Category Archives: Cuisine

Bone Stock

Good morning January and a very happy 2018 to you all!  Ah January, a new beginning, a rebirth, a chance to take stock, a chance to be deliberate, and a chance to pull that thermal underwear and parka out of the closet.  This morning’s thermometer reads a bone-chilling -8°F and I can think of nothing more appealing than a steaming cup of soup, the most appealing of which are built upon a full-flavored broth foundation.

Continue reading Bone Stock

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Potato Lefse

Hello again foodie world.

For many years now, I’ve assumed that most cultures from around the world and across the span of many centuries can claim a flatbread.  Because I’ve sampled a few dozen world cuisines and most of them brought a flatbread to the table, statistics support me in the assumption that flatbread must be as prevalent across the globe as alcohol. Continue reading Potato Lefse

Sour Cream Cutout Cookies

I love Christmas!  I love the colors, the food, the music, the message, the smells, and even the terrible movies!  My house does usually start to don our gay apparel the day after Thanksgiving because my girls just can’t help themselves.  I typically re-style some of their handiwork but without fail by the Monday after Thanksgiving, Christmas is in full swing and with that comes cookies!!!

Continue reading Sour Cream Cutout Cookies

Strawberries!

One of the things I was really looking forward to when we moved to MN was the farm fresh produce available and the eventual garden of my own.
I got my first taste of this fresh bounty on a recent Friday night.  My grandma called to tell me that Sam’s Produce in Arkansaw, WI had strawberries ready for picking for the next few weeks.  Well, that Sunday was Father’s Day and the next weekend we were going to Southern MN for a birthday party so Saturday morning was the only option.  Continue reading Strawberries!

Calico Beans

After the mention that I had been cooking for my office in my last post, my sister suggested that I should make that the focus of a few posts.  You see, for about two months I was responsible for feeding 40+ people three times per week on a budget of about $130/meal.  That makes my catering options pizza, party subs, or nachos and after three weeks of rotating those two options, I never wanted to see another slice of pizza again.  So, I turned to my army of crock pots and a lone electric skillet and started cooking.  You see, I’m an executive assistant who works in a warehouse that doesn’t have a stove top much less a commercial kitchen. Continue reading Calico Beans

Broccoli Salad

I served a fried chicken lunch at work after a hiring event last month and bought everything from the local grocery store including broccoli salad from the deli case to complement the chicken, potato salad, and rolls that came with the meal. It was no surprise to me the broccoli salad was an absolute hit, but I was shocked at how many people had never seen it before. After doing a little digging, I realized that this is a Midwest dish through and through and these Phoenix natives had never seen such a thing. Continue reading Broccoli Salad

Minted Cucumber Refresher

I was looking through my list of post ideas the other day and saw that note about the basil/lime cocktail that had escaped my memory last year. This time instead of racking my brain to resurrect the lost, I looked to it for inspiration. It then took only a few minutes to hit me. One of my favorite infused water recipes uses basil, mint, cucumber and lemon. Well, why not swap cucumber for cucumber vodka (which I already have in my cupboard) and make a simple syrup out of the rest and top it off with club soda? I just had to try it…

…Fast forward a week…

Minted Cucumber Refresher It took a bit of playing with the ratios, but I did come up with something that was cool and refreshing and a perfect complement to the 111 degree desert that was Phoenix yesterday.  Even my dad, who doesn’t like cucumbers, thought it was nice.  The basil presence was quite mild so I do recommend rimming the glass with the basil-sugar mixture outlined below.  I didn’t think of it until I was writing this up so I haven’t tried it.  Please feel free to leave me your thoughts.

Well, here we go The Minted Cucumber Refresher.

Basil/Mint Simple Syrup:

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup fresh basil – loosely packed
¼ cup fresh mint leaves – loosely packed

Directions

  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan and boil for 1 minute – be sure the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, basil, and mint.  Cover the saucepan and allow to steep until cooled.
  • Strain syrup into a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cocktail:

1 ½  oz cucumber vodka
1 ½ oz basil/mint simple syrup
¾-1 cup club soda

Directions

  • Optional:
    • Before filling the glass, mix equal parts of minced basil leaves and granulated sugar.
    • Pour the sugar mixture onto a plate or wide-enough-for-the-rim-of-your-glass bowl.
    • Rub the rim of the glass with lemon juice then coat with the basil sugar mixture by inverting the glass into the plate/bowl of basil sugar.  Continue making the cocktail as directed.
  • Mix vodka and syrup in a highball glass along with a few ice cubes.  Then top off the glass with club soda and stir gently.  Enjoy.

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

Cucumber & Sausage Stacks

Those that know me well know that I am pretty mindful of what and how much I eat. This isn’t a statement about strict clean eating, but rather an approach that was summed up beautifully by my oldest daughter’s kindergarten teacher when they were learning about healthy foods and “sometimes” foods. I love food, I always have; I also love that I weigh less now than I did in high school and that since graduating from high school my weight has fluctuated by less than 15 pounds. I attribute this phenomenon to eating healthfully, but not denying myself those “sometimes” foods sometimes. Unfortunately after an overindulgent spring followed by a vacationing summer, I’m finding myself at the high end of that 15 and I need to snap things back into control. Continue reading Cucumber & Sausage Stacks

Toasted Butter Pecan Cake

Some of you may have noticed a bit of radio silence these last few weeks. I apologize for the break but my family and I were taking a much needed vacation.  Now I am back, feeling recharged, and ready to cook.

Today, as I write, it’s my dad’s 65th birthday so naturally, he must have a cake; but what cake?   This isn’t a question that has ever been asked because he’s had this same cake every year for the last 65:  The Toasted Butter Pecan Cake.   Continue reading Toasted Butter Pecan Cake