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.

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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 TasteofHome.com.

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