A Walk Around Lake of the Isles = Minneapolis Lakes & Summer in the Northland

This week I have read many recipes from the contributors to Fiesta Friday looking for some inspiration for the menu for this summers Pot Luck – Everybody Cooks.  There may be less people this year.  Sadly my dear friend Alan has moved away to Portland, Oregon. He is always a great addition to any get together because he is a story teller and all around fun person.

The recipes that are shared on Fiesta Friday are a source of ideas for cooking that are endless fun and a challenge.  Once the event happens, I’ll write up the menu and recipes.

Presently my head is swirling with recipes…

In the mean time, these photos I share with you of my walks around Lake of the Isles, in the heart of Minneapolis. It is one of four lakes next to each other in the city. I made a photo essay for fun. Here are just a few photos of what I found on my walks in June. Also enjoy a bonus Cherry Blossom Honey cocktail story below.

Map of the Lakes 2014

Map of the Lake of Minneapolis – Retrieved from Google Maps 7-18-14

From Peaceful early morning walks, I bring you some views of Lake of the Isles  and a skyline of Minneapolis.

Water Lily Pads © CKatt

Water Lily Pads © CKatt

Lake of the isles Cherry Blossoms © CKatt

Lake of the isles Cherry Blossoms © CKatt

Cherry Blossoms Lake of The Isles © CKatt

Cherry Blossoms Lake of The Isles © CKatt

Sunbathing Turtle Lake of the Isles © CKatt

Sunbathing Turtle Lake of the Isles © CKatt

Unknown Yellow Bird © CKatt

Unknown Yellow Bird © CKatt

Early Morning Minneapolis Skyline from Lake of the Isles © CKatt

Early Morning Minneapolis Skyline from Lake of the Isles © CKatt


Canadian Geese with Nest of Goslings © CKatt

Canadian Geese with Nest of Goslings © CKatt

Now to drop by Fiesta Friday and see what is on the menu this week! Tomorrow will be Farmers’ Market Day! Enjoy your weekend!  Bonus recipe from an early post of mine

Bees in Tokyo = Cherry Blossom Honey and Cocktails Recipe


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Rainy Day Strawberry Jam = Quick Recipe

Fresh Strawberries for jam CKatt July 11-14

Fresh Strawberries for jam CKatt July 11-14

Strawberry Magic Days – It’s strawberry time in the Northland. Here is a recipe for Quick Strawberry Jam.

At the Farmers’ Market, there was a young Hmong family selling beautiful strawberries last weekend. There were quarts of them for $5.00. Not “home grown” strawberries, in the usual sense, they were imported from across the border, from Wisconsin. But these strawberries were small, uniform, old-fashioned strawberries. This may be the only time of year when these babies can be found. Yes, strawberries can be found in supermarkets, but the large woody strawberries that are sold in such places, with white insides, do not a real strawberry make. (IMHO)

Contemplating what to do with them, I decided against another cake or strawberry rhubarb deep-dish pie. (Oh my!) A friend suggested eating them with yogurt, which I generally like to do, but using a whole quart, well, you can see the problem.

When I turned to the Internet for ideas, I found Martha Stewart, goddess of all things domestic, had a simple recipe for strawberry jam. Here’s a link to the Quick Strawberry Jam Recipe. http://www.marthastewart.com/335256/quick-strawberry-jam?czone=food%2Fspring-produce&gallery=275333&slide=335256&center=1009726 Retrieved July 11, 2014. Check it out. Thank you, Martha!


1 quart of hulled* strawberries

½ cup of sugar

The Kitchen Supervisor CKatt July 11, 2014

The Kitchen Supervisor CKatt July 11, 2014

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Makes 1½ cups of Strawberry Jam

The Method

Martha Stewart’s instructions use a food processor – coarse chop strawberries. Don’t own one of these.

Me, well, these were perfect, small sized strawberries. I hulled them. Then added ½ cup of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Transferred to large skillet and cooked on a medium high heat for 10 plus minutes until the juice bubbled and thickened. Poured into a glass jar and left to cool. Note: Midway through the cooking process, use a fork to gently mash the softened berries into a more jam-my consistency. I left some whole.

