I little place tucked near downtown Kansas City, Westside Local is known by many in the area for its great food. Currently off my beaten path, I hope to make it a regular spot since I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve ever tasted there.
Ah-mazing biscuits & gravy!
This summer I happened to make it for two meals in the same week! As before, I walked away quite happy after each meal.
It’s the last holiday weekend of summer and with this crazy heat, a priority of Labor Day entertaining is keeping your cool…..and maintaining a cool kitchen. So forget about turning on the oven or stovetop and, instead, mix up this simple yet satisfying dish for your guests.
A few weeks ago, I had both sides of the family over for a little gathering. Pressed for time and looking for a tasty creation to call my own, I once again leaned on Trader Joe’s. My secret ingredient was nothing more than a jar of the “Trader Giotto’s Artichoke Antipasto” spread. You just need a few simple ingredients and some grilled chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces. Mine was prepared in the deli department of my local grocery store, but leftovers work great or you can get it from a bag.
With plans for a trip to Kansas State University to take my niece for a campus visit, I heard from several people that I needed to have some of the famous ice cream from the Call Hall Dairy Bar.
They told me the stories of packing on the pounds once they got to campus, partly due to late night visits to Call Hall. Too much ice cream during a freshman year seemed to be common theme.
A recent New York Times article examined the eating habits of the “millennial generation” and highlighted the struggles major fast-food and informal restaurants are having attracting those ages 18-30. The story says younger consumers “spend their dining dollars sparingly and in a more calculated way.” Including a focus on local and healthier options, it seems millenials are leaving behind the standard fast-food burger places for newer options like Shake Shack (which I hope to try soon in NYC), In-N-Out Burger (a mandatory stop everytime I’m in CA or Vegas) and SMASHBURGER.
The diet was in full effect on a recent trip to Des Moines for my godson’s first birthday. Well, that was until we made the trip to pick up cupcakes for the birthday party.
With the warm weather, beautiful flowers and bright springtime colors all around us, there’s a need for what comes out of the kitchen to match our surroundings.
For a recent family gather, I tried this recipe for a delicious Mango Quick Bread. I was pleased to serve up something a little “fresher” than your typical banana or zucchini bread. It was moist, delicious and full of flavor!
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1½ cups flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
½ cup mango purée (1 large pitted mango in food processor)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 large very ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼” dice (about 2 cups)
½ cup chopped walnuts (can substitute almonds)
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with oil, and dust with flour; set aside. Whisk flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl; make a well in center. Whisk oil, sugar, eggs and yolk, mango purée, and vanilla in a bowl; add to well; stir. Fold in mango, nuts, and coconut; pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
The Philly Cheesesteak
Maybe it’s just the radio stations I listen to, but I feel like PepperJax Grill advertises like crazy and does it pretty effectively. First person, live-to-tape commercials describing their famous Philly cheese steaks are presented like a testimonial by the radio host…..and they’re pretty convincing.
I pass by the place time and again and it’s often packed. Somedays you can smell the yeasty crust and sweet sausage aroma coming from inside. I’ve heard a lot of folks rave about their pizza and tiny athletic trainer girls boast about eating an entire one on a cheat day. Yet I had never gone to check it out.
So when I found myself needing a quick bite before a noon appointment, I stopped in to try it out for myself.
I wasn’t intending to dine out for lunch. But as I headed into one of my favorite boutiques, I saw the Tavern logo next door and my mind started talking to my stomach! Soon I found myself inside the warm and welcoming restaurant.
A booth next to the window was perfect for the chilly Saturday. I eyed the appetizers and was drawn to the sliders. There were a few kinds to choose from, three per order. My server was quite accommodating and gladly fulfilled my request to try three different kinds.
The saying goes “sometimes you just have to follow your heart”. But if you follow your stomach, you might end up at the same place. That’s what happened to me earlier this week when a time crunch and hunger pangs landed me inside what has to be one of Kansas City’s best pizza joints.
After a morning meeting and some must-run errands, I circled the few blocks around the 18th and Baltimore area in search of parking for my next appointment. That’s when I realized the few bites I had of a hurried breakfast had long worn off. I needed some lunch, and waiting till the next appointment was over would not be pretty.