Sample Buffalo Sweat and Italian classics this chilly Week in Food


We know -- it's hard to muster the strength to leave your house when there's a minus in front of that all-important temperature digit. But trust us that it's worth it this week, whether you're rallying to go to the (outdoor) beer festival in St. Paul on Saturday or just driving over to the Four Firkins for a free taste of Buffalo Sweat.

1/22 Is there anything better for lining your stomach in the depths of winter than hearty Italian food? The Linden Hills Co-op agrees, which is why they're offering Classic Italian: Vegetarian Style Tuesday night of all freezing cold nights. Caitlin Rudeen of Caitlin's Healthy Homemade will make classic full-flavored Italian dishes the vegetarian way, such as sun-dried tomato and pesto Caprese salad, sage and butter pasta sauce, and a citrus granita. The class runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $25 for co-op members, $30 for nonmembers. To nab a seat call ahead to 612.922.1159.

1/23 Fans of Tallgrass Brewing of Manhattan Kansas should make a stop at the Four Firkins Wednesday night as it will be debuting its newest creation, a limited-edition vanilla bean version of Buffalo Sweat, their oatmeal milk stout. We're told the addition of the vanilla makes for some tasty sweat, but don't take our word for it. Four Firkins will crack open some cans for you to sample starting at 6 p.m., and it will also have some other Tallgrass brews to try so you can examine the brewery's entire lineup. All for free!

1/24 Head to the Pig and Fiddle Thursday night for a hefty Fulton beer dinner that will pair brews like Worthy Adversary, Sweet Child of Vine, Lonely Blonde, Ringer, and Libertine with dishes like a toasted oat and blue cheese beignet and grilled pork tenderloin. Tickets are $50 (plus tax and tip), and that covers all five courses. To reserve a seat at this dinner, which starts at 7 p.m., call 952.955.8385

1/26 This event is technically sold out, but on the off chance you can get a ticket on Craigslist, here's our thoughts: An outdoor beer festival might sound like a bad idea when the weather is barely above zero, but that's how they separate the wheat from the die hards. The Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival is (unsurprisingly) the only winter outdoor beer festival, and that alone makes it worth a look: from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Farmer's Market Lot in Lowertown St. Paul you can peruse the brews of over 100 breweries, which will be offering more than 300 beers to sample. There's also live music, a silent disco, and even a home brew contest for the amateurs among you. Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door, and the website says they are all gone -- so get thee to Craigslist or Facebook and start the hunt.

White vs. Wheat: You be the judge
White vs. Wheat: You be the judge

1/27 Who knew the history of bread could be so interesting? Sunday the Mill City Museum hosts "White vs. Whole Wheat: A Tale of Two Flours," a baking demo that focuses on the story behind white and whole wheat flours. Visitors will learn how the mills of Minneapolis perfected the ability to make white flour on a massive scale, the subsequent boom in its popularity and how this affected nutrition. Hear about the pros and cons of both types of flour and sample baked goods that utilize both (you can even nab some recipes). The lecture and demo begins at 2 p.m. and is free with the paid admission of $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for MHS members.

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