The Pineville Grill {Pineville, MO}

If there’s one thing I can tell you about myself on this rainy morning, it would be, I like Breakfast food. There, I said it. This coming from the person who is not now nor has ever been a morning person. I seriously can’t tell you my favorite breakfast food either. I like biscuits and gravy, I like omelets, I like pancakes, I just like breakfast food and sometimes it is difficult to go eat breakfast and make up my mind what I really want. I’m glad we got that out of the way :).

I woke up this morning and laid in bed watching it storm like crazy. Last weekend we were under flash river flood warnings and this weekend we are too. The only difference is we live on top of a hill here and last weekend we were camping at the Trails for Kids held at Crag O’Lea in Pineville, MO.

My husband Mark and I along with a bunch of our friends are on the Trails for Kids committee so we started camping on Wednesday evening so that we could be there to help check people in. Little did we know what our weekend was going to have in store for us. WOW!

But Thursday morning we woke up and we were all hungry so we decided to drive in to Pineville and eat breakfast at the Pineville Grill.

The Pineville Grill

Like I said, the girl who isn’t a morning person likes her breakfast food! This was an omelet that had pretty much everything. eggs, bacon, sausage (although I had them hold the sausage), ham, cheese, onions, bell peppers, and more cheese. Mine came with a side of either toast or biscuits and gravy or something else… I went for the biscuits and gravy. I’m actually glad I did because my darling little ate quite a bit of my biscuits and gravy. Apparently she’s a biscuits and gravy fan too.

She also likes pancakes so that’s what we ordered her. She even got it in the shape of Mickey Mouse… one of her favorites. Now this wasn’t a bad pancake but it wasn’t my favorite either. Yes, I tried a bite. It wasn’t nearly as sweet as normal pancakes. Like I said, not terrible but not the best either.

Mark and Jared got something called Skuttle Browns. It was a skillet that had hashbrowns and cheese and sausage and ham and eggs your way. They also got pancakes as a side. They weren’t impressed with their pancakes either. I didn’t try a bite of theirs… I didn’t need to, I could eat the little’s if I wanted pancakes. Hey, she was eating my biscuits and gravy.

Other than that, I’m not sure what else to tell you. I like breakfast food but we already established that. Today is another soggy wet day and we’re under another flood watch, maybe even warning now. Luckily we live on a hill, so we just have to worry about the bottom of our driveway because like the olden day phrase, I walked up hill both ways to school, I really did. down the hill to go up it to meet the bus then down the hill to go up back to the house. Does that make me old? Just a thought….

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The BEST Pie Crust

I have the Best Pie Crust Recipe for you today. How do I know it’s the best? Because I’ve tasted it obviously!
A couple years ago at our house we had a cherry tree, boy I miss that cherry tree! Mark and I went out and picked the cherries and then it was time to make a pie. That particular day we didn’t have any eggs so we were trying to come up with a recipe for pie crust that didn’t require it to sit in the refrigerator for hours upon hours AND didn’t require eggs. Finally I went through a cookbook that my grandma had placed some recipes in. I read through the list of ingredients and it didn’t say eggs so SCORE! We started measuring out all the ingredients and then as we got halfway or better through it, bam, 1 egg. Palm to forehead moment. At that time we had some friends who lived just around the corner so we went and grabbed some eggs from them.
At that time I think we remarked, this better be a good pie crust. Let me tell you, this pie crust is awesome! In fact, another story, my father-in-law wasn’t having the best of luck with pie crusts and one day was talking to me about that. I mentioned I had my grandma’s and told him to at least try it once. From then on he was hooked. With all that, I’m telling you, this is THE BEST Pie Crust.
If you are looking through the list of ingredients, you’ll notice 5 cups of flour. That seems like a lot. But one thing to consider is this makes 4 pie crusts. Perfect. Use 1 or 2 for your pie and save the other two for another pie. Just wrap tightly in cling wrap and put in a freezer bag, then place in the freezer for that next time you need or want a pie.
If you plan on blind baking this (aka nothing in it but pie weights) bake at 350˚ for 15 minutes. If you plan on baking with pie filling then bake at the temperature and time of the specified pie. Simple as that! And trust me, you’ll thank me for this recipe! It’s our go to pie crust and boy is it yummy!

The BEST Pie Crust

Ingredients (4 crusts)
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Shortening (can use cheap kind and using part margarine works too)
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
Instructions:
Blend to small lumpy stage.
Then put an egg in a 1 cup measure. Add 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and blend. Fill to top of cup measure with very cold water, stirring as you do. Then pour over above mixture and toss lightly until it rolls into a ball.
Divide into 4 smaller balls; flatten each slightly. Use what you need for your pie or pies and put remainder in a plastic zip lock bag and freeze until needed. Keeps very well.
Then fill with your favorite filling. If you’re making a cream pie of sorts, place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes to bake, otherwise, bake the crust when you’re baking your pie (ie apple, cherry, etc).
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Eagle Drive-In {Joplin, MO}

Eagle Drive-In. Must I say anymore? I think the pictures can do the talking for themselves!

