Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad

This recipe has been in our family for years. My mother & her mom used it; now I use it and have passed it on to Alissa. Now it’s time we share it with our Cherished Cottage Family- I hope you enjoy! 


  • 3-4 large cucumbers*
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Cut cucumbers into thin slices (if you don’t like the skin, peel them before slicing), set aside.
  2. Dice up onion & set aside with the cucumber.
  3. In a large bowl mix mayo & sugar, let sit for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add vinegar to sugary/mayo mix & stir again.
  5. Finally, add the milk & stir. The dressing should be thin but not watery looking.
  6. Stir in cucumbers & onions.
  7. Chill for at least an hour


*If you don’t want cucumber with a lot of seeds try getting English cucumber from your supermarket.

We’d love to have you join the Cherished Cottage family! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram .

Also, we now have an email list & I’d love to have you as a subscriber! You can subscribe here & stay up to date on all the happenings here at Cherished Cottage. 

Baked Corn on the Cob

This recipe is super easy and gives the impression that your corn was made on the grill.

I typically make this recipe using 12 ears of corn but really you can make however many you’d like. We just have a big family & we all LOVE corn on the cob!

Preheat oven to 450

– Ears of corn, husked & cleaned
– Stick of butter, softened
– Seasonings; I like salt & pepper but sometimes we add a sprinkle of garlic powder or seasoned salt to mix things up.

– Butter each ear of corn liberally.
– Next, take your chosen seasonings & sprinkle a little onto each ear. Make sure to get all sides!
– Place your prepared corn on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes turning halfway through.

That’s it! It is easy and turns out awesome! What’s great is that this method allows you to make several trays of corn at one time & while they’re in the oven you can prepare the rest of your meal. I find this comes in handy especially when we are hosting picnics!

Let us know in the comments what you thought & if you tried any fun seasonings!

August Announcement

Hi Everyone,

With August here and social distancing still ongoing I started thinking of picnics and stay-cations during this season of life that we are in! My hope is to share with you some recipes and craft ideas for the kids. So, as the month progresses Alissa & myself will be sharing a variety of posts & ideas with you; we will see how this goes! 

I come from a very large family. Lots of aunts, uncles, cousins! Our family did not have a lot of money but, my dad always made sure we were surrounded by love, family and food! Some of my favorite memories are summer picnics with my big family! Everyone would gather at my parent’s house. Dad would start early in the morning; he’d husk and clean the roughly 5-6 dozen ears of corn he purchased from a local farm, or he would soak and clean the clams purchased for those who liked them or he would make his special hand made burgers. Not to mention all the side dishes prepared from vegetables from my dad’s garden. We did not have much money but, that did not seem to matter to any of us. We had family and memories and that’s what mattered most!

If you have try any of these recipes & ideas and you enjoyed them or have any questions please leave us a comment below; we love to hear from you!

Do you have childhood memories of picnics with your family? If so, please feel free to share them with us. 

Quick & Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli cheddar soup is my absolute favorite soup option so when I put together this recipe I was looking for something that would be easy to make but also definitely satisfy my love of broccoli cheddar. This soup is thick, creamy, and full of delicious cheese & broccoli flavors.


  • 1 whole stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 4 heads broccoli- cut into florets (you can also use frozen broccoli if that is easier)
  • 4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (you can also use mild cheddar, cheddar jack, etc)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chicken broth (veggie works okay too)
  • Nutmeg (optional)


  1. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat; add onion powder. Mix well & allow to become a golden brown.
  2. Add flour to butter/onion mixture. Stir well & allow to thicken (no more than 1 minute).
  3. Pour in milk & half-and-half, a pinch of nutmeg (if desired), salt, and pepper. Stir to combine & add broccoli in.
  4. Cover pot, reduce heat to low & allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in 3-4 cups of cheese until melted.
  6. Add in chicken broth starting with 1/2 a cup at first until you get the soup thickness you desire.
  7. Using a blender, immersion blender, or potato masher break up the broccoli into smaller bite sized pieces or until puree’d (smooth & creamy).
  8. ENJOY!

Also, we now have an email list & I’d love to have you as a subscriber! You can subscribe here & stay up to date on all the happenings here at Cherished Cottage. 

Take a Virtual Field With Us!

Let’s take a field trip from our couches! You don’t have to get dressed, you don’t have to pay, you can grab a snack, a comfy blanket, and settle in to tour the world!
We’ve been doing this for the past week & it’s been a lot of fun! Did you know that there are famous parks, museums, & landmarks that offer virtual & video tours and that Google maps also offers inside looks at certain locations?! 

How do we do it? We connect a computer to the tv (with HDMI or using a smart tv) and travel around the world learning lots of interesting things & facts! 

It’s all free!

