CBJ's Lure 3.2018

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LURE

KITCHENS

with style

Corridor restaurants

go farm to table

TAKE A TOUR OF A

MODERN FARMHOUSE

Container

Gardening

SALVAGED ITEMS

BECOME ART


FROM THE EDITOR

Lure of the garden

During a snowstorm in early February, my son wistfully sighed, “spring can’t get here fast

enough.” As winter winds down, we are certainly looking forward to longer days, warmer

weather and the beautiful Iowa landscape coming to life again.

Like many of you, I have been planning my garden and outdoor spaces ever since the

final harvest last fall. I planted my first garden in many years last spring, filling it with

a variety of plants and seeds. I look forward to using what I learned to help guide my

planting decisions this year.

Local gardening guru Cindy Hadish talked to several experts

about how to plan and plant a container garden, taking a look at

suggested plants and the containers themselves (pages 16-23).

Expanding on the growing theme, Cindy also reached out to several

local producers who provide fresh food to area restaurants to learn

more about the win-win partnerships (pages 36-38).

Now that you have your garden planned, you’ll need an

efficient space to work with all of that fresh, tasty produce. This

month, the Lure staff takes a look at several high-design kitchens

in the Corridor.

When Army veterans Ben and Jennie Wunderlich built a new

house near Iowa City, they knew the kitchen would be a hub of

activity for their family. Writer Tricia Brown and photographer

Brian Draeger give us a tour of the Wunderlichs’ kitchen, which is

anchored by a big, blue island (pages 4-9).

Tricia and Brian also stepped inside Mitchell and Kelly Manning’s renovated kitchen

in their 1900-era farmhouse north of Iowa City (page 10-15). While they wanted to

preserve the rustic charm of the home, they added modern touches such as sleek black

appliances complemented by black hardware on the white cabinets.

Some of you may be familiar with Nina Swan-Kohler’s cooking classes held at her

Robins home on a regular basis. Writer Ruth Paarman paired up with Brian to give you

a closer look at how Nina pulls off the classes and runs her culinary business from her

ample main kitchen with plenty of seating, and a second kitchen providing additional

preparation space (pages 24-29).

As in the last issue of Lure, Ruth and Brian illustrate how salvaged items can be

transformed into interesting home décor. This time around, they talk to artists who take

simple items like cups or even scrap metal to make unique garden art (page 30-35).

We hope you enjoy our spring issue and find inspiration to get out and garden. We’re

already hard at work planning our summer issue, which will be out in early June. We’re

looking at patios and pools that provide a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of

work and everyday life. If you have any ideas you would like to share, drop me a line at

(319) 665-6397 ext. 309 or angela@corridorbusiness.com.

Angela Holmes

Editor

SPRING 2018

Chief Executive Officer

& Publisher

John F. Lohman

Vice President

Aspen N. Lohman

Chief Operating Officer

& Associate Publisher

Andrea Rhoades

Magazine & Special Projects Editor

Angela Holmes

Writers

Tricia Brown

Cindy Hadish

Ruth Paarman

Photographer

Brian Draeger

Graphic Design Manager

Becky Lyons

Graphic Designer

Julia Druckmiller

Magazine Media Consultant

Judith Cobb

Chief Content Officer

Adam Moore

CBJ Media Consultant

Kelly Meyer

Event Marketing Coordinator

Ashley Levitt

Event Media Consultant

Rhonda Roskos

Marketing & Distribution Manager

Jean Suckow

TAKE A TOUR OF A

MODERN FARMHOUSE

LURE

KITCHENS

with style

Corridor restaurants

go farm to table

Container

Gardening

SALVAGED ITEMS

BECOME ART

ON THE COVER

Ben and Jennie Wunderlich's kitchen in their

new home southwest of Iowa City provides

ample space to cook, entertain and even do

homework on its big, blue island. Read about

their fun and functional kitchen starting on page

4. Inset: This colorful Calibrachoa Calipetite

is just one of many options for container

gardening. See more, starting on page 16.

Contents are registered to Corridor Media

Group. Reproductions or other use, in whole

or in part, of the contents of the publication

without permission is strictly prohibited.

2345 Landon Road, Ste. 100

North Liberty, IA 52317

319.665.NEWS

www.corridorbusiness.com

2 LURE SPRING 2018


CONTENTS

4

Functional & Fun

Ben and Jennie Wunderlich

10

Modern Farmhouse

Mitchell and Kelly Manning

16

Container Gardening 101

Brighten small spaces

4

20

Pots that Pop

Local experts talk container trends

24

Classy Kitchen Cachet

Nina Swan-Kohler

30

Pizzazz and Personality

Salvaged items become art

16

36

Fresh Flavors

Restaurants source local ingredients

24

LURE SPRING 2018

3


Functional&Fun

Kitchen’s Open Floor

Plan Suits Active Family

BY TRICIA BROWN PHOTOS BY BRIAN DRAEGER

4 LURE SPRING 2018


When Ben and Jennie

Wunderlich were

designing their new

home to be built on

seven acres southwest

of Iowa City, Jennie paid

special attention to the

view she would have

while standing at their

kitchen sink.