This is the JoMo Po’ Boy. Calamari, Eagle Sauce, Tomato, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I obviously didn’t eat it, I don’t eat seafood. Mark though, he LOVED it. Oh and Eagle Sauce they say is similar to Thousand Island dressing, but better. This came with a side, fries were the obvious choice. Then there is the choice of sauce to go with the fries. That is Eagle Sauce.

This is the Black and bleu Burger. It was also thoroughly enjoyed. Now I don’t eat Bleu Cheese either, but my mom LOVED it. She went with a side of fries too. Her sauce of choice, Garlic Aioli.

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Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Cookies

There are a lot of people who have jumped on the Gluten Free bandwagon for different reasons. I personally don’t know much about it other than what little research I did once upon a time when a friend’s daughter had issues. They thought she needed to be gluten free so I did a little research but not much and after they realized that wasn’t her problem and she could eat gluten, my research days on it went out the window.

One of Mark’s co-workers though, he and his family have gone gluten free for heath reasons. Mason shared this recipe with Mark and he sent it to me in an email. I wasn’t sure why and emailed him back asking if he’d tasted them. He told me no. Friday night we changed that answer to yes. I was interested in trying them and of course they’re cookies, so I must try them, right? My dad and I joke that he’s the cookie monster and I’m pretty sure I get that from him.

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PW’s Flat Apple Pie

Back in December I was in Texas. One of our favorite places to visit while down there is World Market. While we were walking around looking at this and that, really eying the silverware that I’ve wanted for years but still won’t buy, I stumbled across a book called Pie School | Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter. I made mention that I wanted it and low and behold I got it for Christmas! I started reading through it right away and the author, Kate Lebo, discusses things called a Galette. I’m sorry, a what? Basically it is a pie that is free form, as in you don’t bake it in a pie plate, but roll it out, place your filling in the middle, and roll the sides up over the edge of the filling. The more rustic you make it, obviously the better.

Why do I mention all of that? Well back in 2010/2011/2012 I embarked on an adventure of 101 items to complete in 1001 days. I didn’t get them all complete, but it was a good attempt. One of my items was at the time Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond released her first cookbook and I planned on trying to cook/bake my way through the entire book. Again, not something I was able to complete. This Flat Apple Pie happened to be one of the items in the book that I didn’t accomplish.

Last night was dive club meeting. I made some sugar cookies to take but I also wanted to make something else. For some reason this flat apple pie jumped out to me so I gathered up the ingredients and went to baking. By the way, I kind of love to bake… I’m learning this. As I was piecing this together, I started wondering, is this a Galette? Based off the description Lebo gives, I believe it is. You’re welcome.

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Banana Bread {National Banana Bread Day}

I would like to start out this post by stating that today is National Banana Bread Day. It is also National Toast Day. So if you Toast your banana bread, does that have you celebrating both holidays? Just a thought… Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

I was one of the lucky kids who grew up knowing not only my grandparents but also one set of my great grandparents. My great grandpa died in 1998, 10 days shy of his 108th birthday and my great grandma died in 2002. Both in November. Great Grandpa was the 13th and Great Grandma was the 1st. Some people make fun of me because I remember dates really well and I sometimes really wonder how I do it. But I can remember my great grandpas because of a story. In October of that year he asked my great grandma if November had a Friday the 13th. She told him no, she thought it was Saturday the 13th. Then the week before Friday November 13th, he asked her again if next Friday was the 13th. She said, yes I believe it is. His response was, That’s a good day. He passed away on Friday the 13th.

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Red Velvet Cake Recipe + Ganache Recipe

So let’s step back in time to last month when we had our cake decorating day. Why on earth would we go back in time? Well I held off on sharing a recipe with you because I knew we’d be using it again! So my goal was to wait and share it this month.

Here’s the story. So as I mentioned earlier we had a cake decorating day. That day when I showed up I already had my chocolate cake made, Deb chose a Red Velvet Cake, Kristi chose a butter cake, and Tracy went with a chocolate cake as well. Deb and I went to work on her cake when I showed up… and I use me loosely because I more so stood and watched. She had this Red Velvet Cake she absolutely loved so I took a picture of the recipe and sat and watched her make it. I believe it was out of the newspaper from years ago.

She didn’t make the icing that is included in the recipe though. Instead, she made a cream cheese icing that Tracy found for her. I’m not really sure of the icing recipe they used truthfully. Oh and the funny thing about this picture… Deb stained her hand, a t-shirt and her house shoe red…. whoops.

