dsmWeekly: March 2, 2022
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March 2, 2022

According to a pre-pandemic Houzz survey, the average person spends about an hour each day in their bathroom. Is it time for an upgrade?
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At a previous year’s FarmStand to Fork dinner, diners enjoy their meals at Dogpatch Urban Gardens. This year, instead of a communal table, there will be six-top tables spread out to ensure safe social distancing. Photo: Dogpatch Urban Gardens

Dogpatch Dinner Series Returns for Year Four

By Karla Walsh

Spring begins in less than three weeks, and almost exactly two months later,
Dogpatch Urban Gardens will launch their fourth season of the FarmStand to Fork Dinner Series.

After a quick tour of the farm where Jenny Quiner, owner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens, and her team grow produce that supplies their FarmStand, farmers market table and several local restaurants, guests will be invited to dine under the stars—and dive into a feast prepared by an area restaurant chef using as many local ingredients as possible.

Quiner taps restaurant chefs who “have a great reputation in the area, support our farm and are excited about local food” to create a multicourse feast using products sold at the Dogpatch Urban Gardens FarmStand.

Diego Rodriguez, Proof restaurant’s executive chef, will kick off the first of four dinners in the 2022 series. This will be the third year he and Proof pastry chef Megan Snyder have participated. “I love a good challenge, and this event is definitely cooking out of the norm—no ovens, no heat lamps, just pure instinctive cooking,” Rodriguez says.

He offers a sneak peek of his late-May menu: “I plan on using as much Dogpatch Urban Gardens produce as possible, but you can expect Grade A Gardens produce [grown in Johnston] and maybe some pork from [Knoxville’s] Crooked Gap Farms, too.” (Read more about Rodriguez in this 2020 dsm story on local culinary young guns and this dsmWeekly piece on his sold-out 2021 pop-up dinner with his mother, Laura.)

Tickets, which are $125 per person and sold by the table, are available online now:
      Sunday, May 22: Chef Diego Rodriguez from Proof.
      Sunday, June 26: Chef Lynn Pritchard from Table 128 and 503 Cocktail Lounge.
      Sunday, Aug. 7: Chef James Arbaugh from Lua Brewing.
      Sunday, Sept. 25: Chef Ryan Skinner from Harbinger.

Each table seats six people; tables will be spread out to allow for social distancing.
Don’t wait too long to get tickets; previous years’ dinners have sold out well in advance.

“I love being able to host people at the farm and enjoy the community our farm has created,” Quiner says. “So often, farming is a grind. Being able to take some time to reflect, host, and serve people is so much fun.”

Adults and children alike can delight in "The Magic Flute" this weekend at the Des Moines Civic Center. Photo: Des Moines Metro Opera

'The Magic Flute' Opens DMMO’s 50th Season

Des Moines Metro Opera will launch its 50th anniversary celebration in Des Moines this Saturday and Sunday with a family-friendly, technicolor production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” at the Des Moines Civic Center.

Accompanied by the Des Moines Symphony, the new production merges opera and animation, with silent film-style projections that interact with the singers. “The animation unfurls around the performers,” Egel told dsm, noting that Des Moines is the first market of its size to land the production. (It’s being performed in such cities as Chicago and Montreal.) “It brings a technological experience into a live storytelling format.”

The show is here this weekend only; tickets are still available through
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Bessie, Billie, Nina: Pioneering Women in Jazz (Friday 7:30 p.m.): Charnée Wade, Camille Thurman and Tahira Clayton will perform the music of jazz icons Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone in this one-night-only concert at Staplin Performing Arts Center in West Des Moines.

First Friday: Style Guides (Friday 5-8 p.m.):
Mainframe Studios’ First Friday event will feature fashion displays from local artists and designers and tours of artist studios.

Temple Concert Series - Nella (Saturday 7:30 p.m.): Venezuelan-born singer Nella will make a stop at Temple Theater, performing her trademark mix of traditional folk music with contemporary inspirations from the Andalusian region of Spain.

Des Moines Women’s Club Art Exhibition (Sunday 1-4 p.m.): Hoyt Sherman Place will host the opening reception and awards ceremony for the Women’s Club’s 114th art exhibit, featuring both professional and nonprofessional artists. The exhibit will remain open to the public through March 13.
Terrace Hill tours: Guests can again take in the historic sights of the governor’s residence on guided tours, which resumed March 1. The one-hour tour shows visitors through the carriage house, the first and second floors of the house, and the gardens in the late spring and summer. Tours are offered at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; a reservation needs to be made by phone 48 hours in advance. Learn more online.
Restaurants making moves: A new development in Ankeny’s Prairie Trail will include a mixed-use building (pictured) that will be anchored by the Breakfast Club. The Ankeny location is expected to open in spring 2023; the restaurant's second location in West Des Moines is scheduled to open this spring. Also, Coaches Kolaches is moving from its location in Clive to a new spot that the bakery said will be announced soon. Architectural rendering by Imprint Architects.
New album: Des Moines vocalist Abbie Sawyer will release her first solo album, “Love Is a Flood,” April 3. She says the album reflects her search for direction after having her second child during the early months of the pandemic. The title track of the 11-song album is available to hear on streaming platforms now. There will also be a release show on April 23 at xBk Live. (Read dsm’s profile of Sawyer from 2016 and a story on the art that brought her and others comfort during the pandemic.)
New season announcement: The Des Moines Community Playhouse will announce the shows for its 104th season on March 7 at 6:15 p.m. The public can watch the livestream on the theater’s Facebook page or YouTube channel. Season tickets go on sale March 11 at and at the Playhouse ticket office.

Women honored: The Young Women’s Resource Center announced that the recipients of the Louise Rosenfield Noun Impact Award and the Louise Rosenfield Noun Visionary Award are Sydney Moore and Renee Hardman, respectively. The Impact Award honors a community member for contributions made toward empowering girls and young women through direct service, programming or mentorship. The Visionary Award honors advocates, activists, innovators and philanthropists. Moore and Hardman will be recognized at the Young Women’s Resource Center’s annual gala on April 9 at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines.

Food Bank Backpacks: An easy and fun way to volunteer with the Food Bank of Iowa is to write encouraging notes to students receiving meals through the BackPack Sack Program. The program helps food-insecure families have meals over the weekend and during the summer when school meals are not available. It’s a great activity for gathering a group of people and getting crafty. Learn more about how to participate online. Iowa Stops Hunger is a Business Publications Corp. initiative to raise awareness of food insecurity and inspire action to combat it.
You can have a chocolate pie made, set and ready to eat in a few hours with Sunday Night Foods' Sweet + Rich Chocolate Premium Dessert Sauce. Photo: Duane Tinkey


Easy Chocolate Pie by Iowa Baker Eileen Gannon

Writer: Wini Moranville

When was the last time you enjoyed a chocolate cream pie? Or more to the point, when was the last time you even craved one? Because let’s face it: Somewhere along the line, thanks to bad influences like boxed pudding mixes, we’ve forgotten just how wonderful a well-made chocolate cream pie can be.

With this recipe, Eileen Gannon has once and for all given chocolate cream pie back its good name. Better yet, she’s done so without complicating the recipe one whit. Hers is as easy as any pie you’d make with boxed pudding mix, but richer, silkier and infinitely more chocolaty.

The secret ingredient is Gannon’s Sweet + Rich Chocolate Premium Dessert Sauce, one of three luxury chocolate sauces she unveiled last autumn via her newly launched food company, Sunday Night Foods. Continue reading on
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