Hi there!

I’m Maike. Thank you for stopping by and exploring my favorite recipes, cooking, and lifestyle tips. I am thrilled you’re here!

Hi, friends. My name is Maike. Nice to meet you. I am the blogger behind the Cheerful Cook. A Comfort Food blog where we celebrate easy German American recipes all year long

Becoming a foodie

Growing up in Germany, I mostly ate a lot of traditional European cooking.

That rapidly changed when I met my husband and moved to New York. I had no idea at the time, but my food palette literally exploded. 

I discovered just how many different cuisines and cooking styles there are and I loved it. Turns out I am a foodie at heart.


Cooking style

No surprise, I ended up working in the food industry.  For more than 15 years managing large suburban restaurant/bars.  

During that time I got to learn a lot about food and business.  I got the chance to work with some truly gifted chefs and food consultants. Learning from them helped shape how I think about food.

And I learned how chefs use quality ingredients to create new and exciting dishes.  I saw how they took familiar classics and worked to perfect them.  I learned that quality and consistency are just as important as creativity.

A new direction

While there’s part of me that loves the idea of experimenting with tons of ingredients and flavors, buying, sourcing and storing them, it’s just not always doable.

Most of us are so busy these days that we don’t have the time or the energy to go all out. But I also believe that it is important to eat well and nourish ourselves the best we can.

I like UNCOMPLICATED and DELICIOUS recipes that are easy to replicate over and over again. To create great flavors by keeping it simple. I believe in using fewer, better ingredients. My goal is to keep processed food in the store as much as possible. But I also believe that sometimes ‘a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do’ to get dinner out. It’s about balance.

Omnivore, Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescatarian, Flexitarian… ????

A lot of my daily cooking is vegetarian. But I eat fish, chicken, and meat. In that order. I don’t subscribe to any ONE diet anymore.

My goal is to help and inspire you cook simple, delicious dishes with fewer, better ingredients.

I love to rediscover familiar classics, like a Classic Pea Salad and infuse them with new life. At the same time I’m passionate about creating simple, healthy dishes, like the Kale & Quinoa Bowl or Watermelon Salad.


  1. I began to photograph restaurant food when I got the iPhone 3GS. People always stared at me. That was then.
  2. Nothing will ever make me like beets or beet juice.
  3. I eat mostly vegetarian.
  4. I love salads. Really.
  5. Some of the best food I ever ate was in Israel.
  6. Stracciatella ice cream is my favorite ice cream flavor.
  7. I love cooking but mostly lack patience for baking.


  1. I love making lists
  2. My husband shares amazing renovation tips here.
  3. Kevin and I love our cockapoo, Riley. We talk about him. A lot. Riley rules.
  4. I dropped out of law school and Business school.
  5. I love big SUVs. My dream car is a Suburban. I currently drive an Equinox and a CRV.
  6. I love blogging. My friends say I know a lot about it.
  7. I was born in 1977. In Germany.
  8. I am dyslexic. You will find typos!
  9. I get giddy every time we drive into New York City.
  10. There are 400+ books in my Audible library.
  11. Maike is a Dutch/German derivative of Mary. It’s pronounced ‘My-kuh’. Siri doesn’t get it.
  12. My parents are teachers.
  13. My favorite Youtube Channels are: Bon Appetit. Pretty Neat Living and the Saccone Jolys.
  14. I have hypothyroidism and struggle with anxiety, weight, and fatigue.
  15. My top five strengths are: Context, Achiever, Focus, Learner, Activator. I am INFJ.
  16. I HATE humidity.
  17. I love to learn new things. A lot.
  18. Sometimes I don’t close the drawers all the way. It drives my husband crazy.
  19. I love Disney movies.
  20. I start expensive hobbies. And don’t always keep.
  21. I love spinning, but HATE running.
  22. I (mostly) stopped watching the news.
  23. I love going out for brunch.
  24. My favorite state to visit is Utah. It makes me feel at peace.
  25. My love language is quality time.I fail at all things pop culture.
  26. I love great quotes.
  27. I take a lot of pictures when we are on vacation. A lot.
  28. My favorite book is The Pillars of the Earth.
  29. I love to organize things – by color.
  30. I am Presbyterian.


Creative & Practical's Dog: Riley The Cockapoo