Get your donuts earlier . . . before they are sold out. Enjoying them earlier in the day might mean getting them while they are still warm!
World’s Best Donuts
Small Shop with Big Taste
10 Wisconsin St., Grand Marais, MN
Venue: A quaint, local donut shop with a large following. Expect to wait in line during prime tourist times.
Atmosphere: You can go inside and check out the donuts and other goodies or go to the outside walk up window to purchase your treats of choice. There is limited seating inside and out.
Food Fare: Offering donuts of course! Also, turnovers, skizzles and other goodies. We enjoy the plain cake donuts. They have a lighter texture than the cake donuts you are use to. However, you can get them with a variety of sweet toppings. The blueberry turnover we split was delicious!
Recommendations: Get your donuts earlier rather than later in the day before they are sold out. Enjoying them earlier in the day might mean getting them while they are still warm! You can also see if there are any “boo boos” packaged to buy. They are odd shaped but just as tasty. Also, if you like a late night sweet snack, but extra to take with you. The Super America gas station has been known to sell their donuts too. Oh, and be sure to take a tourist picture with the wooden painted people cut outs outside the shop.
Check their website for open days and hours. The shop is closed “off season.”
Service: Always friendly and helpful.
Return Rating: Definitely. We have to get our “World’s Best” fix when on the North Shore!
This end of season rhubarb recipe was an easy dessert to make with items I had on hand. Any complimentary fruits and spices can be used. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.
It’s that time of year when frost is near and the end of rhubarb season is here.
So, I took advantage of those last stalks and made up a microwave cobbler recipe.
Here is the recipe guide I pioneered:
- Freeze dried Pears
- Freeze dried Raspberries
- 2 large tablespoons maple syrup (or to your taste)
- 1 stevia tablet
- Hot water
After harvesting, washing, and cutting the rhubarb, add your additional fruits of choice to your rhubarb. I used Thrive Life freeze dried pears and raspberries. Then add your sweeteners. I used maple syrup and one stevia tablet making sure there is enough water to dissolve the stevia tablet and to microwave the fruit. Also, I had enough water to reconstitute my freeze dried fruits. Next, add spices to taste and microwave on high until the rhubarb is tender
For the topping, melt 5 T of butter in the microwave and mix in enough rye to coat the rye with butter and not have it too dry. Microwave on power 8 for for 3 minutes. Check the browning after 2 minutes has passed. You can microwave more to try and “crisp” up the rye but be careful not to get it too brown.
Put your fruit mixture in a small casserole dish and add the rye topping. Your topping can remain on top or you can choose to mix it in. Microwave on power 8 for 3 minutes. Check your dessert and decide if it should be microwaved a bit more.
This was an easy dessert to make with items I had on hand. Any complimentary fruits and spices can be used. You could use oatmeal instead of rye and choose to make more or less of the topping to suit your needs. You could even combine rye and oats. This would be a great recipe if you happen to have rhubarb in your freezer from your summer harvest!
Enjoy your dessert with your favorite toppings. Whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce. Also, nuts would be a nice addition either cooked in or as a topping. Have fun customizing your own microwave cobbler. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You get to eat the results and can improve your personal recipe next time around!
Just remember to write your recipe down.
The fries were perfect — the best crispy fries we’ve ever had! Both burgers were fantastic! Bob knows how to prepare quality, tasty food.
14860 TX 59, Athens, TX
In our travels we were hungry for a good burger and not a typical fast food option. Headed north towards Athens, Texas, I began googling for burger choices. I found the Burger Barn and my phone map had this foodstand located near Crossroads, TX. Wrong! We didn’t see the small red building with white trim. So, we were disappointed and kept driving north on TX 59.
The good news is the we stumbled upon the Burger Barn! We weren’t looking for it anymore but Pete noticed it as we drove past the Shady Oaks General Store at the intersection of TX 59 and 753. So, we turned around.
Venue: One man show burger stand.
Atmosphere: Lots of fresh air and outside seating at the picnic table to the side.