Then it was a matter of what to do over the icing to make it prettier. They added a ganache recipe over the top and topped with chocolate covered strawberries. This is when the whole idea of this post was born.

Kristi and Justin’s wedding was on Valentine’s Day. From what I heard, they originally weren’t going to have a wedding cake (don’t quote me on that though!). When Kristi saw Deb’s cake and better yet, when she tasted it, she asked if we could recreate this cake for her wedding. Hmmm… let’s think about that for a minute…. YOU BETCHA! It didn’t take a minute to come up with that answer.

Deb, Tracy, and I discussed it and we came up with the option to make a layer cake. Kristi found a cake stand (similar to what’s in the picture) and her bride groom said he could make that for her easily. Perfect!

The colors of the wedding were predominantly turquoise so we decided to make the ganache turquoise with a chocolate ganache for some color contrast. Then we decided to top it off with chocolate covered strawberries.

Chocolate covered strawberries are the perfect thing for Valentine’s Day! They (I was off watering cows before I could come over to help) made a quart (I think, let’s go a bunch) of chocolate and white chocolate covered strawberries for the cake. Then what was left over, we placed out for friends to eat. Let’s just say the cake was excellent and the chocolate covered strawberries were G-O-N-E gone.

On a side note… did you know that Ebay apparently has recipes? That’s where our ganache recipe came from.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe:
Ingredients:

  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate if you want to dye another color)
  • 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • Food coloring if dying white chocolate ganache

Directions:

  1.  Combine semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Heat roughly 1 minute, stopping every 20 seconds to stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in light corn syrup (and food coloring if using) and let cool slightly until just barely warm.

Note: Placing bowl in the fridge helps speed this along if you’re in a hurry.

Now that you have the Ganache, this is how to get the “drippy” look

  1. Chill your frosted cake.
    • Chilling the frosted cake helps slow the drip of the ganache down the side of the cake.
    • this step also helps keep the icing from melting against the heat of the ganache.
    • It is suggested to chill your cake for a couple hours to overnight.
  2. The perfect consistency of ganache is for the ganache to be pourable, but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
    • Too thin? Melt some more chocolate chips and add.
    • Too thick? add a bit more light corn syrup
  3. Pour the ganache in the very center of the cake, then using an offset spatula, spread evenly to the very edge of the cake, allowing the ganache to run off the edges of the cake.
    • If you notice a bare spot, give the ganache a gentle push off the edge with the spatula so it will drip.
  4. Chill the finished cake until the ganache is firm.
    • If planning on topping the cake with fruit, candies, a cake topper, etc… wait until ganache is firm.

 

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Bonnie Butter Cake

Let’s jump back in time a few weeks, back to our cake decorating day. When I got to Deb’s house, I had already made my chocolate cake I used to decorate, but Deb whipped out a Red velvet cake real quick from a newspaper clipping she had. When Kristi got there, we debated what type to make her so we quickly grabbed Deb’s 1970’s version of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook and had her flip through the different cakes.

Her son wanted to be involved in the cake decorating day too, but she told him it was just for the girls, so she brought a couple smaller pans and asked if we could make him a cake to decorate as well (you know, once she got home). I said absolutely. Well after we made up one batch of cake, we weren’t sure if our layered cake was thick enough, so we doubled the batter.

When we doubled the batter, that gave her the ability to make 3 more small loaf pans, because we didn’t need it all for just 2 layers of cake.

Kristi’s dad was having an 80th birthday celebration the next day. We used 9″ square pans to bake the cake in. Then I showed her different ways to decorate the cake. I also showed her how to make icing roses. I made 2 and she made 2. Now, if you’ll notice there are only 2 total on the cake. Well… that’s the mystery of the whole thing… One of mine I scrapped back in the bowl because it wasn’t very good. That would mean there are 3, right? Well… we never did find the third rose.

the cake… the cake was awesome though!!!

Bonnie Butter Cake
2/3 c butter (or margarine, softened)
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups cake flour (or 2 3/4 c ap flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 c milk

Heat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour baking pan, set aside. In large mixer bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy.Beat 5 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with a whisk. On low speed, mix in flour mixture and milk alternatively. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake oblong pan 45-50 minutes or layers 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Ice cake (as in frost).

It recommends frosting cake with a French Silk Frosting or a Lemon Frosting. Instead we used a buttercream icing that is good for decorating and since we did a layer cake, we placed strawberry preserves between the layers for an added, extra special touch.

