Last night, I had the pleasure of joining the hard-working farmers of Niman Ranch for the 12th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner at the Marriott hotel in downtown Des Moines. Several acclaimed chefs from around the country prepared the evening’s meal, which highlighted Niman Ranch’s pork. Each course demonstrated the farmers’ dedication to raising their animals traditionally, humanly, and sustainably to produce the finest tasting meat. The meal started with wine, but I had one sip…

Happy Friday, folks! I hope your day is off to a wonderful start! This morning, Chandra and I met up again and went to see the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in downtown Des Moines. It was really neat! My favorite sculpture was the Nomade as seen below. About the sculpture: The figure’s sheer size dominates the park’s landscape, and its human form made from scrambled steel letters seems to suit the city’s vision of itself in…

Hello, blog friends! 😀 I just returned from a wonderful evening with my favorite Des Monies blogger, Chandra of Chandra’s Shenanigans. I’ve met her a number of times, so you may have seen her on CNC in the past, such as here, here, and, most recently, here. I’ve read Chandra’s blog since she started it back in February 2008, so I feel like I’ve “known” her for quite awhile now. She’s a good friend and it’s…

Hello from Iowa!! It’s my first time in the state. Very exciting! So, I bet you’re wondering why I am in Des Moines for the next few days. Well, I was invited by Niman Ranch to tour one of their sustainable hog farms. First cows, now hogs! 😀 (My life is so random!) The weekend also includes a special Farmer Appreciation Dinner where several nationally acclaimed chefs will join forces to prepare a fancy seven-course…