Beth El hosts an upscale Seder

Beth El Synagogue is hosting "what a Tu B'Shevat Seder was meant to be," with an eight-course food-and-wine experience for adults on Feb. 3. "For better or worse, the Jewish community has turned Tu B'Shevat into a pediatric experience," often celebrated in religious schools with children planting parsley seeds to prepare for Passover, according to Rabbi Avi Olitzky. Historically, the Seder was meant "to reawaken the soul to the gift of nature around us, just as at the same time nature was reawakening in the Holy Land." To that end, each course will highlight one of the seven species of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Four chefs will each prepare two courses, with kosher wine pairings. They are Dawn Drouillard of Fabulous Catering in Minneapolis, Tony Pester of Pescara in Rochester; Thomas Boemer of Corner Table in Minneapolis, and Daniel del Prado of Burch Steak and Pizza Bar in Minneapolis. Tickets are limited in number and $125 per person. The event, from 6-10 p.m., is at Beth El Synagogue, 5225 W. Barry St., St. Louis Park. For more information or to make a reservation, visit

Learn lifestyle skills at Mingle

Mingle, a home design showroom in Plymouth, is offering a cooking and lifestyle class on Jan. 11 with chef Mike Rakun, a partner of Marin in downtown Minneapolis and Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park, both of which feature fresh and healthy preparations, often with local ingredients. Rakun will demonstrate several dishes under the umbrella of "Cooking Healthy Without Sacrificing Flavor" from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. That will be followed by a program about the latest in travel, entertaining and home decor trends presented by experts from Affinescape ("Be Your Own Travel Guide"), Artful Living ("Color: Ready to Break Out of the Winter Blues?") and Miele ("Kitchens That Cook With Great Appliances"). Mingle is at 12955 Hwy. 55. The $25 fee includes wine and appetizers. To register, visit

Katzen does walnuts

On the heels of celebrating the 40th anniversary of her beloved "Moosewood Cookbook," James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame inductee Mollie Katzen has worked with California Walnuts to release a free e-book, "Mollie's Favorite Walnut Recipes." The 70 recipes, with color photos, showcase easy yet flavorful dishes featuring one of Katzen's favorite wholesome ingredients. In her animated, chatty style, Katzen describes dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks and side dishes, from Roasted Root Vegetable Soup With Rosemary Walnuts to Pear Crostada With Walnut and Cornmeal Crust. The free e-book is available for download on the California Walnuts website,