• Denise,  Food,  homesteading

    My Hard Working Appliances

    Admittedly, I am a gadget loving girl.  I have almost every kitchen appliance out there, and if I don’t have it now, there’s a good chance I will soon.  And while I have everyday favorites that I use a lot and are my bestest friends (looking at you, espresso machine!), today I want to highlight the appliances that I use the most around this time of year for preserving the food I grew in the garden. Luckily, I use several different ways to store food for the winter, and oftentimes what I use depends on how much time I had in August and September (those months are typically when the…

  • Denise,  Food

    Fall Baking

    With 3 kids plus a husband who works from home, someone is always hungry.  Sure, I buy granola bars and other processed snacks, but I don’t like it.  I am not shaming anyone here; it is more that I am a stay-at-home mom who has always enjoyed baking and gosh darnitt, I should bake snacks for my kids!  In a perfect world, they would be whole grain, no sugar, filled to the brim with superfoods….but lets be honest here: it is hard enough to carve out time to bake up a bunch of tidbits as it is right now.  I am not adding to the stress by being militant about…

  • Denise,  DIY

    Adding Outdoor Space

    It has always been a dream of mine to live in a home with a screened in porch.  *sigh*  I am cursed with the tastiest blood known to mosquitoes, and given that Minnesota is home to more mosquitoes per square inch than anywhere else on the planet (I dare you to prove me wrong), a screened in porch has always seemed to be the one way for me to enjoy the outdoors in the evening.  But adding a screened in porch is expensive! Our current home has a two level deck, and ever since we moved in, my husband and I have talked about making that upper deck a screened…

  • Gardening

    A Micro Orchard in the ‘Burbs

    I love gardening in theory, but I am fairly terrible at it in practice.  I am all raring to go come March, April and May…but once the temps and humidity start soaring, my interest plummets.  Add to this kids being home for the summer, an increase in activities, gatherings and just plain socializing, and any lofty goals I have quickly fall to the wayside. Enter my love of fruit trees.  Growing up, our parents had several apple trees, and I loved picking them in the fall and all the different pies and bars my mom would make with them.  It also seemed like an unusual thing, since not many of…