Got a good hot dish recipe? Hotdish and Bars Takedown event coming soon to St. Paul

Categories: Events
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Want to have one last very Minnesota experience as we finally, hopefully say "get the hell outta here" to this epically long winter? Then mark your calendars for next Sunday, April 13 from 2 to 4 p.m., when Matt Timms will host a Hot Dish and Bars Takedown at O'Gara's in St. Paul.

Just what is a Takedown? You might already be familiar with the concept as Timms hosted a bacon-themed one at the Fine Line back in 2013, but if not, it's basically a non-professional cooking competition, open to the public both to participate or just attend (and eat), based around a single ingredient or dish. There have been mac-and-cheese takedowns, avocado ones, chili ones, curry ones, and ice cream ones -- held in cities across the United States. Timms felt it was about time to do a takedown unique to this region, and we caught up with him briefly to talk about the competition and convince him that bars are indeed "a thing."

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Amanda Rettke of I Am Baker on "Surprise-Inside Cakes" [VIDEO]

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Courtesy Surprise Inside Cakes

"Love to cook, hate to bake" is a commonly held sentiment among chefs. Why? Baking in general, and confection in particular, has a reputation for being tedious, inflexible, and focused on perfection. But baking blogger and cookbook author Amanda Rettke thinks that shouldn't be the case. She makes what she calls "Surprise-Inside" cakes, which when sliced into reveal three-dimensional, multilayered, rainbow-colored shapes and images. They may look complicated, but Rettke says the stakes with baking like this are actually pretty low. Her methods work just as well with boxed mixes (though she does encourage using homemade frosting) and she makes a very good point about the upside of screwing up when you bake: "You can always eat the evidence." 

Rettke has a book signing and baking demonstration coming up this Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Kitchen in the Market at Midtown Global Market, where you can sample treats, drink bubbly, and see how, exactly, she gets cake inside of cake. We caught up with Rettke to chat about her most ambitious designs, the cons of writing a book about something new, and the best food dye for the job.

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Bradstreet Craftshouse to throw a birthday bash with bartender alums and special guests

Categories: Cocktails, Events
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Jared Lee Photography 
Jon Olson, Jennifer Boutell, Robb Jones and Shawn Jones
Some of the best drink shakers in town have taken a turn behind the bar at Bradstreet Craftshouse. Now they're getting together to toast their former haunt at a special fifth anniversary event on Sunday, April 27, and you can join them if you nab a ticket in time.

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MMMA to screen documentary on women in craft brewing

Categories: Beer, Events

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photo from facebook event site

MN Beer Activists, who earlier this week sponsored the Sunday Sales fundraiser concert at First Avenue, have teamed up with the Minnesota Museum of Modern Art for a screening of the 2011 film The Love of Beer, a documentary set in the Pacific Northwest that examines the role of women in the beer brewing scene. The film will screen on Friday, April 4.

Joining the screening at MMMA will be local beer historian Doug Hoverson, owners Jill Pavlak and Deb Loch of Urban Growler Brewing Company, and Mighty Axe Hops.

See also:
First Ave to host St. Patrick's Day Rally for Sunday Sales


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Chowgirls Killer Catering celebrates 10 years of delicious dishes

Categories: Events

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Diana Albrecht
Over the last decade, Chowgirls Killer Catering has become a culinary force to be reckoned with in the local catering world. Based in Minneapolis, the award-winning duo behind the company have steadily gained a following with their often locally and sustainably sourced dishes that are both elegant and approachable.

Last night at Aria, guests celebrated Heidi Andermack and Amy Lynn Brown's 10 years in business together as Chowgirls. The evening marked the actual anniversary of their first event catered on March 12, 2004.

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Slideshow: Chowgirls Killer Catering celebrates a decade of fantastic food


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Minnesota non-GMO group to rally for labeling legislation

Categories: Events

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By Dodo Bird via Flickr
Next Thursday, Right to Know Minnesota will head to the State Capital in an attempt to convince legislators to label products containing GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. The group will meet at Christ Lutheran Church across from the State Capitol in St. Paul at 1 p.m., where participants will meet, eat non-GMO treats, and learn how to talk to state legislators. After that, they'll head to the State Capital and each participant will meet the respective House and Senate representatives from their area.

Right to Know is an organization dedicated to the establishment of GMO mandatory labeling in the state of Minnesota.

"This is a total, 100% volunteer group. There's no paid staff [and we] don't get reimbursed for anything," says Jody Hencier of Right to Know.

See also:
The Monsanto menace takes over


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First Ave to host St. Patrick's Day Rally for Sunday Sales

Categories: Beer, Events

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Tired of scrambling to get to the liquor store before it closes on Saturday? You're not alone. MN Beer Activists has organized a fundraising concert to support legalizing Sunday alcohol sales in Minnesota.

The concert will take place at First Avenue on one of the busiest beer drinking days of the year, St. Patrick's Day, and will include music from Romantica, White Iron Band, Silverback Colony, and Mark Andrew, a former contestant on The Voice. The festivities will be hosted by none other than Ian Rans of Drinking with Ian.

See also:
MNGOP Rep. Jenifer Loon says her Sunday sales bill is all about local control
Governor Dayton would sign Sunday liquor sales into law

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Bryant Lake Bowl to host seed swap this weekend

Categories: Events

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via furtwangl
We know it's hard to believe (especially on days like today when we seem doomed to spend eternity inside of a snow globe), but spring is just a few snow emergencies away. That means the sun will soon shine, birds will serve as unwelcome alarm clocks, and gardeners everywhere will be on their hands and knees, digging up the earth. If you're tired of thinking about the three feet of snow you have to trudge through every morning, consider planning for spring gardening early at this weekend's seed swap sponsored by Seed Savers Exchange and Permaculture Research Institute for Cold Climate.

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Bluestem hosts salon series with This Perennial Land authors

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Where to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday

Categories: Events

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Alma Guzman
Come Super Bowl Sunday, lots of folks will be sitting down on their couches, elbow-deep in wings, nachos, and football-shaped party food. While it's fun to scream at the tv and guzzle some brewskis in the comfort of your own home, there's something to be said about watching the big game in a bar with people rooting for both teams.

First on the list, you don't have to clean up. Second, football is about community, and what better way to express it than cheering your team on with some new friends? Last, even if football isn't your thing, you can still get your drink on with this game we created for even the least sports-inclined people.

Without further ado, here are some places where you can watch the Seahawks and the Broncos battle for glory this Sunday, February 2, without worrying about the post-game day mess at your pad. (Remember, the official kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. CST on Fox, but there are plenty of places to kick off your game day festivities before that.)

See also:
Tim Heidecker's "leaked" Super Bowl halftime show song anthology

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Northstar Bartenders Guild: Winter Gala

Categories: Cocktails, Events
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Joy Summers
The best cocktail shakers in town are throwing a winter bash
You haven't lived until you've found yourself in the middle of the action at a North Star Bartenders Guild party. The best craft cocktail shakers in the Twin Cities are all done up in their finery and making drinks not just to impress you, their honored guest, but to show off a bit and impress their compatriots. The bow ties come undone, those biceps start flexing, and the drink cups clank together. The cocktails are divine, but the entertainment is often even better. 

The next opportunity to see these bartending rapscallions cut loose is this Saturday, January 25 at the Northstar Bartenders Guild Winter Gala, which will also benefit a worthy cause.

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