United States

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

The White House- Video tour 

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Dry Tortugas, Florida

Guggenheim Museum, New York

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Around the World

British Museum, London

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul Korea

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Buckingham Palace, UK

Windsor Castle, UK

Westminster Abbey

Holyroodhouse; Queen Elizabeth’s Summer Castle in Scotland

We’d love to have you join the Cherished Cottage family! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram .

*** The links above were found by Alissa at Cherished Cottage but there is no sponsorship/partnership with the linked sites/locations. The use of these links & the sharing of them by us is solely to provide information on free activities to do at home. ***

Support local & family-owned restaurants using the links below. (note, these are affiliate links)

To get $7 off your first order with Uber Eats use the promo code: eats-alissaw1172ue at sign up.

To get $5 off your first 3 orders (totaling $15 off) through Door Dash
you can use this link to sign up: https://drd.sh/jPgw5B/

Check out our list of free activities to do at home here.

Free Activities to do at Home

 While we are all home trying to keep ourselves busy & entertained I thought I could share some ideas to hopefully make this time a little easier.

Scavenger Hunts

Whether indoors or outdoors you can do some fun scavenger hunts with the kids to keep them entertained! I’ve designed 3 types of scavenger hunts you can download for free! The first one I shared in an earlier post but I’ve added it to this one as well. All of these are downloadable & free; you can find the download links below.

Ice Painting:

This is a pretty easy activity & it will keep the kiddos busy for awhile. Fill a bowl with ice cubes and put some paint blobs on a paper plate/piece of cardboard. Any kind of paint will do, but if the kiddos are younger then I’d suggest using non-toxic paints if they’re prone to putting things in their mouths. Give your kiddo a dry paint brush and let them paint the ice cubes in the bowl.

You could even get a little extra creative & give them some blank paper to paint on with their “watercolor” paints!

Sounds really simple but it’s a lot of fun to see what color combos your child can make & as the ice melts or gets mixed around the paint colors will blend & erase. Essentially creating an endless canvas.

Paper Chain “Diary”:

Did you ever make a paper chain as a kid!? If not, it’s pretty easy to do- you can find video instructions here: https://bit.ly/3dFO6X5
If you want to get even more creative do one or two strips/links a day per person. You and your kiddos can write something interesting about that day or something they learned on the strip(s) and then connect it (them) to the last loop of your chain. It’s a great way to pass some time each day but also a great way to improve memory & recall. Plus, when all this passes it could be something to look back on.

Use Blankets & Empty Boxes to Build a Fort:

 If it’s a nice day outside you can also do this outdoors!

We used to play a game with the forts we built; after making the fort we’d turn the lights down & someone would hide in the fort and the other person would try to sneak in without getting caught. Again, such a simple thing to do but building a fort is a great way to work on problem solving skills as well creative thinking; and of course they can make a game out of it once the fort is built.

* the kids could also use their fort to play hide & seek *

If you’re especially adventurous & live in an area that’s warm enough you can even camp outside & teach the kiddos some great survival skills.

Create an obstacle course: 

This is another idea that can be done indoors or outdoors. Using old boxes or other odds and ends such as chairs, cushions, blankets (remember when you played The Floor is Lava? If not..you pretend the floor is lava, you can’t touch it. Instead you have to get to your destination by jumping and climbing from one obstacle to the other.) and set up an obstacle course for the kiddos to get their wiggles & giggles out. You could time them, give them various challenges like racing to see who gets to the end first, time limits, etc.

Take a virtual field trip:

Grab a snack and nestle up together while checking out some of these amazing virtual tours right from the comfort of your own home! 

Check out this blog post to see a list I compiled of some virtual field trip ideas!

Driveway/Sidewalk art: 

If you live in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic the kids can make some fun/encouraging artwork for people walking by to see and read. The idea would be to put a smile on someone’s face.You could take this a step further & make yard signs if you wanted!


There are so many recipes online, you could look for recipes based on the ingredients you have at home and use the opportunity to teach the kiddos some math & cooking skills. You could even make some goodies for pups with this recipe.

Have a movie day:

Make some popcorn, let the kiddos pick a movie or you show them a movie you love. Grab anything that will make it cozy & turn off the lights like in a movie theater. 

Order Takeout to Support Local Businesses

You don’t have to leave your home to do this, there are a lot of delivery services that are currently offering free shipping or discount codes to support small business/family-owned restaurants.

DoorDash & Uber Eats offer safe & no-contact delivery services with no delivery fees.

To get $5 off your first 3 orders (totaling $15 off) through Door Dash
you can use this link to sign up: https://drd.sh/jPgw5B/

To get $7 off your first order with Uber Eats use the promo code: eats-alissaw1172ue at sign up.

We’d love to have you join the Cherished Cottage family! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram .

** This post contains some affiliate links. The views expressed in this post are that of those here at Cherished Cottage & not of the companies/links mentioned herein. Any downloadable content was created by Alissa at Cherished Cottage for the sole purpose of providing content & entertainment to the reader & cannot be sold or resold. **

Indoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids

How are you & your family handling social distancing? I’m sure a lot of you, like our family, are trying to find ways to stay entertained or to keep the kiddos busy. I’ve been coming up with resources for our family & thought maybe it would be beneficial to share these resources with all of you.

I’m going to be posting at least once a day with some sort of activity/idea/etc of things to do with your little ones or things you can do yourself.

Some ideas that I have so far are: indoor scavenger hunt, free online field trips/tours of museums, state parks, and aquariums, game ideas, recipes, etc. If you have any requests/ideas please feel free to comment, message us, or email us with your ideas! We’d love to hear them!

Today I thought I’d share the indoor scavenger hunt I designed for the kids. There are two options, one is pre-filled in for you & the other I’ve designed to be fill in the blank so you can print a few copies & have unlimited scavenging opportunities! Both copies offer 20+ items to find around your home.

Both copies are free to download; just enjoy!
We’d love to see our scavenger hunts in action so if please feel free to tag us or hashtag us (#cherishedcottage) on social media so we can see!

Stay tuned tomorrow for two other scavenger hunts plus some additional ideas/activities to keep the kiddos busy at home.

Stay safe & healthy everyone!

Update On Dennis's Heart Surgery

On March 10th Dennis, Lisa, Alissa, & a good friend from Dennis & Lisa’s church went to meet a cardiologist at the University Hospital of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to get more information on the condition of Dennis’ heart. We learned a lot at this appointment & wanted to share what we’ve learned with our Cherished Cottage family.

In terms of the condition of his heart we learned that Dennis is definitely in need of open heart surgery; it’s just a matter of when & that will be determined by a few underlying factors. Basically what we knew when going into this was that Dennis’ aortic valve was leaking due to an aneurysm. Dennis’ aortic valve was replaced using his pulmonary valve back in 1998; at this time his pulmonary valve was then replaced with a cadaver’s valve. In addition to this we also knew that his heart is enlarged but we didn’t have a definitive reason why.

At the appointment his doctor explained that what we knew was accurate but in addition to the aortic valve leaking substantially & the pulmonary having a “slight slow” leak his mitral & tricuspid valves are also leaking. The cardiologist believes that the cause of all the leaking or at least a significant underlying factor to the majority of the leaking is a direct result of his aortic stem becoming clogged. Because the heart is working overtime trying to maintain flow through the clogged aortic stem it’s causing more leaks to occur & that’s what is causing his heart to enlarge.

The cardiologist explained that Dennis definitely needs open heart surgery this year but the “when” is what we’re still trying to figure out.
            There’s a good chance that the leaks & enlargement will correct thetmselves once the aortic stem is repaired which would obviously be ideal. It still seems that the aortic valve may need to be repaired but at least the mitral, pulmonary, & tricuspid valves wouldn’t need to be.
            However, Dennis has been experiencing shortness of breath in addition to shortness of breath & slight heart palpitations. This has caused the doctor some concern so he wants to have Dennis tested for coronary artery disease before any final steps are taken. Coronary artery disease is caused by the major blood vessels that give your heart it’s blood, oxygen, & nutrients becoming damaged or diseased. It is usually caused by a lot of plaque buildup in the artery & arterial inflammation.

So, bottom line, what is happening now? Dennis is scheduled to go in to the cardiologist in April to have tests done that will determine if he has CAD (coronary artery disease) and if the results show that he in fact does that will mean that he needs the surgery as soon as possible. If he does not have CAD then he will see the cardiologist again in June & at that time we will discuss scheduling the surgery.

He did assure us though, that the enlargement will go back down to normal once all four valves & the aortic stem are repaired.

We want to thank all of you for your kindness, thoughts & prayers during this time. We appreciate all of you very much.

Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals; if you are seeking medical advice/information please consult a physician.

A Cherished Cottage Update

Hello friends! If you follow us on Facebook then I’m sure you have an idea of what this post is about. With that in mind, some of this info will not be new to you but I’m hoping to share some of our latest updates through this post as well.

Our family has been going through quite a bit lately & I wanted to take the time to address is on here & share some more recent updates with you.

Some of our followers know our family personally & some of you don’t. But to us, you’re all a part of the Cherished Cottage family so we’d like to share some news with all of you.

Dennis is a HUGE and very important part of our family. He isn’t just the woodworker/painter in our business, he is also Lisa’s husband as well as Jessica & Alissa’s dad.

Dennis has had heart issues since he was a child; when he was in his early 30’s he had to get emergency open heart surgery which resulted in a valve replacement. At the time, Dennis & Lisa had just got married and he was a few months away from adopting Jessica & Alissa as his own daughters.

