Toss me an ebelskiver

Used to be that the outdoor grill was for steaks and burgers. Then there were grill baskets for veggies and prongs for whole chickens. But we never saw this coming: an ebelskiver accessory, so you can make the traditional Danish delight on the deck. You know ebelskivers — the small pancake-like spheres filled with jam and such. The folks at Weber have a porcelain-enameled cast-iron pan for use on the grill. It retails for about $50. Here's the video!

Hot dish quorum

As reported by the Star Tribune's Corey Mitchell, Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., won the third annual Minnesota congressional delegation "Hotdish Off" cooking competition this month with his "Hermann the German" recipe. Ingredients include a bottle of beer from Schell's Brewing Co., Tater Tots and Cheddar cheese. Sen. Al Franken hosts the event, which he bills as a bipartisan, bicameral meeting "where we celebrate a Minnesota tradition." For all the recipes, visit

Mmmmmm, bacon

The bacon bandwagon shows little sign of slowing. Witness the return of the Bacon Takedown Series, sponsored by Hormel Black Label bacon, back in Minneapolis for the first time since 2010. Amateur and professional chefs each will show what they've created with 15 pounds of bacon. (The last time the contest was here, there was bacon cheesecake and bacon vodka.) The event is from 2 to 4 p.m. May 11 at the Fine Line Music Cafe where, for $15, the public can sample all the dishes they can stomach. For tickets, visit

Farmers markets

Season opener: The Minneapolis Farmers Market on the Nicollet Mall begins its Thursday sales this week. And its Lyndale Av. market opens Saturday at 6 a.m. and will continue to 1 p.m. daily throughout the summer. The St. Paul Farmers Market opens the following week. See next week's Taste section for listings of other openings.

You've got mail!

As college acceptance letters come in, it's time to start thinking of ways to ship goodies. But how to keep your oatmeal-raisin cookies from arriving like oatmeal? "The Flying Brownie" by Shirley Fan (Harvard Common, $17.95) is devoted to this question. Fan, who helped launch Food Network Magazine, has researched the finer point of shipping companies, food safety, cushioning materials and more, whether you're preparing a package for Ames or Afghanistan. Lots of recipes for brownies and bars, but also ideas such as a s'mores kit or seasoned pretzels.