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Hello again

Good morning to my family, friends, fans, followers, flunkies, farfegnugens, fishwives, falafels, etc… The past eight months have been very very busy which is my excuse for not keeping up.  You see, in the past eight months, I have moved twice, changed jobs, and changed climates.  I did manage to do one or two posts during this transition, but it was more than I could handle, and the whole thing quite frankly brought a formidable drought to the waters of culinary inspirarion.

This naturally begs the question, why?  Why, Cathy, did you move two times and change jobs and climates in the past eight months?  Well, all of my aforementioned f-words, we finally moved back to Minnesota. We had been away for almost eight years and my husband has wanted to come back since the day we left.  He finally got his wish.  He’s over the moon.  I’m happy too. We’d been in Phoenix for five years and I was ready for a new adventure.  This qualifies. I’m stoked!

I don’t have a recipe for you today, I’m afraid.  I’m still trying to put our new apartment together, I’m now away from the house 11 hours of each day instead of 8.5, and my job is no longer a cakewalk affording me the time and mental capacity to brainstorm/write at work. In short, I’ve got too much to do in not enough time. Luckily for you, I love writing this blog. My posts may be more infrequent than originally intended and may change in style too. Perhaps I’ll write a review from time to time and not just recipes. I now work downtown but live in the suburbs so while 30 – minute and crock pot meals have become my dearest friends, I now get to sample the bounty of the downtown Minneapolis food scene. I don’t know what I’ll share but share I shall. Feel free to send me out on foodie errands. If you happen to know of a place I should check out for lunch in downtown Minneapolis, let me know. I’ll find it, try it, and write about it. I once read about a sausage shop in Portland, Oregon that really intrigued me but have yet to get there to satisfy this hungry curiosity. Well, if you have such a place in Minnesota, tell me and I can scout it for you. Ooh, that sounds like fun…do it. Do it!

I think that’s all I have for you today, but I thank you for your patience with me and I hope you like the direction this blog may take. It’s all part of the adventure!

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

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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.

“Ok, fine,” you say. “What does that have to do with me?” Somewhere along the way, I started attributing recipes worthy of sharing with complicated food. But here’s the thing: I love simple foods! One of my favorite “sometimes” foods is a flour tortilla topped with cheddar cheese and red pepper flakes and then baked until the tortilla gets crispy. But why would I dedicate an entire post to such a dish, or for my breakfast smoothies or yogurt parfaits or anything else equally simple?

I guess the answer is, “why not?” Plus, in case anyone is curious about my everyday foods, I should probably share some. So here I go, with a recent addition to my snacking/lunching arsenal discovered while trying to not make a special stop for lunch on our 18-hours-in-one-day drive from Las Vegas, NM to Blue Earth, MN.

Cucumber & Sausage StacksCucumber & Sausage Stacks

I’m going to give you the loose guidelines for making one and you can ramp it up for the quantity you’re seeking.

Ingredients:

1 cucumber medallion
1 small piece summer sausage
1 thin sliver of tomato wedge
1 very small piece of roasted red pepper

Directions:

  • Stack ingredients & enjoy!

 

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

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

Cashew Chicken

Happy Thursday everyone! As suggested last week, today’s culinary treat is cashew chicken. I have a story about cashew chicken and I just know you’re dying to hear it. It all started many, many years ago, preceded by many, many years of disappointing homemade Chinese food. Then in 2005ish, my dear friend Kristi returned from her year in China and kindly accepted an invitation to cook me dinner.  My Chinese cooking had always been underwhelming and I figured after spending a year with the locals, she’d have been blessed with some of their secrets, by osmosis if nothing else. Luckily for me, and you, she did! Continue reading Cashew Chicken

German Pancake with Garlic & Thyme

Today’s little treat is buttery and garlicky and a recent divergence from a recipe I’ve loved  for decades.  German Pancake has always been a favorite breakfast of mine and I’ve never been one to overshadow its simple deliciousness with the profanity of syrup or honey or even my Grandma’s fresh strawberry jam. (I’ll be sharing that one when the summer’s sweetest bounty graces us with its presence.)  It’s always been the perfect blend of eggs, flour, milk, and butter and a curse on anyone who dare temper with this zenith of breakfast perfection. Continue reading German Pancake with Garlic & Thyme