now why are these cows world-famous?  Actually, it has more to do with their farmer.  Cinnamon Ridge got its start in 1997 when, at age 35, Maxwell received the National Outstanding Young Farmer Award.  This, along with his reputation for running a ship-shape farm, brought John Deere, Co., knocking.  Customers who were brought to tour the manufacturer’s operations were also asking for a tour of a farm, and Cinnamon Ridge was the farm John Deere turned to.  Since then, Maxwell has hosted corporate and independent tours and visitors from nearly fifty countries, all hoping to get a glimpse into the life of a dairy farmer.  These days, Cinnamon Ridge is open for parties, corporate retreats, tours, and meetings, often ending in a cooked-on-site meal.  In addition to producing dairy (used for milk and homemade cheese), Cinnamon Ridge also raises beef cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens and grows corn, soybeans, and winter wheat.

20150527_095344Untitled design


Mason Jar Dispenser and Kitchen Towel Giveaway!!!!!!

MS- Mason Jar and Towel Give AwayThere are so many things you can use this mason jar dispenser for, besides the obvious soap option! The jar provides the perfect way to have necessities sitting on your counter without being in an unsightly bottle.  Today we are going to teach you how to make an all-purpose cleaner, a stain remover, and hydrating lotion. Want this mason jar dispenser and mason jar kitchen towel? WIN IT by commenting on the post other creative uses for the jar OR purchase both of these in your local Machine Shed Gift Shop!

All-Purpose Cleaner


  • Distilled Water
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Hydrogen Peroxide


  1. Combine 1 TBS of distilled white vinegar, 1 TBS of hydrogen peroxide, & 1 cup of distilled water
  2. Repeat step 1 until your container is full
  3. Apply to a damp cloth and clean away


Stain Remover


  • Distilled Water
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking Soda


  1.  Combine 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup baking soda, & 1 cup distilled water
  2. Repeat step 1 until container is full
  3. Apply directly to clothing as needed


Hydrating Lotion


  • 4oz jar of vitamin E cream
  • 15oz bottle of baby lotion
  • 7.5oz jar of vaseline
  • Mixer


  1. Completely mix together vitamin E cream and vaseline
  2. Slowly add baby lotion to the mixture, mix completely
  3. Apply as needed

Mason Jar Breakfast

Rise and shine!  And what’s the best way to get someone out of bed? With a delicious breakfast, of course.  This breakfast can be prepared the night before, customized however you like, and be eaten on the go.



Mason Jar Egg Casserole


  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage, bacon, or ham
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon prepared honey mustard (we like the Stonewall Kitchen Sweet Honey Mustard from the Shed’s gift shop)
  • 6 slices white bread, torn into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese of choice, plus extra
  • Mason jars of choice, number of jars will be proportionate to size


  1. In a skillet, brown and crumble sausage, or prepare bacon or ham.   Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs; add milk, garlic, dill, pepper, and mustard (we used.  Stir in cheese and meat.
  2. Spray jar with nonstick spray.  Layer bread cubes into mason jar size of choice.  
  3. Pour egg mixture over bread into jars. Make sure the jars are not more than halfway full.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking, cover with extra cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  4. When cool, place lids and rings on jars.  Yield: 8-10 servings, dependent on jar size.


*In honor of National Dairy Month, all of our recipes during June will be featuring dairy.*

Recipe adapted from

National Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month, and there are so many reasons to celebrate this home-grown superfood! All month long, we’ll be spotlighting dairy’s many uses and benefits as well as the Midwest families that help stock our fridges. We want to kick off the month with some dairy facts – read below for to learn more!

  • 97 percent of U.S. dairy farms are family-owned.
  • Chocolate milk contains an optimal ratio of carbohydrate-to-protein that helps refuel tired muscles. It is almost twice as effective as commercial sports drinks.

    Photographs by Kimm Anderson The Corrigan Family of rural Foley, MN

    Photographs by Kimm Anderson
    The Corrigan Family of rural Foley, MN

  • Every cow spot is like a snowflake; no two are the same.
  • The Midwest is home to more than 9,000 dairy farm families.


For more information about National Dairy Month visit

Courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association.

Mason Jar Tiki Torch

MS- Mason Jar Tiki Torch

Every summer it seems like we spend our outdoor time battling with mosquitoes! Well, this quick mason jar craft is sure to solve this never ending problem, there are just a few simple steps between you and an itch-free summer.


Mason Jar (any size will work)

Tiki Wick

Citronella Torch Fuel


Masking Tape


1. Place a small piece of masking tape in the center of the mason jar’s lid to keep the drill bit from slipping

2. Using a 1/4 drill bit, drill a hole in the center of the masking tape

3. Repeat step 2 using a 3/8 drill bit

4. Remove the masking tape and put the tiki wick through the hole

5. Position the wick 1/2 an inch from the bottom of the jar

6. Cut the top of the wick to about 2 inches

7. Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with citronella torch fuel

8. Light your mason jar tiki torch and enjoy a bug-free summer



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