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Posts tagged ‘Des Moines Iowa’

99 Things About Me

Instead of making  New Year’s resolutions that we all know I’ll forget about after January, I decided to post 99 things about me. It was more difficult than I thought it would be! But. It was easier than keeping New Year’s Resolutions!

1. I blog about food because I like to cook.
2. And eat.
3. I was born in Des Moines, IA at Methodist Hospital
4. All three of my children were also born in Des Moines, at Methodist Hospital!
5. My first car was a 1966 Chevrolet Impala.
6. It doubled as a boat when necessary.
7. The best place I ever spent New Year’s Eve was Brussels.
8. I have two siblings, an older brother and sister.
9. I have road rage.
10. But, I’m discreet about it.
11. I love Keith Richards. His attitude, his dedication, his music.
12. My favorite kitchen tool is my Kitchenaid mixer.
13. I make killer chocolate chip cookies
14. I’ve seen the Atlantic Ocean from both sides.
15. I would fly to Belgium just for a waffle from a street vendor.
16. I could drink when I was 18, and was grandfathered in every year after that.
17. My favorite ice cream is strawberry.
18. I think Diet Coke is the best invention ever.
19. I’ve been kissed under the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
20. I’m a reformed Catholic (that is… Lutheran).
21. My children are all girls.
22. Their ages are 32, 26 and 11.
23. I wore Earth Shoes.
24. I like Spam. And Velveeta. Preferably, both at the same time!
25. I have driven a tractor.
26. I’ve had my gall bladder removed.
27. My very first friend was Leisa Porter.
28. She still is (my friend).
29. My childhood home is gone now.
30. I bake better than I cook.
31. I love the outdoors.
32. I was almost always outdoors as a child
33. I have freakishly small hands.
34. I’m part Irish, part Scot.
35. The first boy who loved me was Bill Connolly.
36. The Scot part of me is frugal; bordering on being cheap!
37. My childhood church was burned down.
38. It was a hate crime.
39. The church has been restored.
40. It is now a center for religious tolerance.
41. I’m a Baby Boomer.
42. Dwight Eisenhower was president the year I was born.
43. I once saw Robert Plant in the skywalk in Des Moines.
44. I’m an obsessive knitter.
45. I like tinsel on my Christmas tree.
46. If I could only have one food, it would be pizza.
47. My favorite movie is It’s A Wonderful Life.
48. I love the show Law and Order SVU.
49. At Christmas time, I have to drink Coca Cola in little glass bottles.
50. My first dog’s name was Boots.
51. I was scared of geese as a child.
52. They hissed at me.
53. I love photography.
54. My first driver’s license was paper.
55. My mother is an immigrant from Germany.
56. I’m rather independent.
57. Some people would call that, “stubborn.”
58. I know how to drive a stick shift.
59. I have helped bale hay.
60. And walked beans.
61. My father-in-law was an influential person in my life.
62. I love clocks and watches.
63. The first boy I kissed was Ronnie Zenor.
64. I don’t like shopping.
65. My first memory of cooking is stirring pudding on the stove.
66. I had an Easy Bake Oven.
67. I’m left-handed.
68. I prefer pencils to pens.
69. I once got a live rabbit for Easter.
70. I sewed many of my daughters’ dance costumes.
71. I have had photographs published in a national magazine.
72. My favorite place in the world is Paris.
73. I attended Drake University.
74. I really don’t like washing dishes.
75. I would rather dry.
76. Pet peeve is people who don’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its.”
77. I wish I could still buy Lemon-Up shampoo.
78. I love to polish metals – silver, copper… anything.
79. I think Gene Simmons is a genius.
80. I flunked high school biology.
81. I got an A in college biology.
82. I hang on to sentimental items.
83. I love jewelry.
84. I especially love sparkly jewelry.
85. My first real job was stocking grocery shelves.
86. I’m not fond of being on large bodies of water.
87. I don’t even like baths… would rather shower.
88. I’m a smart-ass.
89. My favorite scent is Joy by Jean Patou.
90. My daughter is getting married in my old childhood church.
91. One of my great-great uncles was a moonshiner.
92. In Missouri.
93. When I was younger I looked a lot like Drew Barrymore.
94. I took shop class in high school.
95. For two years.
96. I still have my stuffed puppy dog named Harry.
97. I was never in band.
98. I delivered papers on a blue Schwinn bicycle.
99. My favorite flower is the rose.

Zingaro 515

If you haven’t heard about Zingaro 515 yet, you need to! After hearing much buzz on Twitter and in the Des Moines Register about Zingaro opening in Sherman Hills, I decided that I needed to investigate, and inform my readers about this new dining experience.

