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The Dish

While Americans bask in the afterglow of a diverted dive off the fiscal cliff, the restaurant business faces its toughest quarter of the year from January through March. It’s always a challenge to lure diners out in the cold winter months. Adding to the disincentives are smaller paychecks thanks the elimination of the two percent payroll tax, post-holiday malaise and three months with only one food-centered holiday (Valentine’s Day, the second-most popular restaurant holiday behind Mothers Day).

Dave Kidwell, executive chef at Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge in Annapolis, prepared the winning Healthiest Dish at last week’s Weight of the Nation event. Read the original story at        

Resolved to lose weight this year? To eat healthier? Tackle the topic this Friday, January 11, when the Annapolis Community Health Initiative hosts a tasting, movie and discussion on healthful eating at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis.     Start the evening by tasting local chefs’ presentations of food that’s good and good for health.

Christmas, like most holidays, has a lot to do with eating. We have our traditions, family recipes and occasional experiments. For as long as I can remember, my mother’s Christmas morning menu included a delicious egg casserole, sticky buns and fruit salad. The mimosas were reserved for the adults.

Make the Cookie Connection at Skipper’s Pier

Cooking and baking are holiday rituals. We take sweets as gifts and uphold tradition with family recipes as family bonding and tradition.     If you fear you’ll come up short this busy season, Skipper’s Pier in Deale offers an alternative.     Owner and pastry chef Jessica LeCronier will do the work for you. On Saturday, December 22, she invites you to fill a tin or basket at Skipper’s first annual Cookie Connection.

It’s venison season

The deer hunt is on, for firearms at least, until December 8. Bow season follows from the 10th to the 14th. Hope the hunters steer clear of Santa’s sleigh.     With its dark, earthy flavor, venison can be used as steak, stew meat, sausage or as a replacement in any protein recipe. It is a lean meat and certainly sustainable. Novices, prepare for a gamey taste.

Help build a sweet village for Annapolis

Looking for a creative outlet this holiday season? Or perhaps a great bonding exercise for the family or office? Get your ovens preheated and architectural plans drawn for this year’s Historic Annapolis gingerbread contest. Entries will be on exhibit in local businesses in Historic Annapolis December 6 thru January 1.     Register by Monday, November 26, in professional or amateur categories. Pick up a registration form at the Historic Annapolis Museum at 99 Main Street or download at

Whet your Thanksgiving appetite this weekend at Whole Foods in Annapolis, where an array of traditional holiday dishes will be showcased on Saturday noon-2pm. There is no charge and no registration. Show up and enjoy samples of turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, pies, dips, relish and the like. Of course, you’ll be in the right place to start shopping for all those yummy dishes once you’ve been inspired.

Enjoy them at home and at local festivals

Crabs and oysters are the culinary pride of Maryland. As local crab season ends, likely hastened by Hurricane Sandy, the winter oyster harvest has begun, with its variety of oyster celebrations and events.

Indulge at Whole Foods Apple Fest Family Fun Day

Before Jobs and Wozniak, apples were known for growing on trees rather than revolutionizing technology. This week we consider the older tradition.