Food Fare: A variety of burgers, grilled chicken, BLT and a few other sandwich choices. Fries, onion rings, tater tots, chicken rings and potato chips are also on the menu along with bottled soda pop. Pete ordered the Mexican Burger with an extra patty and I got the Bacon Cheese Burger. We split a large french fry. The fries were perfect — the best crispy fries we’ve ever had! Both burgers were fantastic! Bob knows how to prepare quality, tasty food. The customer before us ordered a patty melt and wanted mustard on it. Bob let the guy know how he makes it for complimentary flavors but said he could make it per the request.
Recommendations: Note the Burger Barn hours and plan to stop for lunch. Try the french fries cooked crispy. Look for The Shady Oaks General Store at the intersection of TX 59 and 753 and off to the East side you’ll find The Burger Barn. It is 8 miles south of downtown Athens on TX 59.
Service: Bob had a dry humor, let us know the order took a bit longer because of the crispy fries, and delivered hot, quality food.
Return Rating: Definitely! This is the type of place we love. It will be a regular stop when we head north.
. . . is great for parties, tailgating, holidays, or just because you want to make comfort cookies on a rainy day. This recipe has been one of my cookie “staples” over the years.
Do you like a good oatmeal cookie?
If you do, here is an easy recipe that you can customize to your taste.
This recipe has been one of my cookie “staples” over the years. I loved it so much that I clipped it off a Cub Foods grocery pamphlet, taped it to a recipe card, and put a plastic sleeve over it. Do you write notes on the back of your recipe cards? I do to note any changes I make.
This makes 6 dozen small cookies using a teaspoon to drop the dough. While I’m sharing the picture of the original, I will also type it below so you can read it.
Use your imagination with CHEWY OATMEAL COOKIES PLUS — Cream together 1 cup softened butter or margarine, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla. Combine 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt; add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Beat in 2 1/2 to 3 cups rolled oats. Choose your own “plus” to add — 2 to 3 Tbsp. peanut butter — chopped nuts — chocolate, mint, peanut butter or butterscotch chips — raisins. Drop 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen.
As usual, I tweaked the recipe to use what I had on hand and to suit me. Here are the ingredients I used for this batch of cookies:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp powdered vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup Einkorn flour
Slightly less than 1 tsp. baking soda
Omitted by mistake – 1 tsp baking powder
No salt added
3 cups rolled rye
1 cup dark chocolate chips
These cookies turned out great, even though I forgot the baking powder, and are chewy with the rolled rye. Of course, the dark chocolate is a taste treat when you bite into the cookie. When removing them from the baking sheet straight out of the oven, they were a bit fragile. They “set” once they are cool and aren’t as fragile. They were flatter than usual.
I later made a second batch of these cookies with the rolled rye and included the baking powder. My husband likes the no baking powder version better. This batch was plumper.
This Chewy Oatmeal Cookie Plus is great for parties, tailgating, holidays, or just because you want to make comfort cookies on a rainy day. Customize your own batch and enjoy! Dark chocolate is my favorite add, what is your favorite add?
Don’t let the outside rule your decision to give it a try. Both the chicken pot pie and peach cobbler were fabulous with a capital “F.”
We were driving toward Illinois and were hungry. We wanted to eat at a buffet before we reached West Memphis. After surfing the net for a buffet choice, we decided to try Natty’s.
Venue: Truck stop café with buffet. One review on their Facebook page said, “The building looks like something out of Harlem circa 1969, but the food is decent. The parking lot for trucks is rougher than a corncob but a decent place to park.“ Don’t let the outside rule your decision to give it a try.
Atmosphere: Casual country diner with table or booth seating.
Food Fare: Natty’s offers American comfort food. Choose the buffet or order off the menu. The food was delicious even though some cold items could have been colder and some hot items warmer. Both the chicken pot pie and peach cobbler were fabulous with a capital “F.” I almost wish that was all I ate for dinner. The fried chicken was delicious. Desserts were saran wrapped and the bundt cake slice I had was good.
Recommendations: If you like fried catfish, give it a try. It wasn’t on the buffet but a friendly trucker ordered it off the menu and gave my husband a sample from her plate. He wants to go back sometime for the fish.
