Turkey Maid Rites + My Top 10 Things To Do in San Francisco


Turkey Maid-Rites are an easy-to-make Midwestern classic that your whole family will love!


Dang, I was this close to having a new crock pot recipe to share with you!

Chipotle BBQ Turkey Sloppy Joes. Don’t they sound good? Alas, I made too many adjustments to the recipe (red wine vinegar instead of apple-cider vinegar? Regular chili powder instead of chipotle chili powder? What was I thinking?!) and the S-Joe sauce turned out tasting like S-NO sauce.

Thankfully I hadn’t mixed it with the ground turkey before I tasted it, so I still had a full pound of 99% lean ground turkey breast on hand to make dinner with. I visited my recipe arsenal for inspiration and decided to make Turkey Maid-Rites!

Any good Midwesterner would probably tell you that using turkey in this yummy, loose-meat sandwich will quickly turn your Maid-Rite into a Maid-Wrong (sorry I can’t stop…) but Ben and I thought they were wonderful! Maybe better than the original?!


Turkey Maid-Rites

Serves 4-5


Turkey Maid-Rites are an easy-to-make Midwestern classic that your whole family will love!


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 package 99% lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 beef bullion cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons steak sauce


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté turkey, onion and garlic until turkey is just cooked through. Sprinkle flour over the turkey and cook, stirring to coat the meat, for one more minute.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and warm on low for 10 minutes.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.


99% lean ground turkey breast is so lean that it can go from being tender and juicy one minute, to taking on the characteristics of dusty gravel the next if cooked too long.


Sautéing the turkey with onion and garlic helped keep the meat moist, and I made sure not to cook it a minute longer than I needed to.


Not only did these sandwiches taste great, but because I used lean ground turkey instead of 90/10 ground beef, they were 50 calories less per serving!


On the side I served Alexia Spicy Sweet-Potato Fries. These babies are SO. SPICY! You definitely need some cooling, cold ketchup for dunking.


How good is really cold ketchup, btw?


Crisis averted. Turkey saved. Bellies full. Yum.

In other news, I got an email from a reader the other day asking if I’ve ever been to San Francisco. She’s heading out there for vacay and wanted to know if I had any recommendations on what to do/see.


Indeed I have been, and do! Ben and I spent a week in the bay city a couple years ago, pre blog, and it ranks as one of my all-time favorite places in the entire country (just behind NOLA…maybe…eek, they might be tied!)


With spring break just around the corner, I thought I’d share my top 10 things to do in San Francisco in case any of you are headed there! I’m leaving out popular and trendy restaurants, because honestly SF has thousands of them and we had great meals wherever we went. What made my list is a mix of touristy sights, outdoor activities and stuff you won’t find anywhere else except this fabulous, NoCal gem! :)

My Top 10 Things To Do in San Francisco

1. Hike around Sausalito Island.


Sausalito island is located at the non-San Francisco end of the Golden Gate Bridge and is home to some incredible homes and views.


We took a ferry there from Fisherman’s Wharf and spent the afternoon hiking in the sunshine and peeking over the sheer cliffs to the ocean below.


2. Rent a car for the day and drive to Muir Woods.


Muir Woods is home to the world’s oldest and tallest redwood trees. It is impossible to capture how. freaking. huge. they are with a camera.


Walking amongst them will seriously blow your mind and make you want to cry.


In a good way!


3. Drive along the coast.


The views and beach pit stops will have you asking, “Wait, so WHY don’t I live  here again??” Get some good friends to show you around too, if you can! ;)


4. Visit Alcatraz Island.


This is simply a San Fran must-see and I learned so much about the island. Like how the guards and their families including their children lived on the island with the inmates!


Make sure to play a fun game of “I won’t talk to you until you say ‘Welcome to the Rock!’ in a Sean Connery accent” like Ben did to me.


5. Go to Bourbon and Branch for a cocktail.

Look up the secret location and entrance password on the Internet, then ask them to take you to “the library!”


6. Shop at the Ferry Plaza and Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market.

THE best outdoor Farmer’s Market and indoor market, um, ever. Just go. Trust me!


7. Lombard Street


They don’t call it the crookedest street in the world for nothin’! (poor Ben being blinded by the sun light but still smiling his little heart out!!!)


