Category Archives: Career

Paneer – South Indian Cottage Cheese

My sister made Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner recently and, given my love of Indian food, she had to send me pictures.  She didn’t use my recipe, but she did use Kenji’s so I guess I can’t blame her on that one… #myfoodhero.  (I’m pretty sure that was my first hashtag.)  And the tikka masala?  It looked delicious and my brother-in-law said that it may have been the best meal she’d ever served him.  Go sister! Continue reading Paneer – South Indian Cottage Cheese


Good morning in November.

Good morning everyone.  You may have noticed that I haven’t posted consistently in a few years and that kind of bums me out.  I really enjoyed writing and cooking and taking pictures but it wasn’t very sustainable.  You see, I’ve operated on the platform that one should not post online content that isn’t their own and developing recipes is very time consuming work.  About two years ago my family started making some pretty dramatic changes to finally make the move back to Minnesota.  The biggest change was that we moved back in with my parents for seven months before I found a job and drove the moving truck north.  While my parents were lovely, it was still their house and I just couldn’t carry on writing and developing the way I had been.  I did get a few posts out, but October 2015 was the beginning of my drought.  After moving up north in April 2016, I started a new job that kept me away from home for 11 hours each day and I still had a household to manage and a family to love and feed.  That was my schedule until September when I quit my job.  I am looking for another job, but that doesn’t typically happen overnight so why not start writing again?

Like I said, developing recipes is time consuming work, and believe it or not, I’m not the best cook or recipe developer out there.  I spend so much time perusing recipes and food blogs that I just can’t fathom coming up with something new.  I could certainly insulate myself from the culinary world around me and cook in a bubble and just post whatever I want, but that seems pretty narcissistic.

So here’s what I’m thinking and this is VERY subject to change.  I’ll continue to live and cook and just share what I’m doing.  Some recipes will be complex, some will be simple, some will be mine and some will not, and some will not even be recipes.  For 18 months, I managed to keep my family alive with a stressful job and four waking hours at home each day.  I didn’t always have the energy to cook.  I did have the time — remember, I had four whole waking hours at home every single day — but my multi-tasking skills and energy didn’t often converge into a hot meal with the four of us sitting around the kitchen table.  Right now I have the time to do what I enjoy so I’m going to do this and I hope you enjoy it too!

From my little corner of the world, thanks for reading and happy eating.
Caffeter, the Milkmaid

Change of focus?

So, it’s been 22 days shy of 12 months since my last post…huh, I guess the weekly thing didn’t work out so well.  I am, however, reminded of a quote by Henry David Thoreau, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”   Well, I learned that a weekly update on something that proved to be one disappointing step after another is not a thing at which I excel.  Shocker!  I also learned that my dream department wasn’t such a dream and it sent me into a bit of a funk.

I did end up meeting with the department head while I was in Minnesota last May and she was very nice.  The catch to an otherwise good meeting was learning of her team’s extensive travel.  Perhaps in 10 years, I’d be open to that life, but right now my life is being home for my family.  That’s my life and it’s the life I want.  I haven’t given up on a career in event planning, but I know I’ll have to work for a different company if I want to move to Minneapolis and not travel much.  To that end, I’ve been volunteering with the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in planning their 14th Annual Golf Classic.  It’s been fun, educational and a good step in the right direction.

Fast forward to April 7th, 2015…

Yesterday, I saw a job posting for a writer for and it shook me. From as far back as my memory will serve, food has been a source of great joy and yesterday, I wanted it to be more than a hobby.

Before starting school, I would go grocery shopping with my mom while my brothers learned to read and write and other such academic pursuits.  When kindergarten came for me, this could not stand and I ordered my mother to not go grocery shopping without me!  I don’t think it worked, but to this day, the grocery store is my sanctuary.  A place to lazily tick through the numbers on my pedometer, soak in the flavors and colors of the culinary landscape and await inspiration.  An awesome Saturday afternoon is perusing my cookbook library or this tremendously wonderful internet to plan my family’s meals for the week.  Food was my first love and still takes a top four spot behind my husband and daughters.

(At this point, I must impress upon you that I never wanted to be a cook/chef.  While I love to cook, I could think of no worse culinary torture than being a cook in a restaurant.  Had I known about Cooks Illustrated test kitchen 15 years ago when I was deciding the direction of my life, I may have pointed it in that direction, but I didn’t so I didn’t. )

To where this gastronomical realization will lead, we’ll see. But it’s safe to say there will be a lot more talk of food in the coming posts.  And, I may even break my record of three posts in 2015!

Two months of steady as she goes…

So it’s been a while…two months.  I apologize for my silence to my audience of, probably, zero.

Update on the outcome of the last post’s contents.

1)  My boss’s call to the other boss – no response

2)  My work with the local theater – nothing in two months

3)  Guthrie Job – was told I didn’t have enough industry experience

4)  Invitation to connect with recruiter – silence

Am I letting this get me down?  NO WAY!!!

Here are the current irons in the fire:

I have a transfer application in with one of our stores in Minnesota to be a supervisor in the visual department.  From what I’ve found from my research, this would be a good stepping stone to getting the big annual events job that I’m shooting for.  I applied in early April and the job closes next week (May 7th) so I hope to hear something soon.  I’ve had friends/colleagues make calls for me to aid in this.  Coincidentally, I am going to be arriving in MN for a family wedding on May 7th so I am trying to arrange for an interview for that position while I’m there.  I’m also trying to swing meeting someone in the special events office while I’m there.

That’s about it on the job front.

Gastronomically:  I made some amazing bruschetta pasta for dinner last night.  Yummy!!!

Progress and Validation

This has been an interesting week.  On one hand I feel I have made great progress in getting where I want to go and on the other, quite the opposite.

Since my last post…

My boss, upon my request, called the head of my dream department to see about getting me a career conversation and a better idea of specifically what I’d like to do in that department.  He left a message…that was Friday.

I found and applied for a development position at the Guthrie theater in Minneapolis.  I publicized my activity to all my friends/family in the Twin Cities theater world to try to get a “plug” from one of them.  This is a job I am 100% confident that I could do, do well, and enjoy.  I just need someone to convince them to call me.  That was also Friday.  Monday I requested the LinkedIn connection of someone in the development office and she accepted.  Today I sent a message asking for a conversation so I can learn more about the position.  We’ll see…

I was invited to observe the tech week process at a local professional musical theater to gain a better understanding of what the Production Manager does to support the mounting of Broadway musical.  Went Tuesday and will go again today.

My phone meeting with the PR Manager at one of our high end stores happened.  This conversation was short, sweet and validating.  We made a connection, I shared my goals and what I have done to develop my skills (she said “wow”), I shared some of my frustrations on never being taken seriously enough by recruiters to push me through to the next step and she told me to keep plugging away and offerred to connect me with the recruiter for all the jobs in her field.  This was about an hour ago…Score!

I guess there are no “losses” here, just small successes which can sometimes feel like a cumulative loss.  Seeing it in print here though, I’m feeling pretty good.


Good Tuesday morning to all.  My name is Cathy Wells and this is the first, of what will be daily, eh weekly, posts about my professional life and (because I love food) an occasional recipe or culinary tidbit.

Why start a blog?  Why not, first of all.  Secondly, I have my sights set on changing both carrer and city and suspect my co-workers are tiring of the lamentations of my, sometimes daily, set backs.  (Ok, lamentation may be a bit strong, moaning and weeping rarely come into it, but man…it’s a juicy word.)  Truth be told…I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish either of the afore mentioned tasks.  So until I do, I’m going to fake it, follow my gut, and seek the council of as many competent professionals as I can.