Cheering on Maddie

Minnesota has another local baker on a Food Network competition. Maddie Carlos of Anoka is among the contestants on the Holiday Baking Championship, which airs at 8 p.m. Sundays through December on the Food Network. Carlos, 21, owns her own bakery, Something Sweet by Maddie Lu, at 12772 Riverdale Blvd. in Coon Rapids. She and her mother started the business in May 2015 and pride themselves on baking from scratch. Carlos was one of the top two bakers on the show’s premiere episode. But a baker is eliminated each week, and Maddie was cut on Sunday's episode.  According to the show’s website, one of Carlos’ goals is to open a food truck and bring her “sweets to the street.” She’s the second Minnesotan to compete on the series; Erin Campbell of Nadia Cakes in Woodbury/Maple Grove is a past champion. To learn more and check out some recipes, visit


Stephanie Izard here Nov. 18

Looking for something fun to do over lunch on Friday? Macy’s Culinary Council hosts chef Stephanie Izard for a cooking demonstration and book signing at noon in its downtown store’s lower level. Izard is executive chef and partner of Chicago restaurants Girl & the Goat, Duck Duck Goat and Little Goat. A 2011 James Beard “Best New Restaurant” nominee, she was the first woman to win Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Her first book, “Girl in the Kitchen,” came out in 2011 and she’s recently launched a line of sauces and rubs. With any purchase of $35 or more in the home department on Friday, customers will receive a copy of “Girl in the Kitchen,” which she’ll sign. To RSVP, call 1-877-556-2297 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seating is first come, first served. To learn more, visit


Cheesecake for charity

Muddy Paws Cheesecake, the St. Louis Park bakery known for its Chicago-style cheesecakes available in more than 200 flavors, is hosting its 24th annual Cheesecake Sampling from 4-9 p.m. Nov. 29 at its bakery and warehouse, 7600 W. 27th St., Suite B2, in St. Louis Park. Cheesecakes in 35 flavors will be available for sampling, along with coffee and live music. Local food and craft artisans also will have wares available for purchase. (Some vendors will accept credit cards but others will only accept cash, so plan accordingly.) Muddy Paws Cheesecakes will also be available for purchase. Admission is a suggested $10 donation, or it’s free with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy for children in STEP, the St. Louis Park Emergency Program, or Perspectives Inc.’s Breaking Cycles, Creating Hope program, or an unopened bag of pet food that will be donated to STEP and People & Pets Together Pet Food Shelf. Muddy Paws Cheesecake was founded by Chicago native Tami Cabrera after she relocated to the Twin Cities in 1991.