Zingaro 515 opened on Dec. 2, and is located in the Scheuerman House in Sherman Hills, at 1605 Woodland Ave. Zingaro is self-described as, “A chef-driven restaurant in the heart of Sherman Hill. With an approach unseen with in the Des Moines culinary world.”

The sight of the house brought back an immediate childhood memory for me. I lived in the Sherman Hills district during most of my childhood. My family would go on walks, sometimes “downtown”  and we always walked right past the Scheuerman House, which is directly across the street to the west of Hoyt Sherman Place. Rumor has it that I was a stubborn child, and disliked walking anything but SLOW. About the point at which I would get tired and start to lag just happened to be right in the vicinity of the Scheuerman house! I can still remember it.

Anyway, after further research I discovered that Zingaro 515 is a “pop-up” restaurant. Local chef/blogger Sam Auen gives a superb explanation in his blog, Locally Grown.

“Pop-ups are popping up in larger cities (shocker) and play on a chef’s creativity.  It’s a way for those chefs without big money backing to expose the world to the product of their obsessive culinary nature.  The goal of these places is not to become a fixture, but to burn brightly then move on to something new.  Sometimes these ventures are a testing ground for the viability of a concept or to showcase an intended static restaurant concept to the public and especially to people who may want to invest in the particular chef’s future.  Did you catch that one?  This is awesome semi-guerilla dining at its rawest.”

I contacted York Taenzer, owner of the Schuerman House, to ask about featuring the house and Zingaro 515 on my blog. I was lucky enough to be invited to view the house and chat with both Taenzer and Chef Hal Jasa. Chef Jasa is well known in the Des Moines area. He was also a chef at 25th St. Cafe and Phat Chefs, and more recently did underground dinners with the Des Moines Social Club. Jasa also had the honor of being featured as “100 Tastes to Try in 2007” in Food & Wine magazine. He’s number 51 – “Clandestine Dinners” if you want to go take a look.

Chef Jasa chatted with me about his passion for food. His specialties are charcuterie, and sauces.  According to Wikipedia, charcuterie is “the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.[1] Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef‘s repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meats before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.[2]

Jasa also experiments with scents that he says opens up the palate. He recently featured orange creme brulee on the menu, which included “pine.” Jasa showed me how he used one dish to place a bed of rock salt, and an actual sprig of pine, then placed the creme brulee in a dish nestled in the rock salt. He is also using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream at the tables – something that excited one of my readers greatly when I shared that fact with her.

The Scheuerman House itself is a grand old Victorian home with ornate Golden oak woodwork, a fitting showcase for Chef Jasa’s culinary genius.

Authentic Victorian furnishings

A grand piano

and an elegant dining room

Zingaro will be open Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 to close. Diners can enjoy three courses for $30 in the dining room, or dine on five courses at the six-person chef’s table for $60. Zingaro is a BYOB restaurant, with a $5 stemware charge per table. For more information go to http://www.zingarocuisine.com. Reservations are recommended.

Younkers Famous Rarebit Burger

When I got home from the most awesome Thanksgiving dinner, it came to my attention that one of my readers was searching for the recipe for “hamburgers with cheese sauce poured over like younkers in des moines.” I immediately knew that this was the rarebit burger. The burger we drooled for, but only got if we’d been good enough to warrant a shopping trip “downtown” (Des Moines) at Younkers.
My stepmother was the first person to introduce me to Younkers’ rarebit burger. She had two sons, and loved doing things with me… wanting to get out of that house full of testosterone! I remember her looking at me with eager anticipation. I felt somewhat pressured… what if I didn’t like it? I’d dash all her hopes and dreams of doing “girl things” with me! But one bite and I was hooked. So here it is, reader…. whoever you are. The not-secret-anymore recipe for the Younkers rarebit burger, gleaned directly out of my Younkers cookbook.
To make Younkers popular rarebit burgers, cook 8 hamburger patties to 170 deg. until no pink remains. Place each burger in a toasted hamburger bun.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of rarebit sauce over each bun. Serve immediately.

Tea Room Rarebit Sauce

Younkers Cookbook

1/3 cup cooking oil

1/3 cup flour

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

2 cups whole milk

1 tsp. Worcestershire  sauce

1/4 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce (I used McIlhenny Tabasco)

1 cup shredded process sharp American cheese (4 oz) (I used Kraft “Old English” sharp pasteurized process cheese food. It is found in 5 oz. jars… I only used one jar because each jar is 5 oz and they call for 4 oz. of shredded cheese. I like the flavor this cheese gave the sauce.)

Place oil in a medium saucepan. Stir together flour, paprika, salt and dry

mustard.  Add flour mixture to oil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in milk all at

once.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook

and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat; stir in Worcestershire sauce and

hot pepper sauce.  Add cheese and stir until melted. Makes 2 cups.

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