Home Design Awards, Local Picnic, Kiana's Cookie Creations
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August 11, 2020  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
Presenting Sponsor
A substantial remodel to a century-old Colonial home includes an addition with comfortable sunroom, kitchen and butler's pantry, plus a new master suite. See how this home's character was retained.
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This home renovation, featured in this year's dsm Home issue, stayed true to its 1952 roots when it was updated with 21st-century function and flair. Photo: Kerry Bern, Prep Iowa.


Submissions are now open for the dsm Home Design Awards, a new annual honor celebrating the work of Greater Des Moines' top interior designers, architects, landscape architects, craftspeople and builders. Submit your favorite projects by Sept. 18 here.

Categories include interiors, exteriors, details and homes. Winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges. dsm readers will also vote for the Readers' Choice Pick. We'll showcase the finalists in our magazine and digital products.

Don't settle. You can have the perfect style… the perfect size… the perfect color… customized exactly for your room.
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Broasted chicken from the Chicken features super-crisp skin and tender meat. The Full Court Press restaurant is located along the Great Western bicycle trail.


Writer: Wini Moranville

For me, the ultimate picnic menu includes fried chicken, potato salad and baked beans. Recently, I was thrilled to discover you could get this triumvirate at a locally owned restaurant within a 10-minute drive of a fabulous state park. Here’s the scoop:

The Chicken: The Full Court Press dudes do it again. The same good-time guys who bring you the Royal Mile, Iowa Taproom, Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern, High Life Lounge and more opened the Chicken two summers ago. Located along the southern edge of West Des Moines on the Great Western Trail and featuring an 80-seat patio, the casual, roadhouse-themed venue is especially popular with cyclists.

While the menu includes all kinds of casual sandwiches, salads and pizza, the specialty — as the venue’s name suggests — is chicken. Or, to be more exact, genuine Broasted chicken, a trademarked moniker that requires cooking chicken in a licensed contraption that pressure-cooks and fries at the same. The result is super-crisp, crackly skin that’s larded without being greasy, plus meat that’s tender and moist.

The sides, including sweet-tinged, thickly sauced baked beans and a classic potato salad, also hit their mark. 

The Chicken is at 4221 S. Orilla Road, West Des Moines, 515-410-2520;

Walnut Woods State Park: This venerable old park—with a stone lodge that dates to the 1930s and the country’s largest surviving natural stand of black walnut trees—is just a seven-minute drive from the Chicken. Dozens of picnic tables are scattered in the open air; after all, who needs shelters when there’s plenty of shade everywhere. It’s easy to find a serene table overlooking the Racoon River and tree-lined banks beyond.

The 2.5 to 3 miles of groomed trails into woodlands and skirting the river are a welcome activity after a filling lunch.

Find a map of Walnut Woods on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.

Kiana Hines, owner of Kiana's Cookie Creations, launched her business in 2016 and now is fully booked on custom orders through mid-September.


Writer: Karla Walsh

Each week in dsmWeekly, we’ll introduce you to a local food company owned by a person of color. Catch up on the previous editions: Street Eats DSM, G.G.’s Chicken & Waffles, Palm’s Caribbean Cuisine, Artis T’s Catering, Your Mom’s Bakery, Jazz It Up, Chellie’s Sugar Shack Bakery, Bess Kitchen and Curly Girl Cakes and Cookies.

A lot has changed since that January day four years ago when Kiana Hines, now owner of Kiana’s Cookie Creations, sat down at her computer and Googled “icing that lays flat on cookies,” which she now knows is royal icing. She laughs at the memory—and how her decorating skills have evolved since.

Hines launched her custom sugar cookie business in February 2016, inspired by positive feedback from friends and family who were given frosting-free versions of her family heirloom recipe each holiday season. I remember as a child, Christmas was always full of baking with my mom, using her mother and grandmother’s recipes,” Hines says. “My recipes originated from there, but I tweaked them a bit so they’d hold their shape better during the baking process. The business side of it was inspired by the cookies at bakeries that are hard as bricks. ... I knew I could do better."