The island topped with blue

quartz is the focal point of Ben

and Jennie Wunderlich’s kitchen.

Through the west-facing windows is a

picturesque view of the Iowa countryside —

rolling hills and pasture where a neighbor’s

Angus cattle sometimes graze.

But it wasn’t the view that was most important

to the couple when building their home, which

was finished in May 2017. It was the kitchen.

It sounds so cliché, Jennie admits, but they

wanted an open floor plan and a space that

was functional for their family of five, including

three children: Samantha, 9; Gwen, 7; and Cal, 4.

The finished product is anything but cliché.

At the center of it all is a roughly 10-foot-by-

5-foot island topped in a jumbo slab of blue

quartz — the largest piece of quartz they could

get without a seam.

“I wanted a giant island. People walk in and

the first thing they comment on is the island,

because not only is it huge, it’s blue,” Jennie

said. “It sort of goes to being in the Army; we

have a lot of patriotic things, so I love that.” >

LURE SPRING 2018

5


Back to the Family Business

Ben and Jennie met while attending college at West

Point. As commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, they

both saw active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Between

the two, they deployed six times in four years before

returning to the Iowa City area to join Jennie’s family

business, PSC Distribution, formerly known as Plumbers

Supply Co., and the Studio H2O showroom on

South Riverside Drive.

Having their hands in the construction and design

industry was a big help when building their dream

home, Jennie said.

“Being able to go to work every day and bounce

ideas off on our team made it so much more exciting,”

she said. “And my husband, he was great. He had opinions

on maybe three things and the rest he said, ‘Have

fun.’ I really wanted functional, yet fun.”

When they host larger groups, there’s plenty of

space for everyone to gather around the island as Jennie

intentionally left plenty of space between the surrounding

cabinets — almost four feet, to be exact.

“I wanted a wider walkway than normal,” she said.

“When everyone is hanging out there, we’re not tripping

over each other.” >

Above: Jennie and Ben Wunderlich help daughters

Samantha and Gwen with their homework at the

kitchen island. Left: The kitchen overlooks the rolling

hills of the rural Iowa City countryside.

6 LURE SPRING 2018


Personal Touches

The functional yet fun theme is everywhere

you turn — from strategically placed electrical

outlets, to a drawer that hides kitchen utensils

upright in stainless canisters.

The theme extends to the real showpieces

of the space, the farmhouse sink, the door of

the walk-in pantry and the marble backsplash.

The sink, which was purchased through

Studio H2O, is hammered copper with brushed

nickel plating. The nickel overlay was in keeping

with the stainless steel and gray theme. The

hammered effect is perfect for their active family.

“The hammering hides things,” she said.

“We are tough on things, tossing dishes in the

sink on our way out the door. I needed something

that if my kids drop a cereal bowl in here,

the cereal bowl will live.”

The white marble backsplash from Sobaski

Abbey Carpet & Floor in Iowa City is truly a

focal point. Its arabesque pattern is eyecatching

and complements the white quartz

countertops, white cabinets and stainlesssteel

appliances.

The walk-in pantry meets the family’s need

for lots of storage space, and does the trick by

hiding things such as seldom-used appliances

and non-perishables behind a rustic barn

board door that slides on an overhead track.

The wood was salvaged from a barn in Eastern

Iowa, and was retrieved by the Wunderliches

themselves.

“We drove to Dubuque, all three kiddos in

the back of our suburban, and the entire barn

door,” Jennie said. “It was over all the kids’

heads and we drove back like that. We could

barely see them peeking out.”

After using the kitchen for almost a year,

Jennie can’t think of anything she would change.

“We’re fairly easy to please. Maybe that’s

from deploying a lot or that we feel really

blessed to be alive,” she said. “We’re so thankful

to be here. This is a dream come true, a gorgeous

house, but in the big scheme of life it’s

just a house. We’re raising our kids here, we’re

making memories here. I absolutely love it.” |

The white marble backsplash complements

the white quartz countertops, white

cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

LURE SPRING 2018

7


Kitchen

Appliance

Innovations

Is your dishwasher dripping? Are

you ready for a remodel? We asked

Corridor experts about the latest

options in kitchen appliances.

Smart Kitchens

You’ve heard of smart refrigerators,

but soon the whole kitchen will

be Wi-Fi-enabled. According to

Craig Knapp of Home Appliance

Center in Cedar Rapids, there will

be microwaves that scan frozen

meals and automatically cook them

to perfection. There are already

dishwashers that can help track and

order dishwashing tabs.

Black Stainless

The new color in town is black

stainless with a smudge-proof option,

while black slate offers a matte finish.

