Exploring Meramec Springs State Park

With the Missouri temperatures starting to drop, and the days getting shorter the leaves at Meramec Springs State Park will be putting on a spectacular color show before falling to the ground.

I recently had the opportunity to explore part of the 1800 acres that make up beautiful Meremac Springs Park. Meremac is home to thousands of Rainbow Trout & Brown Trout; from March 1 – October 31 the 6/10 of a mile fishing stream is stocked with over 900,000 trout that will reach approximately 12 inches long when caught!

Meremac Springs is run by the James Foundation, and is the 5th largest spring in Missouri.

The top 5 Springs in Missouri are:

  1. Big Spring, Carter County, MO
  2. Mammoth Spring, Fulton County, MO
  3. Greer Spring, Oregon County, MO
  4. Bennett Spring, Dallas County, MO
  5. Meramec Springs, Phelps County, MO

Meremac Spring Park was originally home to Meremac Iron works from 1826 – 1876, and during its peak the company town had a population of over 500 people. Due to the distance from markets as well as poor means of transportation at the time caused the closing of the Iron town in 1876. During it’s prime, the small town made things such as kettles, plows, and accessories for wagons to name a few.

The last member of the James family to have control of the area now known as Meremac Springs was Lucy Wortham James. Upon her death in 1938 she mandated that the land be “ever open to the enjoyment of the people”, and not privately owned. Thus the James Foundation was founded to take care of the 1800 acres once owned by her family.

There are so many things to do at Meremac Springs park from camping, picnicking, hiking, and fishing to name a few. The park puts on several events during the year; to see a current list of events check out their website at www.meremacspringpark.com

Meremac Springs Park is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Missouri, I hope you decide to take a trip to Missouri and check it out for yourself! There is plenty to see and do for any nature lover.

The Kauffman Center – Kansas City

Last night I had the opportunity to try several of the new fall offerings at The Founder’s Lounge located inside Kauffman Center.  You can dine at The Founder’s Lounge before any show, you are also welcome to dine with them if you’re not seeing a show.  Her dishes feature local ingredients from some of our local Kansas City favorites like @greendirtfarm , @ibisbakery @stanburyfarms, and @theroasterie to name a few.  My favorite of the evening was the Elite Pappardelle: fresh pasta topped with cotija cheese, charred corn, lime olive oil, cheese corn sauce and popcorn shoots! 🌾 .

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

With all the heat we’ve had in Missouri this summer I wasn’t expecting to have such a wonderful zucchini crop; kbut I’ve had an over abundance!! I’ve been trying several new zucchini recipes over the last few weeks, yet I still come back to this family favorite.

I received this recipe from a sweet co-worker at one of my very first jobs close to 20 years ago!! Her name was LuAnn and I’m pretty sure I drove her nuts every morning as she listened to my stories about which guy I was seeing, my latest outfit or the party I had just been to! I have fond memories of my time at the bank and working with LuAnn and Helen, both close to 70 then. I often wonder if they are still around, I’d love to have a chat with them. It’s funny how seeing a person’s handwriting is like seeing a picture of them. I searched high and low for this copy of her recipe this week, and the moment I saw her handwriting I knew it was the recipe I was looking for.

I have tried other chocolate zucchini bread recipes and to me none are as good as this one. It tastes like a moist chocolate brownie. The only change I made to the recipe is I added 1 handful of mini chocolate chips to the batter and sprinkled a few on top for extra chocolatey goodness!!

Give LuAnn’s recipe a try and let me know what you think. If you post it on Instagram please tag me at miss_kc_foodie .

Coffee Shops

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It seems like there is a new coffee shop opening up very day in Kansas City; and with good reason.  Everyone I know LOVES coffee!!  I have a few friends who are hardcore strong black coffee drinkers; however I am more of a latte person.  I love trying the unique new flavors each season.  Now that it’s getting warmer out, Vanilla Lavender lattes are constantly calling my name!!

There are SO many new coffee shops popping up all over Kansas City that it’s difficult for me to have pick a favorite. I do have a few that I either a. find myself frequenting more often then others, and b. have SO much buzz around them that I can’t wait to try them!!! I’ll name a few below: (in no particular order)

  1. Post Coffee in Lee’s Summit, Mo
  2. Whistle Stop Coffee in Lee’s Summit, Mo
  3. Goat Hill Coffee in Kansas City, Mo
  4. Messenger Coffee in Kansas City, Mo
  5. Love Coffee, Lee’s Summit, Mo
  6. Black Coffee Lounge in Pleasant Hill, Mo
  7. Cause Coffee in Desoto, KS
  8. Martin City Coffee in Martin City / KCMO
  9. Maps Coffee in Lenexa, Ks

I feel so lucky to live in such a booming food city with so many great coffee shops opening up almost daily!!

Where is your favorite coffee spot?? I guess the more important question is black coffee or are you more of a latte person like me? How ever you take your coffee Kansas City, get out there and support some of our local coffee shops!!! ☕️

Cheryl’s Homemade Chili

I want to first thank Instagram for not posting my picture and recipe post last night which forced me to write my first blog post. While it was frustrating to sit and edit a photo and write down a long recipe with instructions, this IG glitch was just the kick in the rear I needed to finally write my first post on my blog!!

I am excited to finally be writing my first blog post. Had I known this was going on my blog I would have taken more pictures and maybe done a more stylized picture, but either way here it is.

This is really just my basic homemade chili recipe, you can add more heat or omit whatever you don’t like from this recipe and I’m sure it will still be good! This recipe has evolved over the years to something my family and I really like, and I hope you will too.

  1. Brown 2.5lbs hamburger & 1.5 lbs mild Italian sausage (use hot sausage if you like more heat) together along w 1/2-3/4 Tablespoon of dried minced onion and dried minced garlic.

2. In a food processor combine 1 can of Rotel (any heat level you like) until there are no large chunks, along with 1 small can of Chile’s in Adobe.

3. After the hamburger mixture is browned and drained of fat, add in 1 1/2 Tblsp Chili Powder, 2 tsp Cumin, 1 Tblsp Dried Oregano, just shy of 1 Tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 Tblsp brown sugar and stir to combine over low heat. Once combined add in 1 can/bottle of your favorite beer. I’m a huge fan of Stella Artois, so tonight I added that. Allow to simmer together on low for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add about 1/2 – 3/4 of the Rotel mixture to the hamburger mixture and stir, add more as needed (if you like a wetter chili add the entire Rotel mixture)

5. Turn the heat up to medium and add in the beans. I typically use whatever beans I have on hand, anywhere from 5-6 cans of various beans. For this batch I used 2 cans of White Chili Beans, 1 can Red Chili Beans medium heat, 1 can mixed chili beans with both kidney & pinto beans, 1 can of black chili beans and 1 can of Dark Red Kidney Beans drained & rinsed.

6. Stir everything together and adjust seasoning as needed. For a little more heat add a few dashes of dried red chili peppers at this point. I sometimes add approximately 2 Tblsp of hot & sweet flavored jalapeño slices along w juice, or add more brown sugar if you like your chili a little sweet with a little heat.

7. Allow to simmer or make ahead of time and allow the flavors to come together a bit more of possible. Or do like I did last night and just make it and eat it all right away because you’re so excited you can’t wait to dig in!!

Serve with Zataran’s cheddar and jalapeño cornbread (I add a few extra slices of jalapeño on top), it is super yummy!!

Enjoy!