Made, and Maid-Rite, in Middle America

Located between the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River on the west, nothing speaks middle America much more than Iowa. Originally claimed by the French who then turned it over to Spain, what we now know as Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase. The territory was divided up by Congress and, voilà, we now have Iowa! The state flag is similar to the French flag but today, the state is totally middle America.

Did you know that Iowa produces one-eleventh of the nations’ food supply? Read on to see My Girlfriendships® give you a great recipe and two restaurants to supply some delicious food to your friends!

Let’s Eat…in! 


Loose-meat sandwiches are popular in the midwest (specifically Iowa). Known as “Maid-Rites” because Maid-Rite restaurants have been serving them since 1926. If you aren’t near a Maid-Rite restaurant, here’s an easy recipe to make them for your Saturday night girlfriend gathering.

Ingredients for 5 | Multiply by degree of hunger, divide by number of girlfriends!

Prep time:

15 minutes

Bake time:

30 minutes

Total time:

45 minutes


  • 1 pound 85/15 ground beef (could use 80/20 - just not super lean)

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup water

  • pepper

  • buns


Step 1

Sauté beef and onions until beef is no longer pink.

Step 2

Drain fat.

Step 3

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Scoop onto buns and serve.



Let’s Eat…out! 


Are you and your girlfriends staying at a hotel or resort and unable to cook? Here are a couple of great options when planning your next girlfriend gathering:

  • Skips | Skip’s has been a Des Moines Institution since 1981; they pride themselves on providing personalized service and upscale food and drink. The menu offers a variety of American classics. In the heart of mid-America, this restaurant does their mussels  correctly—not dead, in butter, and served with garlic bread—unlike this West Coast girl’s paella problem!


Speaking of the heart of mid-America, Iowa produces more than 34% of the nation’s pork. Skip's Pork Tenderloin sandwich is making me hungry now. The breaded pork tenderloin with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle on a toasted kaiser bun sounds perfect for a nice lunch stop with my girl crew!

  • Zeppelins | Steampunk is a form of nostalgic futurism; it imagines a future where technology never expanded past steam engines and Tesla coils. At Zeppelins in Cedar Rapids, the decor is completely Steampunk. Zeppelins are a common image in the movement, which blends gears, valves, pipes, chain drives and other industrial mechanisms in images that balance form and function, and inspired the imagination and the restaurant’s name.

The menu is just as creative as the decor of the restaurant. The New York Strip served with buttermilk chive mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus topped with a black peppercorn sauce are as amazing as the art.




Recipe source:

Photo credit:

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