Home Sweet Home

Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa never seemed that great when I was younger, but now there are so many things I love and appreciate about the city when I visit. Coming home means quality time with family and friends, cooking with my mom and hitting up some old-time favorites. Being in Des Moines for Memorial Day Weekend has been such a fun way to kick off summer, despite the less than desirable weather.

My Saturday started with a rainy trip to the Des Moines Farmers Market. We braved the weather since I was determined to show my husband the impressive market, which he has missed on so many trips before. Despite the weather, I was able to relish in the amazingness that is the Des Moines Farmers Market. And the rain did not seem to deter the other 18,000 people the market typically sees each weekend.

First stop, Jack & Charlie’s Big Sauce for grilling and wings. Named after his sons, this product is made with love in Iowa. My husband, a sucker for new condiments, was impressed with this product because of the great buffalo taste and extreme heat. We walked away with two jars to set our mouths on fire.

Jack & Charlie's Big Sauce

I love most things Italian so I could not pass up Pappardelle’s handmade pastas. With so many different flavors to choose from, even the rain dripping in my eyes didn’t help make the decision any easier or faster. I ended up with Garlic Chive Sea Shells and Porcini Mushroom Linguini. Added bonus: they provide recipes for each pasta with a recommended way of preparing.

Pappardelle's Pasta

Brandmeyer Popcorn Company is amazing because you’re able to watch your popcorn being made and scooped straight from the kettle. They offer so many different flavors like Blueberry, Caramel Apple and Salt & Vinegar. I was rethinking our decision later because we purchased only the standard, kettle corn and cheddar caramel mix.

The kettle

Quite possibly the most amazing cinnamon twist I’ve ever eaten.

Cinnamon twists

I grew up eating Mast Family Farm baked goods and the lemon-glazed angel food cake was a staple in our house.

Lemon-glazed Coffee Cakes

 Beautiful, locally grown vegetables.


Uncle Wendell’s challah bread came highly recommended by my friend. I cannot wait to make French toast with it!

Uncle Wendell's bread

Corn on the cob and whole mangos on a stick!

Corn and Mango

The trip to the farmers market wrapped with a trip to The Farm Boys for breakfast burritos and lattes at my all-time favorite coffee shop, Java Joe’s, which happens to be located in the heart of the market.

People actually stand in line in the rain for these burritos…so did we!

The burrito line

The burrito assembly line.

Assembly line for burritos

Breakfast is served!

The burrito

Burrito bowl

Awesome eclectic wall art that gives Java’s Joe’s such individuality and character.

Java Joe's

There is no place like home!

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