Service: Service was very good.
Return Rating: Definitely.
Quaint bakery shop with the old tin ceiling. We enjoyed the pecan nuggets and the chocolate chip pecan cookies.
Eilenberger’s Bakery Since 1898
512 N. John St., Palestine, Texas
Venue: Small town bakery begun in 1898.
Atmosphere: Quaint bakery shop with the old tin ceiling. Welcoming to stop in and browse. There is plenty of seating to enjoy your selections or you can get them to go. A number of antiques related to the business are on display. On the walls are photographs depicting the community at different points in time.
Offerings: Candies, cookies and other goodies.
Recommendations: Be sure to get several of a variety of items to sample. We enjoyed the pecan nuggets and the chocolate chip pecan cookies. Both would be do agains on a return trip. Be sure to take a catalog with you or check out their selections online at eilenbergerbakery.com.
Service: Friendly, helpful service. We enjoyed chatting with the employee about the history of the business and building. There is even a Texas Historical Commission placque for the bakery. Under the placque is an “Oil City Ironworks, Corsicana, Texas” embossing.
Return Rating: Definitely would love to!
The beauty of using the FFM (Foley Food Mill) is that you get the pulp without having to peel your fruit before cooking it. While you can buy new Foley Food Mills, our experience had been that the older ones work better. We always keep an eye out for them.
There are a few tried and true kitchen gadgets that earn their keep on your shelf.
The Foley Food Mill is definitely a must have for making jams, applesauce, and puréed foods.
We recently put ours to good use when we purchased a half bushel box of over ripe Freestone peaches. We gleaned the ones we could eat over the next few days and prepped the rest for cooking. We washed, cut off bad spots, took out the pits and cut the peaches into chunks. We didn’t have to cut in small pieces with using the Foley Food Mill (FFM). We then cooked the peaches till tender. These peaches had a lot of liquid so we took out extra while cooking the peaches. We added it later to the pulp before making the peach jam.
To make the pulp you run the cooked peaches through the food mill by turning the handle. The handle cranks the blade which smushes the contents through the sieve holes. The pulp is what comes through the sieve holes leaving the fruit skin or peels in the food mill bowl. Occasionally you need to crank the handle backwards which scraps the peels off the sieve surface. You can remove the peels from the bowl before adding more cooked peaches to begin the process again. Continue until all your cooked fruit is turned into pulp. If you are running cooked apples through the mill, the peels and seeds get caught in the food mill bowl. Thus, you only clean, quarter and cook the apples. The Foley Food Mill is a fantastic time saver!
The beauty of using the FFM is that you get the pulp without having to peel your fruit before cooking it. Once you have the pulp, you can go on to making your sauce or jam.
We made peach jam with our pulp. It turned out great and was almost a peach butter without all the extra work. Of course cinnamon was added to it! We used different sugars for each batch. We tried turbinado, coconut sugar, brown sugar, and white sugar. We liked the coconut sugar the best. It was a fuller, richer, molassessy taste. We also used the pulp to put in our protein shakes.
We use canning wax to seal the jam. Melt canning wax and pour at least 1/4 inch of wax on top of the still warm to hot jam filled jars. Let cool completely before placing lids on jars. As you know from reading my posts, Pete doesn’t always follow directions. The recipe that we used for this jam came with the package of fruit pectin. But, Pete used it more as a guide. Thus the wiggle room on the temp of the jam for wax sealing.
For the backstory during our jam making, be sure to check out my blog about Managing when Your AC is Being Repaired. We bought the box of over rip peaches because it was such a deal compared to buying a small bag of peaches. However, upon returning home with the over ripes, we discovered the AC was broken. We persevered and got the peaches worked up over several days even without AC. We did the work in the evening knowing it would be cooling down a bit at night.
A couple of last thoughts for you about the Foley Food Mill. The bottom screw comes undone to separate the bowl from the crank/blade combo. This makes for easier cleaning. While you can buy new Foley Food Mills, our experience had been that the older ones work better. We always keep an eye out for them and keep a few on hand to give to folks we know. You can be on the look out for them at antique stores and garage sales and often get them for a couple of bucks. Happy hunting and jam making!