If you still have that car from Muir Woods and your coastal drive, give driving down it a shot. Hey, it’s a rental! ;)


8. Eat at the Fog City Diner.

Ok, so there IS a restaurant on my list! My Dad told Ben and I about this place. It’s an old diner with white tablecloths and INSANE food. Best meal of our trip.


9. Visit Ghirardelli Square for free chocolate, then visit the little wine/beer tasting place in the same square for a beer while overlooking the bay.


FREE CHOCOLATE!!!!! ’nuff said. And get the Anchor Steam Beer – mmmm.


10. Explore, explore, explore!


Get off the beaten path and find your own discoveries,




and fun!


And for Heaven’s sake – have some candy. You’re on vacation!


Gosh there’s like a MILLION other things I could tell you about – but this should get you started!

What are your San Fran favorites?

Where’s your favorite city to travel to in the US? (or in your country if you’re outside the US?)

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  1. shandy (@webgals) 03.07.2011

    As a huge fan of Maid-Rite….I’m going to have to dispute your calling that a Maid-Rite. It’s a loose-meat turkey sandwich. Only a Maid-Rite is a Maid-Rite. :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.07.2011

      Hahaha I know, I know. I deserve this. Honestly though, we thought they were tastier than the beef ones I made a couple months ago!

      • shandy (@webgals) 03.07.2011

        It does look tasty though. :)

  2. I love San Fran! I loved Muir Woods, taking the trolley, and seeing the “full house” houses.

  3. I just moved to the Bay Area (about 15 miles south of San Fran) this past fall – so happy to see this post! :)

  4. Molly 03.07.2011

    <3 this. and LOVE maid rite. I miss Iowa :(

  5. Amy 03.07.2011

    Growing up in the Bay Area, we didn’t venture into San Francisco all that much, but when we did it was a big deal. Even now, as a Midwesterner, I like to spend the day with my parents as a ‘tourist’ in the City.

    Be sure to explore the North Beach area, home to the Italian restaurants and the south end of it bleeds right into Chinatown. Also, the shopping is a must, especially in the Union Square area (Macy’s even has a Cheesecake Factory on the top floor overlooking the square). Also, if time allows and the weather is decent, see the buffalo in Golden Gate Park, the Cliff House Restaurant on the ocean and walk through the Lucas Campus!

    So much to do, but regardless, remember to pack your layers!

  6. I loved San Fran and Cali in general but I LOVE Chicago!!

  7. Sarah 03.07.2011

    I would love to visit San Fransisco some day. I’ve been to New Orleans twice, but only for a few hours each time. I’d love to spend more time there. One of my favorite cities is Duluth, MN. I spent a few days there three years ago and have been wanting to go back ever since.

  8. I REALLY want to go to San Fransisco–it is definitely on the top of my list!

    I love to travel period! But I especially love Portland, OR.

  9. Pier 39 was my must see. And my favorite restaurant was Fisherman’s Grotto (or Warf..don’t remember). San Fran is beautiful and is probably on my top 3 of cities to visit, along with Portland and hopefully someday NYC! A girl can hope :D.

    • Martha Brown 03.07.2011

      I loved NY! One week barely even scratched the surface!

  10. Lindsey 03.07.2011

    Gotta agree! San Fransisco is such a cool place! I got lost just looking at all the houses and roads… wonderful vacation!

  11. I am going to a wedding in California in a few months, and this post got me so excited. Although, I’ll be in So Cal, LA. I’ve loved San Diego and Nashville the most of all my travels. I love cajun food, so I can’t wait to go to New Orleans!

  12. i love california!!! it’s definitely my favorite state. i wanna live there someday :)

  13. What a coincidence, I leave for San Francisco on Saturday!!! I really appreciated this post and may be printing this out to take with me!!

    Also, my roommates boyfriends grandma (like that huh?) lived on Alcatraz as a child. Her father was a guard. It soo crazy to think about!!! I can’t even begin to imagine growing up there!