Knapp says sleek black metallic

dishwashers have been best sellers

at Home Appliance Center.

Induction Cooking

Knapp says induction cooking, in

which the cooking vessel is heated

rather than the cooking surface, is

gaining traction. “You can boil water

faster, but you can simmer with it,

too. It only heats the metal pan.”

Third Rack

According to Steve Langridge

of Slager Appliance in Iowa City,

certain dishwashers feature a

third upper rack for utensils and

silverware. “The dividers in this tray

keep the spoons from spooning,

and it can be removed to make

room for large items,” he said.

A drawer storing utensils and the

pantry’s rustic barn board door are

highlights of the Wunderlich kitchen.

Door in Door

Langridge notes that door-in-door

features are popular for family

refrigerators because they make it

easy for kids to access beverages

without opening the whole door.

Adults appreciate the coffee

brewing option in the door that is

available at Slager Appliance.

Compiled by Ruth Paarman

8 LURE SPRING 2018


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LURE SPRING 2018

9


modern

FARMHOUSE

PHOTO KELLY MANNING

Mitchell and Kelly Manning remodeled the

kitchen in their 1900-era farmhouse with

an open modern open layout finished with

vinyl plank flooring installed diagonally.

10 LURE SPRING 2018


Kitchen Remodel Brings

1900-Era Home To Life

BY TRICIA BROWN PHOTOS BY BRIAN DRAEGER

LURE SPRING 2018

11


Renovating a 1900

farmhouse was

a worthy project

for newly-married

couple Mitchell and

Kelly Manning, who

purchased an acreage

just north of Iowa City

that sat vacant for 10

years before they took

possession in May 2017.

After living with Kelly’s parents for eight

months, the Mannings were excited to

move in to their “modern farmhouse” in

January and begin using their new kitchen,

which is the focal point of the home.

After demolishing the old kitchen

themselves, the couple had a clear and

shared vision for the space. It included

knocking down a west wall to open the

kitchen and living room area, vaulting

the ceiling above the front door and doing

away with wall-to-wall cabinets.

“It felt like it was never ending some

days,” Mitchell said of demolition. “Finally,

we stopped and said, 'we need to get

someone here to put this back together.'”

That’s when McCreedy-Ruth Construction

took over, and the Mannings

focused on making decisions about

details such as countertops, cabinets,

appliances and flooring. >

Mitchell and Kelly Manning choose a

farmhouse sink along with modern touches

like deep gray quartz countertops and a

gray and white marble backsplash.

12 LURE SPRING 2018


LURE SPRING 2018

13


Fascinating

Finds

As Mitchell and Kelly tore out walls

and pulled up old flooring at the start

of the remodeling project, they found

several interesting items left behind

either purposefully or accidentally by

the home’s former occupants.

Above an arched doorway was a

stack of books that appeared to be a

time capsule of sorts. Other items included

old papers and manuals, and

old children’s toys buried in the yard.

“It’s fun to see the history of the

house and the families that lived

here,” Kelly said. “I don’t think it had

that many owners.”

But one item in particular holds

special meaning to the couple.

Inside the wall near the staircase,

Mitchell found a promotional coin

from a former Iowa City business

called Lubin’s Drug Store.

“I didn’t think anything of it at the

time and put it in my pocket,” Mitchell

said.

Later, he showed the coin to Kelly’s

parents who suggested it would be

interesting to find out where in Iowa

City the store was located.

Lubin’s Drug Company was located

at 118 E. Washington St. in the

1950s and ’60s.

“What’s at that address now is Bo

James Bar, and that’s where Kelly and

I met for the first time,” Mitchell said.

One side of the coin reads: “Keep

me and never go broke.”

“It’s a good luck charm,” Kelly said.

- Tricia Brown

Modern Touches

Knowing they wanted to stay true to the modern farmhouse aesthetic, Kelly said

their overall vision for the space came from the home design website, Houzz.com.

The black KitchenAid appliances were one of the first purchases they made

early in the project. They selected deep gray quartz for the countertops and a white

ceramic farmhouse sink. The custom-made cabinets are painted light gray and

feature black hardware. The gray and white marble backsplash ties together the

whole room.

“It really was the finishing touch,” Mitchell said of the backsplash. “Before the

backsplash was installed, it felt like something was missing. When it was in place,

we knew we were finally done.”

Kelly said the original plan was to hang shelves instead of overhead cabinets,

but they have since changed their minds.

“We’re rethinking that right now,” she said. “We like the backsplash so much we

don’t want to cover it up.” >

The Mannings opened up their kitchen

space to the living room area by

knocking down a wall and installing the

same flooring throughout the rooms.


Flooring Connects Rooms

Ironically, the flooring was the most difficult decision

for the couple, who both work at Sobaski

Abbey Carpet & Floor in Iowa City, a local business

owned by Kelly’s family.

“Having so much time to pick out something

and having so many options made it challenging

for us,” she said.