Be sure to try the Pass Arounds — they are worth it. The fried potatoes are totally a taste experience. Watch out for the throwed rolls . . . The Roll Throwers accuracy is impressive!
Want a fun place to eat where you not only feed your stomach but get an “experience” too?
Try Lambert’s Café also known as “Home of Throwed Rolls.”
Venue: Fun, memorabilia decorated restaurant with booth dining. Table seating is also available. Definitely tourist oriented as they can accommodate lots of folks at once. They have a nice gift shop too. The parking lot is suitable for buses, semi’s, RV’s, trucks, and cars. We have only visited the Sikeston, Missouri location but there are two other locations: Ozark, MO and Foley, AL.
Atmosphere: Casual country feel. It can be noisy if you are dining at peak times. Watch out for the throwed rolls as they can be tossed clear across the dining room. The Roll Throwers accuracy is impressive!
Food Fare: American comfort food that is tasty and fills you up. We’ve tried the chicken salad, jowls and beans and chicken tenders. We were always pleased with our selections. The beverage cups are ginormous so if you are a heavy drinker, you’ll be satisfied.
Recommendations: Be sure to try the Pass Arounds — they are worth it. The fried potatoes are totally a taste experience. We thought of the Macaroni & Tomatoes as goulash and it was tasty. Servers walk around with the Pass Arounds and dish out what you want to try. Of course, be sure to catch a roll. Plan to pay with cash or check.
Service: We experienced great service during both of our visits.
Return Rating: Definitely when traveling through and hungry enough to do it justice.
Grilled Cheese is a comfort food, childhood menu staple, and . . . lots can be done to give this icon a “make-over.”
Remember having grilled cheese sandwiches as a kid? Well, April 12 is Grilled Cheese Day and you can create a custom build version.
My mom always bought Sunbeam white bread. Growing up my grilled cheese sandwich was made from white bread, margarine either spread on the outside sides of the sandwich or premelted on the griddle, and Kraft American Cheese slice singles. Oh, and once it was cooked, I topped it with grape jelly—yuuuum! We also called this sandwich a “cheese toastie.” I still remember the old griddle, probably aluminum, with its stuck on discoloration from years of pancakes and cheese toasties.
Grilled Cheese is a comfort food, childhood menu staple, and is offered on many restaurant menus. Lots can be done to give this icon a “make-over.” Change up bread and cheese choices to create custom sandwiches. Rye bread and Swiss cheese, sourdough bread and vegetable Monterey Jack Cheese, and whole wheat bread and your choice of two cheeses are a few combos to get your creative ideas going. Be sure to use real butter instead of margarine and real cheese instead of processed. Another change is the add on’s you can put in or on your grilled cheese. Anyone for bacon? Add a little pizza sauce and/or pepperoni for a pizza cheese toastie. Add some sauerkraut to the rye & Swiss toastie along with some mayo. Think about your favorite sandwich and what flavors you want on your own custom build. Oooh, Texas Toast Bread would be a great building block for a grilled cheese. What ideas do you have?
Note: Photo retrieved on April 12, 2018 from: https://www.google.com/amp/s/nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-grilled-cheese-sandwich-day-april-12/%3famp
Whooooah . . . this pie is fabulous. A little bit goes a long way.
From page 5 of “Twenty Favorite Recipes of Col. Harland Sanders” comes this Col. Sanders’ Chess Pie recipe.
This is an easy to make “comfort food” that also pulls off “fancy.” You can serve this pie for everyday, special occasions, and holidays.
My husband’s parents lived near Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame before he became famous. Years later while on a visit, in July of 1971, the Colonel gave my mother-in-law a copy of “Twenty Favorite Recipes of Col. Harland Sanders”. Here is the recipe as promised.
I followed this recipe per the directions and ingredients. Baking in a cast iron pie pan took about 60 minutes. A knife inserted half way from the pie edge to the pie middle and coming out clean told me the pie was done.
