NOV 24, 2015



The State Historical Building will shine in its most festive finery next month with the return of the Celebrate Iowa Gala, shown here in 2014. 

CELEBRATE IOWA'S CULTURE
 
The fourth annual Celebrate Iowa Gala on Dec. 11 promises an evening filled with the arts, music and history of Iowa. Produced by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and headed by Gov. Terry and Chris Branstad, the event also features cuisine and cocktails from around the state. Tickets for the gala at the State Historical Building range from $75 to $500. Get details online or at 515-281-8352.
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Intricately carved vases by Erin Carpenter Pottery will be available at Market Day.  

65 LOCAL ARTISTS AT 'BLACK FRIDAY' MARKET
 
Shop local--and avoid the mall crowds--at Market Day Nov. 27 from
 
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Capital Square downtown. The event will feature 65 curated vendors who will show and sell their artwork, handmade goods and vintage wares. Find out more at marketdayiowa.com and facebook.com/marketdayiowa.  
Paired with soup, this salad featuring chicken and Swiss chard makes a delicious lunch.
Photo by Richard Swearinger. 

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: SWISS CHARD
By Wini Moranville
 
If the seasonal close of farmers markets has you forlorn about the lack of terrific greens, give Swiss chard a go. Of course, like any green, it's best when locally grown; however, I have found that it's one of the more flavorful trucked-in greens you can buy outside our growing season.
  
Its dark green leaves and ruby red veins give a hint of its flavor, which I liken to a cross between spinach and beets. I enjoy sautéing it as I would spinach for a sparkling side dish. Also give it a try in this salad, which features another seasonal favorite: apples.
  
Chicken, Blue Cheese and Swiss Chard Salad with Pistachios
Serve this with a cup of potato soup for a fresh and hearty winter lunch.
  
1 pound fully cooked roasted chicken, shredded into bite-size pieces
4 ounces Swiss chard leaves, coarsely shredded
1 large sweet-tart red apple, such as a Honeycrisp, Braeburn
   or SweeTango,* cored and sliced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Point Reyes or Roquefort
tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  
1. Combine the chicken, Swiss chard, apple, blue cheese and pistachio nuts in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  
2. Add the vinaigrette and toss again to combine. Divide the salad among four shallow bowls and serve. Makes four main-dish servings.
  
* Read about my discovery of SweeTango apples in this recent dsmWeekly article.
  
Look for Swiss chard at Whole Foods Market (4100 University Ave., West Des Moines; 515-343-2600) and The Fresh Market (5901 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines; 515-225-4754).

Wini Moranville is a freelance writer who covers the food and dining scene for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville.


Failed on the turkey? Forgot the pumpkin pie? Oh, well. Holiday traditions matter far less than the people we celebrate them with. 

A MOMENT OF THANKSGIVING 
 
As we prepare to gather for holidays with family and friends, it's appropriate to pause and reflect on our capacity to help the less fortunate. Just $2.80 provides a Thanksgiving meal through Hope Ministries, which this year is celebrating a century of compassion and care. Just a thought. Here's another: Happy Thanksgiving to you, our readers, for whom we are indeed thankful.

Todd Buchacker, StageWest Theatre Company's producing artistic director, will direct "Straight White Men."

PAIN OF PRIVILEGE IN 'STRAIGHT WHITE MEN'  
 
StageWest Theatre Company will present "Straight White Men,"
Dec. 11-20 at the Des Moines Social Club's Kum & Go Theater. This is the Iowa debut of the dramatic comedy by noted New York playwright Young Jean Lee. It explores the existential crisis of three brothers and their father as they gather for Christmas. Performance dates and times vary; seats are $15-$30 from
 Midwestix.

HOT SPOT 
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Sages Over 70 - 2015


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