Ultimately, they landed on a light-colored

vinyl plank with gray undertones that had just

arrived at the store.

“This is a brand-new style that came in right

as we needed to make a decision and we really

like it. We like that it’s a little bit rustic to keep

the farmhouse feel,” Mitchell said.

The floor will stand up to the wear and tear of

two dogs and is waterproof. However, what makes

it such a striking feature is that it is installed diagonally

throughout the main living space.

“Part of it is it’s a neat design aspect,” Kelly

said. “But we did it also because this is an old

farmhouse and a lot of the walls aren’t quite

straight. The floor helps hide that.”

While they are still getting used to their new

kitchen and putting things in their proper places,

the Mannings say they are thrilled with the

finished product.

“I can’t think of anything we would have done

differently,” Kelly said. |

The dining area

provides a quaint

space to enjoy a meal.

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LURE SPRING 2018

15


Container

101

Gardening

BY CINDY HADISH

COLEUS FRENCH QUARTER

PHOTOS NATIONAL GARDEN BUREAU

16 LURE SPRING 2018


Brighten up

small spaces with a

splash of color

ANGELONIA ARCHANGEL CHERRY RED

Container gardening is perfect for

aspiring green thumbs, including

apartment and condo-dwellers who

don't have space for a garden.

A sunny deck, balcony, porch or patio offers enough room for

planters that can be filled with flowers, herbs and even vegetables

or small fruiting plants.

Start with a goal. Do you want to grow some of your own

food or is it for aesthetics only? Even fruits and vegetables offer

their own form of beauty, such as the foliage of sweet potatoes

and the blossoms of strawberries.

One easy introduction to container gardening is to plant

herbs that look attractive and can be regularly harvested during

the growing season, right outside your door.

Containers should be large enough to accommodate the

growth and root systems of the plants. Even perennials – plants

that come back each year – can be grown in containers, but

Iowans need to move those into a protected space during winter

and they should eventually be planted in the ground before they

become root-bound in the planter.

Seed packets often offer guidelines on the height of the

plants, along with tips, such as planting depth, seed spacing and

sunlight requirements. If you choose to start with seedlings or

starter plants purchased at garden centers or plant sales, oftentimes,

the tag will include that information or an experienced

gardener will offer advice. >

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17


Tips for Container Gardening

n Start with a clean planter that has holes in the bottom for drainage.

n Newspaper, gravel or coffee filters can be placed in the bottom to keep

soil from draining out of the holes. For particularly large containers,

mulch or foam packing peanuts can be used as filler to keep the

container light and easier to move.

n The preferred potting "soil" is actually commercial potting mix

purchased at garden centers, which is lightweight and free of disease

organisms and weed seeds. Many have nutrients already added.

n If you prefer to make your own, use equal amounts of garden soil,

sphagnum peat moss and perlite.

n Choose your plants. A longstanding "rule" for container planting

uses a "thriller" – an attention-grabbing taller, spiky plant – "spillers"

– a few trailing plants that spill over the sides of the planter – and

"fillers" – two or more medium-sized mounding plants that fill in the

space between the vertical and trailing plants.

n Start planting in the center and work your way out. Give the

container a thorough watering once planted and check the soil daily

to ensure the plants have enough water. Containers generally dry

out faster than gardens.

n Most plants, especially vegetables, require full sun, while others are

shade-tolerant.

n Using various-sized containers that are grouped together can add

interest, color and flowers to help bees and butterflies.

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18 LURE SPRING 2018


Suggested Plants

for Containers

n Calibrachoa, often called million bells,

look like miniature petunias that bloom

from spring until frost.

n Coleus is known for its foliage in a wide

range of colors.

n Caladium is another colorful foliage

plant, this one growing from tubers that

can be over-wintered indoors.

n Pansies and violas are bloomers that are

excellent for early spring or fall.

n Coral bells, or heuchera, are perennials

with both beautiful foliage and bell-like

flowers.

n Trailing verbena sports tiny blossoms and

can serve as an excellent "spiller" plant.

n Persian Shield has an almost iridescent

purple/pink foliage that can serve as a

"thriller" or "filler" plant.

n Angelonia has delicate spikes of blossoms

that can be a great "filler" plant.

n Ornamental pepper plants are easy to

grow and provide quirky shapes and

colors in the peppers that contrast with

dark green foliage.

n Marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme are

among the herbs that provide flavor for

your favorite dishes, while their flowers

are favorites of bees.

n Leaf lettuce and Swiss chard are among

the vegetables that can easily be grown

in containers. Several of the plants can

be grown in a 1-gallon container.

n A single pepper or eggplant can be

grown in a 2-gallon container, while a

4-gallon container is needed for a single

tomato plant.

n Suggested tomato cultivars for

containers include ‘Bush Early Girl,’

‘Better Bush,’ ‘Celebrity,’ ‘Patio Hybrid,’

‘Patio Princess,’ Sweet ‘n Neat Scarlet’

(cherry) and ‘Sweet Zen’ (grape).

n Most cucumbers, melons and squashes

are not well-suited for containers, but

bush-type cucumbers and summer

squash can be grown in planters.

