Union Depot’s 5th Annual Holiday Bake Sale

My absolute, most-favorite event of the year is the Union Depot’s Annual Holiday Bake Sale. Hosting the top Twin Cities bakeries for 5 years in a row, it certainly doesn’t disappoint! More than just a bake sale, it includes all kinds of events like baking and cooking demonstrations and musical performances. This year, there was even a holiday cake walk sponsored by The Germanic American Institute! Every year I buy so many baked goods that I can barely hold my camera, let alone walk back to my car! I tend to get very “involved” when baked goods are offered. My camera is covered in frosting, and rightfully so. I fell in love with Groundswell’s Ugly Sweater Cookies, The Buttered Tin’s Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees and Grandma’s Gourmets Dilly Beans.
Featured Bakeries and Vendors: North Mallow, Heavenly Treats, Potter’s Pasties, Bread Art, Curly Girlz Candy, Nikkolette’s Macarons, Cookie Cart, T-Rex Cookie Company, Something Sweet by Maddie Lu, Sarah Jane’s Bakery, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, The Buttered Tin, Ink Sweets, Groundswell Midway, Black Dog Cafe, Groveland Confections, ALMA, MinneCookies, The Sweet Retreat, Mademoiselle Miel, Germanic American Institute, Antoinette’s Little Bakeshop, Amy’s classic Confections, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Jamazing, Double Take Salsa, Patti’s Granola, Grandma’s Gourmets, Panache, Blue Heron Soap Company, Wild Country Maple Products, and Vom Fass.

Check out past years here: 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. I HIGHLY recommend adding the Bake Sale to your yearly holiday traditions.

Lola’s Lakehouse

Speaking of brunch, I have another to add to my growing list of favorite stops. I give you, Lola’s Lakehouse located on Lake Waconia. Lola’s, the former home of Nancy’s Landing is reminiscent of Cape Cod, with strong nautical decor (think mermaids and life preserver rings) and a New England influenced menu. I fell head-over-heels for the smoked gouda potato bake and maple walnut pie. Others rave about their shrimp risotto, calamari and lobster bisque. The dark, heavy wood tables pair well with the glass garage doors exposed on the Marina-side. The view is gorgeous from the open-air deck patio. While it is the perfect place to dock your boat in the summertime, you can still enjoy the view of the lake in the winter as you stay warm and cozy inside.

Kenwood Restaurant

The Kenwood Restaurant in Minneapolis is the perfect brunch spot. It’s a cozy, neighborhood eatery that is part English den, part intimate upscale parlour with beautiful warm-wood tables, rustic decor and Tartan walls. Come for their trout hash, huevos ranchero, or eggs Benedict. I learned that mimosas pair exceptionally well with their black walnut butter topped pancakes. Or stop in for some sugary breakfast extra’s made in house. You can expect desserts like ginger-chocolate pot de creme, deconstructed carrot cake with black walnuts, tiramisu with cherries, and sweet corn creme brulee. While we are on the cusp of winter, its not too late to warm yourself with a Kenwood latte made with Dogwood coffee or indulge in their fresh banana bread on the patio. Because its tucked into a neighborhood, you get the luxury of making a day out of it. After, stop by Birch Bark books next door or take a brisk walk around Lake of the Isles.