Strawberry Jam - Hot Off the Stove, CKatt July 11-2014

Strawberry Jam – Hot Off the Stove, CKatt July 11-2014

Martha recommends serving it on toast with cottage cheese. Sounds good to me.  It is good!

WASA Brod with Cottage Cheese and Homemade Strawberry Jam. CKatt July 11, 2014

WASA Brod with Cottage Cheese and Homemade Strawberry Jam. CKatt July 11, 2014

Today’s homemade strawberry jam recipe is for Fiesta Friday over at the Novice Gardner’s blog. Join the party! Click on the Fiesta Friday Badge and read all the fabulous recipes.

This recipe was so easy to make…even I did it without a disaster.

Strawberry Jam  - Look at those berries. CKatt July 11, 2014

Strawberry Jam – Look at those berries. CKatt July 11, 2014

If you are wondering why I bothered to put a definition to the word hulled, I have run into this word in recipes and just found it such an odd word.  Ships and boats have hulls, right? (Oh, forgive me. I am a language geek.)

Remember, most of my knowledge about cooking is limited to books and friends’ instructions?  Of course, add the kind people who contribute inspired recipes online.

* http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Hulled Retrieved July 11, 2014,

hull  (hl)

  1. The dry outer covering of a fruit, seed, or nut; a husk.
  2. The enlarged calyx of a fruit, such as a strawberry, that is usually green and easily detached.

tr.v. hulled, hull·ing, hulls

To remove the hulls of (fruit or seeds).

Middle English hulle, husk, from Old English hulu; see kel-1 in Indo-European roots.]


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Do you remember the Shire, Mr Frodo?


Applauding the artistry and pure creativity – Fun is fun! From the Just Nice Stuff blog.

Originally posted on Just nice stuff.:


My boyfriend and I share an unhealthy obsession with Lord of the Rings, so it seemed the perfect theme to apply to his 20th birthday cake. I opted for a Hobbit Hole design and whilst I had plenty of ambitious ideas, I couldn’t help thinking (ever the optimist) that the end result was likely to resemble Mordor or, worse, a demolition site as opposed to a rolling grass mound complete with plant pots and carved wooden doors…

This said, I surprised myself with the result and the reception it received wasn’t too bad either (lets just say had this been Bilbo’s house, he would’ve been made homeless within an hour of its reveal). In other words, if you want guaranteed compliments, provide people with ganache, chocolate cake, buttercream, sugarpaste and nerdy cake aesthetics- it’s a winning combination.



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Waffles in Sweden = Väfflor + Waffle Recipes & Views of Malmo’s Turning Torso

I had breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Edina Minnesota for the first time a few days ago. My friend Jo has just retired from a long and successful teaching career.  We worked together and I subbed for her last year in her Social Studies Classes. We always have a lot to talk about. As it happened, at the pancake house, there are so many choices. When I saw the Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberries and sour cream, I had to try some. They were very good pancakes. Shaped like large thin free form crepes, they were light and melted in my mouth. Waffles were another option, which brought up my experience with eating waffles in Sweden, which is a most beautiful country to see.

My dear friends Vivi-Anne and her husband, Sjoerd live in southern Sweden. We became friends many years ago in Friesland, The Netherlands where we studied Dutch together.

We met on the first day of school in class. After class, she showed me her classic Volvo Amazon car. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw it. I grew-up with classic car lovers in my family. I admire a good classic car. Vivi-Anne and I are friends to this day.

My first trip to Sweden was a magical and fascinating trip. I took many photos and enjoyed seeing many parts of southern and Western Sweden. On one of the outings, we went to what we might call a waffle house. In Swedish, the place was called Vafflor. There I had a waffle with Cloudberry jam. This was a completely charming place nestled into a little hillside. There were lovely wooden floors, simple tables and great heart-shaped waffles. I was seated inside right under the ‘OR’ with a view of the gardens.

