Thursday, August 11
Those old, heavy cast-iron skillets are good for more than smacking animated critters in cartoons. While Mom only hauls hers out for fried chicken, a new cast-iron craze advocates using those weighty skillets for more than home and campfire cooking. They're gourmet now. Sure, the bible of the fad, The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen, offers plenty of comfort food such as cornbread, but there's also grilled prosciutto-wrapped radicchio and warm pear upside-down cake. Learn about the range of cast-iron cooking ware and the types of food they're perfect for when Whole Foods Market Plano presents Cooking by the Book:The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 2201 Preston Road at Park Lane. Admission is $20. Call 972-612-6729.
Friday, August 12
You've been serving wine in plastic cups or buying tiny bottles of vino and inserting bendy straws in them, waiting for IKEA to open with its dirt-cheap wine glasses. Well, you might as well stick with the grocery aisle serving ware. Riedel Crystal of America, Inc. makes wine glasses that, it claims, "accentuate the characteristics of wine varietals," and it has a new set of less expensive casual glasses. And they have no stems. Sure, neither do your plastic ones, but they don't bring out any special flavors in your wine--except, of course, plastic. Get a tasting set of four of these special glasses during Easy Entertaining: "O" Wine Glasses, a special educational program and wine tasting that features five summer wines and hors d'oeuvres. Admission is $65, which includes the set of glasses to take home. The event takes place 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Central Market, 5750 E. Lovers Lane at Greenville Avenue. Call 214-361-5754.
Saturday, August 12
Sure, everyone likes Pablo Picasso, Constantine Brancusi, Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin and Georgia O'Keeffe now. But Alfred Stieglitz liked them then--back when they were just some unknowns making art that didn't look like the art everyone already liked. Stieglitz was a trendsetter, introducing abstract art, placing photography on an equal plane with other media, championing artists when they were still young and obscure. And he did it all at the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession in New York with partner and fellow artist Edward Steichen. Known as 291 after its street address, the gallery was open from November 1905 to June 1917, just after the United States declared war on Germany. The Amon Carter Museum pays tribute to the gallery with The Spirit of 291, which gathers several pieces of art from the Amon Carter's collection that once were displayed at 291. The exhibit opens August 13 and runs through February 5 at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth, as does Into the Night, an exhibit of nocturnal photography in the Focus on Photography Gallery. Call 817-989-5066 or visit www.cartermuseum.org.
Sunday, August 13
There's more to Western art than landscapes of the prairie divided by barbed wire fences, pastel paintings on the foreheads of longhorn skulls and bronze sculptures of cowboys on bucking broncos. But in 1985, not everyone was ready to accept Richard Avedon's alternate version of Western art. His exhibit, In the American West, was a commission from the Amon Carter Museum, and like his fashion shots and other portraits, all the photos were taken with his subjects standing alone in front of a white backdrop. More than 700 people participated from 1979 to 1984, and they were found across 17 states by Dallas photographer (and celebrity mom) Laura Wilson. All of this is documented in the KERA program In the American West: Photographs by Richard Avedon, which airs Sunday at 7 p.m. on KERA Channel 13 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Amon Carter Museum's In the American West exhibit premiere. The retrospective documentary will be included when the museum shows the exhibit again from September to January. Visit KERA online at www.kera.org.
Monday, August 14
Thirty bucks will buy five super-sized fast food meals, two dinners at a chain restaurant--if you split the appetizer and dessert--or, for a limited time, it can be exchanged for a three-course meal at a fancy-pants place like George, Steel or Il Mulino, with the knowledge that $6 of that goes to the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas or Lena Pope Home in Fort Worth. During the eighth annual KRLD Restaurant Week, which runs from August 15 through August 21 (though some participants extend it through August 28 or September 4), more than 100 restaurants offer an appetizer, entrée and dessert for just $30. The meal is determined in advance, not selected from the menu, and tax, tip and drinks aren't included. Check the list of restaurants at www.krld.com, www.ntxfoodbank.org or www.lenapopehome.org, and call ahead for the required (and limited) reservations.
Tuesday, August 16
If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen--and don't go anywhere near Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery's furnace. It runs about 50 weeks a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day at 2,000 degrees to keep 300 pounds of glass in a molten state. But from Tuesday through the end of August, the furnace is turned off for its annual maintenance. Visit from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays to take a peek inside the furnace--without all the heat. The gallery is open, so buy some fancy glassin a non-molten state, of course. Vetro is located at 701 S. Main St. in Grapevine. Call 817-251-1668 or visit www.vetroartglass.com.