L'etoile du Bake-Off

Wow! Minnesota has five finalists in the top 100 of the Pillsbury Bake-Off who will compete Nov. 2-4 in Nashville for a top prize of $1 million. The state's finalists are Tamra Efta of Princeton, with Spicy Chicken and Spinach Pizza; Sonya Goergen of Moorhead, with Chocolate Chip Cookie Snack Mix; Jennifer Smith of Mound, with Chicken Margherita Melt; Laura Stanke of Maple Grove with Pastrami-Pretzel Bites, and Cathy Wiechert of Mound, with Lemon-Poppy Seed Pull-Apart Bread. To see the recipes and learn more, visit www.pillsbury.com/our-makers/bake-off-contest.

Honk if you like sweet corn

Pahl's Market in Apple Valley is hosting its 19th annual Corn Fest on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the store, 6885 160th St. Visitors can enjoy all the freshly cooked sweet corn can they eat for free, and there is an eating contest. The current fest record is 26 ears. There also will be music by Dave Hudson. Pahl's also has a sweet-corn drive-through where staffers will bring corn to your car if you honk.

An idea comes to life

Urban Oasis, which won the $1 million Forever St. Paul Challenge grant last year with a proposal based on the idea that "food is magic," will have its first major event Sunday. The Urban Oasis Food Fest is from noon to 4 p.m. at the former Hospital Linen site, 734 E. 7th St. in St. Paul. The free festival will include samples from East Side food vendors, a tomato-canning demonstration, food menu ideas and St. Paul chef Lenny Russo's Heartland sausages with locally sourced Urban Oasis condiments. Gardeners are encouraged to bring up to 2 pounds of tomatoes for use in the canning demonstration with results supporting food programming for East Side residents; if you register in advance to bring tomatoes, you'll be entered in a drawing for St. Paul Saints tickets and other prizes. To register, visit uofoodfest.eventbrite.com. Urban Oasis was chosen over more than 1,000 other submissions in the St. Paul Foundation's Forever St. Paul Challenge, which sought the best idea to improve St. Paul. It aims to be "a place where people can come and experience what it feels like to be part of and participate in a whole, healthy food system from seed to table and back to soil." To learn more, see UrbanOasisMN on Facebook.

BH&G opens its kitchens

Better Homes and Gardens is opening the doors of its test kitchen in Des Moines to host its first consumer cooking experience Oct. 10-11. This two-day event includes demos and classes by two notable chefs, James Beard award winner Scott Peacock and master baker Gesine Bullock-Prado, along with BHG editors. The weekend begins with a hearty opening reception and welcome dinner that spotlights innovative holiday recipes. Attendees also may book a seat for the Tastes of the Season dinner Saturday evening with BHG editor-in-chief Gayle Butler and other editors and chefs. Visitors get gift bags valued at $200, a printed cookbook with all recipes debuted during the event, and food served Friday evening, and Saturday breakfast, lunch, and closing reception. The weekend's cost is $395, with the more intimate Saturday dinner an additional $150. To register via Eventbrite, visit bit.ly/1sCaap8.

Brooklyn Brewery Mash

The second annual Brooklyn Brewery Mash tour, a huge traveling food, beer and arts festival, winds up its Twin Cities stop this weekend with several events. On Friday night, beer lovers can try BB's "decidedly robust" IPA Blast at Stanley's Northeast Bar Room, 2500 University Av. NE. in Minneapolis, along with $3 Brooklyn drafts during regular bar hours. "Mash Edu: Homebrewer Edition" begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at Northern Brewer, 6021 Lyndale Av. S., Minneapolis, partnering with Jeff Merriman of Northern Brewer. Tickets are free, but preregistration is necessary. Then it's "Mash Bash" with Marnie Stern, Pink Mink and BNLX from the Brooklyn music and arts scene at Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6 W. 6th St. in St. Paul, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. For details, visit http://brooklynbrewerymash.com/twin-cities.