When it's so cold outside and spring is so far away, don't you just crave something ... melty? Meet some of our favorite comfort foods from local restaurants in this story from the current issue of dsm magazine.


An oversized sweater. A crackling fire. A steaming mug of tea. Certain things ooze coziness come wintertime. And for many of us, what’s on our plate plays a role, too.

Whether the recipe reminds us of pulling up a chair at Grandma’s table (we see you, gooey mac and cheese!) or the ingredients provide a magically pleasurable mix (high in calories, sugar or carbs, according to a review published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science), these dishes instantly transport you to a happier place.

Rather than sweating over the stove or taking a trip to your childhood home, get an easy comfort food fix this winter by spooning these five soul-soothing dishes served at local restaurants. Click here to read more about these favorites:
  • Kill Bill Pork Tenderloin at Centro
  • Ugly Donuts at Table 128
  • Handmade Cavatelli at Aposto
  • Beef Bourguignon at Django
  • Snickers Bread Pudding at Alba

Remodeling or building a new home involves many exciting and sometimes complex decisions, including whether to install custom-built or manufactured cabinetry. Silent Rivers can provide either… or a combo of the two! Before deciding, here are four things to consider. ...
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By Design presents dsmDining —

A popular topic of Iowa lore and an elixir for the woes of winter, Templeton Rye takes a prominent role in a Jan. 31 dinner at RoCA.


By Wini Moranville

For many lovers of spirits, wintertime is whiskey time. If you’re in that camp, you’ll want to check out the RoCA/Templeton Rye Whiskey Dinner, to be held Thursday, Jan. 31, starting at 6 p.m. Each course in chef Aaron Holt’s menu will be paired with a whiskey cocktail made from Templeton Rye, the storied spirit from Templeton, Iowa.

The menu sounds winter-hearty, which is to say, perfect for pairing with a good, warming rye. Dinner kicks off with a prime rib crostini paired with a signature Templeton Winter Teaser cocktail. This will be followed by a salad that showcases pork belly, sautéed winter vegetables and a quail egg—a dish to be paired with a Shirley Templeton (a decidedly virile spin on the classic kiddie drink). The main course is an eclectic riff on surf-and-turf: a seared scallop with venison au poivre, to be served with a Templeton Rye Manhattan.

But wait: There’s more whiskey to come! Dessert will be a triple hit of rye, with a whiskey chocolate cheesecake with whiskey butterscotch caramel, paired with an Iowa whiskey coffee cocktail.

Whiskey geeks will enjoy talking with Templeton co-owner and founder Keith Kerkhoff as well as Templeton’s new Iowa brand ambassador Tim Grimes. Foodies will appreciate a chance to chat with Aaron Holt, who promises to pop out of the kitchen at the end of the meal.

RoCA is at 208 Court Ave. Tickets are $65 per person plus tax and gratuity and can be reserved by emailing or messaging Roca on their Facebook page.

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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Artist Susan Collis brings magic to the everyday: Here, for example, paint spatters on a worn ladder are created with precious materials—opal, pearl, mother of pearl, white diamond, labradorite, moonstone, white howite, shell and coral.


A new exhibit—"Susan Collis: Without You the World Goes On"—opens Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Des Moines Art Center, supported in part by a $100,000 multiyear programming grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The gift will support exhibitions, the commission of new works of art, publications, and community programming associated with the shows.

"In addition to being an important regional museum with a strong collection of modern and contemporary art, the Des Moines Art Center is also very much a site where artists and audiences come together to discuss the issues and urgencies of our time," notes Rachel Bers, program director at the Warhol Foundation. "We are very pleased to support its ambitious exhibition program that draws attention to positions and practices that have traditionally been marginalized in the contemporary art world."

In addition to the Collis exhibit, which runs through May 12, the grant will also support these upcoming shows:
• "For Today I Am a Boy: Contemporary Queer Abstraction," June 1 – Sept. 8
• "Monument Valley," Oct. 5 – Jan. 12, 2020
• Karla Black, Feb. 8 – May 17, 2020
• Justin Favela, June 13 – Sept. 13, 2020

A $100,000 grant will assist in converting a wing of the House of Mercy into a mental health center.


The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines has announced Leadership Grants to be awarded to three organizations:

Des Moines Public Schools: $100,000
Supporting: Efforts to create an online high school called Virtual Campus, the first of its kind in Central Iowa. The project aims to increase access to courses with the goal of ensuring graduation for individuals with multiple barriers. It is anticipated that 2,000 students will use the online academy.

The Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families: $250,000
Supporting: Relocation to a larger facility, in the same neighborhood, that will allow for expansion of services and an increase in the number of clients served. Sale of the current location to the neighborhood grocery store is pending.

House of Mercy: $100,000
Supporting: Efforts to convert space into a mental health center. The transformation will increase the number of mental health care professionals from 13 to 20. Additionally, the new facility will allow for the addition of a projected 9,000 hours of appointment times and an anticipated 900 clients in Central Iowa. Read more about the project in this story in the new issue of dsm.

Focus beyond the snow, looking ahead instead—at sunny fairways and funds raised to support Iowa children's charities.


Warm thoughts on this winter's day: Let's think about golf and charity. Variety – The Children's Charity of Iowa was named this week as PGA Tour Champions' "charity of the year" and an official tournament charity partner of the Principal Charity Classic.

As charity of the year, Variety will receive a $30,000 donation, which will be used to help fund the construction of the inclusive Variety Star Playground at Riverview Park, Des Moines' second park with adaptive equipment for children with special needs.  

The golf tournament returns May 28-June 2 to historic Wakonda Club in Des Moines. It has raised more than $17.7 million for Iowa children's charities since 2007. Last year, the tournament touched the lives of more than 130,000 children statewide.

Want to help? Volunteer registration for the tournament opened yesterday (Jan. 21). More than 1,200 volunteers are needed, says Jenny Fields, tournament manager. A full list of volunteer categories can be viewed at, where you also can register to volunteer.

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