Corn Cakes

Corn is one thing my family can agree on liking. I know I know it doesn’t provide much nutritional value, yada yada, but it’s A-maize-ing. haha. You know, corn is Maize. Please tell me I’m semi funny? *crickets* Ok fine….

I stumbled across this recipe so many years ago that I’m not even sure when, where, or how. Like I mentioned above, my husband really likes corn and one night I came across this recipe and we decided to give it a whirl. OMG, I think we wound up having it 4 or 5 times in the next 2 weeks or something like that. Yeah, it’s crazy they were that good. Then we didn’t have any for I don’t know… years.

One night a couple weeks ago, however that changed. We were trying to come up with a side dish for dinner that was different that what we’ve been eating a lot of lately and that’s when I remembered about these Corn Cakes.

That night we invited our friend Jared over and asked if he’d ever had corn cakes. He kind of thought I was crazy I think until he actually tried them. Then he seemed to be sold. Now one thing I learned that night is these are a lot better when they are warm and fresh than when they cool off and sit there. So keep that in mind and maybe come up with a way to help keep them warn; then share your advice with me! Enjoy!

Corn Cakes

(adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, cooked and drained
    • What we like to do is place the corn in a skillet with a few tbsp of butter and some season salt. Just as the butter melts and gets a “sizzle” sound to it add the corn and sauté it up a bit. Adds another level of flavor!!
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
    • Don’t have? Don’t worry! Just add a splash of vinegar to milk (preferably low fat or skim but doesn’t have to be…)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

Method:

  1. In a medium size bowl combine dry ingredients with grated cheese and set aside.
  2. In another bowl whisk together corn, buttermilk, egg, and melted butter.
  3. Pour corn mixture over dry ingredients and stir just until moistened, like you would for a muffin batter.
  4. Scoop batter for each cake on a hot grill (350º) which has been lightly greased.
  5. They will spread a bit so no need to flatten them.
  6. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes on one side, until brown at the edges, flip and cook another 4 minutes.
  7. Yield: 7 cakes
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Cheesy Bread Sticks

Here while back I told you about my debacle with the pizza dough when I made the crockpot pizza… Well I had extra pizza dough, so what do you do? You make Cheesy Bread Sticks of course! And wow, just sitting here talking about them makes me want some cheesy bread sticks!

Okay so these are super simple….. Start with your pizza dough….

Make a mixture of butter and garlic

Read more

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Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Weight Watchers approved!!)

I really planned on posting these earlier in the week… I mean how can you keep something oh so good a secret? Except this thing called the Plague, or technically a flu or cold bug took my house over and bam, we were all sick. I didn’t even get out of bed on Tuesday. It was that bad.

Years ago my grandma gave me a recipe out of a magazine for Red Lobster Garlic Biscuits. She said that the magazine claimed they were the real thing and by golly, they’re pretty darn good whether they are the real thing or not. And that in my book is a good thing!

So here a couple weeks ago I was perusing the interwebs and found a recipe for Weight Watchers Approved Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Wait, what? Weight Watchers approved? That means they are better for you, right? That’s absolutely what that has to mean 😚.

You bet your bottom dollar I made sure I had everything to make them… and then I made them. Oh wow! I think my life is complete… like seriously! Complete! That’s all. Now that I’ve shared this bit of information with you, run to the store, get the ingredients, make them, claim they are bad, and eat them all for yourself. I didn’t run the points checker, but I found where one website with the exact same recipe claimed 1 point a piece. If that’s the case, just make room for 12 points in your daily point count and you’re set. You can thank me later. (although I’d definitely run the point checker first! Just saying).

Weight Watchers Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
  • 2 cups reduced fat Bisquick
  • 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diet margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

1. Combine the baking mix, milk, and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl.

2. Mix with your hands until completely combined.

3. Form into balls about three tablespoons in size. There is enough for 12 biscuits.

4. Place them a few inches apart on parchment paper or a lightly sprayed baking sheet.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

6. While they are in the oven, melt the margarine and mix with garlic powder.

7. Right when the biscuits come out of the oven brush them with melted margarine mixture and then sprinkle the crushed parsley on top. Serve hot.

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Jose Peppers – Belton, MO

It was the day… The day to head to Kansas City to watch the Chiefs in the Playoffs. They were divisional Champions and now it’s time to claim victory… I’d like to say the day went as planned, but sadly, it didn’t…

If you follow baseball at all (which sadly I don’t) you’ll remember that about the time of the World Series in 2015, Kansas City was painted up blue to support their team. Well this year as the Chiefs made the playoffs it was time to swap out the blue for Red.

Our noon thirty game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was pushed back to a 7:35 game so we had plenty of time to make it to Kansas City. Other than the fact, you know… they opened gates like 4 or 5 hours before the game where normal game its like 2 hours or something like that. Don’t quote me on times, I’m just usually where I’m supposed to be when I’m told to be there.

After all the health issues around Christmas time in our group of friends, we decided not to tailgate. Too much hassle and work that didn’t need to be done. So our truck stopped at Jose Peppers on the way up for lunch.

Deb and Drake got a Taco salad. Look at that thing, seriously! Grady had a Coconut Chicken Salad (which the chicken, out of this world), and Mark got some kind of seafood enchilada.

Mark and I stumbled across this place a year ago January and that time we had these. Stuffed Jalapeño peppers. These particular peppers are stuffed with chicken, jalapeño cream cheese, wrapped in Monterey Jack cheese, breaded, then deep fried and served with Tomatillo Ranch. I decided to make them my meal. I could only eat 2. The other 2 I took home and when we got home around 2am that night, Mark and I warmed them up and ate them.

