Homemade Hamburger Buns

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

I started making my own buns about a year ago — we have used them for hamburgers, sloppy joes, shredded chicken sandwiches, hot ham & cheese, and other sandwiches. It’s a great all-around bun! They are SO fast too! You don’t have to let them rise forever, or do a bunch of fancy stuff that only professional bakers know how to do… Here’s the recipe!

Gather your ingredients:

2.5 cups warm water
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons oil
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together the wet ingredients. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until it starts to look frothy on top.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Then stir in the dry ingredients. Mix well, and knead a little bit.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Roll into a long loaf on a floured surface.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

And cut it into 16 disks. (I like this nice even number, because I can just keep cutting in 1/2, and 1/2 again, and again, until I have 16.)

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Put each disk on a baking sheet.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 425°F.

When they come out, they will be soft and fluffy and delicious! You’ll want to wait a few minutes for them to cool before you slice them in half. You can also freeze them (either before baking or after) to use later!

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When We Let Kids Do Things {with FREE printable!!}

When we let our kids do things ~ Our Cozy Den

Do your kids ever say, “That’s not fair! ______ gets to ______!” Then you respond with the typical parent response, “You’ll get to when you’re his age!”

But is that really true? Honestly?

I don’t know about you, but I have about ten million thoughts in my head at any given time. The last thing I can remember is how old little Johnny was when he lost his first tooth, or got to stay up until 8 p.m., or get his first cell phone.

So what did I do to keep track of it all? I bet you can guess. I made a chart.

When we let our kids do things ~ Our Cozy Den

Now, I recognize that life isn’t fair. One kid doesn’t necessarily get to do things at the exact age as another kid. It depends on the environment, your location, the maturity of the child, and many other factors! But it does certainly help me, as a mom, from having to keep all of that information inside my head! And for some things, it helps my kids to know that there is an official age when some milestones occur. Then they don’t whine about it!

Here’s a blank copy of the chart, if you want to edit and use for your own family! It’s a Microsoft Word doc, so you should be able to save it and make changes on your own.

May you be filled with peace {and not too much bickering}!

Great Lakes Adventure part 3: Lake Huron

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

After our wonderful time up at Lake Superior Provincial Park, we headed back south, then east, then south again, out to Manitoulin Island. Our camp ground was called Providence Bay Tent & Trailer, and it was right on Lake Huron. (And it had free wifi!!!! I might have been dying a little from internet withdrawals. My phone didn’t work once I crossed into Canada, so this was amazing!)

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Our campsite!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

This campsite had the coolest forest for exploring! This was only steps away from our tent!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We got a little rain, but it sure didn’t put a damper on our fun!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

This campsite also had the coolest creatures! We found tons of neat animals and wildlife, and TONS of snails!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Our day at the beach!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Lake Huron had the biggest waves!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

They love the water so much!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Finn really had a blast!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

A few of the waves were so big they knocked him off his feet! (And pulled down his shorts!)

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

The girls, being brave!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Exploring the woods some more — it was such a cool place.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Connor, king of the rock.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Finn, practicing his letters in the dirt. Homeschooling, old-school style!

This campground was a blast! Getting on and off the island was sort of a nightmare, and I’m not sure I would do it again… but at the same time I don’t regret it. It’s hard to say! Either way, we enjoyed it! If you missed the posts about Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, catch up on them here. And stay tuned, next up is Lake Ontario!

Free Autumn Desktop Organizer Download!

Free Autumn Desktop Organizer Download from Our Cozy Den

Labor Day has passed, so it feels like Autumn has officially begun {even though it is still pretty hot here in Ohio}.

I don’t know about you, but I love having a computer desktop that is all neat and tidy! A few times a year,  I make myself a new desktop organizer that is pretty and perfect for the current season. Today, I’m going to share my organizer with you!

Here’s how to use it!

  1. Download the desktop organizer here. (This link will take you to a full-size image, click and save to your computer.)
  2. Go into your computer settings and make the image your new desktop background.
  3. Start shuffling around your folders and icons, putting them in the organized sections.

I love it because it makes everything look so neat and orderly, and it is also SO much easier to find things!

The 5 sections on my free organizer are “Projects”, “Admin”, “School”, “Her Files”, and “His Files”. I can also make you a customized desktop organizer, with any 5 sections you want, for only $2! Send me an email at ourcozyden@gmail.com to order yours.

Weekly Menu: September 6th-12th

Weekly Menus from Our Cozy Den ~ Feeding a family of 6 on under $250 a month!

Fall is here, and I am SO excited about it! We have a busy-busy-busy schedule, so having my weekly menus all laid out ahead of time really save me a ton of mental energy!

