JAN 5, 2016

Part of the crowd listening to comments at the last dsm unveiling event in late October. 

We had such fun with the last issue of dsm magazine that we're going to present another, with fine and festive falderal. Join us for the unveiling of our January/February issue next Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. (unveiling and brief comments at 6 p.m.). Two Rivers Hospitality Group is hosting the event in the atrium of Capital Square, 400 Locust St. This issue introduces some new features in dsm that you won't want to miss--and if you're at the party, you'll be among the first to discover what they are. No RSVP is necessary; we look forward to seeing you there! 
Impressive Water Feature Brings Modern Zen to a Front Entryway
Water, stone and sculpture unite to create a peaceful and graceful front yard entry to this mid-century modern home in Johnston. ... Read More
There are many ways to serve duck confit, including as a main-dish salad. 

By Wini Moranville

Until recently, if you wanted confit de canard (duck confit), you'd have to go to a French restaurant or make it yourself. But recently, the Price Chopper store at 35th Street and Ingersoll Avenue scored some major points with me when I spotted Maple Leaf Farms Duck Leg Confit in the meats freezer case. I took it home, tried it out and thought it was grand. While I'm sure our local chefs can make a better confit, the Maple Leaf version can't be beat for  price and convenience.
Duck confit is a classic southwestern French dish. The recipe calls for salting the duck, then slowly cooking it in its own fat, resulting in meltingly tender, unctuously rich meat. Confit roughly means "preserved" in French, and traditionally, this cooking method was designed to give the meat a long shelf life, either by canning or storing in cool temperatures.
Comprising a leg-thigh portion, the Maple Leaf Farms duck is fully cooked and frozen. You need only thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then cook according to package directions (25 to 30 minutes at 375F). I like to run it under the broiler the final few minutes to brown-up the skin.
You can serve the duck as is, with a side of vegetables and rice or potatoes. It's also a great centerpiece to a main-dish salad, as pictured above. Or, you can shred it and use in other recipes, such as on a pizza or in sandwiches or pasta dishes.
Be sure to save the fat that surrounds the duck! A classic side dish with duck confit is potatoes that have been fried in that luscious fat (if there isn't quite enough in the package, boost it with some butter or olive oil).
Maple Leaf Farms Duck Leg Confit costs $11.99 for two leg-thigh portions, which easily serve two diners. Price Chopper is at 3425 Ingersoll Ave.; 255-3118.
Wini Moranville is a freelance writer who covers the food and dining scene for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food - DSM Wini Moranville.
With a mix of music, dance and romance, "Newsies" is based on an 1899 newsboy strike. 

Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Score and Best Choreography, "Newsies" comes to the Des Moines Civic Center Tuesday, Jan. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 17. In celebrated song and dance, this high-energy Disney production depicts New York City newsboys on strike in 1899. Showtimes and prices vary during the six-day run.  
University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz greets special young guests at last year's Black Tie Gala, where Ferentz was the featured speaker. 

Variety -- The Children's Charity will host a Mardi Gras-style party at
7 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 8, for its 31st annual Black Tie Gala. Jamie Pollard, athletic director at Iowa State University, will be the dinner speaker for the fundraising event at Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. The evening ends with dancing. Tickets are $300 per person and can be purchased online. Questions? Contact  margie@varietyiowa.com or call 515-243-4660.
The Iowa International Center's Dialog series moves to Meredith's headquarters this year.

The Iowa International Center launches the sixth year of its monthly Dialog series of free cultural education programs mext Tuesday, Jan. 12.
The series kicks off with "Unexpected Exercise: The Physical and Mental Benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong." The program will cover the history and health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong. Attendees will have the opportunity to try several Qigong exercises, so non-restrictive clothing is encouraged.
Each monthly program will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Conference Core at Meredith Corp.'s headquarters, 1716 Locust St. More details, as well as descriptions of the next five monthly programs, can be found online 

Politics could look almost cozy in the hues ordained as "colors of the year" by Pantone. 

Nobody knows better than Iowans that this is an election year. But it may be a more stylish one: The old "red state/blue state" political map could be softened by adapting Pantone's official colors of the year, rose quartz and serenity. That could move the "battleground state" of Iowa from purple to a gentle, cordial mauve where contentious debate yields to genial discourse. Just in time, Pantone.

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