Food and Drink Feed

Grilling Good Eats: Yes, you can cook rice on a grill

By Mike Thayer

Rice can be truly exceptional on the grill, all you need is a cast iron skillet.

Put your cast iron skillet (one with a lid) over direct flame to heat it up.  No need for the lid yet.  Melt two tabs of butter in the skillet, add one cup rice, one tablespoon minced onion, one tablespoon garlic powder, stir just enough to mix and let it saute for a minute.  Add two cups chicken stock, a pinch of salt (IF your chicken stock is low sodium, otherwise, not salt needed). Bring to a boil,  then move to indirect heat, cover and smell those great aromas for 20 minutes.  Take off the grill and serve immediately.  If you did your coals right, you'll get a really nice, crispy, golden brown rice edge on the sides of the skillet.


Popcorn Shoppe

Popcorn Shoppe

Popcorn Shoppe, in North Liberty, IA, is the area's premier popcorn store serving all of Coralville, Iowa City and the surrounding areas since 2010. We have over 70 flavors of popcorn, including carmel corn, kettle corn, and custom mixes of popcorn. We also sell old fashioned candy, handmade fudge, salt water taffy, custom gift packages and more! Come visit Popcorn Shoppe in North Liberty for all your gourmet popcorn needs!

Popcorn Shoppe Display

We carry a large variety of candies that are sure to satisfy any craving!  Our stock changes regularly so be sure to stop in often!  We even stock hard-to-find, nostalgic candies, sure to bring back memories of your childhood!

We also carry a large variety of homemade scrumptious fudge.  We make several flavors sure to cure your sweet tooth!

Looking for that perfect gift?  Gift baskets and popcorn tins are a wonderful way to show someone you care!  We have a large collection of baskets and tins available.  Let us create something special for you!  Contact us for more details

Popcorn Shoppe
Located in Penn Landing
725 Pacha Parkway, Suite 4
North Liberty
PH: 319-665-2297


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Millstream Brewing Co.

Millstream Brewing CoIowa's Oldest Brewery

Three Amana men decided to revive the art that had not been practiced in the Amana Colonies for years - the art of brewing beer. Carroll F. Zuber and brothers James and Dennis Roemig dreamed of building a small brewery to produce small batches of hand brewed beer reminiscent of Europe's finest.

To brew the best they needed the best, so they called on one of America's premier brewers, Joseph Pickett Sr., who helped in the brewery design, in the development of the beers, Millstream Lager and the robust, Schild Brau. Later, Millstream brewers, developed the zesty Millstream Wheat Beer.

In 1985 Millstream Brewing Co. opened its doors - the first brewery to operate in Amana since 1884. So the Millstream Brewery was born and so it has come to be recognized as the home of quality brews of rewarding taste.

The Story Continues in 2000 with the sale of the brewery to Chris Priebe, Tom and Teresa Albert. Chris is naturally handy and keeps the brewery in tip-top shape. Chris also is a trained brewer from the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology and has brought many years of brewing experience to Millstream. Teresa is an excellent people person and handles all the sales and marketing. Tom is our warehouse and production manager. He is the "glue" that binds the place together. It takes a good team to run a good brewery!

These owners are committed to continually making quality brews, one batch at a time. With a current count of 33 national awards and 1 international award, Millstream speaks of some of the finest beer made in the Midwest today. The brewers have introduced many different styles of beer to Millstream Brewery and with the passing of the higher alcohol law change in spring of 2010, many more styles will be coming out! The Brewery hopes to be able to reach out to local consumers in new and exciting ways.

Millstream Beers - Year Round Beers, Seasonal Beers and the Brewmasters Extreme Series

Millstream Brewing
835 48th Ave Amana IA 52203
PH: 319-622-3672 


Falbo Bros Pizzeria

Falbo brosThanks for choosing Falbo Bros.! Get ready for a unique pizza experience. Before they try our pizza, people always ask us “What is your pizza like?” “Is it Chicago style? New York style?” The answer is...neither! Our pizza is unique. We have taken inspirations from New York style thin crust pizza, Chicago Style deep dish and stuffed pizza and created our own unique style.

We make all of our pizzas the old fashioned way, the crust is rolled by hand, using dough made fresh by hand every few hours. The sauce is made from scratch, fresh every day. Our philosophy on cheese and toppings is simple, we put a ton of both on every pizza...skimping is for the other guys.

2100 Norcor Avenue
Coralville, Iowa 52241

319 248-9090


General Mills Will Label GMO Food Amid Stalemate in Congress - Bloomberg Business

General Mills Inc. decided it’s waited long enough for Congress to act on GMOs.

