Tonja’s Table earns award

Food blogger and author Tonja Engen of Edina won a silver medal in the general cookbook category for her book “Tonja’s Table: Menus and Recipes for Every Occasion” at the 2017 Living Now Awards, which celebrate “the year’s best books that help readers attain healthier, more fulfilling and productive lives.” Engen launched her food and recipe blog, Tonja’s Table, in 2011 to share recipes with her family and friends, as well as a catering business, Saucepan Sisters. Her first cookbook includes more than 40 menus for entertaining and parties, weekend entertaining, weeknight dinners and a special section for restaurant-inspired recipes. To see her schedule of upcoming events, visit

Gingerbread goes tiny

That tiny house trend? It’s migrated to gingerbread houses — and no, we’re not talking about holding graham crackers together with frosting. “The Little Gingerbread House” (Chronicle, $14.95) may be a response to anyone who’s tried, and failed, at manipulating larger walls and roofs of baked dough. Templates for eight mini-gingerbread houses include a wintry A-frame, adobe, hexagon, chicken coop, doghouse and more. Super-tiny homes can double as placecards. You could make a whole neighborhood — then play teardown (if you then want to tackle a larger home). As is often the case, the decorating ideas are fun to study.