Our Chiefs were division title holders so we had a bye-week last week. That left us to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While it was a good game, the results didn’t turn out like we hoped. The Steelers won the game with nothing but field goals (3 points a piece). And while I thought that was stupid they won that way, Mark made an excellent point that, they never got a touch down. We held them off. Okay, okay… The score was 18 to 16 Steelers. They go on to play the Patriots which means we have to root for the Steelers… blech!

Let’s get them next year Chiefs. Chiefs fan for life!

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D’Arpino’s Italian Cafe {Springfield, MO}

Back in 2009 I had a big group of friends that got together once a month and tried new restaurants. The girls liked to dress up so it was usually business casual or higher in dress, we tried to pick restaurants that were local to the area versus being a chain restaurant, and we went back and forth between the Joplin area and the Springfield Area. 12 Restaurants and I made 11 of them. D’Arpino’s Italian Cafe on National in Springfield was one of the places that we went to.

Jump forward to 2016, about a week ago or so, and a sort of date night, but the baby was with us, and Mark and I were trying to decide where to eat. Our normal go to in Springfield is Zio’s but we wanted something a little different. We threw out this suggestion and that and eventually landed on D’Arpino’s and asked why we’d only been there the one time.

It was settled, we were going to D’Arpino’s. Oh and the answer to why we’d only been there once… well because we usually go to Zio’s because we like it that much. But after this night, D’Arpino’s is back on the radar.

Each of our meals started out with a salad. We were asked what kind of dressing we’d like… Ranch because is there any other :). haha. The salad was good. I didn’t really miss the cheese (although there was sprinkled Parmesan Cheese) and croutons. The Kalamata olives were a great addition although I gave most of mine to Mark because he likes them a bit better than I do. I’m newer to the liking Olives bandwagon.

We also started with bread sticks. These bread sticks are good. We got more to go with our meal. I like carbs and these were definitely worth it.

We actually started with an appetizer. We got the Stuffed Pepperoni Bread. This stuff could have been a meal it was so good. It was bread stuffed with pepperoni and Mozzarella cheese… can you get any better? Definitely a good choice.

I went with the Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken. It was a chicken breast stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, breaded and pan fried, served over a bed of Fettuccine topped with Alfredo Sauce. This was excellent, don’t get me wrong, but I think they could have cut back on the Afredo sauce and it would have been just as good. I love Alfredo but I felt like it over powered the excellent chicken. And i’m telling you, it was good as is.

Hubby went with a special. It was Seafood Ravioli in a red sauce and cheese. He was exceptionally pleased. I tried a bite, but not being crazy about seafood, it was a little fishy tasting to me. He liked it so much though, he ate every last bite.

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Jose Peppers {Belton, MO}

Earlier this year after a string of unfortunate events revolving around trying to purchase a truck, Mark and I found this restaurant in Belton, MO. On a Monday night we had to wait 20 minutes to be seated… Wow. Must mean it’s good, right? Oh yeah! So good in fact that last night after leaving the Chiefs game, where they won by the way, we decided to eat dinner at Jose Peppers.

I absolutely LOVE stuffed jalapeño peppers. I highly recommend these because I’m not sure you can find better…. seriously! Although I’m willing to keep searching! Like I said, I love stuffed jalapeño peppers.

These particular peppers are stuffed with chicken, jalapeño cream cheese, wrapped in Monterey Jack cheese, breaded, then deep fried and served with Tomatillo Ranch. Can you get any better? I think not… but like I said, I’m willing to try!

The tomatillo ranch is also good on tortilla chips. And speaking of their Tortilla Chips… they are the thin, light and crisp chips. They are my favorite.

So the first time we ate here I really liked what I got. When I ordered last night, I ordered Spinada Enchiladas thinking that’s what I ordered the first time. It wasn’t, but boy did I make the right choice! Two flour tortillas stuffed with spinach, jalapeño cheese, and a touch of onion in a creamy white cheese sauce. It was served with rice and beans. I could do without beans, but they didn’t kill me… lol.

Oh wow. Okay, I really think I’m sold on this restaurant because so far I haven’t found anything I didn’t like. YUM!

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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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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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Jalapeño Cheddar Hushpuppies

When we went to Louisiana, one of the restaurants we ate at was Warehouse No. 1. Why do I bring that up? Because their hushpuppies were AMAZING! Seriously, amazing! My goal was to recreate those. Sadly when I googled a recipe, I found out that a lot of restaurants use box mixes… Is that true. You know, there is a lot of fluff on the internet after all. Anyway, I came home talking about these so Mark and I went to creating our own version. Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but these are AMAZING as well!

Jalapeño Cheddar Hushpuppies adapted from Trisha Yearwood
Ingredients:
Oil for frying (or a deep frier which works awesome)
1 1/2 C Self-rising Cornmeal
1 C Self-rising flour
3-6 Fresh Jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced.
1 15-oz can creamed corn
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt & pepper to taste
1 C Cheddar Cheese

Directions:
Heat the oil to around 350˚.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, jalapeños, corn, eggs, and cheese in a mixing bowl; stir until blended. Let stand 5 minutes.

Working in batches, drop the batter by teaspoonfuls into the oil. Cook until golden brown, turning during the cooking. Cook for 3 minutes.

Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a 200˚ oven until ready to serve to keep warm and crisp.

Enjoy!

Note: Can’t find self-rising corn meal… No sweat! 1 1/4 c + 2 1/2 tbsp regular cornmeal, add 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt.

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