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


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

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!

Untitled design

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.

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 TasteofHome.com.

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 http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org

Courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association.

Mason Jar Brownies

Portable sweets in an adorable container – what could be better for summer picnics?









  • Your favorite brownie mix or recipe (we used this yummy one from the Machine Shed Gift Shop, Aunt Carolyn’s Brownie and Frosting Mix)

brownie edit 2

  • Approximately 8 4-oz mason jars
  • Your favorite frosting or recipe

Whip up the brownie batter.  Pour or spoon the batter into each jar.  Each jar should be slightly less than half full. Place jars on a jelly-roll pan in center of oven; bake, uncovered, according to recipe instructions (time may be slightly reduced).  Set aside to cool.  Once cool, frost; you may find a piping bag makes it easier.  To transport, screw on lids.

We filled our jars with more batter, and this caused the brownies to rise outside of the jar – there’s nothing wrong with this, but if you do, be aware the lid will not screw on the jar.

You can certainly use the Aunt Carolyn’s Frosting Mix as is, but we doctored it up a bit.  Substitute ½ cup of butter and two oz of cream cheese for the shortening.  After these ingredients and the mix has been thoroughly blended, add 1 cup of powdered sugar and one tablespoon cocoa powder.  At this point, if you like your frosting thicker, you can add more powdered sugar.


Grilled Beef Sirloin & Farmer’s Market Skewers

May is National Beef Month!!!


1 beef Top Sirloin Steak boneless, cut 1 inch thick (about 1-1/4 pounds)
1 medium yellow squash, sliced (1/2-inch)
1 medium zucchini, sliced (1/2-inch)
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
8 medium mushrooms
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mustard-Thyme Glaze:
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Combine glaze ingredients in 1-cup glass measure. Microwave on HIGH 45 seconds, stirring once. Brush on beef steak.
Alternately thread vegetables onto four 12-inch metal skewers. Combine mustard and oil; brush on vegetables.
Place steak and skewers on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill steak, covered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 13 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill vegetables 6 to 10 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.
Carve steak; season with salt. Serve with vegetables.

Recipe courtesy of  the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Beef Checkoff Program

Caring for Succulents


Spring Pasta!

Spring (1)

Spring is here! Soon enough, regular trip to local farmer’s markets will be a weekly routine.  Try out this recipe in your kitchen, and use it all season long!

What you will need…

Cherry Tomatoes


Green Onions


Olive Oil




Pasta(any shape)

Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta, drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

2. Turn oven to 375.  In a baking dish mix cherry tomatoes, artichokes, green onions and garlic.  Roast for 20 minutes of until the cherry tomatoes begin to burst.

3. Top roasted tomatoes and artichokes with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Broil until golden brown.

4.  Let tomatoes and artichokes cool for 5 minutes. Mix with the pasta, parsley and basil.  Use the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce.



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