Cookie contest

Attention, bakers: Time is running out. Oct. 25 at noon is the deadline to submit a recipe for the 17th annual Taste Holiday Cookie Contest.

Over the years, our winners have been original recipes as well as recipes adopted from elsewhere (just be sure to share the source). We also love a good story, so don't forget to tell us about the recipe's role in your holiday celebrations.

Our goal is to publish unfamiliar recipes, so there's no need to submit your favorite spritz or sugar cutouts. Another hint: Avoid replicating past winners, because we don't want to repeat ourselves. For a complete list of our past winners, go to Or check out "The Great Minnesota Cookie Book," which features all the recipes from the contest's first 15 years.

Send the recipe and the story, along with your name, address, daytime phone number and e-mail address. Our e-mail address is (write "Taste Holiday Cookie Contest" in the subject field), and our street address is Taste Holiday Cookie Contest, Star Tribune, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55488. A photo of the cookie is helpful but not required.

Grand prize is a $200 gift card to a local cookware store. Winners and finalists will be announced Dec. 5 in Taste and hailed at two open-to-the-public events in Minneapolis: at Star Tribune headquarters on Dec. 5, and at the Mill City Museum on Dec. 7.

It's apple time

Now's the time to learn about a variety of adult beverages, and there's no better spot to explore the topic via sampling than the annual Bushel to Bottle Fall Festival on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. at Minnesota Harvest Orchard (8251 Old Hwy. 169 Blvd.) in Jordan. The event, put on by the Minnesota Cider Guild, will feature 15-plus makers of hard cider, beer, wine and spirits. Tickets are $45 for VIP (start time of 1 p.m.) or $35 for 2 p.m. start. They are available from A shuttle bus will be available from the Twin Cities; contact if interested.

Happy 25th

Congrats to Moscow on the Hill (371 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-291-1236,, which celebrates its big birthday with an appropriate beverage for its dinner guests — a free vodka toast. They feature an array of 19 specially infused vodkas, which range from pepper to tiramisu and include the Resolute Vodka, made with horseradish. The three-day celebration takes place Sunday through Tuesday from 5 to 10 p.m. "In Russia, there's a saying, 'God loves the Trinity," said owner Marina Liberman, who with her husband Naum opened the restaurant. "It basically means that all good things come in threes. So why just celebrate on one day? Better to make it three!" she said in a news release.

Sean Brock stops by

Southern chef Sean Brock heads to the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Av. S., Mpls.) on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. to talk food and culture with Gavin Kaysen, chef/owner of Spoon and Stable, Bellecour and Demi. Tickets to the event, hosted by Cooks of Crocus Hill and ASI, cost $60, which includes Brock's new book, "South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations." Get tickets at

College fundraiser

The American Indian College Fund will hold its indigenous cooking event on Nov. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Machine Shop (300 SE. 2nd St., Mpls.) The event offers samples of a wide array of foods that make use of indigenous ingredients. The food will be provided by Anne Andrus of Honey & Rye Bakehouse, Beth Fisher of Two Food Wine Design, Sean Sherman's the Sioux Chef catering, and culinary arts students of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College. Students and faculty from the program will speak on the indigenous perspective that sets it apart from others in the nation. Tickets are available for $60 from