  14. maria 03.07.2011

    yay sf! i moved here about 2 yrs ago. what i recommend:
    1. the tonga room!! tiki bar/restaurant. there is indoor rain, a lounge singer on a boat on a river, and a drink called the zombie that makes me feel like one. its in the fairmount hotel, so be sure to sneak up on the roof for a great view.
    2. a burrito in the mission. my personal favorite is el farolito, but there are lots of good ones
    3. bi-rite ice cream. eat it in delores park and feel like a hipster
    4. rosamunde sausages in lower haight –eat them next door at el toronado with some damn good beers
    5. tomasso’s in north beach. legit food!

    these are the things i do with all my visitors : )

  15. Lauren 03.07.2011

    This post is GREAT! We are heading to San Fran this summer and I’ll definitely be taking you up on some of these. You were so helpful for my Vegas trip and now San Fran! You should just come with me on these trips girl. ;)

  16. jad18 03.07.2011

    San diego. It is so pretty and a nice size for navigating. We are going to sedona in late april/early may and I am looking forward to seeing what it has to offer and seeing the grand canyon.

  17. Sarah 03.07.2011

    Visit the Mission & feast on a burrito: http://sfpanchovilla.com/locations.php

  18. Mimi 03.07.2011

    San Fran IS my favorite city in the U.S. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I agree with all the things you mentioned, plus rent a wetsuit and boogie board in the waves.

  19. Brooke 03.07.2011

    I LOVE San Fran~!!

    I have a friend that lives out there and I try to visit as much as possible. With a Family now, it’s a little harder… But I am going this Summer! To add to your list:
    I love Fisherman’s Wharf… Go and get fresh baked sourdough bread. Riding the Trolley is a must too!!!

  20. Those sandwiches look great!
    I would have to say one of my favorite places to visit is San Diego! I went during christmas time and it was like 70 degrees… you just can’t beat that!! I stayed in the famous hotel del cornado and it was awesome bc there were all kinds of shops around and good places to eat! I love getting to see new places, since I run for Texas A&M I get to see alot of places for free when we travel to meets which is always a plus!

  21. Randi 03.07.2011

    First off, I totally live in the city where Maid-Rites were invented – Muscatine, Iowa. :) LOVE it! And that crazy street reminds me of Snake Alley in Burlington, IA (southeast Iowa on the Mississippi). Ever been there? Small town, but kinda cool. I lived there for a summer volunteering.

    My favorite city to visit….hmm. That’s really tough. We roadtrip from Iowa to New Hampshire every year and see so many cool places along the way. I guess my favorite big city is Chicago. I’m an Illinois girl, though on the other side of the state! ;) I love all the museums, the fact that it’s home of the Bears, looking out over Lake Michigan. I also like Boston, though since I’ve only been there once, there is much more exploring to be done! I love the pictures – I still haven’t yet been to the west coast.

  22. Martha Brown 03.07.2011

    I loved SanFran and a friend goes to UC Berkley and there were all sorts of little eateries I enjoyed!
    Being in Florida for 3 years now I absolutely LOVE Miami. You can walk in South Beach, hit a great Cuban restaurant, go back to the beach, then walk to you hotel, and it has great night life. Of course if you keep driving, the Florida Keys are their own vacation.
    Man, I’m ready for summmer!

  23. Rachel 03.07.2011

    Hey! That’s Lea :) Looks like you had a fun trip.

  24. Bridget 03.07.2011

    I have to add to the list! When in SF you must walk the stairs up to Coit Tower. The houses along the way are beautiful as is the view! I can’t pick a favorite city…..Chicago would be #1 since I grew up there and New York City is #2. I’ve been there twice and look forward to going back again soon!

  25. Aidan 03.07.2011

    Having grown up just north of San Francisco, I have tell you that it is properly called “NorCal” not “NoCal”. :) Gotta represent!

  26. sharon weaver 03.07.2011

    Well i have to say, not a big fan of ground turkey, so no to the Maid Rite. Orginally from Des Moines so i love my Maid Rites with ground beef.
    I live in San Diego, so love it, but when you go to SF you must try the Stinky Rose if you are a fan of garlic.