The meringue turned out nicely. I did grab another cookbook* off my shelf to read up on meringue making. One pointer I learned was to rub a bit of meringue between my fingers to see if there was sugar grit. You want the sugar to dissolve. So, I kept beating my meringue till I didn’t feel sugar grit. I also made sure that the meringue reached all edges of the crust to provide a seal which prevents shrinkage. The meringue was baked 13 minutes at 350 degrees.
Whooooah . . . this pie is fabulous. A little bit goes a long way as it is very sweet tasting. The crust, filling, and meringue compliment one another for a flavorful and delectable dessert. The pie crust came out of the Colonel’s recipe booklet too. I’ll be sharing that recipe at another time.
*The cookbook I grabbed off my shelf was, Farm Journal’s Homemade Pies, Cookies & Bread By the Food Editors of Farm Journal, copyright 1983 published by Greenwich House, Distributed by Crown Publishers, Inc., New York.
Nice brown top, smooth texture to the filling, and a great taste with the Bourbon. Next time your in the mood for southern comfort food, give this pie a try.
During the process of relocating to East Texas, I discovered Buttermilk Pie is a delicious and common dessert in my new state.
I had never had this comfort food before and loved it. So, naturally, I needed to find a recipe. My husband mentioned to me that we probably had a recipe of the Colonel’s and I should check my little cookbook. That’s right, my husband’s parents knew Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame before he became famous. My mother-in-law gave me her copy of “Twenty Favorite Recipes of Col. Harland Sanders” little souvenir cookbook. She received this booklet from Col. Sanders in July of 1971 in Shelbyville, KY at his restaurant, The Colonel’s Lady. So, now I’m going to share this Buttermilk Pie recipe with you.
I made a few adjustment to the recipe to accommodate ingredients I had on hand. I used:
- Butter not oleo
- Thrive Life powdered vanilla
- Powdered Buttermilk (reconstituted )
I omitted the lemon rind and lemon juice and opted to use Bourbon.
I had never made a pie recipe that instructed me to bake but not brown the crust prior to baking with the filling in it. As you can see from my picture, there was a bit of bubbling from the initial baking of the crust. It did not affect the end product. The second time I made this pie, I used a store bought granola crust. Both pies were fantastic! Nice brown top, smooth texture to the filling, and a great taste with the Bourbon.
While this pie didn’t last long, there was no weeping from the filling as you can sometimes get with this type of pie.
Do you have a favorite comfort food pie you enjoy? Let me know via the comments section please. Also, be on the look out for the Chess Pie recipe from this little booklet. I’ll be sharing it too.
Since this homemade soup is a unique culinary creation, savor the flavor before its gone.
Do you want to make a tasty soup that your family will love and your friends will rave about? This has worked for my husband and I for years! He learned this technique from his parents. Just follow these easy steps.
1. Designate a freezer container to be your Freezer Soup Pot (FSP for short).
2. Put any meat or vegetable leftovers in your FSP container in the freezer. This includes liquids you would normally strain down your kitchen sink when you open a can of vegetables, leftover mashed potatoes, any leftover vegetables, leftover meats or meat juices, tomato juice, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce. Use your judgment as to whether you think it would compliment a pot of soup. Each time you have such leftovers, just add a layer to your FSP and keep it in the freezer. The FSP will be your soup base.
3. When the FSP container is full, make a pot of soup. Put your FSP in a pan or crockpot. Once it has thawed add other vegetables if you want such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers. You can get creative and add other ingredients such as macaroni or quinoa. Before adding spices, I recommend you get the FSP boiling so the flavors can blend. After taste testing a bit of cooled soup broth, add any spices you desire. Decide how thick or thin you want your soup. You can turn it into a stew if you want. When all your vegetables are tender and the soup has boiled down to the consistency you want, get ready to enjoy the best tasting soup ever.
Benefits of using a FSP are that you are upcycling food you would normally throw away if you’re not into leftovers. This saves you money. You also have the opportunity to enjoy and share soups you create.
Since this homemade soup is a unique culinary creation, savor the flavor before its gone. No two batches are the same. Be sure to start another FSP for your next pot of soup. What is your must have ingredient in a pot of soup? Feel free to use the comments section to share.