Cucumber cultivars suitable for

containers include ‘Spacemaster,’ ‘Salad

Bush,’ ‘Pickle Bush,’ and ‘Patio Snacker.’

Summer squash, such as ‘Zucchini Elite,’

‘Gold Rush,’ ‘Sunburst’ and ‘Patio Star’

can also be grown in containers.

ORNAMENTAL PEPPER ONYX RED

VERBENA OBSESSION TWISTER RED

Sources: EarlMay.com; HomegrownIowan.com;

Richard Jauron and Greg Wallace of Iowa State

University Extension & Outreach and Linn County

Master Gardener Becki Lynch

TOMATO PATIO CHOICE YELLOW


Pots that Pop

Area Experts Talk Container Trends

BY CINDY HADISH

Corridor garden centers

are seeing an increased

interest in container

gardening, both for practical

purposes and aesthetics.

Lucy Hershberger, owner and founding partner of Forever Green

in Coralville, said part of that interest comes in growing fresh

produce in pots – such as tomatoes and cucumbers – while another

trend involves changing containers with the season.

"As people get busier and have less time to spend gardening,

they seem to be focusing on getting more for the time they

spend, so having containers around the patio or front door

makes sense," she said.

Containers have come a long way from the orange/brown

terra cotta pots of the past. Here are some of the popular choices

from Corridor garden centers and nurseries:

Forever Green

125 FOREVERGREEN ROAD, CORALVILLE

PHOTOS LUCY HERSHBERGER

Lucy Hershberger, owner: "While the flowers may be the

stars, the containers set the style. Glazed pots used to be

the only nice-looking option and are still the most popular.

But we are seeing a lot more people who want a modern

look using the higher end plastic and cement-based

composites, which are lightweight and frost-resistant. They

can get more sizes, shapes and textures on those materials

than you see on clay or glazed, so they suit different styles."

20 LURE SPRING 2018


Earl May Nursery

& Garden Center

5155 NORTHLAND AVE. NE, CEDAR

RAPIDS (AND OTHER LOCATIONS)

Traci Olson, store manager: "(Manufacturers) are coming

up with new things all the time. Some look like concrete, but

they're plastic and are easier to move around because they

don't have the weight." She points to the Crescent line of

pottery, which can be special ordered in different colors; Tru

Pottery, offered in different patterns and textures and Japi,

which she describes as "pretty stylish. People really like it."

PHOTO CINDY HADISH

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LURE SPRING 2018

21


Iowa City Landscaping

& Garden Center

520 HWY. 1 WEST, IOWA CITY

Laura Schmitz, garden center manager: "We sell a lot of

glazed pottery," while a "dark basalt" line in terra cotta

pots by Ceramo USA is among other planters gaining in

popularity. "It's a different choice for more of a traditional

look. It's very versatile."

PHOTOS CERAMO USA

Pierson's Flower Shop

& Greenhouses

1800 ELLIS BLVD. NW, CEDAR RAPIDS

Al Pierson, owner: "Pacific Home and Garden

imports glazed ceramic; some have more

of a stone feel. The glaze is colorful and

consistent, with different patterns and finishes.

A tall ceramic pot is really popular now. In

front of a house, it makes a big statement."

PHOTO PACIFIC HOME AND GARDEN

22 LURE SPRING 2018


Culver's Garden Center

and Gift Shop

1682 DUBUQUE ROAD, MARION

Jennifer Shull, business development

manager: "Our customers love finding

statement pieces to add to their homes. With

pottery, the color is always there, whereas

flowering plants may not always be showing

color. You can add a green fern to a stunning

planter and still have brilliant color."

PHOTOS CULVER’S GARDEN CENTER

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LURE SPRING 2018

23


Classy

Kitchen

Cachet

Two Kitchens Make Teachi

BY RUTH PAARMANN

24 LURE SPRING 2018


ng Cooking Classes a Breeze

PHOTOS BY BRIAN DRAEGER

Nina Swan-Kohler’s main kitchen

in her Robins home provides

ample space and seating to host

a variety of cooking classes.

LURE SPRING 2018

25


When Nina Swan-Kohler and

her husband, Ron Kohler,

built a new home in Robins

in 2005, the idea of hosting cooking classes was

a twinkle in Nina’s eye, but a second kitchen

was already on her wish list.

The forward-thinking public relations professional

specializing in food clients knew that

a second kitchen would enable her to do more

recipe testing for her home-based business.

Today, the couple’s two kitchens continue to

provide excellent functionality for their personal

use as well as for cooking classes for the

public and corporate team-building.

