Memorial Day Tribute

A Tribute by a Local Vet Honoring Fallen Soldiers. 

I hope your Memorial Day weekend has been grand. We attended a retirement party for a friend that served 33 years in the Navy and spent time with my brother-in-law who ran 300 miles for Project America Run. Mike is an Army Veteran and started Project American Run several years ago honoring fallen soldiers. In 2010 he ran 4,424 miles from Astoria, OR to Rockland, ME placing a flag every mile for a fallen soldier. Each flag had a name, rank, age and home town of a soldier.  Mike would stop every mile, say the name, place the flag and salute the soldier.

In 2012 he ran another run totaling 2,146 miles…again planting a flag each mile. Every day he would run approximately  26 miles. At the end of his day a host family would pick him up, feed him and provide a bed for the night. The next morning they would deliver him back to his route and he would run another 26 miles. Here is a wonderful video from his second run from 2012.  It is six minutes depicting his run. It brings tears to my eyes every single time I watch it. (more…)

Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles

Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles made with yogurt. Beyond the Chicken Coop

Perfect for a hot summer’s day….Strawberry Kiwi Yogurt Popsicles. 

Strawberry Kiwi Yogurt Popsicles - Beyond the Chicken Coop

I make popsicles every summer. Usually I just use 100% fruit juice, pour it into the popsicle holders, pop them in the freezer and then serve them to the kids on those hot summer days. Recently I saw Lemon Blueberry Popsicles on Spiced. I was inspired to take my popsicles to a whole new direction. These Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles are made with just fresh fruit and vanilla yogurt. That’s it! They are kid and mom approved! The true beauty with these pops is you can use your favorite fruit.  When my raspberries are ripe, I’m making raspberry popsicles! (more…)

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Buttercream Frosting

An absolute perfect Buttercream Frosting.

A perfect buttercream frosting for cakes or cupcakes.

I do a lot of baking and bake a lot of cakes and cupcakes. Having a great buttercream frosting is a key element to any great cake or cupcake.  This is my go-to buttercream frosting recipe. This is for frosting a cake or piping swirls on cupcakes.

Buttercream Frosting

This buttercream is buttery and creamy.  It is perfect for piping and holds up under most circumstances. If I am making a cake in really hot or humid weather or if my cake has to be showcased outside, like in my sister’s wedding, I adjust this recipe with less butter and more shortening. (more…)

Cake Pops

These cake pops are a perfect way to celebrate a birthday or other fun occasion. - Beyond the Chicken Coop

A fun treat to help celebrate any occasion and a fun treat to make!

Cake Pops - Beyond the Chicken Coop

My daughter turned 15 last week! I don’t know how time seems to fly so quickly, but somehow she really is 15! The teenage years are a whole new world, but one thing has remained constant…her desire to still  plan a fun birthday party and a unique birthday cake.  We’ve had a lot of cakes over these past years; ladybug, butterfly, flower cupcakes, castle, clown cake, Barbie cake, purse, fancy flip flops, topsy turvy cake, and now….Cake Pops! The last few years Taylor not only helped plan what kind of cake, but she has been able to help make the cake!  You are never too old to have a fun birthday cake!

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Blueberry Lemon Bread

Blueberry Lemon Bread - Beyond the Chicken Coop

Fresh blueberries paired with lemon is a perfect combination in this blueberry lemon bread.

Blueberry Lemon Bread - Beyond the Chicken Coop

I just can’t help myself.  I combined blueberries and lemon again. First was my blueberry lemon scones and now this blueberry lemon bread.   I like to have options.  Options for how best to make something quick and delicious and options for using fresh blueberries! Just because both recipes have blueberries and lemon doesn’t mean they are the same thing….nope….totally different.  Well, except for the blueberries and the lemon.  That part is the same! (more…)