Tuesday, October 28, 2014

State Line Bar & Grill is Just What This Area Needed.

State Line Bar & Grill

69576 Highway 491 (just east of the Utah/Colorado borderline)
Dove Creek, Colorado, 81324

Phone: (970) 677-2649

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stateline-Bar-Grill/1415288995407657

For seven years, a rustic building sat alone and lonely along Route 491; it had once been a bar/restaurant/antiques shop, but no longer was it loved.  Then came along Tim and Shelly Meyer to breathe life back into, not just the building, but business along this stretch of highway bordering Utah and Colorado.

After a long day at work, hubby and I decided to finally try out State Line for a much deserved dinner out; thank goodness we did!  First off, the parking lot was almost full with license plates of both Utah and Colorado; the locals liking this place says a lot around here.  We found an empty spot in front of the bar and it was busy!  There is a separate entrance for the restaurant as you walk towards the right of the building.  We were greeted cheerfully and told to sit anywhere we wanted to; specials are on a board in front of the reception stand.  Shelbee was our waitress (she is the niece of Shelly Meyer) and we tested her out immediately with some sass; she sassed us right back and knew we had a good waitress helping us.  Shelbee answered all our questions without having to check with the cook; she knew her stuff well.  After placing our orders, I began taking photos of the interior; there were also present other couples and families with children.  Yes, this is a family friendly restaurant; but if you decide to go into the bar, you can order food in there also.



Food time!  Now besides the specials board, State Line has a five page menu; it has typical bar food, but so much more!  Many of the items are house made, some not, but they are cooked up so well that you have a difficult time telling.  We ordered the Fried Mozzarella Sticks and Italian Breaded Zucchini; two items we thought were house made, but were fooled.  The marinara and buttermilk ranch sauces are though, and they were delicious!  The marinara has loads of garlic and is thicker than what is usually served with an appetizer.  My hubby also had the buttermilk ranch on his dinner salad and it was hard not to lick the plate clean.

Fried Mozzarella

Italian Breaded Zucchini

Dinner Salad with House Made Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Then came the main dishes, Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken for me; Ribeye Steak and sweet potato for my husband; both meals came with grilled zucchini.  The steak was perfectly cooked; a huge 12 ounces (lean, very little fat) that almost filled up the cast iron skillet it was served on.  The chicken was also grilled and had so much flavor; the grilled zucchini was a very welcome vegetable; we're so tired of the typical steamed or microwaved limp veggies most places serve up.  The Fettuccine Alfredo was buttery rich, pasta cooked perfectly and the chicken was an excellent addition to it.  Now the sweet potato has its own story; nicely baked and good plain; better with butter; but the best was the house made cinnamon butter.  Talk about a mouthful of pleasure!  The portions are generous and we ended up taking some of each meal home.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken

Ribeye Steak with Sweet Potato
But wait, there's more...dessert!  We were too full to eat it at State Line, so took it home for a late time snack.  Most desserts are not house made, but purchased from a coffee establishment in Dove Creek where they are made fresh.   Crème Brulee Cheesecake which was thick, rich and decadent.  Zango which is a deep fried burrito filled with cheesecake...party in the mouth!

Crème Brulee Cheesecake

Zango - Deep Fried Cheesecake Burrito

State Line Bar & Grill is only open Thursday through Sunday which is great for the area on Sunday when most of the towns close up tighter than a duck in water.  The restaurant hours are 11 am to 9 pm; the bar is 11 am until...?

State Line is a must try place!  Great for a rest and good bite of food; great to pick up food and take on your trip; just great.  Oh, there are t-shirts for sale with the State Line logo on the front and a saying on the back. "Ever been to Nowhere? Now you have!"  We like eating at this Nowhere.

Mary Cokenour

State Line Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cottage Pie with a Southwestern Twist.