Making it Her Own

Nina began the kitchen design process alongside

Primus Construction with her personal

needs and preferences in mind.

“I wanted a nice big kitchen with lots of counter

space, a modern look and a triangular working

space,” she said. “I knew that I wanted red,

black and cream, but it took me a while to figure

out how to make the colors come together.”

They selected light maple floors, and Nina

decided on black cabinets. Maraschino red

Avonite counters add a showy touch on the

back portion of the kitchen, while cream Formica

counters with a red beveled edge reflect color

and personality — without a huge expense.

“I love the solid surface, but I didn’t want all

red counters,” she said. Not a fan of granite, she

chose Formica for durability, affordability and

design. “After 12.5 years of use, we don’t have any

major scratches, partially due to the fact that we

always use chopping mats when cutting foods.”

For storage, ebony-colored Brookhaven cabinets

were customized with a cutout red circle.

The cabinetry offers numerous storage drawers

with built-in dividers. As a baker, Nina also

wanted a baking station with a lower counter,

with proximity to baking supplies and a pullout

mechanism for her large stand mixer.

“It's so nice to be able to pull out the mixer

when I need it and push it out of sight when not

needed,” she said. >

Above: Nina Swan-Kohler passes a dish through

a window from the second kitchen to the dining

room. Left: This Fisher and Paykel DishDrawer

dishwasher saves space in the kitchen.


Cooking Class Functionality

“People love being in the kitchen, and I love

having people in my kitchen with me sitting at

my counter, but not necessarily in my working

space – unless they are helping me cook,” Nina

said. “That was a key element to the design of

the main kitchen.”

But the second kitchen is essential, too.

Nina spends eight to 10 hours preparing

for each “Cooking in the Kitchen with Nina”

class, including time for marketing, grocery

shopping, setup, instruction and cleanup. The

separate kitchen provides ample counters,

storage and appliances to make everything

more efficient.

“I can set up prep trays for my classes well

in advance of my classes in my second kitchen,

but we still have our personal space,” she said.

“When we entertain friends, I use my second

kitchen to plate up foods, etc., keeping the

mess out of our main kitchen.”

This kitchen features a range, dishwasher,

microwave and built-in refrigerator. Tons of

cabinets line the space and two pantries provide

food and cookware storage.

For “Let’s Take a Whisk” team-building

cooking classes, some participants cook in

the second kitchen, while other teams use the

main kitchen. A pass-through window from

the second kitchen to the dining room adds an

element of surprise to these events. >

The second kitchen provides

Nina with the space and

equipment to prepare for

her cooking classes.

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LURE SPRING 2018

27


Great

Gadgets

In conjunction with her cooking classes,

Nina Swan-Kohler owns a small kitchen

equipment and gadget boutique. We

asked her for a sampling of must-haves.

Herb Mill, $24

Anyone can

chop herbs to

perfection with a

twist of the wrist.

Pastry Board

& Cloth, $28.50

Get at pie crusts

and pizza dough

from every angle

with this easy-tomanipulate

pastry

board.

Jarkey, $5.50

If you have trouble

opening jars, this

Jarkey is the tool

for you. Gently pop

the lid and open

your jar with ease.

Garlic

Press, $22

No peeling, no

sticky fingers.

Simply crush garlic

and swipe it right

into the pan.

Pastry

Blender, $10

With a built-in tine

cleaner, you never

have to deal with

clumps again.

For more information, visit: www.cookingwithnina.net

28 LURE SPRING 2018


The Right Choices

As a culinary pro, Nina is frequently asked about

her appliance choices. The most frequently asked

question is about cooktops: Why an electric glass

cooktop? Why not gas?

“I’m happy with my electric cooktop,” she said.

“I had the opportunity to ask the head of appliance

testing at Good Housekeeping for her recommendations.

She told me that based on their testing,

electric and gas cooktops are equally efficient, so it

was an easy choice for me to make.”

Nina recently replaced her original four-burner

cooktop with an LG model that has five burners.

Fisher and Paykel DishDrawer dishwashers were

a fairly new concept when the house was built. Nina

loves being able to do smaller loads at a time.

She also likes having two convection ovens. “The

advantage is shortened baking time and more even

browning, plus it provides a better crust and more

rise to baked goods,” she said.

Nina is currently a field tester for Blue Star builtin

refrigerators. With full-width shelves, the fridge

in the second kitchen can hold very large ingredient

trays and lots of foods and beverages.

Her advice to anyone considering a kitchen remodel

is to keep an open mind about what you like

and your “must-haves.”

“Just because everyone else has something

doesn’t mean you have to have it. Make your own

statement.” |

Nina prefers electric cooktops

which are easy to clean and just

as efficient as cooking with gas.

