Nadia Cakes offering classes

Nadia Cakes is sharing its secrets. Erin Campbell, general manager of Nadia Cakes' Woodbury location and winner of Food Network's Holiday Baking Championship, will begin teaching a series of Sunday afternoon baking classes at its shop at 429 Commerce Drive in Woodbury. Participants will make a cake/cupcake to take home and learn baking, assembling and decorating skills. There are classes for adults (5-6 p.m.) and children (3-3:30 p.m.) with kids making "mini" versions. (Note that children must be accompanied by an adult.) Prices range from $40-$55 for kids and $55-$75 for adults. On the schedule are pumpkin cakes Nov. 22 and 29; Yule stumps Dec. 6, 13, 20 and 27; snowflake cakes Jan. 3, 10, 17, 24, and love bug cakes Feb. 7, 21 and 28. Call 651-314-4444 or e-mail to reserve a spot.

Cheesecake for charity

Muddy Paws Cheesecake, the St. Louis Park bakery known for its Chicago-style cheesecakes, hosts its 23rd Cheesecake Sampling from 4-9 p.m. Dec. 2 at its bakery and warehouse, 7600 W. 27th St., Suite B2. The event offers samples of 35 cheesecake flavors, a crafts bazaar with locally-made items, entertainment and more.

Admission is free with two donor options: an unopened bag of pet food for the pets of families in transition, or a new unwrapped toy for ages 5-16 for under-served children in two neighborhood programs. Or a donation of $10.

Congrats, Martha

We just have to note that Martha Stewart Living magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary with the December/January issue now on newsstands. True to fantasy form, the cover features a painting of Martha in a sugary wonderland, which leads to recipes for eight Martha-esque holiday desserts inside. The theme of decor, recipes and gift ideas is a "classic sheen of silver" as befits a 25th. A cookie Advent calendar highlights 25 of Martha's favorite cookies, one from every year of the magazine. All the recipes are available at Which … wait for it … is a good thing.

Learn Chinese at New China Wok

New China Wok Chinese Restaurant, 5033 France Av. S., Mpls., now offers Chinese language classes from 3-4 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month. There's no charge for the Nov. 21 class, but fees onward will be $20 per pupil per class. Classes will be taught by Stephanie Lan, who learned Chinese in college and while living in China. She has eight years of teaching experience and a master's degree in education. She'll use storytelling to teach the language, and classes are for beginners or students with some experience. Bring paper and pen. To learn more or sign up, e-mail Stephanie at

Thanksgiving guide

Here's a charmer of a cookbook from a National Book Award-winning novelist: "A Southern Thanksgiving: Recipes and Musings for a Manageable Feast," by Robb Forman Dew (Bloomsbury, 87 pages, $18). This is a reissue of her 1992 book, a collection of family favorites — cornbread dressing with sausage and apples, and yams mousseline, among them — from a writer who grew up in Baton Rouge, La. Her practical advice includes a strategy for a stress-free meal, the root of which is to plan ahead.

Three cheers and a book

The latest copy of "Best Food Writing 2015," edited by Holly Hughes, includes an award-winning article that freelancer Steve Hoffman wrote for the Star Tribune's Taste section last December. "Of Links and Legacy" tells the tale of the sausage-making holiday tradition that is part of the family heritage for Hoffman's wife, Mary Jo. To read the story, go to