Cottage Pie (made with ground beef) is the American version of Shepherd's Pie; a staple of the UK, Scotland and Ireland made with ground lamb; both have simple vegetables added and a mashed potato topping. This new version of mine is going to have a Southwestern twist by using a cornbread topping, adding beans, chili powder and cilantro. A time saver with this recipe is that the topping bakes along with the casserole, instead of having to make it ahead.

Beef Casserole with Cornbread Topping


2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 (12 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with sweet onions
1 (15.5 oz.) can white kidney beans (Great Northern)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp crushed, dried cilantro
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 (8 oz.) package medium sharp Cheddar cheese
2 (7 oz.) packages cornbread muffin mix
1 (8.25 oz.) cream style sweet corn


Preheat oven to 375F and lightly spray a 4-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, until there is no more pink color.


In a large mixing bowl, mix together the browned beef with the mixed vegetables, diced tomatoes, white beans, salt, black pepper, paprika, cilantro and chili powder; spread out into the baking dish.  Spread out cheese over the mixture.


In a medium mixing bowl, prepare cornbread mix according to directions, but leave out the water and ¼ cup of oil; instead add in the creamed corn.  Mix thoroughly and spread out over the cheese and beef/vegetable mixture.


Bake for 25-35 minutes; until cornbread is golden browned; let rest 15 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lasagna that is Meatless and Very Little Cheese.

Typically, when you hear the word "Lasagna", images of long, tender noodles holding layer upon layer of meat sauce and mixture of Italian cheeses might come to mind.  This new recipe I am going to post today is about a lasagna without meat, no typical red tomato sauce, and very little cheese indeed.  I'm writing about a vegetable lasagna, the same long, tender noodles, but instead there are layers chock full of sautéed vegetables, fresh spinach leaves and a béchamel sauce.  Béchamel is a white sauce, but since I did melt in a fair amount of shredded Parmesan cheese, it becomes an Alfredo sauce.

Even though the noodles are undercooked slightly, they will be pliable and not fall apart.  Will they cook evenly while baking?  Yes!  The sauce, plus natural liquid from the vegetables, will finish cooking the noodles; they will be tender and absorb flavors of both the sauce and the vegetables.  The Alfredo sauce allows the vegetables to retain their individual flavors and truly enhances them.

Vegetable Lasagna Rustico


For the Lasagna Filling:

12 Lasagna Noodles (full size, not the no-cook variety)
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
½ lb. shredded carrots
½ sliced mushrooms
1 large zucchini, cut into ¼ inch slices
1 large yellow squash, cut into ¼ inch slices
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Italian herbal mix
½ lb. spinach leaves; divided into 1/3 portions
5 cups Alfredo sauce

For the Alfredo Sauce:


8 Tbsp. butter
8 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 cups hot milk
1 (8 oz.) package shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg


Prepare noodles according to package direction, but undercook by 5 minutes to leave the noodles pliable.

Prepare the Alfredo sauce which should be kept warm until ready for use.  In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted; gradually add the flour, stirring until smooth.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns a golden brown color, about 6 to 7 minutes; this is the roux.

Add the hot milk to the butter mixture one cup at a time; whisk continuously to avoid burning or clumping. When mixture is completely smooth, add the cheese and whisk until smooth again; remove from heat; season with salt and nutmeg.


Prepare the vegetable filling; in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add onions, red and green bell peppers and carrots; mix and let cook for five minutes.  Add in the mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash; mix and let cook for five minutes.  Mix in garlic and Italian herbal mixture; remove from heat.

 Preheat oven to 375F and lightly spray a 4-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.


Begin the layering process: one cup sauce spread over bottom of baking dish; three noodles alongside each other; one third of the vegetables from the skillet spread over the noodles; one third of the spinach leaves spread over the vegetables; three noodles; one cup sauce spread over the noodles; lastly top with remaining two cups of sauce.

-        Or  -

One Cup Sauce
3 Noodles
1/3 Vegetables
1/3 Spinach Leaves
3 Noodles
One Cup Sauce
1/3 Vegetables
1/3 Spinach Leaves
3 Noodles
One Cup Sauce
1/3 Vegetables
1/3 Spinach Leaves
3 Noodles
Top with remaining two cups of sauce.


Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes; until golden brown.  Let rest for 20 minutes before cutting into portions.

Makes 9 servings.

After resting, the cut portions hold their shape.
Mary Cokenour

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gluten Free Expo - Sandy, Utah

The nation's largest gluten-free consumer event is taking place this Saturday,  October 11, 2014 in Sandy, Utah. Tickets online @ www.glutenfreeexpo.com. Those who buy online get to enter 10 minutes early!
The mission of this special event is to educate the public on Celiac Disease while promoting those businesses that cater to a quality gluten free life style.  Are you confused on what exactly constitutes illness due to gluten containing products?  Do you keep hearing the term "gluten free", but are clueless as to what it truly is?  Then this is a "Don't Miss" event for you, friends, neighbors and family members!


The expo will feature:
- FREE samples from hundreds of vendors
- Kids corner with bouncy houses and face painting
- Coupons and more coupons
- Cooking Demos
- Medical Lectures
- Hourly Prize Giveaways
- Drew Manning, fit2fat2fit -
- Carol Kicinsk, Founder - Simply Gluten Free Magazine
- Dance contest (for kids)
- Beard contest (we hope just for men)
- Man lounge with streamed live football
- Massage lounge
- Grand prize giveaways
GFExpo Team
Read about the GFExpo:
It's not too late to get your tickets and attend!!!
Have a great time learning, sampling and simply enjoying the day!!!
Mary Cokenour

Friday, October 3, 2014

Our Anniversary Dinner at the Cowboy Grill.

This year, 2014, Roy and I will have been together for 11 years; 11 years ago we met online at a Dungeons and Dragons gaming site; 4 years ago we officially tied the marriage knot.  To celebrate this year, we decided to do something a bit different; we drove, hiked and climbed the Shafer Trail and part of the White Rim Trail.  Then we rewarded our achievements with dinner at the Cowboy Grill at Red Cliffs Lodge; 14 miles east of Moab on Route 128.  Yes, the same Cowboy Grill I reviewed on their Sunday Brunch which we still go to at least once a month.  Oh, the adventure we had before dinner, you'll just have to wait till I write that up on my travel blog.

As usual, we had a friendly greeting and were seated at a table which gave us a grand view of the Colorado River and the Red Rocks.  Our waitress was attentive and helped us with any questions about the menu.  To start with, we chose the Shrimp Skewer; four large shrimp, deep fried crispy outside and perfectly cooked shrimp inside, served with a drizzle of mildly spiced cocktail sauce.  Num yummy; they were so good!  Oh, we also received a basket of warm, crusty rolls with smooth butter; this just added to our overall comfort even further.

Now for dinner, I decided to check out the review sites (Tripadvisor, Yelp and Urbanspoon) before hand to see what was the favorite of most diners....prime rib.  I ordered the 10 ounce and Roy ordered the 16 ounce; steamed veggies for both of us; homemade mashed potatoes and gravy for him; baked yam for me and the most deliciously decadent cinnamon butter to slather it with.  If I could have gotten a large baked yam with this cinnamon butter, a simple soup or salad on the side; I would have been in food heaven.  Silly me, I was so caught up with the baked sweet potato, I forgot about the prime rib...both of ours was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and so tender it could be cut with a fork.  It was an excellent choice for the main meal!

For dessert, I ordered Grandma's Lemon Cream Cake while Roy had the New York Cheesecake.  Umm, there are no photos; we dove into the desserts and were halfway through when I realized I'd taken no photos.  Just take my word for....more num yumminess!!!

Whether you have a special day to celebrate, or just want a lovely dinner with a great view; the Cowboy Grill at Red Cliffs Lodge just might be your go-to place.  We sure were very happy that we went...so good!!!

Mary Cokenour