Maple Grove indoor market Feb. 11

Timing is everything, according to the folks behind the Maple Grove Indoor Farmers Market. It's open from 3-6 p.m. Feb. 11 — that's today, if you're reading this in the newspaper — which is perfect timing for people who want to pick up something fresh and local on the way home from work — or get a head start on Valentine's Day weekend. Two dozen vendors offer everything from sweet treats to local meats; for a complete list of products, visit The market is at the Maple Grove Community Center, 12951 Weaver Lake Road, where there's free parking and live music. Future dates are March 10 and April 14.

Not cheesecake, but cheese cake

The wedding season never ends, and yet there's a certain momentum as we move toward spring. One trend we noticed last year — tiered wedding cakes made of cheese wheels — is showing staying power, fueled by more and more delicious options from local cheese producers. Fromagination, a cleverly named cheese purveyor in Madison, Wis., has championed the trend, and its website has beautiful photos and ordering info. (Visit Another resource is a blog post from a cheesemonger in the United Kingdom listing 10 tips to consider about cheese wheel cakes; that's at And, of course, there's inspiration on Pinterest; just search "cheese wheel wedding cakes."

Blue Egg Bakery takes the cake

Congrats to Blue Egg Bakery in Elk River, which took several top awards at the recent Upper Midwest Bakery Association Convention, representing bakers from Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Blue Egg's River Raft Apple Fritter was best in show of more than 30 entries in the doughnut competition. The bakery also took honors for best bread with its 18-Hour Sourdough, and for advanced and beginner cake decorating. Owner Robin DeWitt established the bakery on Elk River's Main Street in 2012. To learn more, visit

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

The annual chocolate tasting and gift fair at all three Mississippi Markets in St. Paul is on Saturday — making Valentine's Day gifts a cinch. Local and artisan chocolates and gifts are showcased, with accompanying kids' activities, harp music, prizes and specials throughout the co-ops. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at each location, 622 Selby Av., 1500 W. 7th St. and 740 E. 7th St. For more info, visit