Meet Your Herbs

Meet Your Herbs Naturally Close to Home with Rhonda

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I am all about local! At Coborn’s, we have so many great partners that supply us with honey, beef, dairy, soap, essential oils, popcorn, peanut butter and so much more! One of the best things about these local products is to know the source of where they come from. It gives us all a better understanding of the quality and the commitment of the producers when we know where our products are traveling from and the amount of time it took for them to reach our tables. Continue reading “Meet Your Herbs”

Homemade Bug Spray

Homemade Bug Spray

Ashley Maurer
Ashley Maurer

Summer is finally here! Which means so are the bugs… and anybody that knows me, knows that I strongly dislike bugs! This year I decided to try making my own bug spray using essential oils, and I must say, I’m impressed! It really does work well and smells way better than commercial bug sprays.

After doing my fair share of research I discovered there really is no right or wrong way to make bug spray with essential oils! There are so many recipes out there and I’m sure they all work great so it really comes down to personal preference. I decided to use both jojoba oil and witch hazel in mine since both are good for your skin! Why not moisturize while fighting away those pesky bugs?

I would smell the oil blend as I went, adding a little more of one thing or another until I felt like I had a good balance of all the oil smells. Depending on the brand of oils used (you can find Aura Cacia oils in your local Coborn’s Natural Foods Department) as well as the type of Witch Hazel this may vary. So use the recipe as a guide line and adjust as needed.

Homemade Bug Spray
  • 1 - 2 Oz. Dark Glass Spray Bottle
  • 1 Oz. Witch Hazel
  • ½ Oz. Jojoba Oil
  • 30 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 30 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 20 Drops Lemon Grass Essential Oil
  • 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 10 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  1. Combine all ingredients into glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake well and apply, avoiding face.
  3. Reapply as needed.

Once you have it all mixed in the spray bottle, it’s ready to use! Just make sure to shake it well before each use, avoid spraying it on the face and re-apply as often as needed.

Just in case you forget your bug spray and come home with some bug bites, you can also make an itch relief roller ball with the jojoba, lavender and tea tree oils used to make the bug spray. I would suggest filling half the roller ball with jojoba oil to dilute the oils just in case anyone has sensitive skin. Then do 1/4 lavender and 1/4 Tea Tree oils to fill the rest of the way. Shake before each use. Although many oils are safe to use during pregnancy, make sure to consult you doctor first before using products with essentials oils.

Hopefully using homemade bug spray works as well for you as it does for me! I know this will help me enjoy summer so much more. Have a fun and bug-free summer!

Ashley Maurer
Coborn’s Inc. Graphic Designer

Hennings's Cheese

Henning's Wisconsin Cheese

December Cheese of the MonthHenning’s Cheese is a 4th generation family owned and operated cheese factory located near Kiel Wisconsin. They still use milk from 25-30 small, local family dairy farmers who allow their cows to graze on lush pastures when the weather permits; giving a rich flavor to Henning’s award winning cheeses. Henning’s manufactures approximately 16,000 pounds of cheese daily, 5 days a week! Coborn’s had the opportunity to be a part of this unique cheese making experience; following the artisanal way of making cheese by turning and stacking each piece of cheese by hand.

The famous Henning’s Mild Cheddar makes a great addition to any recipe or simply paired with a glass of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer beer, a nice Pilsner or Blond Ale would be a great match for this rich creamy cheese that everyone is sure to love!

Cheese Facts

  • The natural color of cheese is white, same color as milk.
  • It takes 10 pounds or approximately 5 quarts of milk to make 1 pound of cheese.
  • Lactose, the sugar in milk, is broken down during the cheese making process- cheese becomes lactose free after 1 to 2 years of aging.
  • This cheese has an additional 15 – 20 recipes you can check out on the Henning’s web site at under FAQs.

Hennings's Mild Cheddar Southwestern Chicken Skillet
Serves: 4
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast halves
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • ½ Cup Salsa
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Cup Henning's Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2 T. Cilantro or Green Onion, chopped
  1. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin and salt over chicken.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add chicken and garlic; cook 5 minutes.
  4. Turn chicken over.
  5. Combine salsa and mustard; spoon over and around chicken.
  6. Continue cooking, turning chicken and stirring sauce, 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro over chicken.
  8. Continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Hennings's Easy Mild Cheddar Lasagna Jellane Style
Serves: 8
  • 1½ Lb. Hamburger
  • 1 Onion, small
  • 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • 10 Lasagna Noodles
  • 2 Cups Henning's Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2 Cups Henning's Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  1. Brown the hamburger with onion, season to taste.
  2. Drain the grease.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce, stir till blended.
  4. Cook noodles in salted water, drain water.
  5. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
  6. Put one layer of noodles in pan, ½ of the meat sauce, ½ of each cheese.
  7. Repeat.
  8. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then uncover pan and cook for 10 minutes.
Recipe freezes well.

Special thanks to Jamie Hamilton for supplying us with this month’s Cheese Blog and Recipes!

DIY All Natural Lip Balm

Homemade Lip Balm

Homespun with Lori -

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! Over the years I have spent a lot of money on Chapstick and lip balms that I end up losing, washing/drying and are all filled with nasty ingredients. I absolutely LOVE this lip balm because, as with all the other recipes I have shared with you, it is inexpensive, so quick and easy to make and works great! Also, I have absolutely no worry with my young kids using it or “accidentally” eating half a tube. Please be aware that using citrus oils such as grapefruit, lemon or orange on your skin prior to exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light may cause a skin reaction or increased redness.

Click Here ( for the free printable labels and give these as gifts – they make GREAT stocking stuffers!

Check out the awesome recipe and instructions below so you can make these at home yourself!


DIY All Natural Lip Balm
  • 2 T. Beeswax pellets
  • 2 T. Shea Butter
  • 2 T. Coconut Oil
  • 5-7 drops Essential Oil of your choice (i.e. Aura Cacia Peppermint oil)
  • Lip balm tubes
  • Medicine dropper
  • Toothpick
  1. In small pot, melt beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil.
  2. If using different kinds of essential oils, make sure to mark the bottoms of your tubes so you know which oil is in which tube.
  3. Turn burner off but leave pan on hot burner so the mixture does not harden.
  4. Carefully use the medicine dropper to fill a tube halfway with melted mixture, add drops of essential oil, stir with toothpick and fill the rest of the tube with melted mixture.
  5. Once the tubes cool and harden, the mixture will sink and there will be a space at the top. Make sure to leave a little of the melted mixture so you can go back and fill that spot in each tube.
  6. Replace covers once the tube is completely cooled.

Senior Administrative Assitant

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Vegan Lasagna

Vegan Lasagna

A Natural Approach with Cheryl -

First off I should begin by telling you that I am not a vegan. I am not even a vegetarian. We’re talking full on carnivore over here. So when I was first given this assignment I thought I should beg off and let someone else tackle this subject. But then again I am always up for a challenge. I have several vegan friends and have made more than a few vegan dishes in my life. Plus, I respect the vegan choice.

Within days of being given this assignment three people shared their Vegan Lasagna recipes, along with offers to make them and take pictures. So here I am writing for the challenge and the learning and teaching experience it provides.

Veganism and vegetarianism are different in many ways. Simply put, the vegan follows a more strict diet by choosing only plant-based foods, whereas a vegetarian might be a consumer of some animal-based products. I will attempt to define a vegan for you all—hoping that while it may not be a complete encyclopedic definition, it will at least be a street level accurate one.

Donald and Dorothy Watson coined the term “vegan” in 1944 when they, among others, co-founded the “Vegan Society”. A registered charity, “The Vegan Society” continues to this day to, “advance veganism in a positive and significant way”.

A Harris Interactive telephone survey conducted in 2011 concluded that approximately 5% of the U.S. adult population is vegetarian, and only about half of that 5% are vegans. To celebrate this minuscule population, World Vegan Day is celebrated every year on November 1.

There are different levels of veganism. A dietary vegan chooses to refrain from eating animal products, not just meat, but also all animal derived products such as eggs and milk. An ethical vegan not only abstains from eating animal products but also from the use of animal products in any way, such as leather or wool clothing, animal derived vitamin supplements (like fish oil) & bee products (like beeswax), to name a few. An ethical vegan would also reject the use of products that use animals for testing.

Often a person would choose to be a vegan for health choices, to avoid chronic disease like cancer, heart disease or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Sometimes the choice is made for them as their own bodies have issues with certain products. This creates problems such as allergies or inflammation. Other times a person may choose to avoid eating animal products because they don’t like the taste. But I think most often the choice is a highly personal and ethical one. As one friend of mine put it, “I would never eat or use anything that is derived from something that has a face.”

All of us eat vegan dishes with most meals and find them quite tasty. Who doesn’t love a baked potato? Or a carrot? Especially when it is fresh from the ground. A vegan simply chooses not to eat all the things that surround these great garden side dishes.

I have never met a vegan whose life isn’t full of strong and educated conviction. Whether their diet is dictated by choice or need, the vegan is a very aware consumer and I have high regard and much respect for the person that lives this lifestyle.

If you are interested in learning more about the vegan lifestyle I would suggest the following websites to get you started:

Now for some awesome Vegan Lasagna Recipes!


Wanda's Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
  • 2 Cups Shredded Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) Package Rice Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
  • ½ Cup Soy or Rice Milk
  • 2 (12 ounce) Vegan Sour Cream
  • 2 (8 ounce) Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
  • 8 Ounces Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cup chopped Zucchini
  • 1 Cup chopped Yellow Squash
  • ½ Cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Coat a 9x13 inch lasagna pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large sauce pan heat milk, sour cream and cream cheese. Add in spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots.
  4. Mix and heat until milk and cheeses are well blended.
  5. Place a thin layer of sauce mix on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Place one layer uncooked noodles.
  7. Layer the sauce, sprinkle ½ cup of daiya mozzarella cheese.
  8. Repeat 2 more times.
  9. On the 4th and final layer, put noddles on and top with remaining daiya cheese. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray side down.
  10. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven, uncover, and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
  12. Place the uncovered dish back into the oven for 15 more minutes.
  13. Let cool 15 minutes or until ready to serve.

Cara's Grandma's Vegan Lasagna
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • Zucchini Mixture
  • 4 Cups thin sliced Zucchini
  • 1 Cup chopped Onion
  • ¼-1/2 Cup Vegan Butter, such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • Spices
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Basil
  • ¼ tsp. Oregano
  • Other Ingredients
  • 3 tsp. EnerG Egg Replacer
  • 4 Tbsp. Water
  • 8 oz. Vegan Shredded Cheese, such as Daiya Mozzarella Styles Shreds
  1. Add the ingredients from the Zucchini Mixture Ingredients section together (Zucchini, Onion & Vegan Butter.)
  2. Cook Zucchini Mixture over medium heat on the stove for 10 minutes.
  3. Next, add the Spices Ingredients together and stir them to be sure they blend well.
  4. Mix the Spices into the Zucchini Mixture.
  5. Then, combine the EnerG Egg Replacer, cheese and water together.
  6. Add the EnerG Egg Replacer, Cheese and water mixture to the Zucchini Mixture that now has the Spices included.
  7. Pour mix into a 12x8 Baking Pan.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  9. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!


And for some other truly tasty Vegan Recipes you can check out these links below:

Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager
Clearwater, MN

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