“Father of mine, tell me where did you go?”

My dad’s safe & sound back in his own element in Cinci. It’s always so bittersweet whenever my family comes to visit. I’m happy to get back into my own routines, to not have to entertain, to not have to play hostess, but it’s hard, because I usually only get to see my parents and sisters a couple times a year–And I haven’t been to see my sister Shelley since I was pregnant with the bambino. Whenever someone does come to see me, I’m almost always homesick upon their departure. Of course, interstates and roads go two ways, and for this year at least, if people want to see us, they can visit Dakota Territory!

Since my dad’s flight was at 7 this morning, I was up before the butt-crack of dawn, and it was barely 7:30 by the time I walked back into the house. I made a stop at the grocery store, both for more coffee, as well as a few odds & ends I needed that I’d forgotten yesterday when I was there. I took a swing through the Health Market section, and I’m glad I did, because I found this:


When they first introduced the Health Market at the Brookings store (I think it wasn’t too long after I moved here, as I do remember having organic milk in the fridge when my mom first came to visit, which was right around the first time I threw out my back, and that was in 2005) , Jay & I bought this milk almost exclusively. I love the fact that there’s a cream “plug” on the top that you can either scoop off (and eat, which is my preference), or shake back into the milk (I don’t really like doing that, because you wind up with lumpy milk, and that’s kind of gross, even if the lumps are just cream). For some reason, though, the Brookings Hy-Vee stopped carrying their brand of organic milk, and only had soy milk–Until today. I noticed the manager of the Health Market stocking some stuff, and I almost stopped to tell him how thrilled I was about them carrying their organic milk again. Hopefully the bottle in my cart said as much.

I’ve been busy ever since I got back home. After showering & changing clothes, Jay & I popped out to get some fencing for his peppers & tomatoes that are up in front and along the side of the house–He’s tired of the rabbits we have hanging around eating them. We ran a couple other errands, and picked up some stuff for lunchtime paninis. Sadly, I think the Breadman might be on its last legs. The sandwiches weren’t any larger or anything than I usually make, and they weren’t as toasted as they usually are. How convenient that today’s Foodbuzz Daily Special is the Cuisinart Griddler. I would LOVE to get my hands on one of these! But, like everything else I want, it’ll have to wait.

First on my list is a darn stand mixer! I decided that we needed dinner rolls with the steaks I was planning on grilling. So I made batter dinner rolls again. I don’t know what the heck I did differently this time, but it made a colossal mess:


Granted, that doesn’t look like much, but I opted not to take a picture of how much of that batter I was wearing.


I was afraid at one point, the batter was going to make its was all the way up the beaters, into the mixer itself, and then I’d’ve been really screwed! At that point, I switched to my trusty wooden spoon and hand-mixed them. Which probably explains why they looked a little uglier this time:


Lumpy lumpy dough.


But funny thing, when I popped them into the oven, they smoothed out a bit, and by the time I took them out, they looked decent:


And even if they’d come out of the oven looking just like they did when they went in, I’d’ve still eaten them. They tasted just fine. Once they came out, I popped some baked potatoes into the oven, and got my steaks ready while Jay fired up the grill:


More goodness from Hegerfeld. I’m a purist/minimalist when it comes to steaks. Some coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, and a nice drizzle of olive oil is all you need. Jay & his family all use steak sauce whenever they have steaks of any sort, which to me is just spicier ketchup (and I will confess that until I was probably in high school, I myself did eat ketchup with steak–And I still will on certain cheaper cuts). A good steak doesn’t need any condiments. At least not as far as I’m concerned.

Really, would you want to slop a bunch of A-1 or Heinz on these?


Maybe it’s just me.

And although I’m completely and utterly exhausted, thanks to being up at 4:30 this morning, I’m off to go whip up another cheesecake. I did promise a few people at work that I’d bring one in tomorrow–The day after a holiday is always chaotic and stressful, so some creamy cheesy goodness will probably be much-appreciated! And if not, well, that’s just more for me to stuff in my craw!