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LURE SPRING 2018

29


Pizzazz And Perso

Salvaged Items

Become Garden

Art in the Hands of

Creative Crafters

BY RUTH PAARMANN

PHOTOS BY BRIAN DRAEGER

You can make garden art out of almost

anything – teacups, metal steamer baskets,

gourds, silverware or even rusty farm implement

parts. With a little ingenuity and

skill, old objects can be transformed into

useful birdfeeders, candle holders, wind

chimes and just plain beautiful garden art.

For the Birds

Robbie Hinz, of Miss Daizey’s Garden

Creations in Wheatland, began her journey

into creating birdfeeders and birdhouses

about four years ago.

“I started saving things and made some

of the glass flowers out of plates for the

girls at work. Then, I made bird feeders,

and they loved them. Everyone started

asking for them.”

Robbie’s basement is filled with glass

and metal dishes, pots and pans and metal

parts she found at antique stores and flea

markets. She also combines new chicken

feeder parts with old mason jars to create

birdfeeders. >

Ryan Halbur, owner of Iowa Creations,

works in his Independence shop. The

scrap metal artist creates garden art,

such as this fish, out of everything from

railroad spikes to bike chains.

30 LURE SPRING 2018


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And then there are the gourd birdhouses. One year, she

thought it would be fun to grow a couple of gourd plants. She

ended up with 2,000 gourds of all shapes and sizes, so she

picked up a paintbrush to make colorful birdhouses.

Clarissa Osborne of Outside the Box in Belle Plaine creates

birdfeeders out of china, as well as wind chimes out of silverware

and trellises from rusty garden tools.

“I had the idea for the trellis, and my husband made it for me.

If I don’t know how to do it, he can,” she said. “For example, I

have the patience to drill the teacups, but not the silverware.”

She looks for “anything with an interesting shape” for

birdfeeders and matches that item with a plate. Wind chimes

take shape from a few pieces of old silverware strung from

upside-down colanders, candleholders and fruit baskets. >

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LURE SPRING 2018

31


Get a Reaction

Scrap metal artist Ryan Halbur, of Iowa Creations in Independence,

believes good art incites a reaction.

“If it makes people stop and take a second look or laugh,

that’s what I want,” he said. “People look at metal art and

they don’t just see a pig, they see a propane tank or bicycle

wheel. The individual pieces bring up memories. The effect

goes beyond the first impression.”

After welding metal stems for his mom’s glass plate

flower project about eight years ago, Ryan began creating

his own scrap metal sculptures. After he decided to leave

the ethanol industry to focus on family, he began working

more on his metal art, eventually focusing on it full time.

“I’ve been dismantling stuff as long as I can remember. I

never took an art class. I can’t draw or paint, but I can build

anything you want out of metal,” he said.

Ryan creates people, animals and abstract art out of

everything from railroad spikes to bike chains. He even used

a bedpan to make a scrap metal duck. His silhouettes, 3-D

ducks and cattails and much more come in a wide range of

sizes and prices.

“I salvage pieces out of scrap yards, construction sites

and metal shops and go to auctions and farms. Some of it

gets dropped off at my door,” he said. “I’ve come across pieces

that I didn’t even know what they were.” >

Ryan Halbur creates interesting art from scrap

metal in his Independence shop, including this fish.

32 LURE SPRING 2018


DIY Tips

n Special drill bits are required

for glass/ceramic and metal

n With drilled items, rubber

washers ensure water tightness

and prevent cracking

n Industrial glue can provide

sufficient holding power for

glass items

n Look for items with interesting

shapes at:

• Metal salvage yards

• Thrift stores

• Flea markets

• Construction sites

• Metal fabrication shops

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LURE SPRING 2018

33


Planning for Garden Art

Incorporating art into a garden or landscape should be fun. Ryan’s

customers are a testament to that.

“One customer has a large yard that is broken into themes. One

part consists of barnyard animals with a windmill, cow and pig and

another part contains my metal insects,” he explains. “In Anamosa, I

designed a custom abstract piece to fit in with the natural lines in the

customer’s yard. It needed to fit physically and with the style of their

yard.”

At Robbie’s country home in Clinton County, feeders and birdhouses

hang off a crossbar and an old wagon. Tree limbs, shepherd’s

hooks and deck railings would work, too.

“I hang them all over my yard, and I do different types of birdhouses

and feeders so they can be in different places,” Robbie said.

Her customers stick teacup feeders in flower gardens and borders.

Some use them near their fire pits to hold citronella candles. |

Top: A pig created from scrap metal by Ryan

Halbur of Iowa Creations. Left and page 35: Clarissa

Osborne of Outside the Box in Belle Plaine makes

birdfeeders out of everything from basins and bowls

to china and crystal. PHOTOS CLARISSA OSBORNE

34 LURE SPRING 2018


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n Glass/ceramic may last longer

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n Wash glass/ceramic items

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n Coat painted metal items with

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LURE SPRING 2018

35


Fresh Flavor

BY CINDY HADISH PHOTOS BY BRIAN DRAEGER

Restaurants

Source

Ingredients

From Local

Producers

Lois Pavelka is shown at Pavelka's

Point Meats in rural Mount

Vernon. PHOTO MARY MATHIS

Take one bite into a

smoked pork belly slider

at the Quarter Barrel

Arcade & Brewery and

it's obvious this isn't your

typical "bar food."