The food giant, which makes Cheerios and Lucky Charms cereal, will start citing genetically modified organisms on its products across the U.S. in coming weeks after a bid to create a national standard died in the Senate.

A law requiring GMO labels on some food products is set to go into effect July 1 in Vermont, and General Mills said it wasn’t plausible to create packaging for only one state. In January, Campbell Soup Co. became the first major food company to announce that it would start adding GMO labels to products with ingredients such as corn, soy, sugar and beets.


Pizza restaurants celebrating 'National Pi Day' | Fast Casual

March 14 might be best known as the annual celebration of everyone's favorite mathematical constant, but it's an important day for pizza lovers, too. 
Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter — a number that equates to roughly 3.14. In 2009, March 14 was officially designated as Pi Day. Pizza restaurants are celebrating the day with various deals and specials.


Bachelor on the cheap: Don't buy jar spaghetti sauce, make your own

Mike Thayerby Mike Thayer

Ragu, Prego, Bertolli, Classico, Emeril's, Newman's Own, and so on....   They come in an array of flavors (many of which you've probably never tried before) and an array of costs, $3, $5, $7 a jar and so on....  Sure, they're convenient, but don't buy them.

Make your own, it's so easy and WAY cheaper than buying the jar stuff.  The best part, you control the flavor!

Here's a quick sauce you can make, use it as a base to incorporate your favorite flavors.


  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • Half a medium onion, finely chopped (alternative - dried minced onion or onion powder)
  • Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped (alternative - garlic powder)
  • One 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • One cup water
  • One Tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat up a medium sauce pan over medium heat, put in the olive oil and onion.  Saute until translucent.  Add the garlic, stir for about a minute.  Add in the tomato paste, water, oregano and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.    This is a base sauce, take the flavors where you want to go from here.  Add some red chili flake, or some Parmesan cheese.  Try a beef or chicken bouillon cube.  Basil is a great add.  Melt a tab of butter into the sauce just before serving.  Personally, I like to add some sliced mushrooms and Cookies Flavor Enhancer to my sauce.  The flavor profile is all up to you, it's easy to do and you didn't have to spend $5 or $7 bucks to bring it to your table!  A 6 ounce jar of tomato paste costs around 75 cents.  We're talking bargain provided you've got some basic seasonings in your pantry.


A Mike Thayer recipe: Baked Pork Chops

Mike Thayerby Mike Thayer

Tasty pork chops aren't just coated with flour and fried anymore......  And yes, baked pork chops can be fabulous!

It's all about keeping the juices locked into the chop, no matter how it's prepared.


  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning - Garlic & Herb
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Two cups water
  • A dash of Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat up a large cast iron skillet or oven safe pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and let it warm up until it just starts to smoke.  Salt both sides of the chops and add to the pan.  Brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Combine the water and all remaining ingredients in a measuring cup or medium bowl, stir, pour slowly into the pan.  Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.  Remove the chops and let rest for five minutes.  The juices remaining in the pan will make a GREAT gravy!  Over medium-low heat, just add about a Tablespoon of flour, a bit more water and stir until it comes to a boil.  Take off the heat and serve with the chops.

TIP:  Compliment your main dish with a side that carries some of the same flavor.  These baked pork chops for example would be great paired with garlic mashed potatoes.

Bachelor on the cheap: Being your own butcher

Mike Thayerby Mike Thayer

So you are grocery shopping, you're looking at that package of 4 boneless pork chops going for around $2.50 a pound.....   Don't buy them.

Buy a pork loin instead.  It may cost more out-of-pocket at the time, but I bought a 10 pound pork loin at Costco the other night for just under $17.  Now I've got a freezer full of chops, not just four.

Pork loinBe your own butcher for this kind of thing.  The convenience of buying something all ready for the frying pan is great, but it comes with a cost.  Cutting your own chops from a pork loin - THE most under-rated cut of meat on the planet - saves you a lot of money and really doesn't cost much time at all.  Just weigh the financial comparison - 4 grocery store butchered chops @ $2.49 a pound, vs. about 16-20 chops (depending on how thick or thin you want them) @ $1.69 a pound. 

Cutting the loin down into chops and some stew meat didn't take much time at all, maybe 10 minutes and now I've got everything portioned out for meals and in the freezer.

TIP:  Don't trim the fat when creating the chops!  Fat means flavor during the cooking process.  Trim it before serving.

For some great pork recipes go to my grilling blog: