Double D’s Cafe {Duenweg, MO}

Earlier this month my dad, Mark, Jared, and I were looking for somewhere to eat lunch. Jared had come to my parents house to help Mark replace a ceiling fan and fix a light, but when noon hit, it was time to eat. We had to run to town anyway so we decided to grab lunch when we headed to town. Jared asked if we’d eaten at Double D Cafe in Duenweg, MO. We said, No so it was on. That’s where we went.

Mark and Jared got the Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes. I must say, I really wish I would have gotten this because YUM! I really think I shouldn’t say Yum so much but dang, when you eat good food, what else can you say?

I went with the Philly Cheesesteak burger and fries. The french fries were fresh cut. And while this was good, next time I’ll definitely go with the above. Just saying. Although I do like a good Philly and this was pretty good. Burger, good. Cheese, good. Onions and Peppers, good. so that = Good. How’s that? Better than Yum :).

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Cold Stone Creamery {Springfield, MO}

On our way home from Metropolis, we decided to stop in Springfield at PFI Western Wear and from there we went on the hunt for the Cold Stone Creamery. I must say it’s a good thing this place wasn’t in town when I was going to college… I might have eaten here a few too many times… maybe. Maybe not….

Anyway, pictured above, I went for the Birthday Cake Ice Cream. Cake batter ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, brownie bites, and fudge. What’s not to love?!?!

Mark went with the Strawberry Sunday. Strawberry ice cream, gram cracker pie crust, strawberries, caramel, and whipped topping. (side note: do you pronounce it carmul or caramel (pronouncing all the syllables)? I pronounce it both ways… just depends on how you catch me saying it….)

Don’t know what ice cream base you want? Just ask for a sample. Don’t like one of their concoctions? Make your own. Like one of theirs but want a different ice cream choice, just ask.

Then be prepared to be amazed to watch them make your ice cream creation right in front of you on the marble slab.

Now I’ve been a fan of ice cream cakes for years. I don’t eat them often, in fact I think I can name the number of times I’ve had one on one hand, but I still like them. They had quite the selection to choose from. I’ve never had one of theirs, but I was tempted, other than I had an hour ride home and it would have melted.

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Dixie’s Sky-high Biscuits

This past weekend at my house was… let’s just say interesting. We’ll leave it at that for now… But I woke up on Saturday morning and was hungry. Mark asked if wanted his sausage/tatortot thing and I told him I was thinking either waffles, pancakes, or biscuits and gravy. He chose Biscuits and Gravy. So I hopped out of bed and went and made biscuits and gravy… all from scratch.

A few years ago I set out to figure out how to make biscuits. I burned more batches than I care to share, until I found these. They are big, buttery, thick, flakey, everything you could want in a biscuit. While I was on my quest, a blog friend suggested to melt butter in a cast iron skillet and bake the biscuits in the melted butter in a warm cast iron skillet to get a nice crusty, buttery bottom, and since then my life has been forever changed.

If you want a biscuit that is life changing, try these. And if you don’t, well, still try them anyway. Sunday morning I made biscuits again because they are so quick and easy to whip up and we ate them with jelly because I didn’t have any sausage left over for gravy again.

Dixie’s Sky-high biscuits (adapted from Delightful Country Cookin’)

  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter + 2 tbsp, separated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
Instructions
Preheat oven 400˚F.
Place a cast iron skillet on the stove on low with 2 tbsp butter to allow butter to melt and coat the bottom of the skillet.
Combine flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
Cut in butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly
Add egg and milk, stirring quickly until just mixed.
On a lightly floured board, knead the biscuit dough briefly, 10 or so times.
Pat or roll out to about a 1-inch thickness.
With a biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place in the melted butter cast iron skillet.
Bake at 400˚F for 12-15 minutes until biscuits are cooked thoroughly and lightly golden on top.
Then they are ready to eat with your topping of choice, i.e. gravy, jelly, butter, or even plain!
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20 Photography Blog Post Ideas

1. A day in the life post – These are always fun because it allows people to get a feel for your day.

2. What’s in your Camera Bag – Sometimes this is helpful for other people. It allows them to get ideas for their own bag, especially if they are newer to photography.

3. What camera you use – I always love these. It allows me to see what other people use and I’m nosey like that. I devour camera reviews.

4. Speaking of Camera bag – What camera bag do you have and what features do you like?

5. Start a 365 project – It is time consuming but oh so worth it. I’m about to wrap up my second year of doing this. Yup, 2 years now. I think I’m going for a 3rd, but changing it up a bit. Either focusing solely on photos from my dSLR or maybe Black and White Photos. I haven’t decided yet.

