By Stephanie March
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Stephanie Wilbur Ash
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24 Hours in St. Paul
By: | Posted: 12/02/2011
I am predicting the first batch of cookies from my oven this season will happen this weekend. I've only had Christmas music in my house since last Friday, but now that we have creased the month of December I am full-on courting the spirit of the holidays. Paper snowflakes? Bring it. Cranberry and popcorn tree garland? Started. I'm a big fan of the Strib's annual cookie round up because after a few batches of the house standards (bourbon balls, spritz, gingerbread, peanut blossoms, etc.) I like to throw a little freak into the jar. Last year I made black and white cookies and the year before brought cardamom orange meringues. I know a few ladies who will spend every weekend this month baking up a sweat and freezing hundreds of cookies, just to give away the EXACT SAME plate after plate, year after year. I don't know why you have to let tradition hold you hostage, this Fresh Forkin' Friday why not break out of the rut, it might be a great year for Tipsy Turtle Bark.
Social House is the new version of Fusion, on that hopping corner that is Hennepin and Lagoon. Dark and dramatic, it looks like a dinky/eaty/late-night/hottie adventure. Sushi, small Asian focused plates, and lots of drinks is the concept.
Kopplin's made the move to its new digs on Marshall, snuggled between Izzy's and Sweets Bakeshop. There's ooodles of space plus a ton more retail that should tempt your gift giving prowess.
Northern Brewer has opened up a shiny, sparkly new flagship on Lyndale in Minneapolis. It is celebrating with a bunch of events, like the Saturday appearance of Surly brewer Jerrod Johnson which should cause home brewing geeks to just froth and shake.
Speaking of cookies and beer, Lift Bridge is about to release it's Biscotti brew on December 17th and the crew is hosting a bake-off to boot! That's the spirit I'm talking about! Bring in your cookies to be judged, if you don't win you still get beer. Win-win.
This Saturday, the Broder clan will show you how to live well, Italian style. The Fresh Off The Boot event is happening at the pasta bar, benefitting SlowFoodMN, and it promises to be an afternoon of sipping wine, tasting imported foods, and generally making you wish you had a Nonna.
Also this weekend, Mrs. Kelly is throwing her annual Holiday Tea Bash at her warehouse in the Grain Belt Brewery. I love this event, you get to inhale all the good tea aromas, taste more than 100 different blends, and really just get in the holiday spirit. It warms your soul, people.
One of my favorite holiday events is this weekend's No Coast Craft-o-Rama, which brings sassy handmade goods to the MGM. If you're going, don't forget tocheck out the food gifts at Kitchen in the Market, local cheese abundance at Grass Roots, the bocadillos sandwiches at Sonora Grill, and simply anything at Salty Tart.
This whole month is simply as Brit-tastic as Pippa Middleton, chums. It's a Brilliantly British December at Gather and the Walker. Take in the hilarious British Arrows Awards and if it's a Thursday night, sneak over to Gather for some ale battered fish n' chips. Other days you can scuttle down to the lobby Walker Pub for a cider, some crisps, and all that.
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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