December 2011

Winter Fashion Trends | Fuss-free Holiday Recipes

Mark Larsen isn’t a professional photographer, but he knows a good view when he sees it. When he happened upon a group of gray tree frogs relaxing on some Hostas late last summer, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to immortalize the scene.

 

Is your calendar chock full of party plans this month? Maybe you’re entertaining in your own home and feeling a bit frantic about all the grocery store runs, food preparation and generally getting the house in order?

 

This holiday season, the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres presents Plaid Tidings. In a Christmas-themed homage to the clean-cut guy groups whose harmonies defined 1950s pop music, an ethereal group of teen idols reboot conventional holiday show fare with an Americana flare.

 

Along with the excitement and anticipation that most of us feel with the impending holidays, comes the stress of wondering how we will fit everything in. I created this enticing dessert buffet with the hope that it’d alleviate some of the stress of entertaining during this busy time.

 

True shoppers love the thrill of the hunt as much as the stuff they bring home, and the PROP Shop in Eden Prairie has a new volunteer opportunity for thrill-seeking shoppers: the Secret Shopper program.

 

It all began with some cheese, wine, a simple gathering of friends—and a great idea. This group of Chanhassen neighborhood couples had a lot in common: they were all 30-something with little kids at home and looking for an excuse to get together outside of the typical kid playdate.

 

An extraordinary wine selection can enhance your holiday celebration when properly paired with whatever food you’re serving. Whether you’re planning a banquet or buffet, dessert or appetizers, local wine shops can offer expert advice on perfect wine pairings.

 

If your closet has the blues this winter, consider spicing it up with a trip into Houndstooth Boutique in Eden Prairie. Since the grand opening in July 2011, eager shoppers have flocked to the shop for personalized service and one-of-a-kind merchandise.

 

Traveling with Pomegranates: A mother-daughter story

By Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor

Recommended by Gloria Cramer

 

Every year since 1986, the city of Chaska has celebrated its rich cultural heritage by immortalizing a local historical landmark. This year, the Chaska Historical Society proudly continues the tradition with an ornament depicting the Moravian church.

 

Stocked with signature scented candles, gourmet gift baskets and locally-made wine, Sovereign Estate Winery in Waconia is a must-stop for anyone with holiday shopping-over load.

 

In addition to blocks of cheddar, Colby or marble cheeses that are made fresh daily, the Bongards’ Creamery Retail Store features fresh white or yellow cheese curds (sold in 12 ounce bags) in a variety of different flavors, including ranch, taco, garlic herb, dill, onion, Italian, rosemary garlic

 

Flavored vodka has gone from savory to sweet. Dust off those martini glasses and get creative this holiday season. Creating a signature cocktail for the night is fun and memorable, and with a new batch of savory flavors—from wasabi to bacon—there are limitless options.

 

Looking for a last-minute holiday gift that doesn’t seem like an after thought? Check out these quick, scrapbook-inspired crafts from the folks at Archiver’s (Eden Prairie Center #1152, Eden Prairie; 952.943.8060)