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Midwest Living

Midwest Living January/February 2020

Midwest Living celebrates the unique and surprising Midwest region through its food, travel destinations, lifestyle, homes and gardens. Like visiting with a best friend, it unveils the authentic flavor of this region through inspiring photos, inside tips on best places to visit, and family-favorite recipes that simply taste great.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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6 Utgaver

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2 min.
editor’s note

January is for resolutions, but year-long ambitions aren’t for me. I like to hit replay at the start of every month, reflecting on the past 30 days’ wins and losses and jotting a few goals for immediate improvement. On my short list right now: carving out a spot in our family’s shared office to keep my easel and cart of paints and brushes at the ready. I’ve recently started reserving pockets of free time to paint, often with my older daughter. She’s starting to master her brushwork, and I’m exploring color studies. We’ve even worked on a couple of pieces together. (Quality time, check!) I’m also hoping to finally tackle strategic meal planning. With two young kiddos, meals that please (and tick the nutrition and flavor boxes) can be tough. Hannah…

4 min.
artfully yours

“I’ve found great deals and one-of-a-kind pieces because I was patient and gave it time.”liz lidgettHOME (AND GALLERY) OWNER IZ LIDGETT likes to call her new Des Moines gallery her happy place. Discovering art has always been a draw for Liz. Now she has a dedicated space to help other people do the same. In addition to selling art, Liz advises people and institutions on art purchases and helps nurture the art scene around Iowa’s capital. And she definitely takes her work home. Liz uses her light-filled living room as a testing ground for creative ways to display artwork. She also constantly tinkers with the layout, shifting to incorporate furniture and baubles nabbed at estate sales or online auctions. (Scouring sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, 1stdibs and Everything but the House…

2 min.
taking winter’s pulse

THE POLAR AIR BURNS MY NOSTRILS. For a moment, nature’s all-encompassing silence swallows me at Whitefish Dunes State Park—then comes the crunch. I’m clomping along in snowshoes a few feet behind a local, Rich Dirks. He’s one of the volunteers who helped create this snowshoe path. We wind through a dense pine forest that was once a commercial tree plantation in Door County, Wisconsin. In summer, beachgoers flock to this region’s rocky Lake Michigan waters. But it’s February, and the lake beyond the edge of the woods looks more like a skating rink than a vacation oasis. We trek on through the snow. Then Rich begins to steer me off the path. I hesitate, eyeing a Dead End sign ahead. The midday sun peeks through the pines and snow-capped hemlocks, striping the…

3 min.
rock this guac

UNIVERSITY AVENUE is a wide artery that cuts from ’burb to shining ’burb across Iowa’s capital. You’ll find Tacos Mariana’s right in the middle, near a Family Dollar and a bustling Asian supermarket. It’s a low-slung building with a faux-brick facade, magenta roofline and crumbling curb that might be the driveway. A window sign advertises a midweek taco special, when thrifty diners can eke out a meal for less than $5. But that would mean skipping the guacamole. Please don’t. Mariana Gomez opened her restaurant in 1997, after the meatpacking plant where she worked was shuttered. A sister-in-law and niece joined her, and one still cooks and waits tables today. (“Las mismas ladies,” Mariana says of her loyal crew.) She filled the restaurant with vibrant paintings from her hometown of San…

3 min.
shelf control

As a Midwest regional manager for home organizing company Neat Method, Julia Purdy has seen it all—maybe even that holiday mulled-cider mix that you haven’t seen since the Obama years. “The more efficient and organized your pantry,” Julia says, “the easier and more stress-free your day will be.” Here are her best tricks. JULIA’S GO-TO GEAR TURNTABLES (aka lazy Susans) Divided models are great for condiment bottles. BINS AND BASKETS To corral like-items and neaten up the space. CANISTERS Choose clear and air-tight glass jars or OXO Good Grips POP Containers. COLLATORS For vertical storage of cutting boards, platters and cookie sheets. DRAWER DIVIDERS Spring-loaded or adjustable models fit any need or space. SHELF LINER Turn wire shelves into “solid” ones with clear, nonadhesive heavy-duty liner. HOOKS 3M’s Command line has more looks and sizes than ever. 5 Steps to Fabulous When Julia tackles a Neat Method…

3 min.
french lesson

RECIPES SLOUCH AROUND MY KITCHEN. They loiter on the microwave, behind the toaster, flat against the fridge. For years, I stuffed the clippings and scribbles into a paperback cookbook. Eventually, I moved the jumble to a filing folder—which, over the decades, devolved into a tattered wrapper, clinging to its contents with the help of two rubber bands. Sad. And so, a resolution. I purchased a binder, a stack of slick plastic sleeves and divider tabs. Over many a night of sorting, I made discoveries. First, that I needed more binders (at least one for dessert alone) and fewer tabs (so many recipes are either Chocolate or Cake). But also, I unfolded a letter from my grandmother, detailing hamantaschen cookies. I studied my mom’s pot roast, good for cold nights in Iowa…