Again, a few notes before we get started:

  • Breakfast is not included in the menu, because in our house it is fend-for-yourself. But it is included in my budget and shopping. The choices are oatmeal, eggs, or my homemade cereal.
  • I recently did a post about my large once-a-month pantry shop. I try to plan most of my menu to use what we already have on hand in the pantry and freezer. Bulk buying = BIG savings!
  • Snacks are also not on the menu, but my kids do get a snack each afternoon around 4 pm. Their choices are veggies (usually carrots and celery), fruit (I always have on hand a selection of oranges, bananas, apples, pineapple, berries, etc.), hard-boiled eggs, cheddar cheese sticks, yogurt, and granola bars.

Here’s what we are eating this week:

Sunday:

Lots of celebrations today!

Lunch ~ Labor Day church picnic!

Dinner ~ Labor Day BBQ at a friend’s house!

Monday:

Lunch ~ black bean quesadillas with fruit

Dinner ~ 1-dish chicken, green beans, & potatoes

Tuesday:

Lunch ~ sandwiches (peanut butter with jelly or honey, or turkey and cheese) with fresh fruits and veggies

Dinner ~ quesadilla casserole — lots of veggies in this dish!

Wednesday:

Lunch ~ vegetable soup, with crackers and yogurt

Dinner ~ Family Dinner Night at church!

Thursday:

Lunch ~ black bean quesadillas with fruit

Dinner ~ leftovers

Friday:

Lunch ~ sandwiches (peanut butter with jelly or honey, or turkey and cheese) with fresh fruits and veggies

Dinner ~ homemade pizza (and cauliflower pizza for me!)

Saturday:

Lunch ~ vegetable soup, with crackers and yogurt

Dinner ~ chicken broccoli alfredo (I had this on the menu last week, but plans went awry and we never ended up making it.)

What I spent this week:

Like I said before – most of my groceries come from my big pantry shops at GFS. Here is my receipt from Walmart this week:

Weekly Menus from Our Cozy Den ~ Feeding a family of 6 on under $250 a month!

What I bought this week: 4 gallons of milk, 2 dozen eggs, bread, grapes, bananas, tortillas, brown sugar, 2 bags of tortilla chips, and 4 packages of discounted yogurt.

Weekly Menus from Our Cozy Den ~ Feeding a family of 6 on under $250 a month!

I found TONS of yogurt in the discount freezer at Walmart this week!

Total spent: $37.56! Nothing from WIC this week, but I am beginning to harvest some things from my garden! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!!! My hard work is paying off!

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Stay tuned for the rest of our weekly menus! And have a great week!!!

 

Modesty in a Skinful World

Earlier today on my Instagram page, I posted a photo of Sophie’s new swimsuit. I got tons of questions about it, so here is a link to where I bought it, and a reblog of an old post about why we wear modest swimsuits! Happy #ThrowbackThursday everyone!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ASOSPFA

Our Cozy Den

Modesty in a Skinful World ~ Our Cozy Den

Over the years, my opinions on modesty and clothing appropriateness have evolved.

I’ve said it before, but I wasn’t raised in a Christian household. In fact, my morals as a teenager were pretty much nonexistent. From a young age (about 12), I dressed very scantily and I was seeking attention. I loved to feel “sexy”, and I liked the way that people looked at me.

It wasn’t until I was about 20 that I realized the correlation between the way I looked and the way people treated me. I was getting attention from boys who wanted too much, because I looked like I was willing to give that much. It was my husband that changed my viewpoint on things. I remember one day, in our early dating period, that I put on a short skirt, twirled around, and flirtily asked “Do you like my skirt?” He replied, “It’s a little…

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Great Lakes Adventure part 2: Lake Superior

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Lake Superior ended up being our favorite all-around lake! It was absolutely beautiful, so peaceful, awe-inspiring… words do not do it justice.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

First we crossed from Michigan’s lower peninsula to the upper peninsula, on the famous Mackinac Bridge!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Then we stopped at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, to watch the boats go through the locks. Soon after that, we crossed the border into Canada!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

This was my favorite campsite, by a long shot. We were surrounded by trees on 3 sides, with the beach on our 4th side. I fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. 

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Lake Superior!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

They loved playing in the rocks and collecting their favorites!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

The stones were a colorful display of hues!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We went hiking on some crazy terrain!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Big rocks, big cliffs, no railings!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Climbing out on this VERY dangerous ledge to see some Native American cliff paintings.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Connor and the cliff paintings! It was super cool!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Byron and Lia climbing out to see the paintings.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Sitting down for a rest on the climb back up.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Swimming in Lake Superior — it wasn’t NEARLY as cold as I had anticipated!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We went down the road to a sandier beach for our swim time.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Burying mom in the sand.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

They love climbing out on the rocks!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We had fun exploring the tide pools and rock formations.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Sophie and I on the beach. I love her smile!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We went back to the beach again after dinner. Byron and the kids “skipped rocks”, while I read a book.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

…until this guy came to give me presents!  

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Stay tuned for the rest of the trip! We still have Huron, Ontario, and Erie to go! If you missed my last post about Lake Michigan, read it here!