  27. Amy 03.07.2011

    As someone whose family is from the Bay Area as well as my husband being from there, we’ve definitely worn out that city in a good way, and will continue to do so year after year. Here is our top ten, and in our opinion, the best top 10 ever! :)

    1-Eat at Red’s Java House. Located just under the Bay Bridge. Seriously, you won’t find a better burger joint, EVER!
    2-Rent bikes near pier 39 and ride them on the trail that lines the bay.
    3-Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
    4-Lounge at Baker Beach. Heaven!
    5-If the Giants are in town a game is always a must. AT&T Park, aw, heaven. I think everything is heaven there. Too bad it’s still spring training and they won’t be playing yet.
    6-Head into Sausalito/Tiburon area and go eat at The Spinnaker. To.Die.For!
    7-Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, the ferry building, basically the whole Embarcadero is great to hang out on.
    8-Shopping at Union Square.
    9-Driving along Hwy 1, I agree, you’ll wonder why in the world you’re not living there.
    10-And I’ll agree with you again, Alcatraz is a must see. Then go home and watch Escape from Alcatraz. Crazy stuff.

    San Francisco is one of the most amazing cities ever. You won’t want to leave. I can guarantee that.

  28. Sarah 03.07.2011

    This is a great list! Muir Woods was awesome, we did a tour from Fisherman’s Wharf that was 4 hours at Muir Woods and then drove to San Jose to see the Winchester Mystery house, it was a long day, but a lot of fun and pretty affordable since we didn’t want to rent a car/pay $50 for overnight parking at our hotel!! My fave SF restaurant is Sam Wo’s in China Town…love it! And I highly recommend the night tour at Alcatraz, the park guides give special talks and you get a different experience than the busy day tours (i.e. our tour guides showed us how the doors operated, by opening and closing all the cell doors on all 3 tiers at once!)

    PS – my grandparents lived in New Boston IL and I always remember going to Maid Rite/them making Maid Rites at home when I’d visit when I was little!

  29. Sarah 03.07.2011

    Oh! And my favorite city to visit is Key West! We went for a week this summer and I fell in love!!

  30. Love, love, love San Francisco! My husband and I were lucky enough to go TWICE last year… once for a work conference for him and again for a work conference for me. I definitely agree with your picks of Muir Woods, Lombard Street, and of course the Ferry Building! Some of my favorite food stops were egg tarts at A&A Bakery in Chinatown, a meatball focaccia sandwich at Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store in North Beach, Swenson’s Ice Cream on Russia Hill (get the Turkish Coffee cone), and breakfast at Lori’s Dinner (there are several locations around the city). I could go on. You won’t leave San Francisco hungry!

  31. Beth 03.07.2011

    Just curious – would chicken bullion work alright?

  32. ~T 03.07.2011

    The ABSOLUTE BEST time we had was when we rented Segways on Angel Island. We were all grinning like little kids when we got off. :)
    I cannot recommend this highly enough!


    Also, I took a seaplane tour a couple weeks ago from http://seaplane.com/. The views of San Francisco were amazing!! Very fun experience!

  33. Cara 03.07.2011

    As newbies to the bay area we are working our way through this list of 100 restaurants to try: http://www.7×7.com/big-eat-2011-100-things-try-san-francisco-you-die

    So far it has been right-on with the recommendations.

  34. Masha 03.08.2011

    I loved San Diego. I have been there only once but because it is filled with animal stuff (Seaworld, Zoo and Wild Park) I fell in love with it. I guess the West Coast is pretty popular =)

  35. Amy 03.08.2011

    Chinatown has some of the best dim sum restaurants ever! Plus, clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl!

  36. Juani 03.08.2011

    For any Americans (or other foreigners) thinking of coming to South Africa, Cape Town is the most beautiful city in Africa (I might be biased,but it’s true!).

    We have everything you could want,right near the city.Wild animals,majestic mountains,gorgeous beaches,great shopping,fun wine-tasting tours,whale watching and shark cage diving.Everything and more.

  37. Kristen 03.08.2011

    Niwot, CO is one of the favorite little towns in CO and the US in general. It’s so cute and quaint. I also love Minneapolis, especially Uptown which is so urban and fun. I do love the little village that is just up the mountain from me, Mijas, Spain. I love how all the buildings have to be a “certain” kind of white and everything is so old. I see everything, every inch as a photo-op and tourist site…even after 3 years!

  38. Hope 03.08.2011

    That sandwich looks so tasty! I am definitely saving this recipe to make sometime. Yum!

    I’ve actually never been to San Francisco before! I’ve always wanted to go there though. It looks like an amazing place! One of my favorite cities to travel to is Boston, Mass. I love it there especially in the fall! I haven’t been there in several years and I am dying to go back. :)

  39. Jenna 03.08.2011

    I <3 San Fran! I have relatives out there, so I've been out numerous times and enjoy anything and everything. This may sound so cliche, but my favorite thing is Alcatraz Island. I kind of geek out when I visit historical places, so this is right up my alley!

