Several locations including 222 Albemarle St., 410-685-4905.
While the bakery’s luscious cannoli with sweet ricotta and milk-chocolate morsels may be its top seller, it also offers an array of outstanding cookies, including pignoli cookies with almond paste and pine nuts, butter sandwich cookies with Nutella and coated with powdered sugar, and a gluten-free croccantini (cocoa powder and almond bites).
Editor’s pick: Chocolate biscotti dipped in white chocolate.
Found at local stores.
752 Frederick Rd., Catonsville, 410-788-9478.
Owner Jamie Williams has gotten lots of exposure for her edible works of arts in bridal magazines, on TV shows (Today and Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?), and through celebrity wedding gigs (though she doesn’t bake and tell). She also runs a bustling retail business in Catonsville. Selections change daily, but if you’re lucky, the Smith Island cake (yellow cake with fudge icing and melted peanut-butter cups) or the country carrot cake will be available in the display case.
2046 York Rd., Timonium, 410-252-6601.
Behold the red-and-white flag and the exquisite displays of handmade truffles, dark rochers, and walnut giandujas, and you might swear you’re in Switzerland. You’re not, but you are in a Swiss chocolate shop. Owner Ben Hauser was weaned on the art form by his Swiss-born chocolatier dad, Ruedi (who has his own chocolate shop in Rhode Island).
Editor’s pick: Coffee truffles—dark chocolate, cream, and coffee ganache sprinkled with crushed espresso beans.
801 W. 36th St, 410-814-0493.
“I think of things I like and turn them into ice cream,” says co-owner David Alima, referring to the store's variety of flavors. Look for winter concoctions like Champagne and strawberry for Valentine’s Day and snowmaggedon with snowcap candies—whether or not the weather warrants it.
Editor’s pick: Spro coffee, made in collaboration with the Hampden coffee shop down the street.
Several locations including 821 S. Broadway, 410-342-8399.
Several locations including 8705 Harford Rd., Parkville, 410-661-9999.
This offspring of the original Ocean City hotspot stays true to the mother ship with a purple-and-green color scheme and doughnuts baked to order. A tray on the counter tempts you with colorful offerings, including Oreo cookie, Almond Joy, s’mores, and thin mint. It takes only minutes for the fragrant, hot doughnuts to be placed in your hands.
Editor’s pick: “O.C. Sand,” a honey-glazed round coated with cinnamon sugar.
These days, we’re more aware of how our vegetables are grown and how our meat is raised. But we may not be paying as much attention to how the grapes used to make our wines are cultivated.
We’ve taken stock of wines made from organic grapes and found three to suit any need.
Meinklang Pinot Noir 2011
$17, Siema Wines
Pinot Noir is a fickle grape, giving growers all manner of problems—temperature sensitivity, molds, and predation from insects to birds and deer. But Austria’s Meinklang cultivates robust biodiversity in its vineyards, making it difficult for Pinot’s enemies to establish themselves.
This wine will please fans of France’s Burgundy region with its similar highlights of currant and raspberry.
A son continues his father’s legacy in Little Italy.
Overlooked in the recent rash of Little Italy restaurant deaths was a rebirth. As diners mourned the passing of longtime staples like Rocco’s Capriccio and Caesar’s Den, Greg Mugavero quietly re-opened his father’s sandwich shop, which, for more than six decades, epitomized the neighborhood’s flavor. In many ways, Mugs’ Italian Bistro is about more than food. It’s about paying homage to family and tribute to a neighborhood’s past.
Dancer, Wire actor, and storyteller Maria Broom always comes home.
With leather bracelets from India adorning each ankle, Maria Broom sits at her kitchen table as she talks about her 64 years of gallivanting across the globe. “I’ve been to the continent of Africa at least eight times,” says the Windsor Mill resident. “I’ve been to India four times. I’ve been to Czechoslovakia and Poland four times, and I spent a year in Germany, a year in Hawaii, a year in Tennessee, and a year in L.A.” Her brief time as a flight attendant actually spurred her interest in cooking. But all roads have returned her to Baltimore. “I always come back here,” she says.
Rodney Henry rocks out on baking and music.
Baltimore’s Pie Guy/Music Man sits at an outdoor table in Fells Point on a balmy fall night, waiting for a gig to start at Bertha’s.
As he sips his favorite indulgence—Jack Daniels and water—he shoots the breeze about everything from his recent appearance on Food Network Star to an upcoming month-long band tour that will take him from his hometown to Ohio and Texas and places in between. Wearing his trademark porkpie hat, he doesn’t go unnoticed as passersby nudge each other and whisper, “That’s Rodney Henry.”
Three sons market their mom’s dips and marinades.
When one Annapolis mother couldn’t get her three boys to eat their vegetables, she got creative, making her own dressings to flavor the greens. As the kids got older, they realized how delicious mom’s sauces were and formed a company in 2009 to market the blends.
Named after Teresa Vetter, Tessemae’s All Natural products—dressings and marinades manufactured in Essex—can be found in area Whole Foods stores (look for them in the refrigerated section) or ordered online at tessemaes.com.
Zia’s Daniela Troia gives the lowdown on smoothies and juices.
Q: How do juices differ from smoothies? Juices are made by extracting the juice and separating the pulp from the produce. Smoothies are blended whole, keeping the fiber in the drink.
Who says you can’t enjoy yourself this holiday season on a budget?
There are remarkable values that take the pressure off your entertaining expenses without compromising good taste. We’ve assembled three wines to cover all the bases like a pro, but at minor-league prices.
The popular treat comes in all shapes and sizes.
It’s time to spice up the holidays—and your home—with some homemade gingerbread cookies. To find just the right recipe, we turned to senior pastry chef instructor Jan Bandula and the culinary students at Stratford University in Baltimore, who came up with a terrific batch of cut-out goodies. So, grab a rolling pin and let the baking begin.
Cooking With Love: Gingerbread’s Amorous Side
A college student goes in search of local foods.
Sometimes, it takes an outsider to show us things about our own town. Dana M. Chang, 20, pictured, who hails from San Francisco, came to Baltimore to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art as a photography major.
Your sip tip of the month
Now you’ve done it. You’re truly stuffed at the end of your Thanksgiving feast. For relief, we suggest finishing it all off with a digestif to soothe your stomach. The category ranges from sweet and succulent to classically bittersweet, made by either centuries-old distillers or newly minted producers. Here are three that cover the spread.