Dining and Drink

5 food events to fine tune your holiday meal preparation

Homemade cheese and holiday cake galore

Wednesday, Dec. 6 
When it comes to holiday appetizers and dishes, a high-quality cheese plate is probably as high up on any Wisconsinite's list as the traditional honey glazed ham. Holiday Cheese Making at the Willy Street Co-op east location will guide you through the process of making cheese straight out of the kitchen. It might even inspire you to sprinkle and infuse some herbs and condiments in there as well. You’ll not only be making cheese for the party—you’ll be making yourself a big cheese at the party. $35-45, 6-8 p.m., willystreet.coop

Thursday, Dec. 7
Sure, family and friends are key to a heartwarming holiday feast; but if you want to nail down a dish just as comforting for the occasion, then you should check out Pie the Light of the Moon: Shepherd’s Pie Cooking Event at the Food Apps Lab in Babcock Hall. Practice makes perfect, and this cooking event will make sure everyone swoons over your rendition of a savory pie that fuses mashed potatoes, beef and veggies into one aromatic dish. Free, 6-8 p.m., union.wisc.edu 

Friday, Dec. 8
Whenever someone speaks of Italian culinary delicacies, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and balsamic vinegar usually come to mind. Campo di Bella has both fresh from Italy, and they’re the star of the show at the Balsamic Vinegar Cenetta dinner event. Start the evening off by learning about the production of balsamic vinegar; reward your learning afterward with the 30-year-old Leonardi balsamic vinegar and the nutty relish of Parmigiano-Reggiano—that's the first course. Following is a pan-seared sous-vide fillet with roasted potatoes and a mascarpone whipped cream with berries and balsamic vinegar. Who knows? They may just inspire some holiday hors d'oeuvres. $45, 6:30-8, campodibella.org  

Struggling to find the perfect wine for your holiday festivities? Maybe it’s time to sample nine wines from Barriques' most exclusive collection from both national and international producers at the Annual Big Boy Wine Tasting at the Monroe Street Barriques. Wines include Mullineux “IRON” Syrah made by Wine Enthusiast’s winemaker of the year Andrea Mullineux from South Africa. $40, 5:30-8:30 p.m., barriquesmarket.com

Sunday, Dec. 10
If you want to wow your guests with appealing, delicious centerpieces this holiday season, give your holiday cakes an extra oomph. Ditch your grandma’s dusty old tin pan (sorry!) and learn the methods and recipes of  three sophisticated-looking classics—buche de noel (yule log), black forest cherry torte and the classic bundt—at Cooking Class: Traditional Holiday Cakes at delecTable, which is inside the vomFASS on University Avenue. All you have to do is show up eager to learn. What a piece of cake! $49, 1-3 p.m., eventbrite.com


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