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Los Cabos Mexican Grill & Cantina {Independence, MO}

Last Friday my friend Karen and I went to Kansas City. There is a Duluth Trading Company store up there and she needed to return/exchange some items. We started out in downtown KC and ventured out to the suburbs to find Duluth. Um… let’s just say we had an adventure. You could see all the stores you wanted to go to, but actually getting there was another story so we’d take roads that would lead us in the right direction and eventually, we got there. Yes, I know, we could have used our GPS, but what’s the fun in that?

We got out to Independence around lunch time and seeing as though we were hungry, we decided to find lunch. We passed this restaurant, Los Cabos, and eventually decided to stop and try it. So impressive things about this restaurant, it was HUGE! There was a sign in the door that said max capacity 285. That’s a lot of people. Second, the view. No, I didn’t take a picture, but where we sat, we had a gorgeous view over the lake out back. And it was cold enough that there was a thin layer of ice over half of the lake. Beautiful. I’ll bet it’s even prettier in the fall when the leaves are changing colors, but another trip for another time, because we’re now in January. Gloomy old January.

The waitress (or server for you politically correct type) told us that all the red dishes were signature dishes. I took the picture of the Camarones Alambres because here’s the thing, I like shrimp but not a lot of shrimp. I’m not a huge seafood person, but this looked absolutely AMAZING! If I had been with someone who loved shrimp, I’d have probably gotten it, that way if I didn’t care for it, I could have conned them into switching with me. Sad but true. But I wasn’t with someone who likes fish, actually I was with someone who likes it less than I do so I stuck with chicken (see below).

They brought us out chips and two types of Salsa. The one on the upper side is regular style salsa. The one on the lower side tasted like roasted peppers or something. It had a different flavor and it was a smokey flavor at that. Both were very good. Then the queso. Oh the queso. Go here for that if nothing else. I need to learn some more descriptive words. They call it white queso. While it definitely wasn’t yellow, I can’t just say it was white either. What it was though is good. That is all.

Finally, the dish I got…. Roasted Garlic and Spinach Stuffed Chicken. It is a large, stuffed chicken breast topped with Cotija cheese and served with grilled vegetables & choice of refried, borracho, or black beans. Hello, if you know me I don’t like beans so I went with rice instead. The rice was good. The vegetables were better. And then that chicken. The chicken was basically flattened out and there was a layer of garlic and spinach and cheese on both pieces (or if it was flattened and folded over, then the middle and top). I might have gone a little lighter on the spinach because it was a little over powering, but it was so good it really didn’t matter.

Karen went with a lunch portion, 1 chicken enchilada. They brought her two. But because the waitress only put it in as 1, we only paid for 1. We didn’t complain. She said they were good and that one was filling so she had extras for later.

Interesting fact, I went on line to find their menu a few minutes ago and there are 3 locations in Oklahoma. In fact, their website said, no matter where you are in the Tulsa area, there’s one nearby. So how did one wind up in the Kansas City area? Questions, questions. So there you have it my friends.

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PW’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

When we decided to have a cake decorating day, I decided maybe I should make my cake ahead of time so that we weren’t waiting on mine to bake. Good thought, right? We had access to two ovens, and there were going to be at least 3 of us that I knew about and possibly four. Turns out, there were four so it was a good thing I baked mine ahead of time. When I showed up that morning we baked Deb’s off real fast, then the other two baked about the same time. It worked out perfectly.

So I was trying to decide, box cake mix or from scratch? From scratch won. Then I debated what type of cake I wanted to make. This is when I decided, Chocolate. Then I had to decide, what chocolate cake recipe to use…

One of my absolute favorites is Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Cake that is typically a sheet cake. No big deal. I just turned it into 8″ round double cakes and bam, the chocolate cake for my decorating was born.

In the end, I almost didn’t decorate mine. Lots of reason why I wasn’t going to, but at the last minute I quickly decorated one. Not bad for 30 minutes or something like that start to finish, right? I’m not 100% sure I even spent that much time. Sadly there are some areas that look rushed below the arrow head… that’s because the coupler pushed out of the bag and I was running out of green icing, so I shoved what little icing I had left through the tip with my finger. Hey, no one is judging, right?

Take my word for it…. Make this cake. It’s tasty!

Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Cake by Pioneer Woman
FOR THE CAKE:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture.

Pour into 2 greased/floured (*I prefer Baker’s Joy) 8″ round pans. Bake 350˚F for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out of the center clean.

Note: She uses an 18×13 sheet cake pan and bakes it for 20 minutes. But remember, I turned mine into 2-8″ Round cakes

*Bakers Joy – It’s a spray for baking. It’s in a white can with a blue lid. Food Network did a study back in the early 2000’s and it came out the best. I tried it and holy cow, I was sold. I’ve not really ever had issues getting a cake out of a pan when using that. Just thought I’d share 😁

 

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