Weekend recap: Full stomachs, lots of friends

I didn’t nab tickets to this weekend’s beloved Des Moines Blue Ribbon Bacon Fest, but I don’t think I missed out in the full belly department at all.

Friday: Headed downtown for the Des Moines Metro Opera “Wine and Food Showcase,” which turned out to be the ultimate elegant tasting buffet.

My friend Laura corralled a group to go in on a ticket deal, making the all you can eat/drink evening benefit $35. I didn’t know what to expect (people were in everything from jeans and T-shirts to attire that would be fitting as a wedding guest), but it was actually a pretty laid back experience, with attendees milling about, sampling and running into a bunch of friends.

One of the most interesting offerings was a wine (Pink Catawba)/gelato float that and Tassel Ridge Winery and Chocolaterie Stam concocted. Splash also had a bunch of great mini offerings, and Tartine had killer cannolis. It was a good reminder of some other great local restaurants I want to get back to.

Plus, who can resist a photo booth and props? Clearly not this group:

Saturday morning was spent at a literacy event, then brunch at Americana with a group of lovely ladies. I honestly think the Americana brunch is overrated and overpriced, but I do love the loooooong benches and atmosphere. I sat on a side with two women I’ve met only a few times, and am excited to build friendships with them!

After that, I popped into Ephemera to bring lunch to Arin and Karen. It was busy, busy, busy in the shop, thanks to sunshine and lots of new brides. It felt great to spend a few hours down there, like I used to when Joe would work during the weekend.

Ephemera snapshot via Pitter Patter Clunk .(Those are her sweet candle cake toppers.)

I love the photos of Ephemera in this post, too. Marissa captures Iowa life through a truly magical lens and her designs are amazing. (I haven’t really met her yet, but we share so many friends in common, it’s extra fun to see them all pop up on her gorgeous blog.)

During my downtown adventures, Joe was with the guys at an IPA tasting hosted by a friend. His homebrew came in second place in the blind tasting, which is pretty awesome, considering all of the other options were from craft breweries!

This morning I met up with some other friends for a mini Mardi Gras parade, which was the perfect excuse to break out my beads, cheetah print gold stretch pants and pirate hat. I got to check out the newly redone Library Cafe (which is only a few blocks down the road) and was delighted how much it has been elevated from underage college kid dive to a warm little neighborhood pub. And I hear the nachos are still just as good.

Good thing I’m sporting the elastic pants, because the afternoon was spent making America’s Test Kitchen dinner rolls from scratch (which I was pretty proud of, until I realized I left out the salt!) and putting together my belated Valentine dinner for Joe.

Now, to wind down the weekend with the Downton Abbey season finale.

I am completely obsessed and will be sad to see the season end. If you also have a mad crush on Cousin Matthew, here’s a cute video of him reading Jack & the Beanstalk. I have pretty much no excuse to be watching this, but he even does character voices! (Thanks, Refinery 29!)

Oh, and my amazingly fantastic boss (who is also a huge Downton fan) sent me this link that features a bunch of pictures of the Downton Abbey characters in the 21st century! Gasp!


Filed under Cooking, I love Des Moines

2 responses to “Weekend recap: Full stomachs, lots of friends

  1. aw thanks for the internet love! we’ll have to meet ! it IS a wonder we haven’t yet, but i’m sure it wont be long 🙂

  2. Chelsey Teachout

    Oh I faithfully followed the Dowton season too! I hope you were happy with the ending. Thanks for the real-life pictures link.

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