Fast forward to now- Dennis & Lisa have been married 22 years & together have adopted two more children who are now 13 and 10.
Since his heart surgery Dennis goes in to his Dr. for routine yearly heart exams. Part of the purpose of these exams has been to keep an eye on an aortic aneurysm that developed a few years ago.
All these years the aneurysm has stayed the same size & hasn’t been too much of a concern. However, the results of Dennis’ recent exam show that his aneurysm has grown exponentially.

One of the main concerns here is that when Dennis had his initial heart surgery it was to correct the aortic valve as well. His initial surgery was what is called the Ross Procedure; which is where they completely removed Dennis’ bad aortic valve, replaced it with his own pulmonary valve, and then replaced the pulmonary valve with a healthy one from a cadaver. This procedure saved Dennis’ life & we are so grateful to the Dr. who performed it.

On Friday (2/7) Dennis had his CT scan & we received the results later that day. It wasn’t the news we were hoping for & it’s led to more questions & concerns. The Dr’s initial diagnosis was in fact, correct.

This is were things have become a little confusing; when we received the initial diagnosis the cardiologist said that if he was correct Dennis would need another open heart surgery & he thought Dennis would be an excellent candidate for a TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) which is the most minimally invasive option. Basically they perform the surgery microscopically through the groin & would be the minimally invasive option. While awaiting for the CT scan appointment to arrive Lisa began looking around for a good heart surgeon. She’d been frequently recommended one in Philadelphia (which is about 2 hours from us) so she got in touch with him & he said that 1. he’d be more than willing to perform the surgery and 2. if the aneurysm was as bad as they assumed it to be Dennis would not be a good candidate for the TAVR procedure. Instead he’d need another open heart surgery.

We have an appointment with this surgeon in Philadelphia at the beginning of March. We have been trying to figure out all the details & find the best surgeon/options we can for Dennis. Our family has been very stressed & worried but we are trying very hard to stay positive.

Thank you to everyone who’s been with us for so long; we are so grateful for our Cherished Cottage family. We wanted to share this news with all of you since we consider you all so important & special to us. As of now this won’t cause an issue with our orders & other business aspects. But we do plan to keep you all updated and we ask that you keep us in your thoughts.

How To Unclump Sugar

Have you ever been cooking/baking something only to discover your bag of sugar is hard and clumpy? It really stinks, doesn’t it?

I’ve had a 5lb bag of sugar I’ve been avoiding simply because it was hard & I didn’t know what to do with it. Every time I came across it I stressed a little thinking “I don’t want to throw this away but I also can’t use it for anything other than a rock”.
This (unfortunately) wasn’t my first hard bag of sugar so it was the final straw. I did some research hoping that there was some way to fix this. Lo and behold there is!

Why does sugar harden?

When granulated sugar is exposed to moisture it hardens; so your first step to prevention is to not store it in a moist location. A cool, dry, place is best!

How do I Unclump Sugar?

There are two options here that I’ve found to work best. I recommend the strainer/microwave method but you can also use an oven.

The Strainer/Microwave Method

You’ll Need:
– Bag of sugar (obviously)
– Large bowl
– Airtight container to store sugar
(I use the second largest in this set from
– Strainer
(I use the red one in this set from
– Spoon

Time: Approximately 5 minutes

– Place your sifter over the top of your sugar storage container; make sure you are using one that can sit on top of your container without being held.
– Open your bag of sugar and slowly pour your sugar into the sifter.
* By slowly pouring out the sugar the fine granulated pieces that are not clumped will
go straight through the sifter into the container.
* Pro Tip: If you’re bag is one big clump or has a big clump you should first squeeze the
bag to break your large clump down into smaller pieces. If it’s too hard tap the bag
on the counter.
– When your sifter fills with clumps dump those into your large bowl.
– Continue this process until your sugar bag is empty.
– Place the large bowl with sugar clumps in the microwave for 30 seconds.
– After 30 seconds check the sugar. The warmth of the microwave will soften the sugar
clumps; using your spoon crush the clumps of sugar.
– Continue this process until there are no more clumps in the bowl.

Voila! Unclumped sugar; ready to use in 5 minutes!

The Oven Method

You’ll Need:
– Oven-safe container large enough to
hold sugar
– Spoon
– Airtight container to store sugar

– Preheat oven to lowest temp
(usually 150 to 200 degrees)
– Dump sugar in oven-safe container.
– Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes
– After 15 minutes check sugar. Push on
the clumps with a spoon. If the clumps
break apart, turn off the oven and leave
sugar inside the oven for for one to two
– Transfer cooled off sugar to airtight

Time: Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes

We’d love to have you join the Cherished Cottage family! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram .

Also, we now have an email list & I’d love to have you as a subscriber! You can subscribe here & stay up to date on all the happenings here at Cherished Cottage.