Earlier this summer I packed up the waffle iron and headed down to Iowa to visit my friend Joni who just had her second baby! I met Joni on my first day of college and we've been friends ever since. It's kind of great when it works out like that. Thanks random roommate generator! And my mom for requesting I be in a different dorm building because it was cuter.
Joni lives with her husband Jess on a farm in Massena, Iowa. This is a really beautiful part of Iowa. The motto of Massena is "Home of Friendly People." and it lives up to it's name.
Joni and Jess also have another son named Clinton. He is adorable, funny, and full of energy. We spent a good amount of time playing with balloons and trucks.
One morning I made waffles. I didn't take any photos of the waffles, but we definitely ate them.
Before I made it to Massena, I went through Winterset. It's another super cute town and if you like romantic movies (like me!) you need to visit so you can see all of the covered bridges of Madison County. I saw the bridges last time I visited, but here are a few photos I took around town.
I made this really easy pasta dish for a meal one night.
In a pan heat up some olive oil. Mince garlic and add to olive oil. After a few minutes add some red pepper flakes. If you have fresh tomatoes, chop them up and use them. If you are lazy like me pick up really great Italian tomatoes in a can (with Italian seasoning) and add them to the garlic and oil. Chop up some Italian parsley and add it to the tomatoes. Simmer. Bring water to a boil and add 1 pound of penne. Drain penne and add to sauce. Put pasta on a platter and add more fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Eat.
Saturday morning consisted of getting donuts before family photos. I didn't take any photos of the donuts, but they might be my favorite in the world. If you ever find yourself in Corning, Iowa go to Sweet Desires bakery and get one of everything. It will probably only cost you $5.
Before I left, Joni took me to Fairway to pick up Ham Loaf. I'm sure you are wondering what Ham Loaf is. The answer is simple. It's used to make Ham Balls. Which are delicious and a purely Iowa delicacy. The butcher said it's a combo of pork and ham. I transported it all the way back to Minnesota where it now sits in my freezer. One day I will make Mrs. Clinton's Famous Ham Balls!
That's my trip to Iowa! Joni is a super awesome mom and I'm lucky that she is my friend.