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This week in food events: toys, cookies, and more

(WBEZ/Louisa Chu)

Beer for toys? Yes! Bring in a toy to Goose Island Clybourn brewpup's Holiday Toy Drive and get a $5 voucher to the pub. Plus, the more toys they collect, the more seasonal, limited edition holiday beers they release!

Chef Jackie Shen's Esperenza Gourmet Fudge is back! What's that, you ask? Chef Shen, of course, is the creator of the fabled Chocolate Bag, and it's her fudge recipe, using Callebaut chocolate, and packaged by participants of Esperenza's Coleridge Adult Day Program, teaching vocational skills to people with developmental disabilities. Order your fudge—with or without nuts—before December 20. BTW the Chocolate Bag is available by special order at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, where Shen is Exec Chef.

Monday, December 12

Chef Tony Mantuano and his lovely wine expert wife, Cathy Mantuano, appear at the Harold Washington Library to discuss the gorgeous revised Phaidon edition of The Silver Spoon, the Italian cooking bible, with new recipes from Chef Mantuano—as well as their own book, Wine Bar Food: Mediterranean Flavors to Crave with Wines to Match. For a live-action taste of their wine bar food, go to their new Bar Toma, across the street from the beautifully holiday-lit Water Tower. The event will be recorded for WBEZ's Chicago Amplified.

Tuesday, December 13

The Hideout Holiday Sale in the backroom of "Chicago's Most Loved Small Venue" features edible goods from Jo Snow, Black Dog Gelato, Puffs of Doom, as well as real, live, working farmers from Peasants' Plot CSA. Bloodshot Records is also collecting for their annual Holiday Stuffed Animal Drive at the sale!

Saturday, December 17

The Green City Market Junior Board holds a Crop Mob at Growing Power Chicago's Iron Street Urban Farm. Help prepare beehives for Spring and learn about creating mushroom "chandeliers"! Crob Mobsters usually end a hard day's work with a pot luck, but this time it's a call for cookies! Coffee and hot cider will be served.

Jingle Fest at The French Market means free holiday cookie decorating, live music, and an early visit by Père Noël, AKA Santa Claus!

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