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Bake Cookies in Montana with HotChocolate’s Mindy Segal

Follow Mindy Segal to Montana for a cookie camp. Plus: ride a Pullman train to Madison for Big 10 Football between Chicago, a new app tells you what’s cool to do in a new city, and ArtPrize in Grand Rapids.

Photo: The Resort at Paws Up

Up your cookie-making skills with a visit to the Resort at Paws Up from October 10–13, when the luxury Montana glamping retreat owned by Chicago natives Dave and Larry Lipson is hosting Upper Crust, a one-off pie and cookie camp. Events planned for the long weekend include dinners from Bravo TV’s Top Chef Robin Levinthal, pie baking with “pie whisperer” Kate McDermott, and food photography lessons from New York Times photographer Andrew Scrivani. But the highlight may be the hands-on cookie-making workshops with Chicago pastry demigoddess Mindy Segal of HotChocolate, who recently added a bakery to her Bucktown restaurant.

We caught up with Segal to find out what’s in store at Upper Crust and beyond.

Q. You just opened your morning bakery. What else is new?

A. You’re catching me at a really interesting time in my career because I’m sort of segueing away from plated deserts and doing more bakery-focused items. (I have a girl that works for me and creates plated desserts under my tutelage.) I just finished writing a cookbook that’s coming out in April of 2015 called Cookie Love [http://www.amazon.com/Cookie-Love-Mindy-Segal/dp/1607746816 ], and that was a really great experience for me. I wanted to write single subject books as opposed to a body-of-work book, so that I could focus on one genre of pastry at a time. If this book does well, I hope to write a couple more. I really like cookies and I just spent a year or two focusing on cookie craft. It’s been very interesting for me and that’s really where my mind is at.

Q. Why cookie camp at Paws Up?

A. I’m excited to have this first experience of actually talking about the book and how I’ve taught myself all of the different techniques. And, I’m excited to share that with people and see how they respond to my style of cookies. I’m also really excited to go to Paws Up, because I’ve never been and I’ve heard really great things about it.

Q. What will you be teaching?

A. I’m leading a cookie camp, focusing on making one type of cookie each day and drawing from recipes in the new book. There are two workshops. I’ll share my own style and techniques in “Perfectly Creative Rugelach and Kolach Cookies.” It not just plain rugelach—it’s got depth to it and there’s a lot going on with homemade preserves and with each being different and seasonal. In “Desserts through Sandwich Cookies,” [the cookies] are very interesting and sort of heightened.

Rates for Upper Crust at the resort at Paws Up are from $760 a person per night, and include: stays in a luxury home or tent, all scheduled workshops, wine tastings and meals, resort activities (including horseback riding, ATV tours, and sporting clays), taxes, gratuities, and transportation from/to Missoula International Airport and on-property transportation.

Travel News

Ride a Pullman Train to Madison for Big 10 Football

Pullman Rail Journeys has launched three round-trip October departures on the line between Chicago’s Union Station and Madison for the first time since 1971. Book a seat on the same-day, October 11 journey and you’ve just scored the best ride to the Illinois football game at Wisconsin. Buy tickets at Pullman Rail Journeys.

Use This App to Find Cool Events in Major Cities

Last week the Gogobot app added “Gogo This Week,” a curated list of events and activities in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, London, San Diego and Silicon Valley. Rather than share every possible event, the weekly lists are curated and suggested based on known user interests. “With the explosion of information on the Internet it’s hard to know where to look,” Gogobot CEO Travis Katz told Mashable. “People don’t have time to look through 750 events to see what they want to do.”

Go to Grand Rapids for the City-Wide ArtPrize

From September 24 to October 12, drive to Grand Rapids to experience ArtPrize, the 19-day, international art competition spanning three square miles of the city. The free competition is largely juried by the public and awards $560,000 in prize money. If you go, stop at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, to judge the “The burden of honoring one’s father,” a massive graphite-on-mylar drawing.


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