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Celebrate 20 years of holiday cookies

More than 200 bakers entered this year's Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest, and this year's winners are worth celebrating. And we are celebrating big.

Mark your calendars for Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. and join us at the Mall of America's Huntington Bank Rotunda, where you'll be able to sample cookies, mingle with the bakers and ask questions from the Taste team and baking professionals. As part of the program, this year's winner and finalists will be recognized. We are hoping as many past winners, finalists and entrants will attend — we want to recognize you, too.

There's more! Chanhassen Dinner Theatres will provide musical entertainment; copies of "The Great Minnesota Cookie Book" will be for sale, and authors Lee Svitak Dean and Rick Nelson will be on hand to sign them. It's a free event, but we are encouraging those attending to bring a nonperishable food item for Second Harvest Heartland. Questions? Email

The winning cookies will be in the Star Tribune Taste section on Dec. 1 and online at

Attention, veterans

Several restaurants are showing their appreciation on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, with specials. Among them: Dickey's Barbecue Pit is giving away a pulled pork sandwich to veterans (use the code VETFREE when ordering) for carryout and online pickup at all four Twin Cities-area locations; Burnsville, Eagan, Eden Prairie and Edina. Old Chicago (locations in Eden Prairie and Roseville) is offering a free appetizer. Mason Jar Kitchen & Bar (1565 Cliff Road, Eagan, is offering a free entree to veterans and active military members all day; just show a military ID. And Crooked Pint Ale House (several Twin Cities locations), offers a free menu item for dine-in only for active duty military and veterans with proof of service.

Farmers markets aren't finished yet

Local farmers markets have switched to winter mode. The year-round St. Paul Farmers Market (290 E. 5th St., has installed heaters above the vendors, meaning no one will be out in the cold for winter wonderland shopping. Linden Hills Farmers Market (2813 W. 43rd St., Mpls.) will stay at Settergrens' parking lot through November, while Mill City Farmers Market has moved inside in the museum (704 S. 2nd St., Mpls). The monthly Neighborhood Roots Winter Markets is back at Bachman's (6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.); market dates are Nov. 12, Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Feb. 4 and March 11. And the Northeast Farmers Market has moved inside Earl Giles Distillery (1325 NE. Quincy St., Mpls.) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month; market dates are Nov. 12, Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 11 and April 8.

Four Seasons' Riva Terrace will host a holiday market

The upper-level Italian restaurant and rooftop at the new downtown Minneapolis Four Seasons is all decked out for the holidays. On Dec. 1, the Nordic Village at Riva Terrace will launch, a private dining experience meant to transport diners to the Italian Alps. There will be private cedar cabins built on the terrace and available for rental and a four-course dining experience. Plus, there will be a curling range and tabletop fires. Watch the hotel's Instagram page and website for updates and reservations. Nordic Village will be open through March 2023. The hotel is at 245 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.,