So Hines started watching YouTube how-to videos, joined several baker Facebook groups and honed her impressive icing skills to adorn the family recipe.

Another motivator for Kiana’s Cookie Creations was Hines’ kids (she’s a mother to three, ages 7, 15 and 19), who are competitive dancers—not a cheap extracurricular activity. These past four years, Hines has grown her business into a second full-time career in addition to running a homeless shelter.

So far, the business has been a success. Hines has served as a mentor to other home bakers (like last week’s At the Table focus, Maya Ridgeway of
Curly Girl Cakes and Cookies) and is fully booked on custom cookie orders until mid-September. Realizing she may have to take on more home schooling duties due to the pandemic and with her business growing, Hines is considering taking her cookie career full-time.

Take a peek at the completed cookies and cookie cakes on her Instagram page or Facebook (where you can place an order), and you’ll realize they’re well worth the wait.
In the early 1980s, the local dining scene was much different than it is now, featuring plenty of Italian eateries, diners and steakhouses. Matchbook collection courtesy George Formaro.


One of our favorite events is coming up soon: dsm Restaurant Week kicks off Aug. 21 and runs through Aug. 30. Some of your favorite Des Moines restaurants will offer both dine-in and carryout dinner menus at $30 to $35 per person and lunch menus at $15 per person. You can find more info, including a list of participating restaurants, here.

To celebrate our city's dining scene, we put together a special Restaurant Week section in the July/August issue of dsm magazine. This story, "Ode to 40 Years of Des Moines Dining," was written by longtime dsm contributor Wini Moranville, who has been a keen observer of the local restaurant scene for decades. She reflects on how the Des Moines dining scene has evolved over the years, moving from steakhouses, red-sauce spaghetti joints, cafeterias and diners to the wide variety of casual and upscale eateries we enjoy today.
The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a must-see on any Des Moines art tour. "Nomade" (pictured), by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, remains one of the park's most popular works.


As summer winds down and the pandemic rages on, you might be struggling to find ways to eke out the last several weeks of long days and warm weather. The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation offers a phone application for art lovers, friends and families to get out and enjoy local culture.

"Public Art" is an interactive, multimedia application that provides a self-guided tour of public art throughout Greater Des Moines. With the app, you'll discover the bold and distinctive styles of public art by artists from around the world. You will also be introduced to a visual library you can search by artist, title or location.

Find the app at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.  

    In previous years, thousands of volunteers worked in Hy-Vee Hall to package food for the Annual Hunger Fight. This year, the event will look a little different, but you can still participate. Photo: Meals from the Heartland.


    Every year, Meals from the Heartland organizes the Annual Hunger Fight, where thousands of volunteers gather to package food for food-insecure communities. Not only has COVID-19 hampered the ability to congregate in large groups, but it has also increased the number of food-insecure Iowans, making the nonprofit organization's mission even more critical.

    That's why Meals from the Heartland is continuing its event, but in a safe way, and is seeking 2,500 volunteers to package food between Aug. 24 and Sept. 12 at the Patty Cownie Packaging Center in West Des Moines.

    "We won’t be able to gather at Hy-Vee Hall this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we simply cannot stop fighting to save the starving," Executive Director Greg DeHaai said. "So we’ve re-engineered our 13th Annual Hunger Fight, to package meals in a safe, socially distanced manner, and we know Iowans will step up as they always do to make a difference in the lives of those who don’t have enough to eat.”

    Many two-hour shifts will be available. Sign up individually or with your business, church or civic group. Masks and gloves are required, and the number of packagers at each table will be limited. Increased cleaning and sanitizing will also be implemented. Registration is available here.

    Iowa Stops Hunger is a yearlong Business Publications Corp. initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa.

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