Sarah Master of Barbette Shows Us How to Make the Perfect Carrot Cake

Categories: Recipes

City Pages Exclusive Recipe: Carrot Cake with Barbette's Sarah Master from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

It's no secret that Barbette makes some of the best carrot cake in the Twin Cities. They provide the carrot cake for a number of spots in Kim Bartmann's family of restaurants and it is a top seller anywhere it is offered.

So Hot Dish thought it would be great to get the recipe and share it with all of our readers. When we asked the team over at Barbette for the recipe we got laughed out of their inbox. It's a trade secret and not one they are keen to part with. But the team offered us something even better than the Barbette recipe...

See also:
Signature Dish: Barbette's chef Sarah Master

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What Happens When Musicians Try to Cook? The Halfway Cooks Show [VIDEO]

Youa Vang
The Halfway Cooks Crew

In the back room of Spyhouse coffee shop in Uptown, the group of friends who make up the Halfway Cooks cooking show gather around a table, most likely annoying any patrons looking for a quiet study spot. Project manager Darien Washington shares a story of how he once got a parking ticket from an attendant.

"That's why I removed my windshield wipers," says videographer Jake Astle. "That way they can't give me a ticket."

At this table, it's best to put on your listening ears and let the crew talk. Each member is a character, and each is trying to outdo the others in jokes. Much of that humor comes through in the group's work. Their first video features hip-hop artists Toki Wright and Big Cats cooking up some "Pad Thai Rad Thai" and sharing the stories behind their music.

See also:
Taco Cat's founders: "Who cares if you deliver something in a car? That's easy."

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A seasonal guide to pickle-worthy produce in the Twin Cities, with recipes


Twin Cities farmers markets are bursting at the seams with late summer and early fall produce. Now is the time to stock up on the best fruits and vegetables of the season, and preserve them for those dark days of winter. Radishes, carrots, peppers, beets, turnips, cucumbers, cabbages, garlic, onions, and green beans are prolific, and pickling is one of the easiest ways to preserve produce. We asked local bloggers, farmers, cooks, and producers for their pickling faves, all available now at your local farmers markets.

See also:
A taste tour of the Karmel Square Somali Mall

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Soul Food Junkie Cheo Smith gives dishes a healthy spin [RECIPES]

Categories: Interview, Recipes
B FRESH Photography
Cheo Smith at work in his kitchen

A few weeks back, we reported on the release of a new film called Soul Food Junkies by director Byron Hurt about the unhealthy effects of the high-fat foods that are part of Southern cuisine, particularly on the African-American community. We had a connection to the movie already since local photographer/videographer Rebecca McDonald worked on the production team, but her partner, local caterer Cheo Smith, connected with Soul Food Junkies in a more directly food-focused way. The Hot Dish caught up with Smith to discuss his budding business, his relationship with soul food and how it inspires his cooking, and some tips on how to lighten up your plate.

See also:

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We rock National Noodle Month with LIKEHELL's Nick Eldorado (RECIPE)
Celebrate the joys of pasta all month long.

Not only is Nick Eldorado a member of the hard rockin' band LIKEHELL, he also loves hotdish so much (even more than Michele Bachmann) that he started his own group to celebrate the stuff. Since March is National Noodle Month, we checked in with Eldorado, who shares one of his favorite hotdish recipes and a pasta recipe made by his Italian papa.

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Zoe Francois's Sufganiyot: A classic Chanukah treat [RECIPE]

Zoe Francois
Make them for the first night of Chanukah
With the first night of Chanukah coming up fast (it starts next Tuesday, December 20, at sunset), the Hot Dish started asking around for some great recipes by local chefs. We got a chance to get up close and personal in a two-part interview with pastry chef Zoe Francois last week, and we also got her to share some the sweetest ways that her five-minutes-a- day method can be applied. Her recipe for sufganiyot, a classic Chanukah dessert, uses the Brioche dough from her Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook. Here is Francois on one of her favorite Chanukah treats:

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Robin Asbell's vegan quesadillas and cranberry-jicama salsa make the season bright [RECIPE]

Categories: Events, Recipes

Robin Asbell small.jpg
Courtesy Robin Asbell
​Robin Asbell, cooking instructor, culinary advisor to the Whole Grains Council, and author of Big Vegan: More Than 350 Recipes, No Meat/No Dairy, All Delicious, will be appearing at the Kitchen in the Market (in Midtown Global Market) on December 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. The author will be signing books, giving a short cooking demonstration, and handing out samples of her innovative vegan dishes. Asbell's latest cookbook has recipes for every meal, including Griddled Oat Polenta with Smoky Maple-Tempeh "Bacon" for breakfast, Seitan Burgundy Stew with Parsnips for a hearty lunch, and Red Lentil Masala Burgers with Curry Ketchup for dinner. The Hot Dish caught up with the multitalented Minneapolis resident and got her to share a recipe for a holiday party appetizer she calls "seasonal, colorful, and fun." It also makes good use of the leftover bag of cranberries you might still have in your fridge from Thanksgiving.

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Chef John Michael Lerma's gingerbread cookies sweeten up the holidays [RECIPE]

John Michael Lerma.jpg
Baking cookies with the "Pie Guy" JML
​Now that the turkey is done, the relatives have made themselves scarce, and the cranberry sauce stains have been addressed, it's time to kick this holiday season business into high gear. It's time to get our bake on. 

For ideas we turned to area cookbook author, chef, and television personality John Michael Lerma. You may recognize him from the small screen as the Pie Guy, or perhaps you've found yourself searching his recipe-stuffed blog or easy-to-follow cookbook, Garden Country Cooking.

We asked JML to share one of his favorite holiday cookie recipes, and he sent us this gem.

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An afternoon cooking in Istanbul [RECIPE]

Categories: Recipes

The Haiga Sophia and Blue Mosque: Cooking in a foreign city can create an intimate connection with the local culture
Istanbul is a city with great narrative. It has style, romance, history, and food, an exploding music and art scene, plus a caressing Mediterranean climate. But after you've looked and tasted and examined and thought, the urge to do is inviting.

Cooking classes in a foreign town are a sure bet for the curious traveler. It's a tasty way to explore the city through its food. Cooking a country's food lets you start with the local foodstuff--the panoply of produce, spices, and herbs filling the bins and barrels of the local markets--and figure out how the odd vegetable and local grain combined to forge the foodways of a culture. And since most often cooking classes are held in a private kitchen, taking a class also gives a coveted peek into someone's private home or office, a look inside normally not available to tourists.

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Create Halloween blood and gore in your kitchen: Here's how

A few of Etoll's ghastly creations
​Filmmaker Mike Etoll knows a little something about blood and guts, having made the movie Sewer Baby and videos for bands like the Meat Puppets on the tightest of budgets. Etoll, who is also the creator of The Butcher Shop House of Gore, shared a few of his most grisly Halloween recipes with items found in the kitchen (cue the scary laughter).

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