King Arthur demos

Six free baking demonstrations will be offered in the Twin Cities next week by King Arthur Flour folks. Each two-hour demo includes free recipes, coupons, door prizes and time to chat with the King Arthur Flour staff -- all toward alleviating "baking anxiety." Here's the schedule:

• Sept. 30 at the Marriott Southwest, 5801 Opus Pkwy. in Minnetonka: 11 a.m., perfect pies and savory scones; 3 p.m., baking with yeast and whole grains.

• Oct. 1 at the Shoreview Community Center, 4580 N. Victoria St. in Shoreview: noon, perfect pies and savory scones; 7 p.m., baking with yeast and whole grains.

• Oct. 2 at the Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Pkwy. in Eagan: noon, perfect pies and savory scones; 7 p.m., baking with yeast and whole grains.

No registration is required for the events.

Fundraisers on tap

There are a couple of palate-related causes seeking your help: Sept. 29 is the 17th celebration and fundraising dinner for the Youth Farm and Market Project, which seeks to "build youth leadership through planting, growing, preparing and selling food." It's at the Alfred Pillsbury Mansion, where a rather fabulous family-style dinner will be prepared by chef Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa. Tickets range from $125-$350 at www.yfmp2012.eventbrite.com.

Oct. 12 is the date for Harvesting Hope, a fall wine-tasting event to benefit at-risk children and families and hosted by Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. It's at the Marriott Southwest in Minnetonka and will feature live entertainment, art by Megan Rye and auction items including a private dinner prepared by Steven Brown of Tilia. Tickets range from $75-$125 at www.crisisnursery.org.

Tie one on

Aprons have become a hot fashion items these days, what with retro ruffles, sturdy chef's wear, or just an array of colors and styles that have outpaced the old gingham. Yet we still were struck by the clean elegance of these aprons from Valerie Rice, a lifestyle blogger from Santa Barbara, Calif. They're functional, protecting what needs to be covered, yet chic in their combo of white denim and linen. The "Cook" style is designed as a chef's jacket-meets-wrap dress, while the "Garden" style is designed to carry vegetables into the kitchen. Inspired! Prices range from $39 to $99. Visit www.valrice.com for details.

MCFM bread winners

Congratulations to the home bakers who were victorious at Saturday's Mill City Farmers Market bread contest:

Quick bread category: first place, Judy Nyagiro, Robbinsdale, for orange marmalade bread; second, Tom Kopacek, Apple Valley, for wheat germ zucchini bread, and third, Abigail Summers, for mom's best poppyseed bread.

Yeast bread category: first place, John Jacobson, Minneapolis, for pain aux graines de lin (flaxseed bread); second, Hannah Snider, St. Anthony, for stout bread, and third, Riley Sharbonno, Minneapolis, for seedy whole wheat/rye sourdough bread.

All six winning recipes are posted at www.millcityfarmersmarket.org; click on resources.

KIM ODE