    Favorite place to visit in the U.S., hmm.. Dallas/Ft. Worth. Maybe I am biased though. ;)

  40. Melissa 03.08.2011

    I heart ketchup in any form, but really cold ketchup is THE BEST!

    My favorite spot in San Fran is Fisherman’s Wharf! So much to see! And stone crab from one of the little vendors? Insane! If you liked the history at Alcatraz, you should read Al Capone Does My Shirts. It’s for kids, but it’s about a family living on Alcatraz in the 30s. I teach it to my class & the kids love it!

  41. Sara 03.08.2011

    I haven’t been in a while, but North Beach Pizza is fabulous! I recommend the clam and garlic pizza (sounds suspect, tastes great). http://www.northbeachpizza.com/

  42. Kelli H 03.08.2011

    I would recommend walking around Haight & Ashbury, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square for shopping. Use Yelp.com to help you find reliable yummy places to eat at. Definitely get an Anchor Steam beer while you’re there. They’re delicious! I agree though, if you rent a car make your way north and check out Muir Woods and maybe even venture to Sonoma or Napa County to do some wine tastings (it’s less than an hour away).

  43. Leslie 03.08.2011

    Drive up to the jelly Belly factory for a tour too…very fun and very cool.

  44. kelly 03.08.2011

    Right on suggestions, Iowa Gril! I moved here from Iowa nearly 14 (yikes!) years ago and love it! One of your readers suggested visiting the Tongo Room, but it’s closed. Depending on how long you stay, renting bikes near the Wharf and riding out over the GG Bridge to Sausalito is a great way to see the sites. If you get tired, you can always take the ferry back. Get tickets to Alcatraz in advance. Bring layers–it’s often chilly in SF, especially when the sun goes down. There are 3 cable car lines–buy a day pass and ride all 3. Don’t feel like you need to board the cable car at the turn around spots–it’s often crowded. If you have a day pass, go to any stop and squeeze on. If you can swing it, a day trip to wine country, preferable Sonoma over Napa, is in order. I think there’s a tour company called Playtupus Tours that is good.

  45. Jennifer 03.08.2011

    These are great suggestions. My Dad is a retired cable car conductor, and I live 20 minutes from the city. I try and get over there a few times a month. I do a lot of walking there. I get off of BART at Powell St. and usually walk through Chinatown and into North Beach. North Beach is a MUST, in my opinion. Have some great Italian and then hit up one of the Irish pubs, Maggie McGarrys or O’Reillys. Just walk! There is nothing like it. Also, try to find the Creme brulee cart guy, he is usually on Market St. somewhere. (@cremebruleecart)

  46. erica 03.08.2011

    this post makes me want to re-visit SF!!!!

  47. OC_Philadelphia 03.08.2011

    I need sunshine, so I know I could never live in SF year-round. But, I do love to visit it and enjoy the city feel, since you don’t get that living in the LA metropolitan area. I love the museums and the outdoor hiking the most. I recently discovered Seattle and I have to say that Seattle (when it’s warm and not raining outside) is better than SF, because it’s cleaner, less polluted, has friendlier people and much less homeless panhandling. It just felt safer from a pedestrian point of view. Everyone should visit Seattle in late summer or early fall. Just beautiful!

  48. Shannon 03.08.2011

    I grew up and spent most of my first 26 years just a few miles east of San Francisco, and I have to say it’s the best city in the US! No bias here or anything….I moved to NYC almost two years ago and it doesn’t hold a candle to SF. This post made my homesick!

  49. AlisonP 03.08.2011

    LOVE San Francisco!! A must for me is the Buena Vista for Irish Coffees and Mona Lisa restaurant in Little Italy/North Beach for amaze Italian – the interior is total Italian kitsch overload, but the food is goooood! And that North Beach/Little Italy neighborhood is fun. Also, can’t miss SHOPPING! Union Square is a no-brainer, but Fillmore and Haight streets are where I like to go for cute boutiques and one-of-a-kind finds. Love SF!

  50. San Francisco is my favorite city that I’ve been to. I love it so much there. I hope to go back soon so thanks for the tips!

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