Quarter Barrel at 616 Second Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, is

among the Corridor restaurants making a conscious effort

to locally source their ingredients to provide higher quality

menu options and support local producers.

"These chefs are all fun to work with and value

knowing the farmer," said Lois Pavelka, of Pavelka's Point

Meats in rural Mount Vernon, which provides pork and

beef to Quarter Barrel, as well as to places such as Salt

Fork Kitchen in Solon, Kalona Brewery in Kalona and El

Banditos and Orchard Green in Iowa City.

For Pavelka, farmers markets make up a larger share

of income, but restaurants round out the farm's financial

picture, with 30-40 percent of sales in a given year.

The same is true of Donna Warhover of Morning Glory

farm near Mount Vernon, who uses a Community Supported

Agriculture (CSA) model as the farm's primary

source of income, along with farmers markets.

"The advantage of selling to local restaurants is that

my CSA customers pay for their shares in the beginning

of the season – what I need for purchasing seeds,

equipment, etc.," Warhover said. "The restaurants offer >

36 LURE SPRING 2018


ADAMS TILE & STONE

Donna Warhover at Morning

Glory farm in rural Mount Vernon.

PHOTO DIANE ROTELLA

additional income throughout the season."

Those restaurants also can help by using

large quantities of a given food when those

become available.

For example, a bumper crop of green beans

hand-picked by Warhover and her small crew

on the 3-acre farm didn't go to waste when the

chef at Cornell College in Mount Vernon was

able to use bushels of the beans.

Cornell also bought hundreds of pounds of

onions, cases of peppers and cabbage, and large

quantities of kale and herbs.

Other restaurants that have purchased produce

from Morning Glory include Nodo in Iowa

City, Rapid Creek Cidery at Wilson's Orchard,

and the Greyhound Deli and Mercy Medical

Center, both in Cedar Rapids. >

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LURE SPRING 2018

37


Community Focus

Quarter Barrel in Cedar Rapids is another customer

for Morning Glory, buying garlic scapes

and arugula on occasion.

"When my wife and I decided to open the

Quarter Barrel, the goal wasn't to just be another

restaurant," co-owner Chris Ellis said. "We

wanted it to be community-focused and I found

a chef who shared those sentiments."

Ellis is a vegetarian, and while Quarter

Barrel's menu includes vegetarian and vegan

options such as the "Holy Shiitake!" specialty

pizza, he said the only way he felt comfortable

serving meat "is to know that the animals are

raised as humanely as possible."

"Sourcing locally and developing relationships

with our farmers is the best way – the only

way – to do this with any confidence," he said.

Head Chef Andrew Hoffmann was the perfect

fit for that vision.

Hoffmann and sous chef Josh Carter both

spent their youths on Iowa farms, a background

that influenced their perspective as chefs.

"That's where our passion for food comes

from," Hoffmann said. "Buying this quality of

food makes our job easier, because we're working

with amazing products."

A whole slab of pork belly from Pavelka's

Point Meats is smoked in-house over spent

grains from Quarter Barrel's brewing process

to create the mouth-watering pork belly slider,

with local micro-greens added from Organic

Greens in Kalona.

Tomatoes used at Quarter Barrel often come

from gardens grown by Hoffmann in Mount Vernon

and Carter in Cedar Rapids, as well as eggs

that come from their backyard chickens.

"I love every aspect of food," Mr. Carter said.

"Cooking it, growing it and eating it."

Head chef Andrew Hoffmann, left, adds ingredients to a squash special at Quarter

Barrel, as sous chef Josh Carter looks on.

Squash from Jupiter Ridge in northeastern Iowa served as the main ingredient for this

winter weekend special at Quarter Barrel, along with locally sourced micro-greens.

Cost Effective

Hoffmann said sourcing local ingredients can be

more time-consuming than ordering from one

provider, but isn't necessarily more expensive

when a farmer has an abundance of a certain crop.

"It may not be what I planned on making," he

said, "but they can pick it and bring it to me the

next day, so the nutrient level is higher and it's

not being shipped in from California, so the shelf

life is longer."

Sourcing locally also helps keep money in the

local economy, Hoffmann noted, and supports

startups, such as Jupiter Ridge in northeastern

Iowa, which provides mushrooms and vegetables

to Quarter Barrel. Squash from Jupiter

Ridge was even being served in the depths of

Iowa's frigid winter.

"It is difficult, but not impossible," he said

of finding local produce year-round, citing

hoophouses, greenhouses and other means of

extending the growing season. "Farmers have a

lot of ingenuity and perseverance." |

38 LURE SPRING 2018


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