Waffle House in Sweden © CKatt

Waffle House in Sweden © CKatt

The gravel path you see wound around above and to the left where tables and chairs were set up in nooks of the garden for people to eat out-of-doors. (I imagined the wait staff running up and down the stairs and paths on a summery day!)

Waffle House © CKatt

Waffle House © CKatt

http://www.visitsweden.com/sweden/Things-to-do/Swedish-Lifestyle/Swedish-traditions/Waffles-Day/ Retrieved July 2, 2014. This is a link to a Swedish waffle recipe and more about Sweden: The land of cream and butter cooking.

 Here’s a traditional Recipe from “The Best of Swedish Cooking and Baking” By Marianne Grönwall van der Tuuk; Rand McNally & Company; 1969

Swedish Crisp Cream Waffles Recipe

Makes about 8 waffles


1¾ cups heavy cream

1½ cups sifted cake flour

½ cup ice water

3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

♥ ♥ 

The Method

Beat the cream until stiff. Sift in flour; add ice water, blend well. Fold in Melted butter, vanilla and salt.

Bake in preheated waffle maker on medium heat. Use about ½ cup of batter for each batch and bake until golden brown.

If waffle iron has not been used for a long time, brush it with melted shortening; otherwise this is not necessary. NOTE: Other recipes say to brush the waffle iron with butter or combination of butter and canola oil.

Serve immediately sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, or with jam.  ♥ Note: Also can be served with sour cream or creme fraiche, caviar and small shrimp. (Now y’er talkin’.)

turning Tower-R1-023-10

Turning Tower Malmo Sweden © CKatt

Turning Tower Malmo Sweden © CKatt

Visit To Malmo Sweden

Later during my visit, Vivi- Anne and her two children took me to Malmo city where I took some photos of the “The Turning Torso”. http://www.turningtorso.se/ Retrieved July 2, 2014.

Tuming Tor 2-R1-021-9

Turning Tower Malmo Sweden © CKatt


Its architectural concept and completed building were pretty amazing to see! At the time I visited, I learned there was trouble with leaks, but hey, it was truly amazing. “The Twisting Torso” another name it is known by, is touted as the highest building in Scandinavia.

The area around the tower is built along a canal. I was so taken with the architecture of the area. (Why don’t I live here? I thought.) The photos were taken with a film camera and Fuji film, which always goes to the blue spectrum.

turing tor infinity-R1-019-8

Turning Tower Infinity Pool View Malmo Sweden © CKatt

Turning Tower Infinity Pool View Malmo Sweden © CKatt

Houses on the canal across from the Turning Tower

Houses on the canal across from the Turning Tower © CKatt

Houses on the canal across from the Turning Tower © CKatt

Houses on the canal across from the Turning Tower © CKatt

The family © CKatt

The family © CKatt

The children were so frightened by the tower’s height. They suffered a kind of panic thinking it was going to fall down. No reassurance from me would take away their fears. Their life in the country away from any big cities with tall buildings had not prepared them for the view.  Well, understandably this particularly tall building kind of gives the sense of reverse vertigo.

It still is magnificent. You can rent an apartment there. $$$$



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Eat Wild Website = Healthy Milk and Eats: Where To Find Them?

It’s all about what the cow eats.  The good news is you can find local resources.

Saturday Update: As promised on Thursday, in this article, I went to the St Paul’s Farmers’ Market this morning to buy Cedar Summit Milk.  I have tasted the milk and it is not homogenized (Remember to shake it before you drink it.)  It tastes smooth and mild. I bought the 2%.  The milk is available at the Twin Cities Co-ops and Whole Foods in bottles or cartons.  

cedar Summit Farms

Usually I write about recipes with slow food in mind.  In this short article my theme is finding healthy resources for milk, cheese and meats, to use in my recipes.  This is because, in my humble opinion, the quality of our food has a lasting effect on our health, the environment and, in some deep way, on our future.

Recently I read an article about Jersey cows producing healthier milk than Holsteins.  If you are a milk drinker, as I am, you may want to have better quality milk for yourself and family.  Milk provides the healthy fats in your diet of Omega 3s and CLAs – conjugated linoleic acid*.  Both of these are essential to human health.  (From what I understand, the American diet is sadly deficient in these healthy nutrition components found in milk. )  This milk is from grass-fed cows.  Since I live in and next to two great dairy producing states, I thought I’d look up who produces the grass fed milk and where I can purchase it.

*(See the EAT WILD Getting Nutrition from Modern Food website for CLA and Omega 3 benefits in the footnote at the bottom of the article.  Also a second link is provided to an article that explains the science of the cows that produce better milk.)

The EatWild: Getting Nutrition from Modern Foods website has a state by state listing of farms who have grass fed animals and are producers of milk, cheese and meats. According to Eat Wild’s site there are very few grass-fed only dairies in the USA.  Grass or forage feeding includes clover and alfalfa.  The draw back is the cows produce less milk on a “green” diet and milk production goes way down in winter.  These farmers focus on the quality of their products, which makes the milk more expensive to buy.

Here’s what I found: http://www.eatwild.com/products/allgrassdairies.html Retrieved June 18, 2014.  Note: when opened, at the bottom of this link, are links to the individual states that shows a map and lists all the farms in the state with details of who they are and what they produce, plus how to contact them.  This includes Canada and a few international producers.

EatWild has a wealth of information, books, links to scientific articles about health benefits and comparison charts related to that.  It was easy to find the dairy in my state of Minnesota, which is Cedar Summit Farm of New Prague www.cedarsummit.com.

Here’s Natalie and Josh Kelly who represent Cedar Summit Farm at the St Paul Farmer’s Market.

Natalie and Josh Kelly at the St Paul Farmers' Market © CKatt June 2014

Natalie and Josh Kelly at the St Paul Farmers’ Market © CKatt June 2014

They were very helpful.  They are the nice folks who deliver the online orders from local farmers to six locations in the Twin Cities all year long.  They work in conjunction with local farmers to bring the local to your table.

See: www.TwinCitiesLocalFood.com Retrieved June 21, 2014.

They supply “seasonal produce, grass-fed meats, dairy, grains, oils artisan goods and more.” Check out the website where you can order farm fresh products!

♣ ♣ ♣ 

Cedar Summit Farms sells their Products in the Twin Cities Co-ops and Whole Foods, which is an easy way for city folk to enjoy the benefits of wholesome foods.  From Wisconsin, there is Love Tree Farmstead, who sell on Saturdays at the St Paul Farmer’s Market in the Lowertown neighborhood. www.lovetreefarm.com  I did not find Love Tree Farm at the St Paul Farmers’ Market.  Maybe I missed them.  I did see a pork and chicken supplier, buffalo meat and wool pillows!

TwincitiesLocalFoods .com © CKatt 2014

TwinCitiesLocalFoods.com © CKatt 2014


My plan is to go to the St Paul Farmers’ Market this Saturday to buy some veggies, milk and cheese. Mission accomplished. 

Last time I was there I saw some famous food people walking around – first Anthony Bourdain (He’s a tall person) and later the local foodie, Andrew Zimmern. (Really.)

Eat Wild is a ten year old web resource, which is adding information on where to buy fruits and vegetables as well. This is more good news for consumers who care about where and how there food is produced.

* http://www.eatwild.com/articles/superhealthy.html; EAT Wild; Robinson, Jo “Super Natural Milk”; Retrieved June 18, 2014.

Minnesota Farms that produce grass fed animals and animal products as of  June 2014

Minnesota Farms that produce grass fed animals and animal products as of June 2014 example only EatWild

Image resourced as an example and not owned by me is from EatWild www.eatwild.com/products/minnesota.html Retrieved June 19, 2014.

Here’s an article on cow’s milk and Jersey cows, for educational purposes, from Snowville Creamery in Illinois.  www.snowvillecreamery.com/a1-and-a2-beta-casein-in-cow-milk.html

à votre santé!  To your good health.

St Paul Farmers' Market © CKatt 2014

St Paul Farmers’ Market © CKatt 2014

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