6. Show some behind the scenes in setting up a picture – Not everyone knows what goes on behind the scenes of a photoshoot.

7. Tell people your photography story – Not everyone was born with a camera in hand… maybe some were and that’s okay. We all have our own story, so share yours!

8. Favorite Photography books you read – Photography is an ever evolving hobby/profession. Help people continue their learning!

9. Share that “ah-ha” moment, that time when something finally clicked – for me, that would be that moment I figured out Manual Mode.

10. Not all photos come straight out of camera perfect. Show people how you edit photos.

11. Share those before and after photos – You know, the straight out of camera versus edited photos.

12. Share before and after shots… wait, didn’t I already say that? I’m talking either before and after dSLR photos or maybe your photos from a few years ago and then photos after training, etc. I looked at photos I took in 2009 and cringed.

13. Share a photography struggle – Someone might have a tip to help you overcome this struggle.

14. Share tips on how to complete a 365 project – Like I said, this is time committing but I know how to do it as I’m about to finish my second project. Share tips to help others succeed.

15. What inspires you and your photography?

16. Tell us about where you’d like to see your photography in 5 years.

17. We all have specialties in photographing, share yours and give tips!

18. What is the best piece of photography equipment you purchased?

19. What do you wish you’d never purchased?

20. Do a Self-Portrait session – Because as the photographer, you’re usually behind the camera, not in front of it. You need to be in pictures too!

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Colton’s Steakhouse {Poplar Bluff, MO}

On our drive home Sunday, we made it as far as Poplar Bluff before needing fuel for the truck and our bellies.  I did a quick search for restaurants, other than the Dairy Queen we ate at for lunch and the MacDonalds (aka McDonald’s… there’s a story there!). I came across the fact that Poplar Bluff had a Colton’s Steakhouse, so we decided to eat there.

If you’ve been to a Colton’s before, you know they serve you rolls before your meal. If you’ve never been, hey, they serve you rolls with your meal. And these rolls are so yummy! I could make a meal out of these rolls.

I went for their Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. Steak, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese. Perfection! Then I went with a side of Fried Okra. If you’ve never had fried okra, you should try it! Not all people like it, but it’s really really good, IMO. But this sandwich, I wound up eating it with a knife and fork. I was so excited though to eat it! So tasty.

Other than my mother in law, everyone else at the table ordered a salad. I kind of felt like a chunky monkey… lol. Mark and Jared ordered the Grilled Sirloin Salad, cooked medium rare. Hubby went with Ranch (YUM!) and Jared went with Bleu Cheese (yuck!). Hubby also got a side of fried okra. I’m telling you the fried okra is awesome! And that salad, it’s good! I’ve had it before, well I’ve tasted it… I’ve never ordered it but it’s so worth it!

Karen had a Fried Chicken salad with Ranch. See salads all around me. I’m not sure what Memaw ordered. Yes, my mother in law is called Memaw by almost everyone. Oh… And our waitress/server. She was excellent! She made the meal even better than it already was!

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O’Charley’s {Paducah, KY}

Saturday night we decided to cross the river to the other side… or at least go across the Ohio River from Metropolis to Paducah, KY. Same difference, right? After a day long diving at Mermet Springs, we were hungry. On Thursday night we saw this restaurant and decided on Saturday night to try it.

We started off with yummy rolls. The joke was, were they that yummy or were we that hungry? Truthfully, they were pretty darn good!

There were huge murals all over the walls and neon signs all over too. One of the neon’s was actually for Prime Rib. Speaking of Prime Rib, Mark and Jared went for the Prime Rib. They were really happy with their choice too.

I went with the Tuscan Chicken. A grilled chicken breast topped with parmesan spread, melted Monterey Jack cheese, and a savory crumb topping. This chicken was served on a bed of linguini tossed with parmesan cheese, garlic butter, and roasted tomatoes. While it might not have been the best thing on the menu, I need to tell you it was pretty darn good! YUM!

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Where to Eat in Metropolis, Illinois

Hello, welcome to the guide on where to eat, or maybe not eat depending, in Metropolis, Illinois. Now Metropolis is the home of Superman, but I’m not sure if this is the actual town that the show/movie was filmed in… but it’s Metropolis, Illinois, none the less.

First off, El Tequila. After diving at Mermet Springs all day on Friday, we were trying to decide where to go for dinner. Mark and Jared asked Glenn, the owner of Mermet Springs for suggestions and he said El Tequila in Metropolis. If that’s a suggestion, of course we’ll take it! It had a 4 out of 5 stars on Trip advisor, so that’s good, right?

Glenn said to make sure to get the cheese dip, so of course we did. Now, the salsa was good, the cheese dip wasn’t bad, and the two combined made for a pretty good combination. Memaw (my mother in law) wished that the cheese dip wasn’t so runny, but as it started to cool down it thickened. Mark said that’s why it was so thin at first, so it allowed room to thicken.

I ordered the Chile Relleno plate. It was 2 Chile Rellenos and rice and beans. I opted out the beans. So what’s a Chile Relleno? It’s a pepper stuffed with cheese, battered and fried, then covered with ranchero sauce and cheese. WOW! It was spicy. I love these things but wow, this thing made my mouth on fire. I had to eat cheese covered chips to void out the spice. But would I get it again? You betcha.

Overall the food was good. The service was a bit lousy. Hopefully it was just a bad night. They were fairly full… One of our party, Nelda ordered a Taco salad minus the onions. Instead of getting her that, the waiter brought her a Fajita Salad minus the onions, then argued with her that’s what she wanted/ordered. Later he said there weren’t onions on the Taco Salad so he just figured that’s what she meant. It was a bit of a mess. Let’s just hope they were having an off night.

Next up is Fat Edd’s. We didn’t actually eat here on this trip, we ate here last year. A group of us ate here this year though. It’s kind of a tradition. Definitely a place to go, especially if you like Peel and Eat Shrimp.

So the sign tells you what to do. This is a bit of a strange way to order, but it works for them. You order/pay for your food at the counter. Drinks are ordered at the table and paid for there. They do have a full service bar, so maybe that’s why the separation? I don’t know. In the past we’ve had really bad waitress service on the drink order. I never heard what the service was like this year.

You order at the menu. When you order the shrimp, it comes to the table with you, but the rest of the food, including appetizers, you get called to come pick up. You pick your food up by your number they give you.

They are known for their Peel and Eat Shrimp. I don’t like it, but that’s what they’re known for and a lot of people do. So if you like it, definitely come for that reason if nothing else.

A meal can be made off the appetizers. These are Firecracker’s. They are Jalapeño Cheese Sticks. They are out of this world! Amazing.

JT told us we needed to order this the first time we ate here. This is Buffalo Chicken Dip. Oh yum! Between this and the cheese sticks, I’m not sure you need anything else. The good thing to do though is to come as a big group and share appetizers with everyone!

I went with the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. Turns out, I’ve ordered it every time we’ve eaten there which is quite funny. It’s good, but the appetizers are better.

Breakfast. Breakfast. Everyone needs Breakfast! If you’re in need of Breakfast, go to the Huddle House. It is actually right next to the Super 8 Hotel we stayed at so hey, that’s close. The hotel has complimentary breakfast, but it’s definitely nothing compared to Huddle House.

I went with the Philly Cheesesteak Omelet, loaded hasbrowns, and wheat toast. The omelet is a 3 egg omelet filled with steak, onions, green bell peppers, mushrooms, and cheese. I like Philly Cheesesteaks so there is that…. The loaded hashbrowns are a must. They are hashbrowns topped with cheese and bacon. Bacon makes everything better. And Wheat Toast because I kind of gave up eating white bread a few years ago. I actually prefer Wheat bread.

There… this shows what it looks like. Holy YUM!

And that concludes this issue of Where to Eat in Metropolis, Illinois.

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What to do in Paducah, Kentucky Every Other Thursday during the Summer

After we ate dinner at the Italian Grill on Broadway, we decided to wander down the street and see what this part of Paducah had to offer. Our final destination was the Ohio River (about 8 blocks or less).

The history of Paducah caught my attention.

I personally love architecture. There’s something about buildings, especially old buildings. I can’t help but imagine the history that they contain, how the people built them, especially old ones, etc.

I’d like to know why it says 1883 and 1999 on the two peeks of this building. See, more history that I just don’t know but would so love to know!

Once you got down to the waterfront, there were these huge murals that spanned quite some distance. 3-5 blocks maybe. There were plaques on the ground that described each mural and told the history of Paducah from the West to the East. I know this because I watched the sun set :).

There was a concert going on down on the riverfront. We were told that all summer long, every other Thursday night they have free concerts to bring people out. There were also vendors set up.

And then there’s the Ohio River.

But the sunset was gorgeous. Sadly I missed it because we were eating dinner but the colors of the sky were gorgeous. I was so mad at myself because I left my “big girl camera” at the hotel (I also complained a lot about that) so all I had were iPhone photos of the sky coloring.

This was toward the end of the mural wall, down by the huge locomotive that was set up on display. By the time we got to the train, it was dark, I’d have liked to have gone back while it was light. So much history and really cool information about Paducah, KY. Things I never knew or even thought to ask.

So if you live in or around Paducah or are on a trip passing through, or looking for a great trip, be sure to check out this town. Looks like a great place full of history. There were even museums around. One was a quilt one and one focused on underwater, etc.

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Italian Grill on Broadway {Paducah, Kentucky}

Once upon a time, my friends and I took a trip to Metropolis, Illinois, to go SCUBA diving at Mermet Springs. When we were finished one night, we were hungry, so we googled restaurants around after deciding upon Italian and came up with the Italian Grill on Broadway in Paducah, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River.

We loaded up in our vehicles, made the 8 or so mile trek, dropped one of our party members off to go get us a table and proceeded to find a place to park. We weren’t having luck finding a place to park and then got a phone call from Mark (who was the lucky sole dropped off) that there was a 4 hour wait. Man do we know how to pick restaurants or what?!?!

Jump forward a year and we planned on making reservations because if the wait was that long, the food must be excellent! That year jumps us forward to this past weekend. Thursday we loaded up and headed to Metropolis, Illinois, again only this time we had reservations to eat at Italian Grill on Broadway Thursday night. There were 6 in our vehicle and John and Nelda joined us for dinner so we had a great group of 8 people enjoying Fine Italian Dining.

The waiter came to get our drink orders and then brought those as well as Olive Oil/Balsamic Vinegar for dipping our delicious bread in to. (ours looked like a smiley face at one point)

The bread was Italian with a Garlic butter on top topped with Parmesan Cheese. YUM! And the dipping oil was excellent with it.

The waiter mentioned at the beginning before he took our orders that salads were no longer included with the meals. He said they had so much waste, and instead of doing the salad, they’ve added in extra meats that are in the dish of your choice to make up for the lacking salad. Although you can add a salad to your meal for an additional cost.

Now the food. Oh the food. So one thing we learned last year when researching this restaurant is they make all noodles in house that day. Yes, those are FRESH Noodles. Will we be able to go back to pre-packaged noodles ever again?

So this is my meal. I ordered Steak Gorgonzola Pasta. Now the waiter said that any of the pastas already made had no substitutions. If you wanted something or wanted something left off, build your own pasta was the route to go.

My Steak Gorgonzola Pasta is a hand cut NY Strip, grilled your way (not over medium, I went medium rare), in a creamy gorgonzola sauce, sautéed spinach, onions & mushrooms, and served over fresh pasta.

Mark and Jared got the same thing. Karen and I laughed and asked if it was bad that they tend to order the same thing, but I don’t think it is :). It’s just fun :).

So they went witht he Cajun Pasta with Crawfish and Sweet Italian Rope. So it’s the fresh pasta with roasted garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, cajun spices, and extra virgin olive oil. So I tried a bite… I’m not a seafood type person and it was a little fishy for me, but they ate ever last bite. Then complained they ate to much but couldn’t quite because it was just so awesome.

 

Our reservations were for 7pm that Thursday night, but we arrived early and they seated us early. The waiter said that the restaurant opened in spring 2015 and when new restaurants open, people from the tri-state area flock to try new restaurants.

They gave us the option of eating downstairs which tends to be a little more quieter or up stairs for the better view. We went for the view.

This is where they were making pizzas when we left but I assume this is also where they make the noodles? It was fun to sit there and watch them working on the pizzas. We stayed a few minutes to watch before moving on down the street to check out this area of Paducah, Kentucky.

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Rib Crib {Joplin, MO}

One restaurant that seems to get forgotten in my opinion in Joplin is the Rib Crib. It is at 26th street behind a Braums and a KFC I think. Heck, I don’t even pay enough attention to know what is around them. One day Mark and I were trying to find something for lunch and happened to think, what about Rib Crib, so that’s where we went. OMG, I’m so glad we did. (there’s a reason I’m overweight… LOL).

So I went with the Philly Griller. Mark wished he’d have gotten what I did… YUM! So it’s like Pennsylvania meets Texas. Chopped brisket with mild BBQ sauce, green bell peppers, caramelized onions, and Cheddar, on Grilled Texas toast. I could have eaten two although I was full with one and I really don’t need 2. Then I got a side of Onion Rings. They were the big rings that were nicely battered. Definitely would get this again!

We can’t decide what hubby had. He thinks it was like called a gut buster or something. But there were 3 meats, and 2 sides. He had brisket, polish sausage, and pulled pork, and smoked turkey